Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Best Thing

Oh, I have been so, so, SO busy!! You should SEE my house! Well, no you shouldn't. Okay, it's really not too bad, because both Paul and I are neatnicks, but this constant going for this girl who really likes to be at home, is starting to show. I suppose I can understand that if you were a two-income household you may want to have a person come in to clean your house, because when one is constantly going, it seems like it's just go and drop [stuff] and go some more. I, for one, am thrilled to be a one-income household and that I can stay home and tend to my little world. But when circumstances prevent me from doing that, it really shows.

We were blessed to have my brother-in-law and his family staying nearby at my mother-in-law's house for three weeks. I've posted here and at the old blog about some of our adventures. And Lena, when you read this: 1) you should comment and say hello when you do!! :) and 2) I miss you already. I had a great time with you this year and wish you all didn't live so far away... oh, and 3) the house next door is still for sale. :)

So, anyway, we were doing a lot of fun things with them and then this past weekend, my mother treated us to a trip to Disney World's Animal Kingdom and Epcot.

I kind of have a wet-blanket attitude about Disney, in general, with all the consumption that goes on there, so I'll spare you my tirade. I hope I didn't include too many pictures here, but I just wanted to show some of the things we saw. I also spoke to one of the "Cast Members" (as the staff is called) about her working life at Disney World and I learned some interesting things. So, hopefully, this post won't bore you to tears like a family vacation slide show.
Above is the cool dragon in the pool at our Port Orleans French Quarter hotel. The head, which you can't see very well, is a water slide and the girls spent all their time - and I mean all their time dong that when they were in the pool.
We arrived Friday night and so we headed to Downtown Disney, since we'd never been there before and just to stroll around. A ferry took us up the river to DD. Here I am with my sweetie pie.

Factoid: Did you know that Disney World employs 55,000 people?! That's right, thousand. That is truly incredible to me.

Once we were in the heart of the beast... um, er, I mean, Downtown Disney (hee, hee), we stopped by at the Lego store. This display was an entire wall (this photo is only a small portion) behind the cash registers. I thought it was really cool.

Below is the giant Lego dragon in the lake outside the store in DD.
The next day we went to Animal Kingdom. The consensus was that the new Mt. Everest rollercoaster was the coolest attraction there. Now, I love rollercoasters. But folks, going backwards... in the dark... was enough for me one time. I wasn't scared, but I have found that not being able to see where I am going, and being tossed all around, makes my stomach do the same thing, so it was a one-time-only ride for me.
Despite their enormous staff, DW is short 3,000 to 5,000 cast members every day.
I long to travel to some of these places for real one day, but Disney does a pretty nice job of making places look quite enchanting. Here is my mom and Maia along one of the animal trails among the "ruins in Asia."
A huge, totally cool fruit bat stirs and stretches and moves along the rope to feed on fruit and lettuce hanging among "Tibetan prayer flags." We were lucky enought to be there around 4:30 p.m. when they were beginning to stir from their daytime naps.

Just some more cool animals from the "safari."

Every day DW sends leftover food to surrounding homeless shelters in the Orlando area.

Last year DW Animal Kingdom was able to release two baby white rhinos into a preserve in Africa where they have become endangered.
Here is my family heading down the "French Quarter" back to our hotel room.

So, the best thing. This is so funny to me and just tells you what kind of a person I am. While truly thankful to my mom for this trip and the time I spent with my family and the fun rides we enjoyed, what really thrills me is this:

I have been irked living here that we are not allowed to have clotheslines because of some ridiculous deed restrictions. Here we are in Florida, the Sunshine State, and we're not supposed to hang out our clothes. Now that I'm not attending choir on Tuesday nights (when our association meetings take place), I was collecting information two nights ago - facts and figures to plead my case to allow these again. I was going to cite climate change, economic benefits, the great concern for living greener lives, etc., when I came upon a great website. I found out there that as of 2006, there is state legislation that allows all FL residents to have clotheslines (as well as the ability to install solar panels) regardless of any previously existing deed restrictions, covenants, etc. THRILLED I tell you! I am PSYCHED! I hope to shop for my new, retractable clothesline this weekend! Woo Hoo! Can you hear me yell?! Mt. Everest, eat your heart out!
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