Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Happenings

What fun for a 4 year old on Halloween. It was the most perfect night for Trick or Treating...ever! Seriously, you couldn't have asked for a more beautiful night. Seth went with his friends down the street...however the bigger boys were way too fast for Seth and Marybeth, his Snow White friend. They were so cute...just walking down the street...doing their thing...Priceless!

Originally, he just wanted to trick or treat a little and then come back and pass out candy...you know Seth...better to give than receive (ha ha). Anyway....he was having so much fun w/ his buddies that he hardly had any time left to pass out candy. But...he did have fun sorting out the candy (with Nana) afterwards. So...how many pieces of candy do you let your kids eat on Halloween...that is the question!
We finally got around to carving the pumpkins last night. He wasn't too fond of the "gooey" insides...but he chose the designs for each. Maybe in a few years I'll feel okay letting him carve it himself.

Otherwise...we are slowly getting back into the swing of things since vacation. Andy has had some sort of flu and has been home from work the past 2 days. He is very very weak...but hopefully he's turned a corner tonight.

I did have fun this morning. One of the local elementary schools did a book drive during their recent book fair. This morning, Seth and I went to Hickory Center to receive the donations during a schoolwide assembly. It was very cool to see all the books that the kids picked out for the kart. In fact I labeled them this evening...and there are some very cool books...I'm sure they will go super super fast.



It was a bittersweet night...last year...Halloween was one of Kate's better days. We have such fond memories of Halloween with her last year. She was so cute and so excited about the candy. She would put all of it in her mouth...and she wouldn't let anyone take any away from her bucket! We love you...our little monster!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Disney Day 6--The End

Woke up this morning to find a little bit of a chill in the Florida air...in fact...too much chill to even take a swim. But...we did go exploring and found all sorts of bigger than life fun stuff around the resort. We finished packing...and since we had to be at the Magical Express bus at 11:30...it was a very quick morning (considering we forced ourselves to finish our meal plans and ate breakfast and lunch within a 2 hour period!)






Our resort was just perfect for kids...with playgrounds...pools...giant climb on toys...so much color...fun pictures...fun wallpaper. It was perfect. But...I can't even begin to imagine what some of the upscale (adult) type resorts are like...considering this was a value resort...I'm sure some of the others are just out of this world! (The staircase was inside the bucket of soldiers...how cute is that)

The plane flight went smooth...we really ran into no problems at all. Seth even made sure his new friend, Slinky, was safe on the trip home.



We got back home around 8:30 this evening...and the boys are already both tucked in bed in our FREEZING house. So...what's up with this...it is absolutely freezing here...I can't believe 24 hours ago I was basking in the warm beautiful sun...and now...the heat won't kick on fast enough.
I did get all sentimental today...as we were walking around the resorts...we see a WDW balloon...just hovering over us. I chased it down a little...and the thought came out that it was just a little present from Kate. How sweet is that...I know there is probably some kid crying his eyes out...but for me...it was just a very simple reminder that our sweet little girl was still with us. Unfortunately...we had to deflate it for the plane ride home...so if anyone has a helium tank sitting around their house?

Well...I guess it's back at it...back at the real world. In fact...I am even subbing at Seth's preschool tomorrow morning...that should be fun. Plus...with laundry, no food in the house and tons of catching up to do w/ Kate's Kart...I think we'll stay pretty busy.

But needless to say...I'm just a little sad tonight...sad that the trip has to end....but there will be more...and that's what makes any trip so much fun...the anticipation of what's next? And I thought it was so cute...we weren't in our van in Indy for 2 minutes before Seth was saying...when are we going to go again? I think I will hear that a lot the next few days.

But most importantly...I have to say THANK YOU to Grandma...thanks for giving us all a magical trip that we definitely won't forget. We love you!

Disney Day 5

And again...we were blessed with another perfect day. The weather the past 2 days has been nothing but amazing. We slept in (a little), grabbed a quick breakfast and headed back to the Magic Kingdom. Again...it wasn't very crowded and we were able to finish out all the rides we didn't get to yesterday and a couple of Seth's favorites...the Indy cars and he LOVES the Tomorrowland train that goes through Space Mountain.

tAnd he even got his "mouse ears" today!

We made a special effort to watch the afternoon parade. Did I mention how much I love the parades. It was a little hot and I just have so much compassion for those characters...but you would never know it...they have so much energy! And...while we were waiting for the parade some friends from church walked by...it is a "small world" after all!

Then...we jumped back on the monorail to head over to Epcot...to finish it and see it in the daylight hours...plus that's where our dinner reservations were.We rode the space ride (the one that goes through the giant ball...Seth LOVES it cause it has the movie with your face in it at the end). Then...off to the World Showcase for dinner at the Mexican Restaurant.NOw...you may know I LOVE Mexican...however...this is was AUTHENTIC Mexican...not the TexMex stuff. But it was good (just different) and we were glad we tried it...it's one of those meals you would probably never order again...but you were glad you experienced it...once!

Andy had some "research" to do after dinner so we split up for a while. He is coaching the academic team and the topic is the Viking history this year. He was told at his seminar in Indy a few weeks ago that the best place to get info was in the Norway exhibit at EPCOT...how lucky was that? So while he was doing that Seth, Grandma and I went on a character hunt...and guess who we found over in England?

We actually headed back to the hotel at a decent hour tonight and FINALLY got a chance to go swimming in the resort pool. It was a little on the chilly side...at 8:30 at night...but then again...it is almost November! Seth loved it...and we promised him another quick dip in the morning. Back in the room...we did some packing and Seth also got a chance to dig into his stash (actually...it's Andy's and mine too) He was so excited...we had to sort it all out into piles based on the type of candy and then he sorted into the candy he likes and stuff he wants to give away.
So...it's late...but I just had to update...while the memories were still fresh. We head out at 11 tomorrow so we are done at the parks (boo hoo) but will have some time to enjoy and explore the resort...something we just haven't done yet.

The past 4 days...and especially these past 2 have been amazing...How I pray that Seth will hold onto some of these memories. I bought a scrapbook pad of Disney paper tonight...and can't wait to get started...although it doesn't seem like I took a lot of pictures...over 100 in 4 days will keep me plenty busy and give a great representation of the trip!

It was so fun to read your comments...and hear how our trip brings back your magical memories...how fun!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Disney Day 4

WOW...How do I even begin to describe our day. I can honestly say that it was probably in the top 10 of the best days in my life. Everything about the day was magical...including the amazing turn-around behavior of Seth

1st thing...we are up early to catch the monorail to another resort. We heard from our neighbors that we could sit in the front...we asked...it was our lucky day and Seth got to be co-pilot. It wasn't busy that time of the morning...so we even rode the entire loop.

Then...breakfast at Chef Mickey's. It was very fun...Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto & Donald were all there...came to our table, signed autographs and took pictures. Seth's smile was unbelievable...he was SO excited to get their autograph. The buffet was huge...and very very tasty. It was a fun morning for all of us.




Then...off to the Magic Kingdom. It really wasn't busy at all...and we were able to ride a majority of the rides...especially all the ones Seth loved. The lines weren't bad at all...very very tolerable.
Enjoying his daily afternoon ice cream snack!


Driving the Indy cars...his FAVORITE ride!
We ate an early dinner at Tony's Town Hall. It was the only restaurant we could get into at the Magic Kingdom...and it was EXCELLENT. It was the "Lady & Tramp" restaurant and featured incredible Italian food. Fabulous. We really lucked out on the default dining here.

Then...time to get our costumes on for Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. They shut down the park to regular guests...and only allowed those in who had tickets. It was pricey...but SO worth it for many reasons.

1. There are virtually NO LINES...we walked onto all the rides that Seth wanted to ride (and a few others too). We did the Buzz Lightyear ride 2 more times and walked onto Pirates as well as probably 10 other rides.

2. Most of the people are dressed in costumes...including the adults. There were a lot of themed families which was very cute. Made people watching even more fun.


3. There are dozens of trick or treat stations all over the park...where they literally put handfuls of candy into your trick or treat bags...and the real stuff--Hersheys, M&M, suckers, tootsie roll...you name it they had it all) I I can't even begin the fathom the amount of candy they go through in October during these parties.


4. They have a special fireworks show...with lights and amazing display of fireworks and special effects.

5. There was a special night parade...with the characters in costume...dancers...floats. VERY VERY FUN. For me...the parades are my absolute favorite thing about Disney.

anyone is planning a trip to Disney...I HIGHLY recommend coming during their Halloween party...INCREDIBLE!

So...it was a very very late night for us all...after a very busy fun-filled day. It was so cute though...on the bus ride back to the resort...every kid on the bus was totally zonked on their parent's laps...with smiles on their faces.
I'm so bummed...it was such a fun, busy day...way too busy to take many pictures. Next time we need a personal photographer to just follow us around...but then that would be way too many pictures to scrap!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Disney Day 3

We were up bright and early again...only to find it raining again. But...yeah...it was done by the time we finished a quick muffin for breakfast. We jumped on the shuttle and tackled Hollywood Studios on Saturday. It turned out to be a beautiful and even hot in the afternoon day.We took a quick tour of the back lot...I had no idea it was a working studio. Amazing.

Then we ate our 1st of 5 meals in a sit-down themed restaurant. For lunch we ate at the Sci-Fi Drive In....It was so neat...you sit in cars and then there is a giant screen playing old drive in scary/alien/totally cheesy movies. It was fun...and great food too! (Grandma bought us meal plans...which means 2 meals and a snack each day are already paid for...sure does make dining more enjoyable when you don't have to worry about the totally outrageous prices! Thanks Grandma...again!)

Then...it was off character hunting...we ran into a few!

We enjoyed a few more attractions...watched the over-the-top block party with a bunch of characters in a very upbeat street show....and then Andy, Seth and I tackled the line for the brand new Toy Story ride. It was crazy long all day...but we jumped in and over an hour later we shot 3D lasers...and it was very very cool. The highlight---the line was indoors and decorated for kids and had an entertaining Mr. Potatoe Head....and running into 2 old old friends from college...how cool is that? The downside---standing in line for over an hour with a 4 year old who just drank a huge bottle of $4 lemonade meant a nice little hike for mommy and Seth back through the line...and then back up to daddy who was still standing in line. I seriously said EXCUSE US to probably 300 people today. Aw...this is what memories are made of!

We enjoyed a few more attractions including: Narnia, The Little Mermaid, a flight simulated Star Wars, and A History of the Movies Ride.

Then...we had reservations for another fun restaurant...the Prime Time Cafe. It is set up like a 50's home and the waitresses are a little gruff....I was told several times to get my elbows off the tables. The best part...it was home-cooking which included green veges and some fresh fruit...I always miss those on vacations. Again...a fun atmosphere for dinner.

We headed back to the hotel after that and the rest of the crew are sacked. Me...just blogging away and catching up on some emails.

It's been an awesome 2 days so far...and we've run Seth pretty hard (even w/ a stroller) . Today was a little rough...but...tomorrow is the Magic Kingdom and it is more suited I think for the little guys. We have our big Halloween party tomorrow night...and based on some of the costumes we've seen so far...it will be a blast. Don't know if I'll update before getting home...as we're out late the next couple nights...plus it's costing me money (doesn't EVERYTHING at Disney!)

This is an awesome...magical place! I'm already dreading coming home.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Disney Day 2

We woke up bright and early and grabbed breakfast at the food court and grabbed the shuttle bus for the Animal Kingdom. It was raining off and on for most of the day...but we still had a great time.
We started off w/ the Bug's Life 3D movie. It was a little overwhelming for Seth..I think he had a hard time figuring out if it was real or not. (We've had the problem a bunch) We rode the Safari...absolutely incredible. The animals were very very close.



The attractions are amazing...including the hand carved tree of life as well as Mount Everest. We saw a live musical show of the Lion King (awesome) and rode some Dinosaur Rides as well.


A stroller pass...the BEST investment of the trip!
And...we even got our first picture taken with...

It's now official...we are in Disney!

Around 3 we headed back to the resort for a "rest". Cathy and I realized we needed to be a little more organized and make reservations for then sit down restaurants...we had a really hard time finding any even open...evidently people are now making them months and months in advance (due to the new meal plan option)

Around 5 we caught another shuttle to EPCOT. We rode the ride inside the giant ball...and then headed to find dinner. It is the International Food and Wine Festival right now...so every "country" has booths set up w/ authentic food from that country. It all looked and smelled great...but...we were very hard pressed to find food for a picky 4 year old...but after fighting the crowds we finally found him a hotdog in the American section and the rest of us "enjoyed" our very cold fish and chips that we had settled on 30 minutes prior.

We watched the fireworks display...and then it was Magic Evening Hours for the resort guests, so we were able to take advantage of several rides including Soaring, The Land & Nemo. They were all very good. However...waiting in line for an hour for a ride takes on a whole new dimension w/ a very tired 4 year old at 10:00 at night.
It was a very late first night...and one little boy was asleep within minutes of laying down.
It was an amazing first day...and already I am convinced that it would take weeks to see and experience everything to offer here. I know...we don't have to do it all...but I want to!