Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Princess and the King trip, in photos...

I will admit that I will never do this trip justice in a recap... but, you know, a picture is worth a thousand words, etc. etc. So here are several thousand words about our trip.

A little background; Tony and Sue (Wil's folks) wanted to visit, Sue said she wanted to meet Mickey Mouse for her 70th birthday, and it all just started coming together. We also decided to add in a swing up to Memphis to surprise Tony with a trip to Graceland as a belated birthday present. That meant that Wil and I had a reason to (finally) run the Princess Half, too. And I decided that we all deserved a quiet beach vacation to wrap the trip up. All this and other adventures, too!

We stayed at our beloved Pop Century ...


The night before Tony & Sue arrived, after going to the expo, we made a beeline to the Polynesian in search of the eastern Trader Sam's ... and our first NAUTILUS!!!

spectacular!!!
After we left Trader Sam's, we made our way over to Disney Springs for a look around, and ended up visiting Jock Lindsay's Hangar Bar...

a Cool-Headed Monkey ... and a cocktail...
The next day we went to Hollywood Studios, where Kylo Ren ordered us to adore him in his emo way...

you... will ... adore me ...
The next morning we ran a 10K ...

Enchanted 10K complete!
Then we took Tony and Sue to the Magic Kingdom for the first time. 
How much do I love this picture? SO MUCH.
The next day we ran the Princess Half Marathon...
Yes, I KNOW I look like Carol Channing..Sorta.
After the race we left Disney World ... to FINALLY visit Weeki Wachee Springs and see MERMAIDS!!!

MERMAIDS! MERMAIDS!!!
Not content to see "real" mermaids ... the next morning we got up and went swimming ...


WITH MANATEES!!!!
who are the "real" mermaids??? Manatees? Or the citizens of Weeki Wachee???
The next day we visited Tupelo, where Tony and Sue visited the Elvis Birthplace, while I made goo-goo eyes at ELVIS!!!! ELVIS!!! (Okay, a statue...)
#thankyouverymuch to the Tupelo tourist info center, who re-grammed this pic!
We overnighted in Memphis for a couple of days, visiting GRACELAND!

again, how cute is this???
And, yes, I did buy and make everyone wear Elvis glasses, thankyouverymuch.

love me tender, baby
After Graceland we visited Sun Studio, which was surprisingly cool...

Later on we visited the A Schwab store, continuously operating since 1876... and were treated like royalty by the "soda jerk", who told us to hang out and he would make us awesome "adult sodas" as the store closed around us.

"if you can't find it at Schwab's, you're better off without it"
The next day we visited the National Civil Rights Museum, which is built around thevLorraine Motel, where MLK was assassinated.  A really interesting museum with a really cool layout, and I found it deeply moving.
#Ihaveadream
We left Memphis and drove to Clarksdale, where we visited the crossroads where Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil...
wanna make a deal?
I was so happy to revisit the amazing Shack Up Inn, where we stayed in the Legends shack...
panorama under stormy skies of the Shack Up Inn
... and later I saw cotton growing -- in person -- for the first time. 
why, yes, I did jump down and turn around before picking a boll of cotton. 
The next day we had a long drive to Panama City Beach, but what a beautiful morning on the beach!
it would be exaggerating to say we went for a run ... but I suppose ran a teensy tiny bit.
Then .... BACK TO WALT DISNEY WORLD to prepare for the birthdays!!!!

totally adorable!
I honestly have no idea why I love the Dumbo ride so much ... except for the glee on his face...

believe and soar!
The next day, Sue's birthday, she got to meet Mickey Mouse in person. And cried and cried and cried. 
"Don't cry, Sue!"
But they hit it off so well that Mickey offered to cook her lunch!

that is one hardworking mouse!
The next day we went to Hollywood Studios and saw the Star Wars "Galactic Celebration in the Sky" fireworks... surprisingly great!


And then, on the first, it was Wil's birthday... Tigger wanted to wish him a happy birthday...


... as did Pooh ...
how cure are these two? 
... and there were Mickey waffles for all!

#startwiththeears
One teensy sad note; Mary Poppins wasn't there at breakfast.... but she made it up to me by making me burst into tears and taking a selfie with me.

#practicallyperfectselfie
The next day marked the start of the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, with amazing topiaries..

Pumbaa!!!

Peter Pan and Captain Hook!
... but it was time for us to leave Walt Disney World for the "vacation from our vacation" ... four nights in a house in Cocoa Beach. The house was PERFECT -- lovely and airy, with a nice modern kitchen, and a gorgeous, quiet, west-facing back garden on the Banana River. Oh, and the beach? That was a 5-minute walk away. Lovely.

our back garden
One day we went to the Kennedy Space Center, where one little boy was Very Excited.

NASA!!!!!
We toured the cool new exhibit on the Space Shuttle Atlantis, including the lovely old spaceship herself.

boom ... space shuttle!
Wil touched the moon ...

moon rock!!!
Then, that evening, we were able to watch a SpaceX launch from our back garden ... which was surprisingly cool to see!
sure, it's like watching a FedEx van leave the depot to make a delivery, but, still, SPACE!
But mostly, we just chilled out in the evenings and had gorgeous sunsets and dinners on the patio. Bliss.

I could get used to this sort of view...
All in all, a fantastic vacation and great time with the family. Thanks to Wil for helping with the planning and logistics, and to Tony and Sue for being willing to be surprised!

1 comment:

Tony Holder said...

Thanks Sunny & Wil, we thoroughly enjoyed our fantastic holiday shared with you. Love Sue (Mom) & Tony (Dad)