Let’s Take a Vacation: Day 8

As shown by my previous posts, we were having a fantastic time at Walt Disney World, but alas, our time at Walt Disney World was coming to an end. We woke up at around 6:30 AM, and in contrast to my usual frantic routine of getting ready before heading to the parks, I had a hard time getting out of bed this particular morning. After sitting around for a while, I finally started to finish packing up everything with my family and got ready to hit the road. I also took some last-minute pictures of our suite, as I realized I had not yet taken any pictures of the room.

 

To make the morning even more sad, it started pouring rain as our preparations to put our bags in the car began. As a result, after putting some luggage in the car themselves, some of my family members were nice enough to drive the car up near the Lion King building for us while the rest of us waited in the staircase. Once they arrived, we power-walked over to the car and quickly organized our luggage inside.

We could not leave Walt Disney World without having one more meal, and we would have had to stop for breakfast anyway, so we drove over to Animation Hall to get breakfast at Landscape of Flavors. The food court was fairly crowded, but were able to pick up some items within a few minutes, such as bacon, a blueberry muffin, and my Kids’ Meal Breakfast Platter, which included Eggs, Breakfast Potatoes, Bacon, and Apple Slices. I

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My breakfast! Please note that I cut up the potato myself before I took this picture.

also picked up a bag of Cheez-Its for the road, and a couple of us got cups for coffee as well. Some of my family members were not wanting to eat breakfast there at first, but once they walked around the area, they decided to get a Breakfast Sandwich and a Breakfast Platter. After filling up our cups with coffee (and having fun with the half-and-half machine), we all sat in the Little Mermaid section, and we were at a table right by the door to get to The Big Blue Pool. We all enjoyed our food, and once again, I thought that the Kids’ Meal was a great deal, as a good amount of food was included.

While we were eating, we reminisced on our vacation and prepared for the day of driving ahead of us. I was the last one eating, as per usual, and once I was done, we walked back to

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Goodbye, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort!

the car and left the resort. On the drive out, we saw some runners (who were likely completing a half-marathon after the official event was cancelled), which was cool to see. A few minutes later, we saw the infamous backside of the Walt Disney World entrance sign, which states “See Ya Real Soon.”

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A dramatic, rainy photograph

Leaving Disney property was upsetting, and I teared up a bit, but listening to music I love made me feel a tiny bit better. After I listened to a few songs, I was glad to continue a tradition of mine, which is to listen to a Disney-related podcast while driving out of Florida. One would think that listening to people talk about Disney would be upsetting after leaving the resort, but for some reason, it cheers me up and brings me back into the community of fans often wishing to return as well. This particular episode was about Disney fans going to Universal, though, so it did have less potential to make me feel upset, anyway.

The podcast was about an hour-and-a-half long, and once it was over, I started to listen to music again. This time around, I listened to music on my tiny and old iPod Nano. Listening to music that was on this device was quite interesting and fun, as it was full of songs I had not listened to in a long time. I think I may have drifted off for an hour at some point throughout the day, which I assume was around this time. Anyway, after listening to music for a while, we entered Georgia and stopped for lunch right afterwards.

It was a pretty ho-hum lunch at Chick-fil-A. I am not a huge fan of the chain, but I did enjoy my Spicy Southwest Salad. We did notice a family inside with us that was apparently wearing Disney shirts (I actually did not see them, but I saw a car outside that had decals showing their love for Disney), and we assumed they were leaving Florida as well. There were also many people with football-related clothing on, although I do not know much about the sport, other than the occurrence of an important game some days afterwards. In addition, we were aware that there was a winter storm in Georgia the day before, and I overheard residents from Northern Georgia talking about how much snow they got, which was interesting. Luckily, the winter storm did not affect our drive very much, but the prevalence of ice was apparent later on.

After we finished our meal and went to the bathroom, we went back into the car and continued our drive. I listened to music on the iPod for the hours to come. Our next stop was at a gas station; the town around the highway seemed nice at first, but then it seemed a bit sketchy. I decided to not use their bathroom, which was a good choice according to my family members who went inside of it. Immediately after we were all back in the car and we got gas, we went back onto the highway.

The next portion of the drive was also not very exciting. There are definitely a lot of songs on that little iPod of mine, so it filled up all of the time. I also think I slept for a while during this time, but this part of the drive was a blur to me. What I do remember, though, was that I ate some of my Cheez-Its that I purchased at the Art of Animation earlier in the day. Anyway, the next gas station we visited was not too far outside of Atlanta, and it was definitely a step up from the previous one we visited. We all ended up going inside, and some drinks and snacks were subsequently purchased.

We then went back into the car and finished up our drive for the day. Atlanta became our

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A bit of Atlanta

view from the car at approximately 4:40 PM, and I appreciated being able to see the city this time around, as when we drove by it almost a week before, it was very foggy. By this time, we realized that we would be arriving at our destination very early in the evening, so we decided to go off of the highway a bit later in order to see the baseball stadium for the Braves that was under construction. It took only a ten minute drive to arrive at SunTrust Park, and although there was much construction in the area, we were still able to drive around the entirety of it. It looked great, and it will definitely be amazing when it is done; we likely will see it in its completion the next time we drive through the area.

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SunTrust Park from the car

Since we were already off of the highway, we kept driving through the towns in order to arrive at our destination for the night. Around these towns, though, we did see the impact of the winter storm. The winter storm was definitely different from the kinds we get up North, as the problems in these areas at the time seemed to be from the ice that was not yet melted.

It was not too long before we stopped for dinner. We were hoping to go to The Varsity again, but the location was actually closed because of the winter storm; this disappointment opened up an opportunity to try Cook Out, since a location nearby was open. Their parking lot was full of ice, but we thankfully were able to find an open and safe parking space. I got a hot dog, and for both of my sides, I ordered onion rings (clearly, I was still in the mood for the food I

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Dinner

usually get at The Varsity). The food was pretty good, but I have to admit that I prefer The Varsity.

Once we were done eating, we drove over to our hotel, which was the same one we stayed at a week earlier. The hotel was definitely less crowded than last time, and the employees were very nice; they even gave us a room on the Premium Level!

 

 

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Wow…let us all take a moment to marvel at this incredible photograph I took while leaving Cook Out

Of course, once we arrived at our room, we reminisced about how we were leaving for Walt Disney World the last time we were at the hotel (and made sure the WiFi code worked). The post-Disney blues were really starting to hit us at this point, which resulted in some plans being made. All I will say for now about our plans is that I hope they work out.

For the rest of the night, I basically just sat on my bed and caught up on social media. I was hoping to write this night, but I ultimately decided to just enjoy my last night of vacation instead. We did get snacks and drinks at one point though, and I subsequently devoured a lot of popcorn. Later in the night, after I was done looking through social media and then watching Food Network for a bit (the adorable Kids Baking Championship was on), I realized that I was the only one awake in our family. As a result, I finally got ready for bed–which did, in fact, include putting on my amazing new monorail socks– and rested in order to prepare for our last day of traveling.

Stay tuned for my last post of this series, and have a magical day!

-Stephanie

 

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