Monday, June 18, 2012


Oh, where do I start on our Disney vacation?  It was a truly magical place.  I had pretty high expectations in my head how it would all go down.... picture perfect photos in front of Cinderella's castle, great views of the parades and kids dancing to the music, the kids running up to Mickey and giving him a big hug, the kids surviving the crazy long days we had planned.  Aunt Kathy was nervous that my hopes were too high for this vacation with extremely energetic children the ages of 7, 6, and 5.  BUT all Mommy's dreams (unrealistic expectations) came true!!  It really couldn't have gone any better.  From the moment the plane's wheels left the runway to the moment we pulled into our driveway last night, we enjoyed every moment.  Then reality set in and we noticed that we have a jungle in the front yard (first on agenda this morning after writing this blog... mow) our luggage exploded in the dining room, and I see lots of laundry in my future today.  

I want to get our trip down in words before I forget all the really funny/special moments.  So here it goes....
 Mommy was prepared for this trip.  I started packing for Florida at least 2 weeks before.  Outfits were put together to create the cutest pictures and socks and underwear were washed so we had plenty.  Our flight on Saturday didn't leave until 11:10 so we had plenty of time in the morning to get up and get to the airport.  I had packed the kid's backpacks with new fun stuff and didn't let them open their packs until we were at the airport.  It made the whole morning go so fast because they were exploring their loot and discovering new things until we landed in Orlando. 
 Check in and security went smooth.  We only had to wait a short time at the gate until our flight took off.  Enough time for 2 bathroom breaks for everyone. 
 {waiting excitedly for the flight}
 We tried to prepare the kids for the flight, but nothing is like flying in air for the first time.  Rosie and Bubba drew the lucky numbers to get the window seats.  I had told the girls not to scream when we take off of the runway because their will be a little bump and it would be their first instinct to scream.  Instead we only got loud gasps when the landing gear rose in the air.   When we got above the clouds Rosie was so curious.  She asked me if we are in heaven now?  I made a rookie mistake when we described heaven to her a long time ago that it is above the clouds.  So her and I had a conversation about how big God is and that we are only a small part of this big BIG world and that heaven is even higher than the clouds.  They are so visual that when I described heaven being above the clouds they seemed to understand... but now that they have been above the clouds and Grandma Mary and Grandpa Bob aren't there they were slightly confused.  It's alot to comprehend for their young minds. 
 The flight was uneventful.  There was alot of "mommy can you get my backpack?" "mommy can you get this?" mommy can you get that?" and don't forget the 10 minute philosophical question "where is heaven?" so I didn't even get to read one article in my magazine.  I gave up and just enjoyed the ride.  When we got in on Saturday we had enough time to eat lunch and then pick up Uncle Neil from the airport and it was time for check-in to the condo.  If I remember it took the kids less than 5 minutes from the moment we entered the condo to have their swim suits on and be ready to go swimming.  Having our own condo, we had the pool to ourselves!  By the end of the trip the kids were swimming like Nemo in the pool.   The whole clan got a good night sleep because it was going to be an early morning. 
 Sunday was the last day of Star Wars Weekends.  It was the perfect day to visit Hollywood Studios.  We woke up at the crack of dawn.  I think I was as excited as the kids because I was up before my alarm.  I had laid out the kids clothes the night before and when I went to go check on them they all were dressed for the day.  We left the house at 7 am!!! 
As we entered Hollywood Studios they had two storm troopers on top of the ticket area doing a mini show.  Bubba was captivated.  At this moment I knew there was lots of fun in store for us. 
{some of the best moments were watching the children's faces and how they lived the experience}
I had done the research and studied the maps and knew the must see things at every park and one thing that was at the very top of our list was the Jedi Training.  We headed right to the sign up for training as soon as we entered the park and got 2 slots for Bubba and Rosie at 4:15 pm. 
After going through all the pictures on the cameras I noticed that we got the most pictures of the family the first day.  I think the kids and Daddy were wise to the picture taken on Day 2. 
I was really cautious on how "girly" the trip could be.  I know I could easily overdo the princess thing.  So I definitely let the boys pick things they wanted to do to counterbalance the glitter and sparkly girl stuff.  Day One was filled with testosterone boy stuff.  We did the car stunt show that was pretty cool.  It was a nice "rest your feet for 30 minute" show where we had snacks, water, and a glimpse of Lightning McQueen. 

{The Muppet Show -- I actually remember this show from when I was a kid}
{Gigi got a lift from Uncle Neil}
Mike Wazoski and Sulley was our first character experience.  Gigi was very unsure and got more comfortable with the characters the more we met. 
 Bonus was that on Star Wars Weekends, you not only have the regular character meet and greets you also have Star Wars Characters out and about.  We happened upon this storm trooper and got his autograph.  By the time our trip was over our autograph books were full! 
The spray bottles were a Godsend.  I had packed three in our luggage and they help keep the kids entertained and cool.  Unfortunately I forgot to bring them when we went to Magic Kingdom, so Aunt Kathy bought a Disney one for the kids.  Halfway through Day One we got a stroller.  That is the only way to travel!!  The kids took turns resting their feet and Gigi even got a nap in.  Daddy and Uncle Neil even debated whether or not to get themselves electric scooters to conserve their energy. 
At lunchtime we experienced our first character meal.  The kids were so excited to see Special Agent OSO and Jake and the Neverland Pirate from Disney Jr.  I can't tell you how many times I got asked "Are they real mom?" over the course of the trip.  They couldn't imagine their favorite characters had come to life!!  We had some real in depth conversations about actors and real vs. not real during the day. 
{We found Mickey Mouse}
The highlight of the day was the Jedi Training.  I am glad it lived up to the expectations because Rosie and Bubba were ready for it ALL day.  We had told them they were going to be fighting Darth Vader... but to our surprise guess who showed up to fight them...
Darth Maul!!!  Bubba was scared!  Darth Maul did a flip off the stage and was definately in character.  Bubba was a grin from ear to ear when he was done.

Mommy surprised him with a Donald Duck Darth Maul doll.  He slept with it every night.
By the time it got to Green Army Men that night Gigi was brave enough to go up and ask for an autograph all by herself.
The end of the night we sat and waited for the Star Wars Hyperspace Hoopla to begin.  The kids and I had watched many a YouTube videos of this show and I didn't want to miss it.   We lined up at least an hour before it started and the adults debated whether to stay or not.  I am glad we stayed.  It exceeded expectations.  My Disney trip could have been complete after seeing Chewbacca in an Afro dancing to "I'm sexy and I know it".    Vacation Complete!
We have videos of the Dance Off that I will share soon! 
 By the end of the day we had Uncle Neil  Disney-fied!!!  He even turned into Goofy!!!
As soon as the Hyperspace Hoopla ended, not a minute later the skies opened up and down poured.  Luckily mommy had packed raincoats that were so cute that kept our bags dry and the kids from washing away.  What could have been better than ending our day splashing in rain puddles?  We had great hopes of ending our night with a swim in the pool but we were rained out and tuckered out.  The kids had made it from 7 am to 9:30 with smiles left to spare.  Day One was complete and Day Two promised to be filled with splashing and swimming in the pool.  We couldn't wait.....

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