Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel and Spa!

I have been gone from the blogging world for about 2 weeks now as life has been super hectic!

Here’s what’s gone down since my last post:

My parents, A, and I were going to be flying down to Orlando over the 4th of July weekend to spend time with my brother and sister in law at DisneyWorld for a few days followed by a couple of days at their home in Georgia.  We were supposed to be leaving on Friday from the Moline International Airport which is about a five minute drive from our house.  My father received a phone call on his lunch break on Thursday from AirTran informing him that the leg of the flight from Moline to our connection in Atlanta had been cancelled and that they were rerouting us through Bloomington, Illinois which is about a two hour drive south from where we live.  The flight was leaving at 5:30ish am, so we had to drive down Thursday night and stay in a hotel so that we could get up early and get over to the Bloomington airport.

Pause in the story…I must give you some background information at this point so that you can truely appreciate this story.  My father is…particular about customer service.  If something goes wrong in a business transaction, he fully expects to be compensated for it.  Because of this we have gotten a large amount of our bills paid for in full.  This includes items like dinners at a restaurant, eyeglasses, driveways…I’m not kidding.

So when my father called me to let us know about the change in our itinerary, the first thing I asked him was if he had gotten free tickets out of this.  His reply, “Of course we did.”  So we received 4 round trip airfare vouchers from AirTran that need to be booked by July of next year which made my heart do a little jump and a skip because now A and I have airfare paid for for our honeymoon.   Score!

So then we went on our merry little way to Orlando where the Magical Express delivered us to the Disney World resort area and to our hotel, the Grand Floridian.  From the moment we stepped off of the Magical Express, we were treated like honored guests at this absolutely beautiful hotel.  The service was impecable!  Here are some pictures of the hotel grounds for you to puruse…

A view of the main building.

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A few of the many different types of watercraft that you may take out for a spin.

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There are so many beautiful spots to sit and have a drink in this hotel.  This was one of our favorites.

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This is my brother enjoying some delicious pancakes on the patio by the marina.

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There are plenty of places to relax on the beach.

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Or you can take a dip in one of the two fantastic pools at the hotel.

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Here’s the chapel in which many weddings take place each year.

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You can’t pass up breakfast with Alice.

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At Disney World, even the garbage cans are pretty.

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There are many outbuildings that surround the main building at the Grand Floridian.  We stayed in room 7101 of the Conch Key.  We loved our room!  The patio that is on the right side of this picture is actually the one right outside our room.  Beautiful view of the marina!

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Our room had two queen beds.  It was very spacious and luxurious.

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We had a lovely flat screen tv and a sofa that could pull out into another bed if needed.

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The bathroom had double sinks and a soaking tub with beautiful products to use.

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I just love this wallpaper!

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And at night time, Maria, our housekeeper would turn down our beds and leave us chocolates on the pillows.  By the way, each pillow has a different firmness so that you could sleep comfortably…

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To get to the parks you could take a lovely boat right that picked you up right at the Grand Floridian and delivered you right to the opening gates of the Magic Kingdom.

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Or you could hop on the Monorail which stops at a station right inside the main building of the Grand Floridian.

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We only stayed Friday night and Saturday night, and that was not nearly enough time to even scratch the surface of the activities offered at DisneyWorld.  At the hotel there is a complete spa and the boats that we did not get a chance to try.  There are four golf courses, Epcot park, the Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in addition to the countless parades, shows, and restaurants to see.  Because of this, A has suggested that we think about traveling back here for our honeymoon!  I’m so excited!

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New experiences…

Yesterday was the day of new things.  For those of you in a hurry, I’ll sum it up quickly:

1) Permanent hair removal

2) Became a model.

3) Got naked with a stranger.

For those of you who are going to stick around and read a little more, I’ll go into more detail…

Item one:  Permanent Hair Loss.  It’s embarassing to admit, but now that it’s over with, I feel much more secure.  Ever since I had started the birth control pill in college, I had an increasing amount of random hairs along my jaw line.  At first it was two…so I plucked them whenver they came up.  Then it was 1o, 100, and so on.  Plucking became part of my daily routine.  In fact, I often had “official pluck sessions” twice daily and always kept a pair of tweezers with me at all times.  Reflecting now, I also was hesitant to ever let anyone touch me under my chin…even my fiance.  It just got to be something I was used to.

A friend of mine recently started doing some lazer hair removal treatments with which she is very happy.  I considered it, but I just couldn’t justify the $700 it would take to do my chin when we are saving for our wedding.

Then I went in for a hair cut and eyebrow wax session a week ago, and the owner told me that I should consider electrolysis for permanent hair removal since I came in so frequently for waxing.  I went home and did my research.  Officially, the FDA will not bestow the title of “permanent hair loss” to lazer treatments or to electrolysis, but both have had fairly marketable success rates.  I went with electrolysis because my salon only charges $12 for 15 minutes of electrolysis which was more than enough time for my chin to be zapped.

The actual procedure was not too painful…think a little more intense than plucking…and at the end of 15 minutes, Kim had zapped 83 hairs from my chin.  She can see more that are under the skin surface, and when they surface, I can make another appointment with her.  I am reallllllly happy with the results.  I even let A touch me under my chin for the first time ever without being self-concious.  So awesome!

Because I had a new chin to show off, I went and got my picture taken with our photographer.  No really, I had to get some headshots to put on my profile at QCWeddings.com.  I had a lot of fun with Stephen and Elaine from Giraffe Photography, and in the end, I had a ton of great pictures.  Here are some of my favorites:

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The last one might be my favorite.  It says, “I am busy and important!  Go get me a un cafe!”

Thirdly, getting naked with a stranger.  I went for my very first spray tanning appointment.  Erin K. Seddon is so nice and made me feel so comfortable that I was nearly buck naked after meeting her for 10 minutes.  Along with spray tanning, she also is a make up artist who specializes in airbrush make up.  My tan turned out great, and I am for sure going to book her services for our wedding!

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Dress Up Date! Fauxcinda is coming to life!

Yesterday, I had my second fitting with Brandie Thomas!  This was the second appointment to make sure that the muslin mock-up was correct.  From the last time there were a few changes that needed to happen:  the length needed to be a bit longer (I’m 5’9″.), the sweep train needed to be added, the pockets were going to be moved back, and a few more panels were going to be added to the skirt of the dress to get closer to the umph of the jcrew Lucinda dress.

For starters, here’s the Lucinda dress pictures.  Remember that we were going for a very close replica minus the $2500 price tag:

lucinda collage_0001Here are the pictures from my fitting yesterday…

Yay!  The dress is long enough!

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Yay!  The sweep train has been added!

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Yay!  Brandie cut the sweetheart neckline a couple inches deeper!  (PS I need a new strapless bra with more umph.)

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Yay!  Pockets!

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I think we are getting very close to the real thang!  In these pictures, I am not wearing the crinoline layer which is going to give the skirt a more full pick up all around.  I am also not wearing a proper bra.  I need a new strapless bra.

So at this point, Brandie is ready to start making the actual dress.  She is buying the white silk dupioni and cutting away.

Side note:  I’d like to do a Trash The Dress session down the road.  I could totally rock out my muslin mock up and not feel guilty that I’d be trashing my actual wedding dress… Oh the possibilities!!!

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Oh So Beautiful Paper Contest!

So I know that I was contest crazy a while back, and so I really haven’t gotten into one in a while.  Buuuuuuuuut this one is too good to pass up, and it gives me a reason to create another inspiration board.  I really have a blast looking at inspiration boards.  There is really nothing better.  They are FUN!  So be sure you check out this contest that is being held at Oh So Beautiful Paper which has you take a gander at the Delphine Press stationery line  and use one of their invitations in an inspiration board.  You could win 150 letterpressed Save The Date cards.  How fun!

I whipped one up and sent it in right away so that I couldn’t obsess about it for more than 20 minutes.  Here’s mine…

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So what are you waiting for?  Head over to the contest, check out the details, and get cracking!  Contest ends on July 3rd!

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You could have recess all day everyday…

A and I have started to talk real-estate.  We know we love our little house.  This house was a POS, and A snatched it up and really flipped it hard to make it not only habitable but beautiful as well.  It was so bad that when he took me here on our 3rd date to show me the house he had bought, I had serious worries about his mental health.  The house had been neglected and run down for years, and he bought it as is.  When something is marketed as “as is” a little red flag should go up in most people’s minds.  In A’s mind, “as is” means “yay! projects!”, and that’s exactly what this house became: the land of projects.

Everything, and I mean everything, in our house was replaced, redone, or repaired.  Here’s a running list of things that we did in two years:  new water heater, new furnace, new duct work, new electrical, new plumbing, all new kitchen, new porch addition, new deck, all new windows and doors, all new lighting, new doorbell, new thermostat and smoke detector, new bathroom, repaired a/c unit, restored wood floors, painted everything, water-proofed the basement, and did landscaping.  And throughout all of these projects, we’ve filled numerous rented dumpsters.  In addition to all of this, our future plans include a new roof, and a basement bathroom.  We aren’t really sure though if we should sink anymore money into what we lovingly call “the money pit”.

We have started to realize that we will have to sell and move away from our little love nest once our little family expands hopefully in two or three years.  We have spoken on sereral occasions that our next house will not be a “project house” since our project du jour will most likely be raising a child.  In a moment of preempted excitement, I did a search for homes for sale in our area.  Amongst all the usual rabbel, I found the mother of all projects.  It’s an old school house that has been rezoned into residential property.  It has 6700 square feet which is about seven times the amount of space we have right now.  Take a peek…

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And guess what…it’s being sold “as is”.  I think it’s a sign.

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So funny…

This video really has no place on my blog other than the fact that I found it highly amusing.  I hope you get a kick out of it!

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Lab Partners: Vintage Wonderland

Something about these prints from Lab Partners featured today makes me want to don a scarf around my neck and carry a basket wherever I go.  I want to live in this world where everything is pastel and food groups have their own individual shops.

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