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Epcot

By far, Epcot is the most underrated of all the Walt Disney World parks, and this is why we spent the first day there.  We figured that by starting at the most adult-centric of the parks, then the girls wouldn’t have a chance to be disappointed in it as they wouldn’t know any different.  The first park is going to be fun and exciting regardless of which park it is.  And you know what?  After being there, I don’t know why so many people skip it.  Epcot is awesome!  I only wish we’d had our WDW system in place so we could have been more efficient and seen more of it.  But we know better for next time.  LOL

My favourite attraction at Epcot was definitely Captain EO.  Sure, it’s a little corny and totally 80’s – but that’s just part of it’s charm.  I absolutely loved every minute of it, even being snotted on.  😉  It should be on your “must do” Disney list!

The girls both loved the Test Track – though I found the wait long (even with the fast pass) and there were no cast members to be found to help guide you through the design process.  We didn’t know if we each should be designing a vehicle, or if just one of us needed to do so… and we weren’t the only family who had no clue.  So we let Lily-Ann design a car, hoping that we just needed one for our group.  Turns out we each should have done one, but it was just fine.  LOL  The speed test was fun, but I could have done without the rest of the ride.  It was jarring and mostly unpleasant.  The speed though?  Seriously awesome!

This is also where we bought all of our ears.  And shockingly enough, I got complements on mine from cast members throughout our trip.  Turns out not all the ears are available at all the parks.  Oh!  Neither is all the merchandise.  We saw a Mulan playset at Epcot, but didn’t want to carry it around with us all day.  From what we’d heard of Downtown Disney, anything we could find in the parks we’d be able to find there – THAT’S NOT TRUE.  We should have bought the Mulan set, as we never found it again in any of the parks or at Downtown Disney.

Epcot was a long day.  We learned a lot about how NOT to tour a Disney park that day.  LOL  But I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.  It was pretty amazing!

Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!

My next Disney World tip?  Can’t make this one any more clear or plain for you.  STAY AT DISNEY’S ART OF ANIMATION RESORT!!!  Unless it’s when we’re going back (because, yes, we need to get back) and then I don’t want it over crowded.  LMAO

Now, I could go into a really long explanation about why this is THE resort to stay at, but honestly?  This is one case where a picture really can tell a better story.  So, here’s a buttload of photographs from our time at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.  Right from that first night we arrived, until our last minutes on Disney property:

Sometimes totally uncool things happen to generally cool people.

Well…  we did it.  Yep.  Never, ever thought this would be me.  If you’d ever asked me if one day I’d be one of those people, I’d have denied it with much fervour.  Yet here we are.

I’m doing my best to convince myself that while it wasn’t what we WANTED it is what we NEEDED.  It makes sense.  It was the logical choice.  We may not like it, but it was the only choice.

It’s just that it’s SOOOO not cool.  Not even remotely cool.

I try not to think about it.  However I can’t help but look at it with a little disgust…  It’s not us, yet here we are…  the, embarrassed to admit it, owners of a station wagon.

I hang my head in shame, but there is no denying it.  When SGI paid us out on Friday, we already knew it was likely what would happen.  And by noon today we were test driving a 2003 Ford Taurus SE Wagon.

The beast drives really well.  It’s nice and smooth…  and you can ALMOST forget about the fact that it’s butt end is so darn ugly while you’re inside it.  Almost.

At it’s most basic, it’s the same vehicle we had before.  The Ford Taurus and the Mercury Sable really are one and the same in almost all respects, and it’s even silver – the same colour our Sable was.  Which has already caused a few giggles from friends and family.  But when they realize it’s a wagon, they all say the same thing:  (awkward pause, often with a foot shuffle or a shrug of the shoulders)  “They aren’t THAT bad.”

It really is though…  THAT bad.

the butt end of our "new to us" station wagon

But here we are.  Whether or not I LIKE it, it is what makes sense for us.  Basically the same vehicle we had before (six years newer) and with a WHOLE lot more cargo room.  Now, if kid-kid wants to start coming with my sister and I to dog shows, we have the space to bring her along.  Now if we want to go camping or head out to wherever we feel like going, we have room to pack up all the dogs and just go.  Now we won’t be stuck at home all year round because we can’t leave all the dogs and have no way to take them with us.  I may not like a wagon, I may not have wanted a wagon, but a wagon makes sense for us.  So I’m going to learn to like a wagon.

Maybe it’s not so bad?

the beast, viewed from the front

Train, train, go away… (turn off your engine while you wait)

At times I seriously curse the fact that we have so many train tracks running through our city.  Generally speaking I love it.  I love the sound of the trains on the rails, love the realness of it, love that it speaks of how our country was created, and what Canada could be again (if only we’d invest in high speed rail – which was invented by Canadians, but then sold to Germany when the Canadian gov’t refused to invest).  Tonight though?  I was ticked off by the train.

We were on our way home, Damon, myself, and the girlie.  When the railway crossing lights started blinking and the red/white striped bar dropped.  We were on 51st street, just passed the intersection of 51st and Waniskewin…  No biggie, right?  Oh, so wrong.

When we pulled up it was about quarter past seven, or maybe twenty past.  I wasn’t watching the time closely at that point.  But we didn’t get moving again until shortly after eight.  That’s at least 45 minutes stuck sitting waiting for a train to cross in the middle of Saskatoon!  That’s not okay.  Not even remotely okay.

When we first realized that we might be sitting for more than a minute or possibly two, we shut off the car.  And you know what?  It filled my heart with hope, as other cars around us took our lead.  It was cold, and we were chilly sitting there waiting.  But the car in front of us turned off, the car to the right, and the car behind that.  Who knows how many others followed suit, too far from my scope.  It was so wonderful to see them turn off, one after another.

A couple of years ago, we’d have been the only ones sitting in a darkened car thankful for our jackets and mitts, but tonight others joined in.  Sure, there were tons of others who’s vehicles were left running that whole time (close to an hour)…  but it still gave me hope seeing that others joined in with us, and turned their vehicles off.

The girlie passed her time playing with the camera phone.  Here’s one she took of me:

"train, train, go away, come again some other day..."

 

Besides all the cars sitting there, idling for almost an hour?  The most frustrating thing was the freakin’ train itself.  For the first fifteen minutes it sat off to the side of the road – not even blocking the road itself.  Not moving, not doing anything…  but close enough to the road that the bar was down preventing any cars from moving.  Then it slowly began to move, the engine went down a few blocks, and stopped again…  cars blocking the street this time (but at least then there was actually something REAL stopping traffic).  Then the whole freakin’ thing backed up again.  ARG!  Not cool.  Not blocking a major flow of traffic for almost an hour.  Seriously, there has got to be a bylaw or something preventing this type of thing during normal waking hours.  I was just grateful that I was able to keep the girlie entertained, and that she didn’t have to pee really badly (or worse).

So yeah…  a rather trying hour.  But I’m choosing to take hope in the people driving those cars who cared enough to shut off their engines.  THANK YOU!

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