Friday, September 28, 2012

Taco Pizza

Seeing as how I have totally gone off track with my menu plan for the week, here is a little something I threw together for lunch a few days ago.

Simply make your favorite pizza dough. Then top it with some salsa and taco seasoned, cooked ground beef. Sprinkle on some shredded cheese and bake according to your dough recipe. Once baked, top with shredded lettuce and a dollop of sour cream.

This was so easy. I needed easy this week. Apparently, I am not so great with "normal" so I'll just stick with easy for now :-)

Sharing at the Prairie Homestead Blog Hop

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Smooshed Taters

The first week using our new menu plan went flawlessly. I should have known nothing good lasts forever. Oh, it's not the plan that fails. It's my execution of the plan that ends in disaster. This week has stunk pretty bad...and it's only Tuesday! My first "fault" was not bothering to glance at the menu and see what we were having for the week and what prep work needed to be done. Sooooooo, there was no bread baked for the sandwiches for lunch, no tortillas made for the enchiladas for dinner last night. No chicken made for the enchiladas for that dinner either. My kids were so excited to see homemade donuts on the menu for breakfast only to have me burst their bubble with the fact that I never bothered to make the dough the night before! Seriously, what is wrong with me??? I am busy for sure but no busier than any other time. I have been a little short on sleep, though. My dog keeps waking me between 3 and 4 in the morning to go out and I can never fall back asleep until about 30 minutes before my alarm goes off. That does not make for a good day! Today, hubby made me go take a nap after lunch and I slept for 2.5 hours. Guess I was sleepy.....

Well, the following recipe was not scheduled on the menu but, as you already read above, I can't seem to follow the menu plan no how.

I have seen these on a couple of blogs and the recipe is in the Pioneer Woman's new cookbook so I thought I would give them a try. So glad I did! These little suckers are yummy!


Small, round potatoes (I used Dutch Baby's and made 3 per person)
Salt, Pepper, Olive Oil and any herbs you like

First, boil the potatoes (whole and unpeeled) in salted water until they are fork tender, about 20 minutes. Drain them and dump them out onto a baking sheet. Take a potato masher and "crush" them in one direction, then turn masher 90 degrees and crush again. You want to break the skin but not grind them into oblivion.
Top row is the boiled potatoes. Middle row is the first crush and bottom row is the second crush. Now, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top of each potato. Don't be chintzy with the olive oil, you need that bit of fat on there. Then sprinkle with salt, pepper and whatever herbs you are in the mood for. I used parsely and chives.
Pop the pan into a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes and....voila!

Then, and this is totally up to you, sprinkle on a bit of shredded cheese. Recipe didn't call for it but everything tastes better with cheese, if you ask me! Oh, these are sooooo good! We actually eat them with our fingers instead of a fork. They make pretty good finger food!
My daughter even smeared a bit of sour cream on them. You could add bacon, too! The possibilities are endless (just like my to do list!)

Sharing at The Prairie Homestead Blog Hop

Friday, September 21, 2012

Apple Walnut Muffins

Since I made my menu plan for the next 2 weeks, I have no excuse not to cook. Besides, after eating out so much on vacation, I am COMPLETELY ready to eat some good home cooking!

This morning's fare was Apple Walnut Muffins. Since this was the first time I made these muffins, I followed the recipe pretty closely. Next time, I think I will add a little coconut oil to the batter to make it a little more "wet".


1 1/2 C. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour ( I just used regular whole wheat flour)
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
1 1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Salt
2 Eggs
1/3 C. Sucanat
1 1/2 C. Apples, Peeled, Cored and Finely Chopped (About 2-3 apples. I used Fuji)
5 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, Melted
1/2 C. Walnuts, Coarsely Chopped

Preheat oven to 400 F and line muffin pans with liners (or grease them if you have no liners). Whisk eggs and sucanat together in a medium bowl. Stir in the apples and let them sit for about 10 minutes to release some juice.
In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients (flour through salt) and combine thoroughly.
Once the apples are done sitting, add the melted butter and walnuts to them and stir. Then gently fold the apple mixture into the flour mixture only until it is mostly combined. Overmixing will cause your muffins to be hard and dense. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake for 12-15 minutes.

These muffins were really good but the batter was a bit drier than I think it should have been. Next time I will add 1/4 coconut oil to the batter and see what happens.
In the meantime, ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Back To The Real World

Now that vacation is over and we have settled back into our normal routine, it is time to get busy with some changes. Ughhh, that word "changes" just strikes fear in the hearts of people like me. I don't like change. Not usually, anyway. Change, for me, means that I have been doing something wrong and the behavior needs to stop. Or I need to improve on a way that I have been doing something to make it more effective for me and my family. So that is where I am at right now. Change. There are a few areas that I really want to focus on over the next few months. Things that I have felt I needed to address.

The first of those "areas" (areas sound so much better than faults!) is our health. Yes, it is a broad topic but I am going to focus on food and exercise for now. While we were on vacation, my daughter wore her iPod and used the step counter program just to see how far we were walking. We were surprised to find that we were walking 5-8 miles A DAY! Yes, we were tired at the end of the day, but boy, we sure had fun. Places like that actually make if fun to walk. Here, we live on a clay road which is NO FUN to walk on. Sometimes it is down right treacherous! If we get rain, the road is so slick and gloppy that it is impossible to walk on. If we don't get rain, the dust blows up around your feet and legs and you have to shower and wash your shoes when you get home. I don't know about you, but if I have to do all that just to walk, I am NOT gonna walk! And I am SURELY not going to DRIVE somewhere to walk! So I have decided to up my tv workouts. I have been doing them 3 times a week (mostly!) so now I will do them 5 times a week. It will be my only formal workout but, those of you who have a farm, know that farm work can be a workout in itself!

As for food, well that is going to be a bit harder. I LOVE food! I ADORE food! Food is wonderful! I love to cook it, I love to eat it, I love to grow it. See my dilemma? I have found one very interesting  thing that has been happening, though. I have been too lazy to make desserts for the last month or so and my craving for sweets has diminshed quite noticably. I had read that that has happened to people but I never in a million years thought my sweet tooth could be cured! Even on vacation, I only had sweets once or twice and, even then, it was only a few bites. Hmmmm, maybe the cure for sweets is to just avoid them for awhile and, viola, craving gone!
ANYWAY, back to my food dilemma. I have been a bit lazy in meal planning (notice the lazy trend?) so we have been eating not-so-healthy meals more often than not. I hate planning meals because I never know what I am going to be in the mood for. Here is where I found another one of those "you don't say" moments. I used this template from The Nourishing Home. Scroll down to the bottom of this post and click on her meal plan template. I planned out 2 weeks worth of breakfasts, lunches and dinners and guess what? I am wanting what is planned for each day! How weird is that. Maybe being organized leads to less problems....Who'd a thunk it?!

Well, my friends, I think this is enough for one day! More exercise and planned meals may just make me a healthier girl with a healthier family. Amazing what a little get away will do for the thinking! So I am going to keep you updated with my progress on this little journey. More exercise and better meal planning, this will be my mantra!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Our last Few Days

The last few days of our vacation were full of fun and a couple more firsts. We spent a second full day at Epcot. Really, this park is EASY to spend multiple days at. We wanted to eat our way around the countries and we made a good run at it! Empanadas, tacos and nachos at the Mexico Pavillion added to the buffet in Germany and the bakery stop in France, we ate some new, authentic foods that we normally wouldn't have. When we were heading to the Polynesian Resort for our luau, we saw this for the first time:

I had no idea that the bridge opened up to allow barges with fireworks and other stuff used for the laser show to float over to the lagoon.

I don't know why I didn't make them put the bags down first.

Speaking of the luau...WOW!!!! For some reason, I didn't take any pictures there except for the one above, but I can tell you, if you ever have the opportunity to experience the Spirit of Aloha Dinner Show, please do. You won't be disappointed! The food was pretty good and is served family style, which means they keep bringing out plates and plates of food and you can eat until your hearts content. A big plus when you have a son that consumes EVERYTHING! The dancers put on a good show but the real star attraction is the fire dancer. I cannot even begin to describe how wonderful he was. I still don't know how he didn't set himself on fire.

For our final day at Disney, we spent it at the Magic Kingdom. We had a lot of fun re-riding some of our favorite rides and playing the in-park game of Sorceror's of the Magic Kingdom. This is a fun scavenger hunt-like game you sign up for at the Firehouse on Main Street. Then you are sent throughout the park to find the "magic" portals and battle the evil villains to save the park. I couldn't believe how many adults were playing it.
Then it was time to go back to the resort and pack up. Hubby turns to me and says "You know, I think we should come back in February.". The man who says that the kids and I are "ate up " with Disney just suggested another vacation here!!!! What can I say, the man still surprises me after all these years :)

We arrived back home, safe and sound, on Saturday evening. Sunday morning, hubby said that he was missing going to the parks in the mornings....Yeah, he's got it bad! (a very good thing for me!)
Now we are back to the old routine but with a fresh, new, reinvigorated spirit and we owe it all to a mouse :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

And Another Check In....

I am having! This vacation is exactly what we needed, when we needed it. We have met some wonderful people, we have experienced new things and we have spent some quality time together as a family. Since my last check in, we have gone to Hollywood Studios, Blizzard Beach, Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, Downtown Disney and La Nouba.

At Hollywood Studios, we FINALLY got to ride Toy Story Mania. This ride is so much fun but so hard to get to ride. The line is always at least an hour wait and the FastPasses are usually gone by lunch. However, the ride fairies were watching out for us and we got some FastPasses. When we got on, we had a blast! It is a carnival ride where you "fire" shots at various objects for points. As usual, we had a friendly family competition. As usual, I lost! But that's ok.

One of our favorite Hollywood Studios attractions is Walt: One Man's Dream. You walk through a time line of Walt Disney's life and then watch a short movie about him. This man was very fascinating!

Blizzard Beach was a hoot! butts!! At least I didn't see any, thank goodness! We all did a first here at this park. Well 3 of us. Hubby had to go to Plant City for a business meeting so it was just the kids and me. We all rode Summit Plummit. It is a huge water slide that has a 90 foot almost vertical drop. It was a bit intimidating but we did it! The drop wasn't the worst part. No, the landing was painful! You are told before you slide to keep your arms and legs crossed. There is a very good reason for this. You see, my legs came uncrossed once I hit the "slow down" area and I received the wedgie of all wedgies. I mean, I was picking this wedgie out of my NOSTRILS!!! And there is no graceful way to remove a wedgie. Thank goodness my bathing suit bottoms have a little skirt because at least I could cover all areas while I removing said wedgie! Then, to add insult to injury, the water jets that shoot towards you to slow you down are VERY strong and I was sure I would have bruising from my knees to my hips! FYI-I didn't.

Main Street at Magic Kingdom

My sweet lil' Minnie!

Haunted Mansion
Later that night, we went to the Halloween party at the Magic Kingdom. This is always a fun time. The park is not crowded at all so you can wander to your hearts content and ride the rides as many times as you want. Lots of people, young and old, even dress up in costumes.
Water area in the new Fantasyland
We also got to check out the new FantasyLand area. Very cool. The littles will LOVE it.

We spent Wednesday at Downtown Disney. My daughter had an appointment at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique to get her princess on.
Where the magic happens
My girl getting her hair done

If you have a daughter between the ages of 3 and 12, this is a must do! Your daughter will be treated as if she is a real princess with the "fairy godmothers-in-training" doing her hair, makeup and nails. You can also get a package where your little princess can get the costume of her favorite princess. I have never seen smiles so big as I did looking at the faces of these girls. This is one of those once in a lifetime experiences!
My princess
Even little boys can get the Cool Dudes Package with colored gel.
This little guy has a colored Mickey on the back of his head
and colored gel & confetti in his spiky hair.

We did a little shopping and capped off the evening at La Nouba. Oh.My.Gosh!!! This is the most amazing show I have ever seen! You aren't allowed to take any pictures or videos so I can't put any in this post but, trust me when I say, you don't want to miss this one! This is the most incredible showing of physical strength, balance, showmanship and timing. I can't even explain how amazing this show was! I love our olympic athletes but even they cannot compare to the precision of these athletes. I guarantee that if our gymnasts were trained by the Cirque Du Soleil trainers, no other country could touch us! I gasped, gripped the armrests and applauded so much, I was exhausted! But in a good way. This is a definite can't miss show!

Up next...Epcot (again), Spirit of Aloha Luau, and Magic Kingdom (during the day)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The First Couple Days

We finally made it here the other night and, true to form, as soon as we passed through the gate I immediately felt all giddy inside! Something about being in the "Happiest Place on Earth" just gets to me and makes me happy. When we pulled into the resort, the security guard spoke those familiar words, "Welcome Home" and all was right in my vacation world. Thought I would include a few photos of our room.

Kitchen in our DVC Resort room
Living room

jacuzzi tub anyone????

The 2nd bdrm at our resort

The next morning, we headed out to the waterpark, Typhoon Lagoon. Even though we have been to Disney many, many times, we have never been to this particular waterpark. However, I have decided that this trip would contain many firsts!

So we are at the waterpark and who do we run into? The youth group from our church at home! They were here for the weekend to attend the Night of Joy concerts at the Magic Kingdom. If you don't know what the Night of Joy concerts are, they are 2 nights full of Christian music stars such as MercyMe, Casting Crowns and Third Day, performing concerts throughout the Magic Kingdom. When I made our reservations back in February, I didn't realize that was going on this weekend. I would have loved to have seen it. Anyway, they were at the same waterpark so it was neat seeing a bit of home on vacation.

Some of the other sights were much less "wonderful". I realize that there are so many different cultures in the world and I do respect that but I just think some things should be covered up at a family waterpark. Most of the people there were dressed in typical bathing suits, everything from sporty swim shorts and tankini tops to string bikinis. I didn't have a problem with those. The ones I found to be inappropriate were the thongs. Some of them were just....bad.  I saw so many butts that I thought there might be a proctologist's office nearby! Unfortunately, it got worse from there. When we ran into our youth group, one of the girls told us that there was a woman on the beach area sunbathing topless! People, it's a FAMILY waterpark!!!!!

Anyway, that was the only downside to the day. Everything else was so much fun. Lots of fun slides and rides and the wave pool was completely awesome! Every minute or so, a huge wave forms and flows from one end of the pool to the other. I don't mean a little wave either! I would definitely recommend this waterpark!
The "Big Ball" at Epcot

The next day was Epcot. My FAVORITE park here! It rained most of the day but it kept the heat down and kept my already sunburned skin from frying any more! One thing we did at Innoventions was visit the Green House. Not for plants but green building practices! They have the interior of a house set up showing all kinds of different products and building innovations to save energy, clean the indoor air and more. Every room we went into, I found a dozen things I wanted to incorporate into our house. Even the kids found something to enjoy in there!

While the rides in Future World are awesome and we really enjoyed them, they cannot compare to World Showcase. This is the area where they have pavillions representing different countries. There are shops, restaurants and attractions that highlight that particular country's charm. My favorite part? THE FOOD!!!! We hit the french pavillion and got some pastries for the kids and a baguette and cheeses for us. My new love? Brie! I have always liked it but there is a difference between real brie cheese and the stuff in the grocery store.

If I can make a suggestion on where to have a meal, it would have to be at the Germany Pavillion. This was another first for us. This is a buffet meal and you sit several families to a table. The food was outstanding! I didn't know half of what I was eating but I didn't care! Plus, the fellowship of the 2 other couples that ate with us was a blessing. I apologize for the awful pictures. I only have my phone with me!

Then there was some entertainment in the form of a traditional bavarian band. They were wonderful musicians and showmen and kept us all laughing throughout the meal.
Sorry for the blurry picture!
This guy played the bells and it was amazing! One of the bells fell off the table because he was playing so fast and he never missed a note!
I never did find out what this horn was called but the notes were made simply by their breath control and mouth positions. There were no buttons or levers to make different notes. They were REAL musicians!
This instrument was like a xylophone but instead of flat pieces, he was hitting wooden tubes of varying length and making beautiful music.
Everyone from the hostesses to the waitstaff is from Germany so you are really immersed into their culture.
We are using our "extra day" at the parks to really explore the countries.
You really need 2 days for Epcot, one for Future World and one for World Showcase!
Well I am off to enjoy the pool. Actually, the kids are enjoying the pool and I am enjoying the wireless internet from my lounge chair!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Just a Quick Little Check In

Our room and dining reservations are made. With Disney, you can make dining arrangements 180 BEFORE your trip so that you can pretty much guarantee you get a spot where you want it, when you want it. Since we are going during value season, I didn't have to make them so early. I did it last week and got almost every restaurant and dining event that I wanted.

It feels good to have everything planned out and done. I know many are a "leave the details up in the air" kind of people but I am not a member of that group! I try to be spontaneous but it just doesn't work for me. Besides, my husband and kids always look to me to have everything planned out so they don't have to make any decisions.

I did have to do some last minute switching around, though. I typed up our itinerary (believe it or not, the twins request that I do this and give them a copy!) and was all proud of myself for fitting in everything we wanted to do. Well, almost everything. Hubs looked at it and the only thing he said was "When are we doing the waterpark? You promised the kids we would go this year." Huh? Dang it! There was no room for it in our plans but I promised them because the last couple of times, something has come up and we couldn't get to the waterparks. So we added a day to our vacation. We are now leaving a day earlier. But the kids don't know it! THEN hubs realized he needed to go to his corporate office (located an hour away from Disney) for a meeting and he decided to add yet another day to our vacation. So, even though the "surprise" vacation is no longer a surprise, the duration of it is. The kids have been doing a countdown to when we leave and it has been so hard not to tell them!

Anyway, we have been in full prep mode. Cleaning house, doing laundry, getting the animals care while we are gone taken care of! Over the last year, I have really tried hard to transform our way of eating and, for the most part, have been successful. Even though the bulk of our dining will be done out, we will still be eating breakfast and snacks in the condo. I have made big batches of pancakes and pumpkin waffles and have smoothie ingredients all ready to go. My son only had 3 food requests and, against my better judgement, I agreed to them. He wanted soda, froot loops and pizza rolls. These are not things that are usually found in our house but it's vacation so I was told I needed to relax the rules a little bit! I did make some homemade pizza rolls to take along just to show him that we don't need to buy garbage at the grocery store in order to have some fun vacation food. I made them yesterday and froze most of them for the trip (I'll include the recipe once we get back) but I baked a few just to make sure we all liked them. SUCCESS!!! They were really good, much better than the ones in the frozen food section. Even my son had to concede that they were better than the ones we bought!

I plan on doing some blog posts from our vacation, if I get time. If not, I will be back soon with some new recipes and a letter from President Obama!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Food, Inc.

I have been wanting to see this dvd for quite some time and I got a chance to the other night. WOW!
This documentary is a must see for everyone who has the least bit of concern about where their food comes from and what's in it. I made the twins watch it with me because I feel that they need to know this stuff in order to make wise decisions when they are older.

This documentary "lifts the veil" so to speak, on the secret world of commercial farming. Folks, it ain't pretty. It's downright disturbing that our government allows these big conglomerates to poison us simply because they throw lots and lots of money towards political campaigns and such. One of the farmers interviewed was a woman who raises chickens for Purdue. It was disgusting how her chickens have to live in order for her to retain her contract with Purdue. These companies get the farmer so much in debt that they are no longer able to do the right thing where their livestock is concerned. She hated the way she was forced to raise these animals but if she complained or refused, the company would threaten with canceling her contract, leaving her hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt and no way to get a contract with anyone else.

Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms was interviewed and the more I hear about him and from him, the more I respect him. He isn't interested in having the big contracts or selling in national grocery store chains. He simply wants to cultivate the healthiest animal which in turn will help keep the consumer (us!) healthy. He raises only enough animals that his land will support and no more. He treats them well and allows them to be the animal that God created them to be. His chickens aren't force fed to make them grow 300% faster. His cows aren't fed a diet of corn to fatten them up and contaminate them with E.coli. Yes, I learned that some strains of E.coli are produced in the cows stomach when it is fed a diet of corn (unnatural for a cow) instead of grass (how God intended). Who in the world decided that cows should eat corn when they have always been herbivores??? I'll tell you. Companies like Monsanto! Corn is cheap to produce (thanks to subsidies)and, when fed to animals as feed, makes them grow fat quickly. This all makes for more money for these big companies because animals can be sent to slaughter quicker therefore more animals can be raised and killed in a shorter amount of time. Let us not confuse who is getting rich here. It's not the farmer! It is these huge companies like Tyson, BPI, Cargill, Purdue, etc. who contract with these farmers and promise lots of money but never deliver on their end of the bargain. The farmer gets very little for his work and the American public is used as guinea pigs for these companies. How many people have to get sick and die before we wake up and realize that we need to know where our food comes from? We need to get to know farmers who produce our food. Better yet, we need to get back to having a family farm that produces what we need to feed not only our own family but our community as well. We certainly can't rely on the government to feed us because they are doing a crappy job at it!

My kids were apalled at how animals are treated and slaughtered and then marketed as if they are safe and healthy for us to eat. They now see why I will NOT buy meat from the grocery store! The stuff is poison and I will NOT allow my family to be treated that way.

I cannot recommend this dvd enough. You need to see it. Your family needs to see it. I am going to make my parents and inlaws watch it. Then I am going to donate it to our local library so the community has access to it. We have to quit hiding our head under the covers and take charge of our food system. Your family's life may very well depend on it!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Disney Vacation Club

Becoming members of the Disney Vacation Club has been the single best investment we have ever made. We first bought into the program back in 1998. We enjoyed it so much that it broke our hearts to have to sell it in 2004 when were in the throws of our financial crisis. However, we got more than what we bought it for so it was a great investment.

Disney Vacation Club, in a nutshell, is this. You purchase "points" at various Disney Resorts and use them for your hotel accomodations while on vacation. It is kind of like a timeshare but you don't have a specific time when you have to use it. You can use them at any time during the year that you want. The beauty of this arrangement is that once you purchase your points, they are yours for 40 YEARS!!!! All you have to do is pay your maintenance fee. This maintenance fee covers upgrades at the resorts, refurbishments and so on. Another wonderful thing about this deal? You don't have to use it at Disney. You can use your points for vacations to other countries, or for Disney Cruises, or for vacation hotspots all across the United States! The only drawback is that the points are a little pricey. But, remember, they are yours for FORTY YEARS!!!!! Right now points run anywhere from $120-$135 each and you have to buy 150 intially. (I'm pretty sure it's 150) After that, you can purchase in increments of 25. We bought 240 initially and we will probably add on another 100 in the next few years as vacation cash becomes available. When we bought 3 years ago, the points were $110-$115 each and we got the lower end of the price because they were just finishing the latest vacation club resort, Bay Lake Towers, and hadn't sold out yet. We ended up financing (I know, I know. Don't hate me)for 5 years so we will be paid in full in July 2014 unless we pay it off early, which we probably will do. We are also able to deduct the mortgage interest from our taxes because you are actually buying a share of real property. You also have the option of "banking" your points. Say you have 50 points left for the year and you aren't going to use them. You simply "bank" them for next year and those 50 points will get added to your points for the coming year. You can also "borrow" points from the following year. Say you want to visit Disney during Spring Break but you don't have enough points available for when you want to go. You simply borrow points from next year's allotment. Different times of the year require different amounts of points. Also, different resorts require different amounts of points. You may also allow someone else to use your points so if you aren't going to be using your points and you don't want to bank them, you can allow a family member or friend to use your points without them having to be vacation club members.

Because of my husband's business, we can take vacations in either February or September because they are his slower months. Those months also happen to be the value season for Disney so the points required for stays during those months are much less than, say, during summer. We usually stay at Old Key West resort because it is the original resort and requires less points than a newer resort, like Bay Lake Towers. However, you could never guess that Old Key West isn't a newer resort because it is being updated and refurbished frequently. That's those maintenance fees at work!

Another wonderful benefit of the vacation club over just staying at a hotel is the room itself. You have 4 types of accomodations at most of the resorts. A studio condo which includes 2 queen beds, bathroom, sitting area and kitchenette. A one bedroom condo which has a king sized bed in the master suite, a full bathroom (2 at some resorts) with a whirlpool tub, full kitchen and laundry room, living room with a queen sized sleeper sofa and, in some resorts, a chair that also folds out into a twin sized bed and a balconey. A 2 bedroom condo is a one bedroom and a studio hooked together and for the largest rooms, you have the grand villa which sleeps 12 comfortably. At Old Key West resort, the grand villa is a 2 story condo! These are great for family reunions! All of the Vacation Club resorts would be considered 4 star resorts. They are magnificent and each are themed differently.

Here is an example of a one bedroom condo at Animal Kingdom Resort.

 This is the dining area with the living room behind it. There is also a balconey.

 This is a shot of the kitchen and the rest of the living room. The doorway just past the kitchen goes to the master suite.

This is a shot of the master bathroom. This particular resort also has another bathroom just before you get to the front door. Lots of room and the toilet has its own little room. Very handy when traveling with MEN!
 Here is the bathtub and shower. The shower is actually twice the size you see because it continues back behind the wall. I love nice bathrooms!

 And, I'll be Capt. Obvious here, this is the master bedroom!

Even though it was February and we were on a mini vacation, here's hubby working. All rooms include High Speed internet so he brought his laptop and set up a little work station for himself. We didn't visit any parks on that trip. We just hung out at the resort and my son still says it was the best trip ever! See, you don't even need to visit the parks all the time. Sometimes just being away from home and chores is enough!

 Here is a look at the kitchen area at Old Key West Resort with my Ella Bug demonstrating how to turn the dishwasher on and off...and on and off and on and off!
Here is a shot of the living room at this resort. Funny, hubby is working again! I am really going to have to work on that with him! Just as a side note, those windows faced the beautifully maintained golf course at this resort. All the resorts have beautiful views out the windows, even if your view is of the parking lot! Everything is so well maintained. Since it is just the 4 of us, we usually get the 2 bedroom condo (we fit perfectly fine in the 1 bedroom but sometimes the kids don't want to sleep on a pull out sofa and they want their own space!) I have dreams of getting the grand villa one year and taking all the kids and grandkids! What fun!!!

Since we have never used our points outside of going to Disney World, I really can't comment on how that all works. You can visit this site and it will give you a much more in depth view at what Club ownership is really about. You can also send for a free dvd about the Vacation Club. If you are interested in talking to a salesperson about ownership, leave your email address in the comments and I will make sure someone contacts you. If anyone buys into the club through my referral, I will get some kind of bonus (not sure what it is as I haven't ever signed anyone up!) so I just want to be up front with you. Disney Vacation Club makes vacationing so much more enjoyable so please check them out!