Sunday April 23rd, we left Burlington at 8 a.m. and started our trip south. We crossed the border at Buffalo, NY, west on Interstate 90 and then proceeded south down Hwy 79 towards Florida. We drove out of the rain and had a very pleasant drive to our first stop. We arrived at the KOA campground in Washington, Pennsylvania about 4 p.m.  We set up camp, got the dogs walked and enjoyed a sunny evening.

Monday morning we were on the road by 8 a.m. and the drive through the mountains was beautiful. We drove through West Virginia and into Virginia, our night stop was the KOA in Wytheville Virginia. 

 

Tuesday morning we again started out at 8 a.m. and drove through some more picturesque country side that included North Carolina and South Carolina. Our overnight stop this night was the KOA at Point South, SC. This was a very nice camp ground, we were able to have a swim and order pizza. Wednesday morning we drove into Georgia and on to Kissimmee Florida. The KOA that we stayed at was kind of barren compared to the other three but it was only for one night. In the morning we were headed to Fort Wilderness.

Finally - we're at Fort Wilderness!

Thursday morning, finally we were driving into Fort Wilderness, the outpost has flower gardens all around, and the colours were beautiful. We drove up to the drive-in reception and registered. Our campsite was ready so we didnít have to wait, it was in the 1600 pet loop area, #1629. It was a perfect location. We were just across from the comfort station, the bus stop was around the corner and the pool directly across the road. The dogs were happy to be able to get out and walk along the river area. It was nice and quiet compared to the KOAís that tend to be beside the interstates.
We got everything hooked up and the air conditioner on, it was very hot and humid. The first thing we wanted to do was go to Animal Kingdom and ride Expedition Everest.

The check-in desk at Fort Wilderness.

Our first ride on Expedition Eversst!

We arrived at AK just in time for lunch so after a quick bite at the Flame Tree Barbecue, we were off to Everest. The wait time said 40 minutes but we walked through in about 20 minutes. I knew the ride went backwards at some point but I was not prepared for how long you went backwards . . . or how FAST!  I decided I would reserve judgment on the ride until I rode it a second time. By this time we were so hot we decided to ride the Kali River Rapids.  It was the first time I actually wanted to get wet on this ride and boy did I get my wish, I was soaked but it did help cool me off. We then left AK and went back to the campsite. We spent some time with Zak  & ZoŽ before riding our bikes down to the Trails End for dinner. After dinner we took the boat over to the Magic Kingdom. The only ride we did was Pirates, then decided it was too hot and we were too tired to spend any more time there so we took the boat back to the camp.
Friday morning we were up and on the bus to EPCOT by 9 a.m., we spent the morning wandering around enjoying the Flower & Garden Show. The flowers were beautiful and the displays amazing. The theme for the show was romance and there were topiaries depicting scenes from Disney movies such as Lady and the Tramp, Cinderella and Prince Charming and of course Mickey and Minnie. We had a quick bite at the Electric Umbrella and then caught the bus back to the campground. The dogs were happy to see us, they got a good walk and then Gary had a nap with them while I went to the pool. We went back to EPCOT for dinner at le Cellier in the Canadian Pavilion, it was excellent as usual. The entertainment at the Flower Power Show that evening was Gary Puckett. He put on a good show and we both enjoyed it.

Donald & Daisy welcome us at EPCOT

Floating flowerpots at EPCOT

Beautiful flowers everywhere at EPCOT.

Saturday we again went to EPCOT to finish up looking at all the displays. There was a butterfly garden that is very nice with lots of different kinds of butterflies. We had lunch at the Lotus Garden in China and then went back to walk the dogs and have a swim. The evening was spent at Downtown Disney and we ate at the Earl of Sandwich. I did some pin trading before we left to return to the campground.

Beautiful topiaries were everywhere.

Sunday we decided to go back to EPCOT and do some of the rides . . . two days at EPCOT and we hadnít done any rides yet. We started out with Soarin' then Test Track. Gary rode Mission Space twice while I checked out Mouse Gear, then we went back to the Land to ride Soarin' again.
On our way out we rode Spaceship Earth before we caught the bus back to be with the dogs. We went to MGM for the evening and had a great dinner at Mama Melrose's. We were able to see The Movie Ride, The Muppet Movie, ride Tower of Terror and Gary rode Rock 'n Roller Coaster.

More topiary.

The gardens were glorious.

Mickey and Minnie at the entry to World Showcase.

Monday we spent Garyís birthday at the Magic Kingdom. We caught the boat to the Contemporary first so we could check our e-mail then we took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. The first thing we did was get a fast pass for Peter Pan, then we went over to Splash Mountain before having lunch at Pecos Bills. We finished off the morning with a Dole Whip. We spent the afternoon with the dogs, Gary napped and I swam, then we caught the boat back to the Magic Kingdom. We rode Buzz Lightyear and Gary beat me again.

Waiting for the boat to Magic Kingdom.

Gary's birthday cake!

We had dinner at Cinderellaís castle, it was fun, the fairy godmother went around and sang a little song, and then she asked everyone who was celebrating a birthday to wave. She had everyone in the room sing happy birthday and the cast members came out with little cakes with candles for everyone having a birthday. After dinner we rode a couple of rides and then watched SpectroMagic. We decided to catch the boat back to the campgrounds so that we could watch the fireworks from the beach. Our timing was off and we missed them but we got back to the dogs in good time.

Convenient shopping - right in the campground!

This way to the pool . . .

Tuesday morning we went back to Animal Kingdom and rode Everest again, it is an awesome ride. We walked over to Kilimanjaro Safari and enjoyed seeing lots of animals as we rode through the African savannah. We ate lunch at Tusker House and then rode Everest one more time before we left for the campground. That evening we had dinner at Ohana and it is still the best, we love this place and the food was yummy. We asked for the pineapple and caramel and yes  . . . they served it to us. That made Gary pretty happy although I do like the bread pudding better. We did make it back to the beach in time for the fireworks this time and they were good, but its better to watch them from the park.

They looked forward to their walks by the river.

Wednesday was to be our last full day at Disney so we decided to make it a Magic Kingdom day.  We spent the morning enjoying Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain, Snow White, Pooh and one last challenge on Buzz, Gary won again! We had a hot dog at Caseyís before we went back to the campground. It was very hot so I spent some time at the pool and Gary napped. We then caught the bus to Downtown Disney and had wonderful dinner at Captain Jacks. I did some pin trading before we called it a night.
We went back to start packing up, it was so hot we decided to go for a midnight swim before turning in. I just love Fort Wilderness, it is a great campground, even Zak & ZoŽ did not want to leave.

Zak & ZoŽ sure don't want to go home!

We got up early Thursday and had a final breakfast at the Trails End before checking out, I canít wait to go back. I immediately sent an email off to Melissa at Your Magic Journeys to book us in Fort Wilderness for Mousefest in December. This time I want to stay for two weeks.  (Melissa says I am the first person to e-mail her from the park to book my next vacation)

It was about 5 p.m. when we arrived at the KOA in St. Augustine, we made several stops on the way at the outlet malls. We got settled in and then went to a great little Italian restaurant just across the road.

Friday we got to be tourists, we took the shuttle over to the marina and bought tickets for the red train trolley. We toured all through the old city and enjoyed the history. We went to the Fountain of Youth and drank the water but it doesnít seem to be working, by the end of the day we both felt a whole lot older than we did when the day started.

 

Myrtle Beach

Saturday morning we walked to the beach, it was about a mile walk from our campground and we were pretty hot when we got there. Zak was so excited to see water, he couldnít wait to get in. He chased his water toy for about an hour. He wasnít sure about the salt water at first but soon learned not to drink it. ZoŽ even enjoyed the ocean. We decided it was getting too hot so we headed back down the road to the campground. What a welcome site the pool was, we both had a swim to cool off and then got the dogs washed down and brushed.
We left the campground at St. Augustine at 8:15 a.m. and started our drive north towards Myrtle Beach. It was a long drive but very scenic. We arrived at Myrtle Beach about 5 p.m. and drove by a couple of campgrounds before we decided on the Lakewood Resort. We got a site right beside the ocean, the only thing between the water and us was the beach. It was pouring rain but we managed to walk the beach in between showers.

Zak & ZoŽ's first swim in the Atlantic!

We were thinking about staying an extra day at Myrtle Beach but when we got up on the Monday morning it was cold and overcast. We took a nice stroll on the beach and then decided we would go to Williamsburg, Virginia.  We packed up and were on the road by 10:30am. It was a long drive and we didnít get to the KOA Williamsburg Colonial until 8 p.m.  They were just closing up but we made it in time.

This campground was lovely, lots of trees and excellent facilities. When Gary got up he went off to rent a car while I took the dogs for a good long walk. We drove to Jamestown and did the full tour there, it was full of history and very interesting. Then we drove along the Colonial Parkway to Yorktown. This was also a place full of history and lots to see.  It was getting late in the afternoon so we drove back to the camp to spend some time with the dogs before we went out for dinner. We had decided to go to Colonial Williamsburg village and have dinner in the tavern. It was quite fun with strolling minstrels and rustic surroundings. We didnít stay too long over dinner since we wanted a bit of time to walk around the village before it got dark.

Wednesday morning we left the campground and returned the rental car and by 9:30 a.m. we were on the road again heading towards Bedford PA. We spent the night there and then left early the next day driving straight home to Burlington. We arrived home about 4:30  p.m. safe and sound with the most excellent adventure behind us  . . . but already planning the next one.