Thursday, August 27, 2009

I see London, I see France....

For years I have dreamed of visiting Europe. I was lucky enough to be able to go with my high school choir the year after I graduated. Our trip consisted of Germany, Austria, Switzerland and a portion of southeaster France. As beautiful and majestic as these cities were it only made my desire to return to europe even stronger. But the next time I go it has to be to London, 

(this city is more to give mike a stronger desire to go. My true 3rd destination would be Rome.) Anyways I know right know with the bad economy flights to europe are very cheap. Especially from JFK to London. Anyone who knows me well also knows that I love to look for value hotels, flights vacation and find awesome deals (thats how we got out disney vacation.) So I found the perfect flight over spring break that would cost us $540 each so ($1,080 total.) Not to bad at all, considering thats pretty close to what it will cost to fly to Utah for Christmas (OUCH!). Then I found some great hotels on priceline I could negotiate down to $100 a night.) So now I'm dying to go. the problem is that with just hotels and flight its $2,000... thats doesn't count transportation and entrance fees to the sights... so like $4,000 total with all that. Which is a lot of....
So my question is. How can I make a few extra thousand in 6 months? I already work full time. There are no plasma centers around her. (Although there are egg donation place, which I HAVE ruled completely out of the question, but $8,000 to miss a period sounds enticing at first, right? lol.) So what skills do I have...  UHH..... I CAN.... HUM... yeah thats about it. So what can I do? I've heard of online surveys and stuff but I feel like thats all a joke. So my day has consisted of a long and hard though process on how to earn a massive amount of money in 6 months. lol. If you have ANY ideas... that do not require me to sell portions of my body... let me know. lol.

Anyways its back to to dream a little more ;)

Monday, August 24, 2009

A year ago yesterday

Yesterday Mike and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary! It is so hard to believe how quickly time has gone by. I can remember the events of our wedding so clearly, it can't have already have been a year. But it has been, and its been wonderful. We've been so blessed this past year. Lets do a quick recap:

-Visited my family for Thanksgiving, Christmas and my Brothers endowments
-Got our first pet, Epps.
-I completed my final year of school online
-Went on trips to Boston, Salem,Mystic and Newport
-Mastered NYC and its subway system (well almost ;)
-Seen 4 shows on Broadway
-Have my parents/sister, mikes parents/ Aunt and cousin's visit us.
-Visited Utah for New Years
-Experienced the death of a loved one
-Made great life long friends
-I learned about/how to follow the stock market
-Went on our First Disney Vacation
-Feel deeper in love than the year before.

So for our anniversary Mikes gift to me was his time. A precious commodity these days. He planned out what we were going to have for dinner (my least favorite thing to do,) did the shopping, made the dinner (he wouldn't even let me into the kitchen to attempt to help,) then cleaned up everything after. It was fantastic. I felt kinda lame because I just got him some wii accessories I thought he'd like. Since my mom pitched the top layer of our wedding cake we bough a fresh red velvet/cream cheese cake (what our top layer was.) That evening I made cupcakes and some of our friends came over to help us celebrate. It was a great day! Now it is time to reminisce a bit with some of my favorite wedding pictures!
Mike making dinner!
Mexican stake tacos... sooo good!
My First love and my Last love
My grandpa the sealer!
Lovely looks
Desserts GALOR!
Place settings
Our grand entry
The head table
My beautiful wedding cake that I DESIGNED!
My taste wedding cake all over... Mike and a little on me!
First dance kiss
Daddy Daughter dance (Butterfly kisses, our song since it came out in '97)
Mother son dance!
My sister Lizzy and her new big brother
Pep talk!!

Our chaperone for the evening!

How quickly time flying in the presence of love and laughter!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dreams Come True!

This is a very long and detailed account of our recent trip to Disney! I do not expect you to read it all or even 1/2. The documentation is more for me since I only want to write about it once (online and not in my journal!)

I think this blog is proof of my inability to keep a journal. What is easier than keeping an online journal? I have a computer at home and at work that I can easily access. My excuse for not witting in a journal is that it takes to long to write and I misspell to many words. With the computer I can type quickly and it has spell check. At any rate the lateness of this post proves to me how not with it I am. This was one of my most memorable vacations and its taken nearly 3 weeks to write about it and all it's glory.

As you can see we had a few stowaways who wanted a free ride to the " Happiest Place on Earth."

SUNDAY: Aug 2-
Our good friend Ben was so good to us. He drove down from Norwalk to pic us up and take up to the airport at 5am. So we were up at 4 getting ready for the trip. We heard on the news the night before that Sat morning that was a bomb threat at LGA (the airport we were using) at the same time we would be there that day. I was a little nervous but we arrived at the airport with no problems at all!
Mikes very excited to get going (Notice his shirt says : "I'm wearing this to please my wife!" He go a lot of compliments on this when we were down there.)
To Mikes dismay, the first of many 'up close pictures.'
We arrived in Orlando @ 10am and were welcomes by the man himself 'Mickey Mouse!'
Once we got off the airplane we went to a special terminal for people staying at the disney resorts. (We didn't even have to pick up our checked luggage.) We quickly boarded Disney's Magical Express and were wisked away to our home for the week, All Star Sports Resort.
ENTERING PARADISE! When we arrived at the hotel they checked us in and gave us each a single card. This card allowed us to enter all the parks/water parks/disney quest/ wide world of sports and our hotel room payed for our meals we ate and would charge any souvenirs we got to our personal credit card. It was fantastic, only one key all week.
We started off our trip with Lunch in Epcot @ Chef de France, in the French Pavilion. It was so delicious. Mike spent the rest of the day raving out the fantastic 'roast beef' he had there.
After riding Soarin', Mission Space, Spaceship Earth, Nemo and Figment it was time for a pit stop. One thing I totally ignored while planning our trip in Aug was the heat and wonderful FL HUMIDITY! It was seriously miserable outside most days we were there. It made being in the parks in the afternoons almost unbearable. Luckily we were so excited to be there we tried to ignore it, but still needed things like icee's to keep us cool. We finished Epcot by riding Test Track and a few other things and we ended up doing everything there is to do in Future World @ Epcot in one afternoon! 
(After you ride Test Track you exit into this showroom of sweet cars you can sit in and look at and stuff, my yearning for a convertible was heightened even more by this experience.)
As we left Epcot we had to of course get the classic picture infront of "the gold ball" as Mike called it. Please note the shirts I made for the trip. They Say "1 year Anniversary" and has a minnie and mickey on them (and of course Mike has his disclaimer on the shirt.)
By the time we got to Magic Kingdom it was dark! This meant Main Street USA and the castle were aglow, its so magical when everything is covered in lights!
We rode a few classic rides, got an ice cream and found what we thought would be the perfect place to watch "Wishes" the firework show, dead center in front of the castle.
However, when the show started I was bummed to find that the castle blocked a lot of the shorter fireworks, none the less it was the perfect almost ending to our long day. I say almost because we were not done. The park had extra magic hours that night for resort guest so everyone else had to leave at 11pm but all the resort guest could stay till 2am!! we hung around for a while and rode splash mountain and watched as a second parade of "Spectromagic" went by then at 1am we headed home.
When we got to our room that night all of our luggage was there waiting for us. After being up for 23 hours we feel asleep real fast and slept in till close to 10, which is unheard of when you are doing a Disney vacation. 

Monday Aug 2, 2009

I hurried Mike out of bed and we went to Animal Kingdom for the day.
We had a lot of fun here. It was a really hot day and the animals/trees didn't help AT ALL! One of the first things we did was watch the 3D Bugs Life show that is in/under the Tree of Life... the one behind us.
Mike practiced his bird feeding skills and shared some of his doritoes with the wildlife, a few steps latter we saw a sign that said "DON'T FEED THE ANIMALS." OPPS...
Expedition Everest is one of the coolest rides at the disney parks. We got a fast pass for it and came back right when it said we could. We waited about 10 min and we in the front of the room that filters into the area they load you onto the ride, when a monsoon hit! You might think we were mad, but we considered ourselves grateful. Think about it everyone outside was scurrying to find any type of shelter from the pouring rain/lightning and thunder. We were protected, count sit on dry floor and just waited it out knowing when it stopped we would be the next to go on the ride. 1/2 hour later we went on the ride in the first cart which was way cool!!
After the monsoon it was still pretty wet but we toughed it out. We went on the Safari and say a ton of cool animals sooo close. With the hear you really almost felt like you were in Africa on the real thing. After the safari we were about done, but we of course saw the Festival of the Lion King on the way out. That show amazes me every time.
After Animal Kingdom we headed to Downtown Disney. We first went to Disney Quest which is like a 5 floor arcade with a bunch of cool games. The one I have the picture of we had those hats on and they has a screen in them and we could see villains from video games and we had to try to kill them with our lightsabers. It was fun and I really got into it! While we were there we also did things like a 3D pirates of the Caribbean gold hunt, build and road our own virtual rollercoaster and I learned how to draw donald duck on the computer.
Then we hit up Planet Hollywood for dinner and I was more than happy to call it a night. 

TUESDAY Aug 4th, 2009
The next morning much to Mikes dismay I woke him up at 6:45 so we could be at MK (Magic Kingdom) for extra magic hours at 8am. In 1 1/2 hours we road all the rides in fantasy land (while it wasn't too hot out,) meet Alice and Mr Rabbit, and road the astrorbitor and the Speedway. I was pretty impressed with ourselves. 
A lot of people don't know that one horse on Cinderella's Carousel is actually "her's" it is the one and only horse with a gold ribbon tied around its tail.
Unfortunately, Mike wasn't quit strong enough to pull Excalaber from the stone. After we did some fun stuff at Magic Kingdom (including meeting a fun, talking trash can and falling in love with the Buzz Lightyear ride. We headed over to Hollywood Studios. We got Fasspasses to Tower of Tearer/ Rockin' Rollercoaster, then we headed of to the animation studio were I took mike to the show were you are taught how to draw a disney character. We went three times all together the whole time we were there ad drew Stitch, goofy and Donald. It was sooo fun and our drawings looked good. After doing a lot of fun stuff here we went to Epcot for dinner. 
We went to the Coral Reef, which was like you were eating in a giant fish tank. The "windows" were really all just a huge aquarium and we got to watch all sorts of fish/sharks swim around while we ate. Some might recognize it from the Full House when they go to Disney and Joey ends up in the take trying to get Danny's attention while he is having dinner with Vikki. The things I remember.
Mike was tired but the food was divine. The best/most expensive stake I've ever had! I'd go back there for sure.

WEDNESDAY  Aug 5th, 2009
The next morning we got up early again to have breakfast @ Chief Mickey's at the Contemporary resort.
It was fantastic and we got to meet Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, Pluto and Donald.
After Breakfast we headed to Typhoon Lagoon for a day at the water parks to keep us cool. It was a lot of fun. We spent a good amount of time in the 1.3 mile long lazy river. We rode all the good slide and had a blast in there HUGE wave pool. Every few min a HUGE wave would be produced and would knock everyone out. We both had a blast trying to ride it out. So much fun!
Eventually it stared doing what it does in FL in the afternoons (storms) so we headed back to the resort to play and get ready for dinner. We spent a lot of time in the arcade. Mike won this virtual jump rope thing twice and we both had fun playing deal or no deal but for tickets. We had like 1,156 that night when all was said and done.
We had dinner in Epcot at the Italian restaurant in Italy. I was hoping for some good pasta or Pizza but it wasn't on the grown up menu. The food was just ok but the scenery was fantastic! After dinner we rode the boat over to Hollywood Studios. It was really relaxing and fun to pass the really nice resorts. We got there a little to late to go inside and watch the American Idol finale for the day so we watched it outside on the jumbotron. GUESS WHAT? They had Ruben Studdard (season 2 winner) there that night and we saw him and knew he was only yards away, but couldn't really "see him." That was lame. The show however was fantastic and the  people were WAY good!!! We also stayed to see Fantasmic that night. I forgot how great that show truly is! "See what a little imagination can do!" 

THURSDAY Aug 6th, 2009
The next morning I did what I never thought I'd do and went golfing in the heat for 2 1/2 hours with mike. I don't have much to say but that was a labor of love. True, true love!
The rest of the afternoon we got 'suckered' into going and listening to their spiel on the Disney Vacation Club. I was glad we did though. It is a great program I think one day we will invest in, especially since we both love Disney and traveling so much (you can use it all over the world too, not just disney) Luckily, we were smart enough to save our money and not invest this time! So after we did that we spent some time in the pool at the hotel and at the arcade again... with another 997 tickets. lol
For dinner we went to Epcot, yet again. For dinner at the stake house in Canada. It was really good and the landscaping there is BEAUTIFUL!! It was a great evening topped off with watching "Illuminations." The music and the whole idea of the show always leaves me in tears. Its just that watching an incredible show that sings of brotherhood and love while being surrounded with a ton of different nations represented and people from all over the world moves me. I think its inspiring and peace promoting!

FRIDAY Aug 7th, 2009
The next morning was I had been waiting for, for nearly 7 months. The morning we were to have breakfast at CInderella's Royal Table inside the Castle. We got there before the park was opened so virtually no one was on the street which allowed us to get some great pictures of the place and just us!!

Empty Fantasy Land!

When we entered the castle we were given a royal invitation to dine with Cinderella. Then she entered the room and we got to meet her and get pictures with her (we later got a 5x7 and 4 4x6 at our table included in the meal.) When we were seated we realized we got the best seat in the house. Our table was right we the windows overlooking fantasy land. it was breathtaking. The meal was the best we had while we were there. We both ate more than we needed to. As we ate they would tell the story of a princess and then she would walk in and come to your table to meet you.
My favorite that morning was Snow White she was ADORABLE!
And as most guys do, Mike preferred the 1/2 naked Jasmine (she was sweet too!)
After breakfast Mike preformed his labor of love and waited 15 min with me in an air conditioned building to meet the faries. I was sooo excited about this because I have never meet Tinkerbell before. They had transformed the waiting area since I worked there and the fairy area was nothing short of actually feeling like you were in Fairytopia! Then we waited inline to meet the Princess's again because they were in their ball gowns. It only took 5 min though compared to the hour I've waited before!!
While Mike did some shopping I went to find my two favorite characters, Chip and Dale. It was sooo much fun. I love those little guys, even if I have to wait inline alone to see them! After MK we headed to Blizzard Beach. Admittedly I was a bum and wouldn't ride any watersides becasue  I was to tired and wanted to nap, and I did. So Mike did 2 alone. The thing that is kinda nice about both of us is we don't mind doing a few things alone. If Mike really doesn't want to do something w/ me I can do it by myself (I get that from my mom) I'm not afraid to walk around alone and Mike is the same way. Of course we both prefer unity, but we can handle a short seperation in the name of a good time. I did do the lazy river with him for a long time. It is soo relaxing to lay in a tube in warm weather and let the water take you around and around! That night we went to Magic Kingdom to finsh all the stuff we hadn't wanted to do in the heat of the day and to try watching "Wishes" again, this time our seats were much better..
Tinkerbell flying from the castle during wishes!

SATURDAY Aug 8th, 2009

We woke up early to get to Hollywood Studios for EMH. When we got there we went straight to the newest ride. Toy Story Midway Mania. We had been eyeing it all week but the line was to long and the fastpasses were always gone when we got there, well we figured out why. When we got there at 9 there was a 20 min line to get a FP! We finally got up there and got 6!! See, for listening to the Vacation Club thing they gave us a card that could give us bother 3 FP for whatever ride for the time we went to get the FP. This meant we didn't even have to wait for out FP to be valid. It was great we rode it 3x in a row. Best ride we've ever done. They give you 3D glasses and you get in the cars and the cars take you to screens where they have different midway games (plates, balloons, paintball ect.) SO FUN!! 

We also were lucky enough to run into Mickey and be the second group of the day to see him, no line, it was great!
This was Mikes favorite park so we had a good day enjoying the rides/shows.
For Dinner we celebrated our Anniversary (I know it was early but vacation was for our anniversary) at the Mexico pavilion @ Epcot for Mike! It was a cool venue and great food. Mike spoke spanish with our server and felt like her was in mexico!
He finally agreed to walk to world show  case on our last night. I was soo happy because this meant 2 things 1: I could get a Milka bar from Germany and 2: I could get a crape from France. I did both. It was a great way to end the trip. Watching Illuminations and eating a crape!
We did some last minute shopping then began melancholy walk out of the park. I have to admit I got a little teary eyed. I always hate when vacations end and you have to say goodbye, but especially leaving this place that I love soo much. There is nothing like it. But we left we a ton of wonderful memories and laughs to last us a life time! 

SUNDAY Aug 9th, 2009

The same bus that dropped us up, picked us up that morning. They also check out bags and us into our flight at the resort. That was nice because all we had to do at the airport was go through security! I of course had to say one last goodbye to Disney at the 'Earport' (the Disney store at the airport.)

All and all it was a great vacation! I converted Mike to Disney. He loved it, even more than our honeymoon cruise. There was always something to see and do and thanks to the Disney Dinning Plan we ate like Kings and Queens! I also got him to confirm that we can bring our kids back as often as finances will allow in the future! I am a happy women!!

Speaking of children, our furry child missed us sooo much when we were gone. A special Thanks to Linsey who watched the kitty for us and cleaned up throw-up and a little surprise from kitty while she was stressed and disturbed at our absence. We are thinking of getting her a playmate for situations like this, it might help to have someone to be with when we are away at work or on vacation!

Well thats all!!