Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Cruise Chronicles - Epcot Center

It's been a month since I returned from the 2010 Smith-Dame Family Reunion, otherwise known as "19-somewhat-crazy-somehow-related-people-surrender-all-cellular-devices-to-sail-the-high-seas-for-a-five-day-adventure-where-we-saw-everything-from-sting-rays-to speedos."

Now that I've had time to organize my photos (and borrow a few from Facebook!), I'm ready to share the good (groovy hippies), the bad (stomach flu at Epcot) and the very ugly (a red, white and blue speedo).

Let's begin our story in sunny
Orlando, where a trip to The Mouse (or his friendly neighbor, Epcot) is a not only a blogable event, but a mandatory stop for all Smith-Dame cruisers. Just don't tell 54-year-old Aunt Kathy that there's a person in the Mickey costume. She takes all things Disney very seriously... seriously that she presents our two princesses (31-year-old Holly & 4-year-old McCall) with princess t-shirts and tiaras - even before we board the shuttle!

This is when PK starts to feel...not so hot. Despite a good night sleep and a light breakfast (granola bar and a Coke), I start to feel the onslaught of stomach trouble. (And just so you know, I begin every morning with a granola bar and a Coke, so it's not the sudden rush of sugar to my system!)

Once we enter Epcot, both princesses pause in front of what McCall later labeled the "shiny, metal ball."

Disney theme parks really are the happiest places on earth. Here's 18-year-old Collin in a sweet moment with McCall.

But how can you not smile with this cute little munchkin?

Collin, your secret is safe with me. No one will ever know there's a teddy bear lurking inside.

Right about now I literally run for the nearest bathroom and spend the next hour or so becoming very acquainted with the park's nicely-maintained facilities. The family went on a bunch of rides, and we later met up for an iced-cold Cola with my new boyfriend.

By the time lunch rolled around, we heard there was a Royal Banquet Hall where all visiting princesses could dine in their best garb. Unfortunately, it wasn't meant to be...they charged a whopping $35 a head, so we took our royal party to a cafeteria in America and settled for a $10 hamburger.

But it wasn't a total loss...princesses were everywhere in America! Here's princess-struck McCall and Snow White near her famous wishing well.

And then McCall and Daddy got to meet enchanting Belle and the mean old Beast.

As we roamed from country to country, we stopped in Canada so McCall could peek her face out of a totem pole. By the afternoon, I "think" I'm recovered from my earlier stomach issues.

Around 4 p.m., we were blessed with a quick rain storm. It helped cool down the humid temperatures and gave us an excuse to duck into a store. Here's 12-year-old Carter giving McCall a lift.

Sadly, the happiest place on earth could not make my stomach happy. Realizing our day of fun was wrapping up, McCall quickly faded into my lap while we waited for the shuttle. This girl can literally fall asleep anywhere!

Once back at our hotel, I quietly returned to my room and stayed there for the rest of the night. The family took advantage of the remaining daylight hours and played in this cool pool.

And once McCall woke up from her nap, she magically turned into The Little Mermaid. Since her actual middle name is Ariel, she's always been fond of water and now apparently slides, too!

And that wraps up this edition of The Cruise Chronicles. I have so many fun stories and pictures to share from the rest of our vacation. Stay tuned because I'll be devoting individual blog posts to each of our days on the ship.

"Sea" ya soon!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Newton's Third Law of Motion

There's really no point in fighting it.

You go to enough weddings and sooner or later it's bound to happen.

Even if you try not to make eye contact...

Even if you position yourself in the very back of the group...

Even if you stare at the ground and mutter to yourself, "Please not me..."

There's really no point in fighting it.

If the bride tosses the bouquet right at you, (and you're wearing 3-inch heels), you pretty much have to go with, "For every action, there's an equal an opposite reaction." And all I can say to that is: Isaac Newton really knew his stuff!

But then again, yellow roses have always been my favorite.

Maybe Mr. Newton had nothing to do with it...

Maybe the bride secretly knew my weakness for said flower...

Maybe I was a goner from the moment I stepped out on the dance floor...

The only conclusion I can come to is this: I really hope my future husband's name is NOT Isaac.