Sunday, April 15, 2012

Part 9

We walked around the resort a bit this day before we got in the car and went home.  Boo hoo!  I always hate to leave Disney.

 Visiting the Potatoheads

A BIG Mickey phone

I think we just drove home on this day as I have no notes on my phone regarding what we did.  I was glad to be home but I was sorry that our fun vacation had to come to an end.  I can't wait to go back.

Part 8

We returned to Epcot for our last day.  That might be my favorite park.  It's so spread out and everything is so beautiful and I just love it.   

This is my favorite snack at Disney world.  I LOVE these things.  Yum.

 We rode on Test Track and y'all, that is a super fun ride.  Maggie LOVED it.  She is  a thrill seeker.  I probably would have cried if my mom and dad made me ride this when I was 6 years old.  As you can see, everyone in our car was out for a Sunday drive except me, who was apparently screaming at the top of my lungs.

David must have had the camera on this day because there are mainly pictures of clouds and closeups of mosaics in China and other exciting things like that.
 We got to meet Mulan and she was so kind to Maggie and talked to her for a long time.  Some people in line in front of us got REALLY mad because Mulan didn't come out where she was supposed to or something like that and started swearing at the Disney employee (okay, cast member, I know, I'm a dork!) and I was like, REALLY?  You are mad because you didn't get to meet someone DRESSED UP like a CARTOON???  How un-Disney of them (and me, too, I guess).

 That night, we ate dinner at the Garden Grill, which is a character meal.  I picked that for our last night so Maggie would have lots of time to muster up her courage to meet some characters.  This face she and I are making is our "We don't like that" face.  It's hard to explain.

 Oh my goodness!!!  I see Chip and Dale!
(and this face is why you take your kids to Disney, even if you think you are too cool for it)

 Maggie shows Dale her pins with him on them


 Chip and the Velveeta Volcano

 Chip and Grammy

 He even got a smile out of David!

After our dinner, we walked over to the International Showcase and staked out a spot in Morocco to watch the fireworks.  Maggie was extremely tired and actually fell asleep on this wall, while I caught up with all the goings on in blog world on my phone.

After the fireworks, we took a few last pictures and headed back to the hotel for our final night.  We had to go home the next day.  Wah!

Part 7

So, the next morning, we had a breakfast reservation at the Kona Cafe, mainly because I wanted to have some real coffee and not the swill that Disney serves in their other restaurants.  We got to ride the monorail over to the Polynesian resort and then we also visited the Grand Floridian so we could see the humongous gingerbread house there.

 This was my breakfast, the big kahuna.  That was a heck of a lot of food.  And the pancakes had macadamia nut butter on them.  OMG.  I could have eaten it with a spoon.  I was not a member of the Clean Plate Club at this meal.

 Maggie found a small sofa and coffee table so she settled in to watch a cartoon when we got to the Grand Floridian.


After all of the eating and gawking, we headed over to the Magic Kingdom again.  I was way more into the whole Disney spirit this day because we got there early and I was just happy.  Plus I was all full of macadamia goodness and coffee.  So, we rode some rides and then we ran into Peter Pan. Maggie was being sort of weird about meeting him, but he called her by name (!) and she was suddenly entranced.  He also told us where to find Tinkerbell on the map.  The characters on this trip were SO great.  They were patient with skittish little girls and really took their time with us.  

 The cheesy expression on my face is a recurring theme on this trip

 We rode on the Peoplemover, which is always a favorite, and took silly pictures.

 There are some rather unattractive shots of Barb and me in the pitch dark on this ride, but I shall refrain from posting them.  

 Then we ran into Chip and Dale on the way out of the park, and they were AWESOME.  Maggie was scared at first, but then she apparently was comfortable enough to tell them her life story, by the time we said goodbye.

Maggie and David watching the parade, I think.  Aladdin blew me a kiss as they went by and I about flooded the park with my cheesiness.  It was awesome.

Then we rode the bus over to Hollywood Studios because I wanted to be sure and see the Osborne Family Light Display.  Maggie was running out of steam at this point.

 The lights were AMAZING!  They were all synced to music and "snow" fell and it was just great.

 There were also some weird creeper people there that kept standing too close to us, so of course, we had to photobomb some pictures.  I'm dumb.  Then Barb and I made David and Maggie ride the Tower of Terror and I screamed my GUTS out.  I think my screaming scared Maggie more than the actual ride.  Then we went back to the hotel room, ate some birthday cake and fell asleep immediately.

Our New Year's card this year

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Part 6

So, we rushed back to Pop and I grabbed Christmas gifts from the car and got something else from the hotel room and then we BLEW over to Downtown Disney on the bus.  We were meeting up with Brooke, Jeff and Emma.  I couldn't wait for Maggie and Emma to see one another again.  And of course, I was excited to see Brooke and Jeff as well!   It took Maggie and Emma about 1 minute to get over the initial, "Hey, I know you and yeah, we Skype sometimes but now you're here for real and that's kinda cool" weirdness and they were off and giggling and dashing around.  I love the looks on their faces in these pictures when they are talking to one another.  Of course, Brooke and I cried.  Emma is a champion pin trader and is a bit bolder than Maggie in that respect so Maggie got a lesson in how to pin trade from her.  They had such a good time.

 Brooke and I agreed that it was nice for the girls to have one another to talk to and do stuff with instead of their boring old moms all the time. Plus that meant we didn't have to go on the carousel.

 Heehee, cheese!

 Love this one.

 "And then, my mom made me wear SNEAKERS today and not flip flops!  She is SO embarrassing."

 Talking of Very Serious Things, it appears.

This picture was taken after they harassed every employee in the pin trading store.  Then we went over to the GIANT Disney store and got the girls pixie dusted at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique--free!  The Fairy Godmother in Training that did it was great and had a little rhyme to say and the girls made a wish, I think, and then they got covered in gold glitter.  It stayed in Maggie's hair most of the week.  All too soon, our visit came to an end and Emma and Co. had to head for home.  It is always so great to see them and I am so thankful that we have kept up our friendships--all of us!

Then we went to the Earl of Sandwich and got dinner and DEVOURED it.  Barb went into a food coma shortly afterwards because she had gotten so hungry.  We shopped for a bit and then rode the bus home and collapsed into our beds immediately.

Part 5

Day 2 at Disney!  This morning we started out at Animal Kingdom.  If you can go when it's not so crowded (like at park opening), it is such a nice park.  Everything is so beautiful and shady and all the themed areas look awesome.  Maggie got kinda brave today and met some characters.  She is NOT a fan of the characters where you can't see their faces.  We were waiting in line to meet Flik, from "A Bug's Life," here and as you can see, she wasn't quite sure about him.  Hee.

 She practically shoved me into him when it was finally our turn.  He let me touch his velvety hand and I tried to get Maggie to do the same, but she was having none of that.

 Look, Maggie!  It's Flik!
No way, Mommy.

 Maggie got brave when we ran into Pooh and had her picture made with him and Grammy.
But then poor Eeyore got the shaft.  He was SO cute.

 Maggie didn't want to meet hin either so I took one for the team and had my picture made with him.
He seriously was the cutest thing ever.  After that, we went on this ride called Dinosaur, where you ride on this jeep that travels through time (I think) back to the time of the dinosaurs.  Obviously.  Then of course, the T Rex starts coming after your jeep and you have to lurch your way out of a million years ago.  It was seriously the loudest ride I've ever been on IN MY LIFE.  I thought my ears were going to start bleeding.  I also could not stop laughing because it was so jerky and threw us around.  Maggie was not laughing at the end of the ride.  Oops. Also, Mrs. Huxtable was in the pre-show video.  Thank goodness it was time to eat so we have more food pictures!  We ate lunch at Yak and Yeti and DANG, that place was good.  It was SO good.  We had the best pot stickers I've ever had in my life.  Sorry, China.  And then for dessert I got cream cheese wontons, which I ate in about 5 seconds flat.  Those suckers were good.

Then we went on the Safari, which was super fun.  I love that ride.  We went to the zoo this week, which was also fun, but I texted my friend Brooke and said there is something to be said for Disney's manufactured guarantees that you actually see animals when you are at Animal Kingdom.  Most of the animals were snoozing away at the zoo on Monday. You know we have a million pictures, but I will only put a few of the animals, just so you can see how close they were!

 Hello, big horned animals.  I do not remember what you were but your horns are very large.

Mama rhino.  Her baby was across the way and she was heading in his direction.

After all of that animal-y excitement, we escaped the park before the parade and headed back to the hotel to get some things.  We had a very important date with Brooke, Jeff and Emma at Downtown Disney!!!!  I'll put that in a different post because I have a bunch of (not great) pictures to include.  Yay, Disney!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Part 4

Day 1 at Disney!  The real day 1.  I'm not writing down every breath we took while we were at Disney because that was a long time ago and I don't feel like it.  I will say that I had no idea Barb was such a speed walker before this trip.  She could be an Olympian.  Seriously.  There were a few times where she was about 3000 yards in front of us and all David and I could do was look at each other.

 We went to Epcot first on this day.  Luckily, I had taken copious notes on each day of our trip on my phone because Meredith and I send each other recaps of our weekends (or weeklong vacations to Disney) each week, so I needed to make sure I did not forget anything.  One thing that I had completely forgotten about was when Maggie flipped her LID about the little person working the turnstile at the entrance to Epcot.  She put on the brakes and cried her eyes out.  That wasn't awkward or uncomfortable at all.  I also spent some time texting one of my coworkers because some juvenile delinquents  students apparently photocopied their butts and hung the pictures all over the ENTIRE school.  I was sort of sorry I had missed it.

I took a LOT of pictures of food on this trip.  David takes a zillion artsy pictures of STUFF, like the Epcot ball (Spaceship Earth, I KNOW), flowers, shadows on the ground and I take pictures of the food.  I know what's important.  Anyway, I was deceived by the cuteness of this Yule log and its candy leaves and it was YUCKY.  I was sorry I wasted a dessert on this thing.  We got Maggie started on pin trading (and let me tell you, that was some marketing GENIUS on the part of Disney--I bet we dropped..well, a lot of money on pins this week) and then she started slinging her lanyard around and pins went flying and NO.  That wasn't happening.  We got her some screwbacks for her pins and then that made things a little better.  After lunch and some other rides and stuff, we went over to Magic Kingdom.

 It was rather crowded on this day.  I was not really feeling the Magic Kingdom magic at this point.  There were way too many people and I was already tired and bleh.  We rode some rides and Maggie and I slept through the Hall of Presidents.  We had dinner reservations at the Contemporary Resort so we decided to walk over there and I thought I might die by the time we finally got to the hotel.  We were celebrating David's birthday again on this night, so I secretly ordered him a cake when I checked us in.  Since I read the Disboards fairly frequently, I knew this was something I could do and I didn't really want to drop $75+ on a custom cake.  I think this one was $24 or something like that.  Still ridiculous but a little easier to stomach.  The reason we went to this restaurant was because it has some world renowned sushi chef.  I do not like sushi.  At all.  David and Maggie love it and Barb became a fan on this trip.  I tried one bite and then said, no, thank you, and returned to gobbling up my salad.  Yes, I took pictures of my entire dinner but I will spare you the gory details.  The food was very good.  Oh yeah, and the restaurant is up at the top of the hotel (the one that the monorail goes through) so you can see the Magic Kingdom and it was all very pretty and cool.

Sushi, ew!

 This is David's cake.  It had a white chocolate thing on it that said Happy birthday but someone named Maggie snatched it off and ate it almost immediately.  Now, we also had dessert included with our  meals because we were on the dining plan so we ate those desserts and then packed the cake up to take back to the room.  So, yeah, it was cool to have a cake brought to the table, but in hindsight, maybe not such a great plan.  Whatever.  You only live once.

 Disney at Christmas is so much fun!
Well, it's fun all the time, but it's especially cool at Christmas.

Then we rode the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, took the bus back to Pop, walked up 4 flights of stairs to our room and collapsed.  Also, on this night, the Magic Kingdom was having Extra Magic Hours for resort guests until 3AM.  David and I thought that sounded like fun back in November when we first found out about it.  Needless to say, we did not make it to the extra magic hours in the middle of the night.  We are old and need our sleep.

Catching up part 3

So, way back in February or something of last year, we planned to take another trip to Disney.  A big one.  The one or two nighters are fine but I prefer when we can spend the entire week and really take our time and do EVERYTHING.  Anyway, Barb, Maggie's Grammy, came along with us for this trip.  Now, I am not really one to plan much of anything, because it is a whole lot of effort and I don't like to think about many things long term, but I am ALL ABOUT planning a Disney trip.  I love it.  I even got up at 5:30 one morning in June to make our dining reservations 180 days out.  So, we went on this trip with A Plan.  So, we left for Florida on December 17 and were ready for fun!  We actually stopped somewhere in Georgia on the way down to split up the drive because that is a dang long drive.  I do not have any pictures of that, I do not believe.

Then on December 18, we drove the rest of the way to Orlando.  We made a stop at the St. Augustine outlets and picked up some bargain pins for trading.  I also had this brilliant idea to have Tinkerbell leave Maggie a pin each night that she could then trade the next day.  Cool, right?  The 18th was David's birthday as well as his dad's, so we had a celebratory dinner planned for that night.  We checked in our favorite resort (well, really the only one we've ever stayed at) and got ready for a fun night!
 We rode the bus over to Downtown Disney and then we ran into a bit of a snag.  We got off at the wrong stop and had to walk a hundred miles to the restaurant.  There were a zillion people there and it was dark and hard to navigate and I was STARVING.  We rushed ourselves over to Raglan Road and had to wait because we had missed our dinner reservation time.  I was not super thrilled with my planning at this point.  But, we finally got called back and the restaurant was BUSY.  David and Barb had beers to celebrate his birthday and to toast Rege and I think I had a diet Coke, because I am hardcore like that. I don't have any pictures of my dinner, but after looking at the website, I remember that I had the chicken and wild mushroom pie, which was quite delicious.  There was an Irish band and a couple of dancers, who were fun to watch, and it was a jolly sort of atmosphere.

I did photograph my dessert, however, and here it is in all its glory.  That is bread and butter pudding with two different kinds of sauces and it was YUM YUM GOOD.  

After dinner, I think we may have walked around and done a little shopping but we were all tired and we had a big day the next day so we didn't spend too much time there.  Plus we had a date to meet up with Emma and family later on in the week!  Thus endeth day 1.