The Road Home

It’s been many months since I have updated my blog and I’m going to use my usual scapegoat, laziness. Lots of things have happened up until this point, so here is a quick recap of the last 4 months of my life:

– I got a 1 month extension of my Disney program
– Lots of people almost got termed for doing stupid things, which resulted in some not staying
– As a result, Jillian and I both got full extensions until December 1
– I went to see Lady Antebellum, the most amazing concert ever
– Became lazy and watched tons of movies and dvd’s
– Finished my program on December 1

There are tons of other things in there but I’ll save those stories for another time. Right now I am focused on my journey home. My last day working for Disney was December 1 2010, a moment that was bittersweet. As many people can attest, I have been ready to leave the program for a while. Not that I hated the whole experience, it’s just tough working in a place you know is temporary while at the same time a bulk of your friends have moved home. For the record, I am glad I stayed because it allowed me to create new friendships and nurture existing ones for a bit longer.
For a while I was worried that my little Sunfire wouldn’t be able to hold by stuff, but after sweeping out some clothing and random items, the car fit everything perfectly. With a little room to spare, which will probably be filled with souvenirs/ random crap from my drive home.
My final full day in Florida was spent saying goodbye to a lot of amazing people. I packed in the morning, then went to Hollywood Studios with Jill, Amy, Felix and Kerri to see the Osbourne Lights. As we watched the light show, the theme song from “Home Alone” started to play, adding an extra layer of whimsy to a magical setting. It truly was the greatest feeling knowing that I was going home for Christmas, yet got to enjoy every ounce of Christmas magic at Walt Disney World. Following the lights, we rushed over to Epcot to see the Candlelight Processional. We were lucky enough to procure some passes for the 8:15 show at the American Gardens Theatre. We were all starving, so I got some cheese soup and breadsticks. Literally my addiction for the past 15 months. Maybe that’s why I gained 10 pounds this year? Anyways, we went and saw the show and our final event for the evening was Illuminations. It’s a great show during normal times, but during the holidays they have a fantastic finale that just makes it the best fireworks show ever. The last thing that night was the throw out, pretty uneventful to me but important to the others.
Yesterday was the beginning of my drive to Atlanta, which was after we went to the taping of the Very Merry Christmas Parade. We ended up seeing Mariah Carey sing her new song, saw parts of the beginning of the parade with host Ryan Seacrest and the awesome pyro and confetti opening. I said my goodbyes to Rheanne, Christina, Matteo, Amanda, Matt, Kevin, Candace and Amanda.
The drive to Atlanta was pretty uneventful. I sang Christmas songs, Lady Antebellum, listened to Christian radio (brainwashing!) and passed at least 15 people pulled over by police. I kept thinking “8 your fine, 9 your mine” in regards to speeding. I got into Atlanta by 8 and checked into the DoubleTree hotel. Had a good sleep in a super comfy bed.
Today I visited the World of Coca-Cola, which was quite an impressive experience. It’s an entire museum/ exhibit /theme park dedicated to Coke. You see movies, visit the production line, watch the commercials, learn the history, taste the different products and so much more. It rekindled my passion for branding and advertising because essentially the whole place is one big ad for Coke and it was incredible. The coolest thing they had was this Coke machine where you can create your own custom flavour. The rep said that these machines should be rolling out soon, but only in the U.S. of course. On my way out they hand you a classic glass bottle of Coke as a souvenir, which of course I asked really nicely for an extra and they obliged. Next up was the Georgia Aquarium. Opened in 2005, you can tell a lot of thought went into the design of the exibits. Everything was very modern, clean and exciting to visit. This is the worlds largest aquarium according to the literature. they have 4 whale sharks, which are the largest fish on earth and they show you how they has special shipping crates designed for them to come from Taiwan via UPS. One of the coolest/ cheesiest attractions here was the Weeki Wachee mermaids from Florida. Its’ a group of very attractive women who dress like mermaids and use underwater air tubes to dance and swim around in the aquarium. Super cheesy, but I has a good laugh when they swam to “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” by Nsync. Last up was the CNN World Headquarters, which boasts the worlds longest free standing escalator. They took us on a tour of some studios, the newsrooms and stuff. Cool to see such an icon in person. That’s it so far. I’m going to hang out tonight then leave for Washington tomorrow.

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