Heading West

Current Location: Fort Toulouse Campground, Wetumpka, Alabama

On Saturday, we headed back to the Hollywood Studios park to meet some friends. They were set to arrive after lunch, so we got a walk-in table at the 50’s Prime Time Cafe. Lunch was excellent, as usual. After lunch, we met our friends at the front entrance and walked around or rode some rides. We all left the park around 5:00 and headed to their car.

They took us to a mall in Orlando where we did a little shopping and ate dinner at the food court. They dropped us off at Downtown Disney and we caught a bus back to the campground.

This morning we were up early. We got hooked up and left Fort Wilderness about 8:00 Eastern time. We stopped in Dothan, Alabama and met our son David for an early dinner. He is visiting a friend in the area. From there, we headed on up to Wetumpka and arrived about 6:00 PM Central time. We traveled just short of 500 miles today. We got everything set up in the dark and had some leftovers for our second dinner of the evening.

Tomorrow morning we both have dental appointments in Montgomery, we’ll run a few errands, then head out Tuesday morning to head towards Houston. We should arrive there Wednesday afternoon. Malcolm made arrangements for a rental car and, after calling several campgrounds, found one with an opening (apparently several events are going on right now and into the next week or two that have many campgrounds booked).

Next Three Days at Disney World

Current Location: Fort Wilderness Campground, Bay Lake, Florida

On Wednesday, we headed over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios park. Malcolm rode his favorite couple of rides – the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. He used a Fastpass for each one, then went back and rode the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster a couple of times using the single rider line and just stood in a fairly short line (15 minutes) for the Tower of Terror.

Selfie

Selfie

They are tearing down Mickey's Fantasia Hat

They are tearing down Mickey’s Fantasia Hat

Lunch was at Hollywood & Vine where Doc McStuffins, Sofia the First and friends were walking around taking pictures with folks. For dinner, we headed to Mama Melrose’s Italian Restaurant.

Doc McStuffins gives Bullseye a clean bill of health

Doc McStuffins gives Bullseye a clean bill of health

Thursday was another Magic Kingdom day. Malcolm managed to score a Fastpass for the new Seven Dwarves Mine Train ride. He declared it so-so. It is fairly tame, but fun. Lunch was a quickie meal. Dinner was at Whispering Canyon Cafe over in the Wilderness Lodge.

Selfie at Magic Kingdom

Selfie at Magic Kingdom

Malcolm, Bullseye and the Clydesdale pulling the street car

Malcolm, Bullseye and the Clydesdale pulling the street car

Val and a costumed cast member

Val and a costumed cast member

Today we headed over to Animal Kingdom. The weather was calling for rain in the afternoon, but then changed to early evening, then to late evening. It actually just started sprinkling around 9:00 PM as we were walking to our trailer after hopping off the bus here in the campground.

Animal Kingdom selfie

Animal Kingdom selfie

We ate a quick service lunch at the pizza place at Animal Kingdom. Malcolm rode Dinosaur and Expedition Everest on his Fastpasses (he rode the latter a total of six times, utilizing the almost hidden single rider line). We both rode the safari vehicle to see the animals.

Giraffe

Giraffe

Zebras

Zebras

Expedition Everest

Expedition Everest

We left Animal Kingdom about 3:00 and rode a bus over to the Animal Kingdom lodges to transfer to another bus. We headed over to Downtown Disney to do some walking, shopping and dining. Dinner was at Ragland Road Irish Pub and Restaurant. We were seated at a really nice table with two big overstuffed chairs.

Dinner table

Dinner table

After dinner, we made our way back via bus to the campground and headed to the trailer for the evening. Tomorrow we are meeting some friends over at Hollywood Studios and hang out with them for the day. That will be our last day here as we pack up the wagon and head west on Sunday morning.

First Two Days at Disney World

Current Location: Fort Wilderness Campground, Bay Lake, Florida

On Monday, we headed to Epcot. We stayed most of the day and into the evening, but got too cool before their nightly light and fireworks show. We had breakfast at home, lunch at Teppan Edo in the Japanese area, and dinner at Via Napoli.

Epcot Selfie

Epcot Selfie

This morning, we had breakfast at Trail’s End restaurant here at Fort Wilderness before boarding our boat to head over to the Magic Kingdom again. Lunch was a quick dining experience at Columbia Harbor House. We tried a selfie with Goofy, but couldn’t hold the phone out far enough. We had a passerby take a picture for us.

Not quite a selfie.

Not quite a selfie.

Dinner was at The Crystal Palace, and was a fairly late affair (7:40 PM), which meant we were in the middle of eating when the fireworks happened at 8:00. Despite not seeing the fireworks, we did get to visit with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. They all signed our autograph books (that we’re putting together for both granddaughters) and Malcolm took pictures of each of them with Val.

Picture with Tigger

Picture with Tigger

Malcolm adopted a new travel companion who will show up in our pictures on Instagram (at least) – Bullseye. Here he is lining up a shot with Bullseye.

Hold still

Hold still

And the result.

Yay!

Yay!

We rode a couple rides together, and ended up giving up on one (it stopped working while we were in line). Malcolm rode the roller coasters on his Fast Pass. Val had the books signed and pictures taken with a couple princesses. We beat a hasty path back to the campground before the final parade in the Magic Kingdom.

Castle at Night

Castle at Night

On to Disney

Current Location: Fort Wilderness Campground, Bay Lake, Florida

On Saturday, we were lazy and got up late. Our friend Rob Gibons called and said he would drive out to the campground and meet us. He arrived around noon and all three of us headed out in our truck to eat lunch at Hungry Harry’s BBQ. It was pretty good food. On the way back from lunch, we stopped by the post office to finally mail out what started to be our Christmas letter, but ended up being a year-end letter.

We also stopped by a produce market and picked up half a flat of fresh strawberries along with other items. Then we headed back to the trailer to visit with Rob for a while longer. After he left, we got things together to go meet at the West’s trailer along with the rest of the group for light finger foods for dinner.

This morning, we didn’t need to hurry out of the campground since we were just driving an hour up the road to Disney. They don’t let you check in until 1:00 and Tampa East had an 11:00 check-out time that we figured we would shoot for. We headed up to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, then stopped by WalMart for a couple items. Once back at the trailer, we did more packing up and then walked around the park to see who was out and to say goodbye. We rolled out of the park at 11:00.

We stopped at a Cracker Barrel near the exit for Disney and had lunch. We had a 15 minute wait to be seated, then ate our lunch and we were back on the road by 12:45. We rolled into Fort Wilderness right at 1:00 and checked right in. We got the rig parked and Val face-timed with the granddaughters for a bit.

Our site

Our site

Happy Couple

Happy Couple

After that, we rode our bikes down to the campground check-in building and added a day to our six-day passes (for all of $20). We rode back to the trailer, grabbed a couple jackets and headed up to the boat. We rode over to Magic Kingdom about 3:00 and stayed until about 9:30 this evening, mainly just walking around. We rode a couple rides that we could get fast passes for.

Sun setting

Sun setting

Busy RV Show Week

Current Location: Tampa East RV Resort, Seffner, Florida

It’s been a fun and somewhat busy week here in Tampa. Here’s a rundown of what we’ve done since we got here on Sunday.

On Monday, we headed down to IKEA to buy a few things on our wish list and look at a few other things for potential RV modifications. We generally took it easy otherwise.

On Tuesday morning, we headed into Ybor CIty and met our friends Jan and Bill Raber for lunch at the Columbia Restaurant and then walked up and down the main street in Ybor City.

The Columbia Restaurant

The Columbia Restaurant

Downtown Ybor City

Downtown Ybor City

More downtown Ybor City

More downtown Ybor City

On Tuesday evening, a lot of the folks here with the Heartland Owners Club got together for a cookout and pitch-in dinner at the campground. It wouldn’t be a Heartland event without food.

Grilling dinner

Grilling dinner

Lots of friends

Lots of friends

On Wednesday morning, we headed to the fairgrounds for the Florida RV Supershow. We, along with several other club members, volunteered our time to man a table for the owners club. We chatted with potential RV buyers, invited them to join the club if they owned or were buying a Heartland product, talked to potential owners about our ownership experiences and so on. It is a fun goodwill gesture on the club’s part.

Owners Club table

Owners Club table

Malcolm was the official club photographer for the event and got lots of pictures, many of which were posted on the Heartland RVs Facebook page.

The show from up high

The show from up high

After our morning shift, we wandered around the fairgrounds the rest of the day, looking at RVs and buying a few items in the vendor hall such as our new sign for out front of our rig.

New sign

New sign

Thursday was a cool, dreary day, so we stayed around the campground most of the day. Malcolm took care of some work items and Val did laundry. We went out for lunch. On Thursday evening, we went to Macaroni Grill for the owners club thank you dinner.

Today, we were out at the RV Show again manning the table for the morning shift. Malcolm got some more pictures and after lunch, we walked around the show for a little while, then headed back to the trailer. We grilled up dinner outside and generally hung around the trailer the rest of the evening. Val addressed what was to be our Christmas letter, but ended up being a year-end summary letter. They are all ready to drop off at the post office now, though.