Awww yeah, another post in our series covering our November 2020 trip!

The initial plan here was to cram the last three days of the trip into one post but it turns out I am pretty verbose. I know. Surprising right?

Yeah, turned out when I finished writing about Day 9, I had written 7 pages in Calibri, size 11 font in Microsoft Word. Which is like, a lot.

So, I mean…bonus for you. Now you get another post. Get…I don’t know…excited?


On Day 9, we woke with heavy hearts knowing this would be our last time waking up in Walt Disney World. Which, yeah, was sad. But then we realized we still had three days of road-trippy, family funny, vacationy goodness left. So like, we were all…

We actually had kind of a super awesome day ahead of us. So we handled the whole “last day blues” thing pretty well, actually. I mean, I lashed out irrationally and whatever. But that’s pretty much par for the course.

We got all packed up and said goodbye to our amazing room at The Villas at Disney’s Grand Floridian.

And the lobby. We said goodbye to the lobby. Goodbye lobby.

While our ultimate destination was in a whole other state, we did have a pretty important stop to make on Myles’s college tour. Today’s college stop was Rollins College in Winter Park, FL.

About a half hour from Walt Disney World, this college was on Myles’s list because it was about a half hour from Walt Disney World. Yeah.

And since I joined Myles on his tour of Seton Hall in New Jersey on the way down, it was Nickie’s turn this time around. Which meant I got to have breakfast with Owen in Winter Park.

We originally were thinking of going to Briarpatch as we had heard really good things from our friends the Hills. You know, the Hills…

Gah, will you stop?

The Hills, as I know you know…are our friends Missy, Eric, and Livi that live down in Florida.

Anyways, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before – actually, I know I have mentioned this a lot before – Owen can be a bit picky. I personally think the menu at Briarpatch looks pretty amazeface. Owen, though, he gets scared of words like “torta” and “chimichurri” and “mushroom.”

So we ended up at a place called Croissant Gourmet.

I ended up getting some kind of croissant sandwich thing. I remember it having mixed greens and Dijon in it. It was pretty good. I ordered one for Nickie as well.

The croissant was nice and flaky and the cheese was yumtown.

Owen ordered a standard ham and cheese croissant. And he obviously liked it, because it was gone before I could snap a pic. I got Myles the same.

While we were in the restaurant placing our order, an older lady was sitting there and asked what we were doing in Winter Park. I told her we were there so my oldest could tour Rollins and she…erm…well…she didn’t give the place the glowingest of reviews. What did she give the glowingest of reviews?

The baguettes. At Croissant Gourmet. And unfortunately, Owen overheard this and being the carb king he is, asked if we could get one. I mean, who am I to refuse. Look at how happy this kid is to have bread.

The Hills were very disappointed in us for not going to Briarpatch so Missy insisted I HAD to get a coffee at Barnie’s.

She specifically told me I had to get a Santa’s White Christmas pour-over but when I said to the cashier I wanted a Santa’s White Christmas and he asked “pour-over or latte” I was weak. I have trouble not saying “latte” when its an option.

I also grabbed Nickie a decaf Santa’s White Christmas latte as well.

And yeah, this was a pretty tasty latte. Hints of vanilla, coconut, and caramel with a bit of nuttiness….it was yummy. Like, in my tummy.

Here it is. Doesn’t it look amazing?

We still had a little bit of time before the tour was over so we drove around a little bit checking out the town. And we came upon this mural of a famous Rollins alum…

Fred Rogers in the house!!

Owen and I also stopped into the College Bookstore to pick Myles up a t-shirt and then we met back up with Nickie and Myles. It seemed like Myles liked the school a lot and from what I could tell, it looked super nice and college-liked and what not. I wouldn’t know beyond that because NICKIE DIDN’T TAKE ANY PICTURES.

Ah well, back on the road. To pass the time in the today, we played some radio bingo on SiriusXM’s Holiday Channel. How it worked was we each took turns “drafting” Christmas songs for our team. We each got to pick 5 total songs and the object of the game was to be the first person to have all your songs played.

At around 1:15, we were somewhere in the middle of Georgia and we started getting a little hungry so we started checking out the exit signs, looking for something we all would eat. And guess what you guys? We found something.

Chik-fil-A in the house!

We did the whole drive-through thing, ordered up our chicken and were told to pull off and wait for our food to be delivered to our car. At first, I was like…pfft, what? But then I understood. They knew who they were dealing with…

They brought out our food a few moments later. And we were then left to figure out where to enjoy our tasty treats. This was a special meal. We didn’t wanna just eat it in the parking lot of the Chik-fil-A.


…We ate it in the parking lot of the gas station next door. Obviously.

I had myself a Spicy Deluxe, waffle fries, and a Diet Coke. And of course, some Chik-Fil-A sauce. I mean, of course. Have you actually gone to Chik-fil-A if you DIDN’T get Chik-fil-A sauce?

Was it good? Did you really just ask that?

And it turned out camping out in the gas station was the best decision. Because when I went in to use the bathroom and buy some gum? MORE TASTY TREATS!

Yeah buddy! Mickey bars FTW. I mean, I HAD to get them. Myles totally agreed.

And I don’t know, man. Sitting there in that parking lot. Having just finished some top-tier fast food and enjoying some Mickey bars in the hot Georgia sun with my three people, I felt pretty lucky. Sure, we were on the tail end of a really fun vacation but also – we were on the tail end of a really fun vacation. I don’t know. It was just one of those “count your blessings” kind of moments. I just remember feeling really happy right then and there. Awesome days behind us. Awesome days in front of us. But the present was feeling pretty good. And in a year where it sometimes felt hard to find the awesome, its important to stop and appreciate those little moments.

But soon enough, we were back in the car on our way to our home for the night. The rest of the trip lasted a little under 3 hours. We played that second round of radio bingo to pass a good chunk of this leg of the trip. And other than that, we talked, sang, laughed…all that. Can you tell I am in an “I really love my family” mood?

Oh, and Myles ended up winning this round of radio bingo. Which meant he got to pick tonight’s dinner. He said he’d put some thought to it. Which was ominous.

At around 4:15, we rolled into our final destination for the day – Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort!

You guys. We were sooooo excited to be here. We had never been here before but we loved our visit at Disney’s Vero Beach resort earlier in 2020 so much, we were pretty sure this was gonna be a pretty magical stay. And I mean, this topiary definitely made us pretty optimistic…

“Kinda greenery, aren’t ya?” – Thumper

As we were walking up to the lobby, we noticed the room of a guest we were hoping to run into this trip…


You see, Shadow is Disney Hilton Head’s resident golden retriever cast member. And eh, while were hoping to see Shadow on our visit this time around, we weren’t so lucky. Womp-a-domp.

Still though. We were in Hilton Head!

So it wasn’t all bad. I love how these non-park resorts have little touches of Disney here and there.

The resort is heavier on the whole South Carolina Lowcountry theme.

Whatever that means.

At least that’s what it says when I look it up. I honestly have no idea what that means. But I do really like the look of the place.

It’s very fishing-focused. And I kind of love this sign.

Especially since it really helps to tell the story of Big Murggie – the “biggest, meanest channel bass ever to cross man’s path.” As you can see in the sign, Big Murggie hasn’t been spotted since 1966 and while some fisherman have hooked Big Murggie but never landed the catch. And with every sighting of the fish, the legend of her size has grown. Visitors are welcome to try their hand at catching the great fish, but she’s expected to be the size of a house by now.

I dunno. Sounds pretty fishy to me.

We checked in and made it up to our room. Which was very cozy and comfy. And it came with an Owen. Kicking a basketball. For some reason.

The inside of the room was nice and all. But man, this balcony.

This was the view. Man.

We got settled and Nickie, Owen, and I wanted to make sure to get some pool time in before the sun went down. Myles wanted to chill in the room for a little bit, so the three of us got out suits on and headed out.

And man, this resort is pretty.

I mean, you know when you ask a Cast Member, “Where’s the pool?” and part of her directions include “go through the butterfly garden,” it’s a pretty magical place.

 And soon enough, we made it to the pool.

As you can see, it was super crowded.

We did some swimming and took way too many trips down that actually-much-faster-than-expected waterslide. Owen and I ended up timing each other to see who came down fastest. And I don’t know. I mean, Owen said he won like every time. But I don’t know you guys. I am pretty sure I weigh as much as like at least 3 or 4 Owens so…you know. Science and all that.

While we were swimming, Nickie grabbed me and her a beer at the Broad Creek Mercantile. And I mean, she obviously knows me very well.

And the awesome thing about buying beers at Disney’s Hilton Head Resort? They all come with a free Koozie!

We enjoyed our beers by the pool and hit the hot tub as the sun said goodbye.

The activities schedule said they were doing poolside Goofy Bingo at 6:30 so I went up to the Mercantile to grab a couple more beers before the game began.

Ugh, this place is so pretty.

For my beer this time, I went with a Lowcountry Lager. I figured, eh, why stop with the lager at this point?

At around 6:25, they started handing out our Bingo cards. SO fun

The Cast Member running the game was awesome as well. She had us perform different actions if, say, a princess was called. Or a villain. It made the game super fun. And hey, look who won!

Actually, Owen won a couple times. Me and Nickie? We won no times.

Between this, radio bingo, and those questionable water slide races, I was having a pretty bad showing on Day 9.

By this time, Myles informed us he had chosen his dinner for the night. He wanted to stay in, rent some DVDs, get some snacks, and order delivery. Specifically, he wanted to order up some Five Guys.

So he met us back in the Mercantile to pick out our DVDs and snacks.

For tonight’s entertainment, we chose a Christmas movie to start with (Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas) and a 90s classic to finish (Hercules).

And for snacks, Myles chose some character gummies, Owen got some sour balls, and we grabbed some cookies for Nickie. My plan, as usual, was to sample everyone else’s snacks.

While we were picking out our snacks and DVDs, Nickie ordered our food back at the room. I got a delicious bacon cheeseburger and fries. And I mean, more ketchup than any man will ever need.

While we ate, before we put our DVDs in, we set up the laptop so we could watch the last Sunday’s Last Week with John Oliver. Which, of course, was brilliance.

When we were done eating and John Olivering, we pulled out the sofabed, opened up the snacks, and put on Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas. Which everyone stayed awake for. This was followed by Hercules, which I think only I stayed awake for.

But what a great day, no? We still have a little bit of Hilton Head to experience tomorrow, but I can already tell you we plan on visiting again someday. An insanely awesome place.

Stay tuned for my next post, which should be the last of the trip – covering the last couple days of the road trip and our arrival back home!

Last Post – Day 8 (Hollywood Studios Day!)

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