Monday, May 24:
Needless to say, there wasn’t much sleep occurring in my household the night before. However, my parents and I got out of our beds with bright smiles. We put the finishing touches on our packing and left the house at 5:30A. We arrived at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, NY at 6:30A. We went to the small eatery and had a light breakfast. Not knowing the exact size of required toiletries, our items went over the ounce limit. Thanks to my awesome mom who packed an extra bag for our purchases, we shoved all the items we thought security might have a problem with into a bag, and checked it in. Huzzah!
Our flight was at 8:40A and thank God, we had a safe flight. We arrived at the Orlando International Airport in the Sunshine State of Florida around 11A. I saw a palm tree and displayed one of my best grins. We collected our toiletry bag (LOL) and got lost searching for the Magical Express vestibule. We were up and down the floors, searching, and not receiving correct answers on where it was. Now mind you, my mom needs a wheelchair so doing this was not easy. Especially since she didn’t yet have her ECV, so my dad had to push her. Not fun. Anyway, we finally got the right answer and made our way over. We waited for twenty minutes or so in line, then got on the bus. We were staying at the Contemporary Resort, and of course, ours was the last stop on the list. The bus first had to drop off guests at the Wilderness Lodge, Polynesian, and Grand Floridian. This wasn’t a problem with me, but our driver was LOUD and irritating. My poor mother and I were actually covering our ears. It took three hours to get to our resort, which was ridiculous, but I try not to dwell on that. Anyhoo, we were very happy to get off the bus.
Now came the exciting part: my mom pulled a few strings and told them about my celebrations/accomplishments… this vacation being a mix of my 21st birthday gift and college graduation. So my mom got her ECV upon entering the resort, and we were met by a lovely lady who said to follow her. She took us to the 12th floor, to the end of the hallway, and said, ‘Here we are.’ I must admit that I knew we were staying on that floor, but my dad didn’t. He was a bit in shock. THEN, I ran to the balcony to look out the window…and there was Cinderella’s Castle!!!! I started screaming. You see, my mom thought we had a Bay Lake view only. This view was quite a surprise to us all. The CM had a HUGE smile on her face, loving every minute of our excitement. My friends, I kid you not, we could see all three mountains (as in Splash, Thunder, Space) from our room – we could actually make out the boats coming down the Splash drop. This was all the right-side scenery; on the left was the beautiful Bay Lake. The CM left us then to enjoy our room. We were like kids in a candy store, gazing at everything, wanting to know how each item operated and existed.
Also on our floor was a lovely sitting room with couches & chairs, books, and two televisions, as well as a table with various food choices throughout the day. Each morning, they offered bagels, croissants, pastries, muffins, and fruits. By the time we arrived back at the resort each night, they offered a variety of desserts to choose from. It was amazing. But as always, I’m getting off-track here.
At approximately 3P with the tiara on my head, we left for the World Showcase. We pretty much browsed most of the countries for a while. We went to America and watched/listened to the Voices of Liberty from the second floor of the pavilion. Their voices are beautiful and I got a bit emotional at that. Then was the American Adventure show, which I also became misty-eyed at watching. The collage of historical moments at the end especially gets to me – and the music! Music touches me in a way I can’t explain anyway, but this particular song really grabs at my heartstrings. We worked our way through a light rain (which was actually quite lovely) to Italy for what was a wonderful dinner at Tutto Italia. They came out with this medley of olives and cheese, and don’t get me started on the bread and olive oil. Yum. Everything from their penne pasta to the vanilla gelato I ordered was scrumptious. Two thumbs-up for me. After dinner, we walked over to Norway to ride Maelstrom. The people in front us thought we were going backwards down that huge waterfall and I said, ‘Don’t worry. We’re not. We’re going THAT way”, and I pointed to the front. They held on for dear life (not knowing the size of the drop, of course) as we went down. It’s such a fun ride but they seriously need to make it longer. After the ride, we got great seats for Illuminations. While waiting for it, I snapped pictures of the landscape (which I will be posting in the near future) and I watched the adorable ducks grazing by the lake. The fireworks, needless to say, were brilliant. Emotions struck me, of course, thanks in large part to the music.
Post-fireworks, we browsed a store and I bought this precious pair of pink/white polka dot Mickey head earrings for only $5. We then headed back to the Contemporary. My dad went to the room, while my my mom and I were searching for a soda machine. All we could find was candy/snack machines. So we’re traveling the floors, then we go to the 1st floor, where a CM tells us that the beverage machines are on the odd-numbered floors. Hmmm. Ok then. Now mind you, my mom is in this ECV and we had to take so many elevator trips that by the time we accomplished our mission, the two of us were snorting & crying with laughter.
We were hysterical all night. Even returning from EPCOT on the monorail…she turned to go to the elevator, and she drove her ECV against the metal gate on the side as it made a loud clanging noise. A bunch of people stared as we giggled. Then on those elevators, she would pull in too fast and crash against the back of the elevator. Repeatedly. We were so exhausted and giddy that we would burst out laughing. That was an awesome first day!!