Adult tag blanket

Many of you know that both my mother and father had Alzheimer’s before they passed away. Taking care of them weighed on me. I wanted so badly to be able to make their world better in any small way I could.

Now my friend’s brother has dementia and she too finds herself trying to come up with creative things that might put a smile on his face.

Almost all dementia patients I have known like to pick and touch things. One day my friend and I got talking about my grandson’s tag blanket and she decided to make one for her brother.

She decided that 9×9 worked because she could make a few of them out of a quarter yard of fabric. Then came the challenge of what it would look like. Her brother had been a fireman so she found fireman fleece fabric and went from there.

Larry 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She then put the ribbons around the edge. I love that she used mustache ribbon to try to make it look a bit more like an adults.

 

Larry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the other side she used a plan Minky fabric and then put his name and room number on it. While she had everything out, she made a few of them because things seem to get lost when you are dealing with a nursing home.

He loves it! The size worked out perfect because he can just slip it in his pocket and pull it out when he wants it.

Do you have any other ideas to help brighten up a dementia patient’s day?

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When old Bible verses Become new

Isn’t it funny how you can hear the same verses over and over again and then one day you hear them totally different. The pastor recently read 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. If you have spent any time in church you have heard these verses. Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy.It is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hope, always perseveres. Like most people, I have always related these verses to my spouse and the love we are suppose to share. But this Sunday was different. This Sunday, I read John 15:9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you”. The son saw the love that the father had and learned what love should look like. John 15:12 says “My command is this….love each other as I have loved you..” Love as I have loved you. Again a learning by example lesson. It was as if God was speaking to me directly. Don’t fret about who your daughters will fall in love with, their future is in my hands. You are just suppose to show them what love looks like. If I do that, then when some guy comes along and proclaims his love for them they will know if it is real. If you spend your whole life eating real potatoes you can tell when someone tries to sneak in the box stuff. It may seem real to some, but someone that has had real potatoes everyday of their life will know the difference. I want my children and grandchildren to know that I keep no record of wrong, I want to be slow to anger, I want them to see me as a kind and patient person,one that is never self seeking. Oh may my children see me showing love to their father and I know my kids know I love them, but am I showing them the kind of love that God wants them to see? But beyond that ….are my children truly seeing me love my neighbor? Wow…I have some work to do, how about you?

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Making a Study

Ever have one of those projects that just seem to last forever? Our study is that one for us. We knew when we built the house that we wanted a wall of shelves in there, but what that would look like has been a process.

At first I thought I wanted a Murphy bed in there. This would provide a sleeping place but not take up any floor space.

The problem I have is that I need more storage space, and even though a murphy bed frees up floor space, it would take a lot of my storage space. After years of tucking my craft/sewing stuff everywhere, I wanted a place for it all. Yet I had to have a bed in there. I decided to buy a daybed on Craigslist.

my study

It was such the right choice. This gives me a place to snuggle up and read a book with my grandkids which I would have never pulled out the murphy bed for.

We decided to use some used kitchen cabinets that we had bought off of Craigslist for my storage needs.

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While I liked the idea of them, I did not want them looking like kitchen cabinets. Mr. Amazing’s solution was to cut the top drawers off. I love it!

It lowers the cabinets just a bit, making them look more like custom built ins.

To help mask the kitchen cabinet look we went with a wood counter top painted white. I LOVE how it has all come together…and all the craft storage it provides. Inside the cabinets are pull out drawers making it easier for me to find all my stuff.

After many, many, hours and days, Mr. Amazing did a wonderful job making a huge focal point in the study while providing so much space….and I’m sure increasing the value of our home.built ins

 

I love that I now have room to display so many things that bring happy memories to me. Like the tool my mom use to use to hem everyone’s dresses. Anyone else remember these?

memories

When we built the house, I knew that I wanted to do more with this room than what was possible. On top of a guest room…study…and craft space, it needed to function as a place for the grandkids to play too. What a better way to do that than to provide a secret door.

toyroom

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I haven’t really decorated the toy space yet but I am open to suggestions.

Let me take you on a tour of my study…

doors I love having the glass doors. Yes I need to keep the room a bit cleaner this way, but I do feel like I can go in there and close them and yet still see what is happening in the other part of the house. Some day this room might have a TV so I wanted to be able to monitor the room in case my daughter had a boy over. You to can make glass doors if you like. Our builder just cut out the middle panels of regular doors and installed glass.

In this picture you can see most of the furniture in the room.daybed I bought the desk on Craigslist and it didn’t even need painting. I love the open feel it gives the room and putting it right under the window makes it a perfect place for me to put my sewing machine and work on a project.desk

The dresser was actually my dresser when I was in college. The daybed was another craigslist find that has had a ton of use since we got it. I love having this spot to lay down and read and watch the Florida afternoon rains roll in.

So I guess the moral to this post is….When decorating, decide ahead of time how you want the room to function and remember you don’t have to spend a ton of money to get what you want.

 

 


 

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Choosing Cloth Diapers

I asked my daughter to write todays post. She has decided to cloth diaper her children. Having my children during the 80′s, this idea seemed so middle ages to me. Now that I have seen her do it, it’s really not that hard so I thought some of you might like to learn about it.

My mom asked me to do a post on cloth diapers.  I have a 2 year old boy, and I just had another boy on March 28th.  Just a few months ago, my husband and I decided to start cloth diapering.  My husband is active duty military and I am a stay at home mom, so money is tight.  The fact that cloth diapering is so much cheaper was one of our main incentives in making that change.  Two kids in diapers was going to be very expensive.  Also, my 2 year old has very sensitive skin.  We tried every type of disposable diaper at the store, and they all caused rashes or sores on him.  The first few days that we put a cloth diaper on him, he would wiggle his butt on the diaper and say “Ahhhhh”.

The part that made cloth diapering actually happen for us was that we had a local cloth diaper store that is amazing.  They have a monthly class called “Cloth Diapering 101″ and they teach parents about all the types of cloth diapers.  It made cloth diapering seem so much easier than what I thought it was going to be.  When I thought cloth diapers, I thought of the rectangle diaper folded up all kinds of ways and pinned on.  However, there are many different types of cloth diapers now.  People still use flats and prefolds and do that for diapers, but I don’t so I won’t talk about those ways because I really know nothing about it.  I use pocket diapers, all in 2 (or hybrid) diapers and all in one diapers.

First, pocket diapers.

pocket diaper

 

Pocket diapers are the cheapest of the three options I use.  I normally get them in the $10 or less range.  I really like the brand Kawaii and they are pretty cheap.  I also use Easy Care Diapers which is a brand new line that my local store, Bumbledoo, just started carrying.  There are also co-ops on Facebook that I have bought pocket diapers through.  They order diapers from China in large amounts, which causes cheaper prices.  The quality isn’t as good on those, but they still work.  Pocket diapers have to be stuffed.  The stuffing is why some people don’t like them, my husband struggles with stuffing them because his hand is larger than mine.  The good part of stuffing is that you can customize the absorbency.  I use one microfiber insert during the day and two at night.  You can also make your own inserts or even use kitchen towels for inserts in them.

All in twos/Hybrids are some of my husband’s favorites.

all in 2

They are often called AI2.  AI2′s have an outer shell and an insert that snaps inside of it.  I only have “Grovia” ones of this type.  The nice part of AI2 is that you can use the outer shell through multiple diaper changes and just change out the insert.  They are nice when out running errands because it is less to keep in the diaper bag and less to take care of later.  They are more expensive, the Grovia ones I have cost me about $15 for each shell and $12 for 2 inserts.  You can also get disposable inserts for them, which could be nice for trips.

The last type is “All in Ones.”

all in one

All in One’s are the most like disposables.  All you have to do is snap the diaper onto the child.  There is no stuffing, no snapping inserts in, none of that.  My experience is that the absorbency is not as good on these.  I have to pay more attention to how much my son drinks and change the diaper more often with these diapers.  They are the best ones to have for babysitters.  We keep an All in One in our diaper bag for the nursery ladies at church.  They are definitely the most expensive diapers.

The next part of cloth diapering is what to do with them once they have been used.  We have a small wet bag that we keep in our diaper bag.  It is just a small zippered bag that we throw dirty diapers in when we change a diaper out in public.  Once we get home, we take dirty diapers to the bathroom where we have a diaper sprayer attached to our toilet.  The diaper sprayer pretty much looks like a kitchen sink sprayer.  My husband actually made ours with supplies from Lowe’s.  The poop sprays right off of the diaper into the toilet.  After we spray them off, we use a product called BioKleen Bac-out.  It is a cloth diapering safe cleaning product that takes out stains and smells.  It can also be used on things like carpet for pretty much any stain.  Once the diaper has been sprayed off, we throw it into a large wet bag that we have hanging on the back of our bathroom door.  We then wash our diapers every other day or every 3 days.  We hang dry our diapers, it is good to hang dry them outside every so often so that the sun can bleach them.

The amount of money spent on cloth diapers depends on what type is used.  We have spent less than $300 on our cloth diaper stash.  Our diapers are all called One Size.  The diapers are able to fit babies from around 10 pounds until 35 pounds.  The $300 stash will be able to last us through both children.  Cloth diapers also have a large used market.  We decided we didn’t want to buy used diapers, my husband wasn’t comfortable with it.  However, many people buy used diapers and once we are done using our diapers, any that are still in good condition we will be able to sell.

I have only been cloth diapering for a few months. I am in no way an expert.  However, I knew absolutely nothing about cloth diapering when my first son was born and I’m sure there are a lot of people like me that don’t even know about the option.  I am just trying to get people to see what cloth diapering today is like.  Cloth diapering is saving us so much, and we are helping the environment.  Also, a word of warning, cloth diapering is addictive!  The different colors and prints are so cute.

Do or did you cloth diaper?  I’d love to hear your tips.

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My Prayer Book

I thought I would share with you the creative gift my daughters got me for mothers day.

Prayer book

Inside they traced everyones hands.

hands

boys hands

They even included my husband’s and their husbands’.  All those hands. Hands that were put here on this earth to do the work of the Lord. Hands that will be tempted over and over again. Hands that will reach out in love. Hands that will get tired. Hands that will hurt.

These are hands that are counting on my prayers.

My plan is to pray scripture over each of these hands. I will write the scripture on their page. Maybe on days when they are are feeling weak they will think about their Amma’s prayer book and remember that I am praying for them.

I love my Prayer Book!

 

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Mothers Day Ponderings

If you follow me on facebook you probably know that my best friend and I decided to celebrate ourselves this Mother’s Day. It didn’t start off that way. Both of our birthdays are in Feb and for years we have been trying to get away together. Between taking care of parents and babysitting grandchildren, we have found little time to do this for a very long time.

This year, since our children have children, we decided to take the stress off our children and just celebrate ourselves. We picked a resort a couple of hours away that had a lazy river and took off.

Our days and nights were full of laughter…lots of laughter.

Photo: Practicing our selfie skills...think I need longer arms. ..lol

May I suggest that if you don’t have a friend you can laugh until it hurts with then you need to get one. Call me, I am available for a good lunch laugh most days.

I really tried to stay away from the computer and phone as much as possible. It’s amazing how we really can get along without those things for long periods of time if we  try…lol

Of course as soon as I did check my Facebook, I had to stop and read everyones mothers day posts….and of course that got my brain going. Without a computer near by I just started to write…oh how I have missed writing with paper.

Here are my Mother’s Day ponderings….

As I reflect on Mother’s day my mind is flooded with thoughts.

Thoughts of a mother missed.

Thought of my mothering short comings.

Facebook was flooded on Mothers Day with people all claiming to have the best mom.

How could they all have the best ?

Because God choose each mother for each child. He gave each of us just what He knew we were going to need to grow us into the person He needed us to be.

Maybe you are thinking, my mom wasn’t the best. Trust me, she was the mother you needed. Each of her short comings grew you into who you are today.

So for all you moms out there. Stop trying to compare yourself to other moms. Just do the best you can do and let God do the rest.

 

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Mothers Day, a sad day?

When I was a young girl, Mothers Day meant getting dressed up for church and watching mom put on her corsage. The corsages were always so beautiful on all the ladies. Then one year mom’s corsage changed. From now on it would be white to represent that her mother had passed away. This day can be sad.

That was the first time I ever realized that Mothers Day could be a sad time.  The years ahead were times of babies and busy times….yet I knew people that were struggling to get pregnant, or experiencing miscarriages. This day can be sad.

My children became teens…. mothers around me were struggling with their children making wrong choices, and yet they continued to pray for their children…This day can be sad.

Many times, during church they will ask the mom with the most children with them in church to stand up… many mom’s hearts cry, they want their children there but they have walked away from the faith …at this time. The common verse for Mothers Day is…Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. How many moms have spent mothers day praying…”when is old God? Please here my prayers and bring my child to you.” This day can be sad.

Now I have friends that have lost their child to death. Mothers Day reminds them of cute cards that are no longer given to them. Of a phone that won’t ring. This day can be sad.

For years I stopped going to church on Mothers Day. It was just too hard on me. Satan was yelling too loud in my head telling me I was a failure. The truth is even though I went to church the rest of the year, I really didn’t think the time would come when I would sit in church on Mothers day again.

Then came last year. God had performed miracles in my family that I am ashamed to say really didn’t have enough faith to believe would ever happen.

There we were…all my children and grandchildren in church together. I looked up and down the pew and was overwhelmed with a grateful heart for all that God had done. Then my son in law gets up to go feed the baby….my husband leaves with my one grandson that was getting antzie… I was still  taking it all in when I see my daughter jump up with her son throwing up all over her. Her sister jumps up to help her…soon my other daughter gets up to see where her dad had taken her son.

Soon I look down the empty pew with just me and my daughter’s boyfriend and smiled. I knew in that moment  that God was reminding me to remember to thank him in life’s moments because they may be gone in the blink of an eye. No longer look back…don’t worry about the future because you just can’t see what is coming. Praise God for each moment he gives you.

So this year I am going to try to make sure I am reaching out in love to other women.

I contacted a local Pregnancy crises center and asked if I could buy some of their new moms manicures. They were thrilled with the idea. I then reached out to my amazing facebook friends and asked them to donate one manicure. I am so excited!

I found some craft paper at Goodwill and spent the day making cards as my friends one by one jumped on board with me.

If you are feeling blessed this Mothers Day reach out to someone…because this day can be really sad.

Mothers, Daughters, Women in general…this day is really about all of them. May I take what I have learned over the years on Mothers Day to help me remember to reach out in love to all women on this day.

 

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Disney Magic Part 3

Since I have lived in Florida longer than Disney World has, I have been there many times over the years. I have seen this place grow and grow. It is an amazing place, but it is very important to understand this before you go….YOU WILL NOT SEE EVERYTHING! Unless you are planning to stay a month..There is no way possible to see it all.

If you follow me regularly, then you know that we just got back from an amazing Disney experience with my daughter’s family. If you have missed my other blog posts, go back and read them. There are some useful tips on making your Disney trip a happy one.

It is also very important to remember that children three and younger are free. This is why our grandchildren’s first Disney trip was planned one month before the oldest one turned 3. I am not a big supporter of taking babies to the park. They can get over heated soooo fast! However, I will say that my 17 month old grand daughter loved it.

Our first question to everyone in our group is always…What do you want to do while you are there?

We got to the magic kingdom right as it opened. Toddlers are at their best in the morning, so we wanted to make sure we made the best of those hours.

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We had gotten a Fast Pass for Dumbo first thing since it was on my grandson’s to do list. My husband and daughter’s must do list included Space Mountain. That is when I had a great realization….most teens are still sleeping at nine in the morning! I rushed them off to Space mountain as we did Dumbo. SCORE! The total wait including the walk thru the building, without a Fast Pass….10 minutes! Now if you have ever waited for over an hour in the Florida sun for this ride, you understand the feeling of starting the day off right with this one.

Dumbo has now moved to a shadier spot and they now have two Dumbo rides. We did our Fast Passes so that the parents could go once, and then grandpa got a turn with this guy.

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One of my most loved family traditions is the carousel.

Here is a picture of my daughter on it years ago…

callie horse

Being able to ride it with her son was one of my happiest memories of the day .

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Here are some of my Magic Kingdom tips..

1. Slow down and try to see the park from your child’s eye. They don’t care about what line to get in next. They want to show you something.

2. Set a timer for water breaks and diaper changes. It is easy to forget how much time has went by.

3 Re-apply sunscreen throughout the day…you will be glad you did.

4.Fast Passes are sooooo worth it!

5. Have to go from one side of the park to the other? Take the train…what a wonderful relaxing way to do it.

Photo: They loved the train.

6.Eat early. We started to think about lunch about 11:00. It was great because we got in before the crowds, and before anyone was overly hungry.

7. Get a spot for the parade early, so you can find a shady spot on the curb…..we take this wait time to eat ice cream and go shopping in rotation so you don’t lose your spot.

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8. Take lots of pictures….I love this one.

 

 

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Disney Magic – Part Two

It is so different going to Disney World as a grandparent…It is wonderful! Don’t get me wrong, I have wonderful memories of taking my children to Disney.

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But somehow this is sooooo much better!

 

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One of the great things is…..it’s not our problem! My daughter and son in law had to think about all the stuff to pack, we just threw in a few things and went. The same went with planning. My daughter did all of the research and planning, and I have to tell you , she did a great job.

She decided that we would go to Animal Kingdom the first day. Her thinking was that she wanted to go light the first day. Kind of get the kids use to the crowds and the idea of standing in line. I can’t tell you for sure if that is why both days worked so well for us, but they couldn’t have been better.

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If you haven’t been to Disney in a while, you may not know about their newer systems. If you create an online account with Disney ahead of time and make travel plans, they will send you “Magic Bands” in the mail. Each one comes in your favorite color choice with your name on it. Knowing what I know now I would have made them all the same color so you wouldn’t have a problem with kids that are upset about wanting someone else’s color. We didn’t have that problem, but I could see it happening with an older child.

I suggest you make your “Fast Pass” selections online as soon as you make your travel plans. We waited until a week before, and some of the time spots were already full. We were shocked!

The Fast Passes made for no more waiting…Well let’s say almost none, in Disney time. I think the longest wait over two days was under 40 minutes. To me that is amazing!

The first Animal Kingdom stop for us was the Safari ride. We had been told to do this in the morning because the animals are up and moving more then. It was wonderful! We had bright eyed toddlers the whole ride.

If I had to chose between parks I would pick Animal Kingdom for toddlers. They know what a giraffe is. My one year old grand daughter jumped for joy when she saw her first one. She could care less the next day that Mary Poppins was right in front of her. The overall experience was so much more low key.

We got to meet Mickey and Minnie at Animal Kingdom. We decided to use one of our Fast Passes for this, and it was great!

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Here are some “mom tips” for the trip.

1. Instead of a diaper bag, bring a backpack. It is so much easier to keep track of, and the one we used had lots of compartments making it easy to find what you wanted.

2 Put a change of clothes for each child in the back pack. My daughter packed a complete outfit and put it in a ziplock bag. Even if an accident doesn’t happen, sometimes just changing into fresh un-sweaty clothes can make all the difference to a child.

3. Bring some food for your child. My daughter made up some sandwiches for the kids. This made it easy for us to find some shade and feed them before going to the restaurant.

4. Set up a schedule…we didn’t do this, but I could see where it would be good to have an alarm on your phone for re applying sunscreen, changing diapers, and drinking water. It is so easy to lose track of time at Disney, and life runs so much smoother if you don’t forget these things.

5. Get started early. The parks get busier and busier as the day goes on. By the time the 3:00 parade was done, so were we….it was wonderful!

6. Find the changing station. Both the Animal Kingdom and the Magic Kingdom have them. It is the best kept secret in the parks.

They even had a little store to buy whatever you might have forgotten.

 

They had private nursing rooms, and a wonderful room to cool off in and take a time out to watch a movie.

It was just what this Amma needed.

7. My daughter was brilliant on this idea…She decided to gather all of the Disney things that they had around the house and bring them. He had his Buzz Lightyear drinking cup…

buzz

they had ears, pajamas, Mickey and Minnie dolls. They felt no need to get the I wants, because they were surrounded with it all. The best part is 99% of their stuff came from Goodwill.

 

There is nothing better than slowing down to see the world thru the eyes of a child

One final tip….When we got to the park first thing in the morning, the line was already long for customer service. My daughter wanted to go and get the kids the buttons that you get for free if it’s your first time at Disney. We decided to wait until we were leaving and that was a great call. We walked right up to the counter and got them.

button

A few good choices and you can actually leave Disney with a smile on your face.

 

 

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The Disney Magic

Mom and Dad DisneyWhen we were young parents we wanted to take our three young kids to Disney, but the thought of taking three kids under the age of eight seemed a bit overwhelming. In come my heroes…my parents.

 

Tabitha Parade

 

 

They came with us with no agenda but to be there for the little one so we could enjoy the older ones. It wasn’t until this weekend that I realized that their act of kindness might have been a bit more selfish than I had realized at the time.

We had the privilege to go the Disney this weekend with our daughter and her family.

I have so much to share with you about the experience that I am sure I will have to break it down into a few different posts.

1. We stayed in the Fort Wilderness cabins. The cabins aren’t cheap but it’s cheaper than two hotel rooms.

We gave my daughter and her family the bedroom, while Mr. Amazing and I did the murphy bed in the living room. Our teen used a blow up bed in the kitchen. This allowed the kids to go to bed and not be bothered. I can tell you that there is nothing better than being woke up by one of these little faces.

Photo: So excited!!!!

2. The cabins were great because we could bring food from home to save a bit of money and to give the kids a chance to run around in the morning before we headed off to the parks.

Photo: My Gracie girl󾌧

3. We have learned from past experience that you want to rent a golf cart. Make the reservations before hand. One year we came and there were none available. I think we could have done nothing but the golf cart rides with the grandkids and they would have been happy.

Photo: Look at that smile on grandpa

4. The grandkids loved the campfire and sing along. They weren’t so sure about meeting Chip and Dale, but it was a good practice run for the days to come.

5. We enjoyed the fireworks from the beach at Fort Wilderness, but my daughter and son in law jumped on one for the boats and watched the fireworks from the observation deck of the Contemporary Hotel. Now my daughter has seen a lot of fireworks from all over the Disney grounds, but she said this was the most wonderful… it may have a bit to do with  it being the first time seeing them with her husband .

Photo: I highly recommend watching the fireworks from the 4th Floor balcony at the Contemporary.

6. There are two general stores in the camp grounds so don’t worry about trying to remember to pack everything. One thing I always forget to pack is a tablecloth, yes a dollar store tablecloth at Disney is about $15.00 but at least they have it.

7. What I love most about staying at the camp ground is ….we don’t have to use our car all weekend. Between the golf cart…buses…and boats you can get anywhere you want to go on the Disney property.

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There is nothing like a long day at the Magic Kingdom that ends with a boat ride home.

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