Sunflower Halved Hypersaturated

Sunflower Halved Hypersaturated
Yes this is a real sunflower I took this shot a couple of summers ago in the garden outside my work window

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Whew......back from Disney World and boy was it fun! The best part of course was staying on Disney property at the Animal Kingdom Lodge with the wonderful savanna surrounding us. When I say this hotel was absolutely gorgeous, that's an understatement. The decor and staff attire was not only authentic but beautiful and very meticulous. The lobby made you feel as though you just stepped off the plane in Africa literally. Beyond my excitement for the hotel was the feeling of sereneness and peace. It was quiet and even though there were kids upon kids upon kids, I didn't even notice them. The weather was perfect for our first day there, a lovely breeze and sunny with no humidity...I was in awe because it was hotter a couple of days before in DC than it was in FL...go figure.

We explored Animal Kingdom first and went on a safari ride, which was quite funny. The guide said "holy pajamas" at the "broken bridge" and one of the kids I was chaperoning was waving and saying hi to the animals, a very interesting adventure. We had the pleasure of viewing elephants, lions, an ostrich, bongo, impala, antekole cattle, cheetahs, Nile crocodiles, hippos, giraffes, termite mounds, vultures, pink back pelicans, flamingos, some other weird looking birds, a Galapagos tortoise, American crocodile, and I'm sure I have missed something, but that's all I can remember.

While walking to one of the other rides we ran into the 4pm parade. I thought there was only a parade at Magic Kingdom, but to my amazement there are parades in just about every park. I have to say the one at Animal Kingdom was much more livelier than the one I've seen at Magic Kingdom (cheesy), good music, great costumes and pretty floats. We actually watched the whole thing! Needless to say, the daytime was full of adventure. After resting in the hotel for maybe an hour, it was off to Magic Kingdom for Grad Night 08'. We had a couple of bumps in the road along the way, but once we arrived at 10pm, I ducked into the chaperon only area (my feet were killing me) and the kids ran along and enjoyed the night. While in the chaperon quarters, I couldn't believe how many of them were asleep. Not regular sleep either, I mean deep REM sleep, snoring and all. I know it was really late, I nodded a couple of times myself, but really how much help are you going to be if there is an emergency and you are stretched out kicking up Zzz's? Anyhow the story continues---Surprisingly the kids were ready to go at 2am, Magic Kingdom was not going to close until 4am, but hey there were definitely no complaints from me for the early duck out. So we approached the gate and I went to ask security if monorail would take us back to where we needed to you know this man tells me we can't leave until 2:30am?? I asked him was he trying to hold us hostage...he laughed...I was so serious though, I finally get to leave and now I can't! So we had about 20 minutes to wait and then it was off to the hotel. We finally settled in at a little past 3am for some well deserved shut eye.

Day Two--while I wanted to rise early(6am) and had set my alarm to see the animals closer in at the viewing points of the hotel, after only having just under 3 hours of sleep...the snooze button was my best friend in deed. I did not get up til 10am and of course all of the animals by that point have taken refuge under select trees all of which were too far away to get good shots of with the non-professional digital camera we took with us. Talk about photo opportunity loses I felt so bad :-( not having my camera with me! With 1/2 of the kids still snoozing I took the opportunity to venture around the hotel and explore all there was to see. I admired the structure inside and out and searched out all of the animal lookout points for future reference!

I was really determined to be up close and personal with the wildlife, but I was exhausted. We finally left the hotel at 12ish heading to Epcot. I have never been to Epcot and it appears I have not missed anything either. The first ride we got on was, I forget the name, but it is the one that goes in side the golf ball. I liked the concept (evolution of intelligence/innovation of man kind) of the ride however, the information was not exactly accurate. For instance, the Egyptians were not the first people to create writing and maintain record, it was the ancient Mesopotamians. There was another point they made incorrectly, but I cannot recall it at this moment. Regardless, it wasn't that bad just needed some tweaking. The next ride, Mission Space, the line was kind of long and the warnings were everywhere, but did I! Should I have stopped...definitely. I felt so sick after getting off that ride that I refused to ride anything else for the day. I was the designated bag holder for the remainder of the time at Epcot. It seems that everyone at Disney is extra friendly...I was sitting next to this lady during one of my bag holdings and I inquired about my true intentions, searching out a giant tigger. She told me about this ginormous store in Downtown Disney that has everything. After that conversation it didn't matter to me any longer what the children wanted to do because I knew where I was headed...(sing along) Downtown, things'll be great when your Downtown...I informed them when they got off the ride. The next place they were going was to Hollywood Studios. I rode the shuttle with them and then it was off to Downtown!!!!!!!!! No one told me how long the ride was, I felt like it went on forever, but nevertheless we arrived. My first stop of course was the Christmas store (you know I sing jingle bells all year round!) Everything was FAB, I loved it! Spotted, Pooh and Friends so I zipped on over, got my tigger, and was on my way. I went down a little further and ventured into the World of Disney store. When I say overwhelming...that doesn't even begin to describe what I felt as I walked in the door. I quickly exited that place, I just couldn't take it. I brought the kids back to Downtown for a few hours when they returned from the Hollywood Studios venture. All in all day two was wonderful and relaxing!

The finale...Day Three--Well since we had to be on the way to the airport by 10am this was an early rising morning. After getting dressed and packing it was time to see the wildlife. I didn't make it out exactly at 6am more like a little closer to 8am. There were some good views and the animals we definitely closer than the day before. We took some shots ate breakfast, an awesome breakfast might I add, and it was time to say adios. All in all it was a lovely trip, my best visit to Disney thus far and we will surely go again and definitely stay for a week or two so that we can go to Sea World, Busch Gardens and visit relatives.