Orlando Vacation: {Day 2 – Magic Kingdom}

I planned the whole trip out weeks in advance.  There needed to be a delicate balance between ride heavy v. non-ride days to avoid exhaustion, lack of long line motivation and to save one’s legs.  That’s always the fun killer on these types of trips…legs.

My original plan had been the following: Universal Studios > Epcot > Magic Kingdom > Hollywood Studios.
And then I read {this} little beauty that had me tossing and turning Saturday night.
I woke up Sunday morning and was battling a nagging feeling that we should go to Magic Kingdom that day.  All of this of course conflicting with what would be letting go of control and planning, so it wasn’t really a fair fight to begin with.  But I finally succumbed to my gut and announced that we should go to Magic Kingdom about 5 minutes before walking out the door.  Not to worry, park doesn’t open for another hour so we’d just grab a quick breakfast and head on our way.  This is naturally part of the advantage of going to the park without kids: arrive when the gates open, no navigating with strollers and avoid a bunch of long lines at the beginning of the day.  All part of my master, control-freak plan. 

Pete and I are casually eating our mediocre oatmeal and tiny boxes of cereal in the hotel lobby when I decide it’d be a good idea to check out what times the parades are later tonight only to discover devastating news.  The parked opened 2 minutes ago and we’re eating freakin’ Fruit Loops.  Doomed.
In a matter of 5 seconds I managed to order Pete to leave, throw all our breakfast trash away and jog to the car.  And then I spread the wonderful blessing of flipping out and cursing the moment I decided we should go to MK today.  “We were going to be so behind!  Long lines for everything!  We’re going to definitely have to stay for Extra Magic Hours now!  This is supposed to be the happiest place on Earth, WTH!!!”

This epic Devin-angst last through parking, the walk to the monorail, the wait for the monorail, the ride on the monorail (squeezed between 1000 strollers and screaming kids), every stop on the monorail, the ride to the gate, the walk to the ticket line and then finally entering the park.  And according to my panicked calculations, this looked like it was probably the most crowded the park had ever been.  Needless to say, I was being a real gem.

But then…the Disney magic happened.

Main Street was decorated for Christmas including carols pumping through the speakers.
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Pete laid his eyes for the first time ever on Cinderella’s castle and said, “This is WAY cooler than I was expecting it to be!”
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Throwback Thursday: {Windsor, CA – Part III}

We had officially conquered {Windsor wineries} and the beautiful & foggy {California coast}.

Even with all the Cali-goodness we had that week it would have been an absolute crime to go to North California and skip the forest scene.  With looming flights, departures and goodbyes later in the day my family decided to kill the sadness with a little trip to the {Armstrong Redwoods}.

They carefully plotted the trail…
28-IMG_2129_3497…soaked in the green…

29-IMG_2134_3502…found trees big enough for two… Continue reading