Day 5 at Disney World and the Surprise for Joe.

I promised you a photo of my ride on the Hollywood Tower of Terror, and here it is.  Carissa and I went on the ride together the first time.  We were in the second row on the right.

Hollywood Tower of Terror 1

I am in the second row to the left facing you.  Carissa is in the bright pink top and I am in a gray t-shirt…behind the man in front with the gray and black stripes.  Look at my face!  Total terror.  Carissa is totally enjoying this.  I’m hanging on for all I am worth and she has her arms raised and screaming with delight.  All I can do is repeatedly say “Oh sh*t.  Holy sh*t.  Oh sh*t”.  Such a good role model for the young children around me.

The next photo is just plain pathetic.  I have my 3 year old grandson behind me, my husband beside me, my daughters surrounding me, and my son-in-law Chad behind me.

Everyone around and behind me are making sure our little guy, Simon, is not scared out of his wits by this ride….which I have to tell you he wanted to do again.  Me….not so much concerned about the welfare of my grandson.  Totally pathetic I tell you.

Hollywood Tower of Terror #2

Everyone to your left and the front two rows.  Starting from the far left in the blue t-shirt is Kari – Tiffany’s girlfriend.  Next to Kari is me, a blithering and blubbering idiot.  Next to me is Joe.  He’s hearing some strange sounds emitting from my mouth and he has to make sure I am alright.  Joe’s response to the ride “Hey that was fantastic, I loved it!”  He’s just plain weird.  Next to Joe is Carissa in the pink shirt with her hands raised and screaming in delight.  What is wrong with that girl?!

Next row back and to the left.  Tiffany in the black behind Kari in the blue.  Tiffany is looking at her son, Simon, to see if he is alright.  Next to Tiffany is Loreli who has her attention upon Simon right next to her to keep an eye on him.  Next to Loreli and directly behind Joe sits our little Simon.  He is handling this so much better than his grandma.  Next to Simon sits Chad, Loreli’s husband, who talked with Simon the whole trip to the seat.  Chad showed Simon the sights of the interior building.  Chad was so patient with Simon and he didn’t say or do anything that would cause alarm bells to ring in little Simon’s head or heart.

So as you can see.  Everyone survived the Hollywood Tower of Terror except for me.  I totally fell apart.

Carissa and Chad talked me into going on the Mt. Everest ride.  A roller coaster that goes forward and backward with some quick turns and sharp steep climbs.  Once again a blithering idiot.  I was scared so bad, all I could do was hang on for dear life.  What’s the matter with Carissa?!  She just loves to raise her arms and scream for sheer fun.  Too many of these rides has rattled something loose in her brain 😀

Mt. Everest ride with Carissa

Okay, after this ride I was dizzy, nauseas, and had a bad headache.  The heat was getting to me, all the walking was really making my legs, feet, and back hurt.  Joe wasn’t doing any better.

I had sent out a blanket text message to all our kids – leaving Joe out of the text loop – to make excuses around 5 p.m. to go back to their rooms and change clothes.  We had dinner reservations for the whole lot of us at 8:25 pm and we needed to prepare.  They were then instructed to meet up in our room at 6 p.m. on the pretence they wanted to see what our room looked like.

A little back story is necessary here.  Joe and I have been married, this last August, for 22 years.  Over the past 15 years he has asked me, on numerous occasions, if I would marry him again.  With the assistance of our kids – Joe’s two daughters and my daughter and their spouses – I told them I wanted to surprise Joe with a renewal of our wedding vows while we were in Orlando.

Planning this thing had been done when I was alone.  In public bathrooms, while I was driving one of the trucks in our loads, stepping outside the hotel room door with an excuse that I needed something from the pickup or the truck.

I don’t talk on the phone very much.  Joe was asking me why I was on the phone with Carissa for three hours, or with Loreli almost daily.  I had to figure out how to “lie” to him by telling him a half truth so he wouldn’t catch on.

Joe made it quite exciting for me when he nearly called the whole trip off when we started our job down in McAllen, Texas!  I couldn’t tell him, or even hint at it.  Torture, pure torture the last week of our working was.

As it turned out, we all were able to keep the secret from Joe.  Totally kept the secret from him.  I had planned that we go to a small sandy beach area just down a walkway from our resort room for this vow renewal.  It rained, buckets of rain just as the kids were arriving at our room.  This had to be done on the walkway right outside our room under the cover of the walkway floor above and out of the rain.

Simon, Chad, Jaime, and Joe

Jaime, in the center with the darker blue shirt on was the “Lay Minister“.  Jaime did a fantastic job in making this vow renewal a true ceremony.

Chad was the photographer.  He was handed one camera after another, also taking cell phones from some of the group gathered to take photos.  Chad is on the left holding Simon.

Carissa and I

Carissa created my “bouquet” at her home and brought it on the trip out to Orlando from the Phoenix area.  She also scoured the internet for ceremonial words used in wedding vow renewals.  The thing she put together for her husband, Jaime, to use was totally awesome.

Kari, Tiffany, Simon, and Joe

Kari was the “videographer” with her little camera.  She got most of it video taped.  Tiffany started it but felt she had messed it up and handed it over to Kari who did a fantastic job.  Tiffany is Simon’s mother and Joe’s daughter.

Tiffany, Joe, and Loreli

Loreli, on the right, came up with the idea that Joe and his daughters would be outside with him.  An excuse of taking pictures with Simon while we were all together.  As soon as Loreli gave a signal to Carissa then we would join them.  Joe and his children standing with him in this ceremony while Carissa and I come into the family once again.  With the approval of all the children we have.

Joe and I

I have to say…we pulled it off.  Joe was totally surprised and didn’t have a single clue.

Have I ever told you that I have been blessed with the best family in the entire world?  Well I have been.  Truly blessed.

My family, a small part of it anyway

Indeed, I can say that our time here at Disney World has been “Magical”.



About Message In A Fold

I am an over the road truck driver in Drive-Away Transport part of the year, and the sole bookkeeper of this operation the other part of the year. I do a lot of whining until I can get in my craft room and play with paper and glue. View all posts by Message In A Fold

10 responses to “Day 5 at Disney World and the Surprise for Joe.

  • Joe, The lesser half.

    Ok. I have known all along that I have the most awesome wife. She has proven it time after time and has done it once again. I am the most lucky man in this world. I am married to my best friend, soul mate, love of my life. And the best part is that she still loves me after 22 years of my foolishness and misadventures. This past week has been fantastic. Just like WDW said it would be. Thanks to all of you that my wife has become friends with. Your support has enriched her life and by osmosis mine. I am truly blessed. I can’t wait to see what she will do next. Whatever it is, it will be just as fantastic as always.

    I love her with all my being. Together we can and will do anything.
    Joe, her husband.

  • Jann Gray


  • tina kuhlmann

    congrats are in order!!! and thank you both for sharing this. it brought tears to my eyes. may u have many more wonderful years together!!!

    • Message In A Fold

      Thank you Tina. I appreciate you and your comment 🙂 I have to say that the surprise came off without a hitch…at least when it happened. There were times before the day arrived I wasn’t sure it would happen 😀

      Love you – Leslie

  • Pinky (aka Anita)

    Tears and goose bumps…You guys have shared and shown what it’s really all about. Thank you.

    • Message In A Fold

      Anita. Both Joe and I wish to lay the success of our marriage fully at your feet. Had you not been there for us, counselling us in blending our families together, and helping Joe to understand that my outbursts in the beginning were not aimed directly at him we would not be together today.

      Joe says “Thank You from me” and he sends a big hug {{HUG}} your way. He also says “I am still trying to understand women’s “Happy Tears”. They were in great abundance in Florida. This might take a book. Why don’t you write it?” Thank you for Joe.

      And THANK YOU from me.

      Love you – Leslie

  • gardenpinks

    Ohhhhhhhhh Joe and Leslie:) How sweet and brought tears to my eyes, bless you both and hope you have many more happy years 🙂

    Love and hugs
    Lynn xx

    • Message In A Fold

      Lynn, thank you. The vow renewal went off without a hitch. There were times when I was maxed out of “lies” and had to look over my shoulder as I “snuck” around while getting this event to happen. Don’t know if I can do that again. I’m just so thrilled that it went so well.

      Love you – Leslie

  • Jann Gray

    I just re-read this…and had the same ahhhh….just awwwwwww….reaction! Love you both – and so happy that you all were able to create this moment as a symbol of the love that you have felt for each other for more than 22 years…and by the grace of God for a long time yet to come!

    Thanks for providing my warm “happy” for today. (Yes, I know I read it and enjoyed it before – but was just remembering it and decided to come read the whole story again…I’m weird like that!)

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