Friday October 16th


My eyes flicked open . . . it was dark.  I noticed in the faint red glow from the alarm clock that it was 5:41 a.m.   Good, I can sleep for another 19 minutes!  Then it hit me; there was no snoring beside me!


“You’re not sleeping.” I said.    “No,” she replied, “I’m too excited to sleep.  I was just laying here wondering why you weren’t out getting me a coffee.”

I had a quick shower and went off to Tim Horton’s to pick us each up a coffee and a bite to eat while Carol fed the dogs, checked that the house was all secure, and finished the final check.  Everything was accounted for and we were all set.  At 6:55 we pulled away from home and by 7:30 we had crossed the Thousand Island bridge and entered the USA.  As we crossed the bridge Carol said, “It’s too bad the sun isn’t all the way up, those colours down there are beautiful!”  And the trees below the bridge were, they were just stunning.  Within a few minutes the sun was up and we had clear and bright conditions until we passed Syracuse, NY.  Then we noticed that the road was damp.  Soon we were seeing wispy traces of snow in the grass along the side of the road, and then we began to see plenty of snow.  Yikes, one of the reasons we are heading south is to avoid this stuff . . . not to find it!


Fortunately, we did not see any snow actually falling, nothing worse than damp roads.


By 11:30 a.m. we had pulled into Binghamton, NY where we met Dave at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant.  After a short visit over lunch, we were back on the way, now laden down with a few items Dave is sending along for our Tagrel meets next week.

We had hoped to settle in at a campground in Harrisburg, PA by about 3:30 p.m. but we hadn’t imagined the amount of construction still going on.  While it was far better than we experience traveling this same route in August, we were still over an hour late arriving at the campground.  We pulled in about 4:45 and Carol walked the dogs while I set up the motorhome and made all the connections for power, water, etc.


We headed down the street to a neighbourhood diner we enjoy when we stay here, and then did a bit of shopping at WalMart.  By 8:30 we were back at the motorhome and settled in for the night.  We try to plan our trips so that we travel about 350 miles a day.  That’s a full day behind the wheel for me.  Today we traveled 382 miles, and with all the construction and delays, it made for a long day.  We will sleep well tonight!


Tomorrow we travel 333 miles and our journey will take us through Washington, DC and end at Enfield, NC where we will spend the night.

Saturday October 17th


My eyes flicked open . . . it was dark.  She immediately said, “It’s ten to six; time to get on the road!”  I swear, when she’s on the way to Disney she reminds me of a child at Christmas.  “Are we there yet?  Are we there yet?”


I groaned and got out of bed.  By 8:00 we were southbound again.  It had rained all night and the rain continued all through the morning.  The drive was wet and miserable, but thankfully uneventful.  We followed I83 out of Harrisburg, across the Susquehanna River and then took US15 south toward Washington, DC   We followed I295, The Beltway, around Washington and then picked up I95, which will take us all the way to Florida.  We thought there was a lot of construction in Pennsylvania, but it’s nothing compared to Washington.  The Beltway seems to be torn up from one end to the other.


As we drove south through Virginia the rain stopped and the skies began to brighten.  We stopped at about 11:00 at a rest area near Fredericksburg, VA and walked the dogs before having a sandwich.  This is our first trip towing the Saturn Ion we just bought, so I have been checking it regularly along the way, every time we stop.  It’s a dream to tow and Carol and I both enjoy driving it more than the Corolla we used to tow.


We got back on the road and were surprised when the sun broke through the clouds.  I put on my sunglasses, but alas, after three seconds the sun was gone.  Near Richmond, VA we pulled into a Flying J Station to fill up and were quickly back on the highway.  We began to notice fields of cotton, a sight we’re not used to, as well as fields of soybeans, which are quite common back home.


By 2:30 we pulled into our home for the night, the KOA Kampground at Enfield, NC.  The dogs were happy to go over to the off-leash play area after being cooped up in the motorhome for two rainy days.  They had a good romp and then joined Carol and I for a nap.

We don't see cotton fields at home!

Zoe & Zak are getting excited about Halloween!

I unhooked the Saturn, checked the RV oil and did a few other little chores while Carol caught up on a few things on the computer and then it was time to head off for dinner.  We took the dogs out again and then hopped in the car to explore the area.  About 10 miles south of the campground Carol spotted a Walgreen’s and we had to stop.  She was thrilled to find an inflatable Mickey Mouse pumpkin, the perfect thing for a Disney fan on Halloween.  It will look great at our campsite once we hit Fort Wilderness.


After dinner at Ruby Tuesday’s we headed back home and got back to camp at 8:15 and settled in for the night.


Tomorrow is another long driving day.  We will cover 381 miles and end up at Richmond Hill, GA, just a few miles south of Savannah.  We will break up the drive with a short stop at “South of the Border”, a tourist trap just south of the North Carolina/South Carolina State Line.  We’ve wanted to check it out for the last few years!

Sunday October 18th

My eyes flicked open when she elbowed me in the ribs . . . it was dark.  “Come on, it’s 6:30,” she said, “Time to get this show on the road!”


So with that, we both sprang from the bed in an agile, cat-like manner and got the day started.  Carol started by feeding the dogs and then walking them while I disconnected the RV connections and got ready to pull out.  By 7:30 we had everything battened down in the motorhome, the dogs all buckled into their seatbelts and we were off again.

Traffic was light and we zipped along.  At about 10:00 we made a short stop at a truck stop so the dogs (and the driver) could have a relief break.  We were quickly back on the road and “Hallelujah” we saw our first palm trees at 10:16.  I said they didn’t count, since it was a tree farm selling palm trees, but SWMBO overruled me.

The view from the windshield of our cottage!

Approaching South of the Border!

By 10:30 we had crossed into South Carolina and were pulling into South of the Border.  It was everything we expected and less.  It’s hard to describe how many different kinds of trashy souvenirs they had on display. There are many different buildings selling everything from T-shirts to sombreros and several different restaurants.  The onsite campground has over 100 fully serviced campsites and the motel has over 200 rooms.  It’s an entire empire built solely on cheap tourist trash.  We wandered around two of the buildings for about a half hour, played with some of the trash and then grabbed a hot dog and ice cream cone before getting back on the road.

The dogs like South of the Border.

Here's a guy who's bigger than I am!

Yes. it suits her well, but she didn't buy it!

Near Florence, SC we pulled into a Flying J and gassed up then carried on southbound.  The miles flew by.  As we left South Carolina and entered Georgia we saw plenty of palm trees at the state line.  We now agree . . . it’s official . . . we’re in the south!


We pulled into the campground at Richmond Hill, GA (just south of Savannah) at 3:45 p.m. and began to set up for the night.  We’re both pooped after three days on the road, so tonight Carol whipped up a quick bite of dinner in the motorhome.  We will have a quiet night of Internet and TV before turning in.


Tomorrow is a short day, just 162 miles to St. Augustine, FL where we will spend the night at North Beach Camp Resort.

Monday October 19th


My eyes fluttered open . . . sunlight streamed in the window.  I inhaled the welcome aroma of fresh coffee and frying bacon.  “Wake up sleepyhead,” she said, “I have scrambled eggs and bacon ready.  Would you like white or whole wheat toast?”


“Wheat.” I replied as I crawled out of bed and stretched.


My eyes flicked open . . . it was dark.  It had all been a dream.  I should have known!  “Come on,” she said, “It’s 5:30, time to get rolling.”


So the day began with our normal routine.  She fed and walked the dogs while I unhooked the RV and got ready to pull out.  She had everything battened down in no time and we were off by 7:30 a.m.  Once again traffic was light and we made great time.  Our first stop was the Florida Welcome Centre where we enjoyed our traditional glass of orange juice at 9:15.  At Jacksonville we took the 9A eastern bypass to avoid all the construction on I95.  If you are heading down this way, try 9A to the east rather than I295 to the west.  It’s just as good a highway, and a much shorter route.  There’s a very pretty view over the high level bridge you cross.

The Florida Welcome Centre

The view from the bridge - that's downtown Jacksonville to the west.

Heading down the south side of the bridge.

At 10:30 we stopped at the Disney Character Outlet in the St. Augustine Prime Outlet Mall.  We pulled into the campground by 11:45 and were in our campsite setting up by noon.


I decided to wash the RV and the car while Carol walked the dogs and got the motorhome set up.  I came inside to find her and the dogs having a nap.  Where’s the justice?

I grabbed a short nap and then we took the dogs to the beach for a romp.  They both just love the beach.  Even Zoë, who usually has no energy or ambition, was running, romping and barking.  It was quite windy with a big surf rolling in, so we had to take care to keep Zak away from the water’s edge.  He just loves to swim, but we were afraid of riptides.

This is our campsite - we're very secluded.

Zak will chase his ball until he drops from exhaustion!

There was a big surf!

After the dogs had a run Carol and I hopped in the car and went out for a bit of shopping.  We were back to camp and unloaded by 5:00 p.m.  After checking e-mails we headed out for dinner.  We had a very good meal at the Kingfish Grill on Camachee Island which is on the inland waterway between Vilano Beach and St. Augustine.


Now it’s time for a quiet night at the camp.  Tomorrow we head off to Orlando and check in at Fort Wilderness.  It’s a 130 mile trip and we want to be there before noon to ensure we get a campsite we like.  We have a request in for site 706 . . . hope it works out!

Tuesday October 20th


My eyes fluttered open a bit later today . . . 6:20.  It was dark nonetheless!  Since this was our day to travel to Walt Disney World we hit the ground running.  I took the dogs out for a walk first thing and then Carol fed them while I dumped the holding tanks and disconnected the RV.  After a quick bowl of cereal and a shower we hooked up the tow car and hit the road. 

We pulled out of the campground at 8:15, stopped at Exit 305 to refuel at the Flying J and were back on Interstate 95 at 9:00

All hooked up and ready to pull out!

It was sunny and bright and traffic was clear.  At 9:45 we merged onto Interstate 4 and started seeing the Orlando signs.  At 10:40 we pulled off I4 and headed up World Drive, through the main WDW gate and on to Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground.  We pulled directly up to the drive-through check-in gate where Mae had our package of information all together.  We had requested site #706 but almost all the sites in the 700 loop were taken up with a Grand Gathering, so we opted for site 517 instead.  It wasn’t ready yet, so we drove over to the overflow parking lot, unhooked the car and drove to the 500 loop to double check the site.  We were sitting on the pad at 517 when the text message came in to tell us the site was now ready!


Since we were already in the car with the dogs, we drove over to Downtown Disney and picked up sandwiches at The Earl of Sandwich.  Good news . . . the Festive Special is back!  After a quick bite and a few pictures with the dogs we headed back and at 1:30 we started setting up camp.

Lunch with Earl

Big fans of Mr. Potato Head

This was our first time setting the RV up with Halloween decorations, so it took a little longer than we expected.  So many toys to arrange!  

Before we decorated!

We finished the exterior by 6:00 and took a break and headed back to Downtown Disney for a pizza and salad at Wolfgang Puck Express.  Of course, Carol had to stop at Pin Central and study the newly released pins.  Then we walked through the Christmas Store and The Art of Disney Store.

Beginning to take shape Finished product

Back at the campground we traveled around several of the camping loops to plan the route for our Tagrel “Ghosts, Goblins & Dogs Tour” tomorrow night.  There are some fabulous sites . . . if you’re coming on the tour, there’s plenty to see!  Once we got back to our campsite Carol finished decorating the inside of the motorhome while I played around on the computer.


It was a busy day and tomorrow will be another long one, so we will hit the hay early and will no doubt sleep well tonight!

Looks better at night!

Wednesday October 21st


Another early day, lots to do before tonight’s Ghosts, Goblins & Dogs Tour.  We were both up at 6:30!  After walking the dogs and showering I fiddled a bit with speakers . . . we’re going to use a laptop to play the music from Hallowishes during tonight’s Ghosts Goblins & Dogs Tour (GG&DT).  Carol was dusting, vacuuming and sprucing up the RV.  Then it was time to go to the Magic Kingdom.

Our chariot to adventure!

We missed rope drop, but entered the park at 9:15 a.m.  Today there was no agenda, we just needed to be there and soak in some of that Disney magic.  We wandered up Main Street and stopped for a chat with the mayor.  Carol had to shop for a few pins at the Jewelry Store and then we headed over toward Frontierland.  Carol felt that she needed a light but nutritious breakfast so we stopped at Sleepy Hollow for a funnel cake (breakfast of champions) before wandering through the Christmas Store.

I found a comfortable bench across from Frontier Mercantile while Carol looked at a few more pins and by the time she came out they were just closing the doors for Country Bear Jamboree.  We snuck in under the wire and enjoyed the show.  Same old corny jokes and songs, but it’s as funny as ever!

Our meandering took us past Pecos Bill’s and toward Caribbean Plaza.  A citrus swirl and a pineapple float from Aloha Isle gave us some strength for our return trip to Fort Wilderness.  We wandered down Main Street and left the park at about noon.  The boat was approaching as we neared the dock and we were back home on no time.


We hopped in the car and went to Walgreen's for a few last minute items, came back to camp and had a sandwich.  Carol began cutting up cheese and arranging cracker trays for the GG&DT while I set up the outdoor speakers etc.  GroupHugJohn and FLSharon rolled by towing their big Airstream at about 2:30.  They are in the 500 loop as well, down at the other end.


By 3:00 all our set-up was complete and Carol sent out text messages to some of our friends saying, “We’re all ready, come on over early if you like.”  Within a half hour Daddio and Cathy arrived and shortly after WillCAD strolled in.  WDWNJ and Big Red called from the parking lot so I drove out to pick them up!  GroupHugJohn and FLSharon arrived on their bikes at about 4:30, just as we were leaving for Trail’s End to join in the fun at WillCAD’s Begin at the End Meet.  There were 26 of us and we had another fun filled dinner with friends!

After dinner we moved out to the veranda to wait for the group from the Whispering Canyon Dinner to join us.  While we waited a surprise visitor came along to entertain us!  None other than GroupHugTigger bounced in!  GHT attracted quite a following, young and old!

GroupHugTigger and Beci

Soon the Whispering Canyon tribe arrived and once we had distributed name badges, buttons, etc we were on our way for the Ghosts, Goblins & Dogs Tour.  We took the trail from the Settlement Trading Post through to the 100 loop then turned right up Big Pine Road to the 700 loop.  There are some absolutely amazing Halloween displays, so hard to describe that the pictures have to do the talking.  Some are very inventive, cobwebs arranged in Mickey head patterns, Mickey ghosts hanging in the trees, and oh so much more!


By 8:00 we arrived at our campsite and settled in for some serious visiting and chatter.  Carol and I scrambled around for a few minutes setting out the goodies and cold drinks and then our co-hosts WDWNJ and Big Red graciously poured me a wonderful single malt scotch!  (Sometime life can just be soooo good!)


I think our Tagrel buddies really appreciate the time we spend at our campsite.  Most of our meets are rushed affairs, we seem to scramble from one event to another, so it’s nice to have some “unhurried time” to just sit and chat, mix and mingle.


Soon it was 8:50 and we rounded up the crowd and headed up Fort Wilderness Trail, back to the beach and the dock where we watched the nightly Wishes fireworks show at 9:00.  The soundtrack for the show is piped in to the beach area and it really adds to the enjoyment of the show.  After Wishes a few people began to wander off and catch busses and boats back to their resorts.  Quite a few of us waited for the nightly Electric Water Pageant which passes by at 9:45, but it began to spit rain just before the show approached, so we all walked back to the campsite.


The drizzle had stopped, so we sat outside and enjoyed some more camaraderie (that’s a fancy word meaning Scotch) and conversation.  Zak was a social butterfly and kept people amused.  At one point he even gave everyone a shower by shaking his Pluto doll!  About 11:00 the rain started in earnest so we all moved inside and carried on the chatter.  We were sad to see it all end at midnight when Carol drove our last guests out to their cars in the parking lot.  I had had far too much camaraderie to be driving!


I had done a bit of clean up while Carol was shuttling people, so bed time came very soon after she was back!  Lights out . . . let the snoring begin!


Thursday October 22nd

Our eyes were stuck shut this morning.  We both slept until 7:30.  WOW!  Just a little more clean up around the campsite and things were as good as new!  We walked the dogs and had a shower before riding our bikes down to the marina and catching a boat to the Magic Kingdom.   We entered the park and headed straight back to Splash Mountain where we met up with MJTinNH and PERinNH who were co-hosting our meet.  Soon our group of 18 people was assembled and we headed off to the standby line for a group ride.  

The Splash Mountain Meet

A good soaking!

As usual, we all got wet, while a few of us got very wet.  Here are the ones who really got soaked!

After Splash Mountain we all picked up a FastPass for Big Thunder Mountain and then  headed over to Pecos Bills Mile Long bar for a bite of lunch.  We found a back room in the seating area where we could all sit together, and who did we find there?  None other than Lou Mongello.  Lou soon had to run to do an interview but he spent a few minutes with us. 


We headed over to Big Thunder and used the standby line since there was no wait and one of us didn’t have a FastPass.  After Big Thunder Mountain Carol and I headed to Main Street for dessert at the Ice Cream Parlour and then roamed around enjoying the Halloween décor.

This lights up at night!  Really cool!


Later we headed to It’s a Small World for the meet hosted by Tacey (who couldn’t make it) and Kathleena.  There were about 25 of us who gathered and rode together.  The music plays on in your head for hours after the ride is over!

It's a Small World

Haunted Mansion PhotoPass

After the IASW ride we headed out of the park and rode the boat back to the campground.  We took the dogs out for a walk and then had an overdue nap before heading back to the Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  This is by far our favourite of the special parties at the park!


Our first stop was the Haunted Mansion where our group of about 30 of us gathered for a mass ride.  Hosts MargaretJ and tdelaney started off with a trivia contest and awarded some fabulous prizes and then we were off to begin our ride.  We walked directly through the pre-ride room into the stretching room and after the normal introduction we boarded our doom buggies.


After the Mansion we commandeered a PhotoPass session.  It took three of the photographers to get us all posed in front of the hearse!

As we exited we noticed a few of our Tagrel friends talking to a very large, very ugly ogre.  We wondered what Shrek was doing at a Disney park . . . he belongs at Universal Studios.  Then we noticed that it was our friend WillCAD. 

A big ugly ogre (on the left)

After the ride Carol and I split up briefly.  She went to Frontier Mercantile to score her Halloween Party pins while I went to Casey’s to grab us a table where we could have a hot dog for dinner.  By the time Carol arrived I had been joined by WDWNJ, Big Red and sjh801. When we had finished a hot dog and soft drink it was time for some Trick or Treating.  The five of us worked our way through Adventureland and hit every Trick or Treat stop along the way.  We took a break to ride Pirates of the Caribbean and then carried on with our quest for sugar!  We scavenged more goodies in Fantasyland and Tomorrowland before heading back to Casey’s for the special Halloween fireworks show called Hallowishes.  BetsyAnn and SusanL hosted the Hallowishes meet.  What a wonderful display.  Much of the music for the show is from The Nightmare Before Christmas and we really enjoy the movie and the music! 


When Hallowishes was over we wandered back to Liberty Square and found a spot in front of the Hall of Presidents for the parade meet, again hosted by BetsyAnn and SusanL.  The several pounds of candy we had gathered earlier just wasn’t enough so we each made a trip to the restroom and stopped at the Golden Horseshoe on the way back for more goodies!


Our parade viewing spot was excellent, we had a great view of the headless horseman as he galloped by and then we were able to get some good photos of the floats and characters.  This is our favourite parade as well; those dancing gravediggers are a treat to watch!


When the parade was over it was time to say our goodbyes.  The dogs had been alone for quite a while.  A quiet boat ride under clear skies put us in the mood for bed.  It was quickly lights out time.

Friday October 23rd


A bright and early morning; Carol had set the alarm for 7:00 a.m. but the dogs had me up at 6:20.  We needed to be at EPCOT for rope drop at 9:00 so things got moving quickly.  Walk the dogs, a quick bowl of cereal, a shower and we were on our way.  The parking lot was almost empty at 8:20 and we were able to park in the first row!  We met sjh801 and starzneyes4Mickey on our way to the gate and then spotted wdwr, about third in line.  We joined her.  Soon I heard my name called and dinkybean758 appeared and joined us.  By the time they opened the gate and let us in as far as Future World there were 22 of us.

Waiting for rope drop!

C'mon, let's go!

Bookwood collected all our park passes and did a power walk to the FastPass machines at Soarin’ while the rest of us headed for the standby line.  We waited briefly for a few Tag friends who had been held up and then we headed into the queue.  When we arrived at the loading area Beci Mahnken took charge of arrangements and convinced Cast Member Ryan that he could load us all in the front row.  And so he did, 5 went to the front row in the A Pod, 11 in the B Pod and 6 in the C Pod.  When the flight lifted off we were sitting 22 abreast.  Way to go Beci, and of course our hosts Kathleena, SusanL and wdwr.


After the Soarin’ flight we went to Sunshine Seasons, hosted by zakerdog and Bookwood, for a snack.  We all sat in the same area and enjoyed a few minutes of quiet time to chatter.  Then it was time to head to the new Finding Nemo ride at the Living Seas, also hosted by zakerdog and Bookwood.  Frogman and Alex joined us along the way so our group was a little larger for the second ride of the day.

Anybody seen Nemo?

After the Nemo ride Carol and I decided to head back to the campground to spend some time with the dogs so we gave our Soarin’ FastPasses to Frogman and Alex.  They seemed thrilled to get them and disappeared almost immediately to get their ride.


Once back at The Fort we had a sandwich for lunch and enjoyed a short nap.  I took the dogs out to the dog walk area behind the 800 loop and threw the ball for Zak until he wouldn’t run any more.  Zoë just nosed around looking for squirrels.  She didn’t see any but she certainly smelled them!


Dinnertime soon rolled around and since we had no plans we hopped in the car and ended up at Sweet Tomatoes in the Crossroads Plaza.  We didn’t know what to expect, we only knew that many of our Tagrel friends like the place.  Now we understand why.  They feature a large salad bar with a huge selection of fresh items, fresh breads and delicious soups.  We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and will go back there again!

Soon it was time for the annual Tagrel display of conniving, greed, trickery and skullduggery known as the Gift Exchange.  This exercise brings out the worst in many of us and this evening was no exception.  The biggest victim of the evening was TiggerTails58 . . . she must have had her gift stolen at least a half dozen times.  MyBob couldn’t hold on to his precious Tinker Bell, even with three tries!

Off to a slow start!

TiggerTails58 was a frequent victim! dinkeybean658 loved her gift!

My name is trouble - T R O U B L E

Fortunately I came home with the Jim Shore Goofy figurine I wanted and Carol picked up two Vinylmation figures.  It was a great night for us . . . for others, not so good.  But as usual it was fun for all.  Thanks to our hosts SusanL and BetsyAnn.


After the event we drove TiggerTails58 to Shades of Green on our way home to Fort Wilderness.  Quick to bed since we have another rope drop start tomorrow.

Saturday October 24th

There was an audible creak as my eyes opened this morning.  Just not enough sleep the past few days!  Once again it was a 7:00 a.m. alarm but the dogs couldn’t wait.  We did our normal chores and were quickly off to Animal Kingdom for rope drop. 

As we were heading down the slope from the Oasis toward Discovery Island we decided to have a PhotoPass picture taken.  While we were waiting for the first photographer, we noticed Ripkinsnana, MyBob, Mike and Masayo posing for the second photographer.  Before we knew it starzineyes4Mickey had dashed into their photo and was beckoning for us to join.  We dashed down hill and leaped into the pose.  Before the shocked photographer could compose the shot BetsyAnn jumped in.  He began to line up the shot again and there were OhMickeyYourSoFine and AmyMouse.  He recomposed . . . oops, there’s roodad.  He recomposed . . . wait, here’s Carl.  Once more he lined it up . . . hold on, here’s sjh801!  By this time the photographer was sitting on the bridge cutting out paper dolls!  When we finally got him back on his feet he took several shots and it turned out great!  He was a good sport!

We convened with our larger group in front of Island Mercantile.  Once again Bookwood volunteered to do the “FastPass Dash” to Expedition Everest while most of us sauntered over to the Kilimanjaro Safari standby line area.  Soon we were all assembled and 32 of us entered the queue together.

When we approached the loading area we were greeted by Cast Member Ray who did a double-take when we told him our group of 32 wanted to all ride on the same truck.  What a trooper he was – he called his supervisor and got the OK to take us all to the disabled loading area and load us there.  

Everyone got squeezed in but me.  I volunteered to ride shotgun but the supervisor nixed that, so they loaded a wheelchair, strapped it down and ushered me in.  During the loading process our driver, Emily, appointed me the designated scapegoat and she, along with everyone else, picked on me mercilessly throughout the ride.  “Which way do we turn Gary?”  “What kind of animal is that Gary?”  “Can you sing along with the radio Gary?”  What a great ride it was.  There were plenty of animals out in plain view and Emily quickly picked up on how little we cared about her normal commentary, so she ad-libbed and kept us quite entertained! 

Soon Emily and Ray were unloading us again.  We thanked them heartily and gave them each a packet of candy, a button and a Cast Appreciation Card.

We moved on to Expedition Everest where our group of 22 (were there really 10 wall-huggers or were they all drinking tea?) moved together through the FastPass queue.  Once again there was a double-take when we said our group wanted to ride together on the same train, but they had us stand aside and then loaded us on the next train to arrive.  Carol and I rode in the second row, with 20 Tagomaniacs filling the 10 rows behind us.  What great fun!

Next stop was the Flame Tree Barbecue where we enjoyed lunch in the Owl Room.  Carol distributed the last of our Canadian candies to the group before we headed out to the campground.  Our friend Masayo, from Japan, had not seen Zak & Zoë yet, so she rode back to Fort Wilderness with us.  She amused Zak for a half hour, throwing his ball and speaking to him in Japanese.  He seemed to understand what she was saying and he is now yipping with a distinct accent, so we think he has picked up the language.  He’s such a smart dog!

We walked Masayo over to the dock to catch a boat to the Magic Kingdom and then went back to the motorhome for a nap.  We had planned to go to the pool for a swim, but it was just too hot to go to the pool.  Orlando had a record high temperature of 90 degrees today and the humidity was oppressive!

After our rest we walked the dogs and then rode our bikes to the dock and caught the boat to the Magic Kingdom.  We met WDWNJ & Big Red for dinner at the Plaza Restaurant.  As usual dinner was great.

The four of us wandered over to Tomorrowland and rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority.  Next stop was the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor and then we headed to the Tomorrowland Terrace for the Wishes Dessert Party.  This was our first time for the party.  It was very nice, good desserts, hot and cold drinks and a comfortable seating area with great sight lines of the castle and the SpectroMagic Parade which precedes the Wishes fireworks show.  When Wishes started everyone stood and moved to the railing of the terrace but, since the seating was limited, the crowd was small and everyone had a great view.  It’s a nice way to watch the show and we will definitely do it again someday.

We promised ourselves and earlier night, so we said our goodbyes after Wishes and headed back to “the Fort”.  We were home by 10:15 p.m.  Our dream of an early night came true!

Sunday October 25th


“Giddy-up go,” she said, “We’ve got an early start and a busy day!”  And so we were off again.  Walk the dogs, hit the shower and hit the road.  It’s become a regular routine.  Is this how vacations are supposed to be?


We drove to Disney’s Hollywood Studios where we were co-hosting the “Toy Story Midway Mania Meet” with our friends WDWNJ and Big Red.  We all met in front of the Clothier’s store during the rope drop pre-show and once again Bookwood gathered park passes and did the FastPass Power Walk.  She commented, “I’ve become that person I hate . . . nothing is worse than being behind the person with 30 tickets picking up FastPasses for a group.”  It’s much more efficient and it really does make sense in all cases, except when you are behind them.  Thanks Pam, you’re a trooper!

We assembled near the standby entrance, and once we were pretty much assembled we stepped into the queue.  Once we were inside we stepped aside a few times to let strangers pass so that our group of 34 was all together.  Time passes quickly in the queue.  There are so many great old toys to look at and reminisce; and of course there is a lot of chatter with our friends.  

Before we knew it we were on the ride - shooting like crazy fools - and then it was over.


We had assembled outside for a group picture when the toy soldiers came along on a recon mission so we invited them to join us.  WDWNJ got some great shots of us with the platoon.  Please post one when you get home John!


The Pixar lamp came out to entertain us while we waited and then it was time to ride again, using our FastPasses.  Once again we whisked through the line and had a thoroughly enjoyable ride.  The difficulty with FastPasses is that the time available to visit while you are in the queue is often much too short.


I hid behind this lamppost and jumped out to scare Carol.  

She didn't seem too surprised . . . 

Most of us adjourned to Starring Rolls where we had a coffee and a snack.  After our snack we headed down Sunset Boulevard.  Some of us went to Rock ‘n Roller Coaster while Daddio’s DW Cathy headed to Tower of Terror to pick up FastPasses for the group.  I rode RnR while Carol hugged the wall and then the group headed en masse to TofT and rode together.


The 1:00 p.m. start of the Capture the Magic Meet was approaching, so we began to make our way to the Backlot Express area to wait for the event to begin.  We found some chairs in a shady location and Carol and I shared a chicken wrap and a cold drink while we waited.  Soon the rest of the competitors began to trickle in and by 1:00 we had our instructions in hand.  At 1:07 we were off on our quest and had 45 minutes to complete the assignment.


Capture the Magic is a photo scavenger hunt.  It’s a high-speed chase through the parks in scorching heat.  It’s an absolutely foolish exercise, there is no financial reward and no one cares about bragging rights.  So why do we compete?  Good question, we’re not really sure ourselves!


We were given a sheet with riddles or cryptic clues to point us toward various locations throughout the park.  We had to find the locations and take a picture of our team in front of each spot.  There was also a catch . . . remember those coloured and flavoured wax lips you used to chew as a child?  We each had a set of those lips and we had to wear the lips and display our magic wands during each picture.  As you might expect, we drew an abundance of attention.  How would you react if a group of strangers ran up to you, asked if you had seen the Mona Lisa with sunglasses on then pulled out some wax lips, slapped them in their mouths, waved their magic wands, snapped a picture and quickly ran away?  Yes, we are a strange lot!


By 1:52 the competition was over.  Our team goal this year was to have fun and to finish in sixth place.  That was not to be . . . there were only four teams, so the worst we could do was fourth.  There’s always next year though - we hope to sink to new depths next year!


After catching our breath and cooling off a bit (it was a day of record high temperatures in the Orlando area – 91 degrees with steamy humidity) Carol and I drove back to the camp and spent some time with the dogs.

By 5:00 we were on our way again, heading to EPCOT and the Biergarten at Germany for dinner with the Tagrel Gang.  We walked through Future World and turned right to pass through Canada and England on our way around World Showcase as we headed toward Germany.  As we walked, Carol began her “trickle strategy.”  She has decided that we should stay a few extra days in Fort Wilderness, so each day she will “trickle out” a few new reasons why it makes sense to stay.  So today she began the process by simply saying, “You know, we could stay two extra days and get home on Sunday instead of Friday.”  She hopes that after trickling out a few new reasons each day I will become convinced that it was my idea in the first place.  Stay tuned for more trickles tomorrow.  I always look forward to her new ploys!

But back to EPCOT - We stopped for a few minutes in Canada and watched the end of the Off Kilter set (I really enjoy this group) and then carried on.  As we passed through France I noticed a little girl, about three years old, standing alone in the middle of the concourse, with an ice cream cone dripping down her arm.  “Look,” I said to Carol, “a sticky orphan.”


We carried on through France and Morocco and had stopped in Japan to have a PhotoPass taken in front of the Torii gate when that same “sticky orphan” ran by crying.  “Oh no,” Carol cried, “She’s lost.  We need a cast member.” And off she ran to catch the little girl.  I followed and we soon caught the youngster who was so scared because she was lost and alone in a strange place.  She quickly calmed down and we headed back to France with her.  As we passed through Morocco a man with an empty stroller came running toward us.  The girl ran and hugged him . . . he was her grandfather.  He thanked us profusely and then hurried back to France where her mother was frantic with worry.

We went back to Japan and this time managed to get our PhotoPass completed.  We arrived in Germany a few minutes early and before we knew it our friends began to stream in.  Carol was starving by the time our group of 30 was seated.  This was our second time at the Biergarten.  We tried it several years ago and didn’t really enjoy it.  The food was OK and the entertainment was OK, but there are so many other places that we really enjoy that this is one we will seldom return to.  We thoroughly enjoyed the company and the camaraderie and had a great evening.

 It was sad saying so many goodbyes as we left, many of these friends we will not see for at least a year, or more.  So, after many sad goodbyes and friendly hugs we were on our way.  We were back to the motorhome by 10:00 p.m. and had fully intended to go for a swim and a hot tub . . . but once again it was not to be.  Fatigue had kicked in and after catching up on a few e-mails and web sites we were off to bed.

Monday October 26th


Finally, we had a day to sleep in.  It’s just too bad we forgot to tell Zoë.  She woke me up at 6:10 a.m. and let me know she had to go out.  I intended to go back to bed, but as I climbed the steps back into the RV Carol turned on the kitchen light.  She was up and fully awake.  I went back to bed but sleep didn’t come so it was another early morning.


Carol did three loads of laundry (no John & Cathy, not that kind) while I puttered around with trip report entries and then we headed off to Animal Kingdom.  Carol hoped to find a D23 Magazine and a few Vinylmation pieces there for a friend.  Unfortunately, both were sold out.  We spent the rest of the morning enjoying the park.  We sat through the “It’s Tough to be a Bug” 3D movie and then headed toward Dinoland where we rode Dinosaur for the first time in years.  As near as we can recall Carol last rode it in 1999 and I last rode in 2000.  It was like riding for the first time, so many things we had forgotten!  It wasn’t as bumpy as we remembered it so we will probably not wait 10 years to ride it again.

From Dinosaur we walked to Everest where we hopped in the Single Rider’s line.  We were quickly through and were directed into separate rows on the same train.  Before we loaded a woman approached Carol and asked if she would mind switching so she could ride with her friend.  Her friend was in my car.  BONUS – we were riding together.  We got a kick out of the couple in the row behind us.  They were newlyweds and he didn’t like roller coasters but was coming along to please his bride.  He was just doing the macho thing!  Then the ride started . . . all we heard throughout the ride was her voice saying, “You’re all right, just keep your head back . . . Open your eyes, you’ll feel better with your eyes open. . . sit up, keep your head back, you’ll be fine.”  We chuckled silently.


We left Everest and headed out of the park.  Time was approaching for our lunch at Kona Café.  Soon after we arrived at the Polynesian Resort our lunch-mates WDWNJ, BIG Red, ChefLizzy, dinkeybean758 and TiggerTails58 arrived as well.  We were soon called to our table and had a delightful lunch.  Good food and good friends!


During lunch Carol asked dinkeybean758 (Masayo) if she had any dinner plans.  “Yes,” she replied, “I have a reservation for 1900 Park Fair at the Grand Floridian.  Would you and Gary like to join Janice and I?”  “No,” Carol said, “Gary and I are going to Le Cellier and we hoped you and Janice could join us.”


Gosh it was fun to watch the decision making process . . . Masayo got a perplexed look on her face, then turned to Janice as if to ask, “What do you think?” but before any words came out Masayo’s expression changed to one of determination and she said, “Yes, we’ll be there.”  The whole process took 1.3 nanoseconds!

We said our goodbyes with John & Cathy & Lizzy and headed back to the Fort.  As we entered the campground I stopped and Carol ran into the Guest Services Desk at the Outpost.  The printed schedule of Halloween events was finally available.  Here’s a sampling of the fun we’ll be having at the campground!


It was swim time!  Man it’s hot!  We rode our bikes to the Bike Barn and registered our campsite for the decoration contest, registered for the trick or treating and also registered Zak and Zoë for the costumed pet parade. 


We finally made it to the pool by 2:00 and stayed about an hour.  I had a swim and then a long soak in the hot tub, but the tub was too hot for Carol.  She went back to the pool.  After a few more minutes I went back to the pool too and cooled off.  At 3:00 we headed back to the RV and had a nap with the dogs.

By 5:00 we had fed and walked the dogs and were heading to EPCOT for dinner at Le Cellier.  Now came “Trickle Part II” when Carol said, “You know Dave has just started a new job, it would be better for him to meet us in Binghamton on Sunday rather than taking time off work on Friday.”  And so the process continues . . . wonder what tomorrow will bring?

TiggerTails58 and dinkeybean758 were waiting for us at Le Cellier and we were quickly seated.  Masayo told us that this was only her second time to dine at Le Cellier.  She tries to get a reservation every time she comes but never has any success.  After we invited her she sent a text message to Scopa-san to let him know a little pixie dust had come her way. 


We had a great dinner with the ladies, said our goodbyes and once again headed back to camp.  I stayed with the dogs while Carol headed to Downtown Disney for some shopping.  Carol was back by 10:45 with a bag full of goodies.


Tomorrow will be a slow day . . . Tagomania is all over and our playmates have gone home.  We’re looking forward to a slower pace for the rest of our stay!

Tuesday October 27th


It was a wasted day!   A glorious, totally wasted day! 


Zoë woke me up about 7:15 and I spent an hour on the computer reading e-mails and posts before Carol got up.  Neither of us had any ambition at all, so I fiddled with trip reports and she tinkered on her computer.  At about 10:00 a.m. she drove off to pick up some groceries and I did a few chores around the RV, checked the oil and cleaned out a few bins in the basement.  We call those storage bays underneath the motorhome our basement.


Carol was back by 11:45 and we had a sandwich and then both hopped in the car.  Our shopping stops were:

  • The Character Outlet Store on International Drive.  This is a great store, lots of room, the merchandise is well displayed and easy to find.  Carol picked up a few cheap pins to use as traders and a flashing Christmas necklace.  You can never have too much bling!

  • Lowes on Sand Lake Road at John Young Parkway.  Carol is looking for self-adhesive border (wallpaper border) to replace the accent border in the motorhome.  No luck today – no one carries the peel and stick kind we need.

  • Home Depot on Southland, near the Florida Mall.  I bought the globes I need to make another Mickey lamp.  Carol saw several short ones at the Fort, so now she has to have one too!

  • The Disney Store in the Florida Mall.  This store was disappointing.  Nothing but children’s clothing.  They were starting to get set up for Christmas and it looked like that may have some potential, Carol bought one Christmas ornament.

By 4:30 we were back in the car and on the way back to the Fort.  This is precisely when Carol remembered that she had planned to have lunch at Beaches and Cream.  This led her to comment that we had wasted the whole day . . . and then the trickling began.  Here’s a summary of today’s trickles:


    1. We have wasted an entire day shopping; we’ll have to add two more days.

    2. Zoë is more active at the Fort than she is at home, it’s much better for her health to stay a few more days.

    3. We’ll have to add a day so we can go to Beaches and Cream.

    4. If we stay a few extra days we will have time to relax after we take down the Halloween decorations.

She’s really hitting her stride now with the trickles.  Some of them are pretty weak from a perspective of logic, but she compensates with the sheer volume of ideas.


Back at the camp we spent some time with the dogs before heading out at 6:45 to the Hoop-dee-Doo Musical Revue.  We really enjoy this show.  We first saw it in the 1970’s and it has not changed since.  Same old corny jokes, but it’s a toe-tapping good time.  About once every five years is enough and this was the year!

Daddio and Cathy had invited us to join them at the Bay Lake Tower Owner’s Lounge to watch Hallowishes and we had hoped the HdDMR would be over in time to let us make boat connections to the Contemporary before the fireworks, but that was not to be.  The show was still going strong at 9:00 when we sent Daddio a text message saying we couldn’t make it.  We were both disappointed, several people have told us the view from the lounge there is just great!  Maybe another time!


When the HdDMR was over we scurried down to the dock, found two chairs and just got seated as Hallowishes began.  It’s a great show and the view from the dock is good . . . but oh it would have been nice to see from BLT!


We headed back to the campsite, put on our suits and rode our bikes to the pool.  A quick soak in the hot tub and then we jumped in the pool.  When Carol first jumped in the pool, she was the only one in it.  Then I jumped in and doubled the occupancy.


By 11:15 we were back to the site and heading to bed!  It was a glorious wasted day!

Wednesday October 28th


It was another wasted day!   Well, not totally wasted, but pretty much!  Zoë let me sleep until 7:25 and I tried to ignore her, hoping Carol would get up.  No way was that going to happen!  When she is across a huge room in a crowd of noisy people and I say something just a wee bit off colour I can see the hair on the back of Carol’s neck stand up.  But in the morning she is totally deaf.  Zoë was whimpering directly into her ear and she did not flinch!  So, ever the martyr, I got up to take care of the dogs.  Carol got up much later!


We set a record today . . . two consecutive days without visiting a park!  WOW!


After a leisurely few hours of coffee and computer we took a walk with the dogs.  We walked all around the 500 loop of campsites, recording which sites we like and which ones we don’t.  We keep the list handy when we check in to make sure the site we are assigned is OK.  It was another day of record temperatures; we were cooked after covering the 500 loop so we abandoned our plans to tour the 300 loop and headed home to cool off.  Even the dogs were panting!


After a brief rest we hopped in the car and to go to the Beach Club Resort for lunch at Beaches & Cream.  As we passed the Outpost we stopped and asked if they had two more days available at site 517.  We didn’t want to move.  The Cast Member at the check-in desk called and within a few minutes our two extra days were booked.  So we now pull out Thursday November 5th and arrive home Sunday the 8th.


We happily drove on to the Beach Club.  As we walked from the parking lot toward the Beach Club lobby a cast member called from across the fountain and said, “Look to the sky in the east, the shuttle is going to launch any second.”  We looked in the direction she was pointing and within seconds the plume of smoke appeared, rising from behind a cloud.  It was my 4th look at a shuttle launch and Carol’s 5th.

Then we were off to Beaches and Cream.  Lunch was great.  I was in my element.  Carol always tells me I’m trapped in the 60’s . . . and this is a 60’s place.  It’s an old time soda fountain.  The milkshakes contain real ice cream, milk and syrups for flavour.  They are mixed in a metal cup on an old fashioned mixer.  They even experimented for me and made a PBJ shake (peanut butter & jelly) just like at the 50’s Prime Time Café.  Old 50’s and 60’s music was playing in the background and I could sing along with every song.  The burger and fries were fabulous.  How have I missed this place for so long?

From the Beach Club we went to the Character Outlet at the Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores and then to the Dollar General Store on Highway 192.  We picked up a few more Halloween decorations and then headed back to the campsite. 


Back at the campsite we put up those new Halloween decorations.  Nap time ensued!  After a brief nap we walked the 300 loop and marked our preferred campsites.  Dinnertime was approaching so we hopped in the car heading to Downtown Disney and the Earl of Sandwich.  When we arrived at DTD there was no parking and plenty of cars were lurking waiting for spaces as they became available.  I dropped Carol off near Earl’s and she dashed in for some sandwiches and salads to go.  She was back in a few minutes and we returned to the Fort.  After enjoying the sandwiches we boarded the boat to the Contemporary Resort.  Daddio and Cathy had kindly invited us (once again) to join them and watch the Wishes fireworks show from the Owner’s Lounge at Bay Lake Tower.  It was awesome!  They met us at the dock and gave us a short tour of the lobby and pool area before we hopped on the elevator to the 16th floor.  We went to the large outdoor viewing area beside the lounge, where you can see the Polynesian, the Grand Floridian and all of the Magic Kingdom.  The view was so breathtaking that we quickly forgot about the heat and humidity.  We did not want to go inside, so we quickly picked up some drinks from the bar and returned to the rail in plenty of time to watch Wishes.  What a great perspective for the show, all I can think of to describe it is WOW!            WOW!

After the fireworks we walked through the lounge and across to the viewing area on the opposite side, overlooking the swimming pool and Bay Lake.  Another amazing view, we could see the boats shuttling across Bay Lake and we saw the lights of Fort Wilderness and the Wilderness Lodge Resort.


Soon it was time to head back to the Fort.  Daddio and Cathy accompanied us back to the dock and then decided they felt like a boat ride.  We continued to chatter all the way across Bay Lake to the campground where we thanked them again for their hospitality.  They stayed on the boat for the return voyage to the Contemporary Resort.


Carol and I rode our bikes back to the campsite, put on our bathing suits and rode to the pool for a refreshing dip.  By 11:15 we were back home and heading to bed.  As we sometimes say in Canada, “Lights out, flood the rink!”

Thursday October 29th


No more wasted days.  Zoë clucked at about 7:20 a.m. and Carol got up.  Yes, you read that right; Carol got up and fed the dogs.  I was up a few minutes later and within the hour we were in the car and on our way to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  We were there for rope drop and went directly to Toy Story Midway Mania.  Carol picked up FastPasses and joined me in the standby line.  It was almost a walk-on, the line moved so quickly.  We barely had time to enjoy the theming in the queue area, but Carol did snap a few pictures.  Since buying the Wii game we have a better understanding of what to look for and shoot while we ride, but this has not yet reflected in higher scores.

After the ride we wandered over to the Animation Studio but it was not open yet.  We stopped and shared a pastry at Starring Rolls and then headed down Sunset Boulevard.  

The morning mist had not yet burned off and the Tower of Terror looked spooky in the fog so we snapped a few pictures and had a PhotoPass taken.

I had planned to hop in the singles line at Rock ‘n Roller Coaster but Carol said, “It’s been ten years since I rode this one; I think I’ll go with you!”  I was shocked.  After the ride she said it wasn’t as bad as she remembered.  I don’t know if that means she’ll do it again . . . I’ll just have to wait and see.


We headed over to Tower of Terror which was a walk on and then went back to Animation.  We sat through the show with Mushu and then stopped to watch the characters from Up.

In the Animation Gallery store we visited for a few minutes with Ink & Paint artist David Rippberger before heading back to Toy Story Midway Mania for our second ride.  We picked up two more FastPasses for Toy Story and used them to make a little magic for some strangers as we left the park.


It was close to noon and the heat was getting oppressive so we hopped in the car and drove out to Kissimmee where we shopped in the K-Mart and Home Depot.  Carol has been looking for some Disney jack ‘o lanterns but they’re all sold out!  We were back to the camp by 1:30 and in the pool by 2:00.  It sure felt refreshing in the heat of the mid-afternoon.  After an hour and a half we headed back to the campsite.


There was barely time for a nap before it was time to hop in the car and head to the Polynesian Resort for our dinner at ‘Ohana.  It was terrific as usual.  We sat beside a nice couple from North Carolina who were celebrating their 25th anniversary.  We wished them Happy Anniversary and ended up chatting with them throughout dinner.  It was a wonderful meal, not rushed like we sometimes feel at ‘Ohana.

After dinner we drove to Downtown Disney where Carol shopped; I sat and read my book while I waited for her.  She was done before I knew it (Surprise!) and we were back at the Fort by 9:00 p.m.  We were both yawning a great deal and it was another early night!

Friday October 30th


Today I woke up on a bicycle . . . at least it seemed that way.  We were up at 7:15 and within an hour we were off on our bikes scouting more camping loops.  We covered the 600 and 900 loops marking down our preferred sites. 


By 10:00 it was steamy hot so we went to the pool where we cooled off and relaxed for over two hours.

 We had a light bite to eat at poolside then hopped back on the bikes and rode the exercise trail from Fort Wilderness to Wilderness Lodge.  

Along the way we stopped at Tri-Circle D Ranch and spoke with the blacksmith who was shoeing one of the Disney percherons.

The exercise trail is a level run, paved all the way, and more or less follows along beside West Wilderness Way, the road between the two resorts.  The road is restricted to Disney vehicles so the exercise trail is the only ground route for guests to move between the two resorts.  Golf carts are not allowed on the exercise trail or on West Wilderness Way, it’s pedestrians and bicycles only, and a very pretty route to take.  Along the way there are several unpaved nature trails which cross the path.

We relaxed for a few minutes at Wilderness Lodge, had a cold drink at the pool bar, and checked out the Halloween décor inside the lodge.  Then we hopped on our bikes once again and set off down the nature trail which follows the shore of Bay Lake back to Fort Wilderness.  About half way back we came upon a Segway tour, stopped along the trail.  One of the cast members diplomatically told us we were in a restricted area and should have turned at the last fork in the road.  So we turned back and took the fork back to the paved exercise trail.  We’ll sneak back again and finish the trail along the lake beside the ruins of the old River Country attraction.

As we returned to the Fort we came across a ranch hand who was grazing one of the percherons on the grass alongside the trail.  Another stop to admire the horse and we were on our way to the motorhome.  It was shower time . . . we were both wringing wet after all that biking in that heat.

We walked the dogs and had a short nap, then it was time for a quick bite of dinner before the 6:00 p.m. golf cart parade.  Carol nuked some pasta dishes and we were off, dragging the dogs and our lawn chairs, to watch the parade.  Since we’ve never been here for Halloween we didn’t know exactly what to expect.  It was amazing.  There were over a hundred carts and most of them were extremely well done.  They were festooned with lights, bats, spiders, pumpkins, Disney characters and many played music as they paraded by.  The headless horseman led the slow procession by and it was nice to get a clear view of him.

Once the parade was over Carol went directly to the dock and boarded a boat to the Contemporary Resort for the monthly pin trading night.  There was a huge crowd there and she made some good trades.


Meanwhile I grabbed my tripod and camera and walked around the campground getting some shots of the Halloween décor.  There is so much more on display than there was a week ago when all out Tagrel friends were here.  Some of the campsites are awesome, with ghosts and bats flying through the trees.

Carol was back before 9:00 p.m. and we were both hot and hungry, so guess what?  Yup . . . bathing suits on and back on the bikes!  Carol had not seen the newer decorations at night so we rode through the 300 loop on our way to the Settlement and then turned into the 100 loop and ended up at Crockett’s Tavern, stopping along the way to admire the best of the campsites.  We had a pizza and cold drinks at Crockett’s and then toured the 700 and 800 loops on the way to the pool.


We soaked our aching muscles in the hot tub and then cooled off in the pool.  By 11:00 p.m. we were back to the motorhome.   I fell asleep on a bicycle . . . at least it seemed that way!

Saturday October 31st


Today I woke up with a dog clucking in my face.  Zoë must have known her 15 minutes of fame were due today and she wanted to get going.  So I was up and had the dogs out at 7:15 a.m.  Then I settled in to write and upload yesterday’s trip report.  It seems we have some friends back home who just can’t get their day started off properly without reading our report.  If we’re late with the report their day starts out off-centre and goes downhill from there.  I get dizzy just thinking about it! 


So I focused on getting the report together while Carol put together the dog’s costumes for the Fort Wilderness Halloween Pet Parade.  Zoë was going as Eeyore and Zak was planning to be a jester.  So we had them out early, working on their poses, making sure they showed the judges their best sides.

Soon it was 11:00 a.m. and time for the parade to begin.  There were over 100 dogs and one very brave cat.  We all assembled in the dog park beside the 300 loop and then paraded in single file past the judges who were at the entrance to the 300 loop.  Zak winked at the woman judge and Zoë blew a kiss to the man . . . just to be sure to get their attention.  Then we paraded on around the 300 loop and back to the dog park.

Soon the judges announced the results.  Third place went to that brave cat, second place to a dog in a Pooh costume who was riding in a stroller decorated as a hunny pot.  The first place dog was a basset hound with a monkey on his back.  The dogs took the loss well; we assured them that they’re number one with us.

Back at the campsite we had a cold drink and cooled off a bit (still scorching weather) before we hopped in the car and headed to Disney’s Beach Club Resort for lunch at Beaches and Cream.


We came directly back to the campsite to get things set up for the trick or treaters coming tonight.  We opened up bag after bag of candy and poured them into several big sacks.  Before we knew it the sandman was beating us both down so we had a quick nap.

Within an hour we were up again.  I dragged the laptop outside and hooked up the speakers.  Soon the soundtrack from Hallowishes was blasting out from under the motorhome. (Over and over and over again!)  Carol brought a big bag of candy outside at 5:00 p.m. just as the first of the trick or treaters arrived.  They came in waves, they came in groups, they just kept coming.

  There were a few brief lulls but before we packed it all up at 8:30 we had "treated" somewhere between 250 and 300 kids (and a few adults).  It was a great time – there were some very inventive costumes.  I managed to barbecue some hot dogs while Carol gave out the candy, so we had a nutritious home-cooked meal for a change.


At 8:30 we moved indoors to cool off a bit before hitting the pool.  It was still in the mid 80’s and very humid out.  Not at all like Halloween at home!


By 9:15 we were in the pool.  Cooled off and refreshed we rode our bikes back to the campsite by 10:00 and fiddled on the Internet as long as we could keep our eyes open.  It wasn’t really all that long!

Sunday November 1st


Today I woke with a feeling of serenity.  The time change had given us an extra hour of sleep, the trip report postings had been uploaded the night before, there was no pressure whatsoever!  A blissful morning!


We relaxed and drank a pot of coffee, had a bite of toast, took the dogs for a long walk, threw the ball for Zak while Zoë chased squirrels, and still made rope drop at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with no rush at all!  When they dropped the rope Carol began her quick walk to the Toy Story Midway Mania FastPass machine while I went to the standby line.  We rode once and then headed over to the Great Movie Ride, our first ride there this trip.  After the Movie Ride we headed toward Sunset Boulevard and stopped at Starring Rolls where we shared an orange juice and a pastry.  We returned to Toy Story and used our FastPasses to ride the second time and then headed to the American Idol Experience.  It was our second time at American Idol and it was a good show.  They had three talented singers. 

We carried on to Rock ‘n Roller Coaster for the fourth ride of Carol’s lifetime.  She may even do it again sometime! 

We headed for Tower of Terror, but the standby time was 30 minutes so we decided to pass.  By 12:30 we were in the car heading back to the Fort.

We had a quick sandwich in the motorhome and then started breaking down all the Halloween décor and packing it into totes for the trip home.  It took over two hours to get it all down, dismantled and stowed away.  The “take down” seemed to take longer than it took to set it all up!


By 3:15 the job was all done and we were both hot and sweaty.  We both headed to the showers and I took a nap while Carol caught up on some computer stuff.  At 4:30 we took the dogs for another long walk (Zoë treed three more squirrels) and then hopped in the car to head to the Polynesian Resort for our dinner at Kona Café.  Dinner was great, we shared pot stickers and I had the shrimp and scallops while Carol had the New York Strip.  Both were excellent.  Carol saved a piece of steak for Zak, today was his 9th birthday and he got a special treat.  Zoë is on a strict no protein, no fat diet, so she got some broccoli.  Fortunately for us she loves vegetables.


After our dinner at Kona Café we headed to WalMart for some shopping and were back at the campsite by 8:30.  We rode our bikes to the dock and sat under an umbrella on the dockside patio to watch Hallowishes and then walked to the end of the dock to see the Electric Water Pageant.


It was a good day . . . but of course, every day at Disney is a good day!

Monday November 2nd


Today I woke to a clear windshield.  It was the first time since we arrived I could see out the windshield in the morning.  There was no condensation on the outside of any of the motorhome windows.  When I took the dogs out it was cool and comfortable.  The dreadful humidity has broken.  Hooray!


Carol slept in a bit longer than I did but we still made it to the Magic Kingdom by about 9:15.  We ambled up Main Street and had a rare walk through the castle.  We admired the Cinderella mural for a few minutes and then Carol headed to Peter Pan to pick up FastPasses while I snapped a few pictures.  We rode Winnie the Pooh and then wandered over to Tomorrowland and Buzz Lightyear.  The first ride we both had very low scores (Bad guns of course!) so we zipped around to the entrance and rode again.  Our scores were better but still not good (Mediocre guns!).

We wandered back to Fantasyland, saw the long line for Snow White’s Scary Adventure and decided to skip it.  We rode Peter Pan, picked up two more FastPasses to use later and then carried on to Adventureland where we wanted to see Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee on the Liberty Belle Riverboat.  The Liberty Belle was just about ready to sail as we approached, so we boarded and toured the Rivers of America.

We wandered down the river walk toward Splash Mountain and staked out a prime spot (thanks to Cast Member Ben) to watch the new show intended to promote the new movie, the Princess and the Frog, to be released in December.  Soon the riverboat pulled up and stopped directly in front of us.  It’s a spirited, toe-tapping show which lasts about 20 minutes.

After the show we wandered over to Liberty Square and discovered that the Liberty Tree Tavern was accepting walk-ins so we took a pager and sat to wait.  While we were waiting we decided that we really didn’t want a big lunch since we were having dinner at Whispering Canyon Café.  So we handed back the pager and walked over to Columbia Harbor House.  As we approached the restaurant the Liberty Belle returned to dock with the performers singing and dancing.  It seemed like a private encore just for us, there were few other people around.  We were soon seated upstairs at a window enjoying our lunch and then we wandered back down Main Street and out to the boat for our return voyage to Fort Wilderness.

We had a nap and then hopped on our bikes to scout the last two camping loops we were mapping.  Now we are all prepared for the next time we check in.  We’ll know exactly which sites we prefer and which we don’t.


By the time we were finished scouting it was time to leave for dinner.  We rode our bikes to the dock and boarded the boat to Wilderness Lodge.  This was our first dinner at Whispering Canyon in a few years.  It was good . . . always an entertaining venue.  Aside from joining in a group rendition of the Hokey Pokey we escaped unscathed!


We walked down to the dock with the intention of heading to the Magic Kingdom for Extra Magic Hours when Carol said, “Let’s just head back to the Fort.  I’ll do some laundry and we can have a swim.  The park will be nuts tonight!”  When I saw the huge line for the Magic Kingdom boat I knew she was right.  They were all young children on a post Halloween sugar high.  We breathed a huge sigh of relief as their hooting and shrieking faded in the distance.  We caught the first boat back to the Fort.


It’s much cooler now, so we opened up the RV to get some fresh air.  The A/C has been going steadily for two weeks.  Carol did some laundry while I fiddled on the computer.   We hit the hay early

Tuesday November 3rd


I woke when she licked my eyebrows.  Yes, that would be a great opening line for a novel about a flinty detective, but it was Zoë at 6:39 a.m.  She needed to go outside!  We went through our normal routine and were on our way to EPCOT by 9:00 a.m. 


Carol told me the previous night that we had to get going early since this was our penultimate day at the parks.  Penultimate is a really fancy word meaning “second to last”.  It’s a handy word to have when you want to make something sound way, way better than it really is . . . like, “We were penultimate in the Capture the Magic Meet.” or, “My brain surgeon graduated penultimate in his class.” or, “It’s our penultimate day at Walt Disney World.”

So we arrived at EPCOT about 9:15 and there was no line at Spaceship Earth.  We really enjoy this ride and hadn’t done it yet this trip.


Click on the picture to play a video!

From there we headed off to Innoventions and the new attraction from Raytheon, “The Sum of all Thrills”.  This is an attraction where you design your own thrill ride and then hop on a virtual reality simulator that takes you through the ride you just created.  You choose between a Bobsled, a Roller Coaster and a Jet Plane.  We went with the Roller Coaster and built in a giant loop and a double barrel roll.  Then we boarded the simulator to ride our creation; we named it “Roaring Mountain.”  Unfortunately, I am one of the body shapes (round, very round) which the simulator doesn’t like.  The shoulder restraint would not lock, so Carol rode alone.  She said it was awesome but next time we should add a little more speed to the loops and rolls.  So I’ll need to starve myself before we return and see if I can shoe-horn myself into it the next time!

From there we made a brief stop at Pin Central and then shopped our way through Mouse Gear on our way to Ellen’s Universe of Energy.  Ellen triumphed over “stupid Judy” again.  We’ve never seen her lose; that Ellen sure knows a lot about energy!


We made our way from Future World, out past Odyssey and into World Showcase to begin our “Graze Around the World” quest.  We have been here many times during the Food and Wine Festival, but we’re not wine fanciers and we’ve never taken part.  That’s odd because we are certainly food fanciers!

We started our quest by loading $75.00 on a Food & Wine Card which can be swiped at the various kiosks throughout World Showcase and then wandered in a clockwise direction, ordering one item from each kiosk to share between us.  We started with a Shrimp Stew with Coconut and Lime from Rio De Janeiro; it was excellent.  Then we tried a Grilled Beef Skewer with Chimichurri and Boniato Puree from Buenos Aires; excellent as well.  Next came a Corn Tortilla with Chipolte Chicken from Mexico City; I liked it but Carol wasn’t thrilled with the refried beans on it.  We stopped at Barcelona, Spain and enjoyed a tasty Crème Catalana, similar to Crème Caramel.  From Krakow, Poland we ordered Kielbasa and Potato Pierogie with Caramelized Onions and Sour Cream; Mmm, Mmm good!   The Pork Pot Stickers from Shanghai were excellent but the Rice and Lentil Crepe with Potato and Onion Filling from New Delhi, India didn’t suit our palate; most of it was tossed!  We sampled the Chicken and Coconut Soup with Mushrooms from Bangkok, Thailand and really enjoyed it.  By the time we finished our Nuernberger Sausage on a Pretzel Roll from Munich, Germany we were getting full, so we topped it all off with a divine Bread Pudding from New Orleans and decided to head home to the dogs.

We had $34.25 left on the card so we decided to graze the rest of the world for dinner. 


As we passed Japan the candy artist was just about to begin her show so we stopped and watched her create a horse, a panda bear, a pink flamingo and a dragon.  She was simply amazing, and she made it look so simple.  Hand me a glob of that hot candy and before you could say “Scat” I would be covered from head to toe in sticky goo and all the kids watching and waiting for candy would be in tears.

We were back at the Fort by 2:00 and had a bit of a rest before taking the dogs for a walk.  It was a grey, overcast day with temperatures in the 70’s; at last we were comfortable.  Zak chased his ball and Zoë treed some squirrels, just what they love to do.  We fed the dogs a bit early and by 5:00 p.m. we were on our way back to EPCOT to continue our grazing trip around World Showcase.  

We stopped briefly at the Velcro show in Innoventions to pick up some hats for the bald frogs who live in my car, then we were off to San Juan, Puerto Rico where we shared Chicken with Rice, quite good!  We walked on to Athens, Greece where we ordered the Greek Salad with Pita Bread, the Spanakopita and the Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki.  I liked them all but Carol wasn’t fussy about the Spanakopita.  We stopped to watch a bit of the Off Kilter set beside Canada and moved on toward England where we shared an order of Seared Scallops from Wellington, New Zealand.  They were OK, not great but OK.  Then came Cork, Ireland where I had the Lobster & Scallop Fisherman’s Pie and Carol had the Warm Chocolate Lava Cake with Bailey’s Ganache.  Both were excellent!  Once again our last stop was New Orleans for bread pudding.  Terrific!  We were both stuffed again and there was still $2.00 left on the card so Carol bought some popcorn and a drink.


We wandered up to the America Gardens Theatre where they stage the Eat to the Beat concert series.  Billy Ocean was due to play at 6:30.   Carol was shocked when he came on stage.  Had she forgotten that he was Jamaican?  Was she surprised at the blonde dreadlocks?  Was she surprised that he looked so rough . . . he looked like a black Keith Richards!  But he sang some great old tunes, and he sang them reasonably well.  His backup band was just wonderful, we could have listened to them for a long time.  His show was over at 7:00  We hopped the boat from Italy to Mexico and headed out to the parking lot.


By 7:30 we were at Downtown Disney.  I took my book and sat outside the Earl of Sandwich while Carol shopped and checked out the pin traders.  She shopped for about an hour and when she returned we wandered over to Ghiradelli’s for ice cream. 


By this time the temperature had dropped to about 69 degrees.  We were wonderfully comfortable, it was heaven.  Florida natives were bundled up in parkas and scarves. 


While we sat outside Ghiradelli’s waiting for our ice cream Amymouse wandered by.  We shouted out to her and she joined us.  After we yakked for a half hour or so we drove her home (take a right at Space Mountain).  We were back at the Fort by 10:00 and relaxed for the rest of the evening.

Wednesday November 4th



I woke up feeling sad today.  It’s our last Disney day – we head for home tomorrow.  So we were up and moving quickly.  We hopped in the car and were at Animal Kingdom by 9:30.  



Our first priority was to get FastPasses for the Kilimanjaro Safari ride and once we had those we stopped to watch the Flights of Wonder show.  Carol was picked to sit on the stage while the owl flies, it was her second time in the “hot seat” and this time she shot a short video.




Click on the picture to play the video!


After the bird show we wandered over to Expedition Everest and used the single rider line to get on and off quickly.  We headed back toward Africa for the Safari ride and stopped at Yak & Yeti along the way.  We had yet to have their egg rolls, so that was our lunch.  They have great egg rolls!


Then came our safari . . . we had a good driver and while there weren’t a lot of animals, the ones we did see were in plain sight.  We got plenty of good pictures!

We slowly wandered out of the park and made our way back to the campground by 2:00 p.m.  It was time to pack away the lawn chairs, barbecue, patio mats, and all the other things that transform a campsite into our home.  The final task, after we had cooled off with a swim, was to hang the bikes on the bike rack on the rear of the motorhome.  The campsite looked bleak and gave us a sad feeling when we were done.  Such a definite sign that the holiday is over!

There was a little time left to walk the dogs, then we walked to the dock and at 5:00 boarded a boat for a sunset cruise to the Magic Kingdom.  We got lucky for dinner, the Plaza had room for a few walk-ups and we were seated by 6:15 for dinner.  After we ate, we made good use of the little time remaining, we rode the Tomorrowland Transit Authority (always the WEDWAY in my mind) and then shot up Emperor Zurg in the Buzz Lightyear ride.  This time Carol smoked me!  She beat me by over 100,000 points!  OUCH!


On our way to Fantasyland Carol agreed to ride the teacups (her last ride was in Anaheim in 2005 when I made the mistake of spinning the cup).  I was amazed that she agreed and I made it a point to not touch the wheel.  Before we were done, she was spinning the wheel all by herself!

From the teacups we hurried back to Fantasyland to try to make the Haunted Mansion before they roped everything off for the fireworks show.  We were too late, it was all roped, so we didn’t ride the Mansion.  Instead we wandered back around through Fantasyland to the Hub where we watched the 8:00 p.m. Wishes fireworks show.  Then we walked down to Casey’s corner and sat at a table to wait while the crowd filed out.  We finally left the park at about 8:50 and were back in the campground by 9:20.  Goodbye Mickey!


Tomorrow we simply have to drop the leveling jacks, disconnect the cable TV, water and power, have breakfast at Trail’s End and hit the road.  Our four day, 1,410 mile trek home begins!

Thursday November 5th


Zoë clucked me awake at 6:40 and by the time I had walked the dogs Carol was up getting their breakfast ready.  After they ate I walked them again while Carol caught up on some e-mails and then I did the final disconnects and got the motorhome all ready to pull out.  By 8:15 we were walking toward the Trail’s End Buffet for our traditional “last day” breakfast.  Carol wistfully took some pictures along the way!

Do we have to go?


We arrived back at the campsite by 9:00.  Carol hopped in the car to take the antique cable modem and it’s suitcase full of coaxial cable, splitters and other gear back to the outpost.  Meanwhile I drove the RV out to the hook-up area.  She arrived very soon after I pulled in, I hooked the car up behind the motorhome and we were on I-4 by 9:30. 


The highway was quite busy through Orlando, fortunately Carol kept me right up to date with traffic conditions.  “This lane ends in 3,000 feet!”  “You need to be in that lane over there!” or “Do you know that the speed limit is 50 miles per hour?”   To this last one I replied, “Try not to think of it as speeding, think of it as defensive driving.  I’m trying to avoid being rear-ended!”  Once again she didn’t buy my argument, but I just love watching her roll her eyes that way!

Once we were through Orlando the traffic settled and our drive was uneventful.  Even through Georgia, where two thirds of the state is under construction, traffic flowed at 60 mph or more.  We stopped at a rest area for the dogs to walk, stopped again at Brunswick, GA to gas up had a quick bite while we were there.  Our next stop was at the campground in Walterboro, SC where we pulled in about 4:30.  By 5:00 we were all levelled, plugged in and had the tow-car unhooked.  We fed and walked the dogs, tossed the ball a bit for Zak and then left for dinner at the nearby Cracker Barrel.  Scot (Scotty on lives about 35 miles away.  He drove over, together with his wife Susan and son Jeremy to meet us for dinner.  It was a pleasure to meet them and we had a great time yakking over dinner.


We got back to the campground shortly after 8:00.  It had cooled off to the point that Carol decided to turn on the furnace.  That was quite a contrast from the heat we’ve been coping with for the past two and a half weeks!  Quite a welcome change actually!


We spent the rest of the evening watching TV, catching up on e-mails and web sites.


Tomorrow we will travel through South Carolina, North Carolina and end the day in Wytheville, Virginia.

Friday November 6th


We slept until 6:45 when Zoë woke us up once again.  We were on the road, northbound on I-95, by 8:15.  By 9:00 we were on I-26 and before 10:00 we turned onto I-77 heading toward Charlotte, North Carolina.  We stopped to pick up a coffee at Rotten Ronnie’s at about 10:15 and noticed they had a BOGO on Egg McMuffins.  So after coffee and Egg McMuffins we hit the road again.  At Rock Hill, SC we visited a PetSmart Store looking for some of Zoë’s special no protein dog chow and while we were stopped we made a quick sandwich and ate in the parking lot before resuming our journey.

Zak is a great traveler, he just relaxes on the couch all day!


Along the way a trucker must have noticed the license tag on our tow car (it reads LVDISNEY) because as he passed us he was smiling and waving his Walt Disney World refillable mug!  Disney fans are everywhere.

At Statesville, NC we pulled off at JR’s – they have signs all along the highway advertising everything from bras to cigars.  There are occasionally some bargains to be had there, but not today!  We were soon back on the road.

One of our favourite views was to come!  As we left North Carolina and made that 8 mile climb into Virginia, between Mount Airy NC and Fancy Gap VA, Carol shot some pictures of our surroundings.  It’s a long hard climb across the Blue Ridge Mountains for the motorhome, but the view is worth it! 

Approaching the Blue Ridge Mountains


Making the climb


The view as you climb!


Soon we were descending into the Shenandoah Valley, between the Allegheny and the Blue Ridge ranges, and approaching Wytheville, Virginia where we spent the night.  We arrived about 4:30, gassed up the RV, did a little shopping and had dinner at our favourite Chinese restaurant before settling in for the night.

Saturday November 7th


Once again we slept until 6:45 a.m. when Zoë decided it was time to get moving.  So we had a bite to eat, showered, unhooked the RV and were on the road at 8:30.  The weather is definitely getting cooler.  I traveled all day yesterday in shorts and a t-shirt but by dinnertime last night I was in jeans and a light jacket.  This morning I went straight for the jeans; my shorts will have to wait about a month for our California trip.

We spent the entire day northbound through the Shenandoah Valley on I-81.  It was a clear sunny day, although a bit hazy.  What a beautiful area, bright sunshine with mountain ranges on either side!

The driver's view


Carol is giving me fewer traffic updates.  After that first day back on the road I have started each day by sprinkling a little Valium on her Cocoa Puffs.  She’s a happier traveler now!  At one point today I said, “This is beautiful scenery and you’re missing it all with your head in that magazine.”  She immediately replied, “I don’t like it with all the leaves down; I like it better when it’s green!”  So, I think I’ll increase the dosage a bit tomorrow!  I want her to be nice and happy all the way home!


We pulled off to pick up a coffee at about 10:30 and then two hours later pulled off in Woodstock, VA where we had a bite of lunch at Wendy’s.  We were back on the road at 1:15 and drove straight on through to Harrisburg, PA.  It was an uneventful drive.  We pulled into the campground at 4:30 p.m. and were soon all hooked up.  I took the dogs for a walk while Carol straightened up a bit inside the RV.

tinker1bell and StephaMickey with Zoe and Zak



At about 5:45 StephaMickey and tinker1bell arrived.  They have been wanting to meet Zak and Zoë since MagicMeets and this was their chance.  We had a nice visit with them in the motorhome and then we all headed off to a local diner for dinner.  The socializing carried on over dinner and we finally tore ourselves away at about 7:45 to get off to do some more shopping.  We have a list of things that we cannot buy in Canada and we want to find it all before we get home tomorrow.  It was great yakking with the girls; we have so much in common!

Carol and I scoured the Christmas Tree Shop and then Target before calling it quits and heading back to the campground.  There are still a few grocery items to pick up, but we’ll get those closer to the border.


Back at the RV we settled in, read a few e-mails and got to bed early.  Tomorrow’s a big day.  We’ll be up early to drain and winterize the motorhome before we leave the campground.  Then we’ll meet up with Tagrel and his family for lunch at Binghamton, NY before we finally get home and start unpacking.  Carol is looking forward to returning to the king size bed!  As much as we love Fort Wilderness and traveling in the RV, we both agree it’s time to get home!

Sunday November 8th


Today we both woke up before Zoë.  We were up and rolling by 6:15 a.m.


What a treat to be heading into our final day home and not be racing a snowstorm or dodging freezing rain and ice pellets!  This was going to be our last RV trip of the year and the weather is always “uncertain” in November, so we winterized the motorhome before pulling out of Harrisburg.  This means that we drained and flushed the fresh water tank, the grey water tank and the black water tank, isolated and drained the hot water heater and the added anti-freeze to all the fresh water lines.  It’s the first time we have ever done this without the pressure of an impending storm!  What a treat!  It all went fluidly . . . so to speak!


We had hoped to be on the road by 8:30 but it all went so well that I had time for a relaxing shower and we still pulled out at 8:05 a.m.


Traffic was very light (It was Sunday after all!) and we sailed along until 9:45 when we pulled over for a coffee and a pit stop (since we winterized we can no longer use the on-board facilities!)

We were quickly back on the road and made great time in light traffic.  By 10:50 we were at the Flying J Truck Stop in northern Pennsylvania.  We filled up with cheap American gas and were quickly back on the road.  Next stop – Binghamton, NY.  We met the Tagrel family at Cracker Barrel for an extended lunch.  Yakkedy, Yakkedy, Yak!

The girls were so glad to see the dogs, and the dogs were also glad to see the girls!  It was a mutual admiration society!  We had such a great time that lunch took two and a half hours.  We were very late getting back on the road!

But, there was shopping to do!  Carol needed to find a large turkey for Christmas.  She wanted at least a 20 pounder!  We stopped in Cicero, just north of Syracuse and she finally found one at WalMart.  A 23 lb. bird at $0.98 per lb.  Wow, what a find!


A similar turkey in Canada would be twice the price!


Soon we were back on the road.  The border crossing was quick, just a few simple questions and we were back in Canada.  They didn’t even x-ray the RV this time.


By 6:30 we were parked in front of our home and beginning to unpack.  Yuck!


Daddio asked one evening how much we spend on fuel, so here are a few statistics for this trip:

  • The motorhome is 33’9” long and 8’3” wide

  • When the car is in tow the whole thing is 57’ long

  • It is built on a Ford chassis and is powered by a 6.8 litre (413 cubic inch) V10 rated at 310 horsepower

  • We traveled 2,816 miles

  • We spent $1,053 on gasoline

  • We spent $1,237 for our 23 nights in campgrounds

  • In addition to campground fees, we paid Internet fees of $5.50 at the KOA in Rocky Mount, NC and $119.40 at Fort Wilderness.  All other campgrounds provided free WiFi

It was a terrific trip, but it’s always good to be back home again!  For a while that is . . . we fly out on a Disneyland trip in about a month!


Sincere thanks to our many friends from who shared the trip with us and made it so enjoyable!