So! On Tuesday, I updated our vacation through Monday. Here’s what’s happened since:
On Tuesday, we slept in. After sleeping like crap on the train and having a pretty full day on Monday, we needed it. Since Babycakes is in school this week and BlueMoon had work to do, we decided to head out on our own and made for Downtown Disney.
Downtown Disney, for the uninitiated, is basically a big, pretty, well-kept shopping center. We found a good parking spot and headed for the Lego store, which is always one of our favorite spots.
We wandered through there for a bit, admiring some of the architectural sets – did you know that you can get Lego kits for the Space Needle and Falling Waters and other such wonders? – then headed for the gigantic Disney store across the way.
Let me back up for a minute. I brought a bunch of Hydroflask bottles with us on this vacation. I wanted to have them for the car rides, mostly, but they come in handy for keeping water during outings, and the girls decided that they wanted to bring one each on this trip. Mr. Chili warned the girls that they might not want to bring them out of the car, but they insisted. Bean made it to the Disney Store – 10 minutes into our visit – before she lost track of her bottle (which, not for nothing, was the bottle I keep at school, with all the equality stickers on it). We retraced every step the kid made and practically stalked the lost and found desk, but it never showed up. We’re going to check back on Saturday after our character breakfast; I’m really hoping someone found it and turned it in; I like that bottle.
ANYWAY, after spending more time looking for the damned bottle than actually looking at all the fun stuff in the store, we decided we were hungry, so we started making our way toward the Rainforest Cafe. Along the way, we stopped in a shop that offers pretty glass things – vases, figurines, sculptures, that sort of thing – and spent some time mesmerized by a man fashioning a dragon out of glass rods.
Mr. Chili went ahead to put our name in the Cafe, but he needn’t have done it; there was practically no wait, so the girls and I met him there and had a yummy lunch amidst the animatronic jungle creatures, the giant fish tanks, and the thunderstorms that roll through every half hour.
After lunch, we did a little more strolling, had an amazing sundae at the Ghirardelli store, went back through the Disney Store one more time (still no luck. Phooey!), and then headed out to meet Dude and his family for a quick visit. CC (my boss, and Dude’s girlfriend/partner/unofficial fiancee) and her family (including Bart, my school son) were visiting Dude, and we wanted to spend at least a LITTLE time with them while we were all here. We lounged by the pool while Punkin and Bean had a dip, then parted ways in time to make it to BlueMoon’s house for dinner (which consisted of yummy sweet and sour meatballs over rice).
We made an early night of it; Babycakes had school in the morning and the Chilis were still a little tired, so after we watched an episode of Once Upon a Time that Gerry had Tivoed, we Chilis trundled off to bed.
Wednesday morning found BlueMoon meeting me for a walk around Gerry’s neighborhood. It was lovely to spend a little alone time with my friend, and to get some exercise in. Afterward, she headed home to do some work while the rest of us had a lazy morning – after my shower, I spent some really lovely quiet time on the back porch with a book. Around noon, we left the TwoBlueDays and headed for Mt. Dora, where we’d chartered a boat tour – the same one I took when I was here in February.
We went to a Five Guys burger joint before the tour and had a ridiculously yummy lunch, then made for the lake, where we met our guide and hopped onto these cute little pontoon boats for a tour of the lake and an adjoining canal.
We saw bald eagles, blue herons, and all manner of other birds (several varieties of ducks and vultures, and a bunch of other waterfowl whose names escape me at the moment). We also saw a number of turtles and at least 6 alligators! I was pretty excited by that; we hadn’t encountered any gators when I was here in February. That trip is a blast, and I’m really glad we did it. I suspect that might become a regular event for our Florida vacations.
After that, we headed home in time for supper at Chez TwoBlueDay, but someone mentioned food trucks, so BlueMoon checked facebook and found out where the trucks would be parked, so we decided to put off Honey’s crock pot barbecue chicken until tomorrow and made for the park. Mr. Chili and Punk shared an extravagant turkey sandwich, I had some yummy bbq brisket, and Bean had a kid-friendly combo of grilled cheese and mac and cheese. I also bought a dozen really decadent cupcakes that we brought back home to share. We all went well over our calorie allowance for the day, but I don’t think any of us really cared.
Today was spent mostly indoors, as the girls were careless in their application of sunscreen prior to the boat ride and ended up with sunburned thighs and shoulders. We lazed around for most of the morning, headed to a Macaroni Grille for lunch, then found a movie theatre in which to hide out from the sun. We saw The Lorax, which was cute, but a little too young for our kids, I think. I appreciated the message, being the pinko-commie, tree lover that I am, but I think I would have rather seen a different movie. Regardless, it was a perfectly acceptable way to spend a sunless afternoon. We made it home in time to take the girls to the pool (well after sun curfew, but we still gooped them up with sunscreen), then I drove back while Daddy and the girls walked to Gerry’s. BlueMoon and Babycakes joined us there and we shared Honey’s chicken (and some very yummy homemade cole slaw and macaroni salad), then headed out for frozen yogurt.
Tomorrow, we plan to take in as much of Sea World as we possibly can. Expect to find a couple of videos here; Mr. Chili and BlueMoon plan on taking on both Manta AND Kraken. I think they’re both crazy.