A ‘Thank You’ to My Best Friend…
I really wanted to take a moment to say thank you to my best friend. Now, if you know me, you know that I am a left-brained, logical, computer programming geek whose emotions do not often come out very easy. (Although, I am working hard on this every day.. ) So, this “thank you” is long overdue, and to my best friend, who I also happened to have married – Amy.
As we sit here – 148 days away from the start of our dream, there are so many things to thank you for I could take pages to write them all. I will focus this time on our dream, and the so many Disney memories that we have had together that I am grateful for.
Like I may have mentioned before, I had always liked Disney movies growing up, but the thought of going to Disney World never really entered my mind. Amy and I met in 1991, and she actually called me from Disney World on her first family vacation there – before we started dating. After dating, we had started to plan a trip together, but for one reason or another, never made it there.
Fast forward a few years, and we are now just married with our first daughter. The idea of her and I taking a trip to Walt Disney World for our first real vacation together had come up. Before long, plans were made, and grandma was over to watch our baby while we boarded a plan to central Florida. In the planning stages, Amy came up with an amazing idea that I am so incredibly thankful for to this day. She said we should have wedding pictures taken at WDW.
Without getting into too much detail, the very first time I walked into the Magic Kingdom – Amy and I were all alone, no one else around in the entire park except the few Cast Members getting ready to open the park in a few hours, and our Disney Photographer. My first picture in front of Cinderella Castle was in an empty park, with Amy – getting our wedding pictures taken. An amazing memory I will have forever.
While that was close to the best week of my life, I still had not really fallen for Disney. We stayed off Property that time, and only visited each of the parks once. Our next family vacation was about 4 years later and back to central Florida. Amy had the idea to stay at a Disney Resort. I had complained about the difference in price compared to the little hotel we stayed at in Orlando. She had found an amazing deal, and I convinced me to stay on property. She still talks about the look on my face as we were drive up to Dixie Landings (Now Port Orleans Riverside..) The look and feel of the resort was amazing. The perfect landscaping, the incredible buildings, the wonderful rooms – It was the first time that I really fell in love with Disney. Out of so many times we have been there, this trip still has a special place in my heart.
There have been many more vacations since then, but another one comes to mind specifically. In 2008, we celebrated our 15th anniversary. We decided to take a trip alone. We drove from WI to Florida – 23 hours, only stopping to eat and for gas for the car. It was such an amazing drive – being able to focus all our time on the two of us. We wore buttons in the Parks that mentioned our anniversary, and my Birthday (Yes, I got the best birthday present of my life in 1993 when I married Amy on Sept 14, my birthday!) On our actual anniversary, we had dinner at California Grill – easily the best dinner I have had to date. Before dinner we got to walk out into the walkway on top of the Contemp Resort, and take pictures of Magic Kingdom in the background. These are all just a few of the amazing memories that I have because Amy introduced me to Walt Disney World.
Without rambling on too long, I really wanted to point out how thankful I am to have met Amy, and to have her in my life. You are an amazing woman, mother, wife, and my best friend. You bring so much joy to us and to others. Your amazing personality lifts me up each day. Disney is such an integrated part of our lives, and I have you to thank for that. As we are coming so close to our dream of living in Florida, I can’t wait to walk into Epcot with you that first day we arrive. I will most likely have a tear or two walking down the queue line to Soarin – thinking of how many days we listened to that queue music, counting down what seemed to be endless days before we moved, and now where are here.
Thank you Amy, I don’t know where my life would be without you.