Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Heeeello Florida, I've Arrived!

It's June 6th, 10 am.. I am here! It is my very first morning :). It has been a whirlwind since I left Winnipeg yesterday morning. The night before I left for Florida, I only had 2 1/2 hours of sleep then off to the airport it was for me. It was very hard saying bye to my parents and little brother, but they are so supportive, so I know no matter how hard it might be living without them, they are only a Skype call away.

My flights went well. I flew from Winnipeg to Minneapolis, then scrambled in an hour to find my next gate to fly to Orlando. That was a bit of a panic, and I had to run through the airport... but I made it and that's all that matters.

When I arrived in Orlando's airport, I was starving. I bought myself some McDonald's and I took a while to let my nerves and excitement settle. After that, I went to go take a shuttle to Vista Way with all the other new cast members. 

The shuttle ride there was funny. The driver kept playing pirate music and telling us weird facts about Florida and Disney. The other new Disney cast members were from England, Norway, and such. On this shuttle, I was the only Canadian. It was funny because one girl told me she loved my accent... I guess it reminded me of a class I took at Red River College, called Cross-Cultural. It's sometimes shocking to hear you have an accent... back home, everyone speaks the same language, but this is different, here everyone's from all over the world. There is no "norm" ways of anything. 

Once we got to Vista Way, they had a very short meeting with us just letting us know the Disney bus schedules, housing arrangement's and so on, and then I got dropped off at my apartment. I walked in thinking others would be unpacking... but nope! No one was home. There were shoes, shelves filled with belongings, notes on the fridge... okay this for sure is not an apartment filled with newbies. People have been living here.

I started to unpack. And my roommate walked in. Her name is Marthe, shes from Norway, and she explained everything to me! There are 6 of us living in our apartment at The Commons (one of the four neighborhoods here). She is from Norway, three are from Germany, and the other ones from Canada as well (she is visiting her home right now!). There are three bedrooms. I share my room with Marthe! Shes really nice. However, typically they room you with other newbies, but The Commons is so packed that they had to do it this way- which I don't mind.

After talking for a long time and getting to know one another, I made a trip for Walmart. OMG... it's real. I'm on my own. Shopping for myself was surreal, I bought a few groceries for breakfast and lunch, and bedding. Where are my parents when I need them? haha.

I got home after a long and tiring grocery trip and Skyped with my family for a bit. It was really overwhelming. After that, my other roommate Michelle from Germany came home. We talked for a long time as well and she gave me a few tips and things to expect while living here. She seems very sweet!

Overall I am pretty overwhelmed... but glad I took on this opportunity. This morning I was a little confused, and even questioned how I'm going to do this for a year. But slowly, it is all sinking in! :)

I'll post pictures of my new home and more later! It is time to get ready for my first official day of Orientation!

Enjoy and have a magical day! J

Eileen McDonald 

Monday, 4 June 2012

Goodbye BBQ with my lovely Family

So last night, Sunday the 3rd I had a Goodbye BBQ with my big family of uncles, aunts and cousins. It was great. Usually we do get together pretty often with a few uncles and aunts, but that was the first time in a long time that all 5 families gotten together. It was so nice! My dad and mom made some of my favorite foods. We had spring rolls, grilled shrimp, BBQ pork, veggies, and a bunch of salads. We also had one of my favorite desserts- cheesecake and we also had ube cake (which is a special Filipino cake). I got really nice cards and my cousin Angela made me beautiful picture frames. They all meant so much!

It was so nice seeing my family together one last time -they mean the world to me- and it was a great day!! It made me think a lot about the holidays when I'm down in Florida. It's going to be hard knowing I can't celebrate with them like we usually do every year. But, I know they are all a phone call or email away! I love them so much and I am so blessed to have such a caring family!

Tomorrow I will be there!!!

Enjoy and have a magical day! J

Eileen McDonald