Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Festival of lights

We are at Disney's Fort Wilderness campground, on the Timber Trail loop 1600 (map). We are just across the street from where we stayed four years ago, and, as you can see, we got lucky again with the satellite.

We remember, from that visit, that the guests here go overboard on decorating their sites. Then, however, it was the week after New Year's, so many of the Christmas-week crowd had already left. Now we're in the thick of it, and OMG, it's over the top. One of the sites in our loop must have, conservatively, over a thousand lights. It's arranged as a north-pole/Disney themed wonderland, complete with lighted pathway for the visitors. A framed certificate reveals that this family won the "best site" competition in the same space last year. We'll see if we can get a picture to post here tonight.

It was very cold last night, so we only saw what we could on the way to and from dinner at the on-premise buffet, Trails End. One night, though, we'll ride the scooters through the entire campground just to see all the lights and decorations. Fort Wilderness definitely has suburban America beat on the holiday light front.

After dinner, our friends Jim and Cathy Lewis dropped by and we spent a few hours catching up over drinks. They had left the boys with their in-laws for the evening, and came over on the ferry from the Magic Kingdom. We had a great visit, and agreed to hook up later this week, perhaps in one of the parks.

We've opted to take today as our parkless one, and we'll do Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom tomorrow and Thursday. If something doesn't work out, we can always defer one to Friday -- we'd just have to move Odyssey from our site here over to the day lot near the entrance. We'll probably head over to Downtown Disney this afternoon, even though we also have dinner reservations there tomorrow night.

On another topic, we've received several questions about our upcoming schedule. Many people are wondering where we will park in DC for the inauguration, and I'm guessing some folks might be wondering why we're driving Odyssey there in the first place. First off, we have no choice but to drive -- all public transportation to and from DC for the inauguration has been sold out for months, along with hotels and other accommodations (including all the campgrounds). As to the parking, let's just say we have several options, and we're certain we'll have a place to stay. I'm keeping our top choices under wraps, though, until we're there -- Google now indexes our blog near the top of the search list, and I don't want our secret spots to get snapped up by someone who isn't even a regular reader just Googling for places to park for the ceremony.

I've also been asked when my seminar will be presented at Bussin' 2009 in Arcadia next week. The organizer just posted the schedule (here and here), and it looks like I will be doing Part 1 Tuesday afternoon and Part 2 Wednesday morning. Louise will also be doing a seminar on living in a small space immediately after mine on Tuesday afternoon. I will also be helping Ed Roelle with his generator session on Wednesday morning. We'll set aside time for tours of Odyssey at some point, and I will also do informal sessions on plumbing, hydronic heat, and/or Internet access on my patio for anyone who is interested -- probably at 4pm to avoid conflicting with any other sessions.


  1. If you have notes on your on "Living in a small space" seminar, I would love to read them! I live in a small house and am a small house aficionado and I'm always reading blogs and info on small storage.

    Christmas blessings from a regular reader in Canada!
    ~ Christy

  2. @Christy: I'm going to base my seminar mainly on my "Small Space Saturday" posts. If you haven't read through the archives, use the drop-down Topics list in the sidebar to the right to find the Saturday ones.

    What I'm looking forward to is all the hints and tips the OTHER folks will contribute. I'll take notes on those and write them up here.

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  5. Bob and Shirley LewisDec 24, 2008, 9:49:00 AM

    Louise and Sean
    So glad that you got time with Jim and Cathy. I am sure they are having a wonderful time at Disneyworld as you guys are. We are enjoying our time in Mexico. Merry Christmas
    Bob and Shirley

  6. just a heads up. I read in the Washington Post that DC is going to restrict all parking in the city to charter busses or commercial busses only. They will be expecting over 10K busses for the festivities. You may want to figure out if your spot will be taken by charter busses or if DC will let you stay there. They are looking for every spot they can find to put them in and not have to bus people into town too far.

  7. I can't believe you're going to the inauguration. I am SO jealous! You guys are so lucky!

  8. Makes perfect sense to keep your parking location on the down-low, I'll bet competition is fierce. You are so lucky to be going, have fun! I look forward to your reportage of the big event.


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