Bryan & Liz's Photos: Blog http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Bryan & Liz's Photos (Bryan & Liz's Photos) Wed, 31 Jan 2018 20:17:00 GMT Wed, 31 Jan 2018 20:17:00 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 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
Dad's Wedding http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/9/dads-wedding This past weekend my Dad got married!  That is still hard to believe.  I have been supportive of my Dad remarrying since day one.  When my Mom died my Dad became very depressed.  I prayed that he would find someone and be happy.

I rented a car and drove to NC late Thursday night after Bryan left for work.  I didn't start getting unbearably sleepy until Friday morning around 0500.  I was in Bennettsville, SC and went to the drive thru at McDonalds.  I got a coffee and biscuit and that seemed to wake me up.  I got to Dad's around 0800.  Bailey and Hanna, my niece and great niece, flew in from Colorado the day before.  So they were there when I got there.  It was so good to see Bailey and meet Hanna.  She is absolutely precious.  I ended up staying up over 24 hours.  Andria and Ellie (my niece and great niece) drove in from Alabama.  Ellie is so cute but boy does that child not like me.  I thought maybe by the end of the weekend she would warm up to me.  She didn't.  Oh well.  Chuck, Erin, Trinity, and Zoe (my brother, his wife, and my two nieces) drove in from Georgia.  We had a full house.  I guess it's a good thing Dad has a large house.

I made the cupcakes for the wedding and Erin decorated them.  Rehearsal at the church was that evening and it lasted about an hour.  After the rehearsal Dad sent me to Little Cesars for pizza and Chuck to the Circle Drive In for hotdogs.  Oh my goodness, their hotdogs are so good.  It has been years since I have had Circle Drive In.    

Saturday was the wedding.  It was a short but sweet ceremony.  I actually didn't cry.  I was surprised.  Dad asked me to the be the photographer.  I usually don't like to do people or a special occasion like that but I told him I would.  I am no professional and don't have photoshop or whatever but I think they turned out good.  I do have a nice DSLR camera though.

Here is Margaret and Dad. 

Version 2Version 2

Here is me, Dad, and Chuck.

Here is Dad with all of his granddaughters.  Andria, Trinity, Dad, Zoe, Bailey

The reception was nice and the food and cake was really good.  Here is Dad & Margaret cutting the cake.

My two great nieces Hanna and Ellie.  This picture was taken right before Ellie pushed Hanna off the stool and down two steps.  I have never seen Bailey move so fast to catch her in my life.  Thankfully she wasn't hurt.

After the wedding Dad went over to Margaret's house and left us on our own.  So we all went as a group (including my cousin Allison) to El Parrel the Mexican restaurant.  That place was always a favorite of ours when we lived in Eden.  We got back to Dad's and all talked for a while before bed.

On Sunday everybody left but me, Bailey, and Hanna.  So we were on our own.  Dad had cooked a lot and had left overs but Bailey wanted Mcdonalds  so we went there after everyone left.  We talked the evening away and Allison came over and joined us.

On Monday Dad left for his honeymoon and Bailey's flight was leaving that day.  Before Dad left he gave me Mom's engagement ring.  I had been wanting it but Dad wouldn't give it me.  That was a nice surprise.

We closed up Dad's house and left for Greensboro.  We ate lunch at Applebees then I dropped them off at the airport for their flight back to Colorado.  I headed on back to Florida and got home around midnight.  

This weekend was so fun.  I love being around family.  It was so good to see every one.

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dad's wedding family north carolina http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/9/dads-wedding Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:00:00 GMT
Epcot Food & Wine Festival 2017 http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/9/epcot-food-wine-festival-2017 This past Sunday we went to the Food & Wine Festival at Epcot.  We really enjoy trying different foods from around the world.  The decorations this year were very pretty!

Our first booth is my personal favorite Canada!  Here is the Canadian Cheddar Cheese Soup with a pretzel roll  This soup is unbelievably good!

Canada- cheddar cheese soup with pretzel rollCanada- cheddar cheese soup with pretzel roll

Our next stop was France where we got the Beouf Bourguignon....another favorite of mine!  Then it was off to Morocco where we got the Kefta Pocket and Spicy Hummus Fries.  Last year the Kefta Pocket was Bryan's favorite.  This year it was made different and wasn't as good.  The Spicy Hummus Fries was really good.  Next we made our rounds to Hops & Barley (USA).  Bryan got the New England Lobster Roll and I got the Smoked Beef Brisket and Pimento Cheese served on garlic toast.  Bryan got the lobster roll last year.. he loved it then and loved it this year too.  The brisket was really good.  We got a drink from Fife & Drum Tavern called The American Dream.  Holy cow that was delicious!  It's frozen strawberry, vanilla ice cream, and frozen blueberry slush.  We always try to find a favorite drink at the parks and that's our Epcot favorite.  Next we went to Epcot Legacy Showplace and got Zesty Cheeseburger and Cheddar Cheese Macaroni Handwich.  So good.  I got L'Orange Cotton Candy.  I thought it was going to be just a sample but it ended up being a big bag so we took that home and enjoyed it later.  Next we went to Coastal Eats where Bryan enjoyed Seared Scallops.  I didn't get seafood as I thought it was too hot and did not want to get sick.  Within about 20 minutes Bryan started to feel nauseous.  Luckily it passed.  

We went to the new Light Lab.  I had read mixed review on this.  You enter into a glowing room (think black light) and the drinks are made by "scientists".  It was a really neat concept but the drinks were awful.  Bryan got the T=C2 which was vanilla tonic water and cotton candy.  I got the RGB which was citrus apple freeze.  I also got the donut which was huge and very sweet.  My drink was a little more tolerable and Bryan's was down right gross!   

RGB & glownutRGB & glownut T-C2T-C2

We then took a break from eating and rode Journey into Imagination with Figment.  Then we headed over to Test Track.  The line was really long and we didn't have Fastpasses so we did the single rider line.  Bryan and I did not ride it together.  He was in the car behind me.  Next up was the newly remodeled Misson Space.  The update was nice.  The ride is still very intense.  

Back to the food booths we went back over to Canada and got Le Cellier Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon.  Oh my this is amazing.  We need to seriously get a reservation to this restaurant.    Canada- Wild mushroom beef filet mignonCanada- Wild mushroom beef filet mignon

Last but not least dessert was at the Belgium booth.  I love the Belgian Waffle with Warm Chocolate Ganache.... yum!!   

We walked around World Show at night.  It's so pretty all lit up.  After that we called it a night. 

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disney world epcot food & wine festival http://elizabethbrooks.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/9/epcot-food-wine-festival-2017 Tue, 05 Sep 2017 21:00:00 GMT