Friday, September 30, 2011

Days 6 and 7: disney blizzard beach and typhoon lagoon

Here are some of my favorite pictures from the days we went to Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon at Disney World... I'm too tired and too far behind in blogging to even attempt to be clever or witty.
So here 'ya go:

Charlie loved playing in the sand at Typhoon Lagoon.
 We played in the wave pool, hung out in the lazy river together, and then hung out in the little kid's area of the park.
They were both worn out from their busy, busy day.

The next day, we went to Blizzard Beach (another Disney water park made to look like a Ski Resort that melted in the Florida sun). The kids really enjoyed the melting snowmen at the front of the park.

Personally, I liked Blizzard Beach a little better than Typhoon Lagoon. We spent a lot of time in the kid's area there with our little guys. The play area had lots of sand to play in and several smaller water slides that even Charlie enjoyed.

After our busy day at Blizzard Beach we headed to Downtown Disney for shopping.
Look at that Lego girl!
Then we fed another crazy squirrel like 7 french fries. He was practically eating out of our hand. I probably should have been afraid of Rabies or something, but I just couldn't get over how close the little guy was!
Plus, everyone knows that squirrels at Disney don't have Rabies. They probably have to have background checks and full physicals.
I love Disney.
I miss Disney...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Days 4 and 5: Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom

On the Saturday that Nikki stayed with us, we decided to revisit to Magic Kingdom.
When we first arrived at the Magic Kingdom, we noticed that lots of characters were on Main Street: Mary Poppins, Daisy Duck, Pluto, and Marie (from the Aristocats).
After visiting with Marie, we headed over to ride the kid's favorite ride in the park: It's a Small World. We probably rode it 4 or 5 times while we were there!
The entire Mainstreet area was decked out for Halloween. It was so lovely. The pumpkins were carved in true Disney style - with the utmost attention to detail...
 Since we'd already spent a day in Fantasy Land earlier in the week, we decided to make our way to the part of the park that we hadn't really spent a lot of time in: Adventureland. We went to the Tikki room, rode the Jungle Boat Cruise, and Aladdin's Magic Carpet ride. Then we took a break for lunch at Peso Bill's for lunch. I had the Taco salad. It was really yummy. I think that the counter service food at Disney is almost better than the character meal food!
 After lunch, we took the kids to Tom Sawyer's Island to play.
 And then headed over to Frontierland's main street area for a good spot for the afternoon parade.
Before leaving for the day, Avery picked out her present from her Uncle Jordan and Aunt Nikki. She chose Duffy, Mickey's newest friend. It's his teddy bear that he takes on his adventures around the world. She loves it to pieces. 

Charlie was super excited about having his picture taken at the end of the day. Can you tell?
Avery's favorite: 
picking out her new teddy bear.

Charlie's favorite:
The Enchanted Tikki Room

The next day, Nikki headed back home and we went to Animal Kingdom.
This is the picture that I made David take to prove that I actually went on the vacation with the family:
Our first stop was at the Jungle Safari.
During our trek, a giraffe stepped in front of our truck - causing a huge delay. The driver had to wait for the giraffe to decided to move to the other side of the road before she could move on with our tour. And the giraffe was in NO hurry to oblige. I loved it. We have a pretty amazing zoo in our city, but it was pretty cool to see the giraffe that close!
Later in the day, when the sun was blazing and unbearable, we made a pit stop to the Dinosaur Land area. Each park has a "play area" for little guys built in.The  Dinosaur Land play area was exceptionally cool. Avery and Charlie played for at least 45 minutes in the bone digging play area - right under some misting fans.

After that, we enjoyed a little ice cream before heading to see The Lion King musical show.
I would go to Animal Kingdom again just to see that show. It was so good. We were able to sit right on the front row. It was awesome!

After the show, we headed out to get our stroller and noticed a little squirrel hanging around foraging for food. The squirrels at Disney are crazy. They are the most fearless animals I've ever seen. This little guy came right up to us and grabbed this huge cup full of Chips Ahoy cookies. We laughed our hineys off when he dragged it all the way to the bushes.
Our final stop of our long, hot, and totally exhausting day was for dinner at the Rainforest Cafe. Then we all went directly to sleep.

Avery's favorite:
The Jungle Safari Ride.

Charlie's favorite:
playing in the sand in Dinosaur Land.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Day 3 - epcot

My sister-in-law drove down from Georgia to stay with us last weekend. We haven't seen her or my brother since their recent move there, so it was a huge treat to have her join us. As soon as she arrived, we headed to Epcot for an afternoon of fun. 

Our first stop was the Character Spot where we saw Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy.

Charlie declared Goofy to be his favorite for the day.
From there, we went to the Finding Nemo ride - a huge hit with both kids and adults.
There's an aquarium-like exhibit at the end of the Finding Nemo ride...a fact that made me very, very sad...given my feelings about fish.

Clearly, Avery doesn't share the same fear of fish that her mommy does.
This picture kind of gives me hives just looking at it.
After that, we went to the Turtle Talk with Crush show.
Much to my surprise, my reserved little Avery raised her hand to ask a question to Crush.
Her question?
"How do they get bigger when they talk?"
To which Crush said, "umm... what???"
She repeated the question and he said, "ummm...they stand up?"

And that's what happens when you tell a bunch of kids to ask you whatever they want.
After talking with Crush, we went to visit Journey Into Imagination with Figment. Avery and Charlie loved it. Charlie really loved playing in the Imagination Room after the ride was over.
When we had ridden all of the Preschool Friendly rides at the front of the park, we headed to the World Showcase to get some serious education.
Unfortunately, that's when the bottom dropped out and we had to take cover in the France exhibit.

But because Disney thinks of EVERYTHING, every exhibit has a Kidcot activity for little ones to participate in. Avery and Charlie spent their time coloring a cut-out of Mickey's Teddy Bear Duffy - while David spent his time on the phone making our dinner reservations.

When the rain finally subsided, we headed out to see the other "countries".
Charlie didn't seem very interested in his first World Tour, but he really liked playing with the umbrella.
A lot.
Epcot's World Showcase area doesn't have a ton of "rides". Most of the attractions in the World Showcase are about experiencing the culture of the people of various regions. We did, however, ride Maelstrom in Norway.
A decision that I totally and completely regret because it absolutely terrified my little ones. Storms, Trolls, tumultuous boat rides, and more trolls.
Not a good combination when you're 5 and under.

In an effort to regain my credibility and trustworthiness with my little guys, we headed to Mexico to ride the 3 Amigos ride featuring Donald Duck.

Our dinner reservations were for La Hacienda De San Angel in the Mexico Exhibit. La Hacienda is a newer restaurant whose decor and ambiance was beautifully modern and authentic at the same time. The restaurant sits right on the World Showcase Lagoon in the middle of the park: the same lake that the nightly fireworks and laser display (IllumiNations) is shown from.

The hostess sat us at a table next to the large windows that overlook the lagoon. We had a delicious dinner and dessert with really great service.
They even brought Avery a special Birthday treat.
The fireworks show began at 9, and the audio was streamed directly into the restaurant. They dimmed the lights inside the restaurant and we were able to drink our coffee and watch the fireworks display from our table.
It was awesome!!!
We had a great day at Epcot.
I think I'm in love with Disney World.

Avery's Favorites:
Donald Duck and the 3 Amigos ride
Turtle Talk with Crush
Finding Nemo Ride

Charlie's Favorites:
Meeting Goofy
Holding the umbrella

stir crazy

While David was at his conference, Avery, Charlie and I stayed at the condo. We did a little swimming and a lot of t.v. watching.

The following is photographic documentation of the moment that I almost went completely and certifiably insane.
Table dancing, anyone?
(by the way - notice the pants Avery is wearing? I can't get them off of her)
And here's Crazy Charlie running around the room unrolling all of the paper towels:
And finally - the money shot: it's Avery throwing a ball. At my face.
I think it's safe to say I'm glad that the conference is over.
Really glad.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Disney Day 2: Hollywood Studios

On Monday, we went to Hollywood Studios where we had lunch reservations for the Play 'N Dine character meal at Hollywood and Vine.
While we were waiting to be seated Avery and Charlie found a way to peek inside. They kept yelling, "oooh! I see Oso!" and "There's Handy Manny!".
When were finally seated, Avery and Charlie were greeted by some of their favorite Disney Junior characters.
The lunch was an "American style buffet". 
The food was good, but not awesome. 
Avery and Charlie got lots of mac and cheese and chicken nuggets, so they were happy. 
David and I agreed that while the food wasn't out of this world, the dining experience and atmosphere was. Overall, we definitely felt like we got our money's worth. 

Each character came to the table throughout the meal to spend time interacting with our kids. Every 15 minutes or so, a cast member would come out and sing and dance with the kids. They sang lots of songs from the Disney Junior t.v. shows. 
It was a huge hit with my little guys.
After lunch, we went to the park to check out the Disney Junior show.
Then we let the kids play in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area.
Avery loved the rope web so much that she decided to do it on her own. 
Without telling us. 
She just disappeared. 
David and I finally found her at the top of the web. 
It was the most terrifying 1 and a half minutes of my life. 
That's when we decided that maybe it was time for a crash course on stranger danger and what to do when you can't find your mom and dad. Just remembering it makes me a little sick to my stomach. Ugh.

Later, we saw the Beauty and the Beast stage show. 
But by that time, it was hot, hot, hot. And raining. And hot.
 So unbelievably hot.
 So we decided that maybe it was time for an ice cream break.
After ice cream, we thought that a visit with Woody and Buzz would do us good.
While we waited in line, Avery and Charlie posed for the camera.
 Charlie thought the line was way too long.
 But cheered up when he saw his friends Woody and Buzz.
We rode the Toy Story Mania ride and then had dinner at Pizza Planet before heading home for the evening.

Charlie was definitely worn out.
Avery's favorites:
All of it. I just asked her and she said that she loved all of it.

Charlie's favorites:
Toy Story Mania and The Disney Junior show.

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