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A Quick Trip

18 Sep

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis

What a couple of weeks this has been. First my husband’s sinus infection that I worried was Covid, then a quick trip from North Carolina to Florida, which seems a little crazy since we have a late September road trip to prepare for.

But and it’s big….I love free and we were gifted a free one night stay in a family suite at a Disney World resort and we would get to spend some days with our daughter. Plus, since Covid, I have been building up a nice nest egg of credit card points that would pay for our food.

What I didn’t factor in was Florida heat in September. We were spoiled with the cool mountain temperatures.

Florida does not have fall. Well at least not until December.

We chose to visit our favorite park, EPCOT and arrived there around 12:30 pm. This is our first trip to Disney with a handicap parking pass. I am so glad my husband has one or we would have never made it into the park. I’m not sure if it was due to Covid or shortage of staff but the trams were not running. We had to take a lot of rest stops. I think my husband is now ready to accept a motorized scooter that was offered to him.

I enjoy the fabulous landscaping in all of the Disney parks. This trip I was surprised at the flower choices. Coleus in different colors were used liberally, accented with caladium, canna lily and penta. There were also plantings of flowers that reminded me of field flowers. They were all beautiful.

I forgot to mention that Disney World is limiting attendance at the parks and requires advance reservations for entrance. We were pleased to be able to reserve both the entrance and lunch in one of the country themed restaurants. We chose Germany. I had checked out the restaurants online and noted that the Biergarten Restaurant was currently serving an all inclusive buffet, minus alcohol. That was extra. With online check in using an app no lines were necessary and that was a plus. The Disney dining app even gave us a count down to check in time notification. That was quite helpful and we resting at a table with an umbrella after the walk to get near the restaurant.

Once our name was called, a funny thing happened. Our party and another one were booked for the same time and had the same first and last name! Only ours was a party of three and they were a party two. It took some paper shuffling for the cast members to straighten it out.

The meal was delicious. I enjoyed the beer and cheese soup and their version of Mac and Cheese. The desserts were yummy too. I filled a plate with one each of the desserts (they were small) and we tried them all. My husband enjoyed a couple of them so much he had to have his own slices. He is very sweet to let me share pictures of him with food.

Our sugar binge is over, done, history. For now.

The Biergarten also had entertainment. Here is a short clip. I imagine this would be a fun restaurant with a large group of friends or family. How do they manage to blow those long horns?

After lunch we received notification our resort room was ready. Once again, check in was done in the app so no line to wait in. It took us awhile to make it to the park exit. When we were close to the parking lot, our daughter went ahead and brought the car to pick us up.

We stayed at The Art of Animation. By the time we arrived there I was too hot and tired to take a photo of the outside. Our building theme was Cars, as in the movie, Cars and the room decor was cute. Along with a queen size bed, the suite had a queen Murphy bed that by day, masquerades as a table.

Thoughts about Covid and Disney. Masks are required at all indoor spaces and some people wore them outdoors as well. It was easy to be socially distant for us, but we did notice that people waiting in lines were not maintaining distance outside. Since I didn’t go into the buildings, I don’t know what it was like indoors. There were a couple of rides we would have enjoyed but we decided to pass on them at this time.Except for the area around Mexico (which I am pretty sure was because people were trying to find a way to get a cold Margarita) we didn’t feel crowded. In the evening, we visited Disney Springs, the restaurant and shopping district. Masks were worn outside there, more so than in the park.

This trip was planned several months ago. The morning after arriving in Florida, we learned our son in North Carolina had Covid and was admitted to hospital and was placed on a vent. We were scared. I cried a lot the first day. Yet I was thankful to be in Florida with our daughter so that we could face this together. So we could pray together. He was in a small local hospital and they were looking for an ICU bed for him in a large facility. We prayed for that bed, thinking he would go to Mission Hospital in Asheville. We were kind of stunned when we learned he was transferred by air flight over 280 miles to Duke University Hospital in North Carolina. The number one hospital in the state. I am thankful God’s ways and thoughts are higher than mine. Yesterday was 10 days on a vent and the reports had been up and down. Then we received the call. Our son was off the vent, breathing on his own and talking. We almost had church in the parking lot of Sam’s Club. His wife is going to be allowed to visit him soon and that will be good medicine for both of them.

Our son may have a long recovery ahead and we will continue to pray and give thanks. Through all of this, we have been blessed with comfort that for us, can only come from God. One of my favorite passages in the Old Testament is about the twelve spies sent to check out the Promised land. Ten of them returned saying no way, no how. Those dudes are big. But two, Joshua and Caleb said yes they are but our God is bigger. The Israelites went with the opinion of the 10 and that didn’t turn out too well. A month ago, I made a magnet for my refrigerator that reads, “The Israelites saw giants but Caleb and Joshua saw God.” Daily and sometimes, minute by minute I prayed, “The doctors see Covid Pneumonia but I see God.” That was my comfort, is my comfort and it is available to everyone.

My final thought. I am trusting that our son will recover completely. I grieve for the many, many who have lost people they love to this horrid virus. I like this verse in Romans12:15

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.

May our days soon be filled with more rejoicing and less mourning due to this virus.

I'm a winner

After my retirement, I decided to re-learn the canning and preserving skills I learned from my mother but hadn’t practiced for twenty years. I titled the blog Old Things R New to chronicle my experience.  Since then I have been blessed to have six other bloggers join me, DiVoran Lites, Bill Lites,  Judy Wills, Louise Gibson, Janet Perez Eckles and Melody Hendrix

In addition to blogging, I work as the publicist/marketer/ amateur editor and general  “mom Friday” for my author daughter, Rebekah Lyn. I also manage her website, Rebekah Lyn Books  

My 2021 goal is continue touse my love of photographs and words to be an encourager on social media. You can visit Real Life Books and Media You Tube Channel if you would like to view some of the mini-videos I have created for our church, Gateway Community in Titusville, Fl.


2 Jun


Judy Wills



Have you ever seen a hot-air balloon floating overhead?  Really neat, huh?  We’ve been enraptured with them for quite a while.  The sister of a friend and her new husband “escaped” from their outdoor wedding reception in a hot-air balloon.  How neat is that?

 We had heard about the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta for years, but had never attended one.  It was started after we married and moved away from Albuquerque.   In talking with Fred’s parents, we all decided to head to New Mexico for that great event that year, 2001.  It was the 30th anniversary of the Fiesta.  Fred’s youngest sister and her husband thought it would be fun to join us, as well.  So we made our hotel reservations, airplane reservations, and were getting quite excited.

And then….September 11, 2001 happened.

We were scheduled to fly out in early October, 2001.  After September 11, all flights in the U.S. were grounded.  We were afraid that our flight had been cancelled, as well.  But the grounding was lifted, and we were able to fly out as scheduled.  I’ve heard so many people say they have stopped flying after September 11 – they were just too afraid.  And my thought is…where is your faith?!  Much safer than traveling long distances in a car…etc.

In any case, we flew out as planned and arrived quite safely in Albuquerque, city of my heart.  We connected with the rest of the family, and began our Balloon Fiesta adventure.  It was absolutely wonderful!   Completely fascinating to watch the balloons go from flat on the ground, to upright, to up in the air in a matter of short minutes!  Breathtaking!

But the best day was the day of the Mass Ascension.  If I recall correctly, there were over 800 balloons going up that day.  They were laid out in a pattern, and went up in planned sequence.  But they did all go up.  And that was the day they had the different “shapes” to the balloons, as well.  A cow (Creamland Dairy)…



a Wells Fargo stage coach (as well as a piggy bank)…

















a beer stein…






Mr. Potato Head


Mr Potato Head

Mr Potato Head


Smokey the Bear…



Smokey the Bear

Smokey the Bear



a Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Cone…



Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Cone

Ben and Jerry Ice Cream Cone



Tony the Tiger cereal….



Tony the Tiger

Tony the Tiger



a shoe (Famous Footwear)…



Famous Footwear

Famous Footwear


and a birthday cake congratulating the Fiesta on their 30th anniversary.



Happy 30th Birthday!

Happy 30th Birthday!


We were able to get down close to one of the balloons and watch as they readied it for take off.  Fascinating.



Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Fred has an aversion to large crowds, so it surprised him greatly to find how “uncrowded” this all felt.  As we recall, there were probably well over 100,000 people there!  Of course, it was held on one of the valley floors in Albuquerque, so that helped – lots of room to spare.

That evening, we went to one of the Indian casinos in town, and were able to watch a night-time ascension.  Really beautiful.










Rising Flag

But it is one of our fondest memories – one we recall and treasure.  One year, our oldest daughter and her husband gave us a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle of that event, and we had a great deal of fun putting it together.  Brought back great memories.






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