Happy Anniversary

They lived happily ever after!

Happy Anniversary

Special thanks to my friend Sheila for taking this photo!

14 years ago today, my wife Cindy and I were saying our vows on our wedding day.  This is our story.

In June of 1999, we had a new employee start — her name was Cindy.  She worked in our Development department, and on her very first day I was given the opportunity to meet her because she was having a problem with her computer.  When I showed up to meet her, she said “I’ve tried this and this and this and this (listing all of the troubleshooting steps she had taken) and nothing worked, so I called you.”  I was impressed because most people don’t get past the first step!  I was able to fix her issue, and over the months we became friends.

Cindy has a background in payroll, but the job she had here was that of a Volunteer Coordinator.  She was really good at it, as she is at everything she attempts, but she just wasn’t satisfied with her position, and one day she told me that she was going to be leaving her job.  A going away party was organized, and I was invited at a local restaurant/arcade type place (kind of like a Dave & Busters).

Since I would be driving right by her house on my way to the party, I offered to pick her up and give her a ride to the restaurant.  I was politely declined because she was having dinner with her neighbor, who would also be at the party.  When her neighbor found out that I had offered, she made plans of her own (unbeknownst to any of us).  I’ll get to that in a moment.

Anyway, I get to the party with all of her other friends, and we are celebrating Cindy and the job she had done.  As the party progressed, her neighbor was talking with Cindy and I, and then she said “Cindy, Mike is going to give you a ride home from the party.”  Of course, this kind of surprised Cindy, but since we were friends, she agreed to it.  It seemed like very quickly after that, everyone cleared out, and Cindy and I were just sitting, talking, and drinking Diet Coke.  The next thing we knew, the bartender is calling last call!

As I was taking Cindy to her town home, we noticed a big light going on.  When I asked was it was, Cindy told me that our Museum of Natural Sciences had done a remodel of the museum, and the grand re-opening was going on, and they were open for 24 hours straight.  So, at 2AM, we decided to check out the museum.

All in all, it was a great time, and it was the start of a wonderful relationship, the most important relationship in my life.

Three months later I was taking Cindy to Florida to meet my grandparents, introducing her to Walt Disney World (we had a great time visiting the Magic Kingdom and Epcot on July 3 & 4, 2000 — and the crowds weren’t that bad at all!), and on August 11, 2000, at 4:20PM, we were saying our vows and getting married.

After all the trials, all the successes, after seeing our child Sophie born and raise her in a loving, Christian environment for her 13+ years, after all the laughs, the tears, the sorrow at losing loved ones, and the happiness at gaining new loved ones,  after all of that, 14 years later and counting, I think I can safely say that “They lived happily ever after.”

I love you, Cindy.  Happy Anniversary my friend, my love, my soul-mate.


Living with the Land

74 Days: Living with the Land

Living with the Land

Living with the Land – #Day74 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s #DisneyWorldCountdown post!  Today is #Day74, and for this day, we are taking a look at the boat ride underneath the Garden Grill Restaurant called Living with the Land.  Like many things at Epcot, this boat ride is both entertaining to ride — well, for me anyway — and also educational as well, as you get a chance to see how some of the vegetables and fruits are grown for consumption in some of the Walt Disney World restaurants.

The Living with the Land boat ride used to be narrated by a Cast Member — in fact, one of my best friends was the narrater during her stint in the Disney College Program back in the mid 1990s — but now, the boat ride is narrated with audio only via an intercom type system, not with a Cast Member.  Still, the ride is a good time for relaxation, and well worth your time — especially if you have a few minutes before your Garden Grill reservation or Soarin’ FastPass+ time.

What I like is how they talk about the different seasons, and to me, it almost feels like I’m put in the middle of the scenes from the Wizard of Oz, with the great old house, the plains, and all the rest.  I also think it is really neat that the Garden Grill Restaurant overtop us slowly spins and shows it’s patrons the same scenes that we see from the boat ride, with the exception of the horticulture scenes inside the big Greenhouse areas.

I don’t know about you, but I really enjoy Living with the Land.  Do you?  Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for stopping by as we explore Living with the Land!  In closing, have a look at this giant pumpkin!

Living with the Land

The giant pumpkin inside the greenhouse area of Living with the Land.