Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Honeymoon Day 14: First stop African Safari, next stop Life

We knew it had to end sometime, and today would be our last day as Honeymooners yes dear friends...the honeymoon was over.

Well not just yet, we had one final stop: Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Look Ma! No lines!

This was the only park I had never been to so I was quite excited to explore. Plus it held one of the newest and most exciting rides in Disney- Expedition Everest.

A quick shot before one of our multiple rides. Insider tip: sit towards the back.

We rode it four times, and managed to videotape our final voyage. It's not filmed with the steadiest of hands, but hopefully you will enjoy it.

Aside from scaling Everest multiple times we did the African Safari, which to be honest was kind of lame, and took in all the other major rides and attractions. The Bugs Life Comedy Hour inside the tree of life was a big hit.

As was the Dinosaur hunter ride, however one of the most memorable parts of the day was Finding Nemo: The Musical.

A 45 minute full scale production of the hit movie which was really enjoyable, and had one tune which wouldn't leave our heads, and truthfully still hasn't.

We did not film this, but I found it on YouTube. It has become our honeymoon theme song.

It's fun to change out the words "Go with the FlooOOOoooWWW" to other things, such as...

"I want CheerioooOOOooosss..."
"Open the DoooOOOOoooorrr"
"We're going to ChicagooOOOoooo"

The possibilities, my friends, are endless.

After a great day in the Animal Kingdom it was time to bid adieu to the land of imagination and get on back to real life. Thankfully our final leg of the trip was on time and we had two great friends waiting to pick us up at the airport (thanks Roni and Rick!)

We were so very lucky to be able to take such a nice, long honeymoon, and do so many new and exciting things. We of course look forward to more trips in the future, but this one will always hold a special place in both of our hearts.

Honeymoon Day 13th: Our Guide to The Most Magical Place on Earth

Today would be our final full day at Walt Disney World and as always we were determined to make the most of it. Our point of origin today was WDW's original place of origin: The Magic Kingdom.

(We were first in line..yes...yes we were).

Throughout our trip to Disney we referred back to a sacred book which held many secrets of the Magical World of Disney. It advised us on which attractions to visit, at what times and in what order. It provided us with reviews of the various eateries, and when they would be at their peak hours. It was our very own Gideon's Magical World of Disney Bible.

We weren't able to see the mesmerizing Hall of Presidents because they are in the process of building OBAMA!

Jürg's punishment for making me get up so early...

By following the strict guidelines set out for us we found ourselves waiting in no lines at the Magic Kingdom, which in turn provided us with many hours of free time before dinner that evening. It seemed only natural that we should return to the MGM Studios and play one more round of the Toy Story game. How did things shake down? Take a wild guess...

That evening we took ourselves out to a fantastic restaurant called Jiko. A fine dining establishment which specializes in African cuisine located in the wildlife preserve on Disney's Animal Kingdom. The meal was amazing, and our server was so very lovely. We took a picture but I look so heinous I will not subject the 7 people who read this blog to such an image. We do clean up nice me!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Honeymoon Day 12: How we spent Innauguration Day

At Epcot that's where!

While the world ushered in a new Era of Change we were up with the birds to secure our place in line. How did we fare?

We managed to hit all of the major rides at Epcot very early in the day, which allowed us to ride them all multiple times before lunch! It will certainly be quite an adjustment when we go back this summer. The new ride Soarin', soared to the top of our list of "coolest rides." A virtual hand gliding experience which feels pretty darn close to the real thing. We loved the Mission Space ride despite the warnings we were given about motion sickness (weaklings). Conversations with Crush blew our minds and we got to chow down on some legit German Grub. All in all a great way to spend this historic day. The only other place I would rather have been....on the mall in D.C.

One downfall...the weather. After having been spoiled with the tropical rays of the Carribean the harsher temps of southern Florida were a small cog in the wheel. We hadn't dressed for 40 degree weather, so our plans to stay and watch the fireworks were thwarted. Thankfully we will see them again soon!

We went back early that night and enjoyed our hotels hot tub before calling it a night and silently saluting our Country .

Friday, April 10, 2009

Honeymoon Day 11: The Early Birds Get The Royal Treatment

Today was the day I said "see ya" to all those well rested mornings. We woke up at 5:00 am (yes, it was as horrible as it sounds) to board a shuttle back to the airport so we could hop on the Disney Magical Express to our hotel. Thankfully we had our choice of seats.

Why so empty? Two reasons really:

1) Mid-January is one of the least crowded times of year at Disney
2) Who in God's name wants to be up and on the Magical Express at 6 am? Jürgen, that's who!

We arrived at the Port Orleans French Quarter resort in no time, and shockingly (note the sarcasm) didn't have to wait at all to check in. Of course our room was not ready as someone (not me!) was probably sleeping. After checking in they gave us our park passes and two buttons with the images of Prince Charming and Cinderella emblazoned on the front of them with the words "Just Married!" We were advised to wear these during our stay. Best. Advice. Ever.

We had some time to kill before we could catch the 7:45am bus to MGM...oh wait...I'm sorry it's Disney's Hollywood Studios...ridiculous new name. So here are some photos Jürg snapped. He likes to do that.

Not quite PSV....but it certainly had it's own special flair.

When we arrived at MGM (I refuse to conform!) we were the FIRST people in line. Yes it's true. Have you ever heard of such madness? We had over an hour before the park actually opened which gave us plenty of time to chart our course of action for the day. At about 8:30 two Disney crew members approached us and offered their congrats (this is what happened everywhere we went due to the magical powers of our buttons). Then, much to our surprise, they asked "Would you like to open the park for us?"

Being attention whores we said yes, and were immediately let through the gate into a VIP waiting room. This is how I felt about all of this:

"What is going on??"

We were informed that we would have lines we would have to say in front of the entire crowd, but it would be easy and we would be told what to do. For the next half hour we had no idea what was going on, but we did get to stare at everyone behind the rope while we had access to the empty streets of Disney. Freakin' sweet!
Getting ready to be stars. Maybe they had seen my Zune commercial?

A candid moment caught while we waiting for our close up.

It had been years since I had been to Disney World, in fact the last time I was there I couldn't drive and Bill Clinton was in office. Suffice to say, times have changed. Nowadays before they let anyone into the parks they put on some kind of "show" just to rev you up and make you irritated (I don't think that's the actual intention...). The premise of the MGM show is an old Hollywood actress turns the corner in a white car and she will be starring in a new film called "Celebrate You!" (you have to say that with TONS of energy). We were to be the young Hollywood Couple alongside a "famous" film director and his quirky assistant. We were introduced, the crowd cheered for our newlywed status and we were prompted to say our big line:

"Hollywood Here We Come!"

This woman was very intense.

Can't you just sense their irritation?

The whole thing took at least seven minutes, but in the end we were driven to the Rock and Roller Coaster where we got to ride the coaster all by ourselves.

That will certainly wake you up! After our solo ride, we were given fast passes to any ride in the park and told there would be a gift waiting for us at the hospitality suite on the way out.

My Advice: Get thee a "Just Married" Button. Honestly when we go back with my family in August we are gonna rock them all over again. Don't tell anyone!

The rest of the day was a blast. We rode the Tower of Terror three times and the Rock and Roller coaster twice. We saw the car stunt show, the Indiana Jones show, Fantasmic, the Muppet 3-D movie and so many others. However, without a doubt, our favorite ride of the day was the Toy Story Midway Adventure. An amazing 3-D experience of all kinds of Midway Games. We rode it three times that day and came back a few days later to ride it again. Jürgen always beat me, but I excelled in the accuracy department. Now I ask you, which is more important?

Mr. Potato Head entertains you while you wait (longest personal wait time: 90 mins)

Tomorrow: Epcot!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Honeymoon Day 10: From one world to another...

I have to say, one of the best decisions we made was to add on a trip to Disney World after our stay in PSV. I think I would have suffered a breakdown if I had to go straight back to the land of the real life from such a remarkable place. Disney was a perfect outlet: fun, fast paced (but in a good way) and equally relaxing (in a totally different way).

Today was another long travel day with three plane rides and one boat ride. We are jet setters what can I say? The managers at PSV sent us off with a packed lunch which was beyond nice of them, and was put to good use while waiting to check in at the Barbados airport.

First step: A boat ride to Union Island.

Second Step: A 45 minute flight from Union Island to Barbados in that god-forsaken plane.

After we arrived in Barbados's we were excited to be able to spend the four hour layover in the airlines executive lounge, which boasted free drinks and snacks along with continuing coverage of Obama's soon to be Inauguration and best of Internet!

My name is Blair and I am an Internetaholic.

It's true. As much as I enjoyed being "away from it all" oh how I missed my Internet. My connection to the world. My gmail. My facebook...the list goes on.

After several hours of world wide web-inducing bliss we hopped another plane to Atlanta (3rd step). "The Duchess" was our in-flight film and I am pleased to report that is one of the most forgettable films of the decade.

When we arrived in Atlanta we made our way through customs and needed to feed ourselves. This was the first, harsh, kick-you-in-the-stomach-back-to-real-life moment: airport food. This picture sums it up nicely I think.

After we finished our food, and I wanted to run away forever, we still had a two hour wait until our flight to Orlando. It occurred to me that I have an American Express card which allegedly grants me access to Airline Clubs. I wanted to test the theory, and I passed! However it must be said that the woman who checked us in stared and me and asked "You are 21 right?" We spent the next few hours drinking some more and I enjoyed being able to use my crackberry once again.

We finally landed in Orlando around midnight, checked into a nearby hotel, and slept for a grand total of four hours. More on that later....

Honeymoon Day 9: That Darn Cat

Remember how I fondly recollected our time with the Hobie Cat? We aimed to recreate this romance again today, only to discover we were missing a vital element: wind.

Yep not so much wind today. We had high aspirations of sailing around the island but without the wind we found ourselves going no where fast. We had our moments of glory, but they were fleeting and our joy came to a schreeching halt.

Today was our final day in PSV and we enjoyed it as much as all the others. It really was a perfect place to honeymoon. That evening there was another island cookout, this time complete with a steel drum band and of course lots of yummy food.

One of the few pictures of the two of us that we have! We are so bad about taking pictures.

While we were of course a bit despondent about leaving la-la land, we were also very excited for the adventures that lay in store for us. No the honeymoon did not end here! We were going to Disney World!