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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Lanai’s Diary: July 9-16th- Greetings from Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida

Wow, I feel like I haven’t picked up my virtual pen and babbled in my diary for a loooong time but, believe me you…I have been plenty busy in both worlds the past couple weeks.

For those that assume I am a virtual news junkie, it is true, writing is a great fix and it allows be to pour out my thoughts in virtual text but a vacation was much needed.

From July 9th-July 16th, I went on a much needed vacation with my family to Disney World in Orlando, Florida and maaaaan, was it a great adventure!

The first thing I did was leave my laptop at home. I decided that I needed to soak up the real world around me and truly enjoy my trip with no other distractions.

Armed with only an iPhone for emergencies, we loaded up the suitcases, took my Miniature Pinscher, “Hollywood” to my mother’s for the week and It was off to the airport.  Since I am on the subject of my little dog “Woo”, as I like to call him…  Imagine chasing this pint –sized pooch down the street screaming WOOOOOO WOOOOOOO!  Yeah… he has embarrassed me a couple times…


 The first day of Vacation was great!  We met up with my cousin Ray and his new wife Mary who were Honeymooning in Disney and my little sis Lillie that lives in Tampa.  We all Went to Downtown Disney in the evening and ended up at “Bongos”.  It was a great Cuban Bar & Restaurant with an energetic atmosphere and some salsa music.

On the second night- we hung out at The Bahama Bay Resorts and had a dinner party, where we were pleasantly interrupted by a 2 ½ inch scorpion and had to relocate to another villa at midnight. I knew there were alligators and flying cockroaches but scorpions??? I was totally freaked out and paranoid after that.

The Third day- Epcot Center.

Ever wonder what is inside that giant golf ball looking thing? Well… it is a slow riding cart that takes you through time, from the beginning to our present technology and future things to come.  That was pretty awesome.

After that we went on a spaceship mission simulator ride that my father suggested I check out and oooooooooo….

I got so sick and had to be taken back to the villa and put on Gatorade and bed rest for a few hours. It was similar to my episode at Hershey Park just a couple years earlier.  For those with motion sickness, I highly recommend Dramamine and also….come prepared with a complimentary barf bag from the plane, otherwise you may find yourself dry heaving in a souvenir bag…

After I got some rest I was able to collect my senses and head back to Epcot. I didn’t want to miss the World Showcase and light and firework show.

It was literally like being in Second Life and exploring different parts of the world without actually being there.  We began in Mexico, where it looked like a dimly lit Pueblo with crafts and shops proudly displaying the Mexican Heritage. The giant Mayan Pyramid was very cool.

Next stop was Norway. We took a Viking ship tour that ended in a gift shop with Norwegian candies, perfumes, clothing and trolls.

Just around the circle, I found myself in China. It was beautifully adorn with Pagodas and a China Town.  Each had their own restaurants where you can samples foods and check out the gift shops from that part of the world.

As we continued on our tour, I ended up in Germany and was immediately drawn to a bakery where they had caramel treats of all kinds, Traditional German Christmas Ornaments and even a Pickle Tree. I learned that it is a tradition to hang one of these vegetables on their trees. The child that notices it first gets more gifts.

Italy was just a block away and had to be one of my favorites in the world showcase. There were beautiful fountains with sculpted figures and even a miniature Venice where you can experience a Gondola ride.

Half way through the tour was The American Adventure. I found this to be quite educational. It was a grand presentation of American History from the settlement of this great nation to current technology. I may have been the only one awake in my party to really take it all in…

Moving on to Japan, it was stunning with the delicate details and restaurants.  There was even a Zen Garden.

By this time it was getting late and I was tired from the tour, but I wanted to see Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada before I left.  I was glad I did and to show my enthusiasm I proudly sported my Minnie Mouse ears.

If you ever get a chance to go to Epcot, be sure to check out the Fireworks display that happens at 9:00pm. It is done right over the World Showcase Lake, so you can Experience it from wherever you are in the park. The best seats are closest to the fence to avoid being pelted in the face by kids’ shoes dangling from their parent’s shoulders or having to fight through a crowd. The place gets packed.

Day 4- Downtown Disney, Rainforest Café

For my birthday, I chose to go to one of my favorite restaurants all because of their to-die-for Crab Cakes. Apparently whoever manages their menu decided to remove it.  After gasping and making sad faces at the waitress I chose something else and it was good.  Then all of a sudden someone started shouting Valcano!!!!! And all the waiters heading towards my table screaming happy Birthday at me, clapping and setting this giant brownie fudge sundae in front of me. After turning every shade of red at the fiasco, I grabbed my spoon and dove right in.

What I love about this place is that there are mock thunderstorms that happen every 30 minutes and all of the mechanical animals go crazy. It is entertaining experience and fun to to see small children looking around startled in amazement at the flashing lights and thunder. I think next time I will have to check out the T-Rex restaurant. That place was nice. The scenery inside looked prehistoric with Ice caves and dinosaurs all over the place.

After dinner, we wandered around Downtown Disney and checked out the Lego Store. Now this was cool. There were Pixar characters and was a giant Lockness looking monster in the water made completely out of legos and it was huge!

I even took a handful of SLE Business cards with me and left them around Downtown Disney with a personal note written on the back. I’m curious to see if anyone contacts me back.

That evening my lil sis, Lily, John and their girls joined us back at the resort. They made me a birthday dinner and and a chocolate cake with whipped frosting… omg it was bangin.  (Thank you Lily, I love and miss you already)

Day 5- Magic Kingdom

Now this place is a must on your Disney itinerary. There was so much going on everywhere I looked, I truly felt like a kid myself. One of the first things we did was check out the Pirates of the Caribbean show. For those of you that love the Drunk swaggering Jack Sparrow, he was there! Not Johnny Depp but a very close lookalike with blue wandering eyes. He even winked at me as he stumbled passed doing his routine.

After that presentation, I attempted a kiddie ride with my family and was sure I took my Dramamine to avoid a similar situation as day 3 of my trip. For the rest of my trip, I got on the boat rides that toddlers can handle and was just fine.

Magic Kingdom was neat. It’s more of a place for kids but you can’t miss Main Street and Cinderella’s Castle. 

 Especially when they have Disney’s Electrical Parade and fireworks display.

When you think of Disney World, this castle with a burst of fireworks behind it is what you should picture. The whole production around it makes you believe if you wished upon a star, your dreams will come true.  I think I even shed a tear as I soaked in the atmosphere and looked at my kid’s faces. The look of amazement was all worth this trip. There was so much to do at this park that you cannot possibility see everything in one day but I had one week and other places to explore.

Day 6- Typhoon Lagoon

Now this was a cool water park. They had a giant wave pool in the center of the attractions that had a power packed punch, let me tell you!

 If your bathing attire is not secured properly, it will get removed by force, believe me!  Thanks’ to my cousin’s wife, Mary. I was warned, but I still managed to tumble about in 3 ft. of water and scrap my knee…

  After pouting about it, I toughened up and even got to snorkel with sharks! They were about 3-4 ft. in length and didn’t pay much attention to the school of snorkelers floating by. The feeling of calm was what I experienced as I listened to the sound of my breathing as I watched them swim below. It wasn’t intimidating at all.  The only bad experience I got from that was irritation from the disinfectant solution in the mask and my sunscreen. It caused a chemical reaction that irritated my skin. I ended up walking around looking like I got slapped in the mouth and it burned like hell.  Other than that, I was able to get a little sun and witnessed men in speedos, not the Baywatch looking kind… I have a back and chest hair issue, it creeps me out and I nearly was blinded, and for some reasons their were a lot of Brazillians visiting the park. I could tell by the bathing suit bottoms. Don’t get me wrong, if you got a booty like J.LO and Nikki Minaj put together, go ahead and wear dental floss with a belt. But please keep in mind, there are so many children around and if traffic stops abruptly in a crowd….. you know kids don’t pay attention and well if they are below the waist in height, where will their faces go?

Anyway, I really shouldn’t talk because there was this one water ride… That send me flying down it into a full on wedgie! OOOOHHH MY GAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Your supposed to get up fast but I had to situate myself so I wasn’t showing all my business to everyone in the stands just waiting for a peep show.

I got on a couple more water rides and even floated down the lazy river in a tube while being tormented and pulled under and pelted by every waterfall by the teenagers in our group. After doing my fair share of extreme watersports, I decided to head back to our beach chairs and bake some more until the dark clouds rolled in with thunder and they shut down the park.  We ended up going back to our resort, had dinner and began packing for our trip home.

Day 7- Back Home

Waking up at 4:30 am was no easy task, I was exhausted, sunburned and had an attitude problem.  We got to the airport around 6:15, checked in our things and waited for boarding. By 8:30 I was on my flight back to Pennsylvania. Arrived at 10:30, picked up my dog “Hollywood”,  some pizza and headed to my cousin’s house for a little pizza party, Went to a Drive-In and got home at 2:30 am the next day……AAhhhhh I’m settled back into my hectic life.

I must say this vacation was perfect and it created memories that will last a lifetime. If you haven’t been on vacation or spent some time with your friends and family, even if it is a weekend doing something fun. Don’t pass up those opportunities. One think we can waste a lot of but can never get back is TIME. So make the best of it and spend it wisely.

Next Saturday is my family reunion and a few weeks from that is my 15 year High School Reunion. I’m sure I will have plenty more to write in my diary all about that. In the meantime, it sure is good to be home from vacation and back to school and SLE.  Be sure to follow up on our news regularly, there are some new things to come!

Love, Lanai


  1. Thank you for taking on the ride. I feel like I was there.

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