October 27 - 30, 2022

It was a whirlwind getting ready to head south!  We got home from Hawaii on October 17th and hit the road for Florida a mere ten days later!  They were ten VERY BUSY days!


We picked up the RV and the tow car from storage and brought them home on Sunday October 23rd and immediately started filling the coach with food, clothing and the many personal effects we'll need over the next five months.


Then on Wednesday we filled the tow car.  We packed it to the brim with the rest of our friend Curtis' stuff.  There was so much shoe-horned into in the car that I couldn't fit behind the wheel to hook it up for towing.  Carol wedged herself in and drove it behind the RV so I could connect it to the hitch and wiring harness.

We had a couple of last-minute things to do on Thursday the 27th but once we finished them we wasted no time getting underway.  It was 2:35 p.m. when we pulled up to the toll booth at the Thousand Islands Bridge.

After a flurry of pictures (3) at the bridge my navigator and driving critic put the camera away and slept through the entire trip.


We travelled 226 miles on Thursday and spent our first night at the FlyingJ Truck Stop in northern Pennsylvania.  On Friday the 28th we covered 432 miles and stopped at Troutville Virginia, near Roanoke, where we parked overnight at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant.


We decided on day three that two nights of 'boondocking' was enough.  We needed to be able to plug into electric power and put our slides out for a bit of elbow room.  So on Saturday the 29th we drove 387 miles to Walterboro South Carolina where we stayed at New Green Acres Campground.  The dogs were happy to have a run in the off-leash park at New Green Acres!

We continued south another 141 miles on Sunday and got to Brunswick Georgia in plenty of time to have the coach and car washed at the Blue Beacon Truck Wash before we checked in at Costal Georgia RV Resort.

Monday October 31, 2022

This was our 'Disney Day' and Carol finally pulled out the camera again!  She always gets excited as we get closer to our happy place!


We drove through a few showers and a bit of fog in the first half-hour on the road but by the time we hit the Florida state line the sun was shining brightly!

Our drive on Monday was short, only 221 miles and the trip on I-4 through downtown Orlando was the quickest we've had in years.  Thank God the construction is finished at last!


Our first stop was at Horizon West where Curtis and Alek live.  We jettisoned all of Curtis' treasures and left as Alek began carrying it all into their house.  We were anxious to get checked in at the campground and get set up in time to greet the trick or treaters who always start arriving before 6:00 p.m.

 We unhooked the car in the overflow parking lot and before long we were getting set up in site #712, our home for the next three weeks.  Wow . . . it was hot and humid!


We finished our set-up just in time to pull a table and a couple of lawn chairs out front to sit while we handed out treats.


The Halloween decor at the campsites was absolutely astounding.  It has been four or five years since we've enjoyed Halloween here and we couldn't believe how much the celebration . . . and the crowds . . . have grown.


We tried to take a golf cart tour after our supply of treats were all gone, but we soon gave up.  There was simply too much traffic and we were too hot, tired and intolerant by that time of night!


Tuesday November 1, 2022

Carol was up bright and early and headed to the Magic Kingdom to track down a Mister Toad popcorn bucket while I headed across town to Best Buy in search of a new tablet to replace the one I abandoned in the Dublin airport!

Halloween decorations had disappeared overnight and it was now Christmas everywhere you looked at the Magic Kingdom.

It's amazing how quickly Disney can change seasons!

Since we didn't get around many of the camping loops the previous night we took a golf cart tour in the afternoon.  Most of the displays were being torn down but we still saw some awesome scenes!

A few sites were already switched over to Christmas!

The couple camped next to us, from Bowling Green Kentucky, had some wonderful hand-crafter cut-outs of Disney characters and a Santa hat on their ears quickly transformed them for the season!


We put up some of our Christmas decorations, then took a few minutes to cool down before heading off to EPCOT for dinner at Nine Dragons.

After dinner we took a ride with Anna, Elsa and Olaf.

Spaceship Earth lights up beautifully at night!

These guys were waiting to greet us when we got back home!

Wednesday November 2, 2022


We took a very hot safari ride at Animal Kingdom.  In spite of the morning heat we saw plenty of animals and got some great pictures.


We enjoyed a snack of egg rolls at Yak & Yeti then drove back to the campground to finish up our Christmas decorations.

We ate dinner at home, warmed up leftovers from Nine Dragons the night before.  Very tasty!


After dinner Carol decorated a bit inside the RV.  It's looking good!

Thursday November 3, 2022


In the morning we caught the boat to the Magic Kingdom and enjoyed rides at Buzz Lightyear, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and It's a Small World.


You're humming that song aren't you?

After hot dogs for lunch at Casey's Corner we headed back home and took the boys to the dog park for a run.  They both enjoyed a romp but they were quick to tire out in the blistering heat and humidity.

Dinner was at '50's Prime Time in Hollywood Studios.  As we approached the restaurant Carol spotted fellow Canadian Anna, a travel agent with Pure Magic Vacations who was dining there with friends as well.  We had a short visit while we waited for our tables.


After dinner we too a ride on Rise of the Resistance, the amazing new ride at Star Wars Land.

The puppies were happy to see us when we pulled in at 8:00 p.m.

Friday November 4, 2022

We enjoyed a quiet day on Friday.  The dogs enjoyed a run in the dog park before it got too hot.

After they were well exercised Carol and I spent a bit more time on Christmas decor.

In the evening Curtis and Alec came for a visit.  They brought dessert, pumpkin pie and ice cream.  How thoughtful . . . how tasty!

Saturday November 5, 2022


It's Marathon Weekend and traffic patterns all over Walt Disney World are disrupted as all the runners take over the roads.  There was a 5K race Friday, today it's a 10K event then on Sunday there will be a half marathon.  We decided to avoid the parks and we struck out on a shopping trip about 10 miles away at 'The Loop'.


Dinner was at one of our favourite Disney restaurants, 'Ohana. 

For many years the menu at 'Ohana went unchanged and it was always a wonderful experience there.  Lately though, they've  been tinkering with the menu and in our opinion every change has reduced it's appeal.


It's still good and we'll keep going back, but it's not the great experience it used to be!

Sunday November 6, 2022

This was another day when we had no park plans and we were looking forward to a leisurely morning.  That all changed when Carol went online and snagged a reservation for the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride at EPCOT.


We had a boarding time estimated at about 11:30 a.m. so we sat and savoured an extra cup of coffee.


Then at 9:10 her phone chirped . . .  a new message . . . our boarding time was bumped up a bit.  We had to be there and checked in no later than 10:00 a.m.


We took the dogs out and urged them to do their duty ASAP!  Within 5 minutes we were on the road.


Traffic was absolutely crazy.  We can normally get to EPCOT in less than 10 minutes but today it was close to an hour.  Some roads were closed, others had reduced lanes and things were almost at a standstill.


We checked in for our mission with the Guardians at 10:30 . . . luckily they were lenient with the times!


I really enjoyed the new ride; when it was over I turned to Carol and asked her what she thought.


"Have I been living under a rock?", she asked.  "How the FϥϽK did I not know that it was a roller coaster?"


She's not likely to ride that one ever again . . . so I'll be able to ride it twice!


I am Groot!

After Carol collected her wits and her balance we stopped for lunch at Connections, the new Starbucks outlet in Future World, then headed across the park to The Land where we rode Soarin'.

We enjoyed dinner at Earl of Sandwich.  The Festive Feast for me and a Tuna Melt

for my princess.

The campsite is looking good!

Monday November 7, 2022

We got to the Fort Wilderness Marina at 9:20, just seconds after our boat to the Magic Kingdom had pulled away from the dock.

Luckily another boat arrived about 10 minutes later and we got to the park at 9:45.

On our way to Adventureland Carol had a couple of encounters with Orange Bird, one of her favourite characters.


We stopped for a pineapple float and a citrus swirl.  Carol slurped up about half of her swirl before she thought of a picture!

The Jungle Cruise has been transformed to the Jingle Cruise for Christmas and even the menu at the Crew Mess has changed.

When we finished our ride at Pirates of the Caribbean we couldn't believe how the crowd in Adventureland had increased!  The standby line for Pirates was longer than we have ever seen it before.  Carol later found out that this is 'Jersey Week'.  It's a state-wide boondoggle in New Jersey.  All teachers get a full week off for 'Professional Development'.  Right!  That seems to give all parents with screaming children the opportunity to head to Walt Disney World for the week.  Yup . . . they're all here!


Carol had booked Lightning Lane passes for Splash Mountain but one look at the crowds clogging the streets was all the convincing we needed.  We cancelled the passes and headed home to the dogs!


Of course there was time for a Pot Stickers snack from the Sunshine Terrace!

After lunch in the RV we loaded the dogs up in the golf cart for a trip to the off-leash park.  They had a good romp!

The sky was black and threatening when we returned to the Magic Kingdom for dinner at Tony's Town Square Restaurant.

We think that it's been at least a decade since we've eaten at Tony's and we were disappointed the last time.  But not tonight . . . it was quite good!

After dinner the wind was gusting and it was really threatening rain so we paused quickly for a few pictures in Town Square and then caught a boat back home.  By the time we docked at the campground marina it was raining and we had a soggy ride home.  The dogs were happy to see us when we pulled in at 8:00 p.m. . . . just before the fireworks!

Tuesday November 8, 2022

We woke this morning to news reports about Nicole . . . a sub-tropical storm that is forecast to make things pretty nasty in our area on Thursday.


"What should we do?" I asked Carol.


"Let's wait and see what Disney tells us to do." she replied.


So we trucked on off to EPCOT for the morning.

We had scored Lighting Lane passes for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (thanks Curtis!) and our group had been called by the time we arrived at the park so that was our first stop.


I stepped into the Lightning Lane but Carol had a different mission.  She went shopping and found a wonderful new purse that she doesn't need. 



After I helped the Guardians save the galaxy yet again, Carol and I sampled a few of the Food & Wine Festival kiosks around World Showcase.


At Flavors from Fire we tried the Smoked Corned Beef.  Yum!  We were wishing the portion was larger.

At the Noodles Exchange Carol picked the Traditional Spicy Vietnamese Beef Pho.  It was too spicy for my naive palate but Carol enjoyed it.  At least she enjoyed it right up to the end when she bit into something very hot and peppery.


She found the nearest trash can and jettisoned the last third of the bowl.


As noon approached the sky was darkening and rain was threatening so we decided to head for home and start battening down for Nicole.


We drove through some drizzle and a few patches of heavy rain on the way back, but the campground was dry when we pulled in.


We got busy right away and took down all of the inflatable decorations while they were dry.  They were all packed away in a large plastic tote bin and we were putting it in a basement storage compartment when the sky opened up and it poured.  We were lucky!


The dogs had an early dinner and we headed back to EPCOT for dinner at Teppan Edo.

We had to stop to put on our rain ponchos just after we entered the park and we were quite soggy by the time we got to Canada and boarded the Friendship boat to Morocco.


During dinner we chatted with our tablemate, Vonda from Denver Colorado.


As always, dinner was great.  We have never been disappointed at Teppan Edo.

After dinner it was still raining so we once again caught the Friendship boat from Morocco to Canada.  Carol popped into the Port of Entry shop to see if there was anything she hadn't fondled yet this trip.  Nope - there was nothing new, so it was a short stop!

We left the park at 7:30 and were back home with the dogs at 7:50.


We discovered a note stuck in the door of the RV which informed us that the campground would be closing because of Nicole which is now expected to make landfall as a Category 1 hurricane.  We had to vacate by 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday (tomorrow).  It asked us to call Disney Reservations to make arrangements for alternate accommodations.  The note included a 1-800-We-Don;t-Give-A-Shit phone number with a wait time of more than 2 hours


Just the kind of excellent customer service Disney is becoming know for!


It turned out the wait was only an hour and ten minutes (he said facetiously!) and we're now booked into Port Orleans Riverside while we ride out Nicole!


The dogs are excited . . . they've never stayed at Riverside!

Wednesday November 9, 2022

This morning we woke to the roaring sound of rain o the roof of the RV.


Crap!  There was still a lot of stuff out on out 'patio' and we hate packing things up in the rain!


We enjoyed a few cups of coffee and a bit of breakfast and by 8:00 a.m. I was outside working in the rain, packing up chairs, tables, and all the other stuff that makes our campsite a home.


Carol finished all the work needed inside the coach to make it roadworthy, then she came out to get wet and help me finish filling our basement storage.


Since we'll be going right back to the same campsite after Nicole passes through we left a bit of weatherproof stuff behind.  It's securely lashed to the picnic table so it shouldn't blow away!


We pulled out at 10:30 and Carol snapped a few pictures as we left the campground.  She seems to find my posterior quite attractive!


This is the view from the driver's seat.

At Disney's Port Orleans Riverside Resort we joined a group of other RVs in Parking Lot #7, near the entrance gate.


I waited in the RV with the dogs while Carol went to the office to check us in.  It took a long time, the hotel lobby was filled with homeless campers just like us!


Our room wasn't ready so we loaded the dogs in the car to head out for lunch.  The car was crowded with gear but we made a small spot for Jasper in the back seat.  Jake had to sit on the floor, in the foot-well on the passengers side.  Doesn't he look content?

By the time we finished lunch at Chick-Fil-A our room was ready.  When we drove to the room we discovered that, while it was at the same resort, it was a few miles from where we had parked the coach.


We went back and picked up the camper.  There was a terrific parking spot in front of our room.  Now we can keep an eye on it during the storm and we can also dash out and pick up anything we forgot.


OK Nicole . . . bring it on!

The dogs were quite distressed after a morning that must have been very confusing for them.  The only way to settle them down was to join them for a nap.  The things we do for our dogs!


After the pups had their dinner Carol and I drove (It's a long way from our room) to the hotel's food court, The Riverside Mill.


It's a huge open area with four separate food stations, each with a unique menu.

Today the place was jammed!  All the theme parks are closing early and the busses were continually dropping off big groups of sad and soggy tourists.


We found a vacant table and I wandered around taking pictures of the Sassagoula River and the rainy resort while Carol fought her way through the hungry throngs to pick up our dinner.


The bacon cheeseburgers were dry and overcooked but filling.

After dinner Carol browsed the store for a few minutes and soon joined me with a pair of Mickey bars in hand.


We sat and enjoyed them in the hotel lobby while an endless parade of tourists with dashed vacation plans shuffled by.


We were back with the dogs by 7:00 p.m. and settled in for a night watching the TV weather forecast!

Thursday November 10, 2022

Our first Florida hurricane was a big disappointment. It rained . . . the wind blew . . . that was all.  We kept waiting for catastrophe but it never arrived!


The biggest catastrophe was when we discovered that the local ABC TV station wasn't going to air the CMA awards.  We had to find the show using our Canadian TV streaming service on my tablet and use Chromecast to send it to the TV in our room.  Yup . . . that was the biggest problem we had.


A couple of times during the night we got out of bed and peeked out through the curtains to see if we were missing anything.  Nope - not a thing.  There were gusts but no roaring winds.  There was rain, sometimes heavy rain . . . but at no point did a mobile home or portions of someone's roof fly past our window.


We've been through worse thunderstorms at Fort Wilderness and they didn't evacuate us.


I don't mean to suggest that it wasn't a serious storm . . . there were some areas of serious flooding and some significant property damage along the Atlantic coast, but our area was only mildly affected.


The only thing that struck our coach were some dislodged pine needles!


Frankly, we were both bored to tears sitting around all morning doing nothing.


After the mob scene in the food court the previous night we didn't go near the place.  Carol brought in some bowls, cereal and milk from the RV and we had breakfast in our room.  When lunch time rolled around she walked out to the RV and made some sandwiches  . . . ho hum!


By 2:00 p.m. we were both a little stir-crazy so I hopped in the car to see what was going on at The Fort.  When I turned on to Vista Drive near the campground there was a line of campers, about a half-mile long, driving at a snail's pace into the campground.  They had re-opened the gate at 2:00 p.m.


I called Carol with the good news and she began packing up right away.  I arrived within ten minutes and she had everything ready.  We loaded up and she took the lead in the car as I followed back to site #712.


It seems like we've been doing nothing but setting up our campsite and tearing it back down for the last ten days!


By 6:00 p.m. we had almost everything back up except the Christmas inflatables and the holiday display on the dash.


That's when Carol announced, "I'm not cooking!"


We hopped in the car and headed to the nearby Olive Garden for a nice dinner.


Once we got back home Carol set up the dash display then called it a night.


Tomorrow we need to set up those inflatables and reinstall our canopy over the picnic table, then everything will be back as it was pre-Nicole!

Friday November 11, 2022

We boarded a boat to the Magic Kingdom at 9:30 a.m. and wandered back to Splash Mountain for a ride.

I took plenty of pictures.  This may be our last voyage with Brer Rabbit . . . the attraction is being redone soon with a Princess and the Frog theme.


We'll miss the old Song of the South gang!

Then it was time for an encounter with the 999 Happy Haunts.  As we waited in the Lightning Lane queue I asked Carol to pose for a picture in front of the mansion..


She was suddenly camera-shy!

She was less camera-shy when the ride was over!

We stopped for lunch at Casey's Corner.  Carol did an online order and I waited at an indoor table while she went to fetch our hot dogs.  She soon returned and heaved the entire tray full of hot dogs, fries and cheese sauce onto my feet.


Cast members were quick to clean up the mess and replace our food order while Carol and I reminisced about the time I stepped into a fold-up umbrella-style stroller, danced around a bit then tossed a tray full of chow into a strangers stroller.  Ah . . . good times!

We were home with the dogs by 1:00 p.m. and spent the afternoon finishing up our Christmas decorations.  It seems like we've been putting them up and taking them back down for weeks!

We left at 5:15 for Disney's Hollywood Studios and an amazing sunset greeted us as we arrived at the park.

We had dinner at Backlot Express.  This time she was extra-cautious carrying it back, but later she tossed out part of a crappy Cuban Sandwich and I heaved part of a sub-standard Southwest Salad.


We snapped a few more pictures as we passed Echo Lake on our way to Graumman's Chinese Theatre for a trip with Mickey, Minnie and Goofy on the Runaway Railway.

Okay . . . let's Conga!

Carol loves the Runaway Railway but she's also a big fan of Toy Story Midway Mania . . . so it was our next ride. 

Neither of us had a stellar game but after a hard-fought battle I edged out a slim victory.

After our epic Toy Story battle it was time to go home!  We were back with the puppies by 9:00 p.m. and took a few minutes to admire our re-installed Christmas decorations!

Saturday November 12, 2022

This morning Carol decided it was time for one of her favourite Disney activities!  No . . . she didn't go shopping . . . she went pin trading.


I drove her to the nearby Holiday Inn on Hotel Plaza Boulevard and she spent two glorious hours stooped over tables in the hotel ballroom looking at pins.  She only found one that she wanted and only made one trade.  Somehow she finds this extremely enjoyable!


I spent the morning basking in the drudgery of housework.  I washed dishes, shook dog fur out of area rugs, vacuumed the RV, blew off the patio with my leaf blower . . . a morning filled with satisfying manly activities!

The pin traders in Disney Springs are a busy bunch!  Carol will be returning in December, January and February.


I picked her up at 11:00 p.m. and we did a bit of grocery shopping before heading home to the dogs.

We had sandwiches for lunch and then took the boys to a soggy dog park.

Jasper met Blue who is about 5 months old and they had a good run together.

The dash in the motor home is all decked out for Christmas.  It looks quite festive!



The stockings were hung by the gearshift with care . . .

Sunday November 13, 2022

Today was 'Kiss a Rhino Day' at Disney's Animal Kingdom.


Carol had registered us for the Up Close With Rhinos experience so we were up bright and early and got to the park at 10:00 a.m. . . . (OK, it wasn't really all that early!)


On our way back to Harambe Village we stopped and picked up a special Christmas themed popcorn bucket that Carol has been after for several days.  I scooted back and stowed the prized bucket in the car while Carol signed us in for the tour and picked up our nametags.


The entire tour was in a 'backstage' area of the park so pictures were taboo!


Disney animal care specialists led us back to our waiting shuttle bus and then pointed out the sights as we skirted the outer perimeter of the Kilimanjaro Safari area.  We stopped at the Rhino Barn and had almost an hour of 'up close' time with Dugan, a 28 year old White Rhino who tips the scales at 4,600 pounds.  We also met his 2 year old son Ranger, a 2,000 pound adolescent.


We even got to pet Dugan . . . he seemed to love the attention and affection!


Rhinos are surprisingly furry beasts.


After our backstage tour we made our way across the park from Africa to Asia and took a spin on Expedition Everest.  It's one of the few roller coasters that Carol enjoys!

It was threatening rain as we scurried to the park exit and the sky opened up just as we reached the car.  We were a bit soggy when we got back to the campsite for a late lunch.


The dogs were glad to see us.  It was too wet to go to the dog park so we spent a quiet afternoon with them at home.


We fed them early and headed off to 'The Loop' - a Big Box shopping district about 10 miles east of Disney.  We picked up a few things at Lowes and had dinner at Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen.


We were home again with the dogs by 8:15 and piled onto the golf cart to go looping . . . driving around the campground to see the Christmas decorations.


Jake enjoyed the tour on his 'Gotcha Day.  He rode on the front seat between Carol and I.  Jasper sat on the floor between Carol's feet and took in all the sights, sounds and smells of the campground.


Jasper did not like Ursula . . . her tentacles moved and that made him grump and growl.  Other than that both boys enjoyed the tour.


We covered half of the campground tonight, we'll finish the rest in a night or two!

Monday November 14, 2022

We were in the car on our way to Disney's Hollywood Studios when we happened on a flock of wild turkeys near the campground exit.


There's plenty of wildlife here!


Crowds were scurrying into the park when we arrived at 9:30 a.m.  We're really surprised at how busy the place is and it's not even Thanksgiving yet!


Carol browsed the shops up one side of Hollywood Boulevard and then along both sides of Sunset Boulevard while I roamed the streets snapping pictures.



We stopped at the One Man's Dream theatre and saw a short preview of the new animated feature 'Strange World' which will be released November 23rd.


It looks like it will be fun!  Carol and I will be attending a special pre-release screening for D23 members at Disney Springs this Saturday.


Next on our to-do list was Slinky Dog Dash.


We sat in the very last row of the kiddie-coaster; by Slinky's tail!



By the time we finished Slinky Dog Dash the park was jam-packed and crazy-busy.  Every ride had a wait time of at least 90 minutes.


We stopped for a PhotoPass in front of the Chinese Theatre then Carol browsed the shops on the other side of Hollywood Boulevard . . .


You guessed it;  I roamed the streets again.

The dogs were happy to see us when we got home at noon!


After lunch in the RV Carol decided to do something completely different.  She went shopping at the Outlet Stores.  (That's different because she hasn't been there in about four years)


I spent the afternoon doing some minor repairs to the RV and in the process I managed to baptize myself on the patio. How was I to know that there would be 30 gallons of rainwater pooled on the awning I was rolling up!


As often happens, Carol returned with a bunch of crap she didn't need, but it was all on sale so she saved a bunch of money.

Soon after the dogs were fed we hopped in the car and headed to Disney Springs.  It was time for some Blaze pizza and some Christmas trees!


Blaze Pizza makes them just the way Carol likes.  A super-thin crust!  I had my favourite - Hawaiian and Carol ordered her usual combo, pepperoni, mushroom, green pepper and extra cheese. Boy they're tasty!


After dinner we headed out on the Christmas Tree Walk.  There are themed Christmas trees on display all over Disney Springs and maps are available to help you find them.


The trees are very elaborate and quite impressive, but we prefer the way they used to be displayed, all in one area and discretely illuminated at night so the decorations would show up in photographs.  They were wonderful to see but our photos don't do them justice.


The trees aren't all up yet and we didn't get to see them all; we'll go back and complete our tour in a few days.  

The 'Encanto' Tree

The 'Toy Story' Tree

The 'Annual Passholder' Tree

As we passed the Waterside Stage a Motown tribute band started playing.  They were very good so we stopped and watched for about a half-hour.

They performed memorable versions of Ike & Tina's 'nice and easy - nice and rough' Proud Mary and Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On.  We had just left to make our way home when Carol heard the first few beats of Gloria Gaynor's I Will Survive.


We scurried back a hundred yards and settled in again.  Carol started out just toe-tapping but by the time the tune was done she was ROCKIN'


She was exhausted as we made our way back to the car but had recovered by the time we got home.


We loaded the dogs in the golf cart and went out for some more looping.

At about 9:40 we were heading back home when Carol said, 'The Electrical Water Pageant starts in five minutes.  Wanna go watch it?'


'Sure,' I said, 'The dogs have never seen it.'

The dogs seemed to enjoy it and they were a big hit with all the folks at the marina to watch the show pass by in the water.


We were home at about 10:15 and got to bed early.  Carol has decided to give the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction a second try and she has to have her computer booted up and ready to book our Virtual Passes at 7:00 a.m.


Yes, even though it's a roller coaster she's going to give it another try.  She didn't see any of the amazing visual effects or hear the sound track during her first ride.


Hopefully she'll see and hear tomorrow  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday November 15, 2022

Carol was up bright and early and had her laptop ready at the stroke of 7:00 a.m. when the online portal opened for Guardians of the Galaxy bookings.  As always, the day's spots were fully booked within the first few seconds


But Carol had one, in boarding group #14 with an estimated time of 9:55 a.m.


We were just pulling into the EPCOT parking lot at 9:20 when she got a notice on the Disney app - we were clear to board.


We scurried directly back to Future World and entered the Virtual Queue at 9:30.


The line moved very quickly.  We boarded our Star Jumper at 10:05 and off we went. backward in time to the Big Bang.


♪ ♫ Burn Baby Burn, Disco Inferno! ♫ ♪ was blasting in our ears as the primordial explosion blew us back to our home-time.


Carol's impression was unchanged.  She saw the sights and heard the music but didn't like the experience.


After her first ride she said 'Never Again!' but then she reconsidered and decided to give it a second chance.  Today her response changed from Once And Done to Two And Through!


After the ride she sat for a few minutes, collected her wits, and off we went to World Showcase for a few hours.



The JAMMitors were playing as we passed through Future World.

We stopped in Mexico and took a spin on the Gran Fiesta Tour with Donald Duck, José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles. 


We both enjoy the ride.  It has some elements that are similar to the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in California and other elements that are similar to It's A Small World.  And the wacky birds add some humour.


At China we started enjoying a bit of Food & Wine Festival dining!

The chicken dumplings are one of our favourites, Carol

didn't want to share so she got two orders.


She should have picked up two orders of the raclette.

It's too good to share.

Bratwurst and Strudel, very tasty!

Roast beef with horseradish sauce and carrot cake.  Very good!

Carol spotted Remy in the gable window box.

We finished our grazing with a tasty Belgian waffle.

Here's something you don't see often . . . a dump truck at EPCOT.

We were home with the dogs d at 1:30 and enjoyed a quiet afternoon at home.


We had dinner reservations for Teppan Edo so as soon as the dogs were fed we were on our way back to EPCOT.  The sun was just setting as we arrived and lit up the sky for some nice pictures.

Our chef was very entertaining.  She not only cooked well, she sang well too!

An Olaf voncano!

After dinner we headed straight back home to the dogs.

Wednesday November 16, 2022

It was another rainy Florida morning and my Disney Princess was quick to announce, 'I'm not going to Animal Kingdom today!'


Instead we enjoyed a few quiet hours with the dogs.  Once the showers stopped we took the golf cart on a short excursion to the new horse barns near Pioneer Hall.  This is where all of Disney's 'working horses' live.  The giant Clydesdales, Percherons and Belgians that you see in the Disney theme parks all live at Tri-Circle-D Ranch.


The new barn has been open for a couple of years but today was the first chance we've had to visit.  The old barn was pretty posh, but the new one is just magnificent.

The Disney Calliope is still here!

Red - a Belgian

An excited child enjoying a pony ride while Dad takes her picture.

Zilly - a Percheron

If you get married at Disney this it what the

horses wear while they pull your carriage!

Phil (a Clydesdale) really enjoys having his neck scratched!

After visiting the barn we headed to The Settlement, beside the marina, where Carol browsed the shop and then roamed the grounds snapping a few pictures.

Carol has been trying to work in a trip to the Character Corner, a local gift shop that always has an amazing variety of old Disney collectibles.  A rainy morning seemed to be a good time to get it done, so off we went.


I joined her in the store for a few minutes but her stamina is much stronger than mine when it comes to shopping so I soon returned to the car and read my book.


I was quite relieved when she joined me about 40 minutes later carrying nothing more than a $9.95 coffee mug.  It could have been so much worse!

We stopped for a quick lunch at Chick-Fil-A and went back home for the afternoon.  Things had dried up a bit around the RV so we packed up a few things and put them away so they won't be soaking wet when we have to pull out on Sunday and head to Lake Wales.

After the dogs were fed we took off for Disney Springs.  We were both craving a Holiday Turkey sandwich at Earl's.

As we ate our sandwiches in the outdoor seating area at Earl of Sandwich a runaway elf went past in a sleigh she had stolen from the North Pole.  She was certain that Santa was searching for her, and the missing sleigh, and she was making such a racket that the jolly old fellow is sure to find her.

We stopped again at The Waterside Stage and waited a few minutes until La Calle started their show.


They were Latino, they were loud and they were good.

As soon as they started playing this young lady started dancing.

Within a couple of minutes everyone was dancing (except Carol and I)

It was a Latino line-dancing frenzy. We were exhausted from just watching it!


When La Calle finished their set we headed home . . . the puppies were waiting to go out looping again!

We covered the final four campsite loops.  New decorations are going up every day, but they're still relatively sparse.


It will be much more impressive in a month or so.

We were back home by 9:30 and opened the windows for only the second time since we arrived.  It was a refreshing 66º with a forecast low of 54º overnight.


It will be nice to sleep with fresh air for a change!

Thursday November 17, 2022

We spent a leisurely morning at Magic Kingdom.  It was a nippy 54º when we left at 9:15 but that was much more comfortable for us that the heat we've had for the past few weeks.


Dean, a Percheron, was hitched to the Main Street Trolly when we arrived.

These unsung heroes follow Dean everywhere he goes.

We stopped at The Hub for a 'Super-Zoom' shot!

As we passed Cinderella Castle Dean went past with The Dapper Dans in tow!

We took a sail through Never-Never-Land on Peter Pan's Flight.  It's one of the original Walt Disney World attractions, the technology is more than 50 years old, but it's still one of our favourites!

It's been a few years since we visited Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, the Heffelumps and Woozles.

The we boarded a clamshell and went under the sea with Ariel.

It was warming up so we went from Fantasyland across the park to Adventureland for a refreshing Citrus Swirl and a Pineapple Float.

II roamed Adventureland taking pictures while Carol went to Frontierland to browse the pin store at Frontier Mercantile.  The parade was passing when she got there and she got some great pictures!

Then it was time for another ride on the Jingle Cruise.

We had a much better Captain today!

We caught a boat back to the campground at 1:00 p.m. and spent the afternoon with the dogs.

Things had dried up enough that we decided to take the boys to the dog park.  Jasper befriended a 5-year-old boy and they were a perfect match.  The boy had an arm like a cannon and Jasper loves to fetch.  They both had fun for about a half-hour and tired out at the same time.


We had BBQ's hot dogs for dinner and later in the evening our friends Kevin and Robin from Illinois dropped by to pick up some things Carol had picked up for Al and Jane, our mutual friends from Missouri.  We had a nice visit with Kevin and Robin then watched a bit of TV.

Friday November 18, 2022

We've now gone several days without taking down  Christmas decorations so Carol decided that might be a fun thing to do today!


She was outside and had the plug pulled on the Disney inflatables by 8:45. We're leaving on Sunday and tomorrow we have a movie preview to watch, so today was the day it had to be done.


By noon everything was up off the ground, down out of the trees, wound up, folded up, packed away in plastic tote bins and stowed in the 'basement' cargo bays under the coach.  Whew!


Once everything was ship-shape we headed to Disney Springs for lunch at Raglan Road.


We wandered slowly through the shopping district checking out the themed Christmas trees in the daylight.


To the right is an unusual sight; it's the Disney+ tree, with an upside-down tree hanging above it.

The trees look much better in daylight, you can see the unique decorations much better than in the evening.  The Coco tree above is a good example.

The Guardians of the Galaxy tree.

The Guardians of the Galaxy tree included an oversized replica of an old Sony Walkman . . . and check out that tree-topper up above!

The final tree on today's tour was Raya and the Last Dragon.


At Raglan Road I ordered Bangers & Mash and Carol tried the Roast Beef Sandwich.  They were both delicious and the portions were huge.  Carol's sandwich contained an entire roast.  She brought the leftovers home in a 'to-go' box and plans to toss it in the slow cooker and make a beef stew.

The sun was sparkling brilliantly on the water after lunch as we headed back to the car.

A flock of wild turkeys were grazing for insects right beside our campsite when we got back home.  The bugs must have been tasty because the birds didn't leave . . . even after we parked and got out of the car.


The dogs were happy to see us, and even happier to hop on the golf cart and head to the dog park.  Jasper found a 7-month-old Border Collie to run with!


There was a very feisty little Dachshund in the 'small dog' area next door who seemed to want to come and play with the big boys!

After our huge lunch, dinner was a simple affair . . . sandwiches in the RV.


Then we loaded the dogs up for another round of looping.


There are more decorations appearing daily.


We were camped next door to these people last year.  They were building the balloons a year ago and showed us a prototype.  They look great!

We fell in love with the cut-out figures last year.

This Minnie lamp's bow is an acrylic sheet that sparkles with hundreds of fibre optic lights.  Amazing!

The Mickey lamp is brightly lit for Christmas - red and green!

These inflatables are covered with plush fur.  WOW!

Yikes! Those are the biggest inflated arches I've ever seen!

As the grand finale for our tour tonight, Jasper grumped and growled at Ursula again!

Saturday November 19, 2022

Our last full day at Disney is here!  Most of the packing up is done and we're almost ready to move on to The Resort at Canopy Oaks for a 2 ½ month stay.


But first we have a new Disney movie to see at Disney Springs!


We left the campground at 9:15 and were wandering through Disney Springs toward the AMC Theatre complex 15 minutes later.


We saw a few more themed trees, including the Sphere Tree on the right.

Carol posed in front of a giant poster for the movie we were going to see.

Oh look, a pair of robot reindeer!

We decided that Strange World was a 'cute' or 'entertaining' movie.  It isn't a blockbuster and won't scoop up a lot of awards, but it's a good family oriented story!


As we exited the theatre we walked past Salt & Straw . . . purveyors of some of the oddest ice cream flavours ever imagined.  Some of the descriptions mentioned things like cheese, caramelized turkey, cranberry sauce, cornbread stuffing and Parker House Rolls.


We're just a bit too traditional for most of the outré combinations . . . I had Roasted Pineapple Coconut Sherbet in a waffle cone, Carol went for Sea Salt with Caramel Ribbons in a traditional cone.  Both were yummy!


Take a good look!  This is probably the only picture you'll ever see of me wearing a hat!


We each received one as a gift from D23 as we entered the theatre.

The Black Panther Tree

The Star Wars Tree

C3PO on top, a Stormtrooper or two and BB8.  Who else do you see?

The Moana Tree

On the way back to the campground we dropped off my rented ECV scooter and were back home with a pair of happy puppies by 12:45.


We enjoyed a relaxing afternoon, then we talked about taking the dogs to the dog park.  Nope, we were too lazy!


We talked about going to Hollywood Studios to see Fantasmic.  Nope, we were too lazy!


Then we heard from Curtis and Alek, they wanted to drop in with Curtis' mother Kathy who had never seen the campground.  They arrived about 40 minutes later and we had a nice visit.


Before they left we all hopped on the golf cart and we toured a few loops to let them see some of the Christmas decorations.



This golf cart was towing a trailer with a Winnie The Pooh inflatable.

Here's a different view of that trailer.

After our visit with Curtis and his family we took a drive out Route 192 and had a nice dinner at Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen.


We were back home with the boys by 8:45.

Sunday November 20, 2022

We were up at 7:00 a.m. and did a bit of the final packing up before breakfast.  At 8:15 we took the golf cart to Trail's End Restaurant, beside Pioneer Hall.


We used to eat here several times each trip, but since they converted from a buffet to 'family style' service it just isn't as appealing to me.

The breakfast is described as a skillet, but it's really just a medium-sized aluminium pot.  It contains a scoop of potato and cheese casserole, a scoop of scrambled eggs with brisket, a few slices of bacon, a few sausage links and two Mickey waffles.  It's bland and blah, but it fills you up!


I really miss the fresh fruit, the cornbread, the Southwest Style Eggs Benedict, the Breakfast Pizza, the hot and cold cereals, the strawberry sauce on warm biscuits and all the other unique dishes they used to serve.



As we finished the packing and disconnected the utilities it started to drizzle and by the time we stopped to hook the car up to the back of the coach it was raining steadily.

We had a traffic tie-up because of construction on I-4 just west of Walt Disney World but by the time we pulled off to take SR27 south to Lake Wales the rain had stopped and traffic was flowing well.

It was noon when we pulled into The Resort at Canopy Oaks just a bit before their 1:00 p.m. check-in time.  Luckily our site was ready so just a few minutes later Carol directed me as I backed the rig into place in Site #29.  This will be our home for the next 2 ½ months.

We had the basic stuff pretty much all set up by 1:30 when the rain started again, so we headed indoors for a bite of lunch.


We're looking forward to relaxing here at Lake Wales for the next few months.  When we leave on January 30th we'll head back to Walt Disney World to spend a few days enjoying the Festival of the Arts at EPCOT.


We'll 'see' you all then!

Before I end this report though, here are a few comments about travelling in our motor home.  Often when we talk with people about our RV, the conversation immediately turns to fuel economy and the high cost of gasoline.  Yes, it's a 7.8 litre V10 engine and it gets about 8 miles per gallon.  That's a lot . . . but the reality is that gas is a relatively small component in the cost of motor home travel.  They are parked about 99% of the time and they burn no gas when they're not moving.


For our four-day trip southbound I fuelled-up five times and spent US$813.72 to buy 242 gallons of gasoline.  The tank is now half full and that will do us until late March next year when we start our trip back home.  So the fuel cost for November, December, January, February and part of March will be $0.00  The campground fees for that time will be more than ten times what we spent on gasoline to get here.  Campground fees are always significantly higher than our fuel costs.