Seconds to Live

Counting down the minutes until our lives end (aka, Roy starts law school)!

Our calendars are sloshed full of everything—the poor little squares are all blank and blue ink. But we've got to live it up!  These last few weeks are a precious time in our lives.  Neither of us in school.  Both of us enjoying flexible jobs.  No real commitments to anyone or anything but each other.  We have to take advantage.

And so far so good!

Florida


Mexico

And coming up?  The Arts Festival here in town, a trip to Rexburg {one of our favorite places in the whole world!}, a day at Lagoon, and finally our annual Lake Powell trip. 

When are we going to pack up our furniture and entire apartment?
Oh, we don't bother with little trivial matters like that when we have only seconds to live.

I've been writing this post in small segments between events.  We're due to leave for a BBQ as I write.  I distracted Roy with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to steal a few minutes before we need to cut up the watermelon and go.  {I bought seedless, oops!  I never knew that was such a horrible thing to do!}


Now... 

Let me begin my story on the Florida 528.  It's a toll road, so beware when you're there.  We didn't like toll roads.  

The plan was to stay at the Bangerter's home.  Julie Bangerter is my mom's best friend who moved away to Orlando {so my mom had assured me} over a year ago.  When we landed and got in touch with Julie we asked for her address so we could punch it into our trusty GPS.  

St. Petersburg.  Hmmm... we thought maybe it was a suburb of Orlando.

But no, no it's not.  We ended up taking that road to I-4 and almost two hours away just to the west of Tampa!!!  That was a lovely surprise!  Mom clearly needs to spend some time with Julie so she can see where she lives, haha!

But once we figured out where we were going, everything fell into place.  Sure, we were much further away from Disney World than we had originally anticipated, 


but we got to see a lot more of Florida!  


We never would have passed the craziest airstream trailer park in the world:


Or hung out at a Floridian beach:



Or crossed the long bridge to the beautiful peninsula where they live:


Or found this incredible hotel-turned-museum from the 20s:

 

 Actually, a lot of things around St. Petersburg are still standing from the 20s.  Including the Bangerter's house, which is adorable!  I wish I had taken pictures of it.  Of course Julie decorates it so perfectly.  All of St. Petersburg had a very Great Gatsby feel about it.  Roy and I spent an evening exploring around Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Seeing the Bangerters was so great.  We had fun playing cards with them our first night there.  Monopoly Deal, of course.  Roy's favorite.   


The next morning we packed sandwiches that the Bangerters provided {so nice!}, then left for our long drive to Disney World.

That's where we met up with our fairy godmother, Rachel.


This girl is the one who was making all our Disney dreams come true!  She's a childhood friend of mine who has been working at the Disney parks for about three years.  She knows all the secrets, all the best places to eat, and was getting us in for free!  

Just to give you an idea of how great that is, a park hopper pass at the Disney Parks goes for about $130 per person, per day.  

I can't even begin to tell you how amazing Rachel is.  She met us at a park every morning to get our tickets for us, and then she'd hang out with us for a few hours, sometimes getting us right to the front of the lines.  We loved hanging out with her and her boyfriend Nick.  Both of them=amazing people!  Here I am punching Rachel in the face on Thunder Mountain.


Just really good at showing my gratitude ;-)

Seriously, though.  Between Rachel and the Bangerters, we couldn't be luckier.  We were so well taken care of!  Because of them, we were able to have a dream vacation.  We visited the four main parks and Downtown Disney in four days.
I thought we might as well top off the perfect trip with a set of matching Disney t-shirts.  Gotta be as touristy as possible!



Can't you just see the humidity?  It was hot!


 Pirates!


Story.  My BFF Lynn and I have ridden Thunder Mountain numerous times together.  Enough times to notice that in the middle of the ride you fly past an animatronic goat chewing on a piece of dynamite atop a red cliff.  It soon became a tradition to try to catch a picture of the goat as we shot past it in our roller coaster train.  Even when we take trips without each other, we catch a picture of Bailey to send to the other.

So the rides in Florida are all slightly different from the ones in California.  Bailey is a much more macho goat in Florida.  He gave up dynamite and switched to steroids.  This one's for you Lynn:


Humvee glasses!



One of our favs!  This and the Tower of Terror!


Epcot!  Where Disney preached around saving our environment incessantly.  The message is a good one, though, and it must have had an impact on Roy.  When we were leaving the park we noticed that a lane of traffic had stopped for a slow-moving turtle.  He still had about seven lanes to cross, and was most likely not going to make it.  Luckily Roy was feeling spontaneous and was high on Disney's save-the planet-message.

So he jumped out of the car, picked up the turtle, and ran him across the seven lanes to grassy safety.  All the while an angry Disney bus driver honked his horn and worked to rip his window open to yell at us.  But HE was cooped up driving a bus all day, so he clearly didn't understand.  I bet the other people in the bus, who were leaving the park and were probably also save-the-planet intoxicated, were cheering for Roy's turtle rescue.  My hero made it back into the car just before a bunch of cars rounded the corner toward us, and we took off.  I'm sure I heard applause from the bus as we sped away. 


Everest in the Animal Kingdom was probably my favorite ride of the trip!


 Hollywood studios!  Such a fun park! 


 We saw tons of awesome shows.  The best were The Lion King, Finding Nemo, and Fantasmic!


 Loved our tour around the world in just one day!
Starting with my favorite: the UK!


Getting lost somewhere between Canada and France?


Morocco!

China!


 Mexico!


Oh wait, we went to Mexico for real! Two trips in one!  The annual Reay family reunion was happening at Puerto Peñasco, and we weren't about to miss it.  Especially because my bro, Mason, is home from his mission for the LDS church!  We hadn't seen him yet, and were more than excited.

So we flew from Orlando to Phoenix, met up with my cousins and sister who flew in from Rexburg, and then made our way down to Rocky Point.  Needless to say, it was a long day of traveling for Roy and I.

But it was worth it!  The family was all together again for the first time in years! 


 This includes the extended family.  We only had one cousin and his wife missing.  This is an accomplishment.


So we spent two days in Mexico, hanging out at the beach, swimming in the pool, building sand castles, haggling with the Mexican vendors, and playing games at night after huge dinners on the patio.

By the way, everyone had a good laugh at my hair.  I'm still not used to it.  Compare it to my sister's hair.  Hmmm, yes, I think I'll go back to that color.



It was hard to leave Mexico.  I never get tired of Rocky Point.  But, we'd been spoiled enough for one trip, don't you think?

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