family

a magical day.

Giving 'Tude

No matter what, I always like to start my trips to Disney World off in the Magic Kingdom. I mean, it’s the Magic Kingdom! That’s where Cinderella Castle is and that’s where the magic really begins. With all the music and beautiful “lands” and the yummy scents. Magic Kingdom is the most crowded and congested park, but it’s also the one everyone thinks of when they think of Disney World.

So of COURSE we had to go there on our first day. We got there just when it opened and when we walked through those gates, all was right with the world.

Falandos and I have the sort of relationship where we tease each other relentlessly. So when he asked “Can I just say something?” while we were walking down Main Street, I was expecting him to say something smart. But instead, he grabbed me and hugged me and kissed my cheek and said “Thank you.” That made me feel like a million dollars.

We took loads of pictures!

Magic Kingdom

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Magical

Celebrating!

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After all that, we headed back to the new Fantasyland to ride the new Little Mermaid ride. Everyone liked it. Then we made our way over to Storybook Circus, where Aidan and I rode Dumbo while Mommy and Falandos hung out in the souvenir gift shop. Oh, we also made a stop to meet Minnie and Daisy!

Meeting Daisy Duck

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We met my friend Dara for lunch, and then headed to the Hall of Presidents. After that, we got stuck under an awning to wait out some major rain!

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It could have been a bummer, but it wasn’t. We just waited it out and hung out and chatted. We dodged the rain a lot as we made our way back over to Tomorrowland for Carousel of Progress, the People Mover, and Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, which has been updated to include Monsters University stuff!

We ended up missing the parade, but with the weather so bad, I wonder if it even showed. We were watching part of the Dreams Come True show but it got rained out. Eeek.

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Falandos and I got Dole Whips. Yum. Not sure what we were thinking, having them so close to dinner, but who can resist them right? I had one for breakfast once….

We ate dinner at The Crystal Palace. My mom loves her hot sauce and managed to get a tiny bottle.

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We had fun meeting our friends from the 100 Acre Wood!

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After Crystal Palace, we headed over to First Aid and the bathroom. I’d taken a yucky fall and needed a Band-Aid. By the time we got done, it was raining AGAIN. Aidan really wanted to ride Pirates, so we braved the rain drops and went for it. My mom and Falandos were wary of Pirates–for some reason, they were under the impression that it was outside and they were sick of being wet. When I explained to them how the “waterfall” worked, they were still a bit wary but went for it. (Falandos was actually terrified, but don’t tell him I told you that.)

My mom LOVED Pirates of the Caribbean!

Then we made our way to It’s a Small World, and watched Wishes, from behind the castle. Then we made our way to the front of the park–we were all getting tired and we were pretty tired of the damp.

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But as we were leaving, a Cast Member stopped us and talked us into staying for the Main Street Electrical Parade. Which Falandos really, really loved.

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the one picture i really liked!

Attractions Experienced:
The new Little Mermaid ride (I can’t remember the name for the life of me!)
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
Mickey’s Philharmagic
Peoplemover
Carousel of Progress
Pirates of the Caribbean
Dumbo
it’s a small world

We didn’t ride a whole lot, but we still had a lot of fun. And for your viewing pleasure…here’s a short (44s) video of some of our morning at the Magic Kingdom!

And with that, I bid you good-bye for now. More soon! :D

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epic disney world!!

Disney Collage! :)

Welcome to part one of the trip report for our epic Disney World vacation. I took my mom, who had never been, Aidan, who had been three times, and we met my cousin Falandos at the airport in Orlando. He also had never been.

I was a little bit nervous because I knew I’d have to do things differently than I was used to with Adam or Aidan and Adam. For one thing, my mom needed a scooter and I’d never toured the parks with a scooter before. She’s also a slow eater, so I knew we’d be betting a lot of downtime so she wouldn’t feel rushed during mealtimes. I really wanted to make sure she was comfortable and enjoying herself and not getting bored or cranky, but the funny thing is she was doing the same for me! She and Falandos both kept saying, throughout the trip, this this was my vacation too and I was entitled to enjoy myself as well. That was nice. :)

Anyway.

Our journey to Orlando began with a massive flight delay. The cause of the delay? THE PILOT HAD TO TAKE A NAP. I am not kidding. There were some scheduling snafus, and the pilot had a mandated rest period. I was unhappy, but my mom told me to calm down and that everything would be OK. So, we had lunch and hung out in the airport, playing Tetris Blitz on our tablets and reading. Let me tell you, it was cruel to see the flight that was scheduled an hour after our original departure take off on time. *sigh* It was also cold in the airport. And on the airplane. And in Chicago in general. I was so anxious to get to Orlando and bake in some heat and humidity!

We finally got to Orlando and rode into town in a Town Car. I went with the car service and it was great. The grocery stop was awesome–we picked up bottled water, pineapple juice, snacks, a poncho for Aidan, and I got some Mickey Mouse pajamas. I know, how sad that I was buying souvenirs BEFORE WE EVEN GOT ON DISNEY PROPERTY.

Our driver was awesome, slowing down so we could take pictures of the Disney World sign! :)

The Sign of Awesome

We stayed at Pop Century, and check in was easy and pleasant. Soon, we were on our way to Downtown Disney, stopping to take pictures along the way!

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We did some shopping at Downtown Disney–of course, Aidan had to hit the LEGO store.

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First really big Magical Moment of the trip–Aidan had $60 to spend, and of course, he wanted to spend it on LEGO sets. So he got two. And then he asked about the Jor-El exclusive minifig or something, I don’t know. But he needed to spend $75 to get it. But the guy at the LEGO store gave one to Aidan anyway! It was so cool. Aidan was THRILLED and I was so happy for him. And that’s reason number 4985748953 I love going to Disney World. You just never know what sort of surprises you’ll end up with.

We shopped some more, taking a look at stores at Downtown Disney I’d usually pass over. I also took pictures of the snacks because that’s the kind of gal I am.

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We ate dinner in the food court at the hotel. Pop Century’s food court has these delicious “pizza bread” things. It’s like French bread pizza but yummier. I got a meal with two of those, a Caesar salad, and a Vitamin Water. Aidan got the kid’s meal version, which just had one piece of pizza bread, but he put red pepper flakes on his and tried to pawn it off on me. Blech. Still yummy, though. Mommy and Falandos got stuff from the “healthy options” line.

By the time we made it back to the hotel room, we were pretty tired (although excited)! Falandos and I went to pick up the scooter, and then we loitered in the Great Hall, looking at the decorations.

There’s nothing like that very first day of vacation, when you have your whole trip ahead of you. So many possibilities and things to look forward to.

We tried to turn in early, but well, we were at Disney World and excited! Still, we did the best we could to get a good night’s rest for … Magic Kingdom! Which was a great day in itself… but that’s a post for another day.

Till next time….

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magical.

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mommy, falandos, me, aidan

This most recent Disney vacation?

AMAZING!

Just a few highlights:
– good food
– laughter
– candy & other sweets
– seeing my mom’s and falandos’s face for so many things

I feel sooo blessed that I was able to do this and experience this with my mother, my cousin, and aidan. It was worth every penny, worth all the planning, worth any hassle that may have arisen. I’d do it all over again in a heartbeat.

We had so much fun we can’t wait to go back next year. We’re planning for ten days!

More soon. I’ve gotta go to bed.

I know. I’m cruel, but full trip report coming soon, I promise! :)

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Magic Kingdom Revisited

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Part One: Magic in the Magic Kingdom
Part Two: Animal Kingdom: I LOVE TODAY
Part Three: Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
Part Four: Hooray For Hollywood–Studios, That Is!

On our last day at Disney World, Adam and I hit the Magic Kingdom. Our goal was to get there at Rope Drop, so that we could ride all the rides and attractions we couldn’t on Monday due to the crowds and the lines. It almost worked–we got there when the train rode into the station with all the characters. A little boy was walking in and the way his face lit up was amazing! And he hadn’t even seen the characters yet. It was fun to see.

Once we got in Magic Kingdom, I remembered WHY I love going at Rope Drop. That first hour when the Magic Kingdom is open really is magical. There’s all the singing and dancing, everyone is fresh and happy, and it just looks so shiny and new. Not to mention that it’s not crowded at all, and the rides are pretty much walk-on.

Adam and Me

The first place we went was to get Fast Passes for the new ride: Under The Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid. We were mildly disturbed when the Fast Pass return time was already 1:50pm. Had that many people already gotten Fast Passes? But the cast member said that the ride wouldn’t be open until 1pm.

Storybook Circus

Once we got those, we headed to Storybook Circus, where the wait times were delightfully short to meet Minnie, Daisy, Donald, and Goofy (who had a “light sabor” fight with Adam), and to ride the Barnstormer!

Daisy Duck!

Minnie Mouse

The Great Goofini

Donald Duck

We made our way to Tomorrowland, where we hopped on Space Mountain, and then we headed to Adventureland, where I got a Dole Float with pineapple juice and orange soft serve. It was a delicious breakfast! Then we rode Pirates of the Caribbean, and then made our way to meet Adam’s mom Sharon, his sister Cassidy, and our niece Lola! :)

They’d called the day before with a crazy idea to drive up from Atlanta and spend the day in the Magic Kingdom with us. AND THEY DID IT. Awesome, huh?

We made our way to the Hub to get Fast Passes so Lola could meet the princesses later. Then we made our way back down Main Street, U.S.A. There was singing and dancing and good times. Lola was cranky and didn’t like it.

Dapper Dans

Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!

Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It!

Dapper Dans

Then we looked through a few shops and drooled over the sweets at the confectionary.

Treats

Treats

Treats

We walked around and hung out and ate a delicious lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern. Oh man, it was soooo good. See how happy we were?

Lola Is Happy!

We watched a bit of the castle show, and this was Lola’s face when the princesses came out:

Happy Lola!

By now, it was time to go meet the princesses! Lola was SOOO cute, you guys. She had so much fun, in her little princess dress and big smile.

Lola and Rapunzel

She got to meet Cinderella, Aurora, and Rapunzel. THEN, we took her to meet her favorite princess of all time….

Snow White and Lola

Do you see how she’s looking at her?? :) Could you just melt?

I'm Wishing.....

Snow White after she realized that Lola was singing “I’m Wishing” to her. Bless.

A Snow White Kiss!

Lola got a nice Snow White kiss for that. After the meet and greet, Lola ran to her mom squealing and jumping. SO CUTE.

We made our way back to the new Fantasyland so we could ride the Under The Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid. Now, I don’t know if I’d wait an hour or more in line to ride this, but it was a BEAUTIFUL ride just the same.

Under The Sea

Under The Sea

Under The Sea

In the meantime, Cassidy and Sharon had taken Lola to ride the Carousel and it’s a small world. Then I had work to do. So I worked while the parade played in the background, and then we all met up again in Columbia Harbour House, where Lola hugged me and told me she loved me. :)

Then it was Mad Tea Party (aka the Teacups) where Lola was more in love with the idea of riding than actually riding it. She seemed a little unsure and we were afraid she was gonna hurl! But she didn’t, and she did manage to have some fun. :)

Cassidy and I went to ogle/buy more treats, and then we made our way to the front of the park by train! It was time for me and Adam to head back to the hotel to catch the Magical Express back to the airport. :(

But not before stopping in to visit The Mouse himself!

Mickey Mouse and All of Us

Then it really was time to go. I was sad. A Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! street party was starting again and I wanted to stay and dance. I wanted to hang out with Sharon and Cassidy and Lola some more. I wanted to stay in the Magic Kingdom! *sigh* But we parted ways and Adam and I headed to wait for the bus back to Port Orleans French Quarter. And folks, this is when we had the WORST bus luck out of the entire trip.

Part of it was my fault. I miscalculated how much time we’d need to get back to the hotel. So when we arrived at the bus stop, I was hoping a bus would be there or get there pretty fast because it’s only a ten minute ride back. It was about 5:35pm.

But of course, no bus showed up. We needed to be back to catch our Magical Express bus at 6:10pm. A bus back to the resort didn’t arrive until 6:15pm. We’d been standing at the stop for what felt like forever. We were stressed and I was getting cold. And when the bus finally arrived, we had to wait for them to load a wheelchair first, and that takes some time.

Luckily, Adam’s mom and sister had driven and they were ready to leave Magic Kingdom. So they were willing to meet us at the hotel to take us to the airport (or I was just going to get a cab). But there was a Magical Express showing up at 6:40pm and they let us on there. The ride back is always so much more subdued. No excitement, just resignation, really. This is the worst part of the Disney World vacation: when it’s over. I would have been so much sadder if I didn’t know when I’d be going back. But fortunately, I knew that I would be back in just a few months, so I wasn’t as sad as I could have been.

I really wasn’t ready to come back. I was not ready to come home and walk into a place reeking of cat poo (they like to poo all over the floor and couches as revenge when we’re gone), I did not want to come back to the cold and snow and slush, all the rushing and honking and abrasive attitudes. But real life has to go on–that’s what makes the trips so wonderful and special, right?

So, this concludes my trip report. I’ll definitely write about my lead up, planning, and trip in June, when I take Aidan (yay!) and my mom (her first trip!), and my cousin Falandos (his first trip too!) who is meeting us in Orlando. Should be a wild time!

Thanks for following along! I can’t wait to go back!

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This Christmas

My mommy's tree!!!
my mommy’s tree

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Wait, what am I talking about? It’s technically STILL Christmas until January 6, but I know not everyone celebrates it forever like I do so yeah. :)

Adam and I headed to Ohio early Sunday morning to visit friends and family. It was an easy enough drive, but I hadn’t slept at all the night before, and I was getting a cold, so I wanted to get there and crash as soon as possible. But that wasn’t to happen because there were loads of people to see!

I got to see people I hadn’t seen in years. It was such a blessing to get to hang out with my friends and with my family, eat good food, laugh, exchange gifts, and watch silly TV shows.

Mommy
my mommy

Aidan Likes His Gifts from Uncle Andy
aidan likes his gifts from uncle andy

Cookies!!!
peanut butter kiss cookies!

Christmas Dinner
christmas dinner: hawaiian king roll, mustard/turnip greens,
cornbread dressing, macaroni and cheese, turkey, and honey baked ham
gravy over everything!

We were worried about getting home. The big news was this nasty winter storm that was supposed to go through, then the storm was upgraded to a blizzard! I was sad. We had to cut our visit short and get the hell out of Ohio before that storm hit. So Aidan, Adam, and I headed out at this morning at 530 EST. We didn’t see a flake of snow. But then, I slept through most of the drive back. I did see salt trucks stationed every few miles while I was falling asleep, though, and I was getting texts from the people in Ohio about the snow starting to come down and snarl up traffic. I was relieved to see the Chicago skyline and get in the apartment. We got here at 1030AM CST.

Aidan was very happy to see that Santa had indeed, stopped by while we were all in Ohio. 1

Santa Came! 2012.

Right now, he is happy building and playing with his new LEGO sets. He still has two huge sets that he needs to tackle, but he’s built all the others. I asked him if he thought my tree was pretty or if it looked like ass, and he said in between because he doesn’t like the angel’s eyes. He likes everything else on the tree. WhatEVER, Aidan. :lol:

I’m very happy with all my gifts, ranging from really cool incense burners, DVDs, car kits, yoga supplies, lots of Doctor Who stuff, and loads more. We also came home with plenty of leftovers! But the best part was seeing my cousins, my aunt, my mommy, my stepdad, my friends, and of course, AIDAN!!!

Tomorrow it’s back to the real world. I’ll be working in an office the next two days. Making a bit of extra money while covering for their fulltime proofreader. This weekend is Aidan’s birthday, and I’ve got some special things planned for him. But overall, I’m going to try to take it pretty easy and enjoy my time with my family.

Life is so good and I am so thankful. :)

Merry Christmas!!!


  1. I think he knows that it’s not really Santa giving him the gifts. I’ve been quizzing him to gauge his level of belief and noticing that when I ask him who got him the gifts, he lists a bunch of people but not Santa, and we talked about why he won’t be getting the King Dedede plush he wants so badly (It’s just not available anywhere. ANYWHERE.). But he still has fun with it and that’s OK by me.
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