Friday, February 5, 2010

My Idea of a Walt Disney World Vacation

Okay, so my favorite place to stay is Port Orleans Riverside. This is a moderately priced resort and so peaceful. You're right on a river. Sigh. The sleeping quarters are fashioned after southern plantation houses. You can take a boat ride to the sister, Port Orleans French Quarter, which is more energetic. I highly recommend you do this for some beignets. Pure heaven! Regardless where you stay on property, each resort has great restaurants and I recommend eating breakfast there. Also, for the more expensive restaurants, you're going to want to eat lunch at those, as the prices are higher at dinner time.

For general descriptions from earlier posts I have made here are a few links:
Walt Disney World, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom I'm not going to address some of the things that I already blogged about in these earlier posts, so if you're going to visit WDW soon I highly receommend reading them.

Some little known helps:
If you purchase a soft drink and spill it, then take your empty cup back up and get it refilled. They understand mishaps and will do this free of charge. This also applies to popcorn!!

If you're traveling with little ones too small to ride some of your anticipated thrill rides you can get a Child Switch Pass. this will enable a parent and guest to wait in line while the other parent waits with the little one. When the first parent exits the  attraction the other parent can ride without waiting in line all over again.

For some of the more popular attractions you can also get a Fastpass. Put your admission ticket in the slot and out pops your Fastpass. This will give you a designated time to come back and ride without waiting in the full line. Basically, it gives you "cuts". You do not have to ride between the two times given!!! You must wait until the start time, however. You can only have one pass at a time but you can get the second one after the start time listed on your first Fastpass.

If you have any dietary issues they will work with you. They also have vegetarian options even if they aren't listed on the menu!!

The best time to ride the busier attractions if you don't have a Fastpass is while a parade is going on!!

Always start at the rear of all parks and work your way forward to minimize crowds. Everyone waits in the first line they see.

Restaurants with a bit of fun can be found in all the parks! Keep in mind that reservations are required at all sit down restaurants in Hollywood Studios and most in EPCOT. I highly advise that you make these reservations before you leave on your trip. Waiting until you get there could get you into trouble if you want to enjoy these places. If you don't you'll be eating hamburgers everywhere you go.
Disney's Hollywood Studios offers some very unusual dining experiences.
 50s Prime Time Cafe: All the waitresses nametags read "Mom" and they make sure you use your best table manners! The food is tasty comfort food and they also make sure that you eat all your vegetables. Leave your sensitivity at the door and make sure you have fun with it!!! Where else can you look at the dessert menu on a View Master and watch Father Knows Best and the Mickey Mouse Club?!
Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater: Dine in a convertible while watching 50s and 60s Sci Fi movies. American food is on the menu and you eat under the night sky. Very fun atmosphere!!
The Hollywood Brown Derby: This one is a bit more pricey but you won't find this restaurant in LA anymore. For anyone who has seen the I Love Lucy with William Holden you know what this restaurant will look like!! Food is fabulous and atmosphere is more quiet and calm.

Hollywood Studios has many shows and experiences including the incomparable The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror! You gotta ride this!! Toy Story Mania is fun for adults and kids alike. It's a fabulous interactive 3D adventure! Rock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is exactly how it sounds with one crazy beginning!

EPCOT has World Showcase which is the best of all WDW, in my opinion. It's a very relaxing atmosphere and they have restaurants to indulge your tastebuds in some of the best foods from around the world. If you want to experience Oktoberfest then you have to eat at Biergarten Restaurant in the German Pavillion. The food is fabulous and the entertainment is so much fun!! For a very quiet place to eat, in my experience, go to Restaurant Marrakesh in the Morocco Pavilion. They do have live regional music and a belly dancer but it's all in good taste and the show is relatively short. A very enjoyable experience. All the food in all the pavilions is delicious but these are my favorite. Another must is to go the France Pavilion and eat pastry at the sidewalk tables. Keep in mind that all the cast members in each country are actually from that country and , yes, the reputation of the French holds true. Don't let it ruin your experience!!

As always, if anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Down the Rabbit Hole.....or not

Friday was a particularly difficult day with the boys and I just felt as though I needed a break. On Saturday my darling Dave said he'd watch the boys and I could go away for the day. So, I gathered a stack of books and magazines and started driving but had no idea where I should go. Then Vasquez Rocks came to mind. Reminded of when Jesus went to the mountains to pray, it sounded llike the perfect place. He escaped the pressing crowds for some peace and I needed the same from the daily pressures. Vasquez Rocks County Park is loaded with some pretty intriguing history, from bandits and hideouts to a highly filmed location. I decided to head the few miles down the road. I grabbed my In Touch Magazine and started walking. Of course, there are signs saying to stay on the trail but it was hard to tell what actually was the trail. Besides, paths are boring. Give me something unexplored and I'm there!! I know I ended up off the trail several times. (Oops!) I scared a rabbit out of the bushes accidentally and tried to follow but it quickly lost me. I stirred up a bevy of quail who took off in scurried flight. I climbed a few "mountains" and took some pictures that will give my sister a heart attack. I got lost once and kept the sound of the river (14 freeway) behind me knowing I would eventually end up back at the Famous Rocks. I eventually did end up there and climbed the highest one about halfway. It was very windy and my hair kept blowing in my eyes. All I needed was to fall off a cliff! So I sat there for awhile and read from my magazine. It's not a coincidence that this was one of the devotionals I read.
 Many of us have experienced times of abandonment just when we needed that other person the most. It could have been a spouse withdrawing emotionally, a co-worker who ignored us, or a close friend who seemed too busy to help. The life of the apostle Paul teaches us how not to become discouraged in these situations. Remember that the Lord is always with us. When we trust in Jesus as our personal Savior, we enter into a permanent relationship with Him, and His Spirit comes to live in us. Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus remains with us at all times, regardless of the circumstance. He is our friend—one who will never leave us. And His is the most important friendship we have. Reading our Bible will help us to remember this.
Draw on God’s strength. Through the Holy Spirit, we have access to divine power every minute of the day. When we let go of control and depend on the Lord, we will be able to draw on His strength. Then, if family or friends cause hurt, His presence will provide comfort and help us to forgive them.
Look expectantly for God’s deliverance. Paul testified that the Lord had rescued him and would continue to deliver him from every evil situation. He knew he could always trust God.
Paul faced many painful situations without the support of friends. Toward the end of his life, those who cared about him were widely scattered. Yet his attitude remained hopeful because Christ was his constant Friend. Do you know the Savior? Are you aware of His presence throughout your day? In Touch Magazine Devotional by Charles Stanley
Climbing up in my Earth Footwear made it burn all the more!! The climb down wasn't so easy in tennis shoes but then it never is. Why, oh, why do I always wear tennies when I hike?! After my hike down I went into town and did a little shopping. My sister had told me of a cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld called Deceptively Delicious. A great cookbook with ideas on how to incorporate veggies into meals and your picky eaters won't even know it! I found mine at Big Lots! for $3 and they also had it at TJ Maxx for $7. It's a must for Mamavation moms because when you don't feel like eating a plain veggies, like me, then you can add a puree to almost anything and you're still getting you're veggies without gagging!! I had a great day off and felt renewed for the week ahead. Thanks Davey!! Muah!
Click to play this Smilebox photobook: Vasquez Rocks
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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Mamavation Application

At the end of 2009 I followed along with the Mamavation Moms and lost 12 pounds! The biggest motivator for me was the support of the other moms involved and the accountability to the other moms. This is a wonderful group of women who are always there to lift you up. To quote the website, "Mamavation, brought to you by Earth Footwear & EA Sports Active, is a social experiment and weight loss campaign on Twitter. Mamavation, la play on mom and motivation, is an opportunity for two moms to change their lives and create a healthy lifestyle for their families. The Mamavation Moms will be supplied with a bonafide team of professionals. They will be challenged and encouraged for two months to make everlasting changes in their lives. And as goals are met throughout the campaign, prizes will be had.

Everyone can join the Mamavation family! You can follow along, read, witness, talk with, comment on, lose weight with, or just blog stalk the Mamavation campaign. We would love to have you along on the ride with us." Please go to for more info on how you can be involved. Part of the application process states:
"Show me that you already have support from your friends online. You will need to lean on them some days, so show me they exist and that you ALREADY have a network of friends that care about you. Have them tweet at me the following message, "Hey @bookieboo! I want @ElsklingDyr to be the next #Mamavation Mom. She has my support!" This step is important, because regardless of the outcome, EVERYONE knows you have made a step toward healthy living. Wether you make the final 5 or not, they will hold you to your pledge of wanting to live healthy."
Help me take another step toward a healthier life!!! Here is my application vlog and thank you all for your support!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Mamavation Here I Come!!

I did a video and everything today to apply for the next Mamavation campaign yet it seems I have been defeated before I even start. Despite the obstacle that may or may not lie in my path I am applying anyway. I may not win but I will have at least tried. Contrary to what is believed, excercise is what all my doctors have suggested for my problems. Whether or not I am accepted as an applicant I will forge ahead anyway. I have too often told myself I can't and others don't think I can either but I will prove all of us wrong. I CAN do this and I will. The fight might be tougher but I'm tired of being defeated at every turn. My health won't get the better of me once again. I won't let it rule me anymore!! So look for my vlog later this afternoon as I will be rerecording it!!