Monday, June 23, 2014

WDW, the Wilderness Campground and Magic Kingdom

WDW 2014, staying at the Wilderness Campground

Staying on site at WDW is amazing.  I am pretty sure you could bring the kids and run around to all the resort activities, leave without entering any of the parks and still convince the kids they were in Disney World.
The Wilderness cabins were perfect for us.  Space to stretch out and a whole kitchen-we even got groceries delivered so we could have breakfast at home everyday.  You can also stay in tents or an RV!  Every night they light the campfire, have a sign along, meet Chip and Dale and show a movie under the stars-yeah!

All of the working horses come back here at the end of the day.

Real life wildlife right outside our cabin.  We also saw frogs and fun birds.

The buffet at the Trail's End is lovely.

Water transport!  

You can take a boat to the Contemporary Resort (contemporary 1970). One of the few resorts where you can take the monorail.

The captains have a lot of leaway-we had one sing to us and another who told pirate jokes the whole trip.

Downtown Disney is awesome.  Food, Cirque show, bowling.  We spent an afternoon in the video game emporium, Disney Quest.  The make your own roller coaster and simulated pirate ship are clearly the best, but I loved that they have Fix-It-Felix (the game from Wreck-It Ralph)
This is the House of Blues-I don't know who was playing that night, but people were in line starting at noon.

Balloon ride in the back ground.  Though they never remove the rope,....

Oh!  Remember the Electric Light Parade?  It is gone from Disneyland, but is still in Disney World.  As a bonus they have a Water Light Parade.  So cute!  The boats go from resort to resort and then do their parade in place.  We went to our beach, totally got great seats (unlike the crazy crowds in the parks) and had a awesome, relaxed time.

And of course you can't have hotels without towel sculptures these days.  

Too cute!

Of course we went to the Magic Kingdom.  The line to meet Elsa and Anna was CRAZY!  luckily our little princess was happy to get out of line and get a dress.  That was fantastic-all day cast members and other little girls were calling her Anna and Princess.

And then we did get meet some other princesses. 

Rapunzel so funny and she practiced twirling

Cinderella so regal, she taught us to curtsy

I love that they have kept the Swiss Family Robinson Tree house!

And probably the best thing in the park-the Hall of Presidents-why haven't they kept this in Disneyland?  You can see I am distressed about it.  That dress?  A copy of the original Tiki room hostess dress.  I love it but don't get too many occasions to wear it.

Festival of Fantasy parade:  We did get to see a tiny little bit of this new parade, but only because we happened to be on our way to lunch.  Anna, from the parade recognized our Princess and pointed to her dress and mimed that she liked it-how fun!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Books I read in 2014

I love the idea of keeping track of what I read, but I  never manage to do it....then I realized-most boring blog post ever!
I'm starting this in April, so I will put down what I can remember of the last few months
by Laura Hillenbrand
-Seabiscuit:  this was amazing, everyone who hated history should try reading well written stories like this

by JK Rowling
-A Casual Vacancy: nice character study
-Cuckoo Calling

-Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan:  more fun than I imagined, part of Silicon Valley Reads

by Sue Grafton, been reading these for years and wasn't sure where I left off, so started back in the middle
-N is for Noose
-O is for Outlaw
-P is for Peril
-Q is for Quarry
-R is for Ricochet
-S is for Silence
-T is for Trespass
-U is for Undertow
- V is for Vengeance

by Jo Nesbo, the Harry Hole character
-The Bat

by Laurie R. King, an extension of Sherlock Holmes universe.
-The Moor

by Justin Cronin
-The Passage (vampires....of a sort)

by Lois Lowry (of The Giver)
-The Willoughbys: reminds me of The Twits or Mathilda

by John Burdett
-Bangkok 8, detective story, but heavy on the people, light on the mystery investigation, entertaining

by Mary Roach
-Packing for Mars:  not as laugh out loud funny as some earlier ones, but great on explaining the science in a fun way.  And everyone has wondered how to go to the bathroom in space!

by Ian McEwan
-Sweet Tooth:  McEwan is an author a lot of folks have read, but this is my first.  Nice story telling, really puts you in the character

by Derek B. Miller
-Norwegian by Night:  almost a mystery/crime, but more of a novel.  About aging and memory and what we do with our time


Kennedy Space Center, the rocket garden

May 2014

Post WDW trip Bunny and I balance it with SPACE!

The first thing to do is walk around the grounds.  They have placed a number of rockets with info so you can get quite close.

Okay, it sounds dumb, but rockets are huge!

The actual gantry that the astronauts used to get to the ship.

you gotta try fitting in

it seems spacious...until you remember that they spent DAYS in here.

Part of the rocket 'garden'.  They are placed throughout the yard like flowers, so why not call it a garden?!

I clearly had too much fun watching everyone shove themselves into spacecraft.

There is a very nice memorial to those who have died in space.  It is the large black monolith reflected in the signage.  

Maybe I should have brought my View Master....

Close up the bottom of the re-entry capsule.  It almost looks like art!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

WDW Animal Kingdom, not just animals

May 2014, WDW Animal Kingdom

The gorilla enclosure is large and the main herd generally hangs out on one side while the other has the old lone male.  Here he is, just doing his own thing.

This is the Tree of Life, the icon of the Animal Kingdom.  It is worth staring at the trunk for a few minutes to spot the animals worked into the branches.

Meeting Baloo and King Louie-The Jungle Book is one of my all time favorites.


I had never seen a bird show before so this was new.  
This is the stage-all dressed up to look like an old building.  The bird trainers have a funny show that they put on with the help of various birds and the audience.

The birds are smarter than I thought.  They can be directed to fly to specific spots, pick up items and move them about and the parrots speak.

The Bald Eagle is LARGE

The stork is so regal.  I declare the bird show a success since it is a great way to get an excellent view of the birds.

I tried to get us one sit down meal per day today it is the Yak & Yeti.  The food is only slightly exotic, but it is good and it is nice to be inside air conditioning. 

After lunch we hit my favorite ride in the park, and one of the best in WDW as it is in no other park that I know of-Expedition Everest.  The premise is that you are looking for the elusive Yeti.  The line is marvelous, filled with artifacts from the Yeti research institute and expedition photos.  Then the ride-oh man, you speed through Everest, and yes, you encounter the Yeti.  A roller coaster not for the faint of heart!

They have recreated some ruins and prayer flags.  We even met a Thai representative, explaining culture to the visitors-nice touch!

and they do a great job with the foliage

We didn't make it on the train or do anything other than walk through dino land as it started to rain and we hustled back to take a nap.
Next time, more dino land!