Disney 2004 Trip (January 13-January 17)

Okay, so YET AGAIN Christopher Arnini is the SNEAKIEST person in the world! We had made plans to take the week of Jan 9-18 th off. On Tuesday morning we packed our bags to go visit my sister in Stamford , CT for a few days (or so I thought). As we drove past the CT border and headed south on 91, we turned off an exit and few minutes later, Chris handed me an envelope and told me to open it. When I looked inside my jaw dropped. In it were two plane tickets to Florida ! “Happy Birthday, honey!” he said. As I gawked speechlessly for about 20 minutes, Chris pulled in to Bradley airport and began taking luggage out of the back seat. He had packed summer clothes and snuck them in the trunk! “What about my sister?” I asked. He of course had been planning this trip for a while and even my sis was in on it. I was so surprised I couldn’t even think straight. Chris’ Dad met us at the airport to say goodbye. It was very sweet of him. Our flight down was excellent. We flew with Southwest, and I have to say it was the smoothest, most comfortable flight I’ve ever taken. We even got to Orlando a little early. Getting off the plane was such a welcome change. In Vermont , temperatures were reaching 45 below. Here, it barely went under 70. We had sunshine every day and couldn’t get enough of it. Chris had reserved a hotel room for us at the Lake Buena Vista Resort owned by Best Western, which was conveniently close to everything so we didn’t even need to rent a car. We just walked everywhere in the sun together (ah.). We had so much fun on our trip. The first night we walked to downtown Disney for our beloved Ghirardelli iced mochas. They are to die for. The next day we had breakfast at the hotel, which was mediocre. At least they served lots of fresh fruit and had make your own mickey waffles (hee hee), but the rest left something to be desired. We spent the day walking around town and looking at shops. Anyone who knows our favorite cheap place to eat knows we love Wendy’s! We always go there to order Frosties, baked potatoes and side salads (the only vegetarian choice!). So, silly us, we had a craving that afternoon for Wendy’s. Little did we know the nearest one was about 4 miles away. By chance we were walking around and saw the sign far in the distance-so we made the trek over there! I know it’s pretty pathetic, but we had to have our Frosties. At least we had a good walk and earned them.We had lots of fun bus hopping to different Disney resorts to see what they were like. Our definite favorites so far have been Coronado Springs (we had some great drinks there and it’s so beautiful to walk there at night, like being in the Southwest), Wilderness Lodge (there is a river running through the middle of the lobby!), and Caribbean Beach (it reminded us of St.John’s a little). We also checked out the new Pop Century resort and were impressed! There are five different “decades” that people can stay at (50’s through the 90’s) and at each of those decades where nostalgic items like statues of old toys, popular albums and sayings of the time, and fun facts about the era. It was very cute. We also went back to the resort we stayed at the first time we went to Disney-the All Star Movie resort-and got cherry cokes to walk around with and reminisce.

Thursday was the best day of all. We went to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot for my birthday, just like we did 2 years ago (Wow! Can’t believe how time has flown.). Of course we had to ride our favorite rides a few times in a row. We’re suckers for the Haunted Mansion (oooh-scary!) and the Pirates of the Caribbean (Chris was a pirate in a past life-arrggh! “Dead men tell no tales.”). Chris bought himself another pirate hat and we even got our pics taken with Captain Hook! When Chris went to go to the bathroom later on in the day, Captain Hook found me and put his arms around me. When Chris came back Captain Hook got jealous and shook his hook at him! It was so cute.

We took the monorail over to Epcot later on in the day, and went on Spaceship Earth twice (one of our favorite Epcot rides, we went at least 5 times the last time we went!), Test Track (yaaaaaaah!!!!), and Ellen’s Energy Adventure (with Ellen Degeneres, it’s very funny). We wandered over to the World Showcase to go to Morocco where they have a great veggie platter and Tangerine tropical drinks.

We basically tried to relive that wonderful day 2 years ago.

We spotted Victoria Gardens , the wonderful place where Chris proposed. Being back there I remembered how I felt that day, and it brought tears to my eyes. We sat down on a bench by the waterfall. Chris went down on one knee like he had done on that day, and said “Kathleen, you know I love you.will you marry me? You don’t have to say yes”. He said he was so nervous that day that he said that last part just in case. I felt like we got engaged all over again. I’m so glad we took pictures this time because that place is often in my mind, I was so happy to see it again!

Chris’ surprise made my birthday so magical. The rest of the evening we had fun wandering around the World Showcase, riding the Mexican Boat ride, El Rio del Tiempo (“hola me amigos, it’s fiesta time for you.la la la la la” (that song will not leave your head!), visiting Norway (“you are not de first to pass this vay.”),eating dinner at the same place we did when he proposed, having crepes in France, shopping for cheap things in China, and drinking Viking coffees (which really is just a bunch of liquors with a splash of coffee for flavor) as the Epcot fireworks dazzled the sky. Wonderful didn’t even begin to explain it.

The rest of the vacation flew by, as vacations always do. We had some funny adventures. First was my sprained foot. I’m not sure what I did to my foot but I had to limp practically everywhere we went for a couple days, and I looked like an old lady. Chris had to put his arms around me to help me stay up! Next was people watching. We met some.um, interesting.folks out there. We spotted several mullet heads, tried as best we could to dodge bands of screaming cheerleaders (they were there for a competition on the day we left-thank goodness we left when we did!), and encountered a waitress at a breakfast place with quite a few missing teeth. We of course had to visit several cheap discount stores while we were there (you know , the “10 t-shirts for 5 dollars” places) just for amusement. Then of course there was the liquor store/Italian restaurant, the name says it all.

One Indian restaurant, India Palace , had become a favorite of ours on our last visit. We of course had to visit it several times for the lunch buffet! They are so nice there and the food is inexpensive and amazing. We were very entertained by the owner’s grandaugher, an adorable little girl named “Ashi” who took a liking to us. She was our little hostess, showing us toys and asking us to play with her. She spoke two Indian dialects as well as English, but her 3 year old mind couldn’t tell that we didn’t know Indian, so she would often say things in another language to us! She made us laugh, and we miss her!

Going back home was of course depressing, but I have so many happy memories of going there. I still can’t believe we went! I had no idea!

I can’t even explain how it felt to be back there. I was so happy I felt like my heart could have burst. Christopher is the best, sneakiest hubby there is, and I love him so!! Now it’s MY turn to surprise HIM.