Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Trip Report Tuesday: Throwback Edition // OUR 20th ANNIVERSARY DAY!


Welcome to an extra special edition of TRT, friends!  Today I will be recapping one of the most special days I've spent on Disney property, the day that Jason and I celebrated two decades of marriage!  I am immensely thankful to God for the gift of marriage and grateful that He has enabled us to love, learn, grow, forgive, and become stronger through all the storms of life.  He's shown us grace and enabled us to extend grace to each other.  Through trials we have grown in our relationship with God and have seen our marriage strengthened, far more than would've been possible had life been all smooth sailing.  When we took those vows for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness or health, we had very little understanding what that would look like.  We've now walked through each of those types of challenges and by God's grace we have come out the other side rooted firmly in Christ, hand in hand, hearts united.  I have no doubt many hardships that we cannot yet imagine await in this life to come, but I don't fear those days as I know the man I'm married to and the God whom we both place our trust in.  My life is richer and fuller because of the man who gave me his last name now nearly 23 years ago.  He loves me well, and strives to honor God in all he does.  He is a man of integrity and honor which is rare and wonderful.  His strong shoulders and loving arms have comforted me.  He makes me laugh like no one else.  His company cheers me.  His personality delights me.  From our girls' first cries to growing into adulthood, he's parented our darling daughters with such love, care, and wisdom.  He's my very best friend for life, the one I want to tell anything and everything to at the first opportunity.  Falling asleep and waking each new day at his side is a gift.  To sum it up simply, life is sweet, because he is mine.  God is so very kind.


Thank you for allowing me a moment to gush over my guy and praise our good God for the blessing of marriage!  Now, care to see the way we celebrated?  


Day 6 - Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Our Twentieth Wedding Anniversary


With wide smiles and celebratory Disney buttons, we were ready to begin this beautiful day!




We started our 20th anniversary at the park that was also celebrating its own 20th, Animal Kingdom!


I spotted this "20" photo op early on in our trip, but we saved our PhotoPass pics for this special, perfectly appropriate day!





It's always fun hopping in the AP entrance line! :)

We headed straight to my favorite section of the park, Pandora!










Lunch at Flame Tree BBQ


Selfies with Mount Everest




Hmm... what looked better, my man or my favorite meal at Animal Kingdom?  Sorry Flame Tree BBQ, you don't stand a chance in this match! :D


In our opinion, the best tables for dining at Flame Tree are located waterside with a view!


His and hers Baked Macaroni & Cheese with Pulled Pork.  I get mine sans slaw.



We also shared a pulled pork fries with cheese - YUM!  


Christmastime cuteness!  I absolutely adore Disney Parks holiday cups! 




Apple Cider Donut Holes from Isle of Java for a sweet lit'l post-lunch treat.


If you look closely you may be able to spot a Donald hat on this dino in celebration of Donald's Dino-bash.



Time for a blast from the past at Dinosaur!


A peek at the deets in the queue...








Extra Photopass pics since it was an extra special day! . . .  









We couldn't leave without a pic in front of a "20" banner!

Back home sweet vacation home at the Jambo House of Animal Kingdom Lodge!


Here's a candid view as we relaxed in our room.  You'll notice our "vacation candy", peanut butter M&Ms.  (We only buy those to take on vacay, so they basically taste like vacation by the bite. :))  You may also notice a couple purple party plates.  I always bring disposable plates from home and like choosing ones for any holiday or occasion we'll be celebrating while there.  This trip I picked purple and silver as those were our wedding colors.  Lastly I spy a cute Christmastime rapid refill mug that's likely filled with one of my two Disney faves, Coke Zero or Cherry Coke.  Shoes kicked off as we enjoyed some R&R.  Just beyond our balcony you can see the long neck of a gorgeous giraffe beckoning us outside.  Of course we obliged. :)












Time to get ready for a wonderful night out celebrating!  I brought jewelry from my late Grandma Pat who loved celebrating and taught me to make the most of every sweet occasion life brings.  I'm such a sentimental girl and this little touch felt super special.  It's the little things. :)










If you've been around here a bit, you may remember that Hollywood Studios is my favorite WDW park for Christmas decor.  We didn't originally have any evening time planned there this trip, but Jason graciously granted my wish to see the park in all its evening glory on the night of our 20th wedding anniversary.  There was only a half an hour window of time when the lights would be on before we needed to head to our dinner reservation, but Jason made it happen!


Further proof that my man loves me, although he's not a fan of having pics taken he didn't turn me down once whenever I requested a PhotoPass pic.  He's a good one, that Mr. of mine! :)






Our time there that night may have been brief, but it was one of my favorite moments of the trip.  Just as we approached the lake the tree lights came on - so magical!  We enjoyed such a sweet stroll around the lake.  I soaked up the beauty of those gorgeous glowing ornaments and left with a thankful heart that even after two decades together this man of mine is still making my wishes come true!


















Good ol' Gertie was in the spirit too!



Pretty poodles after dark

Soon it was time to dash off to Disney's Contemporary Resort for our special celebratory dinner.  The night just kept getting better and better!










We chose California Grill at Disney's Contemporary Resort for our twentieth anniversary dinner.  This would be our first time enjoying a signature dining experience at Walt Disney World.  When you arrive at the Contemporary for a California Grill dining reservation you check in with a cast member and are then escorted on a special elevator dedicated to taking guests up to the 15th floor to the restaurant atop this deluxe resort.  From the start the tone is set that this is going to be a special experience.


We were escorted to a table that had been specially prepared for this occasion.  We found festive foil Mickey confetti scattered upon the linen tablecloth and a card wishing us a Happy Anniversary.








Our meal began as all good ones do, with warm bread.



Sourdough and dipping oil

We shared an appetizer of Braised Beef Short Rob Wontons.  They were delicious!


Jason went with an entree called Duck Two Ways.  The first course was served with tortillas on the side.  He really enjoyed the duck dish itself, but said if he had it again he'd skip using the tortillas as they only hid the flavor.








In keeping with my continual aim for transparency and honesty in sharing my thoughts on this blog, I will mention that the tables here were closer than I'd prefer.  Thankfully we were on the end so we didn't feel "closed in", but had I been seated one table over where the gentlemen a few feet from me was (seen in the lavender shirt in the bottom left corner, just to my right) I'm not sure I would've enjoyed it quite as much.  When splurging for a signature dining experience, being this close to the next couple isn't ideal in my opinion.  All that being said, it did not hinder our enjoyment of the meal or our time there celebrating.  I just thought it's worth noting in case someone reading this may consider a special meal there in the future too.  Just be aware that if you're dining as a couple or small group you'll likely have table within an arm's length of your own.


Jason's second course of duck was also much enjoyed.  My entree was incredible.  I'm having trouble finding exactly what it was called (the problem with sharing such a delayed trip report, the menu has long since changed).  It was a bison filet with gouda macaroni and cheese and was scrumptious!







That view.  Swoon!


The sight of Cinderella Castle and Space Mountain from our table was swoon-worthy too!


Time for sweets with my Sweet.




Naturally I went with the dessert with the most chocolate involved. ;)  Look at that warm chocolate sauce flowing from the middle.  Be still my heart!


Jason went with a perfect choice for his taste too, a pear crème brûlée!


A complimentary treat in celebration of our anniversary was also brought out with dessert, gourmet gumdrops.



A happy hubby on a very wonderful night!


We left the Contemporary fully satisfied and ready to continue this celebration one monorail stop away at Disney's Grand Floridian.  If you've read my previous trip reports you may remember that we visited their lobby earlier in our trip and learned that the gingerbread display would be officially opening on November 14th for it's 20th Anniversary too!  I requested that we visit on the evening of both our 20th and the 20th anniversary of the Grand's gingerbread display.  This visit was another gift to my heart. :)


Here is the view as you walk off the monorail and into the Grand.  We looked out at the band (which sadly Disney has since let go) and the gorgeous gingerbread house!






We relaxed and happily soaked up the sweet atmosphere.  It was bliss!












































We concluded our night at Magic Kingdom.  After all, that stunning, sparkling castle needed to be part of our special day too!







If you've ever had a good laugh in person with me you may know why I posed with this pic.  Haha!





We took a sweet evening stroll out of Magic Kingdom and back to our rental car parked at the Contemporary.  If you look at the top floor with those lovely lights you can see where we enjoyed our anniversary dinner.  What a night to remember!


Thank you so much for visiting today and allowing me the joy of sharing this milestone day of memories with you!

In Case You Missed It:

Direct Link to Previous Trip Report Tuesday Post - 

TRT // 20th Wedding Anniversary WDW Trip Day 1

TRT // 20th Wedding Anniversary WDW Trip Day 2

TRT // 20th Wedding Anniversary WDW Trip Day 3

TRT // 20th Wedding Anniversary WDW Trip Day 4

TRT // 20th Wedding Anniversary WDW Trip Day 5


Join me in the adventures to come!
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