Friday, October 15, 2010

A Trip To Remember

So I know it has taken me a while to write this...and that's only because the BOGP Treehouse Event/Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend (otherwise known to many in the Disney community as Epic October) was just so AMAZING that I've had such a hard time putting into words just how truly incredible my trip was. 

The weekend went by in such a blur.  I literally walked around some days purely by the magic in the air!  (God knows it wasn't because of the amount of sleep I was getting!  That was certainly in short supply!)  It was a vacation that I truly never will forget (which I know I say a lot about these trips like this...but honestly, it's true!) as it was a vacation that was surrounded by friends.

As I have previously written about, going to Disney to partake in meets, while at first, is a great deal scary, when all is said and done, once the trip is over it is a very rewarding experience.  You leave with new friends that you can't wait til you can see them again and you get to reconnect with "family" whom you haven't seen in a while.  Honestly, weekends like these, are, in a nutshell, a BLAST!!!

Even for someone like me who was "alone" this trip, no husband, no mom, no one but me, I never truly felt alone.  I was always surrounded by friends in the end.

As for this weekend, there are so many things to talk about!!!  So where shall I start...I guess the beginning is a good place.  :)

So, we should start with the big kick off of the big party weekend and at the was the BOGP Treehouse Meet!  Honestly...this is one of those moments where I am still humbled.  I know I said this trip was hard to put into words....but truthfully...this event right here is the hardest to put in words.  Over 70 people showed up to meet the 4 of us and get to know other friends who listen to the show!  70 people in a Treehouse...that is a LOT!!!  I am so honored that everyone (and I do mean everyone, we had Len from WDW Today and The Unofficial Guide, Mom's Panelists, well known bloggers, and of course, just Disney fanatics in general) all decided to come to our happy Treehouse.  I actually think someone asked security at one point where the Be Our Guest Podcast Treehouse was and they knew exactly what this person was talking about!  We had people from at least 4 different countries all in one place!  Truly, truly incredible!

We also recorded a live show...though I hate the fact that we couldn't talk to the listeners as much as we wanted.  Definitely gonna work on that for next time.

We had an amazing set up as well!  Pam did awesome with the decorations!  And Jay...Mr. S'chmoe!  He was our Smore man...and boy...did he deliver!  They were incredible.  (I'm so craving smores right now!)  If I had only done this event the whole weekend would have been fulfilled.  But guess what?  There was more!!  Much more!

We also did a meet with YeHaa Bob over at Port Orleans Riverside.  If you have never seen Bob's NEED to get over there!  It is seriously like nothing else on Disney property!  He sings, he plays an incredible piano, he hoots and hollers...he is just a ball of energy!  And he gets the crowd into it.  And with a group as big as us (we took up almost the whole back half of the bar), he was bound to make us do some silly things.  For example, he constantly called us on stage to help in his number...had Pam help him with a special song...and had Mike leading some weird conga line! 

But guess what...I'm not done...the weekend is still getting started...we have only just finished up with Day 1's events!  The next day was Saturday and after staying out kinda late the night before, I was cursing myself having to wake up at 5am.  Why are these races so ungodly early?!

Grudgingly I got up...because I needed to cheer on the 5K runners.  And there were a lot of you who were a part of the BOGP Family!  So, the BOGP chEARios were out in full force and we were so proud of all those running and so happy we could help motivate people to keep going to the finish.  It was so much fun being a spectator for this race, though, I really would have liked to have had real spots to cheer from, not ones we made for ourselves in the grass.  (Stupid red ants and getting bit on the foot!)

But this day as only just getting started as this day was a day in which, minus a small nap, I was up for almost 24 hours!

So after cat napping, we had the Attention to Detail Scavenger Hunt!  And OMG...this thing was a BLAST!!!!  Team EO (my team) had so much fun running all around the MK resorts looking for the little details that make up Walt Disney World.  (It may have also been fun "interfering" and ribbing the other teams a little bit).  After getting back first...and reading the "secret" clues written on the back...we were sure that we were going to win the race.  Unfortunately...a horse at the Grand Floridian had us loosing the crown (we took a picture of the right style horse...he was just facing the wrong direction).  Still, despite loosing by such a close margin...I can't wait to do the event again next year! 

From there, we had a quick bite over at Beaches and Cream, then headed to the Wine and Dine After Party.  This was like a roller coaster of an event.  It started kinda low.  For some reason, the tickets weren't working when we tried to get in the gates, so they had to check everyone in manually.  Then the night went up a bit.  It was great getting to visit the Food and Wine booths with very little wait.  Crowds were light-ish and the thought was, this is a great set up.

How wrong that thought would later be...because once those runners started pouring in (and I do literally mean pouring 1 am, they were EVERYWHERE!   It was difficult to move!)...things took a turn for the worse.  The runners, whom I'm told were forced to stand for at least 30 minutes to wait for bags after their run...started dropping like flies.  I literally had to catch one who fainted.

The lines for the food got to be atrocious at this point too.  I was standing 30 deep, just to get some milk chocolate creme brulee.  

I talk more about this after party on this week's episode of the podcast, (Episode 272 - Food & Wine Weekend Wrap-up) but this event turned into utter chaos quicker than you can say Wine and Dine!

Sunday, the last day of festivities saw me going to one of my favorite things Disney does...Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party!  I had the time of my life!  We had a group ride at Pirates (where we seriously capsized a boat!  I got SOAKED!), went trick or treating, saw Hallowishes, had a costume contest (which was SO super hard to judge!), and got to see one the best parades on Disney property, the Boo To You Parade!  (Candy, Trick or Treat, Candy....).  Oh...and of course we rode the Haunted Mansion!  You have to during these parties!  Some of my favorite moments of this evening is spending time with good friends just having a ball doing attractions and getting together for meets.  This was one of my favorite things from the whole weekend!

Alas, Monday came and it was time to go home...but needless to say, after burning the candles at both ends, I was ready for another vacation as soon as I got home!  I think I'm just now catching up on all the sleep I lost!

Of course, as I said, it's hard to put everything that happened down on "paper".  It would take entirely too long!  Other memorable parts of the weekend were me being so exhausted I took a nap at the Poly on my arrival day, setting up the equipment and getting the Treehouse ready for guests on Thursday with the gang, dinner at Kona, getting a preview of the Food and Wine Festival (which I learned I loved the Fisherman's Stew from Ireland and the Milk Chocolate Creme Brulee from France.  The Beef Tenderloin from South Africa wasn't bad either) going to The Disney Food Blog's meet and getting to talk with a bunch of great Disney folks, trying Via Napoli for the first time (it's forget your husband's name good!) and sitting around at the Beach Club on the beach waiting for the Wine and Dine After Party to open.  Plus somehow a joke about dropping a Piranha got started and was repeated continuously throughout the rest of the trip....though please don't ask how...I'm sure though you can infer what it means.  (And if you can't, it rhymes with art).

So, I hope you can see, that meets like this are well worth coming for, because everyone is so great and it really is like traveling with old friends.

For those who want to see all the pictures, please, check out my Facebook page.  I have lots and lots of images there for your viewing pleasure!  And you too can see the first hand fun that was had this weekend.

And for those of you thinking...enough is enough...I've missed out on the fun for too is time...I'm ready to do a group meet, you can!  There is still some availability to join the Be Our Guest Podcast Family on our first cruise in June 2011 and of course, I have a strong feeling that the BOGP will be back, once again, next Food and Wine Marathon Weekend...we would love it if you would be there too!

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