Birthday Surprise!

Want to know what will keep you from blogging? Life.

Between major shake ups and changes (And stress) at work, to increased responsibilities in my volunteer work, and Nate being gone, I've barely had a chance to breathe. 

Fact: My Christmas tree is down. However it is in the storage bag in my living room still. I finally got it put up!

For some reason this separation has been more stressful than the others. I've been super busy at work, and that hasn't really given me a chance to get into a clear cut system down like I'd want to.

Sami has had a rough year emotionally. I'm hoping we can get her off her meds soon to see if that will give her a better grasp on her emotions.

Needless to say, she (and I) both deserve a break. I've not had a vacation since Dragon*Con in September, and that wasn't really much of a break.

A couple weeks ago, I was at work thinking up ideas to celebrate her birthday. I really didn't want to throw another party. Last year she loved her birthday party, but it was exhausting planning and putting together and I really didn't feel like I got to really enjoy it.

My friend Elizabeth and I had been discussing meeting for months. We were going to meet up in Colorado when she was there for a camping trip, but for some reason it didn't pan out.

We tried meeting up when I was down in Georgia for Dragon*Con, but again something came up and I was busy with the con so it didn't happen.

I had thought about having her come visit. But then I remembered that I live in South Dakota and that's just not the ideal vacation spot.

So I decided to plan a vacation around Sami's birthday.

Photo Courtesy: Tom Bricker

Photo Courtesy: Tom Bricker

Oh yeah! We're going to Disney World!

We're going to fly into Tampa International and stay with Elizabeth for the weekend. Hit up the beach, shop and just relax.

I get to finally meet this girl:

Photo courtesy: Elizabeth Parrish
(Yes, you can hate her gorgeous face.) 


Visit this (Im not even sure this is anywhere near her place)

Photo courtesy: Elizabeth Parrish

Photo courtesy: Elizabeth Parrish
Do you see that white stuff?? It's SAND. Sami's never played in real sand. 

Photo courtesy: Elizabeth Parrish
The Birds!! These birds are awesome!!! I don't even know what they are but they are awesome and I want to see them. 

Photo Courtesy: Elizabeth Parrish
That's the Gulf! 

Here's a peek into our friendship. Aren't we cool??

Then, on Sunday, we're getting up super early to drive in to Orlando.

 I chose not to stay at Shades of Green for several reasons. (Shades of Green is an Armed Forces Recreation Center on Disney property. It is open to Armed Forces and their families, Retired Armed Service members, and Dept of Defense employees and some other government agencies) While a Disney property, with most of the amenities of a Disney resort, it doesn't offer the Disney Dining Plan and it doesn't have as much Disney theming. However, it is a very nice resort and I would recommend it to any of my military followers. It's incredibly inexpensive. 

Since it is just me and Sami going, I didn't do a Disney Vacation Club stay either.

People book their stays months and months in advance, so I was at a disadvantage there. They were already filling up. So my first choice of Art of Animation a Value level Resort was booked for the dates of our trip. I also was hesitant because Art of Animation is EXTREMELY themed. I'm talking Ariel shower curtains and carpet and a 60 ft tall Ariel on the side of the building. A bit extreme for my taste. And this trip is for both of us.

However, the quote I got for the Value resort was much lower than I had budgeted, so I asked about a somewhat nicer resort.

The amazingly friendly Reservations cast member suggested the Royal Guest Rooms at Disney's Port Orleans-Riverside.  Which are Princess themed rooms. Which sound perfect. So I booked it along with the Deluxe Dining Plan so I don't have to worry about meals. As well as Photopass Plus. 

Photo Courtesy: Tom Bricker
Disney's Port Orleans-Riverside Resort

Here is an awesome walkthrough the Royal Guest rooms courtesy of Inside The Magic

I booked dinner on her birthday at Cinderella's Royal Table

Before dinner, we also have reservations at Bibidi Bobbidi Boutique for a princess makeover.

I'm still finalizing some plans. But I think its all coming together well!

So give me your Disney tips!!!

***I forgot to add. Sami knows NOTHING AT ALL about this. So if you know her, don't say anything!!!! And help me come up with ideas to surprise her with!****


  1. Ooh I am squealing with excitement for you guys! Sami is going to have the most magical birthday ever!

  2. LOVED your comment on the May Challenge. I hate getting an email instead of a return blog visit. So, made a point to pop in. The birthday sounds fabulous. I'll be your newest follower and look forward to checking out your blog further.

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