Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #193 – Birthday

Our family is scattered and it is rare for us to all get together to celebrate a birthday. Henry and I have often found ourselves celebrating a birthday in a place far from home.

I celebrated my 62nd birthday by panning for gold in Dawson City, Yukon Territory
One year we celebrated Henry’s birthday at the Jameson Distillery in Dublin, Ireland.

Why wait until a birthday to celebrate? Celebrate the little things every day!

Thanks to John for the challenge Lens’Artists #193: Birthday

A Magical Birthday Week

That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up

Walt Disney

Henry and I both celebrated milestone birthdays this year. His was in May and mine was the last week of June. Sorry, you’ll have to guess our ages! What better way for two seniors to celebrate than to be kids again. We went to Disney World!

We took our time and stayed off the Interstates on the way to and from Orlando. We even broke up the trip on the way down with a night beside the St. John’s River in Palatka, Florida. Our room overlooked the Veteran’s Memorial Plaza and river walk beside the river. We enjoyed two fabulous waterside meals our first day. Lunch at Skippers in Darien, Georgia is always delicious. Corky Bells on the St. John’s River was crowded but we found two seats at the bar and enjoyed a great dinner.

The next day, our room was ready when we arrived at our resort in Orlando early in the afternoon. Our condo was about 15 minutes from any place we wanted to go at Disney World.

On most trips to Orlando we spend at least one day in one of the theme parks. This was not one of those trips. Our plans for the week were to relax, enjoy the amenities at the resort where we were staying, and get our Disney fix by dining at three Disney restaurants.

Our first Disney dining experience was at Kona Cafe at the Polynesian Village Resort. As we explored outside before lunch we had fun reminiscing about our stay there about 40 years ago. Lunch was fabulous!

We weren’t going to a theme park but we still wanted to experience some Disney magic. What better way to do that than to go to Chef Mickey’s Fun Time Character Dinner at the Contemporary Resort on the night before my birthday.

We arrived at the Contemporary Resort about an hour before our reservation. Sipping a cocktail while watching an afternoon thunderstorm over the lake was a nice start to the evening.

Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald Duck all made appearances. As each character walked through the restaurant they stopped in front of each table to wave and pose for pictures. Seeing the excitement in the kids eyes as each character came by was priceless. I don’t know who enjoyed it more – the little kids or us.

It was pouring down rain after dinner but before heading back to our condo we took a monorail ride around the lake.

The next day was my birthday. It would be hard to top dinner with Mickey Mouse but we did. Our lunch in Sanaa Restaurant in Kadani Village at the Animal Kingdom Lodge was amazing. The restaurant overlooks a savanna with giraffes, zebras, impalas, wildebeest, and other animals. Before and after our meal we watched the animals from an overlook outside. Our table was at a window with a great view of the animals as we ate. The meal was the best we had all week and the live entertainment outside the window was perfect.

When we weren’t out eating we enjoyed sitting on our screened in porch overlooking a pond or going to one of the pools. The pond attracted several Florida birds who came to the pond to fish. Great Blue Herons, a little blue heron, egrets, an osprey, and an ibis all made appearances.

We’ve been to Walt Disney World many times since the 1970’s. We learned on this trip that you can have fun without going to one of the theme parks. You are never too old to be a kid at heart!

I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing – that it was all started by a mouse.

Walt Disney