Thursday 3.26: Friends and Family Day

Much fun was to be had on Thursday, my last day as a single woman. And so, to start the day, my family, David and I headed over to the Animal Kingdom for my favorite attraction at Disney World – Kilimanjaro Safaris. After all, this is a ride that guarantees that I will see more rhinos than I saw on my actual safari on the Serengeti plain. The ride didn’t disappoint – we saw a black rhino almost immediately.

I also love spotting my favorite African trees – the baobabs. Salut le Petit Prince.

Here is a view of Disney’s Serengeti plain. It isn’t a bad rendition, if I say so myself.

Melissa and Dad decided that they wanted to stay dry, but the rest of us braved Kali River Rapids.

We headed over to Dinoland U.S.A. for a rendevous with the Jurassic Period. We first attacked the kiddie Dinosaur ride.

With that conquered, we thought we were tough enough to tackle the real Dinosaur ride.

Mom and Dad are still looking tough…

My courage, however, is starting to waiver when I get a load of that “terrible lizard.”

Having survived our up close encounter with Dinosaurs, we feel tough enough to meet another terrifying beast – the Yeti. The “Himalayas” behind us are our destination.

After the morning’s animal encounters, we headed over to meet Danielle, Trin, Carson, Noah, and Conner at the Magic Kingdom. Can I just say that my cousin has the most fantastic children? They have so much charisma and are just so much fun. Disney World accompanied by three very curious children is even more fantastic.

Here is Noah, patiently waiting in the Splash Mountain line proudly wearing the Mickey stickers.

Here is Trin giving some gentle parental reminders to a captive Carson and a wayward Noah.

Unfortunately for us, we couldn’t spend the rest of the evening there. We had to get gussied up for our dinner plans. Here is a cute shot of Melissa on the monorail.

Back at the French Quarter, Melissa gave in to a bag of Cheetos. But it is okay. Melissa and I both saw a picture in US Weekly of Angelina Jolie giving her kids some Cheetos on a walk through the French Quarter. Here is Melissa as Maddox or Zahara:

That night, I had planned a dinner at the restaurant “Jiko”, located at the Animal Kingdom Lodge with some of my friends who had made the trip to Florida. I was excited to taste Disney’s take on South African fare.

The dinner was also scheduled at the same time as Carolina’s Sweet Sixteen game. This means that although Sarah came to the dinner, she was absent during picture taking sessions, because she was checking on the score of the game. Fortunately, Carolina won pretty easily.

Here we are enjoying some appetizers.

Fantastic Katie Davidson Laughman with her also fantastic husband Chris Laughman, who came down from Boston:

Our oldest friends, Rebekah and Richelle Messer, with Melissa:

My friend with whom I shared the real Africa, Suzanne Culter with her husband, Drew:

Three brilliant minds. Carolynn Clark, Brigham Bowen, Jennie Dalton Bowen:

It was a great dinner with great friends. Not a bad way to spend my last single night.

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