Friday, April 03, 2009

From our Anniversary

I'm finally able to upload all the pictures from our anniversary weekend. Warning: There are a ton of them! We really had a great day and while it's hard to leave my kids at any time, I'm glad we did.

We spent the day at Disney's Animal Kingdom. It's one of the smaller parks but so interesting! The animals and shows are incredible, and they threw in enough rides to keep the younger crew entertained.

Our friend Greg works mainly at this park. He got us in for free. It was hilarious talking to him about the rides (more on that later). We almost didn't want to hear the "insider" remarks! Let us just pretend it's all real, all right? :-D

Animal Kingdom has an Asian side and an African side. Since there's a new ride in the Asian side, we headed there first.

We were there pretty early. There were hardly any people.

One thing I appreciate about Disney is the great effort they put in to make everything look authentic. You can't turn your head in any direction without seeing something marvelous and picture ready.

Every item is purposely placed to look like you're in a village in Asia. The craftsmanship and artwork are amazing. Greg said many items were actually shipped from Tibet.

This is the new ride; Expedition Everest.
You see the wait time is maybe 10 minutes. There was SO MUCH to see in this line (museum quality) that for the first time, I wished the line were longer. We walked quickly past all these amazing artifacts! The ride itself is one you don't want to miss . . . I won't give anything away by describing it.

One hysterical note: While talking to Greg, he told us, "The Yeti isn't working."

"What? What do you mean?"

"Well, he's supposed to roar and move and really reach out to take a swipe at you as you go past. However, his shoulder is broken and the hips aren't moving. Instead of all this fabulous motion, you just get a stiff-armed wave and a roar."

In the four-tenths of a second that we see this Yeti, we never would have known. Since we DID know, we busted up when we saw it.

After Expedition Everest, we walked around the part of Asia where the animals were.

I encourage you to click on these photos to really get a look at them! We were looking at these sleepy tigers when suddenly a little girl was accidentally tripped by her mother and cried out. The tiger instantly woke from his stupor and was on full alert, causing all of us observers to gasp.
We heard a little girl cry out. He heard, "Weak. Helpless. Prey."

In the above picture, he is already "standing down" and figuring that he'll have to wait for dinner to be brought to him as usual. In the picture below, he was back to being a bored animal. For a split moment though, he was majestic.

The entire time we're walking through this area, it's made to look like we're expeditionary hikers in Tibet.

In actuality, we were as touristy-looking as we could be.
Is it wrong to wear a Snoopy hat in a Disney park? I didn't think so, either!

We entered a bird sanctuary. I mainly took these for Dave R., but he has a much better camera and would have gotten better shots. Again, click on the photos to enlarge.

We went to a free-flying bird show. During the show, a handler quietly took his place behind Himself with a hand full of meat. This gorgeous hawk swooped right at us and knocked Himself's hat with his feet! I was too stunned to get a picture; I should have just used vide.

This was a cool-looking owl.

Macaws and some sort of vulture? These were at the end of the show where we could come up and take pictures.

This is the Himself, a flightless bird with a strange ear-appendage. Charming and humorous, it can be found in city dwellings.
The only mar to our weekend was this mandetory conference call he had to take. The bird show theater had emptied so he was on this call. I couldn't believe how politely the Disney staff got us to leave so they could prepare for the next show. The manager came over and asked if we had any questions about anything in the park and asked if he could be of assistance. We chatted for a little bit and he never let on that he was in any hurry or trying to get rid of us.

That's when we noticed that they're all kind of waiting for us to leave and everyone else had gone. Oops!

We found a quiet picnic table where Himself could finish his call. While waiting, he pointed something out to me.

This is the part where you DON'T laugh because I can't figure out how to turn the pictures back the right way. These little girls were staring at something in the bushes.

I went over to get a closer look, startled, then started snapping pictures. Click on the picture, turn your head sideways. Do you see it?

This woman was dressed in . . . ivy. Her face was painted perfectly to match the ivy and blend in with her costume. She moved exactly like a plant would move when you watch an elapsed time video, creeping and twisting herself among the plants.

She's walking on stilts and has poles/canes for her hands. She would stretch herself toward the sun and then stop and freeze, looking exactly like a plant in the middle of the sidewalk.

I cracked up at all the people following her. I wonder how many families have ME on their photos? :-D

Here you can see her head tilted back. What you may not realize is that the "branch" extended above her head is actually her LEG.

This little girl was so adorable! She was so fascinated by this man in native costume (we're in the Africa section now) and she would shyly wave to him. He was obviously as tickled by her as we were.

In Africa, we went on safari. Here the guide is telling us that there are two very important rules we must remember while on safari.
One: Keep your limbs, head, body, inside the vehicle at all times.

Two: I can't remember what two was. But I know it was really important.
Here, the driver said something amusing. When on a Disney safari, it's great how you immediately become friends with the strangers around you. The lady next to Himself is looking at him to share the joke.

African savannah or heart of Orlando? Great job, Disney! There's probably animals in this photo. I told myself I wouldn't take a ton of animal photos. I only took a half-ton.

King Louie! Who else but the Jungle Book characters should be at Animal Kingdom? (Oh, and Lion King.)

I'm sorry, but meerkats are stinkin' cute. They. Just. Are.

Himself checking out the sliverback gorilla.

Here's a sighting that wasn't so rare: Homosapien Exhaustus.

This is where we stayed overnight. Huge and sprawling, it was a nice hotel with plenty to see and do.

Do I even have one photo of him where he's not touching his phone? I'll have to work on that! Seriously, he made a supreme effort NOT to be on the phone this weekend. He was actually snapping photos with it.

Thanks again Greg G, for a wonderful weekend!

1 comment:

agable said...

You guys are so cute and I'm glad you had fun :) Happy belated anniversary :)


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