Ducks, Cinderella’s Castle, and Margaritaville (of course)

How’s your summer been so far? I’ve been busy…

Duck Weather

…trying to stay dry as Tropical Storm Debby swirled over the Gulf of Mexico and dumped inches of rain on the Florida peninsula, including our family vacation destination of Orlando.

My children were good sports. In spite of the incessant rain, they enjoyed the roller coasters, shopping, and time with their grandparents and aunt and uncle. The parks weren’t crowded or unbearably hot those first four days–generally a given in the Sunshine State the last week of June.

I was also busy…

Picture Perfect

…enjoying nature’s beauty.

At least, whenever I wasn’t busy….

I love everything Disney!

…begging someone, anyone, to take my photo to prove I was also along on this vacation. (If you’re the family photog, you understand.)

I got my exercise, although I never stepped foot inside a gym, lifted a free weight, or jogged anywhere. I merely…

Where are they off to now??

…chased after my family on one adventure after another.

Thankfully, they were game to eat lunch at Margaritaville, my little Key West fix to tide me over until couple’s getaway later this summer.

Ahhh, summer.

Back to cleaning the house, making meals, and running errands. As a writer, I’ve also committed to ROW80. If you’re interested, my goals are listed below.

Our near disaster of a vacation got me thinking. Despite your best-laid plans, have you ever been on a trip where everything seemed to go wrong?



18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laurie Bumpus
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 18:30:03

    Since this has been the year of “Two Weddings and a LAw School Graduation” not much time for vacation——just now monitoring two kids who are living in a hotel in DC for the next week until their power comes on. But MY Disney moment(s)—never went when it wasn’t 1) freezing (Thanksgiving)—we gave up on the luau…2)soaking wet at the end of each day–my husband picked the perfect time to head to the parking lots on the trams when the summer afternoon showers would hit and 3) trying to explain WHY Donald Duck didn’t have his very own personalized pancakes to two sobbing kids—Mickey was not their favorite at the time. Now they’re getting married—may they have the same luck and experiences I did there! Enjoyed your list—–mine is hanging in my office—I look at each morning and sigh (haven’t crossed anything off it since I retired except the trip to London).

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jul 02, 2012 @ 20:13:18

      Wow, you’ve sure been busy! Congrats on the weddings and law school graduation. We’ve been fortunate in past years of famiy vacations, traveling at Easter Break when the weather is generally agreeable. I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled we all were to see the sunshine mid-Wednesday (Our son had begun to curse Mother Nature, so the weather changed just in time!)

      I feel your angst about the Donald Duck pancakes. Children have their own perspective.

      Thanks for stopping by, Laurie, and good luck with your to-do list, too. 🙂

  2. Jeannie Moon
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 20:07:20

    You have ambitious goals. Mine are much simpler. After the year I’ve had I want to regroup, find time to enjoy this beautiful place where I live (go to the beach), cook more, exercise more and write. We can do this..goals big and small await us. 🙂

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jul 02, 2012 @ 20:17:04

      Hi Jeannie. Great to see you here. I’m sorry about your loss and think it’s the perfect time to regroup and appreciate the little things in life.

      I’m ready to challenge myself, after nursing emotional and physical aches these past number of months. Yes, goals big and small await us, and we’ll work toward achieving them, one hour, one day at a time.

      Happy summer. 🙂

  3. Julie Glover
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 21:14:04

    Loved the pics! Looks like y’all had fun. Your goals are marvelous. I totally relate to this one: “14. Plan five dinner meals per week, as opposed to throwing meals together at the last minute.” And I’ll look for your vlog. I hope you put it up here! I have enjoyed the two I’ve done so far.

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jul 03, 2012 @ 13:42:34

      Thanks, Julie! I enjoyed your natural park vlog and am inspired to create my own. I’d love to vlog about our next getaway to Key West during Hemingway Days later this month. Only problem is my lack of tech-savvy acumen.

      Happy you had a chance to stop by and enjoy the rest of your week!

  4. Marcia
    Jul 02, 2012 @ 22:17:17

    Wow, lots of goals there but I know you can master them all! New website, vlog, writing, reading AND 10 laps?! You’re amazing. Hope to see the vlog and looking forward to the website as well! Gorgeous pic of you at Disney, Jolyse! I love Margaritaville, too! I remember those chairs and wanted so badly to paint some just like them. Don’t have quite that level of talent but I do my own thing.
    Horrible vacations? Had several. Don’t we all?

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jul 03, 2012 @ 13:47:11

      The website will stay the same, for this year–only changing the address to the ones I purchased in January. So, instead of being only found at, readers will be able to locate me at and

      I bet your furniture painting talent far exceeds mine! Hmm, and now I’m curious about your horrible experiences while traveling. Hope they were ones that you later could laugh about and not nightmarish even now.

      • Marcia
        Jul 03, 2012 @ 14:34:08

        One was a trip to Boston for Easter when my son was 2 and daughter was 8. We went because I was angry with my family for some reason and didn’t want to spend the holiday with them. So, my husband and I got excited about taking the kids away for the weekend. My son screamed from the time we left our city limits to arrival in Boston which should have taken 4 hrs but took us 6 since we stopped to try and calm him so often. We were in the Boston Harbor Hotel, I think, right on the harbor near the aquarium. Easter dinner in the hotel restaurant. Tables crammed in close together to accommodate all the reservations. Matt gets up from the table and comes around next to me and says,”Mommy, I have to go poop.” He was quiet and I didn’t think the guy at the table inches behind him heard. I said, “okay” and started to get up to take him to the restroom. No sooner had I laid my napkin on the table than Matt said, “Okay, I’m done”, and the odor immediately fill the area. I grabbed him and ran out of the restaurant more embarrassed than I’d ever been, and told my husband to get our food wrapped and meet me in our room. On the way home the next morning, Matt again decided he was going to scream the entire way. My hubs made a stop in a small town at a drugstore. He said I should go in and buy something, anything. I had no idea what he had in mind. There was a field next to the store. He made both kids run in huge circles around the field for 30 minutes nonstop. He promised them a cold drink afterwards. It worked like a charm, They both passed out sound asleep within 10 minutes of being settled back in the car.That was 48 hours of holiday hell! But now it makes for a mildly funny story. 🙂

  5. alicamckennajohnson
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 11:53:32

    Great goals- I need to get back into this badly!!!! Looks like you had a wonderful vacation!

  6. Jolyse Barnett
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 15:31:04

    You poor thing, Marcia. Mildly funny, yes, but I imagine it wasn’t at the time. I guess there’s a reason that age is known as the Terrible Twos. Physical activity to the point of exhaustion–wonderful idea!

  7. Catie Rhodes
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 15:54:16

    Congrats on your trip to Disneyland. I am glad it worked out “even though” (as my husband and I say).

    Your question brings to mind a trip I took to New Orleans many years ago (more than 20). My aunt and I flew into the city, got a shuttle to our hotel, and found out the hotel had cancelled our reservation because they overbooked. It was spring, so every hotel in the city was booked.

    We ended up staying at a hotel out in BFE. It was a bummer. The shuttle only ran to the French Quarter a couple of times a day. The streetcars did not come all the way out to BFE. We ended up just not getting to do an awful lot as we were only in town 3 nights.

    The trip was okay, but not as great as it could have been. KWIM?

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jul 03, 2012 @ 17:37:13

      Hi Catie! I imagine that staying at BFE in New Orleans is a bit like staying off-strip in Vegas. It’s more difficult to get around and you can’t quite enjoy it the same way as if you stayed on-strip.

  8. KM Huber
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 17:25:07

    Truly, you have an impressive list of goals so this round of ROW 80 looks like a most productive round for you. I, too, enjoy Margaritaville whenever possible. Best of luck in this round of ROW 80.


  9. Tuere Morton
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 18:06:35

    Those are some great pics of Disney!! You looks SO relaxed. Good for you. I haven’t been back to Florida since 05′ and I’m missing it. You’ve got quite the list of goals there. Hope you have fun accomplishing them 🙂

    • Jolyse Barnett
      Jul 03, 2012 @ 18:19:45

      The first photo was actually taken at Universal’s Island of Adventure and a few others were at our Marriott resort. I had a great time, in spite of the foul weather those early days.

      I didn’t think my list was unrealistic until people began commenting. Have I set myself up for failure? We’ll see.

      Thanks for stopping by, Tuere. Hope you get back to Disney one day. I adore EPCOT. 🙂

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