2014 – Days 16 thru 19 – January 16 thru 19

We are home and getting back into the swing of things – glad Monday is a holiday so we can get ahead on cleaning and catch up on emails before working again!  Putting pictures of some of my favorite vacation moments throughout the recap below…

A great backdrop at the UK Pavilion at EPCOT
A great backdrop at the UK Pavilion at EPCOT

Our week at Disney ended well with the CPC (Children’s Pastor’s Conference) as a definite highlight at the end.  There were so many good speakers with inspiring ideas and messages.  The girls spent Thursday at Hollywood Studios, drawing and snacking and mostly trying to stay warm as it was relatively cold for Florida… yes, still warmer than Minnesota so no one was complaining.  We went to Cracker Barrel for dinner that night and enjoyed dumplings, ham, chicken fried chicken, and many other favorite foods before heading back to hunker down in the time share and watch TV together.  It was fun to pile on the bed in the master room and watch The Game Plan (a Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Disney movie).

Love the matching shirts and with medals from the race, what could be better?
Love the matching shirts and with medals from the race, what could be better?

Friday, Hubby and I were back at the conference for more speakers, breakouts, and inspiration while the girls headed off to EPCOT.  We met up with them that evening at Magic Kingdom for dinner at Pecos Pete’s Tall Tale Café – it’s usually not open because we are there during off-peak times, but, due to the three-day weekend, the crowds were big, the park was open late, and all of the restaurants were serving.  After dinner, we wandered around the park and rode a few rides before heading back to our time share for the night.  We are definitely spoiled being there without crowds as no one really wanted to wait in line to ride anything…

The day before the race - still confident and ready to go!
The day before the race – still confident and ready to go!

Saturday was our last full day in Florida.  Hubby and I went out for a long run/walk – well, long for me, not necessarily for him.  We went about 4 miles…  then, after showers and lunch, we loaded everyone into the van and headed for Tampa.  We talked about seeing Winter (the dolphin from the movie Dolphin Tale), but, in the end, decided that walking on Clearwater Beach looking for shells and having dinner at Skyline was plenty of excitement for us.  It is always fun to eat Skyline chili and coneys at a Skyline restaurant – they really get the cheese just right every time.  It was definitely worth the hour and a half drive for us from Orlando!

Rarely seen Disney characters at this impromptu meet and greet at Hollywood Studios
Rarely seen Disney characters at an impromptu meet and greet at Hollywood Studios

We got back to our time share around 8:30 that night and Loo Hoo and I decided to head back to Magic Kingdom to check out the late-night crowds.  The park was open until 1 a.m., bu; we only made it to about midnight.  It was a lot of fun to get Starbucks on Main Street and then just wander around the park visiting with Loo Hoo and watching people.  We did get to see The Hall of Presidents – one of my favorites – and something we had not done yet on this trip.

Waving down our racers on Streets of America at Hollywood Studios
Waving down our racers on Streets of America at Hollywood Studios

Sunday morning it was time to load up the van and check out of the time share.  I snuck in one last hot bath in the giant tub in the master bathroom before we left.  With a late-afternoon flight home, we did have time to go to Magic Kingdom for a couple of hours one last time.  We rode Hubby’s favorite ride – the train – from Main Street to Fantasyland, traded a few more pins and Vinylmations, and made our way back to Main Street through Adventureland.  The drive to the airport was a quiet one as Loo Hoo slept and Doodle and K-Cat played on their phones (yep, time to get back to the real world)…

After a morning of cheering at the Marathon
After a morning of cheering at the Marathon

We came home to temps in the high 30’s – a good thing as we were mostly in double-layered hoodies.  We came home to a chilly house with about a foot of new snow in the driveway and two cats who were very excited to see people again!  Loo Hoo and I headed out for groceries and dinner (Subway – $5 JanuANY) while Hubby ran the snow blower and the younger girls started unpacking.  We spent the rest of the night watching TV and hanging out in the TV room where the temperature was warmer than the rest of the house – takes it a while for the heater to catch up after it’s been turned down for a week!  K-Cat and I decided to sleep in the TV room, even…  the downside?  I hear it is not going to get warmer this week…  doesn’t matter though – it’s great to be back home!

Loo Hoo got so many smiles and fun comments on her custom-made cheering sign
This sign got so many smiles and fun comments from runners
K-Cat was wiped out - the boat ride to EPCOT put her to sleep!
We were wiped out; one of us actually slept on the boat ride to EPCOT!
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