Not that I ever doubted it, but everyone who told me that Disney would be the most fun you'd ever have, but you'd come home absolutely exhausted, was right on the money! (and people honeymoon here!?! :) Here's a look back in pics:
Lucy's gifts from Grandmama, and she was so excited to get back home to make her jewelry! The markers and coloring book were a super hit, and she made sure she colored each night before going to bed!
Our trip was immensely better because we were able to travel with the Back Family! Molly and Jason are disney pros! We got so much more out of the trip because of things like their knowledge of what path to take through the parks to wait the least amount of time, what shows we shouldn't miss, even when to look for "hidden mickeys." Molly even made a scavenger hunt for the kids to complete at each country in Epcot. (And it was totally worth the three questions they made it through before they decided they were done with it :p) Remember when Nintendo games were new and huge, and you could buy the game magazines that would give you all the cheat codes? That's what it was like being at Disney with the Backs; they gave me all the cheat codes :) And look at Lucy's shirt; isn't that adorable! Molly made it for her!
My favorite part of the entire trip was our lunch at Cinderella's Castle. It was so well done, and Lucy was just in awe each time she got to meet a princess. Lucy and I made an autograph book before we headed on our trip (another great tip from Molly!), and Lucy so enjoyed getting her book ready before each princess came to the table, choosing a specific page for them to sign.
Aurora, her favorite!
Funny story with Princess Ariel: this lady had a lovely appearance, but when she smiled for pictures, she opened her eyes very large, and her eyebrows would arch up; this gave her face an overall very strange, scary appearance. When Ariel was at the table next to us, right before she would be coming to our table, Lucy noticed this as well. And she blurted out, "She looks evil! Why does she look evil!?!" Oh my..."Lucy, shhhh, don't talk so loud!" So, I tried to explain, very quickly, hoping she hadn't heard, that it was just the way she was moving her eyebrows, and that she was a very beautiful princess and that it wasn't polite to say that people look evil.
Fortunately, Lucy didn't say anything about it when Ariel arrived at our table; but she did have big hugs to give!
The kids were given wishing wands, and here Lucy is thinking about what her wish would be. She wished for "a bigger hula hoop, so I can hula hoop better." At a friend's house, we discovered Lucy is a natural at hula hooping, and so a while back, I bought her a hula hoop of her own. Apparently it was too small (and cheap - from dollar store :), and clearly, it's been bothering her.
I'm going out today to get her a proper one, and I'm going to put it in her room, coupled with a note from Cinderella granting her wish. Hopefully, it will turn out neat!
Belle was so pretty!
At Epcot, we met more characters:
Spunky little girl!
Best part of being on vacation is having Sprite at each meal (she was super excited about getting "soda"!) and ice cream in the middle of the day!
Oh, this ice cream picture reminds me of a story I have to tell. While at Epcot, the skies opened up and we endured a torrential downpour for about four solid hours. So, Lucy and I decided to go have a long lunch in Japan, at a restaurant where they cook in front of you. (Lucy is always asking to go to those here at home!) We were seated with a family from Illinois, who announced to the waitress that they had a food allergy to "green peppers." The waitress was confused, and wanted to send the manager over just to make sure they weren't served anything inappropriate. Anyhow, when the manager arrived to ask a few follow-up questions, they finally blurted out, "We just don't like vegetables. All of us...we don't want any vegetables." I hope they weren't looking my way because I'm sure my face looked quite perplexed. They don't like any vegetables!?! Seriously...What a great way to influence your child to eat healthy their whole life! The kicker was when the chef arrived at the table to cook the food. You know how they'll always confirm your order before they start cooking? The whole "green pepper allergy" thing had to be covered ONCE AGAIN, and we had to hear again just how much they didn't like vegetables, "any vegetables." To make a point, I offered that Lucy and I would be happy to take any extra vegetables. And then, I swear as if on cue, when we were eating, Lucy forked a piece of zucchini and asked me what it was. I loudly announced it was a kind of food that was full of natural vitamins that were good for her body. :)
The rains ended and opened up to a lovely evening...
The next day, we started our day at Animal Kingdom at Donald's Safari Breakfast. Such yummy food! And more characters:
Lucy loved water rides! (She heard me calling from the bridge above, but looked the wrong way; Jason and Parker, however, saw me!)
Another story: So, while on a Disney trip, every kid (and parent, for that matter) will have a "breaking point," and for Lucy it was on this day during lunch. We were going to have an early dinner that evening, and we had enjoyed a huge breakfast at Donald's Safari just a few hours before. So, for lunch, I ordered us a turkey sandwich to split. The first thing that upset her was that there was mayonnaise on the sandwich (it was a super yummy cranberry mayo), but when I pointed to the fresh fruit that was on the plate (a slice of honeydew melon), that's when she really lost it. Tears sprung forth, and she wailed, "I wanted it to be M-A-N-G-O!!!!!) Yes, her meltdown was over a piece of fruit, not being to her liking; that it was merely a piece of honeydew and NOT mango.) I think us adults laughing at her only made the situation worse, but seriously, we couldn't help it. Thinking back, we were in the Animal Kingdom, I should have suggested that she go find a mango tree and help herself! :)
After Animal Kingdom, we cleaned up at the hotel and donned some fresh clothes for a dinner out at Disney's Wilderness Hotel. This was an adorable restaurant, where the waiters do quirky things. If you ask for ketchup, they yell across the room, "Whoooooo has the ketchup?" And then they make someone from that table bring you ketchup - all 14 bottles of it :) They're sassy, and it was hilarious to watch Lucy interact with our waiter, because she just couldn't figure out if he was being real.
At one point, they gave all the kids horses to ride, and they galloped around and around the room. Had a blast!
Such a ham! I swear I've never shown her any moves like this! Either it's in her DNA or she's sneaking viewings of Toddlers & Tiaras! :p
And after dinner, it was "over the river and through the woods to"... a whole new world of Disney. Even the Backs' didn't know this, but there is a whole campground where you can camp. Like, pitch a tent and sleep on the ground, camp. (Why anyone would want to do the parks all day and then come home to sleep ON THE GROUND is beyond me, but I digress. Although the people watching here was fantastic! :)) But, this is where we had smores with Chip N' Dale. There were sing along songs, too. We all enjoyed stuffing ourselves with smores!
And despite a helluva' departure day, we managed to make it back to Huntsville! (We visited Hollywood Studios that morning where we got totally stuck in the Star Wars parade (Holy moly!), and then, while on the bus to the airport, I realized - to my horror - that I had totally forgotten to clear out our drawers and left my jewelry bag (with two of my push presents in it and thus a lot of emotional value) in our hotel room. My phone wouldn't get any service, so I couldn't locate a phone number to call the hotel. The disney transportation service got us to the airport way late, and then I managed to take the wrong bus to the wrong terminal. At this point, I had been able to talk to the hotel, but I was waiting for a phone call back from the Lost and Found dept. and clearly my mind was not focused on looking where I was going in the airport. (By the way, don't ever make this mistake because once you get back to the main wing from the wrong terminal, they make you go back through the entire security line - except this is where I broke down into squeaky tears and a kind security guard took pity on my sorry self and took us to an employee only line and we were able to get right through, and finally on the correct train to the correct terminal. Stupid me, there are gate numbers clearly posted, only I just never looked up to see the signs that indicate there is more than one train to get to different gates. When we finally got to the correct gate, I was soaked in sweat, my anxiety issues were back in full force, and I looked more haggard than a character from Fraggle Rock. And only because I was with my child - and her only guardian - did I not order several alcoholic beverages and gulp them down immediately.)
The entrance signs at the parks say, "Let the Memories Begin," and from this trip we have every kind of memory you can! Can't wait until Jack and Connor are older and do it again with my whole family!
For a view of all the pics from our trip, visit my Shutterfly page: http://kjjlmartinpics.shutterfly.com/#:albumId=3871