Monday, January 9, 2012

Mini-Dose of Sunshine

Several months ago, when Ray got word that his firm was hosting a partner's retreat in Orlando the first weekend of the year, we were too excited to have the opportunity at a mini-vacation/date night. How great it would be to have some alone time to kick-off the new year. We made plans and January 2012 was here before we knew it!

Ray flew out of Birmingham for Orlando on Wednesday and I left Friday to join him. His firm retreat would conclude with a dinner on Friday evening, spouses/guests welcome, at Epcot where we could enjoy the park and Illuminations at the end of the evening. I made it to Orlando without issue, was whisked away by a town car Ray pre-arranged because he knows how directionally challenged I am, arrived at our hotel and was greeted in the lobby by champagne (first time this has ever happened when I checked into a hotel). I must say, I sorta felt like a rock star!
After checking in, I freshened up and headed to Epcot to join Ray for dinner. After a quick meal, we were off to check out all the sites of Epcot. While we'd been to Epcot a few years ago with the boys, we only did character photo-ops and a few rides (the boys were only 2 years and 6 months). I must say, I really LOVED Epcot; all the different countries are well designed and offer unique glimpses into their cultures (great job, Disney!); below are a few pictures I snapped of China, London (LOVE the telephone booth) and France.
After our trip around the world, we closed out our evening with Epcot's firework extravaganza "Illuminations". We missed this on our last trip so we were really excited to see it this visit; it was AWESOME!
Saturday presented a few bumps as our bellman put us on the wrong shuttle so after spending an hour and a half on a trip that took us back to our starting point, we finally made it to Downtown Disney. We enjoyed lunch (it was supposed to be breakfast) and visited "Ride Maker", where we made the boys the coolest cars from the movie "Cars 2". We picked our body style, wheels, rims and chaise and then got timed while we put them together--it was pretty neat!
Afer completing our cars, we visited with Woody in "Legoland" where Macklin would go nuts--he loves building blocks and legos!
We decided to head back to the hotel so we could get ready for dinner with an old friend and his girlfriend (and yes, I had the camera with me, but didn't take any photographs). On Sunday, we packed up, enjoyed one last view of the pool and golfcourse....
and then jumped in our car to heade back home to our precious little boys--it was a nice weekend to start off 2012! 
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