Sunday, March 29, 2015

Disney Epcot

Hi peeps, thanks for popping over to Epcot with us. We had another beautiful sunny day here at Walt Disney World, and our timing to visit Epcot this year was simply perfect.
Oh hello Wee Shaemus, thanks for tagging along with us too...

From March 4th until May 17th the Epcot International Flower Garden Festival is in full swing or bloom should I say? You could literally smell it in the air, and Rick didn’t fail to capture some of the most beautiful locally grown Disney Character topiaries either.
Here are a few that just seemed to come to life before our very eyes.

Hard to believe that these monorails have been around since the day one (October 1, 1971), they still look so futuristic.

Ah, Miss Piggy too!

Rain clouds looming yonder…

Oh, and we all had some St. Patrick’s Day fun at the Rose and Crown, the end of a perfect day!
Our day at Epcot was most enjoyable. There wasn’t the crowded chaos that comes with Magic Kingdom, and you could actually be an adult and have a beer with your meal! 
Don't get me wrong, I totally get why Magic Kingdom is dry, who the hell wants to have drunk and obnoxious people around all those impressionable kids? Plus we were told that it was actually Walt's dream on top of all that.
Speaking of Walt, it actually makes me a wee bit sad knowing that Walt wasn't able to see his dream of Disney World come to life. If he could only see what his dream has become today, or maybe he can? This vast property covers 43 square miles, in which it houses 27 themed resort hotels, 9 non–Disney hotels, four theme parks, two water parks, four golf courses, one nine-hole walking golf course for young golfers, two themed miniature golf courses, one camping resort which is simply awesome by the way.
 Magic Kingdom was the first and original theme park to open in the complex followed by Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom, which opened later throughout the 1980s and 1990s. When we come back, an we will, we have to get the latter two parks in.
It was fun being a kid for a day, and I have to be honest when I say it was indeed a very magical place to be.
We'll leave you with this selfie of us so you can see for yourselves the affect this magical place can have on a person...
Thanks for stopping by our blog, we really hope you enjoy it and,  hope it helps you keep tabs on us as we explore our lives while living out our retirement dream on our beautiful motor home.
We are having so much fun and really enjoying our lives, so stay tuned as we hit the road again, destination New Orleans. Take care and we’ll be back here again soon.
Rick, Sandra, Toby and Wee Shaemus xo

Disney Magic Kingdom

Hello peeps! Chillax’n reporting in after spending what will always be remembered as the week we became children again.
This will be an easy post with regards to the narrative because Disney World vacations only need to be experienced not explained. With the help of Rick’s beautiful photography, we will let his photos tell our story. We have also created two individual posts, this one entirely about Magic Kingdom and the next one about Epcot. It was our hope and intention to visit Animal Kingdom while we were there too, but it poured rain on our last day, so we will save that for another time!
The first few photos are from Disney’s Fort Wilderness, a campground and RV resort within the Magic Kingdom resort area. By far it is the best campground you will ever find anywhere in the world, yes it indeed can hold that title. People just come there to camp never mind go into any of the theme parks!
There is an insane number of things to do there, so I will provide you with this link and you’re a click away from seeing for yourself what I mean.  
Various forms of transportation are literally at your doorstep or only steps away, so put away your car keys while you're there. If you want to drive to any of the theme parks you can do that too, all parking is included in your theme park passes. Rick was totally impressed with Disney’s infrastructure; making a comment once or twice about when a park closed down and there is the mass exodus of crowds he noticed the fact that he never had to touch the brake pedal when navigating back to the campground. There is a lot to be said for that in itself!
This was our campsite for 8 awesome days.

Oh one word of advice…take a flashlight along with you at night when walking you’re dog, one never knows when there will be a hot steaming pile of horse doo doo on the street, ugh!

Even Toby had his own pet resort to go to while Mommy & Daddy went out to play. Disney Pet Care was only a few miles away from the campground, and for $32.00 per day he could be there the entire day; overnights are available too. He had his own room complete with patio, was walked 2-3 times depending on how long he was there and was provided with his own food and water.
We took the boat back and forth to Magic Kingdom each time, but opted to drive to Epcot because it was easier to drop off and pick up Toby as we passed by the Pet Care facility.

Entrance to Magic Kingdom, let the fun begin…

If you have issues with mobility issues or are just plain old tired this little train will get you around Magic Kingdom nicely, and there isn’t that long of a wait either!
 Some scenery along the tracks…





Ok, now that you have seen our day at Magic Kingdom, and of course the main man with his main squeeze, lets go to Epcot together shall we; see you there...

Monday, March 23, 2015

Destination Mile Marker Zero...

Chillax'n here checking in with y'all as we embark on another adventure...destination mile marker zero via The Florida Keys Overseas Scenic Highway aka Highway 1!
So kick off your shoes, put on lots of sunscreen and grab a cold one because we are about to hang our shingle at the Southernmost K.O.A in North America, Sugarloaf Key, Florida; which is about 15 miles north of Key West. I think we'll get a shingle made that says "Home is where we park it" soon, ha ha!

Every Key island is connected by a channel bridge or causeway,
and for each bridge you can usually find bridges for pedestrians as

These allow people to fish from them, and as the sign below indicates there are many types of fish that can be caught in the Keys.

...and they weren’t kidding either when they said you could catch a shark! This young man hooked this nurse shark one night off the boat launch at the KOA. Sorry the photo is a bit grainy, we didn't have the camera with us when we were out walking Toby that night so we used our phone camera.

There is never a dull moment in our KOA, be on your guard for one of these colourful fellas swimming beside you in the pool or lurking in a palm tree above your chair!

Of course we would be remiss not to share a photo of Wee Shaemus enjoying a cold one on the lovely beach that’s on site as well.

Ever see a Pelican tree before? Well now you have….yup we had one of those too, ha ha! There could be as many as 20 at one time in this particular tree.

There are a few State Parks that we could have stayed in whilst in the Keys, albeit if we were here later in the year that is. Unfortunately they were all sold out; Bahia Honda State Park in particular was booked up until June. It would have been cool to stay there because you actually set up house right on the beach.
Here are a few pictures from our day trip there...

The picture below are the remains of Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railway bridges. The Railway was once called “the Eighth Wonder of the World.” Life throughout the Keys changed forever when trains started running from Miami to Key West in 1912. Hurricanes in 1906, 1909, and 1910 hindered its construction, and ultimately destroyed it in 1935. You think the first three might have been a clue don't ya think?
For us, it will forever be remembered as the Cuban Interstate, bwahahahahaha!

Getting to know your way around the Keys begins with understanding the unique way distances are designated on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway. Most if not all the Keys’ residents continually refer to mile markers (MM) when giving you directions because the highway is dotted with them starting at mile marker 126 just south of Florida City, and of course ultimately ending at mile marker zero (0). Not to worry though if you get lost, none of the Keys’ islands are more than a few miles wide, so you won’t have much trouble finding the highway again.
Mile marker zero, at the junction of Fleming and Whitehead streets, marks the southern tip of
U.S. Highway 1, a full 2,390 miles from its northern terminus in Fort Kent, Maine; which is somewhere near the Canadian Border I think. It also represents the end of the line, or the furthest south you can get from the lower 48 continental states, and still be in the U.SA. That makes it way cooler than all those other miles markers out there now doesn’t it?

Some pictures from in and around Key West….first please pardon the below "drive-by" photo - too many tourists waiting to take their pictures standing by the "southernmost point buoy. You are apparently 90 miles from Cuba from this point and the southernmost point in the Continental U.S.A. when you stand in this spot.  

Nice wheels Barnacle Bill!

Some of the beautiful architecture

One of the best ways to learn 400 hundred or so years of legends and lore is to jump on board the famous Conch Tour Train. The small city that sits on this two-by-four-mile island has long been an artistic haven, a wild refuge for people of all persuasions, and the inspirational home for a league of great American writers such as Hemingway and Frost to a couple. Some of the artists went there to be literary he-men. Some went to re-create themselves. Others just went to disappear—and succeeded. No matter what inspired the trip, Key West in the seventies was the right place at the right time, where and when an astonishing collection of artists wove a web of creative inspiration. Needless to say we learned a great deal about the many writers, painters, pirates and explorers that coloured the past, not to forget the many, potheads, and guitar pickers (Jimmy Buffett) of the not so distant past in America’s southernmost city. It was spring break here and pretty much one big party central!

Of course, our token photo of the local constabulary xo

Oh that darn leprechaun is always getting into mischief!

Taking in the famous sunset celebration….as Rick said; we’ve seen many a sunset on our travels so we didn’t stay until it was gone because it was literally a zoo there.

I will leave you with our the last two photos we took before we left our home in the Keys…the first one is the last sunrise Sandra took while walking Toby up on the pedestrian bridge you saw earlier in the post.

A little KOA humour...on the way out of the park 
All and all we had a wonderful, extremely hot & humid adventure in the Keys. Totally worth the long drive from Sarasota. A must visit place for anyone who has never been there before, and one that we can now happily check off our Chillax’n bucket list.
It’s like being in the Caribbean, with its sub-tropical climate, party atmosphere and beautiful blue sea…minus leaving the continent part that is.
We are heading north now with destination-reliving our youth….where else other than that magical place, you know Walt’s place.
Thanks for stopping by, we’ll see you when were finished having fun.
Rick, Sandra, Toby and Wee Shaemus xo