Weekly Wrap-Up: The one with the prodigal cat and the Disney recap

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Weekly Wrap-Up

Happy Friday, y’all! I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. Ours was excellent – just a laid-back week spent enjoying our first summer break week at home and getting back in the swing of things after vacation.

First glimpse of Disney

That’s right – if you’re not following Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers on Facebook, you may not have heard that my family was at Disney last week. I’m not one to announce to the world that we’re going to be away if anyone would like to come rob my house, so I didn’t say anything online about our trip before we left. We’re back now, though, so it’s time for a recap.

First, though, I have to share a crazy story. If you’ve been a longtime reader, you may remember that we had a cat go missing the last time we went to Disney – in November 2012. Then, “Not Gus” showed up and adopted us.

Well, yesterday, I went for my morning walk around our neighborhood – and I found what I am almost certain is our missing cat, Gus. I called him and he looked at me. He let me pet him and the longer I pet him, the more convinced I became.

I looked for neighbors to ask, but couldn’t find anyone, so I brought him home to compare him to photos and ask the kids. We all think it’s him. Since then, we’ve gone back and asked the only living soul we could find on that street, took him to the vet to see if he has a microchip (he doesn’t), and put up a found cat sign on the street where we found him.

I thought about taking him back down there and letting him out, but I hate to do that if he is our lost cat. It’s only one street over from us and almost a straight shot through the woods. There was a lady on the street who may have taken him in or who may have been feeding him who has moved. The house is vacant and that’s where I found him.

One lady called last night because her neighbor saw the sign and thought he might be her cat. She’s supposed to come by tomorrow to see if he’s the cat she got as a kitten. If not and no one claims him, I think I’m just going to let him outside – because, if he’s our Gus, he’ll  hate being cooped up inside – and if he goes, he goes, but if he stays, he’s welcome.

See what you think. The lighting is much better in the first picture of Brianna holding original Gus out in the snow and it’s been edited for color, so he looks more orange, but look at the shape of his face and nose and look at the markings. It looks like him to us.

Is it Gus

He’s very loving toward all of us and seems to like some of the same spots he/Gus did. The dogs, after an initial curious sniff, have basically ignored him, which is not their normal behavior with strange cats. I’m almost certain it’s Gus the First. If not, it’s most definitely his doppelganger. Can I confess to hoping it’s not this lady’s cat?

So anyway, on  to vacation. We had a fabulous time! My mom and step-dad, who passed away in 2001, purchased a Disney Vacation Club package in 1995. Brianna was 8 weeks old the first time she went to Disney. Back then, they had a special deal where you got so many free park hopper passes based on your room size for the first 5 years, so we went every year from 1995-2000.

The first summer we didn’t go, Brianna was so confused. {grin} Since then, we typically go every couple of years or so, though a couple of our trips have been to Disney’s Vero Beach or Hilton Head properties – we love them, too.

We haven’t done the park hopper option in several years, but decided to this year. I’m so glad we did! We had to much fun! Because we’ve been to Disney many times, we opted not to go-go-go the entire time, but, instead to spend two days at the parks just hitting our favorite rides and the new ones. The other two days we spent hanging out at the pool and relaxing. That plan made for an excellent vacation – we didn’t feel like we missed anything, but we didn’t come home totally exhausted either.

Disney Parks Collage

It occurred to me on the drive down that all our kids are now old enough to go to the resort pool alone. I almost did the happy dance right there in the car because they always want to go as soon as we get to the room and the adults are always exhausted from driving all day.

This year, we were able to let them hit the pool and blow off some energy as soon as we got there, while we relaxed a bit (after they texted and let us know they got their okay). It was nice having a 20-year-old (well, almost – she turned 20 two days after we arrived) to keep an eye on everyone.

We went to our favorite restaurant to celebrate Brianna’s birthday – the Orlando Ale House. Yum! We’re going to be so sad if they ever change the menu in between trips because we always get the same thing. Brian and I get 35 fried shrimp – each, but he usually winds up with at least 1/3 of mine – and the kids get crab legs. Yeah, they’ve got pricey taste.


Oh, and sweet tea. The Ale House has some amazing sweet tea.

There is always a whole gang of us who travel to Disney together, so we had a blast spending time with my sister and brother-in-law at Hollywood Studios. I found it very amusing the both my sister and Brianna were, at different times, reminiscing about how my sister used to carry Brianna around the parks when Brianna was a baby and now Brianna was carrying my sister’s baby around the parks.

Another joy of this year’s trip was discovering that some of the rides now have single rider lines – and having kids old enough to not need a parent to ride with them! We were all like, “Twenty minute wait versus 70 minute wait? Yeah, we can ride with strangers!”


I mean, seriously, y’all, look how grown my babies are.

Brian would go first and I’d go last. That way, we made sure one of us was waiting to corral everyone as they got off the ride and one of us was able to make sure everyone got safely on a ride. We rode Test Track at Epcot twice in the time we would have waited to ride it once and we rode our favorite ride, the Rockin’ Roller Coaster at Hollywood Studios, 7 or 8 times. So. Much. Fun!

Rockin' Roller Coaster

As I said, we split our park hopping up into two days. Day 1 we hit the Kingdoms – Magic and Animal – and Day 2 was a quick morning at Epcot for Test Track and a trip around the world, followed by an afternoon at our favorite park, Hollywood Studios.

Epcot Collage

Because we split it up this way, we came back to the room for lunch both days, saving a ton of money. I love that my kids are old enough that even they agreed that there was nothing at the parks worth the $65+ dollars it would cost to eat lunch there (though we did splurge for dinners). We were all quite happy with sandwiches and chips in our air conditioned room, thank you very much.

rhinos and zebras

Megan’s highlight was meeting Peter Pan. I don’t know. She’s currently obsessed. He was such a great Peter Pan – so in character and so much fun. I told her to show him her Peter Pan bow, thinking he’d get a kick out of that. He autographed it! Then, tried to claim it as his own “because when you write your name on something, it’s yours.” So much fun.

Peter Pan Collage

My biggest accomplishment on the trip? My entire lily-white, maybe-we’re-vampires family came back with no sunburn! I think that’s a first.

Random Disney Collage

And finally, a few random shots. First, we have a glimpse of how modern teens and tweens (and their parents) pass the time on bus rides to and from the parks. Next up is Megan’s healthiest breakfast of the week – Coke, a Popsicle, and ice cream. Hey, it was one time and it was vacation.

Brianna and my niece, who was utterly fascinated by the monkeys on the ceiling of the Toy Story ride in Hollywood Studios. And, finally, a moment of rest and relaxation for me when I woke up before everyone else on the last day. That’s typical for me – I love vacation, but I’m always ready to come home when it’s over.

That’s it for me this week. Before I go, I want to share with you a few articles you may have missed on About.com:

I hope you all have a fabulous weekend! I’ll be getting my kids ready for camp. They leave Monday, so prayers are appreciated for a safe and meaningful trip.

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    1. It’s it a fun word? I didn’t know what it meant until our church had a doppelganger night for the kids once upon a time. 🙂

  1. It has to be Gus, Kris. There’s no way the dogs would be so laid back about a cat they didn’t know.

    I’ve never been to Disney, but it always looks like so much fun! Maybe you can hide us in your luggage next time. jk

    1. It turned out not to be him. I guess the dogs are just to the point that they’re not longer surprised by me bringing new cats in the house, so why bother to get in a tizzy? 🙂

    1. We found the kitty’s people. He turned out to be a Fred and an uncanny resemblance to our Gus the First, but not him. Oh, well. We’re quite fond of our Not Gus, who found us several months after Gus disappeared, so it’s all good.

  2. The Gus resemblance is uncanny. If he were a missing puzzle piece, he’d be a perfect fit!! I LOVE the Peter Pan tidbit you shared, too funny. I agree, once you put your name on something it is yours! lol 🙂

    1. Yes, we thought Peter Pan was hilarious. He was totally in character. It turned out not to be Gus, but it was fun to daydream just a bit…and fun to send him back home to his people since he turned out to be a young cat with very rambunctious young cat tendencies. 🙂

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