Friday, December 31, 2010

Visiting Disney Epcot in December

When Joanne and I arrived at Epcot the first and foremost place we had planned to head to was where you get your pictures taken with the characters.
Joanne had to get her very own, up close, by herself, personal picture with Mickey. But, I was standing close by to make sure she behaved.

You might notice that I didn't get my very own,up close, personal, by myself photo with Minnie. I was told that people were waiting in line behind us and there wasn't time for that. Aha, I think I see a problem here.

This was the "Finding Nemo" Ride at the The Sea exhibit. I call this picture "Joanne on a Half Shell".
This is the Italy Pavillion in Epcot.
We had dinner Tutto Italia Ristorante in the Italy Pavilion . It was the first time we had eaten there and it was excellent. The food and service are great, the old world atmosphere is great if you're looking to slow down a bit and catch your breath.

The real highlght of the day way going to the Candlelight Processional at the American Gardens Theatre.
The event retells the story of Christmas with a special celebrity narrator, Jodi Benson was the narrator that night, accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and a mass choir.

Joanne and I had finished eating dinner and were just walking by as it was getting ready to begin and decided to try and get a seat. They escorted us to the front row, right in front of the sign language interpretor. They may not have been the best seats for seeing the entire choir and orchestra, but we were pleased. The sign language interpretor on our side of the stage was a show in herself and I mean that in as good of a way as can be inmagined. She didn't just use her her hands; she had the facial expressions and body movements all incorporated. I could imagine someone not being able to hear the music, watching her, and thinking, "That's what it sounds like."

There was a family seated next to us and when the narrator was reading, the mother and the children would be whispering. At first it was annoying, but I realized it was a different language. After the program, I spoke to the mother and asked her what she was doing. She told me that they were from Brazil and that her children didn't speak a word of English. So as the narrator was telling the story of the first Christmas in English, this mother was retelling the story to her children in Portugese. I was reminded of how we, as Christians, are to retell the story of Jesus.

Joanne was trying to sneak in the side door of the English Tea Shop. But, why? To get in line to have a picture with Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, too.

Father Christmas came out to the Tea Garden and told us of the Christmas traditions in the United Kingdom. That is a ball of mistletoe atop his walking stick. When we got our picture taken with him, we had an opportunity to make use of it.

This was Brunhilda, who related the Christams traditions of Germany.
Another wonderful day at Walt Disney World.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Visiting Disney Hollywood Studios in December

The first week in December, Joanne and I went to Orlando for our yearly visit to walt Disney World. Our forst park to visit was Disney's Hollywood Studios. It was probably our last warm day during our visit, but we had a great time.
We enjoyed the rides and shows. I got to ride the Rock'nRoller Coaster twice, which is one of my all time favorite rides. We also went threw the Narnia set.

We ate at our favorite restaurant in the park, the SciFi Cafe. You are seated in seats the are like a car and watch old scifi movies. The food is great, the movies are a hoot, and the atmosphere is relaxing.

When the sun went down we headed over to the Osborne Family Christmas Lights. Christmas lights cover all the building and a lot of other things. The lights blink in time with some fantastic music like Mannheim Steamroller's "Carol of the Bells".

Every fifteen minutes there is a manufatured snow storm. Actually is small soap bubbles, but it's really cool to watch.
Even bicycle props were covered in lights.

It was a great ending for our first day at the parks. Its hard to walk away and not feel in a Christmas mood, especially if you got one of those hot cups of cocoa.

2010 Thanksgiving Service at Republic Grove UMC

This past Sunday we had our comunity Thanksgiving service at Republican Grove UMC with Republican Grove Baptist Church joining us. When the Thanksginving service is held at the Baptist church, the Methodist pastor has the joy of delivering the Thanksgiving message and vice versa. So this year we at the Methodist church hosted of brethren from across the road.

We had two excellent singers for the service, from Republican Grove baptist Church we had Cecil and from Providence UMC we had Brian Daniels. Cecil sang a Martina McBride song, "I've been Blessed" and Brian sang "Give Thanks with a Grateful Heart".

Rev. Shelton Miles, the pastor at Republican Grove Baptist Church, gave an excellent message from titled "I am Blessed". I have always enjoyed listening to Shelton. Among my many blessing here on the Mount Airy Charge, I count Shelton among the best.

Shelton was trying to explain to Joanne why she should not be taking his picture, but she wasn't listening.
A Happy Thanksgiving to you All!