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Our First Thanksgiving in Florida

I woke up to a beautiful sunny morning… bright and early for an appointment with friends. Since Craig was up even earlier to get the bird in the oven, everything was on track so I could sneak out to enjoy some Disney magic.

I headed over to Animal Kingdom, and as I drove I was just so thankful to be alive. The palm trees lining the roads, the WDW signs everywhere, and the energy of those on Disney vacations- it was an amazing feeling. They parked us on the grass, a new one for me, so I had really no section to refer to, just “grass.” I found Beatrice and Brian right away, and we headed in nice and early. Animal Kingdom was open an hour early to the public, so we took advantage of it since we figured it would be crazy busy today.

We were gathered before the Tree of Life, and funny enough there was no pre-show. No Mickey, no caravan of Characters, just the tope being dropped for the right and left walkways. We headed towards Kilimanjaro Safari and walked right on. It was great to get the very last row because you can turn around and grab pics when you drive past the animals. We got lucky and had one of the giraffes right next to the truck, so Beatrice and I said “Happy Thanksgiving” to it.  It was early, so all the animals were eating and awake. My favorite were the male and female lion just walking from outside the rock, it’s always a find to see them up and awake!

After our fun ride, and getting to chat with Beatrice, we headed to Everest to Fastpass it for her and Brian, then headed to Dinosaur. They are usually my two rides I do in AK, and it’s always fun to do it with fans of the ride. We again got the last row and giggled our way through the ride- it was a blast! I kept thinking while I was in the park “Is this my life? It’s Thanksgiving and I’m in Walt Disney World!” I hugged them both with many thanks and headed home to help with dinner.

The house smelled so wonderful, and it was exciting being our first FL home smelling of our first Thanksgiving meal. We made green bean casserole, potatoes, stuffing, turkey of course, and warm dinner rolls.  We turned the Packer and Lions game on in the living room quietly so we could look now and then, but we began our meal with a thankful prayer.  The meal was incredible, and it was fun that we all chipped in to make it. Craig did a wonderful job on the turkey, and we will be eating all 24 pounds of it for the next week- LOVE LOVE leftovers!!!

With our turkey induced comas, we headed to the couches to chill out and watch the game. The kids chilled out and did their thing, and I enjoyed my cat nap. I woke up to catch the last half of the game, and enjoyed seeing them win their eleventh straight game- way to go guys!! Craig and I headed out for a walk, while the kids played a video game.

While eating leftovers, we watched the movie “Super 8.” It was actually really great, and It was neat that we could all watch it. There were parts we had Emily close her eyes, but it was very much like “Goonies” meets “Explorers.” As I finish this up, Emily is in bed sleeping off her first Thanksgiving, and the rest of us are hanging out in the living room.

Since Thanksgiving is about being thankful, I wanted to make sure to thank you. For all of you who I have had the pleasure of meeting this past year, thanks for taking the time to meet me. For all who support us daily online, thank you. And for those who I have yet to meet, thank you for making the time we will spend together in the future. I am most thankful to Christ and my family for the love and courage they gave Craig and I to follow our dreams. I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.


  1. What an awesome day. Beatrice is amazing. And it looks like you had a wonderful feast with your wonderful family. A very satisfying Florida Thanksgiving.

    I’m thankful to have you and your family as dear friends.


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