Back from our Disney Vacation – How Irma Blew Into Our Honeymoon

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How Irma Blew Into our Disney Vacation
How Irma Blew Into our Disney Vacation

So, I just wanted to give our readers a personal thank you for your patience with my patently disorganized behavior over the last month.  I’ve had a hard time getting back on schedule after our recent Disney vacation.

This vacation served as our honeymoon since we never really had one when we married in 2008.  We combined families and had already flown from Minnesota to Florida so that we could get married surrounded by our families. That left little time for a honeymoon afterward.  So, since I love Disney so much and David had never experienced Epcot Food and Wine Festival, we decided to go there.

A Little History about Our Disney Vacation

About a year before our vacation, we started a savings fund explicitly for the occasion – and we booked our trip for September 4-10, 2017. We purchased the works – hotel reservations, dining reservations, special events, and plane tickets! However, as time grew near, David realized he had extra unused vacation time that would expire before the end of the year. So, he wanted to go a few days early. We rescheduled our plane tickets, bought a few more days at Disney, and scheduled a different hotel for a few days since Disney had no vacancies. Since we had two extra days, we got to see all four parks!

Our Disney Trip

We visited Disney Studios on our first day and had a wonderful time. The highlight – we enjoyed a delicious meal at the Brown Derby – where they decorated our table and surprised us for our honeymoon. They even gave us a free champagne mini!  I think my favorite at the MGM Studios is the Star Wars stuff. We both thrive on sci-fi.  I even got to meet BB – the cutest Star Wars hero since R2D2! Although I also loved the Indiana Jones and Beauty and the Beast live actions.  We ended the night watching Fantasmic!

Disney Studios – formerly MGM Studios

Magic Kingdom

The Magic Kingdom, as always, was magical.  The Haunted Mansion is a mainstay highlight for us both. We didn’t stick around for the closing show fireworks, though.

Animal Kingdom

One of my two favorite parks at Disney! Thanks to our Disney vacation trip extension, we enjoyed two days at both Epcot and Animal Kingdom. David danced with Daisy Duck at Tusker House. We enjoyed the new Pandora world. But the two highlights for this – David surprised me with a “Savor the Savannah” experience. It’s a twilight ride through the Savannah. You get to meet the animal handlers, followed by a romantic dinner in the middle of the Savannah surrounded by the animals. One of the other couples on the experience got engaged! The food – the wine – the sunset. His timely proposal was romantic.

Proceeds benefit African wildlife conservation projects. We had front row seats for the River of Lights closing show – an amazing experience, indeed!

And David Danced with another woman

Well… if you consider Daisy Duck a woman. Technically, she’s a female duck. So, she’s a hen. The characters were more enjoyable than the dining at Tusker House. But isn’t his joy just delightful?

David Dances with Another Gal

Characters made their rounds at this Tusker House Animal Kingdom restaurant. It just wasn’t complete without a dance.

Posted by Alicia Taylor on Monday, September 18, 2017

Epcot

We planned our Disney vacation over a year in advance because we couldn’t wait to see Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival. While we enjoyed it, the festival didn’t take the starring role. I believe that’s because Savor the Savannah overshadowed the event. I want to make a trip back just for Savor the Savannah.

And then there was Irma

Hurricane Irma being unpredicatble
Hurricane Irma being unpredictable

When we booked our vacation a year prior, it was too early to anticipate a hurricane. Besides, native Floridians know the only thing forecastable about a hurricane is its unpredictability.  When we left on September 2nd, meteorologists weren’t even sure if the massive ball of wind would hit the US or not.  (I point this out because, while trapped in our hotel room, an unusually insensitive blogger Facebook friend indicated that I should have known better than to plan a vacation during a hurricane.)

With concern, we watched the storm’s path solidify.  Earliest predictions (around September 5th) forecast Hurricane Irma’s initial US introduction at Pensacola – our hometown.  We remained in constant contact with family back home, ensuring our adult sons took our cats when they evacuated with my parents. My nephew and his wife planned to get our home hurricane ready for us. We were already evacuated, and everyone else had everything under control so David and I could enjoy our honeymoon. Can I just say how thankful I am for a family like this?

But then she changed directions!

Then, Irma turned, painting a bull’s eye on southern Florida – probably Miami. And, then, the airports closed the day before we planned to return home. Thankfully, Disney said we could stay in our room for the extra days. Orlando expected to get category one wind speeds (74-95mph). Since our hotel room opened to an exterior parking lot rather than an interior hallway, David and I were verifiably trapped in our hotel room for two days with no microwave and only a minifridge. But that was more of a highlight than a complaint ;).   We used the remaining Disney dining points to stock our tiny fridge with food that didn’t require re-heating. Eventually, the storm did not turn as much as expected and came ashore just south of Naples after devastating the keys.

The airports remained closed the next two days, so we had to rent a car and drive home. Since everyone else had the same idea, we ended up with one of the last available vehicles in Orlando – an SUV – for just the two of us. The trip home was uneventful, but gas shortages abounded. Traffic heading north stayed light, but south- and westbound interstate paths were virtual parking lots.

So…That’s the Story

Thanks for your patience while I try to get back on my feet. After this trip, we took a trip to Missouri the very next week. I’ve been a little overwhelmed. While we enjoyed both trips, I’m glad to be back home. We did cancel our Halloween party, sadly. But I need some time to stabilize a bit. I hope you enjoy all the photos and the rare glimpse into our personal world.

The Challenge Accepted

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once, and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words were:

ghost ~ haunted ~ police ~ force ~ boo
They were submitted by Baking in a Tornado

Here are the links to the other blogs in this challenge:

  1. Baking in a Tornado
  2. Cognitive Script
  3. Blogging 911
  4. Sparkly Poetic Weirdo
  5. On the Border
  6. The Bergham Chronicles
  7. Southern Belle Charm
  8. Bookworm in the Kitchen
  9. Climaxed
How Irma Blew into Our Disney vacation
How Irma Blew into Our Disney vacation
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Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.


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Alicia Taylor

Happily married to the love of my life. It's just us, our 5 cats, and our beautiful woods. I'm loving living back in the Florida panhandle being close to family. I love cooking, living a healthy lifestyle, taking care of our cozy home, and trying new things.

We enjoy hosting parties and my husband and I are both avid gamers. You can find me on PS4 as SunshineFlaGirl. We also play tabletop RPGs and eurogames.

25 Comments

  • brandidcrawfordgmailcom

    October 22, 2017 - 11:01 am

    Wow I hate that Irma had to come into your vacation. I’m so glad you are ok though.

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 23, 2017 - 9:22 am

      It wasn’t that bad 🙂 At least we spontaneously extended the vacation by 2 days before we left so we didn’t lose any park time. All-in-all, we had a fabulous trip.

  • Sissy Johnson

    October 19, 2017 - 3:22 pm

    Glad yall had fun and glad yall made it home safely from Irma. I’ll have to check out Gas Buddy – it seems like it really came in handy.

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 20, 2017 - 3:11 pm

      It did. Most gas stations were completely out of gas – and we were getting dangerously low. I heard it advertised on the Radio. If I didn’t have it, we probably would have ran out of gas.

  • Louise x (@withlovefromlou)

    October 19, 2017 - 4:54 am

    It looks like you had a fantastic trip, despite everything. I’m so glad you guys got home safely. We were watching Irma on the news here in the UK and it looked super scary!

    Louise x

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 20, 2017 - 3:12 pm

      I try to avoid the news because they always make things seem worse than they are – but this one was pretty bad for the islands and Naples. Thankfully, it missed us for the most part and we were able to get home safely.

  • andawnn

    October 18, 2017 - 9:15 pm

    It looks like you had an amazing trip in spite of the hurricane! I loved seeing all your photos! So magical!

  • Dena Scroggins (@flfostermom)

    October 18, 2017 - 7:33 pm

    Looks like you still had fun despite Irma’s best efforts to ruin your vacation. Glad the old windbag is gone. She left us with no electricity for a couple of days.

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 20, 2017 - 3:13 pm

      I hope things are getting back to normal for you, now. I’m from Florida (born and raised), so I know the havoc they can cause.

  • Ashley (@AshBG)

    October 18, 2017 - 6:48 pm

    What a bummer about your Halloween party… glad you two still had a nice vacation!!

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 20, 2017 - 3:14 pm

      I’ll survive without the party. We are going to the American Legion for their party this year. Lots of bonuses with that – for starters, it’s an older crowd, so it’s low-key. It’s not at our house – so we can leave if I need to. It’s the first time in 10 years.

  • Nicole Aguilar

    October 18, 2017 - 6:36 pm

    Looks like you still had fun, despite the hurricane! The Savannah thing looked amazing. Wine and fish. done and done!

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 20, 2017 - 3:15 pm

      It was romantic and amazing and I would do it all over again! I melted when that guy proposed.

  • irishred13

    October 18, 2017 - 6:35 pm

    If I had to be stuck in a hurricane, Disney is where I would want to be. I’m glad you had a great time on your honeymoon!

  • reesann723

    October 18, 2017 - 5:52 pm

    You mustve been exhausted after 2 back to back trips! It must have been chaos though while the storm came through.

  • Milena Barrett

    October 18, 2017 - 5:41 pm

    I was following along with you on your trip! I am so glad that you were able to have a good time despite the hurricane. Plus, the hurricane makes for a great story!

  • ashley

    October 18, 2017 - 11:09 am

    oh no! our vacation got cancelled too due to Irma but I am so glad you guys made the best of it! I guess that’s the only thing we can do when mother nature strikes!

  • minlang01

    October 15, 2017 - 8:22 am

    So glad you finally got a honeymoon! Still waiting on mine……I miss Florida, but not the hurricanes

  • dltolley

    October 13, 2017 - 1:51 pm

    Wonderful honeymoon! I’m so glad you didn’t let Irma spoil your fun! She wasn’t invited anyways . . .

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 15, 2017 - 7:45 pm

      No! She wasn’t! LOL. We tried to push her away, but it didn’t work.

  • bakinginatornado

    October 13, 2017 - 10:21 am

    Love all of these pics, no question you had a great time despite Irma. I actually think it’s a great idea to wait for a honeymoon. The wedding is so much excitement, with a delayed honeymoon you can enjoy all of the excitement of the wedding, then have the future honeymoon to look forward to.

  • David T.

    October 13, 2017 - 9:33 am

    As long as it is with you, sweet-love, I would do it all over again!

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 13, 2017 - 11:47 am

      I would too! I had a wonderful time 🙂

  • Angela

    October 12, 2017 - 8:48 pm

    I am so glad y’all enjoyed your trip. Looks like even with the storm y’all had a wonderful honeymoon!
    I will have to try the trip buddy next time we are off about and about. I had never heard of it – what a great thing to have in such a situation

    • Alicia Taylor

      October 13, 2017 - 11:50 am

      Yeah – it’s Gas Buddy. It’s a pretty cool app. It came in handy when no gas stations had gas – this one let me know which ones still did. It saved us a lot of time. We did have a wonderfully fun trip, too!

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