Epcot

Two lovers, best friends, married. One umbrella. Continual rain. Holding hands, laughing, talking, visiting a different world. Imagining ourselves in other countries and not a care in the world. Feeling sorry for individuals all around us that couldn’t let down and enjoy their time together because it was wet. We embraced all.  Dark clouds, puddles, too. They lost.  We found love, joy, & romance. 

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers & Brew-Restaurant Review

A couple of weeks ago, we visited our local Red Robin Restaurant in Mt. Juliet, or Providence,TN.                                                  red robinThis was our first, but not our last visit. We were greeted in a very friendly manner by the hostess that was shocked to see her and I had similar hair. Short, black, and very bright pink in the front. She teased with the manager that I was trying to steal her look.

We had arrived on a Saturday, 15 minutes after they had opened, and were seated at the last available table. The place was packed and everyone was laughing and talking. We felt right at ease and had a great time with our son, daughter, grandson, and granddaughter.  The restaurant manager came by to ask how we were and to jokingly ask if I was the twin sister of their hostess. To which I responded with a huge HA since I am about 20 years older than her. 

We started out with a huge stack of onion rings!                          onion tower Oh my,how yummy. Our waitress was right on, with great timing, refilling our drinks, checking on us, and helping us become cardless members. We were well on our way to earning a free hamburger and at the end of our meal we received a free $10 dessert.

Anyone that knows me, knows I love hamburgers. red robin_big imageWe are on a mission to visit our local Red Robin and others as we begin to travel and try each and every  hamburger on the menu. We won’t stop there. The wraps, salads, chicken burgers, the brew, and the soups will have to be tested.       IMG_1563

Last night sweet Gary surprised me with another visit to Red Robin to try a different appetizer and their milkshakes that we have heard tasty talk about.Thick and tasty they were. We shared nachos, guacamole, and salsa.           IMG_1564

 

What a fun and relaxing night with my baby on a date, at a place we just found that is so great.

So, go, relax,eat, pray. Love,Jennifer

Starting at Start Again

Hard work has always been a wonderful way for me to keep in shape, help others, and make very good money. My residential cleaning business grew quite large and branched into commercial, new construction, and cleaning boats for shows. I met and am still meeting, some very wonderful individuals, that make me feel like part of their family. I was still able to take our four children to school each morning and pick them up each day. I made great use of our crock pot, kept our own home clean, and had nights and weekends, usually, free. I always enjoyed, and still do, having my own business and being a loving family of six.  

Lately, Gary and I have been developing new ideas that are very different from our current way of thinking, living, and working. By mid-August, we will be an empty nest. We have found it very exciting to think about being just the two of us.

Then I began to worry what will we do? I admit to being kind of emotional and experiencing some panic. Could I be exciting enough, that my husband would want to start a new chapter in life with me?

I decided. Yes! We are in love. We want to travel our beautiful United States, we want to eat and cook new foods and drinks, we look forward to  exercising, bike riding, hiking, swimming, hang gliding, learning to dance, bake, write, photograph, blog, laugh, and take care of each other.

So the title says Starting at Start Again. In a game, that can be discouraging. But in life, that CAN be encouraging! Excited to share pics and blogs about the paths we enjoy together in the second phase of our life. Love. JenlovesGary

Our 1st Rail to Trail

A big handshake! A huge smile and many thank-you’s to those who had the vision to change some of our rails to trails. I have always loved hearing and seeing our trains working hard! I truly miss seeing them in action, but if some are no longer in service, I am thankful that the path is still being traveled. It is traveled in a different and slower way than first intended, but the memories and sounds are still there.

My first rail trail to take and enjoy was spent over the 4th of July weekend with my husband and mother-in-law. We walked a total of thirteen miles in three days! We spent the walk enjoying and seeing the wonders of nature all around us and not hearing or seeing the sounds of Bedford,Indiana as it woke up. We greeted other walkers, runners, and bicyclists. The vision of recycling and preserving a railway trail that took strength to build, that has its own memories and stories to tell, has a new look and is ready for travel.  The trails help to provide an excellent way for people to get in shape, enjoy peace and quiet, and to meet new people. The Milwaukee Railroad, Indiana’s limestone quarry’s, and the wonderful people that worked so hard to start this path will not be forgotten. People will look up their history and share with their families and friends and those they meet on the rail trail. So! ALL ABOARD!

gary and jennifer

Food for Thought

Food for Thought seems to be said quite a few times to me by my husband. I get so excited because that short sentence is usually followed by another great sentence. One that holds an exciting thought he has been waiting to share all day with me!

I wish I would have written down each Food for Thought Idea he has ever presented to me. There might be one where he would say, if we wore tennis shoes, we could make some laps around the parking lot before we picked up our groceries. Or, if we drove thru the night we could arrive in time to sleep a while on the beach and welcome in the new day. Food for Thought, if we get carry-out, we could go back home and hang out watching a movie and enjoying a fun meal right in front of our television. Or, if we get a motorhome, then you would feel safe to drive it, and we can travel anywhere, and park it right on our property while we build our home. Food for Thought, if we invite the kids over, then we can make some fun foods and then we have seen all of them before we go to Disney.  These are small examples of his grand thoughts, but I love them and can’t wait to hear him say those three words!

I looked up Food for Thought. I believed it to mean nourishment for the brain. An idea given a chance to spin off many more ideas. To possibly change our way of thinking on just about anything. To ponder new ways in every single thing in life. To ponder everyday thinking that might just change our future. To gather more knowledge to help us reach our goals, our dreams. To stimulate our brain,to gather more wisdom. It means all of this and more.

Some of our conversations that start out, Food for Thought, do not usually lead to solving major problems. Food for Thought is just a great opener for  multiple discussions. His way of making the beginning of 20 year old conversation cards mysterious and exciting!

Discover the hidden Magic of Fort Wilderness Campground at Walt Disney World

fwcNestled peacefully on the south eastern banks of Bay Lake is the rustic Walt Disney World Fort Wilderness Campground.  Originally opened on November 19, 1971, this relaxing paradise has endured for over forty years providing wonderful memories for families from generation to generation.  My family was  introduced to this incredible resort back in 1998, and have been blessed to have spent time and build fantastic memories of trips with our parents, children, friends and now grandchildren!!

The campground is laid out in a large “somewhat” circular design with  paved “loops” that have campsites and cabins (see the attached Fort Wilderness Campground map from Walt Disney World) at various locations. The loops contain clean and spacious Comfort Stations with women’s and men’s bathrooms and showers, a laundry area and an ice vending machine. Campsites are available in three ranges from primitive to premium increasing in size and amenities based upon your needs. There are over eight hundred campsites and four hundred cabins.  Some of the most incredible times spent have been touring the loops and viewing the decorations that campers, from both tent camping, to large motor homes, have set up to celebrate their time at Fort Wilderness. The most incredible displays are around Halloween and Christmas time! 

fwc2

There are three areas of development at the campground, the Outpost, the Meadows, and the Settlement. The Outpost includes check-in and registration, the horse riding barn, and the Walt Disney World bus stop for complimentary bus service for both inside the FWC resort and buses heading to the four Walt Disney World theme parks and other Disney resorts including Downtown Disney. The Meadows area can be found in the middle of the resort and includes the main themed pool with an excellent slide and a fun kiddie splash area, tennis courts, sand volleyball pit, playground, shuffleboard, bike and canoe rentals, and the Chip and Dale sing along and outdoor movie area. We have spent many days with all of our children and grandchildren enjoying all the activities in this area! The Meadows also includes a Trading Post which provides opportunities for purchasing foods, drinks, and various retail items with many things not found elsewhere (and yes of course with Disney branding).

 DSAGF

We  have always been drawn to the long trails, the winding canals,ALL the  fun outdoor activities, and ease with which everyone could get to all the different Walt Disney World fun!  There are so many opportunities to see wildlife, and experience special times together in ways you will never experience anywhere else. Some of my wife and my best conversations have been sitting in rocking chairs at the Trading Post and at Trail’s End watching our family play.

At the upper part of the Fort Wilderness Campground resort, located along Bay Lake, is the Settlement area. This area includes Pioneer Hall with the Hoop-De-Doo Musical dinner show and the Trails End buffet restaurant, horse carriage rides, a themed character backyard Bar-B-Que, a great playground, another Trading Post, and the Marina. Complimentary boat transportation is provided to and from Magic Kingdom and the other two Bay Lake resorts, the Fort Wilderness Lodge and the Contemporary Resort. Also found at the Settlement is what used to be the petting farm/ranch and is now a pony riding area with the main horse barn for the large Belgians and other breeds that pull the wagons at the Walt Disney World theme parks.   hkfk

There is so much to see and do while you are at the resort, it is easy to forget that there are theme parks nearby.  Utilize the boats, and trails to connect to the other resorts and leave your vehicle behind.  If you have not been to the other Walt Disney World resorts, take the time to explore and experience the special foods and shopping.   Each one is so uniquely themed.

If you are unfamiliar with the Fort Wilderness Campground Resort, take the time to check it out online.  There is much information available to help determine costs and activities and of course, book your first visit! Online reservations can be made at http://www.disneyworld.disney.go.com or by calling 407-939-5277 to speak with a Walt Disney World  reservations specialist.

An excellent resource to help with EVERYTHING is the wonderful people at http://www.FortFiends.net (we ourselves are FortFiends). If you are new to camping or have no equipment currently, check out how easy it is to use their website and forums to find rental equipment and helpful FWC recommendations.

208266_100871689922920_100000002690643_22172_807461_n

We hope that soon you may come to discover this hidden Magic on the shores of Bay Lake.  Have you any special memories of Fort Wilderness Campground Resort?  Please share a magical time or favorite place or activity.

Celebrate the New Year with Downtown Disney!

If you are looking for that special place to ring in the new year that has restaurants, entertainment, shopping, and lots of people watching, there is no better place than Downtown Disney for 2013! What is currently known as Downtown Disney, originally opened on March 22, 1975 as Lake Buena Vista Shopping Village.  Through the years changes and renovations occurred with the opening of Downtown Disney’s West Side in 1997, and the closing of Pleasure Island in 2008.  Construction renovations are in progress with a completion date of 2016 for what will be called Disney Springs.  There are over forty restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues for all likes and tastes. One will find a special added feature for the New Years Eve celebration at various outdoor locations the addition of DJ dance parties and live music!

dagd

There are several area hotels and resorts, plus the opportunity to stay onsite at Walt Disney World at one of their fantastic resorts.  This option provides you with the benefit of not only being in the most magical place on earth, but Walt Disney World transportation to and from Downtown Disney.  Please note though that with the increased attendance at the New Year’s Eve celebration there will be longer wait times and heavier traffic. Whether you are looking to enjoys some of the unique and fabulous food and drinks, or just enjoy being outside for such an occasion, there is no place that will provide you with a more complete entertainment value.  Reservations should be made as far in advance as possible as many places will see full occupancy.  Consider your transportation needs carefully, especially if your plans include partaking in alcoholic beverages.

Activities are scheduled to commence around 8:00 pm and will wrap up at 1:00 am on New Year’s Day.  Don’t hesitate to come early though, as there are always lots to do and enjoy when you are at Downtown Disney. Have you or your family enjoyed New Year’s Eve  celebrations at Downtown Disney? Please share with us an experience or your favorite thing to do!