Moving on, now K had to visit the restrooms – we will meet y’all in Germany. That done, K and I backtracked to Italy to finish her kidcot and then went to the Germany kidcot. At this time, K stated she was hungry, I got her a pretzel, but she couldn’t stand in line with me as the smell from the sauerkraut was making her sick. The family all caught up, Mike, Danna and Jamie taking in some more F&W samples from Italy, we were all enjoying the music and ambience of the Germany pavilion. I love the Christmas store here, wish I could afford some of those Disney figurines.

And we were off. The girls were determined to finish their kidcot projects as they saw some kids finish in USA and got some prizes. The small African stop was not a kidcot stop, and we passed by heading to China – their last stop. It was kind of a let down. They finished to no flare – like the kids in USA received – got their picture of Goofy and that was it. They both asked me about some book, but because I had not see the kids in the USA pavilion, I had no idea what they were talking about.

It was past time to stake out a spot for Illuminations. I was looking at the menu in China, hoping to find something I would eat. No luck. Everyone found a bench while I was occupied and Mike went to Mexico to get another wet burrito. Dad moved around the World Showcase the other direction to find us a better location – calling from a bench near Germany. We called Mike to tell him to meet us there and we headed out. The bench in China was nice, but the island in the middle of the lake would have blocked most of the show – we can’t have that! Unfortunately, the bench in Germany was in a smoking section, cough cough – Dad moved on. We ended up in Italy with a great location near the gondola poles. We had a GREAT view and everyone loved Illuminations. I can’t even describe it to you, but it is definitely not something you will want to skip. Find a spot and enjoy!

We took our time exiting, as there were TONS of people. By this time, my feet hurt; my mom’s hip hurt and K had pulled some muscle in her leg. We all limped to the front of the park. Took some pictures of K in front of the globe, enjoyed the illuminated sidewalks and headed to the car. One CM saw all of us moving slow and stopped to ask if we were all right – we are fine, but thank you for asking. We headed back to the hotel and I think we were in bed by midnight. Tomorrow we leave for the real world, but we have a surprise for the girls before we do!

Monday, October 11

The Plan: We needed to be up early, pack up the car and check out of the hotel. We had a 9:50am PS for CHEF MICKEY’S!!!!! After that feast, we would head to Downtown Disney to do a little shopping before heading home. I wanted to visit the World of Disney, the toy store, the home store (a friend of mine was getting married, I wanted to get them something uniquely Disney), pooh’s store (friend of mine was a big CLASSIC Pooh fan, just adopted a sweet little girl, I wanted to get her something for Christmas) as well as the scrap booking store (this was just for me!).

The Actual: Well, we got up and we ready to go in plenty of time. K still didn’t know where we were going and really wanted to know. The other crew was moving a little slower this morning. We pack up, oh great, it’s raining – at least we were not planning a park today. We decided to head to the Contemporary Resort early to check out some of the stores. We pull to the gate and dad tells them we have a PS for Chef Mickey’s. K was so excited; this was where she saw Goofy hanging out with some kids. I was excited too, this was a first for all of us, something that was my treat – I hoped my credit card could handle it! Well, I walked under cover to get from the parking to the hotel and I got dripped on. This would not be a big deal, water dries, right, however, it was a GREASE drop from the monorail right in the middle of my white shirt!!! Are you kidding me? I can’t meet Mickey (referred to as “The Man” by Kaitlin) like this! Yup, I had to buy a shirt, and I was not happy about it – it had to match the funky green stripe pants I was wearing, not an easy feat. Isn’t this just my luck?

Well, some shopping done, the gang catches up with us and we check in at the podium. We are pushed along to the picture taking – where did Mike go? He had to run back for the camera – why didn’t you bring it, who knows. We postpone the picture taking and head to the waiting area – man it was PACKED! Mike finally arrived and we had our picture (Mike bought the set since I was picking up the tab for breakfast). Hanging out in the lobby, we ended up with seats right next to where Goofy was holding court. It was so cute to see some of the kids interact with him! I got to where I was telling people not to walk through as other kids were having their picture taken. Goofy turned to me and “said” thank you. I said I got your back Goof, as I did the head up nod and pounded my fist to my chest – y’all know what I mean, right? After that, we were best pals. He asked if the girls were mine – kind of difficult to explain, but we got through. K and J would tug on his chef’s jacket and he would turn around playing who did that? It was cute! FINALLY someone walked up to me and asked if we were ready – oh yeah. We were lead up into this room and I was almost disappointed that we were out of the way of all the action – boy was that thought proved to be wrong. First of all, we had a FABULOUS view of the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s castle – amazing! I sat both of the girls on the outside of the table so they had better access to the characters. We also had a fabulous waitress, Deb. Every character came to our table, and J, K, Mike and I all got our pictures taken with each one. We waved our napkins in the air to the party music as Minnie or Mickey danced around our room! We all stuffed ourselves on the good food – it really was good. And we all very happy with our last official Disney experience. I got a present from M, D and J – some really nice Mickey Mouse earrings – I have already worn them to great compliment. They also gave Kaitlin a flag pin in the shape of Mickey – how nice of them.

K and I went to press pennies – we got all they had there. Mom went to buy some glasses for my cousin to thank her for taking care of our animals and then we were off. The other group decided to skip Downtown Disney and head home for Atlanta. We were not ready for it all to be over, and besides, K had some Disney Dollars left to spend! Unfortunately, it was still raining and it was going to get worse.

We hit downtown Disney, parking on the Market Side. Went into World of Disney first. I could find NO Goofy earrings, what is up with that? Kaitlin found some clip-on earrings that looked like the Mickey ones I was wearing – she had to buy them! By this time, it was torrential rain! Dad ran to the car to get our ponchos, and he ended up soaked. We ran to the Basin store where K spent the last of her money – we even counted out change (um, do you accept pressed pennies?) to buy some bath salts that she REALLY WANTED!! Next, we ran to the toy store. I wanted to fill a box of Mr. Potato Head parts, but the crowd around the bins was awful. Not going to fight with that, we head to the princess room in the back of the store. Kaitlin loved this and ended up making a princess charm bracelet while my mom picked out some goofy charms for me to make earrings with. Love this store, and the CM that checked me out was so nice, I asked her to explain the difference between the green and the black lanyards. If a CM has a green lanyard, they will only do pin trading with kids. I think that is great! I think I said this earlier, I wish we brought the whole book of pins, if I had only known.

We were gonna try to make it to the other stores on my list, but the rain was just coming down and we were wet and tired and we just went back to the car. Unfortunately, our car was not happy, and would conk out every time you hit the brake pedal – we were STUCK at Downtown Disney in the rain. It would be 2 hours for the tow-truck driver and he could only take 2 of us. I told mom and dad that I would take Kaitlin to Planet Hollywood for some lunch (she was hungry again, I think she was too excited at breakfast to really eat much), they could stay in touch with us by cell phone. We ended up at McDonald’s – man that place was busy and GROSS, the floors were covered in napkins and ketchup and mustard. I was afraid to touch anything. I had never seen a place on Disney grounds that was in such bad shape. K ate, and mom and I sat and entertained her. Dad waited for the tow truck driver. When he finally got there, the car started. We drove around the parking lot to make sure – and it seemed fine. The driver said it was the weather, positive and negative ions or something. Yeah, I think we will still drive to the dealership in Orlando and have them check it out. Turns out it was a faulty throttle valve. They replaced it and we were finally on our way home.

We got home after midnight and got everything out of the car. Glad we were home, but looking forward to our next trip.

Wow, did you stay with me the whole time? I know it was long, especially for a short trip, but I wanted to get everything in – plus give you a chance to get to know us. I am hoping to make more trip reports in the future, cause that means more Disney trips!!!