Friday, February 22, 2013

Magic Kingdom

We had an awesome day at the Magic Kingdom!  The morning got off to a bit of a slow start--we decided to go out for breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa before heading to the park.  But starting out with full tummies is always a good thing!  Last time we were at Disney, we stayed at a Disney property so getting to the park was a piece of cake.  This time was a different story--our 3 bedroom villa (!!!) was amazing, but not a Disney property.  So getting there was a 2.5 hour ordeal that went a little something like this: drive to the park, wait in line, pay to park, park the car, tram to the station where you catch the monorail or the ferry, then wait in line at will call and then finally get your tickets, then wait to get into the park.  So that was the only rough part of the morning--but the kids did great with the help of Grandma!  That woman is amazing! 

When we got into the park, we sent Grandma and Grandpa off to find Ken and Kelly's family and spend a little time with them.  They had been at Disney for a week and were leaving that afternoon, so Grandma and Grandpa went to spend some quality time with them while Michael and I took our kids and started collecting fast passes for the rides we wanted.  When we finally got on the rides, the kids had so much fun! 

Michael headed off to Tomorrowland Speedway (the go kart ride where kids get to be the drivers) with the boys while I took Sophie to do the one thing she has been talking about for weeks--meet some princesses!  We had a fast pass and so we didn't have to do much waiting.  At this particular place you get 3 princesses, and they don't tell you which ones.  Sophie only really cared about Cinderella and Rapunzel, so I was really hoping we could at least get one of them, but lucky for us, we got both of them!  And Aurora!  Sophie was completely delighted--it was adorable how excited she was!  She has been talking for a long time about how she will "meet Cinderella and give her a hug and she will DANCE with me!"  And guess what?  She got her wish!  Cinderella danced with her, and she was so very very happy.  Sophie also made sure she had all of the princesses sign her autograph book and was especially pleased that Aurora used a big pink feather pen.

After Sophie met the princesses, Michael and I took the kids on a couple more rides, and then we all met up with my parents and with Ken and Kelly's family for ice cream!  The kids loved it, of course, and then we all had a quick group picture in front of the castle and then said good-bye to Ken and Kelly and the kids.  And then we had Grandma and Grandpa all to ourselves, which was definitely awesome!  Ryan had been a little bummed since at Universal he got to go on big kid rides and had Grandma and Grandpa around all day, so he was definitely happier once we had a larger adult to kid ratio and they could go do some more "big kid" rides!

So we split up and went on more rides and Sophie fell asleep on Grandpa's shoulder!  She took a great nap and woke up just in time for us all to go to our character lunch at the Crystal Palace with Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eyore.  Do my kids know who they are?  Not really.  Did they care?  Not a bit!  Sophie was so thrilled she almost couldn't contain herself.  And Ryan kept telling them "I remember you!  I was here 4 years ago!  Do you remember me????" They had so much fun, and made sure to get all of their autographs, too. 

Everything was even better after lunch.  It was actually more of a linner, since our reservation was at 3:10.  So it was probably 4:30 or 4:45 by the time we were done.  It had cooled off, it was less crowded, and everyone was rested and happy!  We had a great time exploring and going on rides together.  The kids LOVED the Buzz Lightyear ride, and Ryan totally had us all beat.  I think I got about 3500 points, and he had over 200,000 points.  He was very very proud of himself!  After walking around a bit more, Grandma and Grandpa took the boys to ride Pirates of the Caribbean while Michael and I took Sophie for some popcorn and a ride on the carousel.  She REALLY loved that, and was a super happy camper.  It was nice to have some time with just her, she just loved it all.  And Cinderella's castle had been closed so you couldn't walk through it earlier in the day, but it had opened up by that time, so we took her to walk through the bottom of the castle.

One of my favorite memories was going with Michael, Grandpa Calvin and Sophie to Micky's Philharmagic, which I thought would be super lame.  And maybe it is, but the kids REALLY loved it.  It's a 3D show featuring a montage of songs/movie footage from various Disney movies.  Calvin thought the whole 3D thing was the coolest thing ever and talked and talked about it all evening.  One of the funniest parts was when Sophie saw Ariel singing "Part of Your World."  Sophie has never seen the movie The Little Mermaid, and I think she only knows Ariel by name because we had some stickers with the princesses' faces on them.  When Sophie saw Ariel, she goes, "Oh, look, there's Airel!" followed quickly by a gasp, shocked look, and a disdainful "SHE'S A MERMAID!!!!!"  It was toooo funny. 

After a few more rides, a freakout by Sophie when the fireworks started (she does not like loud things!), and a little shopping time with Grandma (Sophie picked out a Rapunzel dress, doll, and Pascal the chameleon toy and Calvin got a bunch of pirate stuff--Grandma knows how to spoil them!), Calvin and Sophie both passed out and Ryan and Grandma went on their 10:45 pm fast pass ride on Space Mountain, which Ryan loved, of course!  By the time they were done and found us again, it was 11:30 pm and I was so sore all over that I had to will myself to take each and every step.  My stomach muscles were in so much pain after carrying my pregnant belly around all day, not to mention the sore feet!  But it was all worth it--it was such a fun day!

So, we headed out back to the car at 11:30 and got to bed by about 1 am.  Whew!  It was such an amazing day.  Thanks so much, Grandma and Grandpa!

Here are about a bajillion pictures of our fun day!

 Sophie and Grandma before setting out for the day!



Grandma entertained the kids with ring pops, about a million games of ring-around-the-rosie, and races!


Sophie loved her ring pop!


Grandma racing Calvin and Sophie.  Check out Sophie's face.  Calvin told her she was losing, and she broke down.


So then Grandma raced just with Sophie.  




Sophie in front of the castle:


Sophie and me by the mural in Cinderella's castle:


Dancing with Cinderella!


Sophie was oh so happy!


Meeting Aurora:


Meeting Rapunzel!  Rapunzel is Sophie's very favorite princess.


She just loved every minute!


Slushie time!

 
Ice cream time!



Lily was very proud of her strawberry ice cream.


Sophie taking her Grandpa nap:


Sophie woke up just in time to meet Eyore!  Look at that crazy nap hair!



Meeting Pooh Bear:






And Piglet, too!

 




Meeting Tigger!  I love Sophie's face in this one:


 

Sophie getting a piggy back ride from Daddy:


Ryan after his Buzz Lightyear triumph:


Meeting Buzz Lightyear!




These are the best 2 family shots we could manage.  Should have done that earlier in the day!



Michael and me and Sophie checking out Cinderella's castle:







Waiting in line for the carousel.  I love this picture:



She LOVED the carousel!



Riding the Dumbo ride with Calvin and Sophie:



Tired Calvin!


Poor Michael!  Pushing a sleeping Calvin in the stroller and carrying Ryan on his back!  What a good Daddy.


And Grandpa got Sophie again!















Sunday, February 17, 2013

Florida!!!

Well, we are back from our awesome trip to Florida!  We had a great time with Grandma and Grandpa, and definitely loved the 80 degree weather.  It was such a nice break!

Since it will definitely take more than one post, here is a quick overview:

 We left on Thursday evening, and got in pretty late!  The kids did great on the flight, mainly because Calvin and Sophie were sitting by Grandma and Grandpa, and Michael let Ryan play games on the computer.  I sat all by myself, and it was pretty amazing!

Anyways, we got in late, and got to our hotel just before midnight.  Bright and early Friday morning, Ryan headed off to Universal Studios with Luke, Grandma and Grandpa!  Michael and I let Calvin and Sophie sleep a little longer and then we headed off to the Animal Kingdom.  On Saturday, we all met up at the Magic Kingdom, which was crowded but awesome.  On Sunday Grandma and Grandpa left, and Michael and I gave the kids a rest day at the hotel and headed out to look around the Orlando Temple after taking Grandma and Grandpa to the airport.  After naps we played games at the hotel and got to bed early.  Monday we spent all day at the beach!  It was heavenly.  Then Tuesday (Ryan's 7th birthday!!!) we flew home!

We all had such a great time.  The kids did great for running on little sleep and being dragged around everywhere, and we made some great family memories!

So today I'll just write about our Friday events--Universal Studios and Animal Kingdom.  Like I said, Ryan had an early start to his day with Grandma and Grandpa and Luke.  He actually stayed over at their hotel so they could get going by about 7:15 to pick up Luke and get over to the park when it opened.  Ryan had the best day of his life, I am pretty sure.  He and Luke got to do only "big kid" stuff all day and had Grandma and Grandpa all to themselves.  Grandma said that those boys just ate and ate and ate all day long, and I believe it!  They checked out the Harry Potter world, did Jurassic Park rides, and did all kinds of exciting, fun things that they would probably never get to do with their siblings in tow.  When Ryan came back to our hotel around 9:30, he was so very happy, yet so very exhausted.  His head hit the pillow and he was out!  It was a very happy day for little Mr. Ryan.  Here are some pictures my mom took of their day at Universal:

Here are Grandma, Luke and Ryan at Mel's Diner in Universal Studios:


And standing with Dr. Doom (I must be lame, I have no idea who this is...):


And I'm pretty sure this is them on Platform 9¾ ready to jump on the Hogwarts Express:


Here they are outside of Hogwarts, I think:


And probably buying some kind of Harry Potter treat:


Like I said, they had oh SO much fun!  And while they did, Michael and I and Sophie and Calvin were off having oh so much fun at the Animal Kingdom!  We started off going on the safari ride so that we could see the animals while they were out and active, instead of at nap time.  It was great, Calvin and Sophie had so much fun seeing the animals!  They loved the giraffes, elephants, crocodiles, rhinos, and all of the others they saw.  Calvin especially had a great time!

After the safari we headed towards the dinosaur land so we could go on a few rides there.  On the way, Michael and Calvin went on Mount Everest, which Calvin was a little scared of, but turned out being so proud of himself for riding it afterwards.  He kept talking about the Yeti and how they had to drive backwards to get away.  He had so much fun!  At dinosaur land, we all rode on a flying dino ride that the kids adored, and then Michael and Calvin went on the "Dinosaur" ride, about going back in time to try to save a dinosaur before an asteroid hits (that one scared Calvin a bit...) while Sophie fell asleep in the stroller!  She was out for about 2.5 or 3 hours, which was so awesome!  We did some nature walks and had some lunch while she slept, and the nature walks turned out to be some of my favorite parts.  It was cute watching Calvin listen to the guides and soak up all of the information.   He still talks about how flamingos love to live in clean water and how otters like to snuggle with their brothers and sisters and eat mice and snakes.

Sophie woke up from her nap just in time to get an up-close look at a hippo swimming underwater right by the big window we were standing by.  The kids loved the hippo and his tiny little furry tail.  Those things are so huge, it's crazy.  She also LOVED the tigers, but said again and again how glad she was that she couldn't go in where the tigers were and that they couldn't come get her.  Me too, Sophie, me too!  Next we headed over to the petting zoo and let the kids chase goats and pigs around, which they thought was great.  It was a really fun day!  We headed back to the hotel around dinner time and picked up a pizza and fed the kids and shipped them off to bed!  We had such a great time!

Here are some pictures from our day at Animal Kingdom:

This one's a little fuzzy, but here are Sophie and me on the safari ride:


And Michael and Calvin:


Sophie by the elephants!


Here we are on the flying dinosaur ride:



Calvin wanted to shake the T-rex's hand:


While Michael found something to eat and picked up a fast pass or two, Calvin and Sophie had a great time climbing all over this dinosaur:




Calvin in front of the Mount Everest ride.  See how proud he looks?


Sophie making kissy faces at Mr. Goat:


Calvin petting a goat:


I was so tired after walking around all day in my pretty pregnant state.  I had no idea what I was in for though, Saturday was SO much worse!  But we'll get to that later.  So here's the tired Mama belly shot from Friday:


Calvin with Rafiki:


Calvin fell asleep just like this.  It's like he was doing a little fist-pump in honor of the entire day.



So that was day #1!  Stay tuned for the rest!