Orlando, The "Rest"!!

     In my first post about this Orlando trip I referred to the three main things we were trying to accomplish, Relaxation/Transformation, Disney and Megan's performance, and Sun Worshipping (again, not necessarily in that order). 
    This last post is about the Relaxation/Transformation part (with some restaurants thrown in...ha!).  Both me and my friend looked at this vacation as a chance to "regroup", breathe, and to take time to appreciate things.  One of the things we have in common is that we are both family caregivers, she to her mother-in-law and me to my mom.  In fact, her mother-in-law lives at the same facility as my mom and they know each other.  Alyce's dad is also a Lutheran Pastor.  She is a very spiritual person and strong in her faith.  I like that she and her family remind me of the things that are important in life and help me gain perspective when times are tough.  Before our Orlando trip I knew that Alyce wanted to visit, or at least "drive by", The Holy Land Experience,  Am I the only one who never even heard of this?  Because of the timing of the rest of our trip, we quickly realized a "drive by' was going to be our best bet.  On Friday night, we found our way to The Holy Land Experience and learned that although it was closed, we would be allowed to drive through the pretty exhibits and lights outside of the facility.  It was very pretty (palm trees and white lights -what's not to like!) and obviously a very big deal.  We took lots of pictures and my friend was especially overwhelmed and grateful for the experience.  The whole thing appears to be worth checking out if you are in the area.  There is sooooo much to do in the Orlando area I am convinced you would have to spend months or years to see it all.
     Then, since we made all but one of our breakfasts in our room and lunches were often skipped or made in our room, we went out for dinners.  Our only "rule" was to not eat at any franchise restaurants that we could eat at here in Michigan.  The first night we were super hungry since we had been traveling all day and didn't get out to dinner until after 8 pm.  We stumbled upon this place called Boston Lobster Feast which caught our attention from the red VW bugs with the giant lobsters on top of them.  My kids love "slug bugs" and I knew I had to take a picture...and then once we were in the parking lot, we ended up eating there (probably because we could smell the food)!!  It was a fun place with a great selection (remember we were really hungry so maybe that's why it all tasted pretty good!). 
     The second night, after The Holy Land visit, we literally accidentally got off at the ""Downtown Disney" exit and to make a long story short, ended up eating dinner at House of Blues.  I had been there before and knew it had a fun atmosphere, good music and decent food.  We both enjoyed it and it gave my friend a sneak preview of Downtown Disney.  (This is also where we bought our blingy "mouse ears" for our next day at the Magic Kingdom!  Ha!)
     Saturday was spent at the Magic Kingdom which I discussed in yesterday's vacation post and Sunday was such a long relaxing pool day, we ended up getting pizza delivered to our room.
     That left Monday when we decided to have our last dinner out at Wolfgang Puck back at Downtown Disney.  We had a fabulous time and a great table overlooking the lake and Downtown Disney.  It was very relaxing and a great way to celebrate the end of our vacation.
     We also spent much of our down time discussing how to use our vacation as a stepping stone to better manage our lives so that we put ourselves on the schedule while making sure not to "sweat the small stuff".   I will save the details for another post. 
     In the end, I was and am grateful for the nice vacation and appreciate all of the help my husband gave in making our travel plans.  I am lucky to have gone to Arizona in February and Florida in April -- this is not typical for me, but it sure was fun!! 

The Holy Land Experience
(my pictures don't do it justice...the lights are prettier than Frankenmuth, MI)
The Holy Land Experience

Boston Feast, Orlando
Wolfgang Puck, Downtown Disney

Chinois Chicken Salad @ Wolfgang Pucks is awesome!!!  (Donna!)

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