Tag Archives: Walt Disney World

So Much Better

Hiya Dear Readers,

Just want to drop a note to let you know that I am feeling so much better. It’s been seven weeks since my stroke. I spent six nights in the hospital in England. Since I’ve been back in the USA I’ve seen my GP, had blood work done, am currently 24 days into wearing a heart monitor for 30 days, have done a sleep study, have had an echocardiogram and have attended two of three scheduled diabetes education classes. (I have one more class in two weeks.) I will see a neurologist in two weeks and a neuro-opthomologist in three weeks. (I have some residual vision issues.) Then I will breathe a sigh of relief and bask in having gotten through all of that. Whew!

Anyway… I can tell I’m feeling quite a bit better, because I’m back to making plans for our next trip to Walt Disney World. We’ve bumped up our dates from October 2018 to the end of September 2018. Jake, Eliza, Mike and I had such a wonderful time when we went in the fall of 2015, so we thought we’d try fall again. Historically the end of September is a bit less busy than October, so we’ll try that. We can still enjoy The EPCOT Food and Wine Festival and Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party while we’re there. The temperatures will be nice for some major pool time. I get so excited thinking about it! And then to have Emi, James and baby Ida there with us will be beyond anything that I can even imagine!

Disney World is so different from when we first started going there around 1990-ish. It’s almost too much for me now…almost. There are so many changes. Some favorite attractions have gone away to make room for new ones. There has been major construction of hotels adding many more rooms to the World. They built a whole new park, the Animal Kingdom. They have built another water park, Blizzard Beach. I miss the “intimacy” of the 1990’s World, but it doesn’t diminish my love for the new World.

My absolute favorite thing to do at Walt Disney World is to spend time with the family. I love hanging out at Disney’s Old Key West Resort at night and just chatting about our day. I love sitting at a great Walt Disney World restaurant (especially Olivia’s Cafe!) and sharing a meal with the fam. I love checking out the looks of awe and wonder on their faces while we watch fireworks at Magic Kingdom. I even love looking at their tired faces on the bus back to Old Key West.

I can call and make our reservation for a grand villa at Old Key West on October 23rd of this year. We already have our 5 day Park Hopper passes. I can make our breakfast/lunch/dinner reservations starting March 28, 2018. I can order our tickets for Mickey’s-Not-So-Scary Halloween Party in May of 2018. I can make our FastPass choices beginning July 26, 2018. Then it’s nothing but keep power walking to be ready to go.

I take nothing for granted. But Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, it will be a major Jarvi/Carmichael reunion and celebration. Just to be together with these people that I love in this place that I love is bliss!

I’ll write again soon.  Thanks for reading, Dear Friends! Meet you at the Kingdom!

Donna

 

Being Accountable

The thing that bothers me about blogs, is that they seem so narcissistic. “This is me. This is what I know. This is what I do. Me, me, me, me, me….blah! I think of that each time I make an entry here. Even I get tired of reading about me, thinking about me, examining me. I am not writing this blog because I NEED an audience. I am writing this blog to keep myself accountable for the choices I am making everyday. Will I really move more? Will I really take control of the portions that I eat? Will I really make better food choices to actually feed my body and not just stuff myself with empty calories? Will I really test my blood glucose every day.  So this is my way of being accountable.

In that vein, let me share that I am having a very good day. Two meals consumed so far, nutritious and appropriately proportioned. Activity? I vacuumed the living room, changed the 4 ink cartridges in the printer, bagged some clothes to give away, worked the cat litter (Ugh!) and I plan to do some laundry today.

Now, why is this still called a Disney blog? Because it is a wonderful motivation for me. We had planned to go and spend four days at Disneyland Paris in the fall of 2018; however for our same amount of DVC (Disney Vacation Club) points, we can spend 8 nights in a Grand Villa at Walt Disney World in Florida. I want to be able to enjoy that time as much as possible. Watching my first grandchild (Ida, sweetest and smartest baby girl!) discover all things Mickey is a very exciting prospect! And sharing that time with the family? The best! I will use some visualization of that reunion when things get tough; it will help me to carry on. It may sound ridiculous, but Old Key West is my “laughing place.” (“Everybody has a laughing place, a laughing place to go-ho-ho.” From the movie Song of the South. Hmmm… no wonder I like Splash Mountain so much.) When I finally get there, I exhale and truly relax.

My latest Disney discovery is a book titled, “the easy guide to your Walt Disney World visit.” I really like it because it is snippets of info, rather than long tomes and epic-sized missives. In the Twitter universe where we want our info fast and short, I find this book very appealing. I highly recommend it; check it out.

Enough for today. Love and peace to you dear readers with prayers for our great country and the world.

Donna

January 4, 2017

In an effort to try more adventurous meals and to introduce new and different flavor combinations into our diet, Mike and I signed up for Hello Fresh meals. We’ve been at it now for several months, and it has been a huge success.  We are learning so much about how to put together Disney-dinner quality meals. Now if you know me at all, then you know I LOVE booking one meal a day in the parks when we’re at Walt Disney World. People may complain about the expensive food in the sit-down meals at Disney, but I believe you get what you pay for. We have not been disappointed, as a matter of fact, we have felt pampered and sated after our Disney meals.

All that to say, we had Hello Fresh Cranberry Turkey Burgers tonight with Green Salad, and it was scrumptious!

  • turkey burgers with a few herbs and spices, chopped shallot, and Panko crumbs mixed in
  • potato buns with a mayonnaise/cranberry jam mixture spread on them
  • and spring mix lettuce with dried cranberries and pecans mixed with balsamic vinegar and EVOO.

No lie, you guys, this is a keeper of a recipe which I will do again on my own.  Mike, too, was so-o-o into it. It only took 15 minutes of prep time, and 35 minutes from when we started, we sat down to eat.

For us Hello Fresh is a little pricey at $69 for 3 meals for 2 people, but it’s really easy to skip a week if the funds are tight, or we’re going to be out of town, or if we’re cooking up a storm ourselves because of holidays or out-of-town guests.  And BTW you can also order meals for 4 people, rather than 2 people if you have kids at home.  We usually have left overs, enough for Mike to have it for lunch the next day…but not tonight. We hoovered it up like it was our last meal.  🙂

Seriously, if you’re a foodie and can swing it, give Hello Fresh a try. We’ve had fab food and excellent customer service. hellofresh.com

On a different note, the cat’s Christmas present arrived today.  It’s a LUUUP litter box.  I’m so excited, because I detest scooping every day.  UGH! Google it or YouTube it, where you can actually see how it works.  I’ll let you know further down the line how it goes.  Mary Ann (our peculiar, prickly pet) immediately hopped into it and tried it out.  She looked very smug when she was finished, but looked a little insulted that she couldn’t manage to kick some the litter out on the floor. I found myself wanting to laugh in victory. Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!

That’s it for today, dear readers. May you be blessed until the next time.

Donna

Reason and Raving

After much deliberation I have decided to keep the name of my blog as Donna’s Destination Disney.  Here are the reasons why:

  • As a member of the Disney Vacation Club, I plan/hope to get to a Disney destination every three years.  In 2015, I went to Walt Disney World for 8 glorious nights in October. In 2012, I went to Disney World for a week in December. In 2018, Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, I hope to go to Disneyland Paris for 5 nights with the family in September.
  • The thought of visiting and walking around a Disney destination is great motivation for me to eat well and move more.
  • I am a mega Disney fan, so from time to time, I will post Disney related info, like…

Frozen Ever After and the new Soarin’ opened this week at EPCOT.  The wait for Frozen Ever After is over 3 hours long as I type this.  Holy cannoli!! I can hardly wait to ride those rides, yet there is no way I would stand in a three hour line to do so.  Geesh! What an exciting time at the Disney parks what with Shanghai Disney opening this month, too.

Now on a more serious note: the senate today voted down 4 pieces of legislation that would make it tougher to mass-shoot Americans.  Shame on them!!  I really do believe that those who voted down this legislation are representing the NRA, NOT their own constituencies.  Election time is coming and it’s time to take a stand voters; these NAY voters on this legislation have to go!

I believe in the right to bear arms. I do. If you need a pistol to feel safe in your own home, I have no problem with that. If you hunt and need a specific rifle to get it done, I have no problem with that. [I am a carnivore, too. ;)] But enough is e-bloody-nough! These assault rifles should not be readily available. And if you are on the terrorist watch list or the no fly list, you should have a hard time purchasing a gun. That just seems like common sense.

Thanks for letting me get that out of my system.

I am striving to eat better by planning our menus and by trying out HelloFresh, a home meal-delivery service.  Here’s what they say on their website:

1. We create amazing recipes. Each week our chefs create amazing recipes for you that are easy to prepare. Our meals are interesting yet simple. And we ensure that your diet is balanced and varied.

2. We do the shopping for you. Tired of wasting time at the grocery store? We do it all for you; from creating the recipes and planning the meals, to grocery shopping and even delivering all of the pre-measured ingredients right to your door!

3. Free Delivery! We deliver everything straight to your door, so you can skip the trip.

4. You prepare delicious meals in your own home. We are More Than Food. Quick and easy recipes, no fancy equipment or techniques, and no obscure ingredients. Our mission is to help you get nutritious and delicious meals on the table.

Sounds great, right? I’ll let you know what I think in a few weeks.  I am expecting my first delivery tomorrow.  I ordered 3 meals per week. I figure this will help us to try some new and interesting recipes for awhile.

As for exercise this week: I only made it to the Rec center on 2 days last week, but I did move around a lot more at home.  My walking buddy hurt her back, so she can’t come with me for awhile.  It’s so difficult to get myself up and out without her to hold me accountable. However, “I am responsible for me. I need to be the change I want to see.  I need to get up and walk.” Hmmm…not a bad mantra.

Today I got up and emptied out my closet, because there is a leak in our air conditioner in the attic and the entry to the attic is through my closet ceiling. The leak is bad enough that there is water pouring into our guest room.  Yuk! I think I walked a mile back and forth with all my stuff: clothes, books, pictures, memorabilia, etc… I was sweating like I’d had a full body workout, and now I have the aches and pains to prove it.  My walking for today will be a run to the grocery store to finish out our week of grocery needs.

Then we need to batten down the hatches, because the weather is supposed to get ugly all day tomorrow, thunderstorms, possible tornadoes and much heavy rain. Help me, Jesus!

That’s about it for today.  Thanks for reading and following me on this journey of my senior-citizen life.  You, dear reader, are precious to me.

Donna

PS: I am LOVING the Grandma gig! My grandbaby Ida is so amazing! I can hardly wait to hold her again. She’s already 4 and a half weeks old. She has a head of beautiful dark hair. She likes to hear singing (especially her mama’s voice). She’s learning so much everyday. *happy sigh* My heart is so full, as I see pictures of her growing. I am so very thankful!

Tomorrow, Tomorrow…

Day 429 in finishing the race to meet up with Mickey

Tomorrow, tomorrow I love ya, tomorrow.  You’re only a day away….

Mike and I will be picked up bright and early tomorrow to be delivered to Midway Airport and then to fly to Orlando!  Woo hoo!  We are flying Southwest and their computers went caput yesterday, so please pray for a smooth journey.

On the down side, we just found out that Emi and James have to postpone their trip, so we won’t get to see them in Florida.  They will come to Chicago next month instead.  That is a wonderful thing to look forward to, however, we will miss them in Florida.  That means we have a spare bedroom that sleeps four in the Grand Villa for the next week.  Any family folk interested?  (Date Oct. 13-21 eight nights)

My bag is packed, and I am ready almost ready to go.  I just have to pack the last minute things: meds, phone charger, phone, sunglasses, etc…  My stomach is in pre-travel knots as usual.  🙂  But I am ready for some Florida sunshine and some Mickey face-time!

I will try to blog from Florida, but I’m not taking my laptop, just my phone.  Love to you all, dear readers!  Meet you at the Kingdom!

 

The Two Day Shuffle

Day 428 in last minute packing to meet Mickey

2 days, People, we go in just 2 days!  I FaceTimed with my daughter Emi today, and both of us kept getting so excited, that we could hardly contain ourselves.

Today I shopped for those last minute essentials that were not yet in place, so my goal for today is to have everything as packed and ready as possible.  Then tomorrow I can throw myself into work and hopefully the day will pass quickly.  I will skip out at lunchtime tomorrow to get a new battery in my Mickey watch.  Then I will be good to go!

Honestly I’m so excited now that every so often I feel my heart racing, and all the thoughts in my head are of Mickey and the Gang and the most magical place on earth.  Soon, my Friends, I will meet you (and Mickey) at the Kingdom!

What to Pack So that I Don’t Overpack

Day 427 in flipping out on my way to seeing Mickey

Three days to go!!!!  Today I’ve been digging through closets, finishing up laundry, checking and rechecking suggestions online for packing for Disney World (Thank you to wdwprepschool.com!), chasing down luggage tags, making a list of what I need to pick up from the store tomorrow and adding things to my suitcase.  What an exciting and nerve-wracking day this has been!  What goes into my checked luggage?  What do I need to fit in my carry on?  What will fit in my purse?

Carry on: , swimsuit, extra underwear (always, in case my checked luggage goes missing), meds and vitamins, book for the airplane, laptop and charger, itinerary

Purse: wallet, MagicBands, all Disney cards (Disney Vacation Club MembershipDisney PhotoPass, 5-day Park Hoppers, Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween), photo ID, cell phone and charger, insurance cards, taxi confirmation to the airport

Checked luggage: everything else…clothes, sunscreen, vegetarian chili, aloe, toiletries, laundry detergent, dryer sheets, taxi confirmation from the airport, day-by-day planner, pain medicine, blister pads, wet wipes

And on and on and on…  I will see my beautiful children and their beautiful spouses AND my beautiful spouse all in the same room in just three days.  And Daniel C. will join us at the table for dinner that first evening at Olivia’s Cafe as we celebrated our Unbirthdays together.  What a blessing that will be!

Readers, thank you so-o-o-o much for following me on this journey.  Meet you at the Kingdom!