And I'm working long hours post-weekend, so sorry for the delayed posting.
How was the weekend? (No fancy filters or editing have been used on any of the photos here. I took them with my iPhone, and I'm too damn lazy to edit, so this is unvarnished Disney.)
It was gorgeous. I snapped that with my phone while waiting to be seated for brunch at the Crystal Palace, for a delicious brunch and meeting the residents of the Hundred Acre Wood.
And as I'm posting these pictures I'm struck by how Delaney has lost the last of her preschooler look. She's not a little kid now, she's a girl. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I was okay with being a grandma when they were just tiny tots, but now that they're actually KIDS, I'm feeling like the "Yes, I'm a grandma but they're still just little, so I'm barely a grandma at all!" stage has rolled on by. ;-)
The Crystal Palace is lovely, the food was delicious, I ate about 3000 calories at breakfast alone, but my jaded dining companions still feel brunch at the Grand Floridian is superior. Duuh, that's why they call it the GRAND Floridian. This was delicious and fun, and the decor is lovely.
We Magic Kingdom-ed the rest of the day until our rooms were ready. After a trip on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train with a hard to get fast pass, we headed for the French Quarter.
The grownups were tired but Delaney wanted to swim. Again, she's a KID now. She can swim, and she was instructed to stay within the shallow end where she can stand up (it was 3 feet deep and she's 45 inches tall, so no worries there) while the grownups grabbed cocktails from the poolside bar and watched her swim and make a friend:
We went to dinner at the other end of Port Orleans, Riverside, and walked back. Then her parents decided they wanted to watch college football (at the bar) and Delaney wanted to spend the night with me. This was fine with me, and we had a lovely bonding time, including a spontaneous and lengthy pillow fight, which finally halted when her cup of chips and grandma's glass of pinot grigio hit the carpet. Mickey wouldn't have been pleased if we'd broken a lamp, so we settled down.
The next morning I heard nothing from her parents by 8, so I took Delaney to breakfast at the same Riverside quick service place we'd dined the night before, and another 3000 calories were consumed. Her mom texted me around 9:30, as they started to stir. They'd "watched a lot of football" at the bar. Animal Kingdom sounded painful, and honestly, we can go there whenever we want, so it was unanimously agreed that a day of resorting it was the way to go. Delaney finally worked up the courage to go down the waterslide. (That's someone else's grandma standing by the slide).
Once she got past the fear of the slide, she never wanted to stop. Every trip was done with hands in the air, shrieking! Her daddy was nearby watching her, so I snapped a couple of phone pics to commemorate the occasion and went to the bar for a pricey Hurricane, and spent the rest of the pool time under an umbrella with my Kindle. I'm reading a really good (for me) book about meditation, which I swear I will share over the weekend. I constantly stumble over these $3 or $4 Kindle gems, and this one is just what I needed to read now. But anyway, Delaney conquered the sea monster slide, and for the rest of our pool time I read my book, sipped my boozy drink, and heard her on the slide, over and over, "SHRIEEEK!!!"
Later in the afternoon we attempted to take Delaney to Fort Wilderness for a pony ride. Fort Wilderness had no parking to spare for drop-ins because they were doing a big Halloween parade/event, and we were turned away and advised to park elsewhere and come back via internal transportation. I will spare you the middle of that saga, which involved a boat, a walk the length of Disney Springs, and two busses. Disney is HUGE, people. Hindsight is 20-20, and my daughter said (on the first bus) that we should have just called Uber when we didn't get a parking space. As it was, we arrived too late for the pony ride which was the point of the whole exercise. Delaney did get to meet the ponies, and she didn't seem terribly disappointed. I think she was getting too tired to care one way or the other.
And I'm glad I got to drive through Fort Wilderness, albeit on a bus. I've always been curious about it, and having seen it, I can say with absolute confidence that I don't ever want to stay there. Okay, maybe in the Lodge, which is quite fancy and pricey, but damn, those cabins? It looked like a gussied-up woodsy trailer park inside a Cracker Barrel restaurant.
I am not anti-cabin, or anti-woods! Some of my best childhood memories are of staying in cabins in state parks. My beloved Uncle Cliff was an outdoorsy guy who loved fishing and photography, and loved teaching me about both. But I guess I'm spoiled, because I was very turned off by the faux-outdoorsy look of the place. I know it's beloved and I'm speaking Disney heresy, but seriously, if I want to go stay in a cabin I'll find a real cabin in a real state park, and not pay Disney prices for the experience. If I'm paying Disney prices, I want a goddamn fantasy! I want faux New Orleans, or Old Mexico, not something nature does better elsewhere.
My son-in-law did read my mind while we were standing around Fort Wilderness, dreading the bus trip back: "This is where they keep all the white people." Seriously, man. It's weird, because I'm as white as white can be, but I'm apparently still not white enough to enjoy Fort Wilderness. I think I was breaking out in hives by the time the bus arrived.
Monday was check-out and a quick goodbye trip to Epcot, where we had a fast pass for Frozen (even harder to get than Mine Train) and managed to get onto the new Soarin' ride, which is fabulous. By then Delaney was hitting her wall, and Grandma had fallen asleep against hers. I had to hit Publix on the way home to snag some fresh produce, etc., and I swear I walked into the store and stood there, like a lost dog: "Where am I? Why did I come here?" I was asleep by 9. It was a lovely weekend.
My pet sitter loves to photograph his subjects. Last Memorial Day he used Sophie on Facebook in a haunting b/w image. This time, he managed to get some lovely shots of Ellie.