Old Key West Resort

Welcome Home

Aside from the plane ride home, our trip to Disney World last week was smooth sailing all the way. We got in right on time, grabbed our luggage and our little rental car, drove out to the resort, got a room in our favorite building with our favorite view, and were even able to check in four hours early. We had a nice lunch on the patio at the resort cafe, exchanged our jeans for shorts and our tennis shoes for sandals, and walked right over to Epcot to scope out the offerings at the Food and Wine Festival, where we enjoyed a roving dinner munching on things like scallops from New Zealand, shrimp on the barbie from Australia, chicken souvlaki from Greece, and lobster rolls from Maine.

The next two days were just as fortuitous. The promised thunderstorms never materialized, we met up with some old friends from church who are seasonal employees at Disney and spend a wonderful day eating and visiting with them. We were able to see our favorite singing group (The Voices of LIberty) at Epcot just before we left, and even pick up a toy for our grandson - his first Disney souvenir.

It was a whirlwind trip, but a good one.

We've been Disney fans since our first time at the parks, way back in 1989. In 1995, we became members of their Vacation Club, and so when we enter any of the resorts at Disney, we're always greeted with the words "Welcome Home!" The Vacation Club properties are spacious and homelike, and Disney really wants is members to feel comfortable. When we're in Orlando, we prefer to stay in the Old Key West Resort.  It's some distance from the parks, the accommodations are much larger than any of the other properties, and it has a lovely, relaxed, Old Florida feeling. Since we were there last year, the property has been renovated with hardwood floors, granite countertops in the kitchen, new furniture and window coverings, and flat screen TV's. Wireless internet is now available in every guest area, so your social network needn't suffer while you're on vacation.

Welcome Home, indeed.

We've been to Disney so many times, we really don't even spend much time in the parks anymore. We enjoy renting a boat and putting around Lake Buena Vista, taking the shuttle over to Downtown Disney and seeing a movie, or just sitting on our little balcony watching the ducks in the river that runs beside it.

We spent a little time talking about the fact that our Disney Vacation Club might

become our main Florida Vacation Home, since we may be selling our house in Naples this winter. We thought we could probably live with that - it won't be quite the same, of course, as having a whole house to ourselves.  But during the cold Michigan winters, a place of refuge in a warm climate can be a very welcome home.

And we're grateful for it.

How about you? Do you have a home away from home? If you don't, where is your dream refuge from the cold winters of your everyday life?