Friday found us narrowing down our apartment choices. We found a place that felt so cozy and inviting that it was all we could do not to throw cash down and dance a jig. We’ll be filling out the paperwork when we get home and starting the application process to get us on the list. After that we went to the sign-in event for GeoWoodstock for a little while and got our swag. After that it was off to the 24 hour day at the Magic Kingdom. I was really surprised at the size of the crowd. I was also fascinated by the large number of adults and children sleeping on benches and in corners. We met a really awesome couple from a few hours away and spent the night chatting with them. We exchanged info and I hope that after we get settled in we can hang out with them again.
Saturday was GeoWoodstock and I’ve got to say it wasn’t what I was expecting…in a GOOD way. I imagined a very condensed meeting space with vendors stacked on top of each other, but instead I was surprised with a vast area with vendors spaced well apart down a wide trail. There were a LOT of people from all over the world wandering around and generally having a good time. We had lunch with a couple from Germany who are living in Mexico. We got a few hundred travel bug codes and some really cool stuff. We ate good food and listened to some informative and entertaining discussion panels. I hope we can make it to St. Charles, MO for GeoWoodstock XII next year.
Sunday, after a LONG sleep, we took off towards the MK for a few last purchases and lunch at the Diamond Horseshoe. We were in the car by 2pm and headed for the beach. We stopped at the Daytona Speedway and dipped our toes in the Atlantic ocean and then aimed the car at Savannah, GA. We finally got around to checking off state number 6 by sleeping just over the South Carolina border. Dinner from Wendy’s and 2 loads of laundry and we passed out.
Today we hope to make it to Fredericksbug, VA for another hotel room and some more adventuring.
It has been a LONG day! It’s really been a long two days but who’s counting? We woke up at home around 8am yesterday. After a full day of taking care of a few final responsibilities we finally made our way out of town around 7pm. This of course after loading the clown car (Prius C) with 3 weeks worth of everything we could possibly need and then buzzing all over town for every Disney gift card every Kroger had in stock. (Double fuel points FTW!) Then we FINALLY skipped town and headed south. We checked off Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia off the list before landing in Florida around 11am. There were a few gas, bathroom, and geocache stops along the way. To be honest, most of it is a blur at this point. I got my 2nd wind when we got out of the car at Downtown Disney.
We used the almost $2000 worth of gift cards to buy Premier Annual Passes to Disney. Being the Mouse Junkies that we are, we knew that this whole adventure couldn’t really kick off until we went to Walt Disney World and since we’re going to California on this trip, it only made sense to upgrade the $100-ish to include access to Disneyland, also. After an emotional process (too excited to contain myself) we had the beautiful cards in hand and set off to explore the parks.
Since Star Wars Weekends kicked off at Disney’s Hollywood Stuios today, we started there. It was a bit surreal how crowded it was, but that was to be expected. We didn’t ride anything, but we wandered around taking in the festivities for a while and then set out for the Magic Kingdom. We mostly strolled around the new Fantasyland expansion, but we did take the time to ride the new Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and I must say I was throughly pleased with how the attraction turned out. After that, the steam started to die down and hunger had set in. We set off for EPCOT to grab some Fish and Chips and settle in for our favorite fireworks show, Iluminations.
The Flower and Garden Festival has been going on so there were a few special food/drink stations set up. Once of which was a pineapple themed booth. A wonderful snack called a Dole Whip, which as far as I know can only be found in 3 places on the planet, was featured at this mysterious limited time engagement in a surprise 4th location. Dole Whip is smooth and delicious pineapple flavored soft-serve ice cream. To our delight the addition of spiced rum was an option in this one location so we had to indulge. After a lovely fish dinner we realized the we were too exhausted to last one more hour for the fireworks.
So here I sit, miserably tired and so unbelievable blessed to have started this wonderful adventure. The next few days will hopefully be filled with many more unforgettable memories.
To be continued….
The last few clothes are tumbling in the dryer. Everything else is packed or about to be packed. The adventure starts today. Leg one will see us from Memphis to central Florida. I hope to write each night about our daily memories. Stay tuned…