Sunday, November 15, 2009

Oh, the Places to Go....

It's about time I finally finished uploading my Walt Disney World Trip Report. It took especially long because I had to copy/paste the embedded codes for the pictures individually. It's not an easy task. Next time I do a dual TR/blog, I'll be sure and do them at the same time, so I can get the IMG and embedded codes at the same time. That should be a lot easier and faster.

Since it's been awhile since I've actually written anything new, I figured it was time for an update.

Marching band season just ended... The Pride of Pendleton is the AA State Champion!!!

My next trip is happening in just a week. Every year, we drive to Mississippi (nine hours) to spend Thanksgiving with my grandparents. It's not really a vacation, so I probably won't blog about it. I might write a Black Friday review, though... that is pretty much the highlight of my Thanksgiving break. Oh, and my birthday is on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. I will be spending all day in the car on the way back home from Mississippi. Fun....

Speaking of my birthday, I do not know what I want to do to celebrate it, yet. I feel like I need some sort of celebration with friends... I am turning 18. When I turned sixteen, we went to American Girl Boutique and Bistro in Atlanta. That was fun. I'd like to do it again, but I also want my boyfriend to come, and I don't think he'd be very comfortable there. Yeah, that would be kind of weird. Bummer. Any ideas on how I can celebrate my birthday? I'm very near Atlanta, Columbia, Asheville, and Charlotte (though completely boring, my hometown is actually in a great central location)... maybe we can go to Biltmore. Rachel has been saying she wanted to go to Biltmore everytime the commercials come on, so that might just work.

Now while we're on the subject of Christmas commercials, we're also going to see the Radio City Rockettes when they come on tour to the BiLo Center in Greenville for my mother's birthday.

Which reminds me that I never posted a review on the 2009 Jonas Brothers World Tour Concert. We had really great floor seats (right by the runway) and took really great pictures. I might just have to post some pictures.

I'm really excited about our upcoming Christmas vacation. For the first time, we are not going to be home for Christmas. We've booked a 9-night Eastern Caribbean Cruise on Royal Caribbean International's Grandeur of the Seas, so we'll be spending Christmas in the Caribbean! It departs on December 21 from Tampa, Florida; and ports of call include San Juan, Puerto Rico; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Philipsburg, St. Maarten; Tortola, British Virgin Islands. We've already been to St. Thomas and St. Maarten (actually, we didn't really enjoy either of these ports... at least we know now not to do snuba in St. Thomas), but it's been several years. I've glanced at excursions, and I'm personally liking the zip-line in San Juan. There was also an ATV adventure that would be fun. The problem is that I'm now 18 and can drive most of these vehicles, but Rachel is only 16, so I don't know if they'd let her ride along with me, or if she'd have to ride with mom or dad. That wouldn't be as fun. And now that I'm going to be eighteen, I won't be allowed into the kids clubs... which is a bummer (not like we've really hung out in there in the past). I might sneak in, though. Carnival is really strict on carding, but Royal Caribbean only cards Fuse at night... you can walk right in the Living Room, which is where we prefer, anyway.

Unfortunately, we will not be on the cruise for New Year's. However, Tampa happens to be very near.... Walt Disney World! Two years ago, when we got back from our cruise to Cozumel, we went to Hollywood Studios for New Year's (Dad thought he was going to get away with Busch Gardens... pfff!). This year, we arrive back in Tampa on January 30, so we'll drive to WDW and spend two or three nights. I'm not sure where we're staying, yet (Rachel requested the Polynesian, and I suggested the Wilderness Lodge), but I've already booked our ADRs.

December 30, 2009 at 7:05PM Boma - Flavors of Africa
December 31, 2009 at 8:30AM Ohana's Best Friend Breakfast
December 31, 2009 at 7:00PM Todd English's Bluezoo
January 1, 2010 at 6:10PM Whispering Canyon Cafe

I'm not sure if we'll be there late enough for the January 1st ADR, so I might change that to lunch.

Now, more exciting news... I made the US Army All-American Marching Band and will be playing at the US Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. For those of you who aren't familiar with the All-American Bowl, the best high school senior football players are chosen from across the nation and compete against eachother, east vs. west. The bowl game has been around for awhile, but the marching band is relatively new, being added just three years ago. But, I'll be leaving January 5, 2010 for San Antonio (I have an early flight from Greenville-Spartanburg to Atlanta, and then I'll switch planes in Atlanta and fly to San Antonio). We spend the week in San Antonio learning drill to perform during half-time at the bowl game on January 9, 2010. The bowl game will be broadcasted live on television, but they likely will not show the entire halftime show. However, it can be viewed online. I'll have to get the website if you're interested.

Hopefully, we'll be able to fit in a short ski trip somewhere. It won't be anything big... unless maybe we go skiing for spring break. That would be fun. But, we would like to take some friends up to North Carolina and do some skiing one weekend. It won't be anything big or nice... NC skiing pretty much sucks. It's a good place to learn, but once you've been out west, it is a disappointment.

I will be going to Walt Disney World yet again with the marching band. It was really fun, last time (2008), and I'm super excited. Of course, I've already booked our ADRs...

February 11 at 5:50pm The Garden Grill
February 12 at 6:55pm Liberty Tree Tavern
February 13 at 1:00pm Sci-Fi Dine-In

Last year, some of my ADRs conflicted with other events, so this year, I was sure to book dinner at Epcot well before IllumiNations. I wanted Crystal Palace for Magic Kingdom, but it will be closed for rehab. However, I was excited to learn that Liberty Tree Tavern will be reopened with characters while Crystal Palace is closed.

And, more Disney... we also want to attend GradNite in April. We don't know who all is going, but I did make my first ADR for 10:00am breakfast at Ohana's, today.

Ahhh.... that's alot of vacations, and you know I'll try to squeeze some more in there! Keep reading for more updates!