Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I have joined Team Sparkle!

There is a certain subset of runners who enjoy running races in more than just shorts and a tee shirt. They like to have fun while they run.  Over the past few months, I’ve heard about Sparkle Skirts and Team Sparkle skirts. 

Confusing, right?  Yeah.  I knew that I wanted, eventually, to get a Sparkle Skirt, but they are like $70 bucks!  Hubby promised to buy me one after I finished my first 10k.  I didn’t want to wait that long for any sort of fun, so since I signed up for THREE races practically back to back to back, I wanted to Sparkle!  

 I ended up buying myself a Team Sparkle skirt in Gunmetal. I didn’t want something super-sparkly like pink or red, because what if I looked like a fool? (I mean, I AM a fat chick running in a skirt after all, what could make that even MORE foolish?)

So much sparkle!!
It showed up at work a few days later and I just fell in love with it. It’s light as air and SO shiny. I’m like that crow from The Secret of NiMH, all about the shiny…. 

Does this reference make you feel old?
When I took it home and showed the family, they pretty much just rolled their eyes at me. They don’t get it and I don’t really expect them to.

I took it for a trial run on the treadmill and I just love it even more. It didn’t get bunched up around my waist, or stuck between my thighs. It didn’t ride up. It didn’t ride down. It didn’t get in the way of my arms when I walked. Honestly, after about 5 minutes, I forgot I was wearing it!

I understand now why they say that a Team sparkle skirt makes you run faster. I can't put it into words, but I get it now!

Oh, Makayla!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Let's hear it for the crazy lady!


So, remember when I was all happy that I booked my St Augustine 10k?  Remember how I booked that Veteran’s Day 5k for the weekend before? 

I did it again…

In Gainesville, home of the University of Florida Gators, we have something called a Gator Gallop- it’s a 2-mile “Fun Run” that runs before the Homecoming Parade. A few years ago, when I was laid off (2009), I took my daughter to see the Homecoming Parade (something I normally couldn’t do since I was at work).  I saw the people running down the street and half cynically, half sarcastically, half truly said “I’m gonna do that one year.”  

Guess which weekend our homecoming is?  Oh, it’s so hard, but just try to guess….

Friday, November 9th.

I did actually debate this for a while.  I could skip it this year and do it next year. It’s not going anywhere, they’ll do it again.  But, then I reminded myself that I promised myself that one day, I’d do it. If I didn’t do it now, I probably wouldn’t do it next year.

I signed up for it….

Here’s how my November looks:
Friday, November 9th – Gator Gallop – 2 miles
Saturday, November 10th – Annual Passholder New Fantasyland Preview
Monday, November 12th – Gainesville Fisher House 5k
Saturday, November 17th – St Augustine 10k

Holy crap! I’m either really stupid, or really confident that I can do this…..

We’ll see what happens.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I just have to post!!!!

I have officially lost TWENTY POUNDS!!!!

Four of these!

Continue with your day, thanks!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Lazy Go Club Level - Day 7 and after

Oh, I see - you are the kind of person who likes to jump to the end of a book to see how the story ends, and then start from the beginning. Well, go check out these links to get back to the beginning of my story!

We were all exhausted from our long night at MNSSHP, so it didn’t take very long for any of us to fall asleep.

However, at about 3 a.m., I was awakened by the sound of my daughter throwing up in the bathroom. My first sleep-induced thought was that she had eaten too much candy and junk food, and her tummy was revolting. I had a weak stomach growing up, so I’m no stranger to midnight puke parties.

But she kept going…..

Finally, she was done, and she called me in to the bathroom for help.

Help with what, you ask?

In her haste to get to the bathroom in time so that she didn’t soil the bed, she did not have enough time to LIFT THE LID of the toilet. Apparently, after Mousekeeping cleaned the room, they put the toilet seat down, and The Kiddo either wasn’t awake enough to realize it was down, or didn’t have time to lift it.  So, needless to say (and I won’t describe it for you), the bathroom was a mess. 

Still more asleep than awake, not thinking that we are staying in a room that cost $500+ a night, that comes with concierge service and a whole slew of Mousekeepers, I told her to run hot water in the tub and start trying to clean up, that I would come help her.

I started really waking up then, and realizing just how bad it was and that there was no way that a hotel guest, armed with a few washcloths and towels, could possibly clean this up.  I called Mousekeeping, and they sent up a cute little guy (he must have been only 22!) to clean.  I felt SO guilty that this poor guy had to clean up this mess (again, big mess – not gonna describe it to you, but if you have kids, you KNOW what they are capable of).  I got the Kiddo tucked back into bed, and I curled up next to her while Mousekeeper Bob was cleaning.  He must have been in there for almost a half-hour before finally coming out.  He told me that he got everything that he could, but that a new shower curtain would be installed tomorrow (well, later that day) because he couldn’t get that clean. Ew. I thanked him profusely and then crawled back into my bed after he left.

An hour later, there is a knock on the door – it’s the same guy! He asked if Kiddo had been sick again, and we called for Mousekeeping again, because apparently he was told to come back. It was probably a fluke in their computer system. I thanked him again, and went back to sleep.

I think the Kiddo went in one more time that night and was sick again, but I could be misremembering.  Morning came way too soon, and she seemed to be feeling a lot better, if not achy and tired.  We wrote it off as an icky tummy from all the food and candy and whatnot that we’d been eating the past 6 days.

We packed our bags, so sad that it was our last day, and had a bellman take our luggage and store it for us (he even took our “cold” bag and stored it in a special cooler room – we didn’t want our MNSSHP candy to melt or our drinks to get hot before we headed home).

The Kiddo was draggin’ when we hit up Magic Kingdom, walking really slow. I figured that she was probably out of energy since she had thrown up all the food in her system (now that I think about it, I don’t know if she even got any chocolate milk from the Lounge!). She didn’t want to do anything like Tea Cups or Big Thunder, because she said she still felt kind of sick, so we let her decide what we’d do before lunch. We did Jungle Cruise, then she wanted to do Tiki Room. While we waited at Tiki, she ended up plopping down on the floor with my iPod until it was time for the show. 

After Tiki Room, it was time for our last ADR – lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern. It was our first trip here, and we were looking forward to a ‘Thanksgiving’ dinner for lunch.

We were seated in the Washington room, at the first table closest to the entrance. There were a few other families there, but it didn’t feel crowded in there. This is good. 

Always get water! It's free, and Disney is HOT!
We all sat down, and immediately the Kiddo put her head down on the table, like she was going to take a nap.  The waitress came by to take our drink order and saw that the Kiddo was sleepy. I said that I thought that she was feeling icky because she was sick the night before and had thrown up.  The waitress mentioned that there was some sort of bug (dun Dun DUN!) going around, and lots of kids were getting sick.  I kept telling the Kiddo to drink her Coke (yes, real Coke) so that she could get some sugar back in her bloodstream, as well as caffeine. She’d sip a bit, but then put her head back down on her arm. At this point, I’m beginning to wonder if she IS sick, not just tired from the trip and the candy and the puking….

We all ordered our meals, and I requested that the Kiddo’s meal came out as soon as possible – we ordered her a kid’s meal with soup, because as you know, chicken soup fixes everything, right?

Our meals came, and it all looked SO GOOD! Three huge slices of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, veggies and even stuffing! 
The stuffing is hidden under the mass of turkey and gravy
The kiddo’s meal came with mac & cheese (a la Stouffer’s) and some funky looking chicken soup. I tried to get her to keep eating at least the soup, while the waitress came by to check on us again, and again she told us about The Bug. Stop it, lady! I’m starting to get really worried here!

She was able to take tiny bites of food while the two of us were able to finish our meal and order dessert – THIS is why we booked this reservation! Look at how beautiful it is…

For me, Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake - a cake with chocolate chips, topped with ice cream, hot fudge, caramel and toffee chips.  Wait – a WARM cake! 

For Hubby, Martha Washington Cake - chocolate layer cake with chocolate icing and whipped cream. 

I took my first bite and fell in love with this dessert. WHY is this not available anywhere else? I offered a bite to Hubby, who did the Eyeroll. I then offered a bite to the Kiddo, but I got a very different reaction.

Yep, that’s right – more pukemanity, right at the table… There was no “oh, I think I’m going to puke again”, no “uh, oh, I don’t feel well”, she just let her puke flag fly.  Luckily (unluckily?), she didn’t have a whole lot in her to begin with, so there was no craziness like this morning, but I was up and out of my seat in a flash, going to her side of the table to comfort her.  Our waitress saw what happened, and sent a manager over to us.

He first asked me what had happened, but I just freaking LOST IT! I got about 2 words out and then turned into a blubbering idiot that couldn’t string a sentence together. He didn’t even try to get me to calm down, but instead swung from me to Hubby and asked him what happened. I think that is probably the smartest thing a Manager could know how to do! He wanted the full story and ain’t nobody got time for a hysterical mother. 

He requested a cast member with a wheelchair come get us, and our waitress comped the Kiddo’s meal and beverage, so by the time we packed up our stuff and paid the bill, our wheels were ready to go.  I thought it interesting that, while we were sitting there, or even when we were getting ready to go, they never sent someone over to clean off the table. It was like they were respecting our situation, and didn’t want to make her feel worse for ‘making a mess’ or anything like that. I felt SO bad for our fellow diners, but none of them, including any of the kids, piped up to say anything like “ewww!” or “Mommy, LOOK!”  I was very thankful of my fellow Disney-goers for their silence.

By this time, I had stopped freaking out, and we took a little trip down the road to the First Aid Center. We signed her in, and we were taken back to a stall (for lack of a better term). The doctor, of course, blamed heat and dehydration for her condition (it’s the number 1 problem at Disney for a lot of people), but when he took her temperature, it was 102.5!  He gave her (and both of us) bottles of PowerAde and told her to lie down and take a nap. Oh, he also gave her Advil to drop her temperature.

I think this was the most boring 2 hours I’ve ever spent at Disney World.  Hubby and I played on our iPods for a while. I went through the photos on my memory card. I walked around. I tried not to freeze (it was so cold in there).  I went outside to warm up and check my voicemail (I’d gotten a call from Amaree, my massage therapist – she needed to reschedule me to a later time tomorrow). One of the nurses gave me a blanket, and I curled up in the other bed in the stall for a while.  The Kiddo would roll over every 10 or 15 minutes, but she didn’t fully wake up for a good 2 hours, and she had this look on her face like, Where am I?   

We had the doctor come over and check on her – her fever had gone down tremendously (it was still high, but at only 99 or so), so he let us go. I jokingly said that I was going to steal the blanket (it was a nice Vellux-type blanket), but I left it behind and we wheeled our daughter right down the middle of Main Street USA, to the Wilderness Lodge ferry.  Our trip had ended on quite an explosive note – it was time to go home. 

This photo makes me so sad - you can see that she's definitely not feeling well!
 The boat trip was uneventful, and we first went upstairs to the Lounge to see if they had any more crackers for the trip home. They didn’t have any in the actual lounge, but they sent one of the concierge cast members to go find some (I assume they got some at Roaring Fork, but I never did find out for sure where they went to get them). We also grabbed some drinks (Sprite for her tummy, Diet Coke for me of course!) and snacks for the road. We thanked all of our concierge staff CMs for all the help they provided, not just at that time, but throughout our whole stay, and then we took the elevator to the lobby and out to the front.

Hubby and the Kiddo had the bellman bring our bags, while I went and got the car. I pulled around, and the Kiddo got right in and closed her eyes, still feeling pretty crappy. Our luggage was loaded quickly, the bellman was tipped and all was ready to go.

Then the kiddo piped up and asked where her Crocs were (we travel in sandals so we can go barefoot in the car, if we choose to).  We checked her luggage and the Go Bag, but no shoes to be found. Hubby ran upstairs to see if they were still in the room, but the room had since been turned over for the next guest. Concierge staff to the rescue – again!  We filed a Lost Item report (or whatever it’s called), but we assumed that the Crocs were long gone, not to be seen again.  Oh well, Kiddo said.  She’d gotten her $40 out of ‘em!  She quickly fell asleep, Hubby came back down, and we started the sad drive home.

Because of where we live, in relation to Disney World, we take a portion of the Florida Turnpike, which requires us to stop at a toll plaza on our way to or from. About 20 minutes before we got to said toll plaza, there was a sign stating that there was a traffic jam about 20 miles ahead.  We didn’t worry about it too much, and it was quickly forgotten about.  (The Kiddo, by the way, has not been awake since we pulled out of Wilderness Lodge). 

10 minutes after that sign, we start seeing the jam.  Traffic was at a standstill!  We had no idea what was going on, but traffic would move in fits and spurts. It was really weird.  About an hour later (no, I’m not kidding), we are getting closer to the toll plaza, and traffic starts moving slightly faster.

Here’s a lesson in Turnpike geography – the FL Turnpike between SR-529 and I-75 is two lanes.  When approaching this toll plaza, the road expands to like 12 lanes, to accommodate all the tollbooth lanes.  THEN, once you go through the tollbooth, it goes from 12 lanes back to two.  (It’s almost exactly like the approach to The Magic Kingdom, now that I think about it!)

So, approaching the toll plaza, traffic is moving slightly quicker because everyone is spreading out (except for those of us in the left lane because we have Toll FastPasses, i.e. SunPass – we have to use specific lanes).  Then everyone who has gone into the other lanes, now have to MERGE BACK IN to that right lane.  It was CRAZY! As we pulled through the 2nd-to-left SunPass lane, I see now why the far left lane was so backed up – a car had broken down, and because there were pylons (well, those stupid traffic poles with reflectors on them) lining the lane, people behind the broken-down car could not go around him, so they were all stuck in the far left lane! I’m so glad I decided to move over one lane (I’d been worried that I was screwing myself!)

So we made it through, but it’s still SO backed up, that we’re going at a turtle’s pace. I look to my right and there are scads of vehicles (mostly semis) just parked on the right shoulder, waiting for the jam to clear. I see the logic. They don’t waste as much gas, they get a break and can sit outside of their cab, and they don’t have to deal with stupid drivers!  It took us over 45 minutes to get out of this jam, and back to traveling speeds.  All in all, I think we were stuck in this jam for what must have been two hours!  The Kiddo woke up once and asked if we were home (because we were stopped), but conked right out again. 

Finally, though, we made it home safely. No one broke into my house, nor had it burned down at any point while we were gone.  The Kiddo woke immediately, and, once she realized we were home, headed right to the bathroom where she lost it again. Interesting – she was able to hold it in the car for like 4 hours (she had a barf bag from the clinic), but the moment she got home, she lost it. 

She crawled into bed while Hubby and I unpacked the car, and then he and I headed to bed to. What  a LONG day it was!

Oh, but what you think they do AFTER??????
(5 Bonus Points if you get the reference!)

After our trip and our long drive home last night, I was really looking forward to my massage today! I told Amaree all about the trip, then got my massage. Afterwards, I went out and did my usual errand running and grocery shopping.

After putting the groceries away when I got home, I plopped on the couch because I was feeling a bit tired and icky.  Hmmm….


Thanks Kiddo. She passed along her wonderful stomach bug to me. A stomach bug that laughs when I take Pepto or drink Ginger ale.  I lost everything I ate that day, and probably what I ate yesterday too.  I went to bed early, and felt miserable all night. 
Hubby came to bed in the early hours of the 7th, and as you can imagine, he was feeling a little off too, he said.

Yep. He’s got it too. Great. I just have to say – when WOMEN get sick, we have the balls to deal with it, but when MEN get sick, they whine about it for a week. Now, not only am I sick, but he’s sick, the Kiddo’s still sick AND I still have to deal with all of this crap so the household doesn’t fall apart!

All three of us lazed around the house on Sunday. Hubby of course called out at work. The Kiddo was starting to feel better, so she started taking care of us. 

By Monday morning, the Kiddo was ready to go back to school, so my sick ass had to get vertical enough to drive her there and back. Hubby and I called in sick to work again. 

What a way to end a vacation!

Next up - I'll show you all the cool stuff we got!

The Lazy Go Club Level - Day 6

It's party time!  You can't come to the party if you haven't read the earlier parts of this trip report... Follow these links to get caught up!

Today was finally the day! The 3rd reason we booked our trip when we did – Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party!!

At first, when we planned our vacation, we weren't sure if we would be able to swing the extra $150 to do the party, but luckily, we were able to scrimp and save and come up with it within a month or two of our departure date. The problem? We needed to come up with some kick ass costumes and we were running out of time (and money).  I brainstormed a few outfits, checked out a cool website called 80stees.com and came up with the coolest costumes! (Not gonna tell you – you have to keep reading to find out!)

Since the party would take us to the end of the night, we planned today to be a “Pool Day” – we were not going to a park, not going to Downtown Disney, not going anywhere. Well, except breakfast…

We slept in til 10ish or so, then headed down to the dock to catch a ferry over to Ft Wilderness. We were going to do a late breakfast at Trails End Buffeteria.  They serve breakfast until 11, then it transitions to lunch, which you choose from a menu.  This was our first trip to Trail’s End, and, well, I love a breakfast buffet, so I was really looking forward to it!

In fact, I was in such a hurry to get to breakfast that I forgot to put my battery back in my camera.  That’s right – I was halfway across the lake when I realized that my camera had NO BATTERY in it. And because we were coming back to the Lodge after breakfast, I didn't have my backup battery either. I ended up taking photos of the buffet with my iPod (sorry for the crummy quality!).

Breakfast includes so many different types of food!  Fruit, yogurt, bagels, toast, granola, cereal, muffins, donut holes (from Krispy Kreme!), breakfast pizza, eggs, eggs Benedict, bacon, sausage, pancakes, Mickey waffles, French toast sticks and so many other yummies that there was no way I’d be able to eat it all! 
You can play checkers on the porch while you wait
Assorted cereals and milk
Lots of fruit
Build your own yogurt parfait station
Something I don't remember, eggs benedict, something else, eggs and breakfast pizza
Grits, oatmeal, something else, breakfast potatoes, french toast sticks, BACON!
Lots of mickey waffles! Also syrup and sausage (I think that's what that is)
Assorted pastries, bagels, jams/jelly, butters, etc
More breakfast breads, butter, bagels, Krispy Kreme donuts holes, lox
With our Tables in Wonderland card, I think our huge breakfast came to around $50!  What a great deal – we got all the food we could stuff into ourselves, without characters or screaming toddlers! Not that character buffets are bad, but this same meal at Crystal Palace or Chef Mickey would've cost twice as much, and it would not have been a nice relaxing way to start our morning.

We boated back to the hotel and chilled out for a while, letting our tummies settle.  I eventually locked and loaded the camera, grabbed a lemonade from the lounge and headed out to explore the gorgeous grounds of the Wilderness Lodge.  The kiddo was planning on hitting the pool, and the Hubby was updating his photo stream and tweeting.

I’m going to inundate you now with gorgeous photos of the Wilderness Lodge. This place is magical.  I’m a Florida girl, born and bred, so I've never gone to the Pacific Northwest, but if I ever do, and it doesn't look like this, I’m going to be mad!

Outside balconies (there is a small one a floor above this one - see it?)
This is my FAVORITE shot that I took - I was practically leaning backwards over the railing, but it was worth it!
A quiet nook on the 2nd floor, off the lobby
Secret stairs to the 3rd floor - from this bridge you can see people coming in and their faces when they see the lobby
A GORGEOUS light fixture by Whispering Canyon Cafe
Totem with Mickey, Goofy, Donald and Humphrey - rub his nose for good luck
A view from the drive in
Coming in to the resort - bus stops are on the right; DVC Villas are behind the bus stops (not visible in this photo) 
What better place to have a playground? Kiddo can play - mommy can sit at the table on the beach!
That's what I call a lounge chair with a view!
A view of the boat dock (with Ft. Wilderness ferry) from the Trout Pass Pool Bar
View of the resort courtyard from the boardwalk
Take this leisurely walk to the boat dock - it is so tranquil at night!
Boat dock - one side is for transportation to the Magic Kingdom; the other is for Ft Wilderness and Contemporary
Beautiful 'wild'flowers by Silver Creek Falls
Silver Creek Falls - this 'feeds' the pool
I ran into The Kiddo by the pool, and she was ready to head inside so the both of us made our way inside, stopping for a drink at Roaring Fork in our mugs, then hopped into the magic elevator to take us up to concierge level.

Okay, if I say the following things, what do you think of: 
Blue Team.
In One Ear.
Marc Summers.

That’s right – DOUBLE DARE! That most awesome game show for kids that was on TV (Nickelodeon, actually – don’t tell Walt!) back in the day when I was a kid. 

Remember how I said I brainstormed some ideas? I was trying to come up with some ideas that could be made with tee shirts, and I saw some Double Dare tee shirts. They were $30 a pop though, and I decided that I could do the whole costume for less than that! I ran it by Hubby and he thought it was a great idea. 

$15 Three Blue Tee Shirts
$10 Iron on Paper (for Double Dare logo)
$30 Three Pairs Scrub Pants
$2 Green Paint (Slime)
$3 Orange Flags (I already had safety pins at home)
$3 Three Pair Black Socks for 'knee pads'
$3 Three Pair Goggles
Total?  $66, or $22 PER COSTUME.  Sure beats $30 per tee shirt!

Before we left home, I made the shirts by using iron-on transfer paper and my printer. You can find just about anything on the internet these days and finding a Double Dare logo was pretty easy. After ironing them on, I “splatted” the shirts and pants to that it looked like we had gotten all slimed and goo’ed up. I still have a green splat on my toaster and one on my utensil holder, and I’m gonna leave ‘em there – they make me smile!

After getting dressed, we each pinned a few flags to ourselves in various locations, to simulate that we were of course the winners who went through The Obstacle Course (Space Camp, here we come!)

I had the most fun teasing me and The Kiddo's hair. Let me tell you, if you can’t get Aqua Net, use Frizz Ease hairspray – my hair didn't MOVE! It was like pulling at cotton candy – when you pulled one part, the whole mass moved (oh, how I miss the 80s!)  We each rocked a side pony (of course, with a scrunchie!) and teased bangs. Hubby kept his hair in his pony, as usual (though we debated Hair Band hair). I did hose him down with hairspray, though.  Between the 3 of us, we used up an entire can (albeit a travel size can) of Frizz-Ease hairspray and about 30 bobby pins (most for the hair, some to keep the goggles on ).

Here we are in our 80s awesome glory (photo courtesy of our awesome concierge staff)!

This is the beautiful concierge lobby - elevators at the left of the photo; lounge directly behind us
We headed out to the boat dock and grabbed a ferry to MK at around 5pm or so.

Looks like a beautiful Florida evening sky to me
Lots of people who go to MNSSHP know that they can get early entry to MK at 4pm, even though the party starts at 7, so we avoided that rush and strolled in around 5:30, and got our wristband.  We also immediately started getting “cool costumes!”, “OMG, Double Dare!”, “Your costumes are awesome!” and other comments like that. One CM actually ran over to me to see it up close!  I was beginning to think that I “Won” Halloween with my awesome costumes (no, there’s no competition, but if you know me, you know there’s a competition!).

Hmm, it's starting to get cloudy - but who cares, we have awesome costumes!
Our next mission was to eat dinner before the party started – you NEVER waste party time on something so trivial as dinner!  Halfway to Columbia Harbor House, it began to rain. When we got there, it was CLOSED! Oh, what the hell? Uncool, Harbor House, UNCOOL! Oh, and it’s raining harder now, too. We decided that since Pinocchio Village Haus was relatively close, we would go grab dinner over there.  We ran through the rain and got in the doors before it really began raining out there. I’m talking “red on the map” rain!

PVH (I’m too lazy to keep typing the whole thing!) wasn't too busy, so we were able to place our order pretty quickly and grab a booth.

Both Hubby and the Kiddo branched out and got…. Chicken nuggets. I got one of the new pepperoni flatbreads (they had replaced the individual pizzas with this.)

Pepperoni flatbread and 2 orders of Chicken Nuggets
The nuggets were as tasty as always.  One of my favorite nuggets anywhere (Chik-fil-A will always be tops, in my opinion).  The flatbread was cooked very well, and really yummy! It wasn't greasy or funky and I’d totally get one again.

About 10 minutes into eating, the sky just opened up and it began pouring – thunder and lightning, with crazy winds. It wasn't long before people began pouring into PVH to get out of the weather. Unfortunately for people coming in to EAT, these rain refugees were taking up tables – this is a huge pet peeve of mine. If you go to a restaurant and you are not partaking in the business of said restaurant, DO NOT use their facilities! Don’t sit, don’t take condiments, nothing. You have not paid for the right to use anything in that restaurant! (This is why I don’t pee at McDonald’s on vacations either…)

Whatever she's doing, it must be enthralling!
Anyway, we had paid for our right to sit there, so we leisurely finished our meal and drink while waiting for the rain to clear up. There were a lot of complainers – most of them from people who were here for MNSSHP. These tickets are non-refundable, by the way. You pays your money and you takes your chances. We all just picked a bad day. You can complain about it and be a bitch in front of your kids, or you can splash through puddles and make it memorable.

Guess which one we did? Well, after dropping another $30 on ponchos…. Yep, that’s right, we are now the proud owners of SIX Disney ponchos. In one trip, we bought 6 ponchos. Oh, all the frugal Disney blogs would be so ashamed of me!

Anyway, we hid by the Castle for a while, hoping that it would let up, but it really never did, though we did see that the crowds had thinned out. (I read later on DIS that people mobbed Guest Services, demanding refunds, and because there were really no lines, people were getting in fist-fights because of perceived line-jumping!  Way to set an example for your kids, folks.) 

That's not pixie dust, folks - that's rain... A lot of rain. 
We hooded up and headed over to the Teacups so that the Kiddo could ride (and we could be under the awning). It rained, it poured, it sprinkled, it poured some more. Holy cow, welcome to Florida!

Standing under the awning, looking towards Pooh's character greeting spot
It cleared up for a bit, so we splashed our way to Storybook Circus and Big Top Souvenirs. BTS is a very large gift shop, and thought that it would be a good place to hide from the rain a little more. I love this store because you TOTALLY feel like you are in a circus tent - the ceiling is tented, there are trapeze swings and ladders, and even the carpet is styled to look like canvas that has been strapped together!

The Big Top - in the center is a show kitchen where they make goodies like caramel apples and cotton candy!
While we were there I took advantage of Disney’s poncho-exchange (if you have a Disney poncho that has a rip or tear in it, they will swap out for a new one.)  When I took my poncho off, the CM I was dealing with looked at me a little shyly and asked “What is Double Dare?” 

From across the room, another CM said, “OMG, did you just ask what Double Dare is?! It’s only the coolest game show from the 80s ever!”  We both then tried to explain how the game worked to the first CM (she was probably foreign, but I didn't think to check her nametag).  The 2nd CM and I had so much fun reminiscing about DD that we must have stayed talking for like 10 minutes!

The rain was beginning to slow to a drizzle at this point, so the family and I (now in my new poncho, with that new poncho smell!) headed back out to Storybook Circus to start trick or treating.  We didn't get too far, though – we were told that the Treat Trail wasn't open for another half-hour or so, but we could go in and do the character meet & greets at Pete’s Silly Sideshow.

You can see how totally soaked we are (and what are they doing with their hands?)
Daisy Fortuna
Minnie Magnifique
We did meet Donald, but I can’t find my photos of him.

Can I just take a moment to complain about the lighting Disney has for their Character Spots? What the hell? It’s just SO BAD! Lots of shadows, the lighting comes out way too warm! It’s just terrible!

Anyway, after we went through the characters, Hubby showed me two of the “Attraction” posters for the circus - 
Lambert, the sheepish lion!
He knows that these characters are two of my very favorite characters ever. They are very rare, and not very well known to Disney-goers younger than me. (If you are not familiar with either of them, follow the links under their photos!)

We were told that the Treat Trails were open now (the rain was barely a trickle), so we made our way from Storybook Circus to Tomorrowland, by way of the back trail between the two lands. There were three or four stops along the trail, and at each one, they gave us a handful of candy.

Lines were getting very long now – everyone else who stayed, like we did, was coming out of restaurants or stores or wherever they hid from the rain, and it got pretty busy again. Luckily all the Treat Stop CMs were very efficient in getting lines moving!  We trick or treated throughout Tomorrowland, back through Fantasyland before coming over to Tomorrowland Terrace for the Villains Meet and Greet.

Usually, the VM&G happens in front of the castle after each Villains show. You need to decide which villain you want to meet so that you can stand in their line, as they are only available for maybe 10-15 after each show, and because there are so many people, you can usually grab only one or two characters.

Well, due to the rain, the villains were meeting under cover at Tomorrowland Terrace, and because of the lines and the weather, they were changing up how they did the meet – you all waited in one line, and you went from ‘station’ to ‘station’ and met ALL the villains!!  What a great surprise!

Dr. Facilier (from "The Princess & the Frog") and Captain Hook (from "Peter Pan")
Maleficient (from "Sleeping Beauty")
Frollo (from "The Hunchback of Notre Dame") and Cruella de Vil (from "101 Dalmations")
The Evil Queen (from "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs") and The Queen of Hearts (from "Alice in Wonderland")
After the meet, we decided to go ahead and grab a table here to watch Hallowishes, the special Halloween fireworks. I usually like to shoot fireworks from Crystal Palace, but this was covered, in case it started raining again, and it had tables and chairs for our butts!

Hubby and the Kiddo went to the locker to grab my tripod while I stayed behind.  I don’t remember what I ended up doing, but I know that I moved over to the railing to ‘claim my spot’ for photos, but in doing that, I forgot about holding the table, so when the two of them got back, there was no table for them and they were pissed!  Oops.

So, I set up my tripod with the other die-hards near the railing, and waited for 9pm to come.

You can't see me, but I have the poncho on my head, covering me, the camera and the tripod like a cape!
And waited.

And waited.

An announcer came on and said that it would start at 9:30.


An announcer came on and said that it would start at 9:45.

Still waiting.

FINALLY!  The weather cleared and the show began! I LOVE this show!

After the show, we headed over to Liberty Square to try to find a spot for the Boo to You Parade, because I can get a pretty good shot of the Headless Horseman from there. Well, due to the rain, the Horseman was not riding (safety precaution – no skidding horses allowed!)  We ended up getting a pretty crappy spot (near Hall of Presidents), but the guy right next to us kind of let me sidle up next to him with my camera. Turns out that this was his first time ever seeing the parade, so it was fun to surreptitiously watch him enjoy it! I did end up getting a few good shots, though…

Alice, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee
Generic Cowboy
Cruella de Vil - gee, she sure looks different...
If I'm not mistaken, that's Ed the Hyena mooning me...
The end of the parade came way too soon, and we took our time packing up my camera stuff so that the crowds could disperse (a lot of times, families will leave after the parade, rather than staying to the very end).  We continued our candy-begging throughout Liberty Square and Frontierland.

Cast Members were dancing to Cotton Eyed Joe at the exit doors of the Diamond Horseshoe/Woody Dance Party
It was getting very close to midnight when we stopped for a potty break, and the Kiddo was draggin’ ass pretty bad – she was so tired it seemed she could barely keep her eyes open.

Maybe candy will give her the energy to finish?
I asked her if she wanted to hit any more treat spots, or if we should head to the front of the park to get our Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom Halloween card (a special card only given out at the party).  She said she wanted to leave, so we made our way to the front, got our card and headed to the boat to head back to Wilderness Lodge. I think she pretty much passed out on the boat!

Good night, Halloween Party!

This is what I got in MY bag!  Multiply that by THREE and that's how much candy we brought home!! Love MNSSHP!