Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Back in the Real World, part 1

(The original sentence stated in was July 12th ) ...Good Morning. It is the 30 of July and I am still trying to figure out where June and most of July have run off to. Though I know perfectly well that it was the end of the school year followed by a family vacation that wiped that month off the calendar ( I have loads f pictures to share - so will break this into several posts). Between Report Cards, end of the year paperwork, closing up a classroom for the summer (so summer school can use it) and several end of the year events that I am in charge of planning June 1 - 13th ran by way too quickly.

I cannot complain too much though, we did manage to add a few Disney days in to the first half of the month - The best being, our pass holder preview of Cars Land and Buena Vista Street in Disney's California Adventure. All I can say is WOW!!!! No expense was spared to make both of these additions absolutely amazing. I would love to be a Disney buyer for the antiques and fixtures that they scatter around the interiors of their period pieces. Here are a few pictures from the preview and subsequent visits.

Along with new decor around Buena Vista Street, there are a variety of "face characters" (characters you can talk to and interact with) that are not Disney film or cartoon characters, but period characters, to add to the atmosphere of the 1920's street corner.

Then there is the family vacation. We headed to Florida to see a few things before climbing on Disney's Fantasy (their latest cruise ship) for a week in the western Caribbean. I know we are big Disney people but we had to hit the Wizzarding World of Harry Potter while in Orlando. Way too big a fan of the books to miss that opportunity. Wow. Just watched one of the movies again and stopped at one of the Hogsmead scenes. The park was amazingly accurate to the movie set. Nicely done. Butter Beer was delicious! But a hint to anyone who hasn't gone yet --- go to the Three Broomsticks for lunch and get the BB there, rather than stand in the VERY long lines outside at the "wagons".

Butter Beer foam mustache.
 We also visited Kennedy Space Center. Probably more for us "old" guys that can remember the first men orbiting..... and walking on the moon etc. than for the younger ones that were with us. Though I am sure the rockets, launch pads and buildings were interesting to them.

6 foot "watch dog" security system around Cape Canaveral.
The cruise was wonderful. Disney's newest ship is beautiful. Though bigger than the original ships, with more cast members and guests on board, it really did not feel crowded. Here are a few photos of the ship...

Artwork is found all around the ship. This was at the landing between two floors in the forward staircase.

We visited Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands -

Costa Maya, Mexico -

Leaf Cutter Ants, carrying their leafy finds back to the nest.
Cozumel, Mexico -

And of course, Castaway Cay (Disney's Island, in the Bahamas) -

Adult beach, off the beaten path.

The inlet we went kayaking in. It is only a few feet deep. Clear, blue water. Lots of things to see down below - including a ray, conch, upside down jellys, and two six-foot nurse sharks.
Castaway is a beautiful little island. Since only those sailing with Disney are on the island it makes it all the more special. There are beaches for families, adults, and teens. Rent bikes, hike, snorkel, para sail, or tour the island on a glass bottom boat.

So sad to have to say good-bye to the ship and come back to reality ---but it was fun. I will share some of my Visual Journal pages in another post.

Monday, July 30, 2012

As an Elementary School Teacher I love this time of year, when I can make a big to do list and actually get some of it done ---and if I am really good ---- get some crafty stuff done too. But then there are days I wake up and think I am on VACATION, why am I working so hard??????? Then I have a mental battle between the organized and the lazy sides of my brain. Which one will I listen to today?

Do you ever have those days? I find myself thinking this almost everyday this summer. Unfortunately, my summer is winding down, as we start planning for Professional Development days... and my new class. But until then I am planning to play a bit. Tomorrow is a quilting sewing day. YEAH.