And so continues the tale of our awesome Disney vacation...
Sunday, we got up and ready around 8:30. We came downstairs to find that I (of K & I) had made us an awesome breakfast of bacon, fresh fruit and cinnamon buns. This is a man who knows how to play host! We were sad to leave them (and their two little furbabies), but we were so appreciative of all they did for us. We're already trying to plan another trip to the South so we can visit again!
From Atlanta, it's about another 7.5-8 hours to get to WDW, so onward we went. Hubby wound up driving the whole thing (because there was NO way I was driving in Orlando; I can barely handle traffic in Milwaukee!), and I played navigator. I found it interesting that billboards in that area don't seem to be utilized in quite the same way they are up here. Most of the billboards around us are for PSAs, cash for gold, chain restaurants, and clothing lines/stores I never knew existed. But in that stretch, things were a little different.
First, and most noticeably, only about half of the existing billboards were in use. There were a TON with "Available Now" on them, and some that just had remnants of an ad from long ago (or maybe last week; it's hard to tell). Next, of those being used, there were 3 types that stood out the most: religious/political messages, pecans, and strippers. Pecans are, of course, very southern, but holy wow. Every other billboard was for goo goo clusters or fresh pecan picking! Kinda nuts (pun definitely intended)! The ads for strippers were usually pretty hilarious. There was one joint in particular that apparently had the motto, "Strippers: Need We Say More" and used it on every single board. They also had deals (and parking!) for truckers, which I suppose is nice. Cater to your audience, right?
But then... then there were the ultra-conservative, churchy ads that I just don't take kindly to. And these made up a LARGE number of the signs along this stretch of the interstate. "Prepare to meet thy maker!" one of them said. Really? Is that a threat? Or... I dunno. The ones that really get me are the anti-abortion ads. I don't want this to turn political (Puppies & Rainbows!), but suffice it to say I was ready to get out of there.
When we finally started seeing the signs for Disney, I was beyond thrilled! We were almost there!! By the time we pulled into our resort, I was bouncing in my seat and grasping all my confirmation papers, because there was NO way I was going to screw this up, dammit. I was at Disney, and I was there to stay. End. Of. Story.
Thankfully, check in went quickly and soon we were in our room, unpacking for a week of magic and fun. A nice cast member stopped by with some gifts for us (darn that bestie of mine!), including little Mickey and Minnie stuffed toys and a set of Nightmare Before Christmas ornaments. We'd been told to text C's phone when we got there (M's hubby; M's phone was about to die), but hadn't heard back yet, so we just settled in and were pleased to be out of the car. When our room phone rang, we both just looked at one another. Hubby was closest, so after a few rings he answered. It wound up being M telling us that they lost C's phone, but that M's phone was alive and we could call when we were ready to head to Magic Kingdom for the evening.
Words can't really describe the overwhelming feelings that followed. I was reunited with my bestie after a year of being apart. I was at the happiest place on Earth with her, her husband, and Hubby. I had no work or school to think about for a week. And I was about to go eat INSIDE the freakin' castle, FCOL! For a few moments there, everything in the whole world felt perfect. I don't think I could've stopped smiling if I had wanted to.
Dinner was wonderful and fun. M and I each got a magic wand and the guys got swords. We each got a wishing star and M and I got to keep our menus! As we ate, princesses strolled around, visiting each table. We were greeted by Aurora, Snow White, Ariel, and Belle during dinner, and had gotten our picture with Cinderella before the meal, so things were pretty magical from the get-go. Even more magical was that a few tables over from us, a couple got engaged. How freakin' amazing would that be?? (The sad part was that the bride-to-be didn't look all that excited; in fact, she looked pretty 'meh' about the whole thing. Poor guy went through a lot of planning to get that put in place, and she just continued on eating after he put the ring on, as if nothing had happened!)
Magic was everywhere, and I was in such a good place. So, it should be no surprise that when Wishes (the fireworks display set to Disney music and quotes) came on and we could see the fireworks from our table, I couldn't help but cry. It was perfect. Absolutely everything I had hoped for and more.
After dinner, we did a few rides and found a few souvenirs, but we were all pretty exhausted, so back to the resort we went to get some sleep for a whole exciting day at Epcot! :)
For M's take on the day, check out her blog here.