It was 5:30am (or was it 6?). Seven summers and three years of ministry at The Wilds was ending as I made my up the Wilds Ridge Road at 21mph. Through the gate and down the interstate I found myself in Orlando, FL. I made it to Disney World! That was seven months ago. Hard to believe that seven months have passed since my new adventure began here in Florida. Not only do I now have a foot in the door at a world-renowned company, but I have been able to learn new things, experience new things, play in the theme parks, fulfill bucket list items, and eat at my favorite restaurant twice (O’hana). This place is a lot of fun!
Now that I have been in recreation for over six months, I am able to transfer if I choose to. I like recreation and have come to appreciate it and what the line of business does, so I do not necessarily want to leave it. However, I came down here to do all I can to learn and be a part of this company in any capacity. I’ve even learned how to clean campsites at Fort Wildnerness Campgrounds (picture of me in costume with Mickey). Right now I am planning to stick it out at the Contemporary Resort and look into different options. Just six months into lifeguarding has gotten me recognized as capable of being a lifeguard trainer for our resort. Being a trainer involves teaching new cast members how to properly perform their role at our specific pools and test their lifeguard skills. Such an honor!
If you follow any of my social media activity then you may have seen that I went on a Disney cruise earlier this month. Surprise! It was awesome. Another cool thing about working at Walt Disney World is that we will sometimes get discounts on the cruises. The cruise went to the Bahamas and to Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. I was on the Disney Dream during the Christmas cruise and even had a verandah stateroom. Probably the coolest thing that happened on the cruise was when I saw Jack Sparrow on Castaway Cay. Okay, he’s always on the island, but this time was extra special. We were on the adult exclusive beach and Captain Jack was just walking up the beach. Jack Sparrow was on the beach! It was a pretty cool surprise. Normally characters are hanging out in one spot and not just walking around the beach.
Being far away from family and friends during the holidays isn’t super exciting, but it’s been okay. I’m not really a homebody and I would describe myself as being very independent. So it’s all good. I ended up working Thanksgiving day, but we had a little Thanksgiving luncheon at work and then I had a couple of friends over for Thanksgiving dinner. I cooked everything and it was exceptional. I’m not trying to boast, but it actually turned out really good. We had turkey from the slow cooker, homemade mashed potatoes, homemade sweet potato casserole, green been casserole, corn, rolls, and homemade sweet tea. We were supposed to have stuffing, but I forgot to make it. Oops! My apartment is all decked out for Christmas (because that is my favorite holiday) and it looks incredible. If you know me, you know I don’t get stingy at Christmas. Here’s a link to an article I wrote for The Wilds last year about Christmas.
I am most excited to host my family for Christmas starting today! This season will be the first time all of us get to experience any of the holiday celebrations at Walt Disney World. We’ve got quite the Christmas weekend planned at the theme parks, in town, and even at a couple restaurants. We will experience the Hoop-Dee-Doo Musical Revue for the first time at the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds. Looking forward to that!
Calvary in Winter Garden has continued to be my place of worship when I am able to have a free Sunday. It has been good and it has been cool making connections from school and camp. I’ve made friends with the Wynn family and have done lunch with them a couple times. Shout out to Jon for helping give my car a jump the day after Thanksgiving. As we have bids coming up at work again, I am hoping I can finally get Sunday’s off for this period of time. We will be going to 4-day work weeks starting in January. So I have requested my top three choices for days off to have Sunday included. We’ll see what happens!
Immediately following the holidays I am back at drill the first weekend in January. We are preparing for an extended AT overseas. Looking forward to the opportunity! When I go back to Greenville I will hopefully not freeze to death. There’s a huge difference between 84 degrees and 44 degrees. I was just thinking yesterday that coming up this summer I will no longer be obligated to drill. How crazy! To think that six years has passed to fast is hard to fathom. Of course I love the Marine Corps so I will be reenlisting when I am able to.
If you’re ever in the area or if you’re visiting Walt Disney World, holler at me. I love seeing folks I’ve not seen in a while. Also, if you’re still trying to figure out what to get me for Christmas, just shoot me a text. I can come up with something. Well, to everyone who has made it this far, thanks. Thank you for reading and thank you for being a part of my journey thus far. Thank you to the prayer warriors. Until next time: Be strong. Love God. Love Others.
Well … the Ashmore’s will just have to come visit you sometime!