Sunday, October 6, 2013

We Surprised Them All Right!

If you read the previous post you knew that we were up to something of a surprise for the Princess Collection this past weekend. Somehow without them finding out ANY of it we packed up the Surburban and pointed our noses out Disney way last Thursday afternoon. I told them I had something planned but they had NO idea what......well, we pulled into Ft. Wilderness at Disney and they knew something was amiss. We go there around once a year and usually stay in their cabins. They were so confused because it was a school night. Hmmmmm. It was after dark and they knew it was too late to go to a theme park that late at night. I drove and drove into the black night only to pull into this..... the Doc jumped out from behind a tree to screaming girls. He had come out a few hours earlier and set up camp in the back woods of Ft. Wilderness. Best surprise ever! They totally had no idea (woot, woot!!). So who takes 3 little girls camping in a tent for 3 days?? We do! It was awesomely, fantastically, amazing. We took all our own food, cooked everything outside and had a blast. We had the girls bikes, scooters and our running shoes. The weather cooperated with cooler than normal temps (and we brought....ahem.....3 full size fans just in case!), and we had the perfect camp spot.
Let's talk Ft. Wilderness for a moment. It's the campground on Disney property. You can stay in their cabins which are really REALLY nice motor homes complete with full kitchen, built to look like logcabins. This is our fav way to stay there but unless you book way, way ahead they can get kinda pricey. They other way to enjoy Ft. Wilderness is to camp......in an RV., pop-up, or tent like we did. We never hesitate to stay here because security is top-notch and the people that stay here are exceptionally nice "Disney-folk".  There is a huge pool with waterslide, fishing, canoeing, pony rides, playgrounds, bike trails, and nightly campfire with singalong and a movie. The bathrooms and showers rival mine on the cleanest day. If you know which campsite you like you can request it. We were in the back with a greenbelt/forest behind us, so that meant no close neighbors except the animals. Stellar. We 
woke each morning to see deer (with babies!!), bunnies and even had a herd of wild turkeys pass through with one just dumb enough to attack Nature Girl. (Unwise, Turk, unwise.) We spent the long weekend completely unplugged from TV, electronics and all that goes with. Awesome and needed.
     What you need to know though is that Ft. Wilderness is built entirely.......in a swamp. It makes us laugh each and every time we go there because only Disney would say, "Hey! Let's buy swampland, build it up a little, then charge people money to stay there! Apparently it worked. We love it there. Great economical, safe, fun-filled, mini-family vacay. Mission accomplished! I will let the pictures tell the rest of the story because you can't just go anywhere peaceful and quiet with these 3 and not expect an episode now can you?? Heck, no. Over the course of 3 nights and days we had a snake, bunnies, deer, hawks, turkeys.........lost car keys, had a dead car battery, lost 2 cell phones.......AND still had a good time! Makes you want to go camping now doesn't it??! Here you go.
Our chandelier looking from our outdoor living room into the bedroom. See those extension cords running into our master bedroom? Those are for the fans. High class.

One way in.....one way out. Ease.

Beautiful Red Shouldered Hawk checking us out.....or running away. Prob the latter.

Right outside our tent. Pristine.

Love having the time to do things like this.....

There's a nightly campfire/singalong and movie. This night after the customary s'more roasting the girls opted for the pool instead of the movie.

She says yum......I say 'ewwwwww.'

Swimming at 9pm means breaking all the bedtime rules. Fun, fun. Check out Mei Mei barely able to stand peeking over the edge. I'm sure she's telling me something here but can't remember what. Probably....."WATCH ME!"

The secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood. Smile.

Time for tricks.

Good thing she's little I always say.

Talent.

Capturing childhood. Love.

We had electricity but coolers only. I brought my $8 black friday griddle and made camp breakfast each day.

Preferred method of transportation.....when we could get the battery to charge.

One of those camp breakfasts with a few leaves and bugs mixed in. MMMMMMM.

Yea, if you follow us on FB you know how this happened. Less than an hour after we arrived Nature Girl found this. I swear she is an animal magnet. She did the right thing and got her dad before capturing it. It is a Florida Rat Snake and is perfectly harmless. Good thing. I hate snakes.

Yea, I know. 2.5 ft long FYI.

We kept our not-so-little-snake-friend in a bait bucket overnight then let him go into a tree in the forest. That was a long night with me knowing that thing was out there in the bucket. The things I do for these kids. Oy vey with a cherry on top!

Baiting the hook.

A little sister-help after rock jumping.

Another breakfast. Can't you just smell the pancakes and bacon?? Yea, it was awesome.


Not hard to get these beauties to eat!


Dinner time!


A flock of about 30 wild turkeys wandered into our camp. Poor, poor stupid turkeys. You should've known better.

Day or night......how we got around. The 'rents ran on foot.


She pretty much began riding at sunrise each day.....round and round our loop.....in her pj's.

Just gorgemous.

This thing got aggressive and attacked Nature Girl, and made her slide down a muddy hill. Pretty funny actually.   Back to the showers for NG. Routine.

Took a little side trip to Animal Kingdom......cause our own wasn't enough apparently.

Anticipating.........

This. 



See you again soon Ft. Wilderness!!

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