We’re in our fifth year of planning and waiting (…and waiting …and waiting!) for this move. It’s been very discouraging wanting to be down there but knowing we still had years to go. Thank goodness for bloggers! Following their lives in Florida has helped relieve a lot of that frustration. And I truly mean that. I am so thankful to have found several people who I felt like got me, and were in the same boat as me, not only to learn from but to live through!

I’ve never actually met any of them, but on the eve of our dream finally becoming a reality (the night before we got the keys to our first apartment down there) I decided to reach out to each of them with a short note of thanks for everything I got from them over the past several years. Most of each letter was me briefly sharing with them our story and where we were in our process, and then thanking them for the information, motivation, and inspiration they’ve given us.

But I also made sure to note something unique each of them had either been through that I could relate to or done that had meant a lot to me. Most of this I’ve mentioned already here. But in addition to the private notes, I’d like to publicly thank these bloggers as well.

LOU: “I had a major medical scare in 2010. Listening to your show during the weeks of therapy that followed was such a big help in keeping my mood up. I’m extremely thankful to you for that and I’m glad to have the chance to tell you. While my family were already big Disney parks fans at this point, going through the backlog of your shows during therapy planted a seed in my brain: you left your job and your home and your extended family and moved to Disney. And you’re not a crazy person! Could I do that too? In 2018, the seed had fully taken root. My wife and I decided that some day we wanted to move to be closer to Disney World. To cement the idea that this was not a crazy idea, soon after we had made this decision you posted a show all about moving to Disney! It’s like Lou Mongello and the universe were trying to tell me something!”

SERENA: “I loved that you didn’t sugarcoat the moving process because, as much as we want it all to be Mickey ears and dole whips, real life is a lot more messy! Unfortunately, we’re also living through something you went through — a son who’s no longer thrilled with the idea of moving away from his friends. I know things will be fine for him in Florida, but it still hurts seeing him upset.”

LISA: “Your ‘Lunch at Epcot’ post really resonated because I had a similar thing I was dreaming of. In your pre-Disney days you might be looking for something to do and say ‘Let’s go to the mall’. I’m looking forward to Disney Springs being my ‘mall’. Window shopping, actual shopping, dinners, walking, and people watching like at the mall here, but with a ton more Disney magic!”

PETER AND SARAH: “Besides reading about your moving story, getting to actually see you doing the things we wanted to be doing one day was so motivational! In one of your videos we discovered those custom Mickey rice crispy treats — can’t wait for those to come back!”

I also want to thank Lisa, Peter, and Sarah for introducing us to runDisney: “In addition to being inspired by your moving story, your posts about runDisney intrigued us. Neither my wife nor I have done any running since high school. But after seeing how great these events were, it got us wanting to get involved. My wife has MS, but in 2020 she was able to complete a 5K at Disney World! We’ve done lots of virtual events since, and we’re looking forward to our first run as locals this November.”

The entire reason I am doing this blog is because of the inspiration of these people. Hopefully one day someone will get at least a fraction of the information and motivation from me that I got from them.

Thanks again guys for making the past five years so much more bearable!