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I’m Going To Disney World, Part 2

I’ve seriously wondered how to proceed with this story, because what the devil is going on with personal blogging in 2017? I saw it fading at the end of 2016 and I shrugged it off to the holidays. Yet, my Bloglovin “Unread Posts” feed is still lonely!

Disney World

How can I make this more interesting for you?

I think.. I suspect.. I simply have to do it. I have to write and carry on, and hope that the words and the photos are enough. I can assure you – I’ll be blogging until the end of time. I have always said that and nothing has changed. It grows stronger.

And so, where we last left off, we had arrived in sunny/rainy/ Florida for our fourth annual trip.

Disney World

We landed at around 11:30am and Des and I stayed back on a bench outside baggage claim while Cassidy and Scarlet went to get the rental car. That was a bit of a debacle, but they were en route with a hot red minivan after a full hour. During that hour? Des and I watched it rain for ten minutes, and then it stopped! We managed to spill half a bag of rainbow Goldfish on the sidewalks of Orlando International. (Sorry!) I managed to almost fall asleep on top of a suitcase. I hydrated myself and counted birds and palm trees. Birds! Their song and sound! Think about it, northerners. When was the last time you woke up to a bird song? Or drifted off dreamily to an afternoon bird call? It’s those little sensory differences. It’s the contrast.

That’s why I love Florida in the wintertime.

Heading to Walt Disney World Resort soon? Here's our guide to everything we saw and did! Snacks, staying sane, taking breaks, finding the best of everything

I totally shouldn’t mention this, but this is my here blog and I really want to blog forever and tell you the stories of my heart, or of my humor. A whistle-happy attendant at the airport shrieked her horrible whistle one too many times in our general direction. It was painful enough that Des yelled at her. She couldn’t hear him over her whistle, but two elderly people next to us looked over in part-humor/part-horror. He said, “STOP THAT! That whistle-blowing is douchey!” Please.. don’t judge me too harshly. He had a wonderful preschool conference last week! He does get bonus points for relevant use of a word, right?

This sweet kid.. has a smirky, mischievous side like no other. I think he’ll use it for good, one day. Freedom-fighting.

Cassidy and Scarlet then showed up and we went to my Aunt’s house to stay for two nights.

On that first day, we mostly rested. We ate a big lunch, walked to the park, went to get pizza for everyone, and ran outside to steal some sun on our skin EVERY chance we got. And there were plenty of chances. And the weather only got better.

After our pizza/meatballs/DELICIOUS salad dinner, Scarlet and I went outside to read on the porch, because in Florida, you can read on a porch in January! This is BIG news. I couldn’t stop putting my book down and trying to sneak photos.

And she let me take pictures of her! You can see how unamused she was by my interruptions in some of them.

We slept the sleep of four people who had actually gotten their vitamin D quota for the day, and who had woken up at 5:00am that morning to leave New England behind on a Jet(Blue) plane. We woke up with the warm/sunny day spread out. First we hit Keke’s for breakfast. We got there early before the Sunday brunch crowd and the food was delicious.

Cassidy then left to visit his brother in St. Petersburg for the afternoon.

His brother bought a SWEET SWEET new house, but they’re not my photos to share. The street art was rampant:

They went to The Dog Bar! A dream, right?

Meanwhile, my aunt took the rest of us to Disney Springs. It builds up more and more every year. We’ve gone at least once every year for four years, and it’s almost unrecognizable each time. My favorites? Going into Ghirardelli and getting a chocolate sample and a latte. Scarlet and Des enjoyed the pin trading store and thankfully I had a gift card, because I spent FIFTY BUCKS on Disney trading pins. Who am I?? We also had a ton of fun at the LEGO store. Well.. the kids did.

And fun ducking into stores too! Favorites were chocolate stores and flip-flop stores.


Then we went back home, exhausted, and heated up leftovers for dinner. I took the kids to the park before sunset, and Scarlet Face-Timed her best friend there. It was like we were on two different planets – winter and summer. Cassidy joined us later and we once again slept the sleep of having had too much fun in the sun. We went to bed early because the next morning was a BIG morning. We were going to check into the Lightning McQueen hotel (Art of Animation Resort), see Des’ face while he took it in, quickly grab our MagicBands, and then go to Hollywood Studios for the first time!

We woke up that Monday, had breakfast, got our family photo taken, and then headed to the Walt Disney World Resort..

Disney World

Next up – talking Stormtroopers giving Des lip, while he gives them lip. Fireworks! Princesses! Rides! Buzz Lightyear! So much!

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  1. Omg, can I just tell you how excited I am for the upcoming Stormtroopers and more now! I seriously cannot wait and please update even more soon as you know my Orlando, Florida and Disney love already, but still 😉

  2. A Dog Bar? Seriously?! Can I please go there! I want to be there! I seriously need to make it to Disney. I know I keep telling myself that it is a crazy place and I am better off not going, but I am DYING to visit. I need to see it at least ONCE in my life, right?!

  3. Oh no are bloggers leaving en masse? I haven’t checked out bloglovin in a bit. Now I need to. So, stories about preschoolers. Here’s one. My son called his 9 year old sister a butthead. The 3 year old thought it was swell and called every other member of the family buttheads the rest if the day…

    Bring on your stormtroopers 🙂

    1. haha, butthead! I wish that was only our problem around here! Luckily it has’t left the house.
      Blogging is changing for sure, but it’s probably also just growing with newbies!

  4. AH. Florida in the winter. So glorious. We have a dog bar near our house, that we visit often. It’s not called The Dog Bar, but dogs are welcome, and we bring ours. I plan to keep blogging too – so we’ll just keep reading each other’s posts!

    1. That’s so cool! In SF, we had a guidebook that told us about dog-friendly places all over the US. And we had a neighborhood map of places we could take our dog. Even restaurants for dinner!

  5. I think you are making a good observation about blogging. I think the monetizing has impacted the personal blogs…not sure what the long-term fallout is going to be. I recognize that look on Scarlet’s face about being photographed.. wait until she is 15!

    1. You see it, right? I know I did monetize but I’m a journalism major with a deep love for this kind of blogging, so it’s my career. I fell behind in personal posts last year, only doing one a week. Now I do two or three. Yay 2017! But still. I miss everyone.
      Scarlet gives me such crap about photographing her!

  6. The street art is phenomenal! BTW I’m still laughing at Des and his shouting about whistle blowing being “douchey”, LOL, that is my kind of kid for sure! As for you observing about personal blogging, I’ve noticed a lot more people have gone into more sponsored stuff lately, it can get overwhelming at times, it’s why I’ve toned them down a lot. I’ve also been turning off comments on even some sponsored stuff and even my own work. Sometimes people just want to read. 🙂 I can’t wait to read more and see more photos in part 3.

    1. I have toned them down too! I try to do 2-3 personal posts a week, as opposed to only once a week for 2016! The personal ones take a lot of time too. Well, you know how it is!

  7. Love the street art!! We have a wall in town that has been the depository of graffiti for many years. I photographed it for 10 years. The library put on an outdoor show using my photos and they made a movie about it all. I was always amazed by the talent of the artists that gave it away for free, even though I know they got a lot out of their gifts to the rest of us.

    1. That is SO COOL about the movie using your photos.
      I am also amazed by the talents. Always, whenever I see street art. I know I write and take photos, but I can’t paint or draw to save my life!

  8. What a fun trip! I love the street art, I love street art. 🙂
    You know what else I love? All the pictures of you and your family. I missed you guys!
    I’m sorry I’ve been MIA.

  9. Florida during winter is fabulous. I love the relaxed tone of this post. . . reading, exploring, observing. . . all wonderful. Looking forward to your next installment of this series.

  10. I am sad about so many bloggers leaving too. And I say that, even though I haven’t been blogging for a few months! (Too much personal stuff going on, stuff in storage so no consistent computer to use, moving…) I have missed coming here, as I don’t visit blogs very often when I’m not blogging myself. (I haven’t been posting so have nothing to offer!) So much social media has taken over for blogging I fear, but I’m glad to hear you will never stop blogging! Same here! Such a cute Des story about the whistle, and Scarlet looks so grown up, sitting there with her book.

    1. I think it’s true – blogging isn’t being replaced exactly, but people seem to favor shorter posts and more pictures, videos, etc.
      I’ll never stop, and it’s a treat to have you visit!

  11. You have such a beautiful family, Tamara <3

    Oh, wow–I didn't know so many bloggers were leaving the community (and I have a terrible confession to make… I simply haven't had the chance to look at my Bloglovin' feed in ages).

    Uhm, CAN WE TALK ABOUT THE DOG BAR?! You knew I would focus on this part of the story, right? 🙂 OMG, that looks amazing! And so many GREAT BIG DOGGIES! And I see PITTIES!!! Yes, I must go here next time. Also love the street art!

    I hope you had a wonderful vacation with your family. LOVE going somewhere warm this time of year. It's the best, right?? XO

    1. I still haven’t been to the Dog Bar! I need to go there next time. That was a Cassidy solo trip, sadly.
      Yes, I love leaving all this snow behind, and I’m happy that you DID!
      And hopefully you won’t read this until you get back, and instead you’re on a sunny beach.

  12. Uh, when did Scarlet get so BIG? (By the way I’ve got a copy of that book coming my way!)
    Yay for sunshine and getting a family’s fill of vitamin D and spending time with family and running around outside in January.

    1. She is huge, right? Although in person, you’ll see she’s still a peanut.
      The book rocks but, while I haven’t fact-checked this, Scarlet says that the Hillary Clinton chapter already names her as President. They got ahead of themselves!

  13. I lived in Florida for quite a few years, and reading on the porch in January is awesome!!!! I miss Florida, especially today (cold and rainy). We’re heading to the keys in April, can’t wait.

    1. How about today?? It’s another snowstorm where I am, and most likely a worse one in Cape Cod.
      I love the Keys! I’ve only been once.. I need you to find something for me. Not really, but the town of Islamorada rocks. If you go through it, is the aquarium still overrun with stray cats?

  14. Why are there not more dog bars? We are failing as humans! 🙂
    Also it’s really sunk in now after reading all your lovely travel posts that I have not really been anywhere in over 10 years. Yikes!! I mean we go places, but they are the same places, ya know?

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