Monday, September 27, 2010

Day 5...part 1...

Day five started out early! Josh was up at 6 and the rest of us were up by 6:30! Remember, this is EASTERN TIME! EEK! But we had a breakfast ADR at Akershus at 8:30so we needed to be on our way by 7:30. The bus situation is not the greatest at All Star Music, but we were in Disney so it brushed off easily. We arrived a bit late, but it wasn't a problem. We were quickly seated(within 3 minutes) yet before we were seated we had the big meet with Belle. Belle has become Kira's favorite princess, im not exactly sure when she switched from Cinderella, but im happy since Belle is my favorite. Kira got to wear her new Belle dress that we gave her for her birthday(we celebrated it a bit early but its Disney World, anything is possible :)...anyways, tangent over. We first met Belle before being seated. I knew it would be dissapointing, since all she does is sign autographs and then you are ushered to your seat. And there was no surprise. Josh didn't even get a picture with his camera. It was in, smile, out, done. But thats ok. We knew we would see her again in France. Breakfast was delicious. Snow White was by far the best princess to come around. She spent so much time with Akira and really made her come out of her 'shy shell.' It was fabulous! The food was also delicious...which of course, is why we went back. After a filling and delicious breakfast, plus Daddy going all gaga eyes over Ariel(she being his childhood 'fantasy' princess;)...admit it, every boy had one! We headed out to enjoy the park, at a relaxing pace of course. We started at test track. Kira still didn't want to ride it so the babyswap pass came in handy. Since Josh and I were also celebrating our 5th anniversary, by this day whenever I was on a ride and someone asked where my spouse was, I started to reply that as a treat for being married for five years I got to go to Disney without Josh...I mean really!?! Where do you think he is? I left him in the car? The doghouse? kept people smiling and gave me one of those *eye rolling* moments. When we had finished with test track, it was time for world showcase to open so we headed back that way to meander around the countries. We stopped at the Kim Possible kiosk to get our fastpass for a KP mission. We also stopped at the baby care center, I noticed that Rora was a little warmer than usual and since it was in a convenient spot, I made use of it. It was very nice and we were able to nurse in privacy, not that that matters to me, but it helped Rora to buckle down and eat without any distractions. When she was finished we were back out and on our way to a whirlwind tour around the world! First stop was Mexico. Shopping, Kidcot and an enjoyable ride on what we call the "Mexican small world." A fun start to our day. Plus by the time we left the pavillion Kira was saying 'Hola' to all the cast members. Adorable! We next headed to Norway. The line for the ride was ridiculous so we skipped the Maelstrom ride and shopped our way around Norway. Next we headed to China where we were summoned to help save the world! Of course, it is all thanks to Verizon Wireless(they're a great cell phone company, excellent coverage and they treat their employees Kira knows how to spell it and that is too cute! She saw the Verizon logo on our KP phone and was so excited because, "that's where my Daddy works!" The mission was so fun! Next trip I think we will plan three days for Epcot just so we can do all the missions as they brought the kid out in Josh and my heart was melting as he and Kira were saving the world:) Of course, no trip (even to save the world) would be complete without enjoying some shopping. As an added bonus, on our way out of China Mulan stopped to congratulate Kira for saving China, and to wish 'Princess Belle' happy birthday :) As we left China we ran into Snow White again! She has so much fun visiting with Kira at breakfast that she cleared her schedule to see her again! Of course, Kira was once again awestruck. After we perused Germany we hopped on the ferry so we could enjoy our lunch at Coral Reef. It was by far the best meal of the trip. Light, refreshing and delicious food! We were seated right by the fish tank so we had great conversation. Plus Kira ate all her food! Coming up next, what happened after lunch...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Hollywood Studios

Day four started out rough. Rora had been having a hard time sleeping so I was only averaging around 5-6 hours of sleep each night of our trip so by our Hollywood Studios day I was exhausted. I don't do well on less than 8-9 hours of sleep each night and was surprised that I hadn't had a migraine that was bad enough to have me throwing up...anyways, we had an early morning reservation at 1900 Park Fare for breakfast. This was the breakfast that Kira was most excited about since Mary Poppins would be there and she is Kira's favorite. Needless to say, we were to tired to get up and slept through our reservation.

We made it to Hollywood Studios around 11:30 and got there with perfect timing! Donald Duck and Daisy were just coming out. Kira's favorite of the 'traditional' characters is Daisy so to see her with Donald without having to wait in a HUGE line was such a nice start. After a nice chat with Daisy and Donald, I ran off to grab fastpasses for Toy Story Mania while Josh took the girls to see Minnie Mouse. Again, perfect timing as I returned just as they finished meeting her. Impeccable timing!

We really wanted to see 'all' Hollywood Studios had to offer as last year we didn't see or do very much. It was a mistake! We did see and do practically everything, but were exhausted by dinnertime(3:40).
We saw Indiana Jones: Definately a must do again!
Rode the great Movie Ride: again, a must do!
Watched Little Mermaid: Kira's 2nd favorite show of the day!
Rode the backlot tour: skip! Way hot and boring, plus the water that they 'recycle' for each tram is so dirty!!
Saw the Stunt Spectacular: It was ok, not my favorite but worth seeing.
Saw Muppets, 3D: cute!!
And grabbed a bite to eat at Pizza Planet: the pizza was surprisingly delicious, the 25 minute wait was atrocious!...and we went at 1 so after the main lunch crowd!

Anyways, we were beat and in need of a great meal! The food at 50's Prime Time Cafe was just ok. Not special at all. Plus I made the mistake of telling Kira that she could order whatever she wanted. She chose chicken nuggets which she normally doesn't eat(except Chick Fil A's) and these were miniature hockey pucks! She took one bite and wouldn't eat anything else. At least we got her a fruit cup for dessert that she ate later. The ambiance was really nice and the shakes were delicious! Plus our waitress came out and sang happy birthday to Kira which made her light up. We won't be back here again, but it's nice to say that we at least tried it.

After our slightly dissapointing meal we headed off to Toy Story Mania. It was one of the rides we missed last year and I had heard great things about it(thanks :D ) It did not dissapoint. Fantastic ride! Not worth waiting in line for 60-80 minutes(which is what the wait time was throughout the day), but it was fabulous with a fastpass!

Next we headed over to Beauty and the Beast. By far one of the cutest productions that Disney does and a must see for everyone! Kira's eyes were lit up like Christmas the entire show. Of course, it's even sweeter since Belle is her current 'favorite' princess.

By now Kira was in need of a break and was able to eat the fruit that was saved from her dinner. Josh went off to ride Tower of Terror while I sat on a bench with both girls. A sweet looking elder lady came and sat down next to me. Usually I love it when people come sit next to me and are chatty...but she was awful! All she did was complain about every little thing about the trip and I kept trying to find a way that I could politely escape! She really left a sour taste in my mouth and made me so grateful for what I have! I vowed to make the rest of our trip much better and everytime that I wanted to complain I thought of her and bit my tongue.
Soon Josh rescued me and I was able to ride Tower of Terror. It would have been ok, I am not one for freefalls, but I wanted to try it once. The worst part was that there was a small boy on the ride(about Kira's age) that cried and clung to both his Mom and I the entire ride. It made me so glad that Kira hadn't wanted to try it, even though she is now 'big enough.'
After that traumatic ride ;) I went off to ride Rockin' rollercoaster. It is now my FAVORITE coaster! So neat! And there was no time when it felt like my glasses were going to come off. Josh declined to ride it because it goes upside down and is in the dark...but he likes Tower of Terror!?!
I got off the ride and the fam was waiting for me! We had one final show to watch before heading back to our hotel to bed, Fantastmic. It is such a great production. Unfortunately we weren't expecting it to be quite as crowded(last year we walked in minutes before the show started and had perfect seats at the back of the stadium...this year, it was standing room only and was packed!

The show was great! We snuck out as the fireworks were starting and beelined for the buses. We got there just as a bus pulled in and were able to have seats for the way back to the hotel. They were a much needed break from standing! Plus there were a couple of nice families that we were able to visit with while we waited for the bus to be filled up like sardines :D
All in all it was a good day. We tried to do to much and ended up a bit grumpy by mealtime, yet we were able to salvage the night and enjoy each others company. If I were to do it over I would have skipped some things all together and possibly taken two days at Hollywood Studios. Especially since we missed a great place for pictures. We didn't have time to play in the Honey I shrunk the...playground. There is always next trip ;) And Aurora will be walking by then...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

babies and tv

Ok, so I probably shouldn't get on any 'forums' but I do like to read them(I rarely post) when Aurora is nursing.. anyways, I just read a post that infuriated me. My comments are such that I don't want to start an argument there as it won't change their minds and will cause a needless words war online. Back to the post. A mom was wondering what she needed to bring for a 9month old on a 15 hour car ride. There were a few ideas, but most people said that even for that age they pack a dvd player...REALLY!?! Rora isn't the easiest baby in the car and on our last trip she cried unless I was in the back with her. Yet it never occured to me to turn on a tv show for her. Is the tv really becoming so much of a babysitter that even infants are watching it? How sad is it that our country is turning on the tv and off the parent/child interactions. Is there a wonder why we are so obese? Especially if our kids are already able to sit through a tv show and be intertained at 9 MONTHS OF AGE!!!
Ok, off my soapbox...any thoughts?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Our third day in Disney was our sleep in day. ..HAHAHAHAHA! Of course, Aurora had other ideas and we were up by 7:30. We got going and made it to Animal Kingdom shortly after it opened and headed straight for the safari. We had to wait a couple minutes because we arrived before the ride started. The animals were lively and it was a fun start to the day.

We then headed over to Tusker House for breakfast. It was soo delicious! Our favorite breakfast on Disney property hands down. Plus the characters are there. Daisy was the best. She loved on Rora and made a big deal about Kira's birthday button.

After breakfast we took in the Animal Kingdom. I have to admit, it's my least favorite park. It's just so darn hot and everything is so spread out that there is more "wasted" time. Not the way I like to do things. Plus the fact that animals aren't as fascinating to me as they are to others makes it harder to show enthusiasm. Kira had a blast on the walking trails and used hte guide to find all the animals. It was neat to see her so engaged. Plus she got to show off her knowledge of deer by pointing them out without looking at the map. Must have something to do with all those dates with Grampa to Cabellas :)
We stuck around for the parade and it was neat. Kira didn't make it, she crashed in the stroller about 30 minutes before it started. We woke her up to see the parade, she was happy to see the characters, but grumpy.

After the parade we headed out to dinner at 1900 Park Fare. On our way out we stopped to get a picture in front of the Tree of Life since Josh wouldn't let us stop for a picture when we arrived at the park. It was a HUGE mistake! Kira didn't want to smile. Thankfully a couple that we had met earlier in the day were walking past and got her to smile for the photopass picture...Of course, I haven't ordered it and am not sure if I is the picture where she is pouting.

Dinner was pretty good, Kira was thrilled to see Cinderella and the step sisters were fun. I doubt we will return here again as it wasn't anything special, good, but not great.

Overall it was a fun day. Not my favorite day and honestly, if we go for less than a week again, I doubt that we will go to Animal Kingdom. It's just not our park. However, any time that I get to see Josh interact with his girls is fun :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Day two, Magic Kingdom day, dawned bright and early. It took a bit to get the girls up, but once they were awake Kira was so excited to get going!

We headed off to the Magic Kingdom to catch the opening show. It was cute, but not worth getting up early to see. The best part of it was when a cast member gave Kira some 'magic' to throw at the end of the show - when they open the park. She was so diligent in holding it that when it came time to throw it, it was stuck to her hand. She could have had a mini melt down then, but just smiled and shook it off and then threw it :D

After stopping for a delicious breakfast at the main street bakery - cinnamon roll for the girls and I and a cherry danish for Josh. It was soo yummy! We headed off to toontown to see the fairies. Kire was so excited to see Tinkerbell. She was one of the 'must see' items on Kira's list. The way that they have 'pixie hollow' in toontown was so cute. You exit the line and enter a smaller line in another room where there are larger than life mushrooms, leaves and flowers. From there you enter the room with the fairies so there isn't anyone in there but those that are with the fairies. Josh got really into the 'shrinking' process and was so sweet with Kira. We had her close her eyes and spin in circles and then magically she was shrunk down to the size of the fairies. Definately a great start to the day. Just seeing the way that Josh was totally absorbed in fulfilling Kira's fantasy was magical.

Since we were in toontown, we did all that toontown has to offer. Last year, Kira's favorite ride was the barnstormer(rollercoaster.) This year, I was able to get her to ride it once, but she wasn't feeling the rollercoasters this trip, we could'nt get her on any other ones. A bit of a bummer, yet there is so much to see and do in Disney that they weren't as missed.

Next we headed over to fantasyland and rode/did everything! Thank goodness for air conditioned rides! They were a lifesaver for Rora. She nursed three times (from 10am-1pm) and everytime she nursed was in the air conditioning.
After we finished with fantasyland, we headed over to Crystal Palace for lunch. I wasn't looking forward to it as a meal, it was a buffet(I HATE buffets!) but we went to see Pooh Bear and gang. The meal was surprisingly delicious. Even Kira ventured out of her element and asked for salmon - ok, so salmon is a staple at our house, but it was still nice that she didn't just eat chicken nuggets and mac'n'cheese. The only character that didnt just stop for a half second picture was tigger and he was enthralled with Aurora. She in turn wouldn't stop looking at him for even a picture. He also didn't forget about Kira and spent time with her as well. Kudos to him because he made my day!

After lunch we headed over to Adventureland and rode/did all that it had to offer. We also finished Liberty square and frontierland. Kira's favorite ride is now Pirates of the Carribean. Right outside the ride Goofy was waiting all decked out as a pirate. Since he was a pirate, Kira decided to give him her best pirate 'aarg.' It was so cute! Goofy backed up scared and it took him a minute to come near her again. I was very proud of her since she usually clams up when she sees the characters.

Dinner was a California Grill. This was our favorite meal last year and we couldn't wait to eat there again. And once again, it didn't dissapoint. It was delicious! They had my favorite dessert idea. Rice Crispie Sushi. I will definitely be making this one at home!

Day two was fabulous and we headed back to our hotel to bed fully exhausted knowing that we did as much as any sane person could do in a day!

We didn't ride anything in tomorrowland, we skipped the Hall of Presidents, Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Railroad. We had such a great day!

Up next: Hollywood Studios!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our first day in Disney World!!!

Day 1
We left home around 8pm, leaving of course, an hour later than we had planned on. The trip to Orlando was uneventful. Both girls slept the majority of the way which allowed me to sleep too. Poor Josh drove the whole night with just an hour nap.  Our room was at the back of All Star Music, so it took forever to get our bags to our room and get back to the bus. I think the walk to our room took longer everyday!
Upon arrival, we headed out to Epcot. It was our first park of the week, we were so excited! We immediately headed to Nemo. We had enough time to do the ride, Turtle Talk with Crush and play for a while before heading on to lunch at Le Cellier. I wasn’t as excited for this meal, last trip I was unimpressed with it. We had bad service and the food was way to salty. This year, the food was just ok. It isn’t a place we will eat at again. However, our server was fabulous! Very attentive without being overbearing.
After lunch we went to Soarin. Kira was finally tall enough to ride it! She loved it and got to ride twice in a row thanks to the baby swap pass.  Next we rode living with the land, it was a bit over the top on the environmental side, but seeing the hydroponics was really cool. When we left there, we headed over to figment. It was our first time riding this one, I don’t think its very popular since there was NO ONE there. It wasn’t as bad as the lack of people suggested. It was cute and the play area after was a blast for Kira.
Up next was meeting some of the characters. Chip and Dale had almost no line! Aurora stole the show with them and every other character. They all adored her. And she in turn adored them. We also saw the fab five with only a five minute wait. They all spent extra time with us and I think it was because Rora was so darn adorable. She even danced with Goofy!
Our next order of business sent us over to club cool. We grabbed the camera and gave both girls a taste of the Beverly, just waiting to capture their reactions….it was such a letdown! Neither one puckered, gagged, or even stopped drinking it. It was so bizarre! Of course we tried every flavor, my favorite being the watermelon soda from China. It’s delicious! One year I think I may just take an empty water bottle and fill it up! Yummy!
We then rode Spaceship Earth and headed over to Test Track. Kira was tall enough and we thought she would enjoy it…we were wrong! I think it may be because of our car accident last Sept. that she knows how scary they can be, anyways, while waiting in line they show a video of a test crash. It scared the bajeebies out of her! She cried until we were away from it.(and no, we didn’t make her ride it.) Unfortunately it scared her so much that she refused to try other rides, even splash mountain which is so mild. Oh well, maybe next year…
Much to the relief of Akira, we left the park and headed over to dinner at Narcoossee’s. The Grand Floridian hotel is my dream hotel. It’s like stepping back in time. They had a piano player playing a grand piano as we arrived and as we left, they had a full band playing. *sigh* It was heaven! Dinner was delicious! My only peeve was that they didn’t have real butter. They give you an entire lobster, but no real butter!?! It just doesn’t make sense. Although they did put sea salt on the butter substitute that comes with the bread and that was delicious, it saved my lobster!
By the end of dinner we were all ready for bed. We got our desserts to go and headed back to our hotel to bed. Poor Josh had been up almost 36 hours!
It was a fabulous way to start our vacation!