I Just Can't Quit Smiling!

"I Just Can't Quit Smiling"...this is what Rylee told me today as we set out for Disney's Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.  Saturday would be our last in Orlando and we were going to make the most of it.  I knew that there were a few things that we HAD to do in these two theme parks that would finish our trip up perfectly.

Robby was finished working and actually accompanied us on our final day.  He and Caitlin were dragging a bit and finally they asked what I was on, because I will still so full of energy.  Caitlin had worn her pedometer for the past three days for a walking class that she is taking and it said that she had taken approximately 36,000 steps.  OK...I could believe that, however, I was still energized and I suppose it was due to the contagious excitement that Rylee was exuding.  Upon arriving at Animal Kingdom, Rylee and I danced through the gates to the sound of drums beating on the continent of Africa.  Our first stop was the Kilimanjaro Safari.  On this ride, we hopped in a jeep and headed out to see REAL animals grazing.  Elephants, cheetahs, rhinoceros, giraffes and many other exotic animals were seen and photographed by us on this safari.  Rylee thought this adventure was GREAT!  From there, we set out for the Kali River Rapids; this was found on the continent of Asia.  Before getting on this ride, I informed Rylee that we would probably get wet...very wet.  She smiled and clapped her hands with glee!  Once we were strapped into the ride, everybody was speculating about who was going to get the wettest.  I told Rylee that the ones who got the wettest were the ones who would have the most fun...OK, so let's just say, she and I had the most fun.  We got soaked and we simply looked at one another and laughed.  What a good sport...this kids had been such a tireless trooper all week long.  After finishing up a few more rides and lunch in The Rainforest Cafe', we left for Hollywood Studios.

There were a couple of things that I wanted Rylee to experience at Hollywood Studios; some live performances.  The first performance that we saw was, "Voyage of the Little Mermaid".  The theatre's special effects were great.  It was as though we were actually "under the sea".  Above our heads were waves and when they splashed, we got wet.  Bubbles floated down and music from the Disney musical wafted up as Rylee's face was split with a smile while she sang along with the cast and clapped her hands to the beat.  She was very impressed that these were "real" people on the stage.  After that, we had a little time before we had to be at our next show, so we decided to go the "Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground".  Taking her here for only a few minutes was probably a mistake, because she did not want to leave once we got there.  EVERYTHING was over sized, with slides being shaped in the form of trees and flowers, while giant spider webs and ants were calling to all of the small children to be climbed upon.  Dragging her out of the playground, we had to walk quickly in order to make our last show of the day and our trip..."Beauty and the Beast".

There's just something about Disney movies and the music in them...I just LOVE everything about them!  Call me a kid, myself, but I love the princes and princesses and talking objects and animals...and, of course, the "happily ever after" endings; OK, so I'm a hopeless romantic.  With all of this being said, it goes without saying that one of the things on my "Disney Must Do List" was to see "Beauty and the Beast" live.  A shorter version (25 minutes) of the original movie, it was performed in an outdoor theatre with a colorful cast of characters which included, Belle, The Beast (Prince), Gaston, Mrs. Potts, Chip, Luminier, The Wardrobe and other dancers and singers.  What a PERFECT way to end our "Disney Adventure"!

Although we were sad to see our "Adventure" come to an end, it had been a GREAT trip for both aunt and niece, alike.  I once had an old aunt who used to babysit me when I was a child; she was my favorite aunt.  Coincidentally, she was my great-aunt too.  Oh, we never went on trips together, but she did fun things with me and taught me how to make neat things.  I knew that every year on my birthday, I could walk to the mailbox, open it and find a card in there from her.  When she was in her 90's, she passed away. When I think of her, I have fond memories that put a smile on my face. It is important to smile every day and being with my 6 year old great-niece has reminded me of that.  Viewing life through Rylee's eyes for the past 5 days has made me realize how simple things in life...like a smile...can make the biggest difference in one's life.  Things...they don't matter.  What really matters is what we do with our lives and with other people every day.  I challenge you to go out and live life to the fullest.  Don't worry what other people think or say about you...stay true to who you are and laugh EVERY day.  Be like my 6 year old niece who told me..."I Just Can't Quit Smiling"!

1 comment

  1. You were so lucky to get to take the trip with Rylee and she is right, Disney does that to you. You just can't quit smiling.

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