Director Jewels: January 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

vacation - day 4.

The final morning of the cruise (Sunday, January 17), we had to be off the ship by 9am. So much for sleeping in (like you're supposed to do on vacation, right?!)... Mickey wished us well as we headed off.


Last view of our ship. Until next time, Disney Cruise Line!


We spent $150 (+tip) on a taxi ride from the port to our hotel in Orlando. We have since decided that next time we visit the area, we will be taking our own vehicle.


We arrived at our hotel and learned that the shuttle that we thought could take us to Universal Studios...only ran once a day. So, we walked the .97 mile to get there.


We started off at Universal's Islands of Adventure. They had several different "worlds" to visit, with appropriate epic music playing in each land. It put our own KC Worlds of Fun to shame.


Possibly the coolest ride ever, The Amazing Adventures of Spider-man is a 3D experience type ride that makes you feel as though you are careening down the city streets, being tossed around by some major villains, and getting swung through the skyscrapers on Spidey's web. It was awesome. We rode it twice.


Character photo opportunities abound, and we stopped by to visit Popeye and Olive Oyl.


Ominous clouds hang over the Dudley Do-Right Falls. We skipped over this ride at first, but came back to it later.


The next world we encountered was Jurassic Park. There are a lot of these photo spots in this area! Look at my sweet hubby toting around the camera bag for me. :)


This is what you look like after taking a trip on the Jurassic Park raft ride AND the Dudley Do-Right Falls. It was only about 65-70 degrees...so we were pretty cold!


Sad, sad, sad day. The Harry Potter world is in the process of being created. Here's what we could see of Hogsmeade. This world opens in May - just a few months from now. We were pretty bummed that we were so close, yet we didn't get to visit the world.


Here, we illustrate our disappointment.


In Seuss Landing, I got to meet lots of favorite old friends!! They were everywhere...we just had to wait in some short lines to get photos with them all.


The Grinch.


Sam I Am had no one in his line. I felt badly for the guy. I mean, really, without him, what use have we for Green Eggs and Ham?!


Thing 2 definitely stole my sunglasses off my face. They're balanced on his nose. Those crazy Things...


The Caro-Seuss-el was topped with Horton and surrounded by Truffula Trees.


The Circus McGurkus Cafe. We didn't eat here, as it was just amusement park food, but it looked really cool - inside and out!


Having fun. :)


We actually left the park for lunch...we went out into Universal's Citywalk area and had Moe's - Andrew's favorite.


When we got back to the park, we went back to the fantastic Seuss world to ride The Cat in the Hat, see McElligot's Pool, and more.


It's my store!! I was pretty disappointed, though. I asked the lady inside the store if they had any Gertrude McFuzz merchandise - and she said they did not have anything that even mentioned poor Miss McFuzz. Seriously. Gertrude is so overlooked. It's a tragedy.


We were able to catch a glimpse of Harry Potter's world through a knothole in a giant fence. I'm so excited about this place. We're hoping to go back sometime to visit once it's open...but who knows how long it might be until that happens.


Hogwarts from afar.


Modified teacup ride - superhero style!


To make a really long horrible transportation story short, we never found the shuttle back to the hotel and after walking there, ended up waiting another hour for a trolley that was supposed to run continuously to take us to dinner. Cedric wanted a photo. It was cold and I was wearing flip-flops, because, hello, it's Florida! The trolley eventually came...at which point we actually had to chase it down. Yeah.


We had dinner at Bahama Breeze. I'm not sure it was quite worth the effort we put forth to get there...but it was nice. After dinner, we again had to flag down the trolley to get back to the hotel. And then we had neighbors who spoke loudly in Chinese until about 2am. What a fantastic night!


All in all, the lesson we learned? Just take a car. Really.
Day 5 coming soon!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

vacation - day 3.

Saturday (January 16) dawned beautiful and balmy. We had already docked at Disney's Castaway Cay when we woke up. Talk about an island paradise!



After breakfast at Parrot Cay restauarant, we headed out to explore the island. Stopped for a photo with the Flying Dutchman in the background. Apparently sometimes Jack Sparrow wanders the ship, but we were never around when this happened.


We walked a really really really long way to the adults-only beach, Serenity Bay. The ocean was really cold at 10am, so we mostly just hung out in the beach chairs and soaked up some sun. I've never been one to just lie in the sun (mostly because, hello, when is there time for something like this??), but hey. If I lived in the Bahamas, I think it could become a serious addiction.


Pretty island flowers. I miss spring and summer.


We left Serenity Bay because we realized we'd forgotten to bring along our excursion tickets, so we had to go all the way back to the ship. We took the tram instead of walking. :) After retrieving the tickets, we headed back to the island and came across this epic Crab Race. It was about as exciting as you can imagine 4 crabs crawling toward opposite corners of a circle might be.


Since we had our tickets, we got to rent inner tubes and float around for awhile - not as fun as it might have been since we were too lazy to walk all the way back out to Serenity Bay and we ended up on the normal beach with tons of other people. And it was windy, so we kept getting blown into the rope barriers, or the beach.
Anyway, after we'd had our fun with the tubes, we moved on to Disney's snorkel lagoon. Once you got out past where the kids had been kicking up all the sand, it was fun! Disney made it kind of like a scavenger hunt by sinking some ships and other things in the water for you to find while snorkeling.


It was like a treasure hunt. :)


All the fish seemed to be swarming around Mickey.


The snorkel lagoon was huge. This is the view looking back at the beach, after we swam almost to the edge of the lagoon.


After snorkeling, we were pretty tired so we found a nice hammock and just relaxed in the sun for just a little while, before we had to head back to the ship.


Our good friend Cedric was also in the Bahamas, and he was a bit miffed at us for not taking any pictures prior to now.


Sunset over the ocean, back onboard the Wonder.


There's always a random friendly passerby to take your photo when you cruise with Disney. :)


Me in a fabulous SUMMER dress in January. ha!


What Disney trip would be complete without a photo with these guys?


The evening show was called Disney Dreams and it's an award-winning show (best cruise entertainment or something like that). It's the story of a little girl who has to believe in her dreams, or she'll grow up. Or something like that. Anyway, you can guess who comes to visit her - Peter Pan!


While she's learning to believe, lots of friends show up. Like Aladdin and his grand parade.


And Cinderella. The set was really cool, since it could accomodate so many different stories and still look magical and perfect.


Grand finale picture. Beauty and the Beast was also featured in this show - beautiful - but was followed by Hakuna Matata. Really? I think that was a poor choice on someone's part. Oh well.


We found these glasses in the gift shop - they match the plain set I have in my kitchen cabinet, but I couldn't justify $10 a glass when I wanted scrapbooks and other souvenirs too. So a photo will have to suffice.


We met the ship's Captain Gus and he signed an ornament that we purchased. Not sure who was driving the ship while he was hanging out in the gift shop. :)


A photo enthusiast noticed us taking photos in one of these windows and insisted on taking the camera and experimenting until she got this really cool shot. I love people like that.


This is painted on the wall behind the clear elevators so you can see it on your way up. I was definitely lying on the floor to get this shot. Does that mean I'm a real photographer now? :p


Day 4 coming soon!
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