Sunday, December 29, 2013

Snow at the Yacht Club

It is my hope that the holidays have been wonderful for all of you and that you are still experiencing the joy that is a part of good times, food and fun spent with family and friends.

Disney's Yacht Club at Walt Disney World is celebrating with a blanket of snow. Well, actually the snow is actually "faux" and is covering the wonderful miniature village displayed in the lobby of this beautiful resort.

It has been my experience that when Disney does anything, Disney does it in a big way, even miniature village scenes. The village, with all its delightful little homes, churches, shops, people doing chores and shopping, children building snowmen, hidden Mickeys and a toy train making its rounds throughout, is a magical winter wonderland. Each snow covered scene transports the visitor into the fantasy taking place within.

The display is located to the right of the front entrance and covers a large portion of that section of the lobby. It is made up of many different scenes. It is truly wonderful. Please feel free to use your imagination, allowing the following photographs to speak for themselves to give you some idea of just how exquisite and mesmerizing each setting is.

Thank you for stopping by today and I hope you enjoyed your visit to this very special exhibit of miniatures.

May you have a very happy and blessed new year in 2014!

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Merry Christmas Gingerbread Carousel at Disney's Beach Club Resort

Continuing with a series of posts about the wonderful Christmas decorations at some of the Walt Disney World resorts for 2013, I will now share some of the photos I took at Disney's Beach Club Resort. The Disney properties have their own special style(s) of lighting and they all suit each property perfectly. Since I am somewhat obsessed with the lighting in different places, I snapped photos of some  at the Beach Club. This is a picture of the pretty lamp posts along the walkway leading up to the resort.

Disney's Beach Club Resort
It is evident when we pass through the main entrance and into the beautiful and spacious lobby of the Beach Club that the baking and confectionery teams at Disney's  Beach and Yacht Clubs had, once again, gone totally over the top in demonstrating their talents. The intoxicating aroma of chocolate is wafting throughout the area. My husband, the chocoholic, thinks this is heavenly. Sitting proudly beneath one of the spectacular chandeliers in the lobby is a carousel, which is an absolute masterpiece of confectionery delights:

Confectionery Carousel in the Christmas Decor Located in the Lobby of Disney's Beach Club Resort
The name of this wonderful dark chocolate steed is Holiday. Sitting on his back is a candy "sand" castle and his saddle is decorated with a beach motif and is adorned with a string of old-fashioned candy Christmas lights.  Candy characters, Pluto and Goofy, are located on the floor in front of him. His coat is so shiny and you can even see the muscles in his flank and legs. He is magnificent!
A Horse Named Holiday on the Christmas Gingerbread Carousel at Disney's Beach Club Resort

This white chocolate beauty, with milk chocolate mane and tail, is called Pixie. Her pink saddle is embellished with wonderful gingerbread men, lollipops and cupcakes. There are some jewels adorning the saddle which appear to be made of rock candy. There is a fairy or, if you will, a pixie, after whom she is named, located on the platform, near this gorgeous creation.

A Horse Named Pixie on the Christmas Gingerbread Carousel in the Lobby of Disney's Beach Club Resort

Here we have a milk chocolate equine specimen named Jingle. He is decked out in a saddle of traditional green and red colors with peppermints, candy canes and red poinsettias. He also wears a white poinsettia on his forehead. His "shoes" are even made to look like peppermint. Mickey and Minnie Mouse characters are located on the floor or platform near his hooves.

A Horse Named Jingle on the Christmas Gingerbread Carousel at Disney's Beach Club Resort
Next we see this frilly filly and she is called Snofia. This horse is definitely one of my favorites from the carousel. She has snowflakes scattered about her body and saddle. Now, no one has actually told me this but I think she is supposed to be representative of one of the Disney Princesses. She is dressed all in blue, just like Disney's little Princess Sofia the First. She has a wonderfully curly mane which has what appears to have a blue ribbon in it, which is also reminiscent of little Princess Sofia. 's Sofia the First would have a pretty bow on the back of her dress and this sweet horse has a pretty blue "satin" candy bow tied near her tail. She is all ready to attend the ball. Isn't she just totally sweet and precious looking?
 Snofia on the Christmas Gingerbread Carousel at Disney's Beach Club Resort

Here is another shot of Snofia and you can see that her character is Donald Duck.

Carousel Horse Named Snofia

Appearing somewhat larger than the others, the final horse, which is prancing not on, but beside, the carousel and amid the poinsettias. This horse is obviously the leader of the group. His name is, most appropriately, Captain. As you can see he is a swashbuckling pirate.The proud horse has all the familiar pirate trappings, including a skull and cross-bones, a sword and a leather pouch. There is even a picture of Pirate Mickey Mouse on the side of his amazingly realistic looking leather saddle.

 Of course, Captain represents Captain Jack Sparrow, another proud pirate, from the ride/attraction "Pirates of the Caribbean" located in many of the Disney theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Disneyland California and Disneyland Paris. 

. The ride is the inspiration for the wildly popular Pirates of the Caribbean and its several sequels, starring Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow. The ride was updated a few years ago, after the movies came out. It now includes animated figures of Captain Jack Sparrow(Johnny Depp) in several different areas throughout the ride. 

We seldom miss riding the Pirates of the Caribbean when visiting the park. We have been to see all the movies and own all of them on DVD.   I located a good video of the ride at Walt Disney World posted on Youtube. It is a good representation of the ride and has had almost 189,000 views to date.  I am including the link, if you would like to check the ride out and see the animated Jack Sparrow(Johnny Depp), just for fun at

Here is the pirate horse, Captain:

The Proud Horse, Captain, at Disney's Beach Club Resort

You may have noticed several Disney character figures(The Fab Five) having been mentioned in this post. These were pointed out because these figures were among the items to look for when viewing the carousel.

The following picture is one of a confectionery "poster" listing the ingredients, including "2013" pieces of gingerbread, which went in to constructing this wonderful Gingerbread Carousel. At the bottom of the list, it tells of the Characters to look for, as well as 14 hidden Mickeys. I did not get pictures of all the hidden Mickeys, unfortunately.

Poster at the Gingerbread Carousel
Here is another ocean themed candy sculpture:
Ocean Themed Candy Sculpture at Disney's Beach Resort

Still another candy and gingerbread creation of a lighthouse:

Candy and Gingerbread Lighthouse at Disney's Beach Resort

The walkway leading away from the resort and to the next stop on our "Christmas Resort Hop Tour":

Christmas at the Resort
I have had so much fun reliving the memories from our visit to Disney's Beach Club Resort and I hope you have enjoyed your visit too! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Confectionery Creation at Disney's Boardwalk Inn at Christmas

Today's post is one in a series of posts about some of the wonderful Christmas decorations at Walt Disney World for 2013.

This post is comprised of some of the photos taken the afternoon we visited Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Villas. I have posted about Disney's Boardwalk in the past and about the wonderful boardwalk itself, with all its shops and entertainment. It can be found by exiting the Gateway to the World Showcase and taking a left, crossing the bridge at Crescent Lake. There is a world of entertainment and dining experiences to be enjoyed along the boardwalk. It is well worth the leisurely ten minute or so stroll from Epcot to check out the activity at Disney's Boardwalk and in the inn. At Christmastime, it is an extra special treat because of all the fabulous decorations. You will often find some of the characters in the main lobby during the evenings, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse, all decked out in their Christmas finery and ready to have their pictures taken with you. We were there in the afternoon and so we did not see them on this day, but we have been there with the grand children to have their pictures taken in the past.

The first sight to greet us when we enter the door is, of course this wonderful miniature carousel, which was featured in a previous post. The horse hooves from the enormous light fixture which hangs in the entrance area can barely be seen above the carousel. Notice all that lush looking, gorgeous garland swagged all the way across, up and down the lobby. Awesome!

Miniature Carousel in the Lobby at Disney's Boardwalk Inn and Villas

You can read more about the history behind this carousel and the gigantic light fixture above it by going to a previous post linked here:

Just beyond the carousel, where the garland is swagged, in the main open area of the lobby, is this beautifully decorated Christmas tree and one of the many gorgeous gingerbread and confectionery creations for which Disney is renowned.
Christmas Tree and Gingerbread House at Disney's Boardwalk Inn at Christmas

This particular gingerbread house creation is large enough to actually be a working sweet shop. Look closely and you will see there is a lady, dressed in a uniform, actually standing in this shop named Sweet Treats. She later hid behind the door in this shop because she was a little camera shy and said she did not want to spoil the picture. She really did look great in her uniform and apron and was picture perfect.

More pictures as we get closer to the Sweet Treats Shop:

 See the menu's on either side of the door, listing the items for sale in the shop? The items are displayed on the counter.

A close up follows of one of the panels at the top area of the shop. Look at all those wonderful edible Mickey Mouse ears. Note how perfect all the lettering is and those corner brackets look so realistic. The wreaths and swags are beautiful as well. They are made from green salt water taffy, strung to form the wreaths. Needless to say the lobby smells simply scrumptious!

This is the door the nice lady scoots behind to get out of view of the camera!

A close up shot of the menu of items for sale:

Menu of Items for Sale in the Gingerbread Sweet Treats Shop at Disney's Boardwalk Inn
We walk outside to get some pictures of the decorations there. There is a beautiful view, no matter where we wander. A view walking down the steps from one of the porches toward the courtyard, with the lake in the background:

View from a Porch at Disney's Boardwalk Inn at Christmad
The Courtyard at Disney's Boardwalk Inn at Christmas
Close up of one of the lamp posts (one of my obsessions-lamp posts):

Christmas Lamp Post at Disney's Boardwalk Inn

Some of the glorious red poinsettias in the landscape decor:

Poinsettias in Christmas Landscape at Disney's Boardwalk Inn
Before we leave, we take one more shot, looking back toward the inn. This one is a full shot of that gorgeous Christmas tree in the courtyard with the fabulous back porch and steps, draped with garland, in the background.
Now we are going to stroll on farther around the lake toward Disney's Beach and Yacht Clubs to see what exquisite treats are in store over there. Just about another brisk ten minutes away to Disney's Beach Club. It is a cloudy afternoon and this picture was taken just as we were rounding the bend. 
The Beach Club on the right beyond the ships mast.

Disney's Beach Club and Yacht Club in the Distance across the Lake
If you enjoyed our visit to Disney's Boardwalk Inn, please come back to visit Disney's Beach Club at Christmas. If you fancy carousels and confectionery creations as much as me, then you are going to love what they have done over there for Christmas!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sew an Animal Print Infinity Scarf

One of my grandchildren asked me to make something special for him to give to someone for Christmas. He is such a sweetheart and seldom asks for me to do anything, so how could I refuse? After all, it takes less than an hour to cut out and sew one of these animal print infinity scarves.

Animal Print Infinity Scarf

Materials and tools required:
  1. One-fourth Yard of 54-55 Inch Light-Weight Fleece Fabric
  2. Matching Thread
  3. Sewing Machine Unless You Plan to Sew by Hand
  4. Hand Sewing Needle to  Sew the Opening Closed After Turning the Scarf Right Side Out

Fold the fourth of a yard of fabric up the middle and with right sides touching. You will be sewing a seam on the wrong side of fabric, along the longest length of the fabric to form a tube 54-55 inches long. Just follow the tutorial I posted months ago. It can be found at this link:

Remember to start the seam a couple of inches from the beginning of the "tube" and stop sewing a couple of inches from the end. This way it is easier to sew the ends of the tube together once you turn it right side out.

People, this is as easy as pie, even for the beginner, and can be whipped up in almost no time for those last minute gifts.

Relax and have some fun making some of these!

Friday, December 13, 2013

There is Magic in the Kingdom at Christmas

When posting about travel experiences, I strive to give you some idea of what these places are about and the things that can be seen and experienced there. Certainly, I cannot be called a world traveler and, in fact, many of you are probably much more experienced travelers than myself. Still, it is my sincere hope that when you visit here you will be able to step inside my little world and, perhaps, find something to enjoy in the places and things I feel so blessed to have experienced.

Between now and Christmas, I will be continuing a series of posts from our recent trip to Walt Disney World. In the spirit of the season, these will be comprised mostly of photos of the different places(not the two of us)around Walt Disney World parks and resorts. My goal is to convey how beautifully things are decorated for the holidays.

This post is about how things were and still are looking along Main Street and at Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.  I begin with pictures when we arrived there late in the afternoon, not long before dark. This is the view of the front entrance of The Magic Kingdom upon exiting the ramp leading from Disney's Monorail system, where we "Let the Memories Begin!"
Outside the Main Entrance to The Magic Kingdom
We almost always stop at this point to take a picture, because there is always a magnificent floral display. The poinsettias forming Mickey Mouse's head are extraordinarily beautiful this year. The garland on the fence is awesome as well. If you look closely, you can see the Walt Disney World Railroad train is passing in front of the building.

This is what we see immediately after passing through Walt Disney World Railroad's Main Street Station and entering into the park before heading up Main Street. The entire Town Square is covered with these wonderful and bigger than life toy soldiers, canes and more gorgeous poinsettias!

Walt Disney World's Town Square at Christmas
We have a view of the Main Street Confectionery before rounding the corner to the left and heading up Main Street. Some wonderful things for the sweet tooth are always being created at this place. We inhale the aroma of those sweet concoctions as we pass the Confectionery. Here there is more of that lush garland and those wonderful red flowers.
Main Street Confectionery
Rounding the corner, we head up Main Street U.S.A. to experience more  Disney magic. We notice the beautiful lamp posts, on which wreaths in the form of Mickey Mouse heads are hung. They are covered in greenery, fruits and poinsettias.
I have an honest to goodness  love thing for lamp posts and light fixtures and chandeliers, both inside and outside of buildings. They are all, to me, endlessly fascinating. It is evident that a great deal of research, thought and planning have gone into many aspecst of design in the most renowned places in the world. I have come to realize that lighting is an integral design element and is one of the tangible things that make certain places so memorable and special for those of us who behold them. 

We begin our walk up Main Street here:
Beginning the Walk up Main Street U.S.A.
It is here that we look up and see the gigantic swags of garland and fruit with wreaths in the middle. These are draped from one side of the street to the other, all the way up Main Street. Cinderella's Castle is gorgeous  in the background.
Swags and Wreaths Across Main Street at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
After walking around the different sections of The Magic Kingdom and riding some rides, we head back up toward the entrance of the park. Darkness has now fallen and the nighttime magic begins! Here we begin to approach the castle from the back. This year it appears to be virtually covered in ice and is constantly changing colors. The colors range from the pink in this photo:
Cinderella's Castle-Christmas at Walt Disney World
To a sort of purple/blue in this photo:
Here the castle turns to a darker blue hue:
And then to this, a lovely sea-foam green:
This shot is taken while standing on the landing between the steps leading up to the castle. It is truly mesmerizing to watch all the different stages. It is like standing in the middle of a dreamy winter wonderland. 
Not really wanting to leave, but fearing we would get stuck in a rush of people leaving, after admiring the castle for a long time (my husband practically dragging me away), we head back toward Main Street. We stop along the way to get a shot of the buildings, from a distance, at night. A sight to behold!
It looks much more colorful in person, but the swags and wreaths can be seen above and are so pretty. Hopefully, this conveys what the lights and decorations look like at night on Main Street:

 Another picture of Main Street after dark:

Here is a close shot of one of those Mickey Mouse wreaths hanging on the light post after nightfall:

Mickey Mouse Wreath Hung on Lamp Post on Main Street in Disney World's Magic Kingdom
I certainly hope you enjoyed taking this little stroll with me and seeing the decorations and lights for Christmas on Main Street and at Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom this holiday season.

Wishing you the very best Christmas ever!