Sunday, August 31, 2008

Vacation Days 17, 18, 19 (The End)

Before I post what I wrote on the last 3 days of our vacation, I want to bring your attention to a new blog I have recently begun reading. It's Called "It's a Disney World After All." If you aren't big into the Disney stuff, you probably won't care about this blog, but if you are at all interested or are planning an upcoming trip, you may want to check it out! I love reading the updates about what is going on in the Disney Community. Also, I am still a big fan of a podcast called "Be Our Guest." Bruce and I will be on the show one week from tomorrow discussing the cruise leg of our recent vacation. You'll have to tune in! I will remind you then. Anyway, for now, here are the last pics from our vacation (finally!). The above picture is of course B1 and B2 with the Cat in the Hat. These pictures were taken at Universal's Islands of Adventure.The Grinch and me at some store in Seuss Landing, which was a very cool place!
This picture was taken in the morning, before we went to the park. We did a character breakfast at the Nickelodeon Hotel. That's Bruce and Little Bill!
Our family with Spongebob Squarepants!
The girls and Dora the Explorer. B2 claims she no longer likes Dora, but I think she really does still just a little bit!

August 5, 2008: The alarm went off this morning at 7:00 and we got up, showered, dressed, and down to the Nick Toons CafĂ© to eat lunch with the characters at 8:00am. The meal was a buffet and was pretty good. The characters in attendance were Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Wanda and Cosmo from the Fairly Oddparents, and Little Bill. The girls got their pictures taken with all of them and we got a family picture taken with Spongebob. We took a shuttle today from our hotel to Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure. We arrived there about 10:30am. We covered pretty much the entire park, starting with Seuss Landing and heading around counterclockwise. I liked this park better than Universal Studios. It had more thrill rides and seemed more like an actual amusement park. We did get B2 to ride a ride where they take you 15 stories in the air and then drop you. We all rode it twice! We ate lunch in the Jurassic Park section of the park at a burger place and ate dinner outside the park in the City Walk area at a pizza place. We bought some final souvenirs before boarding the bus back to our hotel at 7:15. Once back, we came up to the room and packed as much as we could tonight. Bruce and the girls took things to the car and at 9:30, we attended a family game show type of thing in the Nick Studio. It only lasted about 30 minutes. Bruce and the girls finished off their arcade card while I came back to the room to type this! It’s about 11:00pm right now and just about time for bed. Tomorrow begins the drive home. I am ready to get there and see Shinza. I am not ready for the unpacking process!

August 6, 2008: We got up at 8:00 this morning, showered, finished packing a few things, ate the rest of the Cinnabon rolls (and B1 had a pop tart) for breakfast, checked out of the Nick Hotel, and got on the road. Before we actually got on the highway, Bruce decided he “needed” to have a Chic-Fil-A breakfast sandwich so we went through their drive-thru. Bruce drove the first 200 miles, to the Florida/Georgia border and then I took over for about 275 miles. We stopped for gas and snacks once and it happened to be at one of the same gas stations we stopped at on the way down to Florida over two weeks ago. Small world. Anyway, I drove through Atlanta during rush hour. We took the bypass but it was still full of traffic. Just on the other side, we stopped at a Mexican restaurant for dinner, which tasted good since we love Mexican food and haven’t eaten it in over two weeks now! So we drove for awhile after dinner and we were about 20 miles from the Tennessee border when we hear this loud noise coming from the back driver’s side tire. We pulled over on the interstate and checked it and found that the first layer of tread had completely torn off. Bruce said he saw it fly out the back side of the van through the rearview mirror. At first, we thought we ran over one left on the road from a semi truck. So we then drove slowly to the next exit (the tire wasn’t flat but still did not look good) and found a Wal-Mart with an automotive center but it had closed at 7:00pm and it was now 8:07pm. We ended up at a Sears automotive store that closed at 9:00. We called and asked them to stay late for us, which they did, and we didn’t leave there until 9:48. We gave both the guys working a pretty nice tip for helping us out. So anyway, then we drove for maybe 45 more minutes. We are now in Chattanooga, TN staying at a Country Inn and Suites. This is a very nice room, probably the biggest so far on the vacation! Bruce and B2 decided they are hungry and went to the Waffle House on the other side of the parking lot! Gees! We will be going to bed shortly.
August 7, 2008: Today we had breakfast at the hotel. It was a pretty nice little spread that came with the cost of the room. We then got on the road towards home. The first time we stopped for gas was in Kentucky and we discovered that there is a problem with the hose (tube) that carries the gas from the side of the van to the actual tank. We think it is some sort of complication that happened with the tire last night. We were able to finagle and got the gas into the tank, but had to leak maybe half a gallon onto the pavement at the gas station. We informed the attendant there and they took care of the spill. What a mess. We got a snack at that gas station and then kept driving. When we reached Mt. Vernon, IL at about 3:00pm, we stopped at Taco Bell for a small meal. We picked up Shinza from the animal hospital (she's not sick, that's just where she boarded while we were gone) about 4:30pm and headed for home! We drove around town and saw some big changes at the school that took place while we were gone. Mom and Dad came over to visit for a short while and we worked the rest of the evening on laundry, unpacking, etc. We drove a total of 2220 miles on this vacation. It is good to be home!
Side note: After we got home, we had the van inspected by a friend and family member. They believe that the problem with the gas tank happened when the tire tread flew around the tire and smacked into this hose (tube), causing it to come loose. Together, they were able to fix it at no cost to us! Thank goodness we know some people who know something about cars!

1 comment:

Scrapping My 2 Precious Gems said...

Thank goodness you didn't have a huge expense with your van! I know how expensive a Disney trip can be without adding the unforseen van repairs in the mix! Your vacation was magical! Makes me wish our cruise was this year. Your trip report was amazing, thanks for sharing your good times on your blog.