Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Low Country Boil

Last Saturday, the Bosun had a Low Country Boil. It was good drink, great food and exceptional company. There was enough food to feed an entire pirate crew (except for the yummy hashbrown casserole) and we went through the first Tybee Tea recreation experiments.

Darlin' was the chief mixologist while my dear, sweet Powder Money took notes. I personally thought it was pretty good but Darlin' and Captain Madog decided it needed a little less Meyers rum. I guess that is OK considering we have four other rums in the mix.

Friday, November 14, 2008

D*C 2009 Memberships

The memberships for D*C 2009 have been purchased and confirmed. According to Chip at the D*C office, postcards should go out next week - he hopes. The following memberships were purchased:
Grieg Wehr
Cap Waethersby
Loosetoon
DJ Moose
Darlin'
Madog
Cricket
Amanda
Horus
Havoc
Steph
itmightbedudu
Steaky
Sarabell
Lady Vella
Puppatoons
Lola
Stowawy
Kristin
Kerrot
Jewels
Powder Monkey
Movado
Jamie
Caligula
Captain
Bossman

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Update: D*C 2009 & Tybee Island Pirate Fest

I have been horribly neglectful of the Bunny Blog lately. It's not that I am behind on posts but there are just not as many 'Bunny Blog' entries at the moment. The holidays are upon us and while I am busy, there just isn't a significant amount of content at the moment. Now, don't read that as "I'm not going to post anything new until January". That is not what I mean. It just won't be as much and the posts will be more holiday related - not the usual fare.

Now on with the updates....

Dragon Con 2009
The deadline for memberships (at the cheap price) is this Thursday, September 13th. I have been emailing everyone updates about this since the week after Dragon Con. So far, we have a lucky 13 memberships ready to go and I'm expecting 11 more to arrive today or tomorrow. I will send out an email and post to the blog (using badge names) everyone that purchased a membership.

Speaking of Dragon-Con, I was thinking of the 'Schedule of Activities' for the 2009 D*C and here are some (some we are definitely doing, some are ideas, some are suggestions from other people)

(1) Parade - This is non-negotiable for me and my crew.
(2) Star Wars Costuming (another definite)
(3) The Mansion Ghosts (I think it would go over great at D*C)
(4) Photo Shoots: My Crew and Darlin' on one of the Bars. Any others?
(5) Pirate Tea or Poor Man's Pub Crawl? Depends the schedule. Thoughts?
(6) I don't know if there is going to be another 501st Mixer??
(7) Pirate Party - But it has been disappointing for the last 2 years...
(8) I would like to do another Thursday night dinner. Location ideas??
(9) And there are always all those actual D*C scheduled events :)

Tybee Island 2008 & 2009
As you know from previous posts, The Tybee Island Pirate Fest was GREAT! In the past week, the website has posted the dates for next year - October 8-10, 2009. We have put in a request to rent the same house as this year but we will not know until the dates are closer. I'll keep you all posted. Also, the Crew is mentioned on the Tybee Island Pirate Fest website. Look under 'Comments from 2008 Attendees'.

I believe that's all for now.

-Captain

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Black Bunny invades Tybee Island! - The End

Sunday, we woke too, guess what? Rain. We all packed up and staged the luggage downstairs. That was the quickest path to the van. The Bosun and Powder Monkey worked with the thule in the pouring down rain and got soaked. They decided it would be best if they loaded up the suitcases that went on top of the van, drove somewhere under shelter and then loaded the thule. By the time they got back, it was just misting outside. Murphy’s Law always hold true.

By 10:30am, we were loaded up and on the road making plans for next year’s Pirate Invasion.

The Black Bunny invades Tybee Island! - Part 3

Saturday morning was dull and gray. We took our time getting up and getting ready. Since the parade lineup was at 2:15 (well, really 2:30… so I fibbed a little), we decided to have an early lunch at The Crab Shack. The food was good but the atmosphere/d├ęcor (if you can really call it that) was awesome. It has its own little animal sanctuary; seventy-eight live (baby) alligators, cats that rule the world and rescued exotic birds.

I had the Crab & Shrimp Au Gratin and it was delicious. Also, I am not a fan of coleslaw but there’s was the best I had ever tasted.

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After lunch, we had to get ready for the parade. As we were getting geared up, it started to rain. It continued to rain. As we went to the van, it was raining. As we arrived at the parade line up, it was still raining. We had signed up to walk the parade. I was not walking in the rain. We decided to ask if we could drive the van. If so, we were in. If not, we would head back and watch the parade from the front porch. The organizer’s name was Katrina. As she came down the parade line, she spoke with each entrant. When she got to us, Jesse explained about the weather and said don’t worry about, we could take the van. Then, as if on queue, at 3:15pm the clouds parted and the sun came out. The parade was on.



It’s a good thing we had the van. It was a mile from the parade lineup to the official parade ‘start’. Then, the parade itself was another 2.5 to 3 miles. Darlin', Darrell, Steve and I walked and handed out beads. Jesse drove the van and my dear, sweet Powder Monkey carried the flag. One thing is for sure. People like beads. They really like beads. One thing they like more than regular beads are ‘special’ beads. In our case, it was Bunny beads. The Bunny beads were like crack cocaine to these people. Luckily, we had saved a slew of Bunny beads for the last few blocks of the parade; where some of the biggest crowds were going to be waiting. The only problem we had was one group of African-American’s that literally mobbed us and ran to the back of the van to grab beads. I actually had to tell a grown man to stop pulling the beads off my arm. Other than that, it was all good. Darlin' Bunny beaded as many puppies as she did people. Did I mention she loves animals?

Once again, as if on queue, just as the police cars at the end of the parade rounded the last corner, the rain started. We literally jumped in the van, closed the doors and went back to the house.

We wanted some photos of the crew on the beach, so we waited awhile to see if the rain would break. About 40 minutes later, we were headed to the ocean. It was high tide and the wind was fierce. We where holding hats on and hoping the flag wouldn’t take Josh’s arm off.



We struggled through pictures until the camera decided it was done. It was back to the house. While Steve stayed in costume, the rest of changed into Bunny attire. Darrell and I did wear our hats. We loaded up with some Bunny buttons and the last 20-30 strands of Bunny beads to head down toward the festival. It was sprinkling when we left, but nothing major. We stopped at String Ray’s to see what the wait was – 1 hour. No, we headed on down to the pier. As we got closer, the rain and the wind really picked up. Darrell wanted to run through the Thieves’ Market or what was left of it while Jesse checked on dinner. Darrell wanted to see one specific booth. By the time we made it, they were trying to keep the tent from blowing away and packing up the merchandise. We took a brief look and went join Jesse at ‘Fannie’s'. We lucked up and grabbed some chairs under the tiny bit of shelter around the restaurant. While it wasn’t bone dry, we weren’t getting soaked. We sat and people watched until our table was ready. It is amazing what some people wear or don’t wear – especially in very windy situations. Thong underwear must be a staple on Tybee Island.

During our wonderful fried dinner, we continued to people watch. Women in leather bikini tops, men dressed as mermaids, drunk, old men wandering by our table telling completely inappropriate dirty jokes. It was a memorable experience. With the rain outside, all the people had poured inside. The staff at 'Fannie's' was busting their tails to take care of everything. It was amazing to see the smiles appear as Darlin' and Powder Monkey started handing them Bunny beads. After dinner, we went outside to find it still raining with no sign of letting up. Our diligent Bosun volunteered to go get the van and pick us all up. Lucky us, we found our same ‘waiting for dinner’ chairs to continue our people watching. The unexpected flashers, the exhibitionist, the drunks, and just the plain stupid were great entertainment. As we sat there, Darlin’ noticed three people still working one of the very few vendor tents left in the Thieves’ market. She felt sorry for them and decided to run over and give them some Bunny beads. She took off in the rain, delivered her treasure and two hugs later came scurrying back. Evidently they had given up the ghost as well. She said they smelled like rum and where three sheets to the wind!

While enjoying all of this, guess who we run in to – Katrina, the Pirate Fest organizer. We had some great conversation, found out more about her and the festival; to make a long story short – she gave us a personal invitation back to next years PirateFest.

Soon after that, the Bosun’ came to our rescue and sailed us back to the house through the treacherous rain. We retired to the porch and enjoyed watching the rain and partaking of the bar. Then it was off to bed, or, for some, falling asleep sitting up on the sofa….. again.

The Black Bunny invades Tybee Island! - Part 2

Friday morning was our scheduled photo shoot at Fort Pulaski. We woke up to a cloudy sky. And while there was a threat of rain, you could not beat the temperature and the breeze. In hindsight, that cloudy morning was a forecast of the entire weekend.

We decided to skip breakfast so we could get to the Fort as early as possible. I had called earlier in the week to O.K. the shoot and they had been very accommodating to the request. I had not mentioned the weapons. When we arrived, Darlin’ and I went to the Visitor Center in hopes of getting the rapier, cutlass and three flintlocks into the Fort for the photo shoot. After a lovely conversation, the distribution of Bunny stickers to the Park employees and Rangers, and weapons inspection by the Park Rangers, everything was OK’d – much to my Bosun’s surprise.

For the next three to four hours, it was all about playing pirate. It took awhile to make it around the Fort. There were so many photo opportunities. We started at the top with one of the cannons. Then we switched sides to get the battle damaged wall and the sea channel behind us. Downstairs, there were windows, doors, jail cells and the catacombs. In between staging and taking our photos, we posed with other guests at the Fort; including children and a honeymooning couple.



After the photos, we changed and went looking for lunch. We were starved! Darlin' had been told about this great local place near the lighthouse. We went looking for it with no luck. Finally, we stopped at the first place we saw to get a meal. The Sugar Shack was far from the best but for a starved crew of pirates - that sandwich, French fries and ice cream was damn good! After lunch, we checked-out one of the local tacky tourist souvenir shops that we all love so well. It was called Waves and had the required large, fiberglass shark out front. It was a good little souvenir shop but not nearly as tacky as we had hoped – it was Tybee Island after all. Darlin' actually found her a shirt (can you call a tube top a shirt?) and Powder Monkey and I found the best plastic shoes ever!



The Bosun decided to ride down to the Southside of the island and scout the festival area. There we discovered even more tacky tourist shops. One thing about these shops on Tybee, most of them seem to carry the exact same merchandise. It was strange. There was one shop down on the right corner that had some different things and that is where I ended up buying my Tybee pirate t-shirt.

Once we made it back to the house, it was time to relax a little. After enjoying the porch swing for awhile, some of the crew decided it was time for a walk on the beach. I had a serious urge to put my feet in the water. We walked toward the Festivities. At the pier, we took a stroll through the Thieves Market and ran into Pirate Bob’s crew. Since we really had not come down prepared to shop, we headed back to the house to gather the rest of the crew for dinner.

We decided to try and find the elusive North Beach Grill for dinner. Now, one would think if you can’t find the place during the daytime how the hell are you going to find it at night? I guess that was the challenge. We drove, we looked and saw nothing. We had been told it looked more like a shack that restaurant but we had seen nothing! We pulled down this dead-end street to turn around and lo and behold, to our left, in a parking lot, we saw lights. Not restaurant lights, just Christmas lights around some trees and a deck. We debated. It could be someone’s house but it could also be North Beach Grill. We decided to give it a try. It took driving all the way over to realize it was indeed what we had been seeking. I don’t even recall if it had a sign. We parked and made it inside just before the rain started. It was a shack with screen windows and fans. The word fancy was no even in this places area code. The waitress recommended the ‘Tybee Tea’. This should have given us a hint of how good the food was going to be. The ‘Tea’ was strong. You could smell the alcohol as soon as the waitress put it on the table in front of you. As you took the first sip, it was amazing how fruity it was and how easy it was to drink. We had to know what was in it. We were told: Cruzan Mango rum, Pineapple rum, Coconut rum, Vanilla rum, Meyers rum with a splash of O.J. and cranberry juice. It was deliciously deadly. I’m glad Darrell and I just split one. Our Cabin Girl now has been tasked with reproducing this wonderful concoction.

The meal was amazing. I ordered Jerk Chicken. Darrell had ordered BBQ Salmon that came with peas, rice, and sweet potatoes. The food was very Caribbean influenced and the peas had a real kick but were so addictively good.
Good drink, excellent food and a big bill (and worth every penny) later, we were the most content pirate crew you had ever laid eyes upon. We waited for the next break in the rain and made a run for the van. It was back to the house for R&R on the big, beautiful porch. I don’t know what time we turned in (or in some cases – simply passed out on the sofa) but we were in no hurry getting up on Saturday.

The Black Bunny Invades Tybee Island! - Part 1

Busy, busy, busy......

This past weekend, Tybee Island held its 4th Annual Pirate Fest and the Black Bunny Crew was there in force. The Crew arrived on Tybee Island late Thursday night.

Our Bosun had procured the crew a fantastic beach house on Butler Ave, right next to the IGA. It was a short, easy walk to all the festivities but far enough away that the chaos and noise were left behind. The house could easily sleep 7 in beds (if shared) with floor space for (I kid you not) another five or six, easy. The downstairs was a small apartment to itself. It had a king-size bedroom, a separate (and huge) sitting area with T.V., 2 bathrooms, a fridge, microwave and its own entrance and exit. Upstairs there was a small eating area (we never used), a small kitchen (perfect size), bathroom, 3 bedrooms and a den with T.V. and lastly and the most important was the screened porch. The screened porch went across the entire front of the house and down one whole side. It had multiple tables, plenty of chairs and two swings. Needless to say, this is where we spent most of our time when we were at the house. It even had a flag holder for the Black Bunny flag

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The first evening, we unpacked and went for overnight supplies (water & soda). We all relaxed on the front porch while Jesse and Josh indulged in their pipes and flavored tobaccos. We turned in relatively early so we would be rested for our first full day.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Disney 2008 - Day 8

We headed out of the parks last night but we can't leave until we do our shopping in Downtown Disney. We visited our favorite stores, picked some mementos and gifts. One of the cooler things was running into some 501st members from the Dutch Outpost from the Netherlands in the World of Disney. It was hard to miss the neon orange Imperial Cog.

By 2:30. we were ready to hit the road for a long 8 hour drive.

See ya'll next year!!

Disney 2008 - Day 7

Day 7 is a sad day. It is check-out day. We are checked-out and have the luggage loaded in the car before noon. Today was also Halloween pod shirt day since we were going to MNSSHP tonight.

We started today at Epcot. It was the first day of the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot and it was packed. Our first mission was to get a fast pass for Soarin'. Accomplished.

Next, back to Spaceship Earth for a final ride. Then over to Nemo & Friends and Journey to the Imagination. That pretty much finished up Future World. Liz wanted to pick up something in England and boy was I glad. We found Darrell a great Welsh t-shirt. Our next stop was Mexico, then on to China and Norway. We were going to ride the Maelstrom but it was shut-down. We grabbed fast-passes in hopes it would be open later. We wanted to make it to America before 5pm because Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy was giving a concert - BONUS! When we got to the amphitheater, Darrell and I decided to grab some seats in the shade since it was filling up fast. The show was great. As soon as I get some of Darrell's pictures, I'll post them.

After Big Bad Voo Doo Daddy, we went straight to Tokyo Dining for dinner. It was our first time at this restaurant and it was fabulous.

After dinner, it was time for our last visit to the Magic Kingdom. We were attending our 2nd MNSSHP party. Tonight was all about soaking up the Halloween atmosphere.

As before, we arrived just as the parade was starting. We couldn't believe how few people were there - we walked right up to the rope. I got some great video of the Grave Diggers. After the parade, of course, we headed to the Haunted Mansion.

We headed over toward Adventureland to watch Hallowishes - the fireworks. The soundtrack is infectious. I love it! It was a windy night and the fireworks were spectacular but the smoke patterns left behind were equally as interesting. Since we were close, we run over to Pirates of the Caribbean for our finally ride of the visit. Darrell and I looped back for another ride on the Mansion. Are you noticing a pattern here?

On our way to the front of the park to make my special Halloween pin purchase, we stopped to watch the second parade. I grabbed my special edition Halloween pin and we decided to get an ice cream at the Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street. It was a nice break. It was getting close to midnight, so we all reconvened at The Haunted mansion for our final midnight ride.

As the park closed, we made our way to the front and reluctantly took our bus back to the Pop to our car.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Disney 2008 - Day 6

Today was Hollywood Studios Day. Top priority was to get fast passes to the new ride, Toy Story Mania. They have redone that side of the park and it is all about Pixar. It was full of great photo-op's.



Next it was off to the Back lot Tour. What I really wanted to see was the props at the end of the tour. They have Davy Jones Organ and other original POTC props.



We stopped by the Muppet Theatre and took the time to walk around the entire queue line (something I had not done before) and found all kinds of wacky stuff.



The boys headed on to Star Tours while Liz and I grabbed a table near the Jedi Academy Stage. For the past two years, we have timed it perfectly to watch the entire Jedi Academy show. They choose 10-15 children from the audience, give each of them a robe and a Hasbro Light saber and place onto a pre-determined 'spot' on the stage. The new apprentices are shown some basic moves with their Light sabers. All was going well until a couple of Stormtroopers showed up and you know where there are Stormtroopers there is Darth Vader. It's really amazing. As soon as people heard the Imperial March, they started flocking to the stage. Everyone loves the bad guy. Once Vader shows up, he tries to convince the apprentices to join the dark side and her fights each one. The Cast Members are so patience and funny with all the kids. They make it a great show to watch. At the end of the training, all the apprentices get a certificate.

Next we walked over to 'One Man's Dream - The Story of Waly Disney'. It is a walk through of Walt's life and Disney memorabilia and a short film about Walt's live. It's definitely worth the visit.

At that point, Darrell and I decided to try a run on the Rockin' Roller Coaster. On the way, we made a stop at our favorite gift shop 'Villains in Vogue'. I got a great Captain Hook t-shirt. I was so excited - Darrell rode Rockin' Roller Coaster with me and he did great! We walked over to the Tower of Terror gift shop and met back up with everyone else.

Steve and Liz wanted to try for the Great Movie Ride so Darrell, D-Tag and I decided to check out The Little Mermaid. None of us had seen it before. It was cute with a great singer playing Ariel.

It was time to go so we caught the bus to Wilderness Lodge for dinner at Whispering Canyons. The service was slow but the food was good. After dinner, we toured around the hotel and strolled through the gift shops. The main mascot for the Wilderness Lodge is Humphrey "pick up the rag, put it in the bag. bump. bump."



We took a boat back to the Magic Kingdom at the wrong time. Don't get me wrong, it was the best of a bad situation. The boat was empty except for us - that was great. Then we realized we were heading to the Magic Kingdom at closing time. Luckily the boat had a significant delay in the lagoon. When we docked, we found a nice space in front of the gate and watched the mass exodus.

Disney 2008 - Day 5

Today was another Animal Kingdom (AK) and Epcot day. At Animal Kingdom, we headed straight for 'It's Tough to be a Bug' to see Stuart.

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We all headed to Kilimanjaro Safari to get a fast pass. Next, we split up. Darrell, D-Tag and I walked down to Expedition Everest. Darrell and I rode and D-Tag hung out in the gift shop. After that, we slowly walked back to the safari to met up with Steve and Liz. After the safari, Darrel, D-Tag and I headed to Epcot. Steve and Liz stayed behind to take in a little more in the Animal Kingdom.



Epcot was fantastic! There were minimal lines and good strong breeze. We walked on to Spaceship Earth, Nemo and Friends, and Journey into the Imagination. It was perfect considering Monday at Epcot was such a washout. We were able to stroll through Mexico, ride the Maelstrom and peruse the store at Japan. We met up with everyone and headed to the Polynesian for dinner at O'Hana's. D-Tag ate a quick dinner and headed out to Hollywood Studios to catch Fantasmic. We left O'Hana's about the same time the Magic Kingdom was closing so we decided to hang around the Poly and let the bus crowd clear out before going that way. We checked out all the gift shops and spent some time on the beach. It was almost chilly out. It was perfect night. When we decided to head back to the Pop, it could not have been timed better. The monorail was waiting for us when we got there and so was the bus.

Disney 2008 - Day 4

We slept in this morning. No parks today. We lay low and take it easy. Tonight is our dress-up MNSSHP (Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party). I went and grabbed breakfast for Darrell and I to eat in the room. We relaxed for awhile and then Liz, Steve and I headed downstairs to do some laundry. You really can meet some great people and pick up some great information in the laundry room. We learned that Dryer 5 didn’t require money. Just load it and press the ‘Start’ button. I was lucky enough to catch it empty and dried my clothes for free. Steve and Liz loaded up Dryer 9 and started it before realizing there was an 'Out of Order Sign' on the change slot. It seemed to dry fine and guess what – it was free too!! We made sure to share the knowledge with some of the other fun people doing laundry and headed back to our rooms.

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It was time for lunch. We knew we wouldn’t get dinner so we made sure to have breakfast and lunch. While at lunch, we decided to grab a snack for our return tonight.

We got into makeup and dressed for our night out. We were in the parks by 8:30pm.



When we walked in the park, the parade was just starting. We were able to get a spot by the rope right off the front square - the last place before the parade disappears behind the gate. First and foremost, we could not believe how many Cast Members in the parade acknowledged us by either telling us how good we looked or reacting and interacting with us. It was great. When the Haunted Mansion float came by with Sawyer as Ezra, we gave us a nod as well. After the Mansion section of the parade, we made our way to the Haunted Mansion ride. We arrived just as Carlotta was leaving. We had a great (and highly covert) conversation with her and took some fun pictures. We tried to tell her as best we could how to find us. The Mansion was closed until after the fireworks, as was everything in Fantasyland. We headed to Tomorrowland to ride the TTA. Once the fireworks were over, we hopped on 'It's a Small World' and then headed straight to the Mansion. We we exited the Mansion, there was Cast Member waiting for us. She said she had seen our pictures and wanted to get a picture with us. It was like having celebrity status. After the photo-op, it was off to Pirates of the Caribbean. At Pirates we ran into Stuart - a former Mansion Butler. We rode Pirates with him. In the Pirates gift shop, Stuart pointed out some props that were used in the movie! We would have never known,they were tucked away up high in the decor. Stuart walked back over to the Mansion with us for another ride. On the way, we ran into the Cadaver Dan's - the dead version of the Dapper Dan's - we had to get a picture. We hung around close to the Mansion until Midnight so we could get our traditional 'last ride' on costume night. After closing down the Mansion, we took our traditional plaque pictures and started our slow walk out of the park.

As usual, we were quite popular and it was a challenge to make other guests understand that we did not work for Disney and keep photo sessions down and avoid traffic congestion.

One of the most memorable pictures was the Hitchhiking Ghosts with a lady near the front gate. She took several pictures with them and raved over the costumes - then she tried to pay us. We aren't sure why but we would have none of that.

We were hot and tired. We got a seat on the bus and headed back to our rooms.

Disney 2008 - Day 3

Today, Steve & Liz met some friends over at the Animal Kingdom (AK). Darrell, D-Tag and me decided to sleep in a little and meet up with everyone for lunch in the AK at the Flametree BBQ. We arrived a few minutes early and walked down to the Expedition Everest Gift Shop to look around. I took my “must” yeti pictures of Darrell.

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Lunch at the Flametree was great. The food was good. The company was good. The seating was exceptional. To look at it from the front, you think it was going to be a hunt to find anywhere to sit much less getting 8 people to sit together. Looking closer, you notice there is a pathway that leads behind the Flametree into a maze of paths and sitting areas. We found plenty of sitting with the most amazing view of Expedition Everest in the background.



After lunch, it was off to Epcot. We all went for a fast pass for Soarin’ and then went our separate ways. Darrell, D-Tag and me cruised around the Land. After that, we noticed the clouds were getting dark. I wanted to try the free Disney Visa Character Meet & Greet at Innovations West, and headed in that direction. The bad news was line was long and took awhile to get through. The good news was it was poring outside. At least we were in out of the rain.

The Meet & Greet was pretty awesome. Your party gets a private audience with 2 Disney characters. What they won’t tell you in advance is which characters are behind the blue curtain. When our turn came, we were pleasantly surprised to see Mickey, Minnie and Goofy waiting for us. There were hugs all around. We took individual shots and group shots. It was great to be able to pose and play without the pressure of someone giving you the “get a move on it” look. D-Tag picked-out a great shot of him with all three characters and Darrell and I did the same. A free 5X7 is a great souvenir. I think we are going to check it out on Friday too!

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The rain wasn’t stopping so we darted across to Innovations East to the Mouse Gears gift shop. We looked around and played with the potato heads.



After that time killer, it was time to ride Soarin’. Soarin’ is wonderfully relaxing ride. As we were leaving, we saw Steve, Liz and there party boarding the ride. We waited for everyone at the exit to re-group.

Since it was raining and D-Tag and I needed to pick-up our free photos, we decided to take the bus to the Boardwalk resort rather than walking back to France. Well, unbeknown to us, there is no bus to Boardwalk. We re-entered Epcot and walked over to Boardwalk. We arrived at Spoodles 40 minutes late and wet! The dinner was good but the noise level was crazy. It was louder than Chef Mickey’s. We couldn’t believe it.

After dinner, we Quickly scampered through Epcot hoping to get to the bus back to the Pop before Illuminations was over. I think we barely made it. Luckily our bus was not packed and it was a fun ride home singing ‘YMCA’ complete with arm letters!

Since we were back to the resort at a decent hour, Liz, Steve, Darrell and me decided to go for a swim. All I can say is that we laughed and laughed and laughed! It was a great way to end the night.

Some random Day 3 photos. There is always time for funny hats and Baloo!

Disney 2008 - Day 2

Today was our first full day in the Magic Kingdom. It was also Yellow Pod Shirt day. A Pod Shirt is one of many identical t-shirts a group of people wear. We have a twisted version of the pod shirt. This is the one pod shirt I actually contributed to – I came up with the concept!

They are bright yellow and say…
“We are not together. It is just a coincidence that we are all wearing the same shirt. Really.” We had many, many comments on it and the CM’s around Disney seemed to love them!

We accomplished a lot at our leisurely pace. By the end of the day we had:
Sailed down the major rivers in the World on the Jungle Cruise
Braved the Pirates of The Caribbean twice
Visited with the family over at the Haunted Mansion four times.
Listened to the music of Mickey’s Philharmagic twice.
Flew from London the Never - Never Land with Peter Pan twice.
Watched small children dance on It’s a Small World
Cheered on Big Al in the Country Bear Jamboree
Toured Tomorrowland on the TTA
Screamed and laughed on Space Mountain
Took a carefree ride on the Carousel
Shot Aliens with Buzz Lightyear
Watched Dwarves battle the evil Queen on Snow Whites Scary Adventures

…and somewhere in the middle of that activity, we snuck over to Aloha Island for an infamous pineapple float and relaxed in our favorite hidden nook. The nook is a lovely place not far down from Aloha Island. It is obscured by trees and foliage, so it seems to always to be empty. It is a great place, complete with fans, to relax, eat and watch all the insanity passing you by in Adventureland.

That evening, we hoped on the Monorail to Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort for our only character meal. We had prepared ourselves for screaming child hell but were excited about the potential photo-op’s with some of the primary Disney icons.

To our delight, the children were reasonably well behaved. The children at the table next tours was a true delight and absolutely adorable to boot. I had to take her picture before we left. She was just too cute!

After dinner, it was back to the Magic Kingdom for the remainder of the Extra Magic Hours. It was a pleasant walk through the parks and we accrued a couple of more rides at the Haunted Mansion.

It was late. We were tired. It was back to the resort to re-charge for another day.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Disney 2008 - Day 1

We arrived at Disney today. We headed out last night around 7pm. We drove to Lake City, FLA and stayed the night there. By 9am, we were back on the road. We arrived at the Pop Century not long after noon. The boys got us all checked in. The Pop is our favorite value resort. It focuses on Pop Culture from the 1950’s through the 1990’s. The lobby is full of memorabilia and tends to be crowded. They have CM’s in the lobby playing music, keeping the kids occupied with things like hula-hoop to make the check-in process easier for the parents.



We lucked out. Even though we were early to arrive, they had all 3 of our rooms ready. Last year, we stayed in the 70’s building and really liked it. We tried to get that building again but it just didn’t happen. This year, we are in the 50’s building. So far, so good.

Once the vehicle was unloaded and all of the luggage put away, we reconvened and headed for the Animal Kingdom. Normally, we head to the Magic Kingdom first. Since we had a dinner reservation at Boma in the Animal Kingdom Lodge, we decided Animal Kingdom was the most logical starting point.

On our way in to the park, we noticed Chip & Dale off to the side with a crowd of CM’s and no one else. We ran over to get a picture. The CM’s were super and took pictures for us.

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We were able to walk right in to ‘It’s a Bugs Life’. Then we went and grabbed a fast pass for ‘Dinosaur’ and headed to see ‘The Festival of the Lion King’. Steve and Liz had seen it before but it was a first for me, Darrell and D-Tag. It was a great performance. After the show, we rode Dinosaur and then headed over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge.

The Lodge is beautiful and Boma was terrific. We tried so many different and new foods. The waiter brought me and Liz a small form to request recipes for some of our favorite dishes. I think we request 18 recipes once we finished.



Then we headed outside to see if there were any animals.



Then it was off for a short visit to the Magic Kingdom. We jumped on the train first for a loop around the park and then went on to Frontier land to disembark. We headed straight for the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This ride was closed for refurbish last year and it was a great ride in the dark. From there it was a short walk to our beloved mansion. We HAD to ride that day one.

For some reason, WISHES was delayed. We headed out of the park as quickly as possible to avoid the insane after fireworks rush. I think we made it just in time. There were two bus lines for the Pop and D-Tag pegged the good one. We were on a bus and sitting down (a very important fact) in no time flat.

Back at the Pop, it was time to cool down, shower off and start jotting down the Blog notes.