Yes I am back. I haven't fallen off the face of the earth or lost interest in LJ but I have been incredibly busy getting caught up at work since we got back from vacation and I had to go to a Legal Conference this past week for two days also. I am strapped for time so I am going to try to divide the trip in several parts with some pics of each. Here is Part One.
We flew to Tampa, Florida on April 18th. I swear it took longer to pick up the rental car in Tampa than the entire flight took. They gave us a Jeep Liberty. Horrible SUV. My husband who can drive anything complained that it was miserable to drive as it didn't seem to even have power steering. Other than that, the first few days of our stay in Treasure Island along the Gulf Coast was rather uneventful. We went swimming in the ocean (no one else was swimming though the water was warm enough at least it was warmer that the Lake is most of the summer). We saw Dolphins and enjoyed a bit of sunshine for the first couple of days until it clouded up. We got in some great shopping at an outlet mall in Ellenton, Florida and had some great seafood at several restaurants along the Gulf Coast. We headed for the second part of our holiday at Disney on April 22nd arriving just after noon.
We had decided to split our stay at Disney this time between the Grand Floridian Resort and the Animal Kingdom Resort. We spent 6 days at the Grand Floridian and it is an absolutely beautiful resort. We did learn however that although being close to the Magic Kingdom is wonderful and having the monorail available makes it so easy to get around that there are major drawbacks to the Grand Floridian. The main problem is that it is always noisy. There are boat horns constantly going off on the 7 Seas Lagoon from early morning to late at night (boats from the resorts, ferries from the transportation centre to the Magic Kingdom). You also have the fireworks every night about 10p.m. which wouldn't be an issue but there is an electric light boat parade on the Lagoon with very VERY, loud music that occurs about 4 times between 9:15 p.m. and 11.15 p.m. We are used to staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge which is very quiet in the evenings as it is further away from the parks and we really missed getting back from the Parks to enjoy a bit of quiet after the hectic cacophany that you face at the parks. So our conclusion was that although the GF is incredibly beautiful, the staff were wonderful and we enjoyed our stay, we still prefer the Animal Kingdom for ambience and relaxation.
So as soon as we arrived and checked in to the GF we headed for Downtown Disney to get some lunch. ( Downtown DisneyCollapse )
Here are a few pics of the Grand Floridian Resort. It is incredibly huge and pictures really don't do it justice. ( Grand FloridianCollapse )
We spent our first full day in the Magic Kingdom which has become a tradition. It was incredibly hot for this part of the trip. The weather forecast said that the temperatures were in the high 80s but with the humidity, it would feel like 104F. It did!
We got to see the New Fantasyland addition which is still partially under construction. They have done a wonderful job but some of the areas are still narrowed down from the construction which makes for congestion and crowding. It will be amazing when it is completed. ( Magic KingdomCollapse )
Hopefully I will be back in a couple of days with the next installment which will be the Animal Kingdom.