East Loop – Fall 2020 – Part 2

Day 14

We drove to KOA in Kissimmee, FL, where we’ll stay for several days.

We always love this place!
We headed to Disney Springs, our typical place to go the first day we get into town. They are screening people for fevers before you can enter. This seemed so strange at first, but eventually we came to expect it at every Disney park entrance. Not very magical…
Neat to see it decorated for Christmas!
Palm trees and a Christmas tree is just a little odd! We’re not used to that!
The kids always have to visit the LEGO store as soon as we get to Disney Springs!

Day 15

After I got off work we headed to Magic Kingdom, the first park we always go to!

They project graphics onto the gray castle and it looks like it’s painted! The color theme changes throughout the night….so cool!!

Day 16

Tripp loves to warm up by the fireplace in the morning, just like when Minda and I used to sit over the heater vents to warm up at home in Washington.
Finally decided to get a Jeep Gladiator! We had been thinking about it for a while, and the camping trip made me realize how we really needed more storage space and payload capacity. This thing is SO much nicer and easier to drive than old Jeep. They made lots of much needed improvements! Can’t wait to get the tent moved over!
We headed to Hollywood Studios after I got off work.
We got to ride the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which is easily one of our favorite rides now! Truly awesome!!

Day 17

We went to the Polynesian to eat at Captain Cook’s, and our plan was to take the monorail to Epcot from there. But…the Polynesian is under renovation and the monorail is not stopping there. So we walked from the Polynesian to the Transportation and Ticket Center to get on the monorail there, but Avin started feeling bad, so we headed back toward the Polynesian. Then, he started feeling better so we walked BACK to the Transportation and Ticket Center, went through the health screening, and then found the Epcot monorail was not operating! Are you kidding me?? So we went back to the Polynesian where we had parked and just drove to Epcot. We were tired of walking before we even entered the park!

Finally made it here!
Celebrating with some Mickey ice cream bars!
Quite a few people, even with limited passes for each park.

Day 18

We went to Animal Kingdom today. We were able to ride the Kilimanjaro Safari with only a 20 minute wait!

I always like how real this scene looks when you cross over from Discovery Island.
Another day, another Mickey ice cream bar!
We rode Navi River Journey. Kind of neat, but one ride will last us for years.

Day 19

Just a work and school day. We didn’t do the parks today, since there were no available passes. We needed a break anyway.

Day 20

Another work / school day, which was challenging. Kids didn’t want to do school, and cellular service was abysmal today, which made both work and school not fun. The campground WiFi has been horrible / non-existent, and both AT&T and Verizon show a few bars of service but are often unusable for some reason. The kids need the Internet in order to watch their school videos, and they get really frustrated when they can’t make it work (they have to finish school work before they can play). On top of that, we had some VPN issues at work. Made for a frustrating day.

We grilled some teriyaki chicken for dinner, which was really good!

We snagged a pass for Magic Kingdom, since we had a few hours before it closed.
On our way out of the park, Tripp heard someone talking about a rocket and pointing to the sky. We looked up and sure enough! A SpaceX rocket was blasting into space! It was carrying the 16th batch of Starlink satellites that will eventually provide satellite Internet service (which will be great for traveling!). We’ve now seen three SpaceX rockets go up over the past few years. The first was an ISS re-supply mission. The second was a Tesla roadster launched toward Mars. And now this one. So cool!!
Image of the stack of satellites being deployed from the rocket we just saw go up!
We ended the night with a nice fire.

Day 21

Carla drove us to Daytona Beach this afternoon while I worked on our way there. Our plan was to drive on the beach and build sandcastles, but traffic made it take longer to get there so we ended up just eating dinner at Crabby’s Oceanside. It was nice to sit outside and listen to the waves while we ate dinner!

After work, Avin and I went to Epcot while Carla stayed at the RV with Tripp to get ready for tomorrow’s Thanksgiving lunch. Avin and I had fun riding a few rides! We rode Spaceship Earth, Figment, and Living with the Land (which had some neat Christmas decorations we didn’t expect!)

Day 22

Happy Thanksgiving!! Carla made us an awesome Thanksgiving lunch! She even got some decorations to make our picnic table look nice.

Carla made an incredible Oreo pie! It was so yummy!

We then headed to Magic Kingdom, which appeared to be pretty empty when we got there…

Empty Transportation and Ticket Center…
Empty monorail line…
Empty park entrance…
Even the first part of Main Street was pretty empty…
The castle has a new paint job!
As we got closer to the rides, the crowds picked up, but still pretty light for a holiday from what we’ve been told.
Some of the lines were really long compared to what we’ve seen in the evenings. And the heat was building to the point that it just wasn’t fun, so we headed back to the RV until the sun went down.
Some lines are so long (due to COVID social distancing spacing) that you have to watch for the guy holding the sign that tells where the line starts!
Back to the park at sundown!
Really pretty all decorated for Christmas!
We rode the haunted mansion ride, which was a first for the kids. They liked it!

Day 23

After work, we drove to an indoor skate park in Orlando. Tripp had a lot of fun! I was wishing I had brought my skateboard!

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