last weekend phillip and i took a barely hour-long flight south to visit our friends kyle and lisa in orlando, fl. they’ve been there for a couple of years now and our trip was long overdue, so with some handy delta skymiles and some pto, off we were!
friday started out with a bit of sleeping in, some bagels, large mugs of coffee, and a little catching up. i’ve known kyle and lisa since our days at uga, and it’s always fun to reminisce on what was but even better to hear about adult life and what’s going on these days. i personally think some of the best friendships are the ones where you can fall right back into conversation, no matter how much time has passed, and that is much of how our weekend went.
kyle (a middle school band teacher) had to work that day, so after lisa, phillip, and i freshened up, we made our way to the happiest place on earth and started out at magic kingdom. neither phillip or i have been to disney world since we were kids, so it was as though we were seeing everything for the first time. and, if i am being honest, i almost had more fun all weekend watching phillip because it was like he was a carefree kid again, and it made me smile from ear to ear. 🙂
we swiped our passes, took a few steps, and were in the middle of it all with everyone else right there on main street. the bright blue skies and puffy white clouds made for quite an entrance, as did google photos for making a good picture even better.
we even were lucky enough to be greeted by an energetic, fabulous character parade!
but you know what put it all over the top? the fact that the whole park was decorated for the fall season. i about died from a cuteness overload when i saw this autumn-themed mickey.
now, lisa had us all set with some fast passes at some quintessential attractions, and we started things off with the classic pirates of the caribbean ride. with the hot florida sun beating down on us, it was a great idea to be inside the cool attraction, watching as jack sparrow snuck from one scene to the next. and, because we’re all kids at heart, we got our yo-ho on as well. aarh, matey!
next up was, yes, it’s a small world after all. i’d imagine it’s law that you can’t go to magic kingdom without riding this ride, and i mean it when i say it was just as charming (and repetitive, lol) as i recall.
now, our next stop was the haunted mansion, and i myself have zero recollection of this ride at all. phillip and lisa were a bit aghast, but i’m guessing that when we went as a family, mom and dad probably thought it would be too spooky for us kids, and i wouldn’t have a hard time believing it at all. regardless, all that matters is that we rode it this time when we were there, and i actually thought it was quite wonderful! i loved all the animations and special effects and was giggling beside lisa throughout the entire ride. honestly, as we exited the mansion i couldn’t stop telling everyone how thoroughly i enjoyed it. the day we have kids who are ready for the haunted mansion experience, you better believe i’ll be dragging them through myself!
as we meandered through the kingdom’s streets, i spotted the winnie the pooh ride straight ahead and lisa and phillip happily obliged when i asked if we could go on it. it was so funny because the wait for this maybe 5-minute ride was actually about a half hour, but the time passed without much fuss as we people-watched and planned out the rest of the afternoon. pooh is such a favorite of mine, and it was a great way to spend some time in the park.
when we exited the ride, we were met with peals of thunder and drizzles of rain, but the heavens hadn’t opened up just yet, and phillip was itching to go on one of his favorite rides before we grabbed some lunch. for me, this is one of the most dreadful rides i could imagine: the teacups. if anyone from my childhood is reading this, you know i find this sort of ride frightful because of my unfortunate motion sickness and my tragic experiences with any round-and-round rides at the local fairs and expos. i told phillip, “you go ahead. really, it’s okay. we’ll wait for you.” but his big puppy eyes insisted i go with him, and i finally acquiesced with one condition: no. fast. spinning. well, what do you know? that didn’t happen at all. lisa has a priceless video of me with my eyes shut tight, hand squeezing phillip’s arm, me pleading him to stop spinning. thank the heavens this ride is only about a minute long and thank goodness we hadn’t yet eaten or else my lunch would have been all over that saucer.
on wobbly legs we made our way to cosmic ray’s for some chicken nuggets, french fries, and burgers while we waited out the rain that had finally arrived. it was nice to sit and relax and watch the disney world go by; plus, letting our feet rest a little bit was a good idea, too.
we chucked our trash, headed out into the misty afternoon, and made our way to jungle cruise, another ride that didn’t ring a bell at all for me. however, upon arriving we were sad to see they’d shut down the ride because of lightning in the area. well, then, i guess we’ll just have to find an indoor ride to find. cue space mountain! lisa fast passed the heck out of space mountain, which was good because the line was a bit long once we got there. with little memory of this ride (yet again), i loved the unexpected dips and turns and accelerations of our little rocket as we raced through space. lisa sat in front of me on the ride and was laughing at the end, commenting on my “oh my goodness! oh boy!” comments throughout the entire journey. yep, that sounds about right.
we were coming up on the end of our time in the kingdom but had just enough time for a couple more stops: ice cream and shopping! two of our favorite things. first on our way to the exit was the corner shop ice cream parlor. lisa went with a kid’s scoop of cookies and cream. meanwhile, phillip and i split the enormous brownie sundae with strawberry and vanilla bean scoops. yeah…about that “excited for ice cream” face…anyway! these chilled treats were just the ticket at the end of a fun afternoon.
our final magic kingdom experience was at the emporium for a little shopping. everything “disney” that your heart desires can be found in this store, from shirts to minnie ears to magnets and mugs. there’s no doubt you could get something for everyone on your list, and phillip and i are no exception. i’m not saying anything more, but we may or may not have purchased some items for our niece/nephew on the way… 🙂
even though our disney tanks were full for the day, the fun was far from over. after resting up at the house for a bit, lisa drove phillip and i north to the city of apopka to watch apopka high school in their opening football game of the season. lisa’s husband kyle helps out with directing the high school marching band, and you can bet we were not going to miss out on the opportunity to relive our glory days.
i don’t want to over explain our friday night lights experience that evening, but what i will say is this: although change is one of the only constants these days, the good news is that some things don’t. high school is in many ways just as i remember it. nerdy musicians, overzealous band parents, puffy-chested jocks, students with school letters painted on their bellies. does it get much better? in a way yes, because the apopka blue darters beat their opponent 47 to 0. hoka hey, indeed! i don’t think i could have asked for a better end to an august friday night, and i’m going to leave it there and be back later to write about orlando – day 2.