Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Deux and Trois

Yes, the second part of my three part Christmas holiday was when we left the ship. We were suppose to have gone to the Disney parks for two days and go home but my son-in-law wanted to stay for the week. That was not a problem for me and my daughter, however our friends had to go straight home.

We checked into the Wilderness Lodge for two nights which was our original plans. Unfortunately, we could not get any more nights so we had to switch to our home resort Saratoga Springs for the rest of the week. I thought I loved staying at Saratoga Springs but I like the layout of the two bedroom of the Wilderness Lodge better. We will have to check out the two bedroom of Old Key West next time.

Anyway, we checked in went to Downtown Disney for lunch and just to look around After a delicious dinner at Artist Point located in the Wilderness Lodge (expensive but fantastic)we got a good night sleep so that we could get to Epcot, my favorite park. The goal for me was to listen to the Christmas stories from each country.

In Italy, they have a witch called Le Befana that delivers the toys In the United Kingdomthey have Father Christmas. I also listen to the Japan storyteller They do not celebrate Christmas but instead they celebrate the New Year. They have the daruma doll which is a talisman of good luck for the new year.

In Norway there is no Santa Claus but there is a mischievous elf-like gnome names Julenissen. The children leave a steaming bowl of porridge in the hayloft for him. This was the funniest reenactment of all.

From Mexico, there was the Three Wise Men Although many Mexican familes have Christmas trees, the Nativity scene is the most common decoration.

The American pavilion had two Christmas traditions. One was Kwanzaa which was founded in 1960 to reaffirm the African-American identify and a celebration of community. and the traditional Santa Claus

There were a few more countries that I did not get very good pictures partly because of rain or just got there two late to get all the story. However, they were wonderful to listen to and see.

We had a chance to check out some of the gingerbread houses around the kingdom. Like at the American pavilion at Epcot. The Contemporary resortand the Grand FloridianThis one is life size.

The next part of our adventure was the Disney Wild Afica Trek. We were put in harnesses and off we went to get a closeup few of the animals. This is one way to get up close and personal.We were fed
we even got breakfast safari style.

This is our safari group
Lots of fun but you are walking for about an hour and half on uneven ground, then on a truck with no suspension for about an hour. Was it worth it, YES, would I do it again, YES. Something to keep in mind if you decide to do this, if you can not bungee an item on you, it can not be taken.

Now on to the Christmas lights as only Disney can....the castle at Magic Kingdom

The Osborne lights at Disney Studios.

And then there was Christmas day at home with my family. PERFECT. My daughter made dinner for us complete with my favorite, home made pimento cheese and my sons favorite caramel pie. My son-in-law made me a peg loom that I have already starting playing with it
photophoto. I made a rug to go in front of the kitchen sink because my feet get cold and I mostly wear socks indoors.Peg loom rug. My daughter made me a felted hat, I had to have her model it because I hate taking and then my daughter gave everyone a small flat something wrapped. Everyone got there wish....even if it was only paper. They all said "What I wish I could give you", mine was what I want most of allMy dream It has a murphy bed inside. I made my son and son-in-law felted clogs Bryan's slippers , fingerless mittens for my daughter-in-law and boots for my daughter that she has to felt to fit her. Pictures of these will come after she gets them felted to fit.

I just had a friend send me this video. It was so me last week...I was grandmabot.

It really hit home this year how lucky I was when I heard from my aunt that she had to spend Christmas alone. To have the people around you that you love on Christmas is the most wonderful gift of all. I guess I am extremely lucky because I hear from my children almost every day and see them often.

I can only hope that you are as blessed and had a fantastic Christmas. Have a wonderful New Year.

What a Christmas Month, let me tell you......

All I can say about the month of December is WOW!!!!!!

I had been working 12 hours days in Chicago for the months of October and November which did not make me have the Christmas spirit. I came home on December 1 and had time to throw things in the suitcase to leave that evening to meet my daughter and son-in-law to start our holiday vacation.

We got to Cape Canaveral, Florida, on the 3rd and watched the Disney Magic sail out. My daughter and I wanted my son-in-law, Bryan, to see the ship so he would have something to compare the Disney Dream with the next day. After a nice dinner at a place my friend, Sue, and I had found on our trip to the area in September, if was off to bed and dreams of our adventure to come. We had friends to meet up with, food to eat, Konk Koolers to drink and just a great time. I was sorry that my son could not make it but there is always next year.

This is my Bryan watching the carry-on bags in the cruise terminal while we ran around. What a good sport.

The atrium of the Disney Fantasy was all decked out for the holidays very tastefully. I was so happy that it was not over done.

Once we had lunch, we went down to decorate our door for the holidays, put up our FE holder in anticipation of some good gifts. We were not disappointed this time. Everyone but one person, went all out. My son-in-law made the fireplace, my daughter made the wreath, and I made the FE holder. Now we have to work on ideas to decorate the doors for my daughter, TeAntae's birthday cruise in April on the Disney Fantasy. What we want is to decorate all the doors in our group to look like they are a continuation of the same theme. I will have to let you know know later how that is coming along.

There was one other door that we fell in love with that was simple but very cute.

That evening, we were very pleased about our room stewards towel animal skills and knew that we had a winner.

One of our favorite stops on any Disney cruise is their private island, Castaway Key. It was nice to share this island with our friends that had come along on this trip. I think they enjoyed it as much as we do.Here is Jody and I waiting for our Konk Kooler order while everyone else went bike riding. We know where the fun is.

There was a gentleman in our Disboard group that makes these animals out of a nut and pipe cleaners. Dudley the DeerNut turned into our group mascot. Pictures were taken of him all over the ship and the island.

Disney's snowmen with a sunburn.

The cruise was fun but too short. Can't wait until the next one.

The first part of my Christmas holiday was over but there was more to come.