Last week in Florida

May 3, 2013 at 10:07 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Lest you think we’ve been idle since Jill left, here’s what we’ve been doing all week before the big cross-country drive. Saturday night Brooke came for one last babysitting gig and James and I headed to Magic Kingdom for our reservation at the new Be Our Guest restaurant. We had to make them three months in advance. The setting was spectacular, just like the ballroom in Beauty and the Beast. We ate in a little room off to the side, the West Wing, complete with destroyed portrait and the rose in its glass case. It even shed petals! Beast would walk through the room every hour or so, and he even leaned down and waved to me. After dinner I begged James to stay for the fireworks, which were pretty underwhelming, and then we got stuck in the crowd all trying to get out. Oh well.

Monday I crossed off the last of the big rides on my list when I met Calli at Animal Kingdom for a morning at Disney sans kids. I kick myself for not doing these with her all year! This is only the second time we’ve met up after we dropped our kids off at school, and it was so much fun! We got soaked on Kali River Rapids, got terribly dizzy on the Primeval Whirl (and there were so few people in line, we got to go twice!), then redeemed our fast pass for the Expedition Everest. What a fun ride! At the recommendation of another patron, we waited to ride in the first car. At one point you hit the end of the track on a precipice, then start going backwards. Very thrilling in the front car! Much of the ride was in the dark, which is what I love about Space Mountain. The yeti made an appearance, though not as scary as I’d hoped. But still a very fun ride, and one I hope to coax James on when we’re back in October. Calli and I ended our day with cocktails and lunch at Yak and Yeti. I’m so going to miss these mom-only play dates!

Feeling a little guilty about how much fun I had with Liam while he was in school, I took him over to Nicole’s house to play after I picked him up. Her grandparents were there, and after many tries, we got a great photo of all of us. Mandy thoughtfully bought us a frame, and I’ve already got the print displayed with our other photos. This will have to go on the mantel in our new place in Kansas. We’re going to miss Nicole and Mandy, too! I invited them over on Sunday to raid the fridge, so we’ll have one last play date before we go.

I couldn’t leave Orlando without one more stop at my favorite burger joint, Pine 22. So after getting the oil changed and giving the car a much needed wash and detail, we headed downtown for my favorite burger and Liam’s favorite fries. I built my own burger with smoked gouda, applewood bacon, seared onions, shredded lettuce, roasted garlic aioli, and mayo on a toasted bun. Wow, that description makes me wish I was going there again today! After lunch Liam and I went to Lake Eola to feed to swans, ducks, turtles, geese, and other water foal. The playground was almost empty for some reason, so we stayed there until late in the afternoon. Liam was so funny, playing quietly on his own. This little boy approached him and asked if he’d play with him. Liam just matter-of-factly said “No” and went about his business.

Wednesday after school we met James at his office for the last time, then headed to another of my favorite Orlando eateries, High Tide Harry’s, for dinner. They have scrumptious hush puppies with cinnamon butter, and fried okra as a side dish. We have leftovers in the fridge…I think I know what I’m having for lunch today!

Thursday was the last possibly day we could go to Disney, so despite the 90% rain forecast, I took Liam to Epcot. There was one last playground we hadn’t played on, and there was one last food offering at the Germany pavilion I hadn’t gotten to try when James and I went last Saturday. The rain cleared up a bit once we got there, so I picked up the meatloaf sandwich and a beer, and Liam and I found a table by the lagoon under an umbrella. I know, meatloaf sandwich doesn’t sound that great, but with the mustard sauce and fried onions, it was to die for. Brisket, collard greens and jalapeno cornbread at The Smokehouse was even better. And I couldn’t leave without sampling our favorite drink from the France pavilion, a Vie Va Rose Slushy. By mid-afternoon I was feeling pretty good. Liam played in his favorite hedge maze in the England section. But, sadly, all the playgrounds were closed because of the rain. So instead we tried an indoor game Calli had told me about that her kids had loved. It had to do with saving money, and you got to carry a piggy bank to various stations to play the game. Liam loved it so much he wanted to play it twice. Big hit! Afterward I took Liam on the monorail one last time. We intended to pop over to Magic Kingdom to run around on Tom Sawyer’s Island, but by then the rain storm really picked up, so we headed back to Epcot to meet James for more dining at the Pavilions. Another meatloaf sandwich hit the spot.

Now it’s time to get down to business. Clean the house. Organize things for the movers. Make a pile for Goodwill. Somehow I’m going to squeeze in a hair appointment, a night out at the Wine Room and Bosphorous Restaurant in Winter Park with Mandy and Calli, and brunch at Stoneybrook Country Club with Maggie on Sunday. And because I’m completely insane, I’m taking Liam to the pirate museum in St. Augustine on our way out of town on Monday. James is staying in Orlando to oversee all the packing and loading. I just have to squeeze every ounce of fun out of Florida before we move to Kansas.



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  1. Oh, I feel for you! Hopefully you can find some beauty and fun in Wichita like you’ve obviously found in Orlando. If anyone can do it, I know you can.

  2. I hope your move went well. So sorry you had to leave FL. You always looked so happy and healthy in all your pictures. I wish the same for you back in KS!

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