Bryan & Liz's Photos: Blog http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Bryan & Liz's Photos (Bryan & Liz's Photos) Tue, 03 Apr 2018 08:24:00 GMT Tue, 03 Apr 2018 08:24:00 GMT http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/img/s/v-5/u22122777-o269703021-50.jpg Bryan & Liz's Photos: Blog http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog 120 90 March 2018 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/march-2018 I had to work the first Sunday (4th) this month which put me working 4 twelve hour shifts.  It wasn't that big of a deal because I use to do that at UF and I was off for 5 days.  I didn't plan much for the week because I knew working the extra shift was going to make me extra tired.  Tuesday's (6th) date day we just went to the Florida Mall and had dinner at Shake Shack.  We have been wanting to try it because it reminds us of M Shack in Jacksonville but unfortunately it was no where near as good.  Oh well, at least we can say that we tried it.  Wednesday (7th) Bryan had an ultrasound scheduled so we spent most of the afternoon at the hospital.  He had a neck ultrasound to see if any of his thyroid is still there.  Friday (9th) I had a sleep conference in Melbourne that our hospital hosts.  It was only half a day and the speakers were really good.  After the conference our department went to Longhorn for lunch.

On the 13th we went to Epcot.  Right now the Flower and Garden Festival is in full swing.  I have always wanted to see this festival and it did not disappoint. We got to Epcot late; around 1530 so I knew we weren't going to have time to see everything so we just took our time.  First thing I did though was pick up one of two passholder magnets.   Mickey magnetMickey magnet

Then we walked around and enjoyed the topiaries.

Festival Blooms & Floating GardensFestival Blooms & Floating Gardens

We also met Alice at the English garden.

Just like the food & wine festival there are special food stands.  We tried a few dishes.  This is burnt ends pork belly slider.

Beef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly SliderBeef Brisket Burnt Ends and Smoked Pork Belly Slider We also enjoyed the pork slider, shrimp & grits, and scallops.  I don't eat scallops so I enjoyed the canadian cheddar soup from Refreshment Port.

We had a fastpass for Test Track at the end of the evening.  But it was extra magic hours so after we rode TT we walked around World of Showcase one more time and took night pictures of the topiaries.  

Anna & ElsaAnna & Elsa Beauty and the BeastBeauty and the Beast

There were a few that we missed but we'll catch those when we go back next month.

On the 20th we went to Magic Kingdom for our much anticipated lunch at Be Our Guest!!  I was so excited.  The weather was suppose to be terrible but we only had plans to eat, ride Pirates, then leave.  While walking to BOG we stopped and had pictures.  I love this one that the photographer did.  It's suppose to look like a selfie.

We got to the restaurant and for lunch it's more like a quick service.  We ordered at a kiosk then found a table.  There are three themed rooms; the ballroom, west wing, and Beasts room.  

Be Our Guest LunchBe Our Guest Lunch ballroomballroom

We ate in the west wing mainly because there were more seating available.  

Bryan ordered the Croque Monsieur with french onion soup and I ordered the french dip with the master's cupcake.  They forgot to bring out Bryan's soup and for his wait they also brought him the masters cupcake.  

All in all the ambience was great.  We really felt like we were eating in the Beast's castle.  The food was good but not fantastic.  It was just sandwiches.  I would love to try dinner there but it is so hard to get reservations.  

While inside eating a bad storm came up. It was raining when we headed over to Pirates of the Caribbean.  Also much of the walkways had standing water.  We mainly wanted to ride Pirates because they had just opened back up with the new auction scene.  I think they did a nice job.

After pirates we decided to leave.  The weather wasn't great and it had turned off a little chilly.  We decided to head over to a new neighborhood that we found on the Realtor website.  The houses looked nice and we were interested in one in particular.  We toured both models and then looked at the one that we liked online.  We really fell in love with the floorplan.  The neighborhood is new and only 5 houses out of the 48 have been built so we'll keep an eye out on it.  The agent we met also wants to be our agent.  She seemed nice and I think she'll be able to help us. This house was in Kissimmee and I would like to look at a few more before making any decisions.  I would also like to look in Saint Cloud.

The last Tuesday of the month we decided to go to Universal's CityWalk.  We got our BOGO tickets from AT&T for Black Panther.  We also wanted to eat at The Toothsome Chocolate Emporium.  When we got to CityWalk it was so crowded.  We had completely forgotten that it was spring break.  It was miserable.  We ended up not being able to eat at TCE because it was an 80 minute wait and we were afraid that we would miss the movie.  So we were able to get into Margaritaville pretty quick.  Bryan said his burger was good but my club sandwich was mediocre.  The service was very slow. I have not been impressed with this restaurant when we go.

The movie was really good.  It was a little more crowded in the theater than we liked and I was quite shocked when someone brought their newborn baby into a 2230 movie.  I swear young parents have absolutely no sense at all.  Its a good thing they sat all the way in the back cause I would not have dealt with a disruption.  

Black Panther movie poster lit upBlack Panther movie poster lit up

That's it for March!  

 

 

 

 

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disney world epcot flower and garden festival magic kingdom universal citywalk universal orlando http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/3/march-2018 Sat, 31 Mar 2018 08:30:00 GMT
February 2018 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/february-2018 February started off with the decision to get annual passes to SeaWorld!  They were running a special that included Aquatica free for one year.  We missed that water park when we vacationed with SeaWorld in 2015.  So we are really looking forward to going when the weather stabilizes.  We are already getting into the 80s during the day so I think by next month it'll be okay to go.  Next we are hoping to get Universal annual passes.  I figure if we get all of these annual passes it'll free up Disney Cruising every year or a trip to Disneyland or Las Vegas or wherever else we want to go.  :o)

Our first date day of February was Animal Kingdom.  We had a really fun day.  We met Pocahontas.

We did a few magic shots.

We split a chicken bowl at Sa'tuli and shared a night blossom.  We rode Primeval Whirl, Na'vi River Journey, and Expedition Everest twice.  We had fast passes to River of Light.  We were third row from the front and had an excellent view.  I managed to record the whole thing.  It was a great show!  We really enjoyed it.  

After the show the park was closing in about 20 minutes but we really wanted to ride Everest at night.  We had heard it was amazing after dark.  And boy was it!  It felt like a completely different ride.  They didn't add any lights to the track outside.  It was awesome! After we left the park we headed over to Disney Springs.  We ate dinner at Blaze Pizza.  We had a BOGO coupon.  We each got our own pizza and it was so good!  Bryan said he thinks we found a new fav!  

Bryan enjoying his pizzaBryan enjoying his pizza I also picked up my Star Wars annual passholder shirt that was released for Galaxy's Edge.  It's a really pretty shirt.

Sunday the 11th we were invited by one of Bryan's co workers to get together at The Firkin & Kegler Family Entertainment Center for bowling.  We were celebrating his graduation from X-ray school.  It ended up being Bryan, me, and 3 of his co workers.  We really had a good time.  We bowled 2 games and of course I came in last.

Valentines Day ended up being really fun.  We went to SeaWorld to pick up our annual passes.  

FEBRUARY- SeaWorldFEBRUARY- SeaWorld

The park was not busy at all.  We rode Manta three times back to back with no wait.  We walked around the park.  We saw the dolphins, manatee, sharks.  We rode Empire of the Penguin and then saw the penguins.  It is so cold in there.  

We got to see the newest coaster Mako but didn't get to ride it.  We got to the park kind of late so we only had a few hours.  Before we left we bought two caramel apples to enjoy.  All in all we really had a good time and I think we are going to really enjoy our passes there.  For dinner went over to Red Robin to use a gift card.  After dinner we came home and started American Horror Story Asylum.  We had finished first season and it was so good.

Valentine's Day also coincided with Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent.  I decided to give up Facebook.  I have not participated in Lent since college but I felt a pull to do it this year.  I feel like I have a very unhealthy addiction to it and needed to break away.  I am one of these people who checks in at every restaurant, place, etc.  I know Facebook is each individual person's own thing and you can post whatever you want but I feel like I was being too open.  I feel like I have a few IRL friends on there but for the most part the others are just people I use to know.  They don't need to know everything that I am doing.  So we'll see how this goes for the next month and a half.  Honestly I doubt anyone will even notice that I have disappeared.

Disney finally announced that tickets were on sale for Star Wars Galactic Nights at Hollywood Studios.  I purchased tickets and I am so excited.  I can't wait to see all of the characters and shows.  

Our next Tuesday date day we went to Hollywood Studios.  It was such a good day.  We got some really neat photo ops.  We finally had our picture taken with a Stormtrooper. 

Version 2Version 2 He really liked my shirt and thanked me for supporting the first order!  We also had our picture taken with Kylo Ren and BB8.  BB8 did not like my shirt!

We rode Star Tours and Aerosmith Rock n Roller Coaster.  We saw the preview for A Wrinkle in Time which looks really good also got to see the Oscar that is on display.  We enjoyed a Starbucks.  We walked around Toy Story to see the progress but they have it behind a pretty secure wall.  We made our way around to where Galaxy's Edge will be and surprisingly they were taking pictures and the entrance is up.

I know it will be insanely busy but can't wait for this part of the park to open.

One thing I am really proud of myself on is that I conquered my fear of Tower of Terror.  And I finally got a smiling picture!  I don't know if I am just getting use to it but this time it was fun.  I got tickled that my bag kept trying to fly up and I think that calmed my nerves.  Anyhow when we got off we rode it again!

After we left HS we had dinner at Olive Garden.  HS isn't one of our favorite parks to eat in so we try to go elsewhere.

The last week of the month we did a little more running around that we usually do.  On Monday we went to Sanford to the mall.  We ended up finding a wine store there and the sales lady did a tasting with us.  We found some really good fruit wines.  We ended up with 6 bottles.

On Tuesday I had a department meeting for work.  I have always felt good about where I work but after this meeting I don't feel that way much anymore.  Some things were said during the meeting that were directed straight towards me and I felt almost attacked.  I am not saying that I cannot accept constructed criticism but being told if you can't do this this or this then you don't need to be here seems a little threatening to me.  I will give it some time and if I still don't feel good I'll start looking for another job.  I took Bryan with me to the meeting but he stayed down the hall and they weren't very welcoming to him either.  I was quite shocked because I have always felt that they liked me.  Maybe they really don't....hmmmm.  That all kind of set the tone for the rest of the night.  I had some anxiety.

On Wednesday Bryan had a doctors appointment with his new doctor.  We really like her.  She ordered his labs and an ultrasound to see if his thyroid is still some active.  That could be contributing to his fluctuating levels.  Hopefully he can get that done next week.  After his appointment we spent the evening at the International Outlet.  They have a store there called Disney Warehouse.  It is basically a parks/cruise line outlet.  I picked up quite a few things.  Some Food & Wine souvenirs that were dirt cheap, shirts, photo frame, a snow white Dooney.  I was very happy with all of my purchases and how inexpensive everything was. Definitely need to visit there again.

That's it for February.  It is so hard to believe that March is already here!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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animal kingdom date nights hollywood studios seaworld shopping http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/2/february-2018 Wed, 28 Feb 2018 11:00:00 GMT
January 2018 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/january-2018 I really don't know where I want to go with this blog for 2018.  I think writing about every single trip to Disney World is getting repetitive and mundane.  We are annual passholders, we live in Orlando, Disney is what we do.  So I think I'll do monthly updates from now on.  I don't think it matters really to anyone but me.  I hardly doubt anyone even reads this.  Unless we go somewhere special or different I'll go this route for now.

January has really went by fast.  I remember living back in NC I despised two months out of the year and those were January and February.  January always felt so LOOOONG.  Since moving to Florida January seems to go by faster.  I think it's the milder weather.  I no longer suffer from the seasonal depression that I always had back home.  The weather this month has been strange.  At the beginning of the month we had a week of winter weather.  We had lows in the 30s and highs in 40s.  Locals say it was a much longer cold snap than usual.  I am glad that it didn't last long.  One night it even got down to 28.  That was a little crazy for Florida.  But now here it is the end of the month and we are back in our 60s and 70s and I am loving it.

I had my hair cut back in November and I loved it.  I got it cut much shorter than usual.  It added so much volume.  So the first week of January I went back to the same place with the same person and this time she cut it different.  It was way shorter and the shape wasn't the same.  I was so unhappy but a month later it's looking a little better.  

On the 9th we went out to eat at Carrabba's to use a gift card that I had gotten for Christmas.  We had stopped eating at this restaurant when we lived in Greensboro because they had taken my favorite dish off the menu and it seemed to just go down hill quality wise.  I am sad to say that it hasn't gotten any better.  I got the pasta weesie and it was pretty good but Bryan's meal was awful.  He got the chicken parmesan and lasagna.  His chicken parmesan didn't have pasta and his lasagna was so dry.  I felt bad for him.  So never again.  After dinner we went over to CityWalk to see Justice League.  The movie was great and we had fun walking around Citywalk.

saw Justice Leaguesaw Justice League

On the 16th we went to Magic Kingdom.  We weren't able to get Fastpasses to Mine Train but we did ride Space Mountain, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  We didn't stay for the fireworks show.  

We went over to Disney Springs for dinner.  We initially had planned to eat at Dluxe Burger but they were busy and it was too cold to eat outside. So we ate at Planet Hollywood instead.  We pretty much got our usual.  Bryan got LA lasagna and I got a burger.  I was excited that I had gotten the Pandora passholder bead to add to my newest bracelet.

My niece Bailey announced that she is pregnant with her second child, our fourth great niece or nephew.  She is due in September.

Hanna announcing new babyHanna announcing new baby

On the 23rd we just had a simple date night. We went out to eat at Bonefish Grill.  The food was fabulous and they had a great deal called Hooked on Tuesdays. It's a great price for a 3 course meal.  We got salads. Bryan got salmon and I got steak.  We both added bang bang shrimp to our meal.  Then for dessert we both got the brownie.  We came home and watched movies...Moana and The Woman in Gold.  Both were great.

Disney announced their 2019 Star Wars and Marvel Days at Sea.  We decided to change our February 2019 cruise on the Wonder to January 2019 on the Magic to include a Marvel day.  We are so excited.  Not excited about having to drive to Miami but excited about the cruise.

changed our cruise- countdown is onchanged our cruise- countdown is on

Yesterday's date day was spent house hunting.  Oh my goodness what a depressing experience.  The houses here are just outrageously expensive.  We went and looked at a townhouse in Lake Nona.  It was nice and I didn't mind the smaller square footage.  But it had barely any closet space and no option for a soaker tub in the master.  That was a deal breaker.  In the same neighborhood we looked at a beautiful single family home but it was basically $500,000 for 2500 square feet.  So out of our price range.  We drove around to other neighborhoods and was just even more disappointed.  $350,000-400,000 gets you poor quality construction  These houses in NC would be in the low to mid 100,000s.  All in all it was an unsuccessful, disappointing day.  I think our next step is to look outside of Orlando.  I also need to contact a mortgage broker and see what programs and options are out there.  If we have to stay in this apartment for another year I'll be disappointed but it also won't be the end of the world.  It's actually nicer than half the houses that we looked at...sad but true.

Well that's all for January!

 

 

 

 

 

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citywalk date nights disney springs disney world family magic kingdom http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2018/1/january-2018 Wed, 31 Jan 2018 20:18:44 GMT
Christmas 2017 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/christmas-2017 Christmas this year was actually really good.  On black friday I ordered my Christmas gift which arrived quickly.  I am so looking forward to using this Ninja kitchen system .

a whole Ninja seta whole Ninja set

I also ordered a new Christmas tree from Balsam Hill.  I loved our little trees and lit garland from last year but unfortunately they are in storage in Jacksonville and I didn't want to drive up there and get them.  We bought all of our decorations at Michael's.  I think it tuned out pretty.  All of these small trees that I have bought over the years is going to be so pretty when we buy a house.  All I will have to do is buy a large tree.  

lights offlights off

December 21 was my work Christmas party.  It was a lot of fun.  We had wraps, chips, veggie platter, fruit platter, and desserts.  We played the white elephant game and I ended up with an aromatherapy neck and shoulder wrap and russell stover candy.  From Dr Reddy I got a $50 gift card to Carrabba's and russell stover candy.  From Missy I got a mini battery pack that charges my iPhone.  This will be great for the parks.  From Allison I got Mickey Mouse socks, candy, and a card.  

Bryan's sister sent us a card and candy in the mail.  My Dad sent us a Red Robin gift card.

The ER doctors and hospitalists gave the hospital a food truck meal.  I got a chicken bowl and it was delicious!

Bryan gave me a $30 gift card to iTunes.  His Christmas gift was all of the clothes that he bought on the cruise.  He got 5 shirts.

On Christmas Eve we stayed home and I made tomato bisque with french onion grilled cheese sandwiches.  For dessert I made brownies.  Yum!

Christmas day we slept in then headed to Disney Springs.

Disney Springs was packed.  It was almost miserable.  It also ended up being a cold night.  Bryan didn't dress appropriately so we went to Volcom and bought him a jacket.  He also got a hat to match.  We had 9pm reservations at Paddlefish. 

dinner at Paddlefishdinner at Paddlefish

We started our meal off with salad for me and clam chowder for Bryan.  They also brought bread with honey butter out.  For our entrees we both got shrimp and grits.  Everything was delicious!  We did not save room for dessert.

After dinner we had 2330 tickets to Star Wars The Last Jedi.  I got us tickets in the Dolby theater where you experience more sound and a crisper screen.  Unfortunately the seats were not that comfortable. They didn't recline all the way back.  Not really worth the extra money we paid.  The movie was awesome!

Back tracking a little here.  Before dinner we went shopping. I had the intentions of buying a new Dooney but I also really wanted the new Pandora floating locket necklace with the mini disney charms.  So voila.....

my final Christmas gift- Pandora disney necklacemy final Christmas gift- Pandora disney necklace

I love it!  Merry Christmas to me.

We did not get out of the theater until after 0230.  It was so neat to walk through Disney Springs without anyone there. 

All in all we had a great Christmas.  I still miss those days of being home and spending it with family and friends.  But I think we make the best out of it down here.  

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christmas disney springs http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/christmas-2017 Wed, 27 Dec 2017 18:30:00 GMT
Christmas at Epcot 2017 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/christmas-at-epcot-2017 After getting off the ship we headed straight for Epcot.  The Christmas decorations were beautiful!

I was able to get up Fastpasses to Soarin for as soon as we got there.  So we headed there first.  

Christmas tree with ornaments of all of the countries.

Each country that celebrates Christmas was decorated and a sign explained typical traditions for that country.  The countries that do not celebrate a sign explained what they did during that time of the year.  This is the tree in America.

We had just seen Coco on the ship and was pleasantly surprised that Mexico had Coco everywhere.  We were also tickled pink with this magic shot.

Hector magic shotHector magic shot

We did not get fastpasses to Test Track so we rode in the single rider line.  It's really the only way to do it.  Bryan was a couple of cars behind me.

Once the sun went down everything transformed.   

We left Epcot pretty early (for us).  We wanted to eat then get home to our kitties.  We had already walked 26,000 steps and were pretty exhausted.  We went to Red Robin for Bryan's free birthday burger then we headed home to unpack and see the babies.

We really had a terrific vacation.  We have already booked our next cruise but I may add a land package to it and stay a couple of nights at a resort.  Even though we live here it's still so nice to just wake up at the parks.  

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disney world epcot http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/christmas-at-epcot-2017 Fri, 15 Dec 2017 05:45:00 GMT
Disney Dream- Friday-Day Five http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/disney-dream--friday-day-five Friday was disembarkation day.  Breakfast was in Royal Palace.  Since we drove there was no rush for us.  I ordered eggs over easy, bacon, hash browns and a bagel.  Bryan had scrambled eggs, bacon, and hash browns.  Also at breakfast we were finally able to access our phones.  We had tons of emails. We friended our tablemate Mary on FB before we left.  Before we left on Monday we checked the weather and it was suppose to be in the 50s but that had changed to Saturday.  We had put on winter clothes that morning.  Fortunately we had shorts and shirts in the suitcases.

Here's a last picture of us in front of the tree.

last pictures in front of the treelast pictures in front of the tree

We changed clothes in the parking deck.  Then I took some last pictures of the ship.

On 528 we rode along side of the Tragical Express.  

We had the pet sitter scheduled for today so we headed straight for Epcot.

All in all we had another fabulous time!  Can't wait for our next cruise which is scheduled for February 10, 2019 on the the Disney Wonder.

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disney cruise line disney dream http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/disney-dream--friday-day-five Thu, 14 Dec 2017 23:15:00 GMT
Disney Dream- Thursday- Day Four http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/disney-dream--thursday--day-four Thursday was our day at sea and last full day.  Always a sad day to know you'll be back at home tomorrow.  Bryan wanted to sleep in and I didn't so I went and had my picture taken with characters.  My favorite was with Stitch.  He loved my necklace!  He wanted one for Lilo...LOL.

After pictures with the characters I read on the promenade deck.  Bryan called me on the wave phone about 1145.  He was up.

read on the promenade deck while Bryan sleptread on the promenade deck while Bryan slept

Before lunch we enjoyed the Character Dance Party. 

We ate lunch at Royal Palace.  We both got the tomato soup.  For our entrees Bryan got salmon and I got baked ziti. For dessert Bryan got the chocolate mint sundae and I got creme puffs.  Everything was delicious!

After lunch we played all three detective games.  We ran all over that ship but it's always so much fun.  we played all three detective gameswe played all three detective games

After the game we got ready for pictures and dinner.  I had plans to wear a new maxi dress that I had bought but unfortunately I forgot my strapless bra and the dress was a halter.  So I ended up having to wear the clothes I had worn all day.  

Dinner tonight was in Royal Palace.  For our starters Bryan ordered the fried brie and I ordered escargot.  For our entrees I had the beef with potatoes and green beans. Bryan had the lamb chops.  For dessert we both had the creme brûlée.  Also our wait staff brought us out a chocolate dessert with happy anniversary stamped on the chocolate.  Everything was delicious!

After dinner was the See Ya Real Soon show.  All of the characters came out for last minute pictures.  The choir sang along with children from the Oceaneer Club.  

We grabbed pizza from Flo V8 then I tried to watch Finding Dory on the stateroom TV but I ended up falling asleep.  Bryan said it was really cute.

That's it for our last night.

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disney cruise line disney dream http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/disney-dream--thursday--day-four Wed, 13 Dec 2017 21:45:00 GMT
Disney Dream- Wednesday- Day Three http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/disney-dream--wednesday--day-three On Wednesday we arrived at Castaway Cay.  This is without a doubt our favorite part of a Disney cruise.  We also couldn't think of a better place to spend our 20th wedding anniversary.  Happy anniversary to us!

We ate breakfast in Cabana's.  We had the usual from there; scrambled eggs, hash browns, bacon, etc.  I added Mickey waffles to mine and Bryan had fresh pineapple.  

The first thing we saw when we stepped off the ship was this amazing Christmas tree. And it started to rain immediately.

We had pictures done even though it was raining.  My poor hair.

Fortunately the rain stopped after about 15 minutes and we headed over to Serenity Bay.  The weather turned out gorgeous.  Although at first we thought the water was cold we quickly got use to it and spent the whole morning in the water talking to two Canadian couples that we met.  

We had lunch at Cookies 2.  I had a hotdog and Bryan had a burger and a hotdog.  We ate lunch with one of the Canadian couples and their 20 year old son.  Such nice people.

Our initial excursion was suppose to be bikes, stingrays, and floats.  However the day before they changed our stingray time and we didn't like the time.  So we changed everything to just bikes.  We did this back in 2015 but I had not taken my camera onto the island.  So this time I did.  There is a lookout tower that gives you a view of the ship and the island.  

The bike trails are so pretty and scenic.  

View of the ship from the lookout tower.

We stayed on the island until the last minute.  We had to be back on the ship at 1630.  When we got back we changed into our anniversary shirts that I had made for us.  We had pictures taken in them and several people congratulated us.  It was a lot of fun!

Dinner tonight was at Palo.  I reserved us dinner here for our anniversary.  We always enjoy the atmosphere and the food.  We ordered wine, a delicious Italian Muscato then they brought out our antipasto of meats and breads.  Bryan ordered the bean soup which was different from last time.  It was a broth bean soup instead of a creamy bean soup.  He didn't care for it.  I ordered the tomato mozzarella caprese with aged balsamic vinegar.  For our entrees Bryan ordered sea scallops and I ordered the filet mignon.  Delicious!  For dessert we got the infamous Chocolate souffle.  That is our favorite dessert ever.  So good!

With our dessert they brought out this decorated plate.  So pretty! 

for usfor us

It was a really awesome evening with my sweet husband.

We missed pirates night but we had seen it so many times we didn't mind.  After dinner we caught the 2245 showing of Thor: Ragnarok.  The theater was packed.  This was one thing that really disappointed us on the cruise.  I know it was the Very Merrytime Cruise and the ship was so busy.  There have been times in the past that no one was in those theaters.  I was also shocked at the small kids in these late night showings.  I realize its vacation but still.  Anyhoo, I digress.  The movie was not like any Thor movie we have ever seen.  I think we liked it but I am not sure.  It was more along the lines of a comedy than a typical marvel movie.  It reminded us a lot of Guardians of the Galaxy.

After the movie it was really late so we called it a night.

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disney cruise line disney dream http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/disney-dream--wednesday--day-three Tue, 12 Dec 2017 19:45:00 GMT
Disney Dream- Tuesday- Day Two http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/disney-dream--tuesday--day-two Tuesday was our Nassau day.  We chose not to get off the ship and chose to enjoy Quiet Cove.  We ate breakfast at Royal Palace.  I had the eggs benedict and Bryan had the scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and hash browns.  So good!

Views of Nassau from the ship.

We always enjoy our time in Quiet Cove.  Bryan took a nap and I enjoyed the pool.  We also enjoyed a few rides on the AquaDuck.

my viewmy view

We had lunch at Cabana's.  It's buffet so I had cocktail shrimp and made myself a salad.  Bryan had a wrap, salad, and cocktail shrimp.

After lunch I wanted to see the Deck the Deck Tropical Party.  Bryan did not so he went back to the room to rest.  I thought the party was cute.  All the characters came out.  

We got ready early for dinner for pictures then Beauty and the Beast was the show for tonight.  I was really disappointed during the show.  We were made to move down a seat and because of that it caused Bryan to not be able to see.  He was really mad and decided to leave and go back to the room.  I stayed and did the best that I could even though I couldn't see that well either.  The show was amazing and we learned a lesson.  We'll be arriving at these shows early for good seating.

Dinner tonight was at Enchanted Garden.  We had our table to ourselves because Mary and Steve were eating at Palo.  For our staters I had the cucumber garden roll.  Bryan had the North Atlantic Lobster Ravioli.  We both got the Strawberry and Raspberry Salad.  For our entrees Bryan got Caramelized Sea Scallops and I got Marjoram Scented Roast Chicken.  For dessert Bryan wasn't really happy with anything so I asked if they could bring him a creme brûlée from Royal Palace.  They did!  I had the Southern Style Pecan Tart and some of his brûlée.  Everything was delicious!

After dinner we ran into Chip and Dale.

We enjoyed a walk around the ship at night.  It's always so peaceful.

After our walk we called it a night.

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disney cruise line disney dream http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/disney-dream--tuesday--day-two Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:00:00 GMT
Disney Dream- Monday-Day One http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/disney-dream--day-one Our much anticipated cruise on the Disney Dream had finally arrived!  This was our 4th Disney cruise and definitely not our last!  Our check in was at 1330 so we left the house around noon.  We were so excited to arrive at Port Canaveral.  We unloaded our luggage then parked the car.

so prettyso pretty

Our boarding picture.  

usus

Of course the ship was decorated for Christmas and when we arrived none of the lights were on yet.  The lighting ceremony was later.  It was still so pretty!

Each ship builds and decorates a gingerbread house.  There is also a competition amongst the ships.

gingerbread housegingerbread house

We ate lunch at Enchanted Garden.  Bryan and I both got the prime rib, twice mashed potatoes, and green beans.  For dessert we both got the butterscotch sundaes.  It was delicious!

Before the Sailing Away party and Muster station drill I snuck a piece of pizza from Flo V8.  Oh how I had missed that pizza!

Once our luggage arrived to our stateroom I decorated our door.  Adding our new anniversary magnet.  This is one of my favorite things to do. 

our door decoratedour door decorated

Our muster station drill was a 1600 and although this is a crowded madness drill I know how necessary it is.  Call me crazy but I take a moment to remember those that died on the Titanic.  Without them we would not have the safety that we have now on these ships.  

Then it was time for Sailing Away party.  Bryan didn't want to see it.  He wanted to head up front and watch the ship leave port.  Even though I have seen this show three times I still love it.  My favorite part is the countdown to the ships horn.  Unfortunately the deck was so crowded and I didn't get as good of a view as I have had in the past.

I joined Bryan after the show.  The sun was just going down so the views of Cocoa Beach were so pretty!

We got dressed for dinner and headed to the show Golden Mickey's.  This was our first time seeing it and it was really good.  After the show it was picture time. Bryan just did not want to dress up every night this time.  Disney slacked up on their dinner attire requirements so I was okay with.  In the next coming years I may slack up some as well.  I just really enjoy wearing my dresses and this is really the only time I get to.

At 1930 was the tree lighting ceremony.  They turned all of the Christmas lights on and it was beautiful!  

Then it was more pictures.

Dinner tonight was at Animator's Palate.  We sat with 2 other couples.  One couple from Texas (who we never saw again) and Mary and Steve from Maryland.  They were very nice people.  We thought the Crush show this time was a little cheesy.  The "actor" wasn't as good as the last time.  So we pretty much ignored it.

As for the food, we both ordered Black Truffle Pasta Purseittes.  I got the Baked Potato and Cheddar Cheese soup.  Bryan got the Creamy Butternut Squash soup. For our entrees I got the Ginger-Teriyaki Dusted Angus Beef Tenderloin and Bryan got the Herb Crusted Pork Chop.  For dessert I got the Chocolate Fudge Cheesecake and Bryan got the Cookies and Cream Sundae.  Our meal was fabulous!

After dinner we caught the 2215 showing of Coco in the theater.  Oh my goodness it was fabulous!  This is now one of my favorite Disney movies.

After the movie we took advantage of the atrium being empty so we took pictures of all of the christmas decorations.  Then we called it a night! 

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disney cruise line disney dream http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/disney-dream--day-one Sun, 10 Dec 2017 22:45:00 GMT
Bryan's 43rd Birthday 2017 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/bryans-43rd-birthday-2017 We celebrated Bryan's birthday twice.  A few days before his birthday we went to Olive Garden.  Our waitress was so sweet.  She brought our dessert out with Happy Birthday written in chocolate.

usus

I got him a Harry's razor set that he had been wanting.  He loved it.

a razor seta razor set

Dad sent him a Starbucks gift card.  He loves their white hot chocolate so I know he'll get several of those with it.

Bryan's birthday gift from DadBryan's birthday gift from Dad

On his birthday we went to Seasons 52.  We lived next door to one in Jacksonville and always loved eating there.  We had made reservations but it just so happened that Dad sent us a gift card for our anniversary and Season 52 was one of the choices.  Unfortunately we did not have a very good experience.  It was really busy and our waiter had a huge party.  Not his fault but we were very neglected.  We started off with wine.  They have a really good seasonal wine.  Once we sampled it we had to have it.  We ordered Buffalo Spinach and Brussels Sprouts dip for our appetizer.  It was so good.  For our entree I got the shrimp and grits.  Bryan got the Nantucket Bay Scallops.  This is where everything fell apart.  When Bryan's scallops came out they were missing the meyer lemon and ricotta ravioli.  It took 20 minutes for someone to come over after we received our food.  By the time we were even able to question it they brought out the ravioli on a separate plate and everything was cold.  I asked for everything to be sent back.  Bryan went and got the manager.  I had already finished eating before Bryan's food finally came out.  They had ran out of the ravioli so they replaced it with lobster ravioli.  For our troubles we were given a refill on our wine, coupons for free cocktail and appetizers, Bryan's meal was removed completely from the bill, and we were sent home with 2 wine glasses and a bottle of wine.  And a HUGE apology.   

Bryan with his dessertBryan with his dessert

We are usually not the type of people to complain but this time it just couldn't be avoided.  I would definitely go again as I would like to think this was just a fluke.  It was a Saturday night.  Maybe we'll go next time during the week.

To continue the celebration, the next day Bryan wanted his free birthday sub from his favorite sandwich place, Which Wich.  This is his monster sub...LOL!

Bryan's birthday sub from Which wichBryan's birthday sub from Which wich

I think all in all he had a great birthday!  

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birthday seasons 52 which wich http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/12/bryans-43rd-birthday-2017 Mon, 04 Dec 2017 21:00:00 GMT
Thanksgiving 2017 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/thanksgiving-2017 Bryan had to work 7a-7p on Thanksgiving but I decided to cook a huge meal (for us) anyway.  I made a crockpot turkey breast with gravy, green bean casserole, dressing, deviled eggs, and Brussel sprouts.  We also had rolls and a shrimp ring.  Everything was delicious but it was way too much.  I have a feeling that we are going to be sick of leftovers.  Definitely won't be doing this again...LOL.

all setall set

Black Friday we stayed home and didn't venture out.  We did all of our shopping from home.  We ended up just getting a lot of DVD seasons that we were missing since they were on sale.  And I ordered my Christmas gift which is a Ninja Kitchen system.  Our blender broke back in the spring and I really needed a new one.  I also need a food processor and this does everything.  I think I'll really like it.  

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black friday thanksgiving http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/thanksgiving-2017 Sat, 25 Nov 2017 19:00:00 GMT
Ava Kate http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/ava-kate Our niece Andria gave us our 3rd great niece.  She was born on the anniversary of my mother's death.  Now we have a happier way of remembering that day.  She's beautiful.  

Our new Great Niece Ava KateOur new Great Niece Ava Kate

AVA KATE

November 20, 2017

1000 CST

5lbs 14oz 19.5in

Huntsville, Alabama

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birth family http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/ava-kate Tue, 21 Nov 2017 23:15:00 GMT
Christmas at Hollywood Studios 2017 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/christmas-at-hollywood-studios-2017 This past Sunday we went over to Hollywood Studios to see the Christmas decorations. I doubt that we'll make it to every park this year to see the decorations but I really wanted to see HS because of the new shows.  And I wanted to wear my new Star Wars shirt... :o)

I love this window display.  The ornaments kick their legs....so cute!

Since I was wearing my new shirt I had to get all of the Star Wars pictures.

I am not quite sure how we have continued to walk past Walt Disney Presents but I noticed "Meet Star Lord and Groot" on the marquis sign.  So we stopped in.  There were all kinds of stuff on display.  Miniature versions of Main Street, the castle, Tower of Terror, etc.  There was also a model of Toy Story Land and Galaxy's Edge.  We did get to meet Star Lord and Groot.  It was so fun!  Also we got to see a preview of the new movie Cocoa.  I think that is going to be so good.  Hopefully we'll get to see that on the ship.

The Christmas tree at Echo Lake. 

They started doing pictures at the Speeder Bike.  Even the background is new.  

I have been dying to get this magic shot.  They stopped doing it because they lost their "wall" during the construction.  One of the photographers did it for us anyway.  There's that awesome Disney magic!

We did ride a couple of rides.  Star Tours because there is a new part to it for The Last Jedi.  They added the new planet that is in the movie.  We also rode Aerosmith's Rock n Roller Coaster.  We ate lunch at Pizzerizzo's  I love Disney pizza.

The tree and Echo Lake at night.

Sunset Season's Greetings projection show on the Tower of Terror was amazing.  They first showed you a short film on the billboard then the ToT came alive.  It was awesome!  

Jingle Bell Jingle Bam projection show on the Chinese Theater was awesome as well.  I didn't take many pictures of this.  I videoed the whole thing.  

christmas treechristmas tree

After the show Bryan and I got a little emotional.  Christmas is always a hard time of year for us.  I miss my Mom and he misses his Dad.  I hate so much how things change as we get older.  

Before we left the park we got a Starbucks and enjoyed the "snow" on Hollywood Boulevard,

It was late but we were hungry.  There was a Buffalo Wild Wings not far from the parks so we headed there.  I had a delicious shrimp po boy and Bryan got boneless wings.  

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disney world hollywood studios http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/christmas-at-hollywood-studios-2017 Tue, 21 Nov 2017 22:45:00 GMT
Epcot Food & Wine Festival Part 2 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/epcot-food-wine-festival-part-2 This past Sunday Bryan's co worker Rachel texted him that her and her daughter were going to Epcot today.  She wanted to know if we wanted to meet up.  We said yes and met them there.  This was the next to last day for the Food & Wine Festival so we tried a few more of the food.

We finally got thinking Figment magic shot.

Thinking FigmentThinking Figment

In Mexico we tried the Tequila Chipotle shrimp.

Mexico- Tequila Chipolte ShrimpMexico- Tequila Chipolte Shrimp

And we tried the Ribeye taco.  Both were very good!

Mexico- Ribeye TacoMexico- Ribeye Taco

In Australia Bryan tried the grilled Lamb t-bone.  I took a bite but I am not a fan of lamb.

Australia- Grilled Lamb T-BoneAustralia- Grilled Lamb T-Bone

Rachel's daughter had a headache and wasn't feeling well so they didn't stay long.  We ended up leaving early too because Bryan had orientation in the morning for his new job.  He left Florida Hospital and took a job at ORMC.  He'll work less days a week.  We are hoping this is a good move. 

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disney world epcot food and wine festival http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/epcot-food-wine-festival-part-2 Tue, 14 Nov 2017 18:15:00 GMT
Christmas at Disney Springs 2017 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/christmas-at-disney-springs-2017 This past Saturday we went to Disney Springs to see the Christmas decorations and the Christmas tree trail.  The Christmas decorations were so pretty.  

Penguins 

Peanut dogs

peanut dogspeanut dogs

One of the large Christmas trees

Christmas treeChristmas tree

The Christmas tree trail was really fun.  There were 25 Disney themed Christmas trees.

Frozen treeFrozen tree Snow White treeSnow White tree

Photo pass photographers were available for pictures with each of the trees.  Also some magic was thrown in as well. 

OlafOlaf

We had our picture taken with Santa.

us with Santaus with Santa

The Town Center was decorated with large lit Christmas balls.

ballsballs

And a huge beautiful tree!

Town Center Christmas treeTown Center Christmas tree

We went back through the trail at night because everyone knows a tree looks different all lit up.

Tangled treeTangled tree

We had dinner at the Polite Pig.  Bryan had the southern pig sandwich and I had the brisket sandwich.  I think it was okay.  I've had better bbq.  We walked around for while shopping and taking in the sights for the rest of the evening.

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christmas disney springs http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/christmas-at-disney-springs-2017 Tue, 14 Nov 2017 04:30:00 GMT
Halloween Horror Nights 2017 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/halloween-horror-nights-2017 This past Saturday we went to Universal Studio's Halloween Horror Nights.  This was the last night and it was packed!  Just like last year we did the RIP tour and honestly that's the only way that we will go to this event.  This year's houses and scare zones did not disappoint.  

Halloween Horror NightsHalloween Horror Nights

Being in the RIP group gives us the advantage of not having to wait to enter the park.  We check in at a separate place and are allowed right in. We did not have to meet our group for an hour so we walked around to all of the scare zones. The scare zones this year were as follows:

Trick r Treat

The Purge

Altars of Horror

Invasion!

The Festival of the Deadliest

 

In the Altar of Horror we found the twins from the Shining!  One of my favorite horror movies and book.

The Purge scare zone was pretty scary and so real like.  They had bull horns and were trying to initiate people.  They also did scenes where they "killed" people.  

Invasion! was really neat.  They had aliens walking around.  Some got really close to you and I had one that kept following me around.

Bryan almost became a victim at The Festival of the Deadliest.  Fortunately he survived!

We had to meet our tour group at Cafe La Bamba at 7.  They fed us then we met our tour guide and other people that are in our group.  Our group got started at 1930.  We are not allowed to take pictures inside the houses.  This years houses were:

The Shining

Scarecrow: The Reaping

The Fallen

Ash vs Evil Dead

American Horror Story: Volume 2

Dead Waters

The Hive

Saw: The Games of Jigsaw

Horrors of Blumhouse

There were more houses this year than last year.  My favorites were The Shining and Horrors of Blumhouse.  The scenes in The Shining were so real like.  I loved the bar the most.  The Horrors of Blumhouse I loved because it was scenes from Insidious.  Bryan's favorites were The Hive and Saw: The Games of Jigsaw.  Bryan is a huge fan of the Saw movies.  I'll admit that I have not seen them.

We also had VIP seats to Bill and Teds Excellent Halloween Adventure.  We are not fans of this show but it's included so we went.  It wasn't as bad this year as it was last year.  This is the last year that they are doing this show so it'll be interesting to see what replaces it next year.

After we toured all of the houses our tour guide took us on one ride.  She chose Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket.  I love his roller coaster.  She got us straight on with no wait.  After that we split up as a group and we wandered around until the park closed. 

We went back through the scare zones and took pictures.

Invasion! at night.

Invasion! scare zoneInvasion! scare zone

Trick r Treat was by far my favorite!  I loved all of the lighted pumpkins and characters.

Trick r Treat scare zoneTrick r Treat scare zone

Our RIP card and lanyard is an Express Pass so we did ride The Mummy as well.  We were disappointed that they closed Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts early.  They also closed Transformers early.  One other thing that disappointed us was we were suppose to get one picture with a character.  That never happened.  We paid a lot for that tour (nearly $500) so it's disappointing when you don't get what you pay for.

We closed the park down at 0100 and stayed in Citywalk for a while and enjoyed a Starbucks.  All in all we had a great time and I am looking forward to doing this again next year.

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halloween horror nights hhn27 orlando universal studios http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/11/halloween-horror-nights-2017 Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:45:00 GMT
Magic Kingdom October 2017 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/magic-kingdom-october-2017 I really really really wanted to see the Halloween decorations at Magic Kingdom.  Unfortunately due to Bryan's schedule we had not been able to make it over there.  It's also Bryan's least favorite park so sometimes I have to talk him into going.  I decided to go by myself.  I felt kind of weird about it at first but once I got there I had a great time and it wasn't awkward at all.

I even took a few pictures by myself.

I rode It's a Small World.

I didn't eat dinner while I was there but I did stop by Gaston's Tavern and had my favorite drink, La Fou's Brew.  I also added a warm cinnamon roll to my order.  It was so good!!

I decided to make this a princess day so I got fastpasses to see Princess Tiana and Rapunzel. 

Merida was a bonus.  I wasn't expecting her to be out because it was kind of overcast and we did have some light rain.

I also was able to get fastpasses to Seven Dwarf's Mine Train.  I love that ride!

I stayed long enough for it to get dark so I could see all of the decorations lit up.  Nothing disappointed! 

All in all I had a great day!  I would not hesitate to go to Disney by myself again if I had to.

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disney world magic kingdom http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/magic-kingdom-october-2017 Wed, 25 Oct 2017 11:45:00 GMT
Animal Kingdom-New Camera-October 2017 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/animal-kingdom-new-camera-october-2017 Last year my point and shoot died.  It was a touch screen and the screen went bad.  I didn't know if I wanted to replace it since I have two DSLR cameras.  But they are big and bulky and not ideal for Disney.  So my sweet hubby researched cameras for me and bought me this one.  I love it!  It takes great pictures and has an incredible zoom.

my new cameramy new camera

Since I wanted to try out my new camera I couldn't think of a better place than Animal Kingdom so went again this past Sunday.  I know we just went but we were able to get fastpasses for Flight of Passage again.   ButterfliesButterflies

One of the magic shots we were dying to get was Ka from The Jungle Book. So we ran over to Asia and got that first thing!

KaaKaa

Our first ride of the day was our favorite Flight of Passage.  I know I harp on this ride but I am officially stating that if this is the future of rides then I am excited.  This ride is amazing!  The picture below is us being "scanned" before getting on the ride.  We are 7 and 8.

The next thing we did was the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trails.  We saw gorillas, bugs, zebras, hippos, and birds.  Next we went on the Kilimanjaro Safaris. I love this ride.  Its very bumpy though so my camera did okay but some pictures came out very blurry.  I did manage to get this great picture of the lions.  We were also hoping to see Stella the baby elephant but she wasn't out.  It was really hot and I think that makes a huge difference with whether the animals are out.

The next thing we did was the Maharajah Jungle Trek.  This is another walking trail.  We saw monkeys, tigers, and dragons.  I was really hoping that we would get to see the baby tigers but they weren't out.  It was late and I am sure they had already been put up for the night. 

We had dinner reservations at Rainforest Cafe.  Even with reservations that place was packed and we had to wait about 30 minutes for our table.  I really love the ambiance of this restaurant.  The food is good but nothing special.   

Bryan initially ordered a dish that he wasn't happy with so he requested to send it back.  He ended up getting the Awesome Appetizer Adventure which had chicken strips, chips and crab dip, mozzarella sticks, southwestern egg rolls, and a side of guacamole.  I ordered the steak and shrimp.  Our food was good but so expensive.    my steak & Shrimpmy steak & Shrimp

Before we called it a night we watched Tree of Life Awakenings and had our usual night pictures.

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animal kingdom disney world http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/animal-kingdom-new-camera-october-2017 Wed, 18 Oct 2017 01:15:00 GMT
Animal Kingdom October 2017 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/animal-kingdom-october-2017 Any time that I can get fast passes to Avatar Flight of Passage we go to Animal Kingdom.  That ride is without a doubt one of our favorites.  So this past Sunday we headed over to Animal Kingdom.  Since it was Halloween month I wore my Halloween Mickey ears.   

We met Flik from It's a Bug's Life.  

This was another reason that we wanted to go to Animal Kingdom.  The hyenas magic shot is set to expire next month.  We were so glad that we got it. 

hyenas againhyenas again

We rode a few rides.... Dinosaur and Primeval Whirl.  Then we headed over to Pandora World of Avatar.  We had not seen this during the day.  It's very beautiful during the day but breathtaking at night. 

We had a fastpass to Everest so we had to run over there before we could eat.  As always that is a great roller coaster.  We headed back over to Pandora for dinner.  We decided to eat at Satul'i Canteen.  Wow!!!  That was the best quick service meal we have ever had.  I had the beef bowl and Bryan had the chicken bowl.  Both were fabulous.  We also like that this restaurant allows free refills.  That is nice in a hot park.

After riding Flight of Passage Bryan bought two Banshees.  They are so cute!  Then we hung out in the area to enjoy the night views.

Before leaving the park we saw the Tree of Life show then did night time pictures in front of the tree.

 

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animal kingdom disney world http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/10/animal-kingdom-october-2017 Tue, 03 Oct 2017 13:45:00 GMT