Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Epcot's Festival of the Holidays 2019


       Epcot’s Festival of the Holidays

was so much fun. The weather today was just perfect for a bit of Winter merriment.  Staci and I got up early to a chilly Florida morning. Low 50’s means we break out the pants and jackets LOL we bundled up and headed off to Epcot. It wasn’t too crowded. We first went to get our Chip and Dale passholder magnets. They are a bit smaller and come still embedded in a rectangle magnet holding both chipmunks. There was no line, so we got them and then off to find the Festival Passports.
          They were not at the front; you must get them at the little stores on the bridge after Mousegears. By the way these little stores were the only ones selling the Chip and Dale Cookie Stroll cookie jars. Everywhere else today was sold out. Also, they say they hold all the cookies LOL this is a big lie. Only the pinwheel cookie fit inside. The rest of the cookies were WAY TOO BIG. We waited until after we had collected all the cookies to get the jar. We purchased our Chip and Dale’s Christmas Tree Spree maps, grabbed a couple of festival booklets, and were off. I think we went backwards LOL we started in Canada. It worked in our favor though.
          BY the time we got to Mexico the place was packed. The scavenger hunt is always a favorite activity of ours. This time we were looking for wreaths with Chip and/or Dale in them holding something. Some were impossible to find (Germany) but most easy enough. Cast members always seemed to have a clue to help us out. Except in Germany. They were lost as well. Luckily another person doing the scavenger hunt showed us where to look LOL We liked the new design of the card you get. It is shaped like an ornament and the stickers are on the back. Very convenient. While we were hunting, we were also doing the cookie stroll.
          There are five cookies you buy for $2.50 each, then you show your booklet at the Holiday Sweets and Treats, and they give you a small thing of milk and the Santa Mickey cookie for completing the stroll. We had walked slow and explored the shops while we hunted, so it was afternoon by the time we were done. My step counter said we had walked 13,135 steps. The memory foam in my shoes had developed Alzheimer’s by that time, so we headed home.
          Now it is time to take some tylenol, warm up a cup of coffee, and relax in my recliner while munching a Christmas cookie
😊


Monday, December 2, 2019

Frozen 2 and Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt


Frozen 2 Stitch’s Holiday Gift Hunt

was the fun to be had today. It was not a great day though by any means. Murphy kept screwing with me (Murphy’s Law) if it could go wrong it did today. If it wasn’t for my son, I would be a basket case in the corner right now. It was all tied to lousy customer service. No matter what I did, or how polite I was, or how in the wrong I was not, customer service was non-existent. Very frustrating since at the hospital we are trained that customer service is the most important thing. To be on the other side and not get it, drives me batty. I seriously started to worry about my blood pressure and sanity today. As mentioned, my son pulled me through 😊


          He took Staci and me to see Frozen 2 at Disney Springs and even did Stitch’s Holiday Hunt with us. When we got home, power to just the garage and holiday dΓ©cor was still out, but he figured out how to get it back. OK venting done, sometimes I just need to vent 😊 Frozen 2 was good. I kept hearing people comment how it was better than the first one, but I disagree.  I left the first Frozen in awe, this time it was no big deal. Some parts I thought were unnecessary, others too long. Plus there was no showstopper like “Let It Go” LOL.
     
Favorite part was the fire spirit. That little creature was adorable. Haven’t noticed it in stores though. Will need to keep my eye out for it. It was a good story though. Before we went into the movie, we went to the Marvel Superhero store (I forget what it is called) and picked up the Stitch’s Holiday Hunt booklets.
     
  In case you haven’t heard about this, it is done at Disney Springs and is free. You pick up a sticker booklet, most shops at Disney Springs will have them, and you look at the clues to tell you which store to go to. Inside the store will be a little Stitch sign holding a gift. Then you put the corresponding sticker in the right spot. Once you are done you take it back to a redemption store, and they give you a free button. It is a fun activity to do at Disney Springs. My daughter and I love doing the Disney Scavenger hunts, tomorrow we hope to do the Chip and Dale one at Epcot.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

The Grand Floridian Gingerbread House 2019



         
The Grand Floridian Gingerbread House was on the top of our Winter to do list, so seeing as it is December 1st, we decided to pop on over.  Back in September I made an Autumn to do list. It was full of ideas and activities for my family to do in order to have an amazing Autumn. We managed to do everything on the list and did have a special season.
            Now that it is Winter, we have put together another bucket list of things to do in order to have a magical Holiday season. A few highlights off the Winter to do list are Chip and Dale’s Christmas Tree Hunt at Epcot, the Christmas Tree Trail at Disney Springs, Enchant Christmas in St. Petersburg, making Christmas cookies, eggnog, and fudge. Plus decorating inside and out. We also have multiple Advent calendars we open daily, and movies we are planning to watch. 
          Most things will be just Staci and me, but occasionally my son Lee will join us. So today we started off at the Celebration Farmer’s Market and picked up some guacamole, pico de gallo, and ceviche. We also got some homemade jam from the two cute little old ladies who said they grow the fruit on their property. They were impossible to resist. 
          After that we drove to Disney Springs to catch the bus to the Grand Floridian. It is a good thing too as there are signs at the gate that they are not letting anybody in the parking lot who is not a guest or has a confirmed dining reservation.  I like riding the shuttles, so many people from all over the world, all coming together to enjoy Disney. It makes me feel blessed to be able to go to Disney any time I feel like it. Those people save up forever in order to do what Staci and I do on a weekly basis. So, on the bus to the Grand Floridian. Everything there is decorated Victorian style.
          I like more reds and greens, but the pinks, mints, and cream colors were pretty. Inside it was very crowded with holiday tourists. The line for the Gingerbread Shop was impressively long LOL. Staci and I entertained ourselves by looking for the 21 hidden Mickeys adorning the house. We managed to find all of them
😊 Choosing what to get was a challenge. We wanted one of everything, but as you can see by the prices that did not happen.
          We ended up getting an assortment of gingerbread, a gingerbread boy, mickey ears dipped in chocolate, and the Princess Aurora gingerbread mug. I did not get a chance to take a picture of the Mickey Ears LOL we ate it too fast. It was delicious. The Gingerbread is soft and not too sweet.  The house was beautiful.
          So many details, it is amazing to see. It even puffs out white smoke from the chimney LOL
We were completely enchanted the whole time.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Medieval Times


Love her face here
So, a couple of weeks ago Staci and I participated in a scavenger hunt put on by Medieval Times Orlando. Basically, we had to be the first to find the Queen and say a particular phrase. I unbelievably figured out where she was going to be, so off Staci and I went. We wanted to be the first of course, so we were there very early.  It was at Kings Dining and Entertainment which turned out to be a bowling alley with restaurant attached up in Orlando.  We sat outside, on the porch, sipping a could drink until we saw her car arrive.  Up until then I was 99% sure I had the right place. I was so relieved to see I was right since I had made Staci wait patiently all that time LOL She finally got out and Staci was the first to say, “I found you” and give the secret password.  Staci was a little bit awestruck by the Queen in all her finery. 
Her Royal Highness
We won tickets to the show at Medieval Times and as an unknown bonus we also won a bowling party from Kings Dining.  Haven’t used that yet, but we did go to the show at Medieval Times. It was a lot of fun. We toured the medieval village, lots of very old stuff there. Signs said some of the items were centuries old.  Not really very interesting to look at. It needs to be better displayed. 
Medieval Village
Inside the castle was a gift shop selling souvenirs.  We ended up getting a sword for my son, a plush dragon for Staci, a goblet, and a couple of blue knight flags.  We of course had the Blue Knight as our champion.  I had upgraded our seats to VIP so we were in the first row. Nobody in our way to see except our server.  They need to time delivery food better. I kept having to dodge them in order to see/get pictures. 
Master of Ceremonies
The food was okay.  Staci and I were not big fans of the half a chicken. You do not get silverware, so pulling off meat from a chicken VERY MESSY and not fun.  The tomato soup was very delicious though and Staci really enjoyed the garlic bread dipped into it. It was too hot for her to pick the cup up to drink from. The sides were corn on the cob, she stole mine to eat, and a big potato wedge.  It was just ok. Only drink choices were water, Pepsi, or sweet tea. Dessert was a cup of vanilla ice cream that had a dollop of caramel on top. They gave us a tiny wooden spoon to eat it with. The texture of the wood though made me feel like I would get a splinter on my tongue, so I did not eat mine. Staci ate half of hers. For the price of the ticket, I would say the meal does not measure up. There needs to be better options, particularly ones geared towards kids. 
The Knights
For the show it was fun.  I liked all the knights, some were very handsome LOL Staci enjoyed watching the horses and especially the falcon part. There was supposed to be a story being told, but I honestly have no idea what it was. The way they were speaking was very old world, so it was a challenge to keep up. We gave up and just watched the knights.  You could tell it was choreographed LOL once the weapons did not fall where they were supposed to, so the knight had to grab it and act like he had been hit. It was hilarious.
Our Champion
 In between rounds the knights would toss flowers into the stands.  Staci was thrilled when out knight tossed her a carnation. She tucked it into her crown. Sadly, the blue knight was not victorious that night. The honor went to the red knight.  It was still a lot of fun. I had a sore throat from cheering so loud LOL.  Would we do it again? Nope
😊
it was fun, but not for the price.
The Blue Knight

So pretty

Favorite falcon

Red Knight won


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Homeowners Association Board 2019


          I cannot believe what happened to me this week LOL if you have read this blog before then you might have inkling of how enamored I am of my house.  I adore being a homeowner.  I have been here just over a year and really love my new little neighborhood.  I cannot wait to see what it will become.  I have lofty goals of it being one of THE places people want to live here in this area. A few times over this past year I have had to contact our homeowner’s management group and the contact person mentioned to me once about possibility of me being on the Homeowners Association board.  I laughed at the idea, but part of me thought that would be so cool.  
          Well this past Monday was the meeting to turn over the control of our Homeowner’s association from KB Home to the homeowners.  It was also to elect our inaugural board of directors. Guess what LOL I had submitted my name for being elected.  I figured lots of people would, so I would be just one of many. Nope, only 4 people submitted and out of those 4 I was only one who showed up at meeting LOL. While there 4 other people submitted their nominations and then voting commenced.  Since they wanted 5 people guess what happened? I ended up being elected to the Homeowners Association Board 😊
          I was in shock.  After the meeting I was congratulated by so many strangers coming up to shake my hand. I have no clue who all of them were.  I managed to get the other elected board member’s names.  I also ended up overseeing the architectural review committee.  Another thing I had no clue about.  I was so glad when it was explained to the homeowners, so I knew what I had volunteered to do.  Apparently when anybody wants to make a change to their home it must be approved. I am on the committee that does the approvals.  I have been thinking about planting bushes along the side of my house, but I needed approval first. Well now I am that approval LOL so I am giving myself permission 😊 just kidding but that is the gist of it.  I cannot wait to see the requests that come in.  
          So now I am a Board member LOL very cool, yet intimidating.  Lots to learn.  I have so many ideas for the community.  Most of mine are fun stuff.  I would like to once a month have a section by the pool blocked off for food trucks in the evening. That way people can come out, get dinner, and meet their neighbors.  I would also like to have a monthly newsletter that tells about all the community happenings.  In it we would have a section for yard of the month.  That way it would encourage people to keep their yards nice, which in turn keeps home values up. I need to think of other things we cold put in the newsletter.  I also need to figure out how to make one LOL. I am sure somewhere on Google it will tell me.  So this next year will be an adventure as I learn all of this. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

We Picked Our Own Florida Oranges :)


Showcase of Citrus

          A couple of weeks ago I read about a place where Staci and I could go pick our own Florida oranges.  The weather was nice enough today, so off we went.  I live in Kissimmee, so the trip there was 23 miles, approximately 45-minute drive.  Showcase of Citrus was very easy to find, and well worth the drive for an afternoon of fun.  If you are reading this, I must warn you this post is very picture heavy.  There were just so many things I wanted  to capture on film. 
          The farm was gorgeous, with a definite Florida feel.  There were quite a few activities to do there, more than we were expecting.  We started off exploring the store.  It is all covered, open air, and full of flavor.  Literally LOL the first part we entered had dozens of different types of hot sauces to sample, as well as a nice variety of honey to taste.  I wanted to try so many of the hot sauces but made the mistake of actually trying one.  Oh, my goodness was it HOT!!!  Thankfully the honey was right next to it to help soothe my poor singed taste buds. It was one and done for the hot sauces LOL.
          Off to the other half of the store which was full of BBQ sauces, jams, and salsas. It also had souvenirs, plus a juice bar.  This side of the store is where we got the bags to “mine” gemstones, feed the animals, and our bag to fill up with oranges.  The basic bag for mining was $8 which is what we chose.
          We also got a cup of carrots and cup of corn feed for the animals, they were $3 each.  I wish we had skipped the corn and just got double carrots.  We walked over to the animal area and no animals nearby.  There were a few chickens, but they were in a pen. There was no real way to get them the corn, but we tried. We really wanted to feed the horses the carrots, so we stated walking around the large pen where they were kept.
          It took a bit but finally the emu came over to us. It was funny to look at LOL it liked the corn.  You had to be quick with tossing the feed because it once nipped at Staci when she tried to just drop some. I guess the emu is the scout for the others because after that the small horses came over and ate the carrots           We ran out of those too quickly.  We did not have any to offer the kangaroo who ventured over last.  Yep the farm had an emu and a kangaroo LOL.  The orange groves were right next to the animals so off we went to pick our fruit. 
          I made the mistake of letting the sales lady talk me into the $18 medium sized bag LOL It took forever to fill that thing up. I would have been happy with the $11 small size.  Now I have so many oranges I am going to have to learn how to make marmalade LOL.
          Once we had all our fruit picked it was time for me to explore the store. The ladies there were very nice, and they let you sample before buying, which was a good thing. I found out that while good, I did not like the sweet based salsas they offer.  I ended up getting the salsa Verde and the fire roasted salsa.  We also got a spicy sweet BBQ sauce and a vinegar-based BBQ sauce.  It tastes more like a Greek dressing to me. 
          As I mentioned before there were so many picture perfect spots there that I wanted to pose Staci in front of LOL she is not a fan though of taking pictures LOL.  She indulged me for a bit 😊 hence all these pictures.
 



Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happy New Year 2019


      Happy New       (healthier) Year

          Day 2 of 2019 and so far, so good.   I worked New Year’s Eve and instead of going to sleep when I got home, I threw on my The Fitness Marshall workout and did low key aerobics for 30 minutes.  Yes, everything with me is low key these days LOL.  This morning I woke up and had every intention of doing nothing, but it was so nice outside I decided to take the puppy for a walk. 

           My brother knows I want to get healthier, so he gave me some advice.  Drink lots of teas and walk at least two miles a day. 
From Amazon
For my birthday he sent me this awesome tea tumbler.  It keeps tea hot for 12 hours, and I mean HOT.  Burned my tongue first time I used it.  It also will keep things ice cold for 24 hours.  Haven’t tested that part out since I drink it too fast. It is usually full of ice tea, which no longer has sugar in it, but Equal, thanks to baby brother LOL. 
today's walk
                    He also had me download Endomondo on my iPhone.  It keeps track of time and distances I walk.  Gives me a little map of the route I took.  This morning I used it for the first time and it said I walked 1.15 miles in 30 minutes
😊 burned 146 calories so that takes care of the coffee I am sipping on as I type LOL.  I was hoping it would have been a longer distance.  I walked all over my neighborhood.  Maybe next time instead of puppy I can take Staci and we can add in the distance to 7 Eleven as well.  She loves the Slurpees 😊 I need to find other places to just go walk that are easy to get to.  I adore walking at Epcot and YIPPEE I get to go back next week.  That walking good for distance and steps, but not for getting heart rate up. 
Allison, Caleb, and Haley aka The Booty Army
          
          This evening I get to finally do the live stream workout with The Fitness Marshall 😊 I am very excited about that.  I cancelled the Universal Yums subscription and bought a membership into The Booty Army LOL much healthier.  Going to try and see if I can get Staci to join me.  Before all of that I am off to Lowes and/or Home Depot.  I caught a bit of Spring Fever while walking and am in hunt of new foliage for the front yard. Not sure if I want flowers or greenery.  I am also wondering if I need to do anything to bring my backyard grass back to life, or if it just will turn green again. Is my first year to see if this happens LOL so now it is off to find better choices to make for the day, so that 2019 is my healthiest year yet 😊