Friday, November 21, 2008

Saturday...driving and Nick's 30th Birthday fun!

The morning of Saturday, September 27th greeted us with beautiful blue skies. That made me very happy because am not a fan of driving on rainy highways. Trust me...I've done it too many times to count!

Cannoli also greeted us while sitting in his favorite mode of transportation.

Sorry, baby. Can't take you along with us, and Grammy needs you to drive her crazy...I mean, keep her company while we are gone. ;)

We didn't get on the road as early as we wanted to, but at least it was before noon. Our friend, Nick, invited us to share in his birthday celebration that evening, and we needed to be there around eight. We couldn't wait!

It was the usual drive to Orlando, except for a bizarre stop at a McDonald's for lunch. We noticed that the drive-thru line was extremely long, so Miss Renee and I headed inside in hopes that it would be quicker. Let's just say that at this particular McDonald's, not one employee had any sort of work ethic. I am not one to complain, but these folks just didn't care! Even the manager (who happened to be the person who waited on us) was guilty. I know it isn't a fine dining establishment, but it is supposed to be fast food. It was as far removed from fast as one could get! I have a feeling that we will drive right on past next matter how much Renee is dying for her grilled chicken sandwich-LOL!

We were so happy that Mark was along with us on this trip. It was truly full-on family fun. We had a ball telling stories, watching movies (Renee and Mark...I was driving!), and singing along (mostly off key) to our Disney park music as the miles went by. In the past, Miss Renee had mentioned to me that the drive is the most terrible part of her trip. This time, she actually admitted that it was fun. See what a little Mark can do?

Mare thinks to self...What does that say about me? Am I so terribly boring? ;)

We made terrific time, and hit our 'Happy Highway' right on schedule. If it wasn't for the toll booth operator who steered us in the wrong direction when we were leaving the Florida Turnpike, we would have actually been early. Instead, we ended up driving up and down I-4 trying to get to our destination. If I wasn't so stressed out (and low on gas!), it would have been pretty funny!

When we finally made it to the Cheesecake Factory, we were happy to learn that our group was still waiting to be seated. They weren't too happy because they had been waiting so long, but it did work out to our benefit. ;)

What can you say about the Cheesecake Factory? For an indecisive girl like me, that huge book of menu items is like a nightmare...especially for the people who are waiting for me to make up my mind!

Luckily, Miss Renee has recently become a steak fanatic, and we talked for days about ordering the Steak Diane. I can honestly say (while I am drooling on my keyboard) that it did not disappoint.


I am ashamed to admit this, but we didn't get dessert after dinner.

Did I hear you gasp?

Yes, it's a horrible waste of delicious cheesecake, but we really didn't have a choice. We had plans to play laser tag after dinner, and the long wait for a table had put us behind. We needed to make it over to WonderWorks before they closed. Everyone (especially Renee and the Birthday Boy!) was really looking forward to some laser tag competition!

Before we ran out of there, Nick was surprised with a small treat. Everyone deserves to blow out a candle...especially when that person hits the Big 30!

Happy Birthday, Nick! You have officially started to climb up that hill...


Some of the group had prior commitments and weren't able to join us at WonderWorks, so we all gathered for a quick photo together.

It was really wonderful seeing old friends, and meeting some new ones, too!

You may not have heard of WonderWorks, but I bet there is a good chance that you may have seen it.

Yes. That building is upside down. Even when you walk inside, you are standing on the ceiling and looking up at the floor. It is really cool!

Renee really wanted to do the whole museum, but unfortunately, we had to save that for a future visit. We only had enough time for one game of laser tag.! If I had known that laser tag was so much fun, I would have done it years ago! Poor Renee was an easy target for all of the really talllllll people in our party, but I made sure to strategically stand in just the right spot so she could tag me. Gotta help out another vertically challenged girl, right? ;)

After all that fun, we headed back to spend the night at Nick and Danny's. There were some new members of the family who we had kept a secret to surprise Miss Renee with...

That, my friends, is a sugar glider. Nick and Danny had added two of them to their menagerie after our last trip to Florida, so Renee hadn't had the chance to meet them.

We'll just say that she loved them, and leave it at that. ;)

After spending some time with the babies and looking at Nick's photos from his trip to London, it was time for bed. Tomorrow was a big day...we were checking in to one of our favorite resorts!

See you in the morning! =)


dizzbear said...

Oh how fun! I love the picture of all of you in your laser gear!

The sugar glider is just precious!I was tempted a few years ago to get one but I figured he'd end up being a really expensive tasty treat for our kitty cats! OY!

MariBy said...

What do you mean - no cheesecake?! :O But sounds like a fun time that evening...your friend, Nick, is now 30? Gee, I'm so old I can't even remember 30! LOL!

I can see why the sugar glider was such a big hit with sure is cute!

Looking forward to more trip report! :D

Debbie said...

Didn't realize it was a "BIG" birthday :)

Don't sugar gliders fly? That must be fun, lol

Christa said...

You already heard my audible gasp on Saturday when you told me you did not have dessert! Methinks a trip up to Marietta is in order so we can go light on a meal and heavy on the dessert! And the steak diane sounds right up my alley!

Tink *~*~* said...

What an excellent adventure! Great start for your trip. Can't wait for more!

Tink *~*~*