Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Miami - Part 3 - Magic Kingdom

We had a great day at the Magic Kingdom! The weather was beautiful but it was so beyond crowded! The park was closed before noon because it was at capacity! So because of the craziness, I didn't take too many pictures (you're welcome) but I did take a bunch as we clowned around on the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House! I quickly took charge of the tree house: and spent time dreaming of my future home:
clowning around on the trek up: And then realizing how much energy it takes to clown around on the way up: Jake was the smart one and clowned around on the way down: And then went on to prove his manliness by touching some of the props that clearly were not meant to be touched. I'll never understand boys. As we made our way around the park one place we definitely did not stop at (in fact we ran as fast as we could through the crowd to specifically avoid it) This ride may look innocent, but it's a total farce! It is beyond scary and definitely nightmare inducing! Jake and I also drove the cars and my car was considerably faster than Jake's so I obviously had to slow way down to wait for him to catch up so I could take these fabulous pictures! Luckily, no one was behind me for a long ways so I didn't hold the line up. It may look like he's winning, but really, I kicked his behind! And I'm sure it had nothing to do with his unusually slow car!
When I asked my brother Robbie if he wanted me to take pictures of any characters for him, all he told me was to give Buzz Lightyear an "air hug". Wow. Can you tell this kid picks up a lot of random stuff in Kindergarten or what!?! Well, thankfully, the line to Buzz was FOREVER long so I dutifully gave him an "air hug" and then snapped his picture from afar. And for the last, and my personal favorite, picture of Magic Kingdom: We can't even remember what ride it was on (my guess is Thunder Mountain Railroad) but it still cracks me up because it is usually the child acting up in those "what not to do" pictures but the adult is totally going for it too! It makes me giggle every time!
Alright. That's it for this stop. Don't worry - only one more Miami post to go. Now I must go and make my low-iodine peanut butter cookies in preparation for American Idol and Lost tonight! What a great TV night!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Miami - Part 2 - Animal Kingdom

Naturally, if you are going anywhere in Florida, no matter your age, you must make a pilgrimage to Disney World! To not do so would be something of a sin! We spent out first lovely day (it was about 75 degrees at the end of December!) clambering all over: which was so much fun because this was one of the only Disney parks I had never been to! I have heard about it but knew nothing about it except for the safari part. So of course we ran to the safari ride first and only had to wait about an hour in line! Word of the wise:


Every single day we were at Disney, each park closed because they were at capacity! Talk about mounds and hoards of people! And don't even get me started on the lines! But we did learn the art and magic of the fastpass! Anywho, back to the safari.... After waiting endless minutes in line we finally got to the point where we could see the trucks we would be riding on:

We got on a truck and headed out into the pride lands (and this is where my love of Lion King might take over. You have been warned.) to see all of the amazing animals roaming free. I was sure that there had to have been some safety feature like electric fences or at least invisible fences for our protection, but boy was I in for a surprise! Here are some of the things we saw:
At this point we had to pause because we had a herd of wildebeests stampeding, I mean crossing, in front of us
And then there were some pretty elephants (which is so cliche when you think of a safari but I'll let this one slide...)
At this point I was still searching for the invisible fences that would keep me from being lions meat (I know the wildebeests went in front of us, but come on, how dangerous can a wildebeest be? It's not like they can trample the leader of the pack or anything!) but then I was quite surprised to find this waiting around the next bend
But, as I learned studying geology, you always need something in the picture for scale because you never know how far or close this rhino really is. I mean, I could have some wicked telephoto stalker lens or something. So, being the good geologists that I am, I made sure to take one with scale:

That random object in the lower right corner is definitely our safari truck. There is NOTHING stopping that rhino from maiming our truck and spearing me right in the ribs and making a rhino shish kabob out of me! Seriously, Disney has way more faith in their animals than I do! We then ran across these warthogs and these weren't the singing/dancing/hakuna matata kind either. These things looked like they would eat me for a brunch appetizer!

After the safari we went to the Bug's Life 3D movie and Jake and I were seriously rockin' our bug glasses!
After the bug movie Jake and I skedaddled over to the dinosaur land, but no matter how persuasive I tried to be, Jake wouldn't go into the bone dig with me. He claimed it was for little kids and that we didn't qualify. I reminded him that I look like a child still, and we act like children still, and that I'm a geologist and therefor it is my duty to go in, but no such luck. We did however snag some fastpasses from strangers to go on the Dinosaur ride and I absolutely LOVED it!
And then we went to this mini roller coaster called Primeval Whirl which sounded so fun in writing that I didn't mind the LONG line! Jake and I passed the time by being silly and having fun with the mirrors:
and then proceeded to go on the WORST RIDE IN THE PARK!!! It was even worse than the Wild Mouse at Lagoon - way more jerky and starty-stoppy. After that disappointment, the day couldn't get worse, could it? Think again my friends!! We then went on the river rapids ride only to come out completely and utterly soaked. Was everyone soaked you ask? Nope. Just me. The rest of them had some wet spots, but were none the worse for wear. You can't really tell from the following picture, but this is just the start of the miserable evening:
Jake does have some wet spots but it doesn't appear that I am wet at all. It's an illusion. The only reason I look that way is because I don't have a dry spot on me! Oh, and did I mention that the sun was going down at this point. That only added to my problems! Luckily we were able to go on the best roller coaster in the park called Everest. And because we had fastpasses, we didn't have to wait in line at all!
And those shorts are not naturally that color either. They are much lighter if they are not completely drenched. The ride was a blast and totally caught me off guard several times! Then we headed for the must see event if you are going to Animal Kingdom - the Lion King show! And because we were in a party with a wheelchair, we got front row seats!
Seriously an amazing show! I saw Lion King on the stage in London and this is easily comparable! By this time we were getting ready to go and I was frozen but on our way out we spotted a friend I haven't seen in awhile so I took Jake's sweatshirt and ran to get my picture taken with her: After our long and tiring day we decided to go home. But not without one last picture of course!

There. I promised less pictures and I delivered. The last post had 21 pictures and this one only has 2o! More wonderful posts to come!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Miami - Part 1 - Flamingo Gardens

So it is finally time to write about the fabulous trip to Miami! Because I am such a picture freak, this will have to be split up into several posts. We will start off at the wonderful Flamingo Gardens! It is this hurt animal sanctuary with a lot of rare plants and birds that wander right up to you! It was quite fun! First Jake and I made friends with the local flock:
And then we admired some really cool and really tall trees:
After that we went into this netted area where there are many injured birds that walk right up to you! I tried to make friends by blending in
It was really quite picturesque
One of the birds got a little too frisky with me and tried to kiss me which made me scream pretty good
And speaking of getting too frisky... (ah - the wonders of nature in action)
After we decided to give those turtles a little privacy, we almost stumbled across an iguana - literally!
Then Jake was feeling lonely and decided to bribe a duck into being his friend. It worked.
Here are the rules posted outside of the aviary. My personal favorite is #14: Then we went to one of those little animal talks and I decided that I want an opossum as a pet because they eat snakes!
And since this is called Flamingo Gardens, we had to sit and watch the namesake:

We wandered off to find what else was there. That is when I found the otters! I have now officially decided to become an otter when I am reincarnated! They had so much fun swimming and chasing after each other and sliding down the water slide! What a life!

We also found some turtles and Adam (my brother-in-law), who has no problem breaking the rules, decided he wanted to hold them. I was totally freaking out because I am the ultimate rule follower but I had to at least take pictures of the whole incriminating event: And don't think that this was a one time thing either!

And did I mention that it was totally picturesque there?!
After, we found some fun spots to take pictures in! First there was this super cool lookin' tree
And then we found the wedding gazebo which was totally appropriate because we were there celebrating wedding anniversary #2!
And just in case you thought all of the rule breaking was done with:
Overall, we loved Flamingo Gardens and had a great time! And with that here is a beautiful parting picture
After this day I kind of lost my deep need to document everything so the posts after this won't have quite as many pictures. I promise!