Saturday, November 6, 2010

Home again

8 witty remarks
We've been home from Disney World for a week. Actually, more than a week - we got in on Friday night (the Friday before the Halloween that we ignored). What I've been doing since then is, mainly, laundry. Despite the cuteness of my blog header, I actually fully despise laundry. I hate it so much that I once created a scrapbook page about how much I hate laundry... and then had that scrapbook page published. And the absolute worst thing about a vacation is that it requires about 693 loads of laundry. See, before you leave, you have to wash Everything. Then pack it into suitcases. Then when you get home you have to get it OUT of the suitcases again (and the suitcases now smell like stinky laundry - thank goodness for Febreze) and sort it and wash it all AGAIN. And, mind you, even a three day vacation is responsible for creating this phenomenon... and we were gone for a full week.

(Interestingly, the same thing applies with cleaning out the car. You have to clean and vacuum and Febreze the whole car before you leave... and then again after you get home, because the van is full of lost Cheerios and dried up french fries and empty water bottles and lost raisins and tiny Legos and all the marker caps that I would have liked to have found BEFORE the markers in question all dried up, but whatever. And the van is starting to acquite a distinct 'odor' now that it's approaching 90,000 miles. Fortunately, my dear husband has graciously put himself in charge of car cleaning and de-stinking, as it's sort of an extension of automotive maintenance. If you stand on your head, and squint.)

Another one of the tasks following any vacation, but especially 6 days in Disney World, is dealing with all the photos. Now, digital is a boon for a lot of reasons, but I swear our computer is so slow, it almost takes as long to get the USB port to realize there is something plugged into it, as it did to drop off film (remember film?) and wait a week and pick up your photos. I blame Windows Vista. But we do have a lot of photos - I took 257, which actually didn't feel like that much spread out over 6 days (well, 5 1/2 days really) crammed into the park, and Matt took a lot of video. Although most of his video didn't count because his camera was somehow turned on in his pocket and recorded for two and a half hours. And our video isn't terribly high quality. We do have a nice camera that we bought in 2003, so it shoots 8mm tapes, but Matt didn't want to bring that because it's complicated and takes up space. So for his birthday I found him the cheapest digital video camera ever - it was $25 at Big Lots - that he could stick in his shorts pocket and use on our trip. But when you buy a camera for $25, the resolution isn't terribly high. Still, we didn't have any video from our previous trip (in 2007, the one where I was pregnant with Amy and couldn't ride my favorite rides) so this was an improvement.

So anyway, the point to all this rambly, introductory-type stuff is: Look! Pictures! Yes, last time we went to Disney I wrote massively long posts detailing each and every one of our days in the park. I probably won't this time because a) you will get bored, and b) I just don't blog as much as I used to. There, I said it. I blame the fact that I learned how to sew and now I have more hobbies than I can conceivably make time for. But anyway: Look! Pictures!

(These won't be in any semblance of order, because Blogger always thoughtfully jumbles them around when uploading, and after 4 1/2 years of having a blog, I am sick of trying to fix it.)

Betsy's all time favorite ride: the Rock & Roller Coaster (Featuring Aerosmith). Yes, my first baby is big enough to ride on a ride that goes upside down. Sigh.

I just really like this picture. We were waiting for the Beauty & the Beast show and having a frozen pink lemonade (except Porter, who wouldn't drink it on the grounds that it was pink) and I think I had just gotten off the phone with Catherine. This was our first full day in the park and we were really living it up.

Family photo by the Muppets fountain. It's a family tradition, in the sense that I had a picture taken there (by myself) on my first trip to Disney when I was 17, so every time I've been back, I've had to repeat it. First with Matt (honeymoon), then with the 2 kids, now with all 3.
Also note that in the above picture, I am wearing my Route 66 skirt. I've mentioned before that every time I wear that skirt, I get a ton of comments on it. Interestingly enough, the same holds true even in Hollywood Studios, where there are a LOT of interesting things to look at - I still got comments on my skirt.

The queue for the new Toy Story ride was a really neat and detailed one - and we should know, we spent about an hour and a half in it. (Don't worry, that was our longest wait by far. Mostly, we used Fastpass.) The giant Candyland board made me realize that they have changed the Candyland board more than I realized since I was a kid. Ice cream floats?! I remember that!

Amy's first time on a roller coaster - she was JUST barely tall enough for the Barnstormer. (And remember what I said about the photos being out of order, because this was our first night in the park. When Matt was making our reservation, he figured out that for an extra $12 we could get a 6 day pass instead of 5, and we could do a few hours in the Magic Kingdom the day we arrived, provided we drove really fast through Georgia and Florida. Which we did, and we got to ride Winnie the Pooh before it got closed for renovations, and Splash Mountain, and we saw the night parade and fireworks and generally got our $12 worth.)

The kids coloring, at Epcot. Good thing we spent two days in the car to get there and two days back, because they certainly couldn't have stayed home and colored. I kid, I kid! I actually love that there are interactive/crafty things for them to do.

Fishy faces! The Nemo ride is always a favorite (unless you are someone with an irrational fear of aquariums. Luckily I don't know anyone like that.)

It just so happened that we were there during the Food and Wine Festival. Or just the Food Festival for us, since we are Mormons. And funny story about the big golf ball thingy: Amy thought that that was Epcot, and not the whole park. So whenever she saw it she'd go "Look! It's E'cot!" There is actually a ride inside, which is long and soothing and good for putting toddlers to sleep.

My friend Cid got us VIP seats for Fantasmic. I wish I got to be a VIP more often. We got to walk right off to the cordoned off seats even though it was standing room only. Thanks, Cid!
Matt bought a whole bunch of glow sticks before we went - they turned out to be a great idea, not only for finding the kids when it was dark, but also for keeping them entertained when we were waiting for nighttime stuff (and we did a lot of nighttime stuff). Since we had a lot of extras, we were able to give glow sticks to other kids, too - a great way to make friends.

Amy being cute. And that hat got lost somewhere. And yes, she did insist on wearing a skirt or a dress every day.

Amy being cute again. Actually, we were just sharing a treat while waiting for Dad and the big kids to ride their turn on Soarin. But I love this picture because my baby is dang adorable, isn't she? And I love how the Florida humidity made her hair, which is normally a bit on the wavy side, CURLY. So cute I almost couldn't stand it - almost makes up for what the Florida humidity does to MY hair.

Meeting the princesses - get a load of my kids in their cute Mom-made outfits. The girls' princess dresses got a lot of comments, too. I wanted them to wear something that was princessy but still comfortable in the insane heat. I always feel sorry for the little girls who have to wear a heavy polyester costume all day long (and I guess I feel bad for the character actors, too, but at least they are getting paid).

Porter was insistent that he wanted nothing to do with the princesses. But he totally flirted with Sleeping Beauty.

Watching a lady make Japanese rice candy shaped like animals. It was completely mesmerizing. I think the Japan pavilion is my favorite even though they don't have a ride or anything.

Another reason to love the Japan pavilion is that they have the most adorable salesgirls who will dress up your little girl in a kimono and fix her hair and everything. And again I didn't buy Betsy a kimono even though I really really wanted to.

Porter wore his Mickey Mouse shirt just for the occasion. It was a coincidence that they were both plaid.

The nice thing about having a character meal is that you can see Mickey Mouse without having to wait in a seriously long line for the privilege of doing so. And the nice part of having Free Dining is that you get to meet characters AND have a lot of really awesome food without having to pay for either. Also, we had a really great server at the Garden Grill and I am using the word 'really' a lot.

Dale was the silly chipmunk. He made my kids laugh.

We didn't necessarily plan to have three character meals in a row, but that's how it worked out. And I know it doesn't look like it here, but Amy actually loved the characters. What she doesn't love is having her picture take (she's not too keen on bib-wearing, either).

We promised our kids Mickey Mouse-shaped waffles, and the Crystal Palace delivered.

Amy calls this character 'Tiger'. How do I explain to her that she's wrong? I don't, that's how.

Obligatory castle picture. Like Amy, I'm not crazy about having my picture taken.

But Matt is okay with it.

My kids are at the age now when they are totally into cheesy jokes, so they really liked Jungle Cruise. Actually, I really liked it too.

Space Mountain was one of the rides I was really looking forward to, since I hadn't been on it in almost 10 years (thanks to being pregnant with Amy on our last trip [totally worth it]). Only this time, when I went on it, I actually found it to be a bit too much. I started having a problem with motion sickness right around this point (it got even worse the next day) and I had to close my eyes for most of Space Mountain. Betsy and Porter, on the other hand, rode it twice in a row (thanks to baby swap) with no problems. I guess being young has its advantages.
I should also mention - since we didn't take any pictures for fear of losing the camera - that the kids flat. out. LOVED Splash Mountain. We rode that one both days we were in the parks (I brought ponchos the second day we went) and the kids got to do it twice. I think collectively that is our family's favorite Disney World attraction (and poor Amy couldn't even go).

Another thing we had promised the kids was ice cream shaped like Mickey Mouse. We made good on that promise our second day at Magic Kingdom. We were actually waiting for our Fatspass return time so we could ride Peter Pan and then leave. The park was going to be open for several more hours, but we'd done everything we wanted to do, and we were exhausted, so we decided to go back to the hotel and swim and pack up our stuff for the trip home. So. Those Mickey Mouse ice cream bars really hit the spot.

And the kids got hilariously messy while eating them. This photo doesn't even begin to show the filth and sticky smear that is created when you combine ice cream with the hot Florida sun. So we just got good and messy and had a good laugh and cleaned up everything afterwards with baby wipes (don't go anywhere without baby wipes or you have to do that stereotypical Mom thing where you lick a napkin and use it on your kid's face, which eeewwww).

Our last day - Animal Kingdom. We did the whole 'picture by the Tree of Life' thing. And if it seems like I didn't post as many pictures this time around, it's because a lot of them are redundant with the pictures from our last trip. (Only with Amy in them.) Animal Kingdom was also the day when I went on four different rides within an hour... I really don't recommend that... by the time we got off Expedition Everest I was within inches of tossing my cookies (which we got for free from the dining plan). So I swore off rides after that and we stuck with shows.
I also got to meet up with my awesome friend Cid, and thank her personally for the Fantasmic seats, but I didn't take a picture. Matt took the kids on one of the puke-inducing rides and I talked Disney and NCIS and fan fiction with Cid while Amy played adorable peek-a-boo with her.

They have the same thing for apes here as they have for the orangutans at the National Zoo. Like the Japanese rice candy lady, this was something else I could have watched for hours.

The kids like this section of the park, because it's dinosaur-themed. I always have a hard time with it, because the pavement reflects back the sun and there's no shade and there is a high concentration of puke-inducing rides. But, again, the kids like it.

Betsy and Porter being dinosaurs.

This is the hotel we stayed at. Betsy liked it because she's planning on becoming a rock star someday.

And then we went home. THE END. (Unless you want me to write about the epic poop blowout Amy had once we crossed the state line into Georgia on the return trip. It was like someone had poured twenty or thirty cups of Snack Pack into her britches. We had to bathe her at the hotel and throw out her clothes and I used an entire pack of wipes and half a can of air freshener trying to render her car seat habitable again. But that was pretty gross, so I won't tell you about it.)

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