My visit to the sunshine state is winding down. Tomorrow morning I’ll be winging my way back to Providence and home. It’s been a full and fun vacation filled with new experiences. But there’s still one more evening before I pack up and leave and I’ll be spending  it at Disney in the Epcot Park with my good friend Joe.

It was just about sunset when we reached Epcot. My old legs and feet were complaining but Joe promised I would not be disappointed.

Epcot is different from the other parks. It’s more adult or maybe sophisticated is what I’m looking for. It’s educational.

We admired the fountains and what I like to call the Epcot Golf Ball as the twilight deepened.

 We passed the Nemo exhibit which has a fun little ride where you learn about the sea.

My favorite Sea Gulls must have been motion activated because they set off a chorus of “Mine, Mine, Mine” whenever anyone passed by.

They even have a Manatee in a huge tank.

We went on a futuristic ride that was a gentle coaster through the millenia. You get to see the timeline of human advancement. It was a really good ride. In the beginning you enter some basic information about yourself into the console computer. At the end of the ride you see yourself on a huge map of the world based on the information you entered.

At Epcot you get to visit many different countries in the world. Each little section is created to replicate a small section of the country you are exploring. We were working our way to “France” for dinner because I wanted escargot.

The wait at the restaurant wasn’t too long. It was very loud inside. I kept asking our poor waiter to repeat himself. He thought it was his accent. I still say it was the noise level. But speaking of accent each waiter was really from France so their accents were authentic.  Their name tags not only gave their names but also where they were from in France.

The waiter recommended a nice Merlot wine. It was  very expensive even for a glass but we are in France are we not? So of course , mais oui, I will have a glass. It was exquisite! So smooth. It was like silk!

I got my escargot in a light garlic and white wine sauce for an appetizer and chicken for my main course. Everything was wonderful. We skipped dessert as Joe wanted to go to Germany for that.  We strolled along the lighted streets passing from one country to another. I think we finally stopped at the Swedish kiosk for hot chocolate and a pastry. I passed even though they looked wonderful.

By then it was about 8:30. The fireworks would begin around 9pm so we began to look for seats along the waterfront. Even with a slow week, any seats were going to fill in quickly.

Before the show started the lights were lowered on the streets and huge torches around the lake were lit.

The buildings were outlined in lights as well. This alone was beautiful. Then minutes before the fireworks started the torches went dark as well.

Bam! The first volley was off and for the next 30 minutes the lake surface and sky above it were filled with lights and flashes and smoke.

At the end of the show the park closed so everyone made their way back to the tram for the ride back to the parking lot. Seems so long ago we parked the car and entered another world.

We had one more stop to make. We’d been looking all week for a couple of gifts for my friend’s children and we hadn’t been able to locate them. We were going give it one more try at Downtown Disney. It would be our last chance.

We almost missed Buzz again but as we passed the display I somehow spotted the words “talks” on the box. Joe was ahead of me but returned when I called out that I thought I had one.  Now we just needed the Princess. Joe led me to rack after rack of Cinderellas, Snow Whites, Rapunzels and Ariels. It was almost overwhelming. I selected a Barbie Sized doll and crossed my fingers that it would be the right one.

We’d been in this store 3 times looking so I don’t know how we missed them before but we could now put Mission Accomplished to this search. A perfect end to a great vacation.

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