Monday, February 25, 2013


We had such a wonderful time in Florida visiting family but it is good to be home.  We ended our visit to Florida in N. Lauderdale with my aunts, cousins, and Granny.  We spent some time at the beach, took care of some fast food cravings, and finished up our shopping.  I even got a girls day with my mom and aunt; shopping, a movie and lunch!  We also celebrated four birthdays while visiting.  But, like all good things it had to come to an end.  I packed up our eight suitcases, four backpacks, and carryon suitcase over a two day period and got our butts up at the ungodly hour of 5am to catch our first of two flights home.
Our flight home was long but uneventful.  The kids were crabby and didn't sleep too much, but they did enjoy watching movies most of the way home.  I managed to get in three movies I'd never seen and some reading.  Home, and mostly unpacked, we are now struggling to get over jet lag.  It's hardest on Charlie who is getting up twice a night and up for good around 5am.  Heres hoping that he'll sleep through tonight!
Thank you to my sister and brother-in-law for a magical Disney vacation, we loved the new house!  Thank you to Tatan and Dindin for everything, and Rick, who spent hours playing with the kids.  We miss you all!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Disney World!

After months of planning, and 18 hours on planes, we finally made it to Florida and Disney.  We took a day to rest before seeing any of the parks, and while my family did rest at Holly and Steve's house, my sister and I spent the day shopping at Downtown Disney.  Retail therapy is great for jet lag!

We started our Disney time at The Animal Kingdom, where we spent the day seeing the animals.  We did the Kilimanjaro Safari first and got to see some of Africa's most beautiful animals up close, especially the giraffe.  The kids loved seeing the animals in the open from our truck.  After our safari we walked through the Pangani Forest and had fun watching the baby gorilla play with his toes and his food.  We got to be honorary bugs in It's Tough To Be A Bug, took the Wildlife Express Train to visit with some goats, and ran off some energy in the Boneyard.  Lily got a pink unicorn painted on her face before we called it a day, leaving just before the parade.
Our second magical day was spent at Epcot.  Charlie was awed by the "big ball" and was super excited to go inside it.  Both kids seemed to enjoy Spaceship Earth and had even more fun playing the games after the ride.  From there we visited the Sea with Nemo and his friends, and Turtle Talk with Crush.  Then it was off to Living with the Land and a relaxing boat tour of Epcot's hydroponic gardens.  Next was Soarin', where we got to fly over California.  Lily really got into it, flying and saying "whee" the whole time.  Back on land, we took a boat over Beaches and Cream, and 50's style soda shop, on the Boardwalk for lunch.  As we walked back to Epcot through the World Showcase we came across Alice, too bad Lily wasn't wearing her Alice dress that day.
Lucas, Steve, Holly, and I ended the day with dinner at Tutto in Italy, while mom and dad took the kids to the Electric Umbrella.
We took a day off from the parks after Epcot and while Lucas and Papa and Uncle Steve watched the kids, mom, Holly, and I indulged in some more retail therapy.

Rested and ready to enjoy some more Disney magic we headed to The Magic Kingdom the next day, where Lily made sure she had her nose on straight at Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique before becoming Princess Lily.  Then it was back to the Monorail to the Contemporary for breakfast at Chef Mickey's where we met the fab five and had a fantastic breakfast.  Back at MK we checked out the New Fantasyland, where the kids flew with Dumbo and Lucas got to be a part of the show!  We took our time and did all of Fantasyland before heading to an early dinner at Be Our Guest, the new Beauty and Beast themed restaurant.  At the end of dinner we met our host, the Beast, and had our picture taken.  We called it a day and headed home after dinner with two very tired but happy kiddies.
Day four of Disney was spent at Hollywood Studios, where we saw some great movie classics on The Great Movie Ride, took the Studios Backlot Tour, saw the Muppets 3D show, shrunk the kids at the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure, and battled for bragging rights on Toy Story Midway Mania.  Lucas, Holly, Steve and I took the kids to the Sci-fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant for lunch in a 50's style car, which Charlie absolutely loved, while mom and dad enjoyed a kid free lunch at The Brown Derby.
The next morning we headed over to Disney's new Art of Animation Hotel to spend a day relaxing with the kids at the pool.  The hotel has three different themed areas, Finding Nemo, Lion King, and Cars.  We were supposed to stay in Finding Nemo, but due to over booking we were bumped to Cars, which thrilled Charlie.  We grabbed a cafeteria style lunch before letting the kids dive into the Nemo themed pool.  They were not happy about leaving the pool for nap time, but relented when we promised to return to the pool before we left the hotel.  Even though they proclaimed they did not to need a nap, both kids passed out for several hours and had to be woken up so we could make our reservation at Whispering Canyon at the Wilderness Lodge where there is NO whispering.  We had a fun family style all you care to eat barbecue dinner and embarrassed mom by inviting everyone to join in and sing Happy Birthday to her.

We wrapped up our magical Disney visit with one last day at The Magic Kingdom, which we started with breakfast at the Polynesian with Lilo and Stitch.  We headed straight to Adventureland and the Jungle Cruise before Holly's friend made some magic and got the kids into the Pirate's League.  Lily got to be made up as a mermaid princess and Charlie was going to become Jake, from Jake and the Neverland Pirates, but opted for a nap instead.  We stuck it out for the Main Street Electric Parade and fireworks, but Lily passes out in the stroller right after.  Amazingly, Charlie lasted until we got to the car.  We had an amazing time at Disney with the kids.  It's so much fun to watch them take it all in, from the rides, to the characters coming to life.  Thank you to my wonderful sister and brother-in-law for such a wonderful Disney vacation!