Monday, September 29, 2008

Disney World- We're Back!

We have returned from Disney World. After what seems to be a long long time we are finally home! Of course we had a fabulous, wonderful time too! It was also totally exhausting! We are coming down from a week of being on a sugar high, being over stimulated, and being sleep deprived and oh yeah two sick kiddos (more on that later)! But, hey, isn't that what Disney is about?

We left last Friday and stayed in a Marriott that night. The next morning we got up and checked into the Animal Kingdom Lodge in Disney World. It was incredible! We had a safari view room, which meant we had zebras, giraffes, wildebeests, and tons more animals right outside our room. It was too cool to get up every morning and look out our window and feel like we were in the middle of Africa looking at a savanna. The rooms were neat too because they had bunk beds for the kids, which they really loved!

So day 1 we went to the Animal Kingdom park. This is such a neat place and I had never been there before. We started the day with an African safari. They take you around on these jeeps and through the savannas to get close up views of the animals. The kids loved it and so did we! I think for Josh and I the most fabulous attraction at the Animal Kingdom was the Festival of the Lion King. This is a live show that Disney has just done an incredible job with. It was seriously amazing! If you ever go to the AK, make sure to visit this show- we loved it! Other things we did there was ride several rides- Dinosaur(a scary ride that Paxton loved, but mama did not so much care for it-I think I am getting too old for these type of rides!), the river rapids (Paxton and Josh were totally soaked to the bone after this one!), a Bugs Life ( a 3D show in which stuff shoots out at you and spiders fall from the ceiling-also a show in which our kids completely freaked out in and screamed the entire show-oops, we didn't know it was scary!) and Finding Nemo the Musical (also a fabulous show). Wow! And that's just some of one park! Josh says the Animal Kingdom Park was his favorite but we all really loved it!

That night we went to the Polynesian Resort for a Disney Luau. It too was wonderful. Great food, great show! Paxton really loved the part where the man danced with fire and ate it! He keeps talking about that part of the show. We also met up with our friends the Combee's that night. They were our vacation partners this week. Will, Marshall and Wade are their three boys and Paxton loves to play with them, so it was great to have some friends there for Paxton and Lorelei as well as us!

On to day 2 (don't worry, I am not going to write about our whole trip in one blog) we started the day earlier than early at Chef Mickey's in the Contemporary Resort. This was a character breakfast where Mickey, Donald, Minnie, Pluto and Goofy come around to each table and do autographs and pictures while you eat your breakfast - which includes scrumptious food and Mickey waffles! We loved our first character breakfast and in the middle of the meal they had a party where all the kids and characters get up and sing and swing the napkins in the air and dance to music. It was too cute and too fun! Lorelei was in heaven especially! She adored the characters this week- much more so than any ride or show we did. She would get so excited and just giddy to see each one! It was worth every penny just to see her face when she saw someone new!

After breakfast we went to the Magic Kingdom. Ahhh. . . I just love the Magic Kingdom because I have so many great childhood memories there. I hope to be making these same memories for my kids as well. Anyway, the kids were really excited to see Cinderella's castle. Our first stop was fantasy land. This land has all the kiddie rides. We did PeterPan, It's a Small World, Snow White, Winnie the Pooh, The Tea Cups, Dumbo and Cinderella's Carousel. Lorelei said It's a Small World "was her best!" And she sang the song all week long! A special treat occurred at the Tea Cups because Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter jumped on with us to take a spin- what a special treat!

Following Fantasyland, Paxton and daddy went to ride Goofy's roller coaster while Lorelei and I waited in line to see Ariel at her Grotto. This was seriously the longest line we waited in all week! It was about 40 minutes long! Speaking of lines, September is a great time to go! We never waited more than 10 minutes for anything and the weather for the most part was great (we melted on day 2 but other than that it was pretty good). Ok, I digress, Ariel was a thrill and she loved on Lorelei and Lorelei loved it! But nothing was quite as wonderful as what happened next! We went to a character spot to meet some Princesses. They only let a few people in at a time. So we went in to meet Aurora (Sleeping Beauty), Cinderella and Belle. They each were so sweet and spent so much time with each of our kids. Lorelei just couldn't stop hugging each one. As we were trying to usher our kids out so more kids could come it, one of the Princesses leaned over and said "If you stay just a minute, we can get pictures with all of us with no one in here." Well of course we were all thrilled to have all 3 princesses to ourselves in this room. They had ushered everyone else out and and had not let anyone else come in. So it was just us, the princesses, and the photographers! Oh, it was so wonderful! Lorelei and Paxton danced with each of the princesses, gave them hugs and kisses and got lots of pictures with all three! We felt quite special and I was so thrilled for my kiddos.

After that highlight we went on to ride the race cars, the Buzz Lightyear ride (which was too cool) and then Paxton got to meet Buzz-he was very excited, one of his top most must meet characters. We rode a few more rides and then headed to the parade. At this point we were all melting from the heat and since we had not had a nap the day before, the kids were pretty tired. But we held out and stayed for the parade. We got a great spot and got to see all the characters up close. Paxton was pretty tired at this point (and actually getting sick but we didn't know it then) and missed a lot of the parade but he did catch the "Step in time" guys from Mary Poppins (he loves that part of the movie because they get "wild"). After the parade we headed back to our resort for a much needed nap!

After naptime, we returned to the Magic Kingdom for another character meal at the Crystal Palace. For this meal we ate dinner with Winnie the Pooh and friends. This was also a fun dinner but not one of our favorites. At this point Paxton had started running a fever and continued to the next few days. He had some sort of nasty virus that involved fever and sores in his mouth- just lovely. We loaded him up with Motrin and poor Josh carried him around all week. He still had fun but there was a LOT of whining that occurred because of it! I hope he will look back and remember only the fun things from this week! Anyway, after dinner we rode a few more rides (Splash Mountain- only Josh and Paxton because Lorelei was too short) and then went back for a good night's sleep. Oh man, just typing about all this is making me tired! I think I will take a break and leave you with some pictures from our first couple of days. These are pictures we took with our camera but we will be getting some Disney photos soon too. I will post those when we get them. I will blog more about our trip in a few days so check back! I think I have filled you all with enough knowledge for now!

Pictures of the Animal Kingdom Lodge








The View from our Room



The Animal Kingdom Park


Paxton on a safari!


The Luau



Chef Mickey's



The Magic Kingdom


Alice in Wonderland and the Mad Hatter


Riding the tea cups



Paxton and Buzz Lightyear



Will, Marshall, Paxton and Wade outside of the Buzz Lightyear ride.



I love Lorelei's face in this picture!


The Princesses: Belle, Aurora, and Cinderella


The Crystal Palace Pooh Character Dinner

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Happy B-day Grandmama!

Tomorrow is Grandmama's birthday-hurray! Mom, we love you so much and you mean the world to us! You are the best mom and grandmama around! Hope you have a great one! Yesterday we celebrated her birthday at Lala, Pam and Von's house and today Lorelei and I are taking Grandmama out for lunch. Here are some cute pics from yesterday with all the cousins!


Cute pic of Nathan holding his little brother, Micah.