My Disney Journey

This blog was a journey of my application to Walt Disney World's Cultural Representative Program, from sorting out my CV through all the interviews to a year of having a mouse for a boss! Now, watch as I try to get back to my second home.

Prom! May 6, 2011

I had a day off today, which was lovely. I almost feel like I haven’t stopped since before I started training. Terri got an ADO (Authorised/Additional Day Off) from work because there were too many servers, and it wasn’t predicted to be too busy. So, she came home just as I was working out what to do with my day. We decided to head to TGIs for lunch, with Emily, as she had also gotten an ADO with Terri. After lunch, we came home again and Anna came round. We hung for a bit before heading to Downtown Disney and to the Cinema. Once there, we decided to see Prom, which was a good giggle! There’s so many films coming out soon that we all want to see, so I predict more cinema trips in the future!

After seeing Prom we came out of the cinema, browsed round Downtown Disney for a bit, including popping into the Lego store (as I always do when I’m in DTD!) Then it was time for home, and now it’s time for bed!

Vikki
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What do you do if you can’t cut off a Minotaur’s horn?! April 16, 2011

Day off Number 2 of 3!

Terri was also off today, as she will be tomorrow. We wanted to go to TGI Fridays for Lunch, but the bus driver told us he wasn’t going to CrossRoads, and that DownTown Disney was his last stop. So we had a quick change of plans and grabbed Dinner at Wolfgang Puck Express instead. The rest of the day was really laid back… much browsing and walking and “shall we do this?” “Yea, why not?” moments… one of which ended up with us heading to the cinema!

We saw the funniest film ever… it was called Your Highness. It’s rather crude in places, and certainly isn’t for the squeemish! (Quests often involve killing, unfortuantely) But the whole film was so tounge-in-cheek, that it was just awesome! After that we carried on with the browsing and walking.

We grabbed some ice-cream at Ghiradelli’s. That place is something else too, the ice-cream concoctions are fantastic! Far too much squirty cream though. Ah well! After that, Terri’s friend from home, Katie, and her mum and sister, came to join us so they could do a little shopping in the World of Disney store. And after that, we pretty much came home!

And now we’re just chilling, and will shortly be heading to sleep. Tomorrow, we should be letting Katie & co into Typhoon Lagoon, which will be great fun!

Vikki
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Miss match my life March 24, 2011

I opened Greeter today! Not done that in a while. Then I moved to chippie. Got my 15min break from Terri and went back to Chippie. I do miss chippie, it’s good fun in there! I got my bumpout from Ben at 4:30. – he wasn’t impressed, and told me not to gloat about my early finish (scheduled, not ER’d!) I turned round and said I’ll gloat all I like… having extended yesterday and extra magic assigning tomorrow, I was quite looking forward to my early finish! So I made my way to the Polynesian (after some deliberating over where I could eat dinner). I’d decided upon Kona cafe, and it was very yummy indeed. They have a set menu deal, which worked out very good value, and I even ate all three courses! (I was hungry). During dinner, I made notes on our menu, trying to see how much I could remember. Seems it’s a fair bit, but not enough just yet. Then I got bus to DownTown Disney. I was thinking I might go to the cinema, but when I got there, I didn’t feel like sitting in a dark room for a couple of hours, so I browsed the shops for a bit instead (bought some stuff from Little Miss Matched!). Terri had earlier mentioned wanting to eat at TGIs tonight, so I was planning on getting the F bus just to crossroads to meet her there, but she changed her mind so I came home instead. All in all, a very pleasant afternoon, and I really enjoyed myself!

Vikki
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Jumping all over the place! March 4, 2011

Today has been a lot of fun, I’ve been all over the place. Started my day off quite late, but I went to magic kingdom. Tried to find some lunch, but it was actually rather busy. Plaza Restaurant was fully booked, Liberty Tree Inn had closed to change between lunch and dinner menus, so I kept walking round to a little quick service stand called Golden Oak Outpost. I got myself a chicken sandwich, and it was the best chicken sandwich I’ve had in a while! The chicken was twice the size of the bun! The salad and dressing was really tasty too.

After that, I went to browse the shops for a bit. I’d watched the parade while eating lunch, which was awesome, but I didn’t really fancy doing any attractions today. The shops at MK are always worth a browse though.

My next stop was Downtown Disney. Mostly, I just wanted to check out the lego store, as usual. I had fun browsing the other shops there too. The magnet store is always a bit of a laugh too. By this time it was about 6:30pm, and I was meeting Terri after she finished work at 8, in epcot. So off to the buses for me.

I caught the first bus there, which happened to be going to Old Key West. From Downtown, you always have to transfer via a resort to get to the parks. So I went to Old Key West, and waited there for the next bus to epcot. It started raining while I was there. It had been trying to rain all day. Thankfully, it stopped again by the time I got to epcot.

So I found Terri, waited for her to finish work and get changed, then went to find some dinner. We decided upon Tutto Italia, but they had no space. After much wandering and indecisiveness, we eventually went to China’s quick service place, even though I’ve been there before. It was just as good as the last time.

After that it’d started raining again, so we stopped off at the Rose and Crown for takeaway dessert before coming back home.

And now i’m here, and we’re just chilling out, and eating our yummy chocolate scotch cakes. Tomorrow, I think i’m training someone on seating, which will be fun as I’ll get to do magic moment with them in the evening!

For now, I bid you goodbye!

Vikki.
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Not much really February 10, 2011

I’ve had rather a lazy day. I think I deserved it after 9 days of work! It was a bit of a mixed bag though. I had a bit of an argument with my brother – made up with him again a little later. Spoke to my mum about stuff, that was rather nice. :) Generally chilled and did not very much!

I went out to Downtown Disney this evening. Bought another birthday present for Jon, looked at other things I might like in the future, chatted to a Lego store employee for a while, then wandered down to Paradiso 37 for dinner. I actually had a starter and a dessert, but it was easily enough food for me, and I just didn’t fancy any of the entrΓ©es. What I did have was rather yummy though – chicken quesedilla and tres leches (spelling unknown!).

And now I’m back home and ready for bed. Fingers crossed the weather will be good tomorrow as I want to go to Typhoon Lagoon. We shall see!

Vikki
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A stitch in time saves 9! February 1, 2011

Ok, so firstly I apologise for not having posted in about a week. Secondly, I apologise for the mammoth size this post is going to end up being. I’ll break it up as if I was posting each day though, just to make things a little easier (both from a you reading it point, and a me remembering each day and writing it point!).

Monday Jan 24th
Today I had my service class over at Disney Uni. This meant getting up at some silly early hour to be over there for 8am ready to start! It was a pretty cool day actually. In the morning, we went over the Service basics and why Disney service is so much better than the average competitor. The afternoon was focused on wines, what wine Disney sells, different types, and so on. I learnt a fair bit, and it was all very interesting, especially about how wine is made, and how the flavour can change so easily.

We finished class at 5pm, after which I walked over to Cast connection, just to have a browse and see if any of the Christmas stock had found it’s way over there yet. The one thing I really wanted wasn’t there, so I came away empty handed. That night, I was feeling a bit all over the place. Really excited about Jon coming to visit, but also really not in the mood to pack a suitcase to stay in a hotel. I ended up doing very little, just hanging out with Terri in the end.

Tuesday Jan 25th
Today I was working an opening shift. But I was really wanting to extend my shift, and felt quite uneasy in the morning that they wouldn’t let me. You see, I was currently sat on 33 hours for this week, and I needed to extend to 36 hours so that I could give away my 6 hour Saturday shift (when Jon was here) without dropping under 30 hours (a visa regulation). As it turned out, I was in luck…

There was a massive thunderstorm on the way, we even had tornado warnings. Leah (who was assigning on Tuesday) has a massive phobia of storms, so as soon as Jack (the manager) said that a storm WILL happen, she turned round and said “I’m going home” Which was great, as I got to extend and get my extra hours!!!

Working during a thunderstorm is really rather fun. As an assigner you have two challenges… firstly, very few people are around and wanting tables, so you have issues filling servers up; secondly, when you do have people on your waiting list, guests aren’t willing to leave and head into the rain, so you have no tables becoming available. I somehow found a happy medium, and we had sheltered areas where people could wait until tables were available. Jack had sent loads of servers home as well, so I managed to keep the servers pretty busy most of the night. I did, however, seat the last table at 8:10pm. We usually seat the last table just before 9pm. It was crazy!!! Illuminations still went off though, the storm had almost passed over by then. πŸ˜€

Then I had a bit of bad news. Even though I’d extended to gain enough hours to give away my Saturday shift, I couldn’t sort it out there and then, I still had to submit it through the hub before I could take it to the managers. Argh. So I went home, packed my suitcase, and went to bed feeling rather annoyed.

Wednesday Jan 26th
My original plan for today involved me getting to the airport to meet Jon there. As it turned out, I still had to go into work (to sort out the Saturday give away nonsense), so I wasn’t going to make it out in time to get to the airport. Instead, I headed to work, suitcase in tow, spent the day on Chippie tills, and left as quickly as I could. I think it might’ve been one of my quickest bank-outs yet! Of course, as it turned out, I still couldn’t sort out giving my Saturday away, as it would’ve put anyone else onto a 6th day of work, and therefore overtime, and as such, the managers couldn’t approve it. Instead, Yelitza promised me that she’d ER me as soon as I came back from my class on Saturday.

Once work was over, I changed, grabbed my case, and ran to the guest buses at the front of the park. From there, I got a bus to All Star Sports, and sat and waited for Jon. I think that must’ve been the longest 30min I’ve waited in quite some time. But eventually, his bus arrived, and I was in his arms again!!! Yaaaaaaaaaaay! I won’t go into the little details, but once we had checked in and were settled and had freshened up, we decided to go to Downtown Disney for some dinner.

Raglan Road is YUMMY!!! It’s also amazing fun, with the live music and the Irish dancers, and just general yay! I will happily go there again. πŸ˜€

We were both rather tired after that though, so we headed back to the hotel and went to bed. Thursday was going to be an early morning, after all…

Thursday Jan 27th
Today was Magic Kingdom day! We had breakfast reservations at Crystal Palace, and I got to finally meet Piglet!!! Crystal Palace is a buffet style character breakfast with Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Piglet. Tigger surprised me as I wasn’t paying attention when he came round, and he just tapped me on the shoulder from behind! It was so funny! The whole experience put us into a great mood for the day though, getting us well and truly into the Disney Spirit!

We did so much, even met up with Terri and Dan for a bit to do some things. Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, Big Thunder Mountain, (Splash Mountain was closed, otherwise we would’ve done it), Prince Charming’s Regal Carousel, It’s a Small World, Mickey’s PhilharMagic, Mad Tea Party Teacups, Stitches Great Escape, Mike’s Laugh Floor, The Carousel of Progress, Buzz’s Space Ranger Spin (which Jon beat me at!), Space Mountain, and even the Hall of Presidents. We did a bit of shopping in the afternoon (I even managed to get the thing I was looking for in Cast Connection!), saw all the parades, the new “Magic, Memories and You” Light show, and Wishes. It really was a fully packed day.

By the time we headed back after Wishes, we were rather worn out, so grabbed dinner at the All Star Sports QSR, then went back to our room.

Friday Jan 28th
Friday was a bit of an odd day. Jon and I wanted to see Cirque de Soleil at DownTown Disney. The only way to get decent tickets at cast prices is to be at the box office at 11am on the day you want to go. So Today, we headed to DTD for 11am just to get tickets! After that, Terri, Dan, Jon and I all headed into Epcot as we had a lunch reservation with Riyad at Via Napoli.

Via Napoli is a very yummy Pizza restaurant within the Italian Pavilion. The pizza’s there range in size from not-quite-big-enough to just-too-big-for-two to far-too-big-for-it’s-own-good!!! *giggle* It was very very yummy though, and highly enjoyed by all present. After that, Terri Dan and Riyad went off to do the UK Kim Possible mission (which I will do at some point!) and Jon and I walked round to Boardwalk and got a bus back to DTD. We had some time to kill, so we decided to make Potato Heads!!! This is way more fun than it should be. The Toy Store in DTD (called Once Upon A Toy) has a big pick-and-mix of Mr Potato Head parts. They sell these at a set price for as many as you can fit inside a box. Put it this way, Jon and I came away with more than our monies worth!!! I will be going back to fill a box with just parts though, without a potato body! (Yes, this is allowed – we asked.)

Anyway, two amazing potatoes later (mine is now sat on the dining table), we slowly made our way down to West-Side and Cirque de Soleil. The show was something else. I LOVED it so so so much. There’s very little plot to the show, but it’s more about showing off the talents of some very amazing people than anything else. I’d happily go and watch it again!

After the show, Jon and I popped into DisneyQuest (as I had free entry as part of my Holiday Celebration thingie) and had some fun in there before heading back to the hotel and dinner at All Star Music – just a short walk from AS Sports.

Saturday Jan 29th
Today was the day I had to work :S Thankfully, I didn’t have to work for long. Jon and I made our way to Epcot, then I left him to have some fun alone while I went to my Safety Class at 11. I was all done by 12:30, back at the Rose & Crown, and granted my ER. πŸ˜€ So it didn’t intrude too much into our day. As Jon had done Epcot in previous years, and wasn’t that interested in Future World, we spent most of the afternoon in World Showcase.

We had lunch in Morocco at Restaurant Marrakesh. The food was rather nice, although I preferred what Jon had to what I had! The music was really cool, and there was even a belly dancer to keep you entertained while you were waiting for your dinner. It really is quite a large restaurant though, so I’m glad I keep sending people there when we don’t have space at the R&C.

After Lunch I took Jon to Japan. There is one thing in Japan that I’ve been wanting to show him since I saw it in my first week here! You can pick your own pearl!!! πŸ˜€ So we went and did that, picked an oyster shell together, and got a lovely 7 1/4″ pearl! Not quite sure what we’re going to do with it yet, we need to have a think about that. It was such a lovely experience though, and made all the more special because of how long I’ve been wanting to take Jon there. We had a browse round the rest of the Japanese pavilion then moved onto the rest of the world. We looked at most pavilions, went on Maelstrom in Norway, bought me some hand-exercise ball thingies from China, went on the Three Caballeros Boat Tour ride in Mexico, and generally hung out around the world until dinner time.

For dinner, Terri and I had planned Reservations at the Garden Grill, without Jon and Dan knowing where we were going. Garden Grill is another character restaurant, with Chip & Dale, Mickey & Pluto. It’s a family dining type of dinner, with a set menu. They bring large plates of a bit of everything, and you help yourselves… like a Sunday Roast back home πŸ˜€ If you want any more of anything in particular, you just ask your server! It’s a set price too, so you can eat as much or as little as you like. It was really rather yummy!

There was, however, one more thing we needed to do whilst in Epcot. And that was to see Illuminations. So all four of us made sure not to fill ourselves totally at the Garden Grill, and we headed back to the Rose and Crown to have desserts and get a table with Firework Viewing. πŸ˜€ I’d already stopped by and spoken to Jane (the assigner for that day) to let her know we would be there later on. She found us a perfect table, and Jon and Dan saw Illuminations for the first time from one of the best viewing points on the lake. πŸ˜€ It made me so happy to see my Jon so happy πŸ˜€

After Illuminations, it was time to head back to the hotel again. Jon and I weren’t that tired, so we thought we’d try out the Arcade there. (Jon is a massive fan of ticket redemption arcades! Helps that we live near to Weston) As it turns out, it’s quite a nice little arcade, and every resort has one, and once you’ve bought a card in one, it works in all the others! On the way heading over to it though (we’d stopped off at our room) we met some amazing guests! It was two lads, probably in their late-teens. They were semi-dressed like pirates, eye patch and bandana type thing, and one was holding an amazing pirate map. It really was quite a piece of artwork! As it turned out, the treasure they were hunting – the big red X on the map – was actually the ice machine! But they made us laugh, and we thought it was really cool.

Sunday Jan 30th
For some reason, I wasn’t feeling very well that night and as such, I didn’t sleep well. I was still feeling rather rough, and oh so very tired on Sunday. We still went over to Hollywood studios though, as we’d originally planned. First thing we did was pick up fast passes for Toy Story’s Midway Mania. It was only 9:30am when we got there (park opened at 9am)… there was already a 45min wait for the ride, and the fast passes we got were for 12:35! By the time we’d picked up our fast passes, the wait time had gone up to 60min. It’s a very popular ride, is Midway Mania!

Anyway, we were rather hungry as we’d come out without any breakfast, so we went over to Fairfax Fair and each grabbed a Breakfast Muffin. It was a rather good muffin! The rest of the day was a little subdued though, due to my funny tummy, but we still did a fair amount of stuff. Including the Great Movie Ride, Sounds Dangerous, Indiana Jones Stunt show, and Muppet Vision 3D. For lunch, we had a reservation at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant. I like the concept of this place, but it somehow just doesn’t work for a dining location. You spend more time watching the cheesy Sci-Fi Film trailers than you do on your food, and you really can’t have a decent conversation. I must say though, it was one of the most hushed restaurants I’ve ever been in!

After lunch we made use of our Fast Passes to Midway Mania! Now I realise why everyone loves this ride. It’s like a 3D virtual arcade game, and it’s SO much fun! I suddenly know why people are willing to wait 120min (and yes – this was the wait time when we came out) to get on it! It’s one I will definitely be trying to get onto again, and often! By this point, I was feeling even more tired due to my lack of sleep, so we were thinking about maybe heading back to the hotel, but instead decided to do the Backlot Tour. Somehow, Jon and I got picked to be volunteers. For anyone who’s seen the Backlot tour, I will only say that I was the Engineer… I was rather more awake afterwards! For anyone that hasn’t, I won’t spoil it for you! But I highly suggest you volunteer!!!

We still decided to come back to the hotel afterwards though. I got a couple of hours nap, which did me a world of good, and Jon spent some more time in the arcade, winning a silly number of tickets!!! Jon has seen Fantasmic before, so he didn’t mind about missing out on it this time around. It just means we’ll be making even more of an effort to see it in June.

Once I’d had my nap, we had a think about dinner, and decided to try out a QSR in another resort. We’d used up all our Table Service entitlements on our dining plan, but still had 2 Quick Service each to use up – one was going to be breakfast the next morning. So we had a browse through my little dining book and decided upon Captain Cook’s at the Polynesian. It had quite a simple selection, but a nice one none-the-less.

So we hopped onto a Magic Kingdom bus, then got the boat over to the Polynesian. I love getting boats around Disney, they’re always so lovely, and feel a little bit different! Once at the Poly, we grabbed dinner, which was yum, ate, then went and sat on the beach. We’d somehow timed things almost perfectly to see Wishes from the beach! I never realised quite how far behind the castle the fireworks actually go off from, or how high they really go! I guess that’s the joy of perspective! It really is a romantic thing to do though, watching Wishes with your partner from the beach at the Polynesian. It’s a memory that will stay with me for a very long time. :)

We came back to Magic Kingdom by monorail, stopping off at the Grand Floridian on the way, so I could show Jon just how lovely it is (and he agreed that it really is!). Once at MK, we transferred back to a bus, then came home to snuggle up and watch a film together. I was still feeling a little off and tired, and a snuggle night was just what we both needed, especially as it would be our last night together.

Monday Jan 31st
We took our time getting up and packing away our things, checking out and depositing our luggage with the holding people at the front of the resort, before taking a leisurely wander down to All Star Movies for Brunch. The menu at each of the All Star QSRs is identical, but Movies is clearly much more modern, with TV screens displaying it’s menu instead of just boards, along with other things.

Once we’d eaten, we slowly walked back to AS Sports, and went back to the Arcade room! Jon was so close to getting enough tickets for the highest valued things there, so we decided to go for it, get enough tickets, and have some fun doing so! So I now have a very cool, coloured, glowing, ball light thing sat in my room. πŸ˜€ I Love it! By this time it was pretty much time for the bus to the Airport. So we picked up Jon’s luggage and waited. About 15min later, we got on our bus and headed off to Orlando International.

Needless to say, neither of us wanted him to leave, and it all got very emotional, and I took forever trying to find a way back home (lynx buses are NOT fast, nor is going to DTD, transferring to a guest bus to AS Sports, picking up luggage, and getting a cast bus back to housing!) But eventually, I got home, stayed there for the rest of the night… Jon got home in the early hours of the morning, and all is well.

Tuesday Feb 1st
And so we get to Today. Today has been a very strange day. Firstly, I woke up feeling as if Jon had never visited. :S I went to work, as normal, feeling rather off. I was on Chippie tills today, which was ok, apart from the fact that I was only on the till for an hour before I had to leave for a Basics Class. The class was ok, going over the service basics again, supposedly inspiring us to do a job we should already be doing. Then back to work to task for 15min before going on my break. Then I got to go back onto my till until close.

It felt just far too easy to slip back into doing everything, and it really is as if Jon was never here. I’m leading two separate lives right now, and he is not a part of one of them. It feels so strange to bounce back and forth between them, but I guess it’s back to my non-Jon life for another 4 months for now.

And that life will start back up with a 3 month anniversary breakfast tomorrow morning! My entire arrival group (plus Terri, as she doesn’t have an arrival group) will be heading off to Trail’s End at Fort Wilderness for 8:30am for breakfast! It’ll be fun, although the early morning is going to make tomorrow interesting for me, as I’m assigning when I get into work. I don’t start as early as some of the others though, so I should easily get there on time.

Either way, early morning means I should really be sleeping.
Thank you for getting to the end of this epic post, I apologise again, and I hope it won’t happen again!

Vikki
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Rain!!! January 17, 2011

Today was wet. Very wet. Absolutely chucking it down with rain kind of wet. This, of course, made the park very quiet. So I got into work at 1:30 and proceeded to task, again. I had my lovely poncho on, so I didn’t mind going in and out all the time, but because it was so quiet, the tasks I was assigned to do by CDS (the silly computer system) didn’t actually need doing! I managed to spend some time emptying the crayon box, peeling the stickers off it, sending it to pot-wash, and filling it up again! That was fun. Anyways, I went to the managers and basically said “I’m happy to stay and work, but I’m tasking and haven’t needed to do anything, so if you need to send anyone home, I’m happy to go.” Yelitza cheered! πŸ˜› Jack then told me to put it through the system as he was approving any ERs (Early Releases) that got put through, as long as I wasn’t on until close, which I wasn’t. So I came home at 4pm.

Due to my early finish, Terri and I decided we should go out for dinner. After Terri’s amazing find yesterday in the shop at Boardwalk, I now have a book detailing every dining location in WDW! πŸ˜€ So I had a look through it and picked out a place called Pepper Market at Coronado Springs. Off we went to Coronado Springs then!

Pepper Market is lovely. It’s like an open-air market. You get seated at a table, get given a ticket, and then you get to browse round different food stalls and order your food to be freshly made. They stamp your ticket showing what you ordered, you enjoy, and then you pay on the way out… having accumulated as few or as many stamps as you want on your ticket! The food is nicely varied as well, ranging from burgers and pizza and pasta to enchiladas, burritos, and even cakes and pastries for dessert. I highly recommend anyone to try this place out.

So after having a good evening chatting and eating, we decided we’d get a guest bus to Downtown Disney, have a wander round there, before heading back home. Which is exactly what we did! We thought about going to the cinema, but there were no more showings by the time we got there. So home it was. And that’s where we are now! Soon to go to bed though, as we both have work tomorrow, and things to sort out before going to work.

Night all!
Vikki
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Laptop Issues January 14, 2011

I went to downtown disney today, and completely and utterly failed to buy anything. This is good news for my bank account, but bad news for wanting to shop. I had lunch at Cap’n Jack’s. It’s primarily a seafood restaurant, which is amusing as I don’t eat fish, but they did have a very nice chicken and parmesan open sandwich with marinara sauce. I also had a “Fuzzy Captain” cocktail, which was very very yummy, and I didn’t finish it, but I was allowed to take it away with me. πŸ˜€

After walking around Downtown a lot (just generally wasting my time) I came back home, but stopped off at the outlet mall. There’s nothing I really want, but I wouldn’t have minded buying something if it leapt at me. Nothing did. This was rather upsetting, as I was in a shopping mood. So I came back home and did my washing, and then Terri got home and we went to the food court in the mall to grab some dinner. So I can at least say that I have bought something from the mall today. Even if it was only Taco Bell!

My new laptop is being a bit stupid though. Whenever I try to start my video, the internet crashes. And when I then try re-starting it, the wireless adaptor is disabled. So at some point I’m going to try updating a load of software on it, clearing off the software I don’t want, and generally trying to fix the issues. Grrrrr.

Right now though, I’m going to bed as I’m up early tomorrow to meet up with Floridian friends for rides in Epcot! Yaaaay! πŸ˜€

Vikki
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