Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Paige and Ree's Epic Vacation: Part 1

The last couple months have been a blur. I drafted a few different blog posts (on all my blogs) before the fact, talking about my recent trip to Orlando, Florida with my best friend, but in the end, I don't think I had actually published any of them. So you may be wondering what I'm blathering on about! Patience, I am going to tell you! If you know me and my writing at all, you know that I tend to babble on and on, so I've split the tale of this week-long vacation into four parts. This one is basically just sharing how we got there and the first couple days at the resort.

Ok, so let's start with the back-story. A couple of years ago, when I was turning 28, I decided to write a bucket list of 30 things I wanted to do/accomplish/achieve before my 30th birthday. I was kind of freaking out about the fact that I was closer to 30 than 25, regretting not doing more things with my youth, and I had been seeing a lot of these bucket lists around the internet, for various milestones. I loved the idea, and decided to do it to help give myself some solid goals to aim for over the next couple years.

One of the items on this list was to travel with my best friend. We have been friends for 12 years now. That's crazy! Over those 12 years (and previous, in her case), we have both done a bit of international traveling. One of the main points we have in common is our love of travel, adventure, and world cultures. So it may (or may not) come as a surprise that we had never actually traveled anywhere together!

Spending New Year's Eve in New York City is on her life's bucket list, so that was our initial plan as a trip to do together. Fast-forward to September 2016 when we completely abandoned those plans and decided to go to Florida instead! We also never get to celebrate our birthdays together, so this was a sort of early 30th birthday bash for us to do together. Ok, now let me share!

Saturday, March 25th, we both flew down to Orlando. Our flights were supposed to arrive around the same time, but hers was delayed almost 2 hours. We stayed at a Westgate Resort in Kissimmee, so after Paige arrived, the rest of Saturday was basically spent doing a bit of exploring around the resort and hanging out at the pool, nothing too exciting! Sunday we were *supposed* to get a free breakfast and other stuff (long story, but one word should explain: "timeshare"), but when that didn't work out, we went and got some breakfast & snack foods at the little convenience store, and hung out in our villa (which is like an apartment), and at the pool some more, did some more exploring on the other side of the resort - found the water park, the mini golf, the bike & pedal boat rentals, etc!

Paige had plans to go to a church event with some friends Sunday evening, so we walked over to the main building together to meet her friends. After they left, there is a little movie theater room (Disney movies only!) in that main building, so I hung around and watched Tangled. Then I walked back to the villa, but decided to stop at the pool on the way, to sit and read for a bit. When I went back to the villa, my key card had demagnetized, so I had to walk over to the main building again to get that fixed.

I decided to get a ride back to our rooms. I wanted to experience the resort "train" shuttle. I had seen the stops all over the place, but had never seen the shuttle itself. So I asked the security guard outside where the shuttle stopped and when it would be back. He told me that it would be back soon and I could just stand there with him to wait, he didn't mind. So we had a little chat, he asked me where I was from, if I was finding it too hot, what plans we had for the week, etc. After several minutes, I asked again about the shuttle, and he said it shouldn't be long, but not to worry I was fine there, so I stayed chatting a bit more. I asked how long he'd been working there, he said two weeks. Then he said, "Oh there, see that bus down there? That's the shuttle. Now I'll be sad because you're going to leave me." Haha, so I was surprised about this bus thing. Again, I hadn't seen the train so I didn't know what to look for, but I was kind of expecting one of the big golf carts. Anyway, so the bus stops, and the driver asks if I'm going to the Towers (the other Westgate Resort across the highway), and I said no and gave him our unit number. And he was like, "Oh, this is just a shuttle between the resorts, but... (I must have looked distraught) you're the only one, so I can take you over, it's not a problem."

So I eventually got a ride back, and made a couple of humorous acquaintances along the way. I then tried out the jacuzzi in my room before settling in to watch some TV until Paige got back. It was an amusing way to start the vacation. :)

Monday we started our park adventures, which you can read about in Part 2!

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