Animal Kingdom and More Swimming

I really do want to keep up on my blog; the problem is that some nights, I just don’t feel like writing!  This is one of those nights… BUT – since we are on vacation, and I have no good excuse not to write, I will take a stab at sharing today’s highlights…

Today is Thursday which means that a week from now Hubby and I will be back at work, Jay Pea will be back at college, and LooHoo, Doodle, and K-Cat will be back into a routine of schoolwork, church activities, and Tae Kwon Do.  Of course, a week really is a long time, and there is still so much to do here!  The weather was great today – nearly 80 degrees; the forecast for the next couple days calls for cooler weather, so we took advantage of the nice day, put on our shorts, and headed for Animal Kingdom around 9:30 a.m.  The park opened at 9 a.m. so we were there just a little after the rope drop.  The crowd was manageable – not the smallest we’ve seen, but definitely no long waits for anything!

We jumped right into pin trading this morning with Doodle on the lookout for Chip & Dale pins, K-Cat collecting Minnie Mouse, and Jay Pea simply looking for ones that caught her eye.  LooHoo has also started to get into it and has found several that she is not willing to trade away!  I have almost a complete collection of Pooh silhouettes now, which is fun, but posses an interesting question – should I buy more pins to trade and keep these or simply keep trading what I have?  Tonight, I have six of seven Pooh silhouettes (I’m missing Piglet), a Magic Kingdom B ticket, three Fast Passes – Jungle Cruise, Space Mountain, and Star Tours, the Figaro T-Shirt (yes, I still have that one), Statler (one of the grumpy men from Muppets), and Davy Jones from Pirates.  The coolest thing about trading at Animal Kingdom is that several people had boards full of pins to trade, not just a handful on their lanyards – so many choices!

After several fun pin trades, Hubby and the younger girls headed for Mt. Everest to get fast passes while Jay Pea, LooHoo and I went for a bumpy ride on Dinosaur.  We met up in DinoLand and rode Triceratop Spin, did some more pin trading and some browsing in stores, and then headed back to Everest for our first ride!  We ended up going two more times throughout the afternoon as everyone but Hubby loved it.  He doesn’t mind sitting out as it gives him an excuse to enjoy a frozen chocolate covered banana and do some serious people watching.

We took a break for lunch; Hubby had BBQ ribs and chicken.  Jay Pea and I split a BBQ chicken salad; LooHoo had a pulled pork sandwich.  Doodle had a PB&J kid’s meal, and K-Cat had a hot dog kid’s meal.  There are an inordinate number of birds in the eating areas at Animal Kingdom, and it was quite entertaining watching them all scavenge for food while we ate.  The problem is they are very tame and are very used to be fed by people eating so they get uncomfortably close to you while you are trying to enjoy your meal!

After lunch, we set out to find Chip & Dale as Doodle desperately wanted her picture taken with them.  Luckily for us, we found them and Thumper (Jay Pea had been looking for him) in Camp Minnie Mickey (or is it Camp Mickey Minnie?).  Anyway, we got several character autographs and more pictures and then headed off to the Safari ride.  The animals were pretty active, with the exception of the lions that were sleeping in the heat of the afternoon.  LooHoo got some great pics of rhinos and hippos and giraffes!  Even Hubby was impressed this time…

After that, it was time for the Finding Nemo live performance – a family favorite – and a couple of funnel cakes.  We were then left with time for only one more activity as Animal Kingdom closed at 5 p.m.  Hubby, Jay Pea, and Doodle headed off to the live performance of Lion King while LooHoo, K-Cat and I hit It’s Tough to Be a Bug.  We all met up again near the front gates as the park was closing and caught the tram back to our rental van.

Dinner tonight was Santa Fe Cattle Company.  This is a chain steakhouse that we used to frequent when we lived in Oklahoma City.  Hubby loves it because they serve all-you-can eat peanuts, and you can throw your shells right on the floor!  Yes, we are sometimes easily impressed.  Hubby had steak tips; K-Cat and Jay Pea had cheeseburgers; Doodle had mac & cheese, and LooHoo and I split fajitas for two.

The timeshare had live music poolside tonight so after we got home everyone put on their swimsuits and we headed down to the pool and hot tub.  Jay Pea and I came back before everyone else so she could call Boyfriend and I could catch up on more work and emails.  When Hubby got back with everyone else, it was time to get ready for bed as we are starting early again tomorrow – the park we want to visit opens at 9 a.m., and we want to be there for the rope drop!  Wish us luck!

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