Wishes And Pixie Dust

Follow the journey of a Wisconsin family of 4 who relocated to the Walt Disney World area in July 2011

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Arrival Day!

Facebook status one year ago :  “Today we get to Florida. I got to remember I’m not dreaming.”. –Ben just said this morning.  What a perfect way to start our post for our final day of travelling!

9:57 A.M.    Woo hop! @ Georgia/Florida State Line I-75

10:17 A.M.   I’m at Florida Welcome Center in Jennings, FL

12:34 P.M.  I’m at I75 & Turnpike Interchange in Oxford, FL

12:44 P.M.   Driving down the Florida Turnpike singing songs from The Princess & The Frog soundtrack-life doesn’t get any better than this!

12:47 PM     pure joy!

(This was in response from an earlier tweet we received:

9:59 A.M.     so, did it feel amazing driving across that state line!!??)

12:49 P.M.    I’m at Okahumpka Service Plaza in FL

12:51 P.M.    Ben: palm trees make me happy

12:53 P.M.   Just entered Lake County! Woo hoo!

1:03 P.M.     13 min !

1:06 P.M.     The excitement level in this car is AWESOME!!!!!!!

1:11 P.M.      We see Citrus Tower!

Waiting in the lobby as we take care of the paperwork for our apartment:

3:57 P.M.      I’m at Golden Corral in Clermont, FL

4:01 P.M.      Our apartment is absolutely amazing. Will put a blog up tonight with pictures. Eating a late lunch/early dinner and then off to shop.

4:38 P.M.      I’m at Target Supercenter in Clermont, FL

It was absolutely amazing to have gone through this journey from Wisconsin to Florida!  If you were to ask us:  was it worth it?  We would unequivocally answer YES!, if only for the experience.  We’ll elaborate further in a separate post, but we will say that if you have a dream, don’t be afraid to pursue it.   It is better to have attempted and succeeded/failed, then to be filled with a life of regrets and “what ifs”.

Happy Dreaming!

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Tennessee and Georgia

Here are the tweets from our third day of travelling.   They are essentially location-based tweets; we were very tired of riding in the car by the end of this day and really looking forward to arriving in Florida the following day.

10:11 A.M.     I’m at Kentucky/Tennessee State Line I-65 in Portland, TN

11:24 A.M.     I’m at Rite-Aid in Murfreesboro, TN  (Searching for postcards)

1:37 P.M.      I’m at Wendy’s in Chattanooga, TN

1:39 P.M.      Trying to find postcards in TN and not being very successful LOL

2:41 P.M.      I’m at Tennessee/Georgia State Line I-75 in East Ridge, TN

4:54 P.M.     I’m at Chevron in Smyrna, GA

6:02 P.M.     About half an hour to Macon GA. So tired of being in the car!

6:59 P.M.      I’m at Applebee’s in Macon, GA

9:59 P.M.      Will reach our hotel in 30 min. Been a long day of traveling.

10:50 P.M.    I’m at Days Inn in Lake Park, GA

10:58 P.M.    Finally made it to our hotel in GA. Only 2 hrs 48 min to go tomorrow morning.

Look for our arrival in Florida in tomorrow’s post, as well as two special posts from each of us celebrating our one year anniversary in the sunshine state!

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Approaching the End

Last week we received a call from our landlord, stating he was going to send us a checklist of things we need to complete if we want to receive our security deposit back.  He called this morning to check to see if we received it, and as of yet, we haven’t.  He then stated he would get it to us soon, but we’re not overly concerned with what’s on it.  This will be the fifth time we’ve moved in thirteen years, and we know what needs to be done, and are working on completing it.  It’s exhausting to say the least, but we are thankful the end is in sight.

Today we pulled all items off Craigslist, except for the lawnmower, and will donate them to Goodwill.  The kids’ mattresses were picked up today, and the television armoire was also picked up today.  Yeah!   Our garbage can and recycle bin are overflowing, as we tried to dispose of as much as we possibly could, so as not to leave the cans full when we leave.  (Pick up is Wednesday morning)

Today was Ben’s last day with Ray* (*name changed to protect privacy).  Ray has been Ben’s therapist since Kindergarten, and he has really helped Ben to grow and mature, and understand his autism.  We have had several therapists come and go in our household, but Ray has always been there for Ben; he has been his steady rock in a world that seemed always changing and unfamiliar at times.  Ben knew that no matter what happened; Ray would always be there for him. Over the years Ray went from being a therapist to one of the family, and really provided that Grandfather presence that Ben lacks.  We are so appreciative of Ray’s devotion to our son; there is no way we could ever express how much it means to us.   And so today, we said good-bye to Ray; there were tears, but Ben handled it really well.  God bless you, Ray, for making a difference in the life of our child.  ♥



Planning For The Last Week



We went to Fleet Farm today to pick up a couple of items to get the house ready for the next set of renters, and as we pulled in to the parking lot, we saw this vehicle.  We immediately thought of Fillmore, from Cars:


                   “I’m tellin’ you, man, every third blink is slower”

We have yet to see Cars 2 in the theatre; we may take it in this week once everything slows down a little… but perhaps we’re misguided thinking things will slow down!  🙂 We’re finished packing in the kitchen except for a few last minute items.   An unexpected expense we hadn’t considered is the meals out we’ll be eating this week; plus the purchase of the disposable plates and bowls, which granted, isn’t a huge expense but it’s still one, nonetheless.  Wednesday we plan to eat at Tucker’s, a family and local favorite:

They have the absolute best popcorn, second only to Walt Disney World, of course.

Thursday we plan to eat at Pizza Ranch, one last time with Nick; he called it a last meal, but that just sounds so final, as we know we’ll be back to visit:

In our opinion they have the absolute best fried chicken that you can find.   The pizza is good, too, but definitely go for the chicken.

Friday, of course, is our departure date, and we plan to have our dinner in the hotel room. For road trips we always pack ham sandwiches from Festival Foods, and other assorted goodies for a picnic lunch; so we plan to do this again.  It’s tradition, and you don’t mess with tradition.  LOL

Right now our plan is to leave here by 3:15pm on Friday.  We anticipate that the movers will be done by noon, and our landlord comes at 3:00 to check us out.  We hope to be in Pleasant Prairie by 6:00, which will allow us to eat and perhaps check out the outlet mall as well.  We will have internet access all the way down, thanks to the hotspot activation on the cell phone, so we will be able to post blogs nightly and keep you updated.  We will also be posting updates using Twitter and Facebook along the way.

Enjoy your Sunday  ♥


To Dream Is To Believe

A common theme in our blog posts have referred to how brutal Wisconsin winters can be; we won’t revisit that topic, but reference it in the fact many Wisconsinites dream of moving to Florida, especially in the months November through March.  To us Florida is an exotic location, with sunny skies and palm trees, while we sit with piles of snow and sub-zero temperatures.  As we finalize our move, a recurrent comment we hear from people is: “I’m jealous”, mainly made in reference to not having to survive another winter.

It’s easy enough to observe us and feel like we have it made; to feel jealousy over the fact our winters in Florida will be spring weather in Wisconsin, and that we’ll never have to shovel again.  The truth is, we consciously made the decision to make this our reality, and we have worked hard to make it happen.  It has not been an easy road for any of us, but we feel the effort is well worth any sacrifices we have to make in the meantime.

One thousand, two hundred and eighty seven days ago we first dreamed the dream, of relocating to Florida close to Walt Disney World.  We write out that number in words because it really seems surreal right now that we are only ten days away from realizing our dream.  There were many moments of doubt that we experienced.  The first twelve to twenty months it was merely a dream that we talked about; something that would occur in the future but we had no idea when, and we did nothing towards making it a reality.  It seemed so far away in the future that it seemed pointless to expend energy at that point in time.  The basement boxes and just the accumulation of possessions that we owned really overwhelmed us as where to start, so we did nothing.  After our Disney trip in 2009, we were more enthusiastic than ever about moving to Florida and this is when we let the kids in on our dream, that someday we would move to Florida.

The dream first became real to us last summer, in June 2010, when we first set a date of September 2012 and started the blog.  Even though we now had a date, it still seemed like it would never happen; and we didn’t really believe it would happen.   How much difference a year makes!  Since that time we backed the date to September 2013, and then in January of this year, we decided to take the plunge and move this summer.  “Do you really think we can do it this summer?” is the question that propelled us forward.

We can’t say how many times we doubted ourselves, but it was a lot.  Over the past six months since we made the final decision, we haven’t doubted our choice, but there have been moments of fear:  fear of the unknown, fear that what we are doing is not in the best interests of our children, and fear that we will fail.

We are now ten days away from leaving Wisconsin.  We can honestly say that this is the best decision we could have made for our family; our kids are uber-excited about moving to Florida, and while we won’t be traveling with as much money as we’d like (thanks to car repairs); we are very thankful we were able to take care of the repairs now and not have them happen along the way.  We won’t be able to purchase as much furniture right away as we had previously planned, but we’ll make it work.  An empty, unfurnished apartment in Florida is way better than our current home in Wisconsin, and because it is an apartment our expenses will be less than if we rented a house: we won’t need to do lawn care, maintain a pool, or spray for bugs; and we will have access to a business lanai  (with wireless internet and printers) and fitness center, should be choose to utilize these amenities.

Thanks for following along~ we appreciate your comments and feedback!