Friday, May 30, 2008

Happy 10 years!

It was 10 years ago today that I woke up a little nervous and excited. I had several of my best girl friends that were to be my bridesmaids staying with me at my parent’s house. Girl friends who I am STILL in contact with today. Granted some more than others, but I am still in contact with them! They are some of the greatest friends I have ever had.

We hung out in the nursery at church, our dressing room of sorts, ate Burger Time rolled tacos for lunch and made floral head wreaths for my Maid Of Honor and the flower girls who all had hair too short for the gently placed flowers like the other girls.

Amy helped me into my dress and did my make-up. And attempted to keep my nerves down.

We headed into the auditorium for a few pictures prior to the ceremony. But once people began arriving I was quickly whisked away to be hidden from anybody’s eyes prior to my entrance.

I was taken into the cry room at my childhood church and left alone. I watched through those windows as friends and family members began finding their seats. As the music began, both sets of grandparents made their way into the auditorium and found their seats near the front of the room and then the groomsmen filed in, with Josh as their leader.

I watched as the music changed and my four bridesmaids began their walk towards the front of the auditorium at which point I felt my father tap me on my shoulder and tell me it was time.

I walked down the hallway of my childhood church and waited as the flower girls were sent down the aisle before me. As the music swelled, I made my entrance with my dad by my side. In the pictures, I look terrified. But I think I was more nervous than anything else.

I was lead down the aisle by my dad and given away. My “uncle” Dean began the ceremony which had horribly embarrassing stories sprinkled throughout that only those who have known and loved you for nearly your entire life can retell at your wedding without the bride loosing her cool. As horrified as I was, I was grateful to have people surrounding me who knew me and my history.

I really don’t remember much of that day, but I doubt many brides do.

So honey, here’s to the last ten years and I can’t wait for the next 10!

Disney World Update IV

On Tuesday, May 6th we headed out to Hollywood Studios. We had originally planned to go to Epcot that day, but the kids REALLY wanted to ride the Tower of Terror, so we switched things up. We were able to change our lunch and dinner reservations, so the switch was complete.

We arrived at Hollywood Studios before they opened. And it was actually not to crowded! YEAH! They let us through the gates about 15 minutes before the park opened and down the street. Where they held the crowd at bay until the opening time. There was a short opening “show” and we all watched and laughed. We ran down Sunset boulevard and the family got into line for the Tower of Terror and I went to Fast Pass the Rockin Roller Coaster. I caught up with the family right before they were going to enter the first room. There was so little wait. We watched the movie about the Twilight Zone and headed into the “basement” and walked right into the “elevator.” Our ride didn’t seem very exciting, but Jacob was done with it when we were through. He liked the actual ride part of it, but all the physiological part of the ride messed with my little boys brain a little too much. So we moved on.

We headed over to the Rockin Roller Coaster to find that Jacob was 1 centimeter too short to ride. We were all devastated. So we moved on.

We headed over to Star Tours, which we walked right onto, and really showed its age. Everybody enjoyed it, but it could really use an update. After Star Tour s we stopped and waited for the next Jedi Academy to take place. It was interesting to watch the little kids go up on stage and fight Darth Vader. Unfortunately our kids didn’t get picked.

We scooted over to MuppetVision 3D. The kids had been enjoying the other 3D movies we had seen, so in we went. It was silly and ridiculous, just like anything Muppet related should be. We poked around and headed over to the 50’s Prime Time Café for lunch. We enjoyed the food, but our server was from someplace where they have VERY thick accents and we could hardly understand her. The food was ok, and after we headed over to the Indiana Jones Stunt show. We were some of the last folks to make it in and we barely found a seat. I was excited to have the kids watch this, as they both enjoyed the movies and this was a neat show. We really enjoyed it, especially the part with the giant rock! Jacob thought that was amazing.

As soon as the show was over we raced out of there and literally ran over to the Lights!Moter!Action! Stunt show. This is a show that shows how the movie making folks choreograph all the fancy car chases. The kids and Josh enjoyed the show, I wasn’t thrilled, but, that’s ok. It isn’t all about me.

After the show we were headed out of the park, but got caught by the parade! This is a new parade that is really fun! Lots of high energy cast members and LOTS of character interaction.

After the parade was over we decided to head back to the hotel for a break. The week was catching up on us and the kids were hot and tired. Once we got back, the kids and Josh went for a dip in the pool and I sat. It was wonderful. Once I finally became human again and went to join them at the pool, they were heading back from one pool, to head to another. Apparently the first was too crowded. We hung by the pool for a while, but we were anxious to head back to the parks!
We cleaned the kids up and headed back to Hollywood Studios. It was nice because the air had cooled down, the crowds were not bad at all and we just strolled through the park. We hit up the great movie ride, which I love, the backlot tour in hopes of getting wet, we didn’t and saw a few characters.
We had made it down to see Mickey, finally. Jacob had been on a bit of a mission to meet Mickey. I think we had sufficently brain-washed the boy to love all things Disney at that point.

When we had gone back to the hotel we had changed Jacob’s shoes in hopes that he would be able to ride the Rockin Roller Coaster, but he was still just a hair too short. So Emily and Josh went on the ride and Jacob and I had ice cream. Once Emily and Josh came out of the ride Josh ran across the park (literally, to the demise of his knee) over to Star Tours and he and Jacob rode the ride twice without having to get off.

Emily and I went onto the Rockin Roller Coaster and then thought we could get one last ride on the Tower of Terror before they closed down. We did, there were only 3 other people in the ride with us, and we were the last ones to ride it for the night! We had a great time and caught up with Jacob and Josh at the big hat and walked through the shops on the way out and beat the crowds, since we didn’t make the nighttime show, Fantasmic! But we did beat the rush back to the hotel and got ready for a great, big full day tomorrow at Epcot.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Disney World Update III

On Monday, May 5th we woke up early and headed back out to the Magic Kingdom. We grabbed breakfast, “Breakfast on the go” as Emily named it. Just some donuts and lots of Diet Coke. We did this a couple of times during the week, so that we were not wasting time eating at the food court while we could be waiting in line for the bus! We made it to the Magic Kingdom before rope drop and were able to catch the opening ceremony. This is where we first caught a glimpse of Mary Poppins. We were not able to met her, yet, but we did get to see her.

After the gates were opened we headed straight to Fantasy Land. The kids wanted to ride Dumbo, for some reason.

So Josh stood in line with them, the only ride with a line at this time, while I went and attempted to Fast Pass Mickey’s Phillharmagic. I was unable to get the machine to spit my coupon out and when I went over to ask for help, he just gave me some and said, “Use your tickets to Fast Pass Peter Pan, that line gets long really quickly” So that is exactly what I did. So we were able to hold 2 Fast Passes at the same time. YAY! After the kids got off Dumbo we headed over and walked right onto Snow White. I love this ride. It is just simple and reminds me of my trips to Disneyland. After Snow White, which the kids didn’t seem to enjoy nearly as much as I did we went over to Winnie the Pooh. This already had a slight wait (10 minutes) so I broke out the bags of nuts from the back pack and I think everybody already needed a boost of energy and didn’t realize it. They were chomping those nuts down so quickly I thought I would loose a finger when I had to put them away to get on the ride. This is a neat ride. We all enjoyed it, and once we got off we had a decision to make. Jacob did NOT want to go on the TeaCups, and really, neither did I. So We split up. Jacob and I went to the Winnie The Pooh play area (which is kinda lame for a 6 year old) and the other two went on the TeaCups.

After they got off they found the Mad Hatter and Alice signing autographs. Josh called us and Jacob and I hightailed it over there to get autographs. And Jacob actually let me take his picture with them.

Once we were done here the kids and Josh began to skip to the other side of Fantasyland. I took pictures.

We headed over to Peter Pan but we still had about 10 minutes until our Fast Passes were good and we were right across the way from It’s A Small World. So, haha, we rode it again. I really do love it.

After that we headed over to Peter Pan, which is honestly my favorite ride in Fantasy Land, even over Pooh and Small World. I love how you feel like your flying, and the city is below you. It is my favorite. I took no pictures, because I just sat in the pirate ship and enjoyed the ride with Emily.

Once we were done with Peter Pan we realized we had done everything in Fantasy Land, since we didn’t want to wait in line to see Ariel and the Carousel was under repair. We had finished everything in that area in just a little over an hour! I was thrilled, because this can be the most time consuming part of the park, because there are so many rides and such slow load times. So we headed over to ride Space Mountain again. The wait time was minimal and so we just rode standby. It was just as good as it was the first night. The kids were both laughing and enjoying themselves the entire time. Once we got off Space Mountain we high tailed it over to the Crystal Palace to have lunch. This is where I once worked, many, many moons ago. The food was good, the characters fun and the kids liked the freedom to go back and fill their plates as often as they wanted. Plus, meeting Pooh, is like meeting a celebrity.

After lunch we headed over to Toon Town and waited in one of the longer lines we were in all week for Goofy’s Barn Stormer. Too quick of a ride for the line we waited in. Pus, I remember it much more fondly when Josh and I rode it 9 years ago. After that we waited in line again, to meet the Princesses. Jacob was a little nervous to meet them and a little embarrassed. But they were all very gracious and kind to my poor little boy.

We didn’t spend too much time in Toon Town, because it was CRAZY with people. It was probably the most crowded section of the entire park. The people, they were everywhere!!! So we hopped on the train, which Jacob had been hounding us to ride all day long and went over to Frontierland. The kids wanted to ride Splash Mountain. They really wanted to GET WET! It was so very hot and they thought they would get wet like we did the day before at Animal Kingdom. The wait was the longest we had seen, at 90, minutes we knew they would have a melt down before that line was up, so we Fast Passed it and headed over to ride Big Thunder Mountain again. The wait was minimal and the kids enjoyed it once again. After we got off the ride the Parade was getting ready to begin. So we worked our way through the crowds to go to the Hall of Presidents. One of the longer, cooler, darker shows in the park and it was 3pm and HOT! When we arrived the nice colonial gentleman told us that the show would not start until after the parade. Jacob wanted to watch the parade, so we left and watched the parade and the kids both loved it.

They really liked the parades more that I thought they would. I really thought they would not enjoy the parades at all, but I was dead wrong. I had to re-work some plans in order to see the parades in the parks.

After the parade and the Hall of Presidents, which the children complained loudly about, we headed over and got onto Splash Mountain. I thought I would be smart, and have Jacob ride on the right side of me, because he wanted to get wet and I didn’t. I forgot that my poor son is as thin as a rail, he didn’t protect me nearly as much as I expected him to. We all got wet, but not as much as the kids would have liked us to. But enough to cool us all off for the evening.

At this point we need to start heading out to make our dinner reservation at O’hana. We head out through Adventureland and are able to take in the Tiki Room and allow the kids to roam through the Swiss Family Robinson House before making our way to Main Street. The kids really enjoyed the tree house, because about a month ago we rented the movie and both of the kids really, really enjoyed it. So because here was a frame of reference the kids thoroughly enjoyed their time in the tree house, while I sat with all the stuff and rested my quickly blistering feet.

Once we arrived to Main Street I had to get my shopping going. I had not purchased anything except for the ride picture at Expedition Everest the day before. I wanted to have the kids silhouettes cut, like I had Emily’s done the years prior. While Jacob was having his cut, Emily and I went into the shop next to the stand where the silhouettes were being done and looked around. Emily found what she HAD TO HAVE. A crystal slipper with her birthstone in it and a tiara. Another reason why I am glad we gave them their own money, because I would not have ever purchased the crown. Maybe the shoe, because it was “affordable” but never, ever would I have purchased the tiara. But she loves that tiara. Once the silhouettes were completed we watched the glass blower do his thing. It was really fascinating for the kids, I remember watching a glass blower in Europe somewhere, as a middle schooler and finding it really interesting. After we pulled the kids away from the glass blower, we headed a little further down the street towards the gate. Josh found a beautiful print that I purchased that I need to have framed and a postcard which I have at work to inspire me to do my best.

Once we had completed the shopping we excited the gates and hopped on the boat which took us to the Polynesian Resort, where the restaurant O’hana is located. We checked in and almost immediately were seated. This is a different kind of place to eat, in that it is a fixed menu. Salad, several appetizers, and then lots of meat, brought out on sticks. It was delicious. I loved it. The roasted turkey was to die for. Jacob of course ate chicken nuggets, but Emily tried everything and loved almost all of it, even without ketchup.

After fully stuffing ourselves we left and headed back to the Magic Kingdom, by Monorail this time. Our only monorail trip the entire vacation. Once back inside the gates we saw Stiches grate escape, Monsters, Inc. Laugh floor, and finally Wishes.

Wishes is the “new” fireworks show at the Magic Kingdom, and I feel in love. It was fantastic! The music, along with the choreographed fireworks was simply amazing. We found a pretty good spot to watch the show in the rose garden and really enjoyed the show as a whole.

After the show we left, with all the rest of the visitors to that park. It was a crazy mess, but we finally made it back to the hotel and collapsed into the bed. It had been a long day, but one that was wonderful.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Aren't ya'll lucky---two posts today.

Here she is in all her glory. She is excited to be able to see properly for the first time in what appears to have been too long.

Disney World Update Day 2.5

After our relaxing time at the pool we got cleaned up and headed back out. We first went to Downtown Disney, because there is a Build Your Own Lightsaber at one of the toy shops.

From the moment that I told Josh about this over a year ago, he had been super excited to do it. We head over to the Once Upon a time store and build some lightsabers. Emily and I pick out our My Little Ponies. You get a box and then you cram it as full of stuff as you can and you get everything you can fit into the box for $20. When I was young I LOVED My Little Ponies. I spent many hours in my room playing with them. So when I head about this, I was all over it. Emily and I filled our boxes so full, they almost didn’t close. This is where Jacob found his Indian Jones dress up set. He was going to get a light saber like Josh, but once he saw that set, which has a machete, whip, treasure, gun and most importantly the hat- it was all over. He loves that set, so much he still is playing with it like crazy.

Once we were done “playing” we headed over and check out some of DTD. We saw the Lego Store and The World of Disney. The Christmas store and the pet store. We really enjoyed all the picture opportunities presented through out the area.

We decided to head over to the Wilderness Lodge to hit the Whispering Canyon Café a little early to see if we could get in a little early. We couldn’t. So we waited for our table and the kids (Josh, Emily and Jacob) went to the arcade and played a little games while we waited.

Now, I don’t know how to describe this place. Our waitress was the best ever. She was friendly and over the top. It was great. The kids were allowed to have milk shakes with their dinner, Bubble gum flavored to start. Yuck. They both moved on to a more traditional flavor later in the meal. Josh and Emily got a “platter” of sorts with chicken, steak, corn on the cob, beans, mashed potatoes and who knows what else. Jacob got chicken nuggets, of course and I had a steak of some sort. The food was fantastic.

But the food was only half the fun.

Josh, who always drains his first glass of iced tea within moments of it being set down in front of him was given a nice surprise when he did that at this restaurant. He was given at least a gallon of iced tea, maybe more. And he almost drank it all.

Emily, who can not eat any meat without ketchup asked our wonderful server for some ketchup. Big mistake. We ended up with 20 bottles of ketchup on our table. Now, some nice young diner also was needing the ketchup, but not wanting the hop-de-doo that went with it came up and took a bottle of our table. Well, we were fully into the “game” of the restaurant and Josh politely told our waitress that he had taken a bottle. Well, she certainly wasn’t going to stand for that. We all had to grab a couple of bottles and wait, hidden behind a door while she called him out in front of the entire dinning room and waved to us to bring in the ketchup. Which we then did, to a bright red-faced man.

Jacob ate all his chicken rather quickly and the raw broccoli but was still hungry. The wonderful waitress was able to get him another serving of nuggets- just one of the many times that the people who worked there went over and beyond what they were required to.

In addition to the simple casualness of the place and the fun we were having with the waitress, she made us all napkin hats. It really was one of the funniest meals we have ever had and we will defiantly be back to the restaurant again when we return. The kids are still talking about that giant glass of iced tea that their father drank.

Friday, May 23, 2008


We here in the Sumpter household are all very big fans of the Indian Jones movies. We are all very excited about the new movie which opened yesterday, even if Harrision Ford is 102 years old.

Here is how Jacob is gearing up for our trip the the Movie Theater on Sunday night:

We love Indy!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Cookie Jars are my passion

Amy’s post today has inspired me. I have not continued my Disney World posts because I have them half written at work, and I am “traveling” this week and away from the office. They will continue on Monday.

I love to make cookies. I love to eat cookies. I maybe swayed by Amy’s post today to actually make cookies this evening. If I do, I will use her recipe, even though I have a pretty darn good Peanut Butter Cookie recipe myself. Only mine comes from a cook book. But it is mine and I know exactly how long to cook them to keep them from burning, yum.
I enjoy making cookies, and my favorite has always been Peanut Butter Cookies.
However, I thought I would take you all on a journey of my cookie jars.
First was this one.Look behind my crazy daughter, it’s on the counter in the back ground. It is shaped like an old victorian house. I wish I had taken a good picture of it, but this was as good as I could find.

I bought it in an outlet mall in the late 1990’s and loved it. I was in Kentucky with Emily, when she was an infant and when I found this I knew I had to have it! I spent all the spending money I had brought with me in order to buy it. I loved that cookie jar.
It broke in the move to the house we live in now.
Next my mom bought me this next cookie jar, it’s from “the cracker” as we call Cracker Barrell in my house. I have nearly the entire line, because I fell in love with it, my mom was in town and it was on sale. Score times three.

BUT, my absolute favorite cookie jar is this one:

It was my mother’s while I was growing up. This cookie jar rarely didn’t have cookies in it. She was the best mother ever, and always had a fresh batch of Peanut Butter or Chocolate Chip cookies waiting to have for dessert or an afternoon snack. I oftentimes tried to get into the cookie jar with out the help of my parents. It was a heavy lid for me with my small arms and hands. I dropped it more than once. But my Dad could fix everything, even the cookie jar lid that had been broken time and time again.

And after I had moved into my home now, it made the trek from New Mexico and now has a place of honor on top of my cabinets next to my Fisher Price playhouse and my Winnie the Pooh snow globe.

***I almost dropped it again, while taking it down to take the picture. I still blame the small arms and hands.***

Monday, May 19, 2008

Disney World Update II

On Sunday, May 4th we woke up as early as we would have on a normal work day and headed to the Food Court for a little breakfast. We bought only 3 trays of food and split the food between the 4 of us, as it was really enough for us. In fact it was just exactly the right amount. None left over and nobody was left feeling like they didn’t get enough.

We headed out to catch the bus to Animal Kingdom. Josh was very excited to head to this park, as this was the one park that we had not been to when we came for our land/cruise anniversary 9 years ago. Plus, they have the newest, coolest coaster in the park.

We head over and are really surprised to see SO many people. I knew that we would not be the only ones in the park, but at rope drop, I expected it to be far fewer people than it was. We walked in and immediately after you cross the turn styles they have cast members there holding “animals” in boxes. Spiders and giant crickets and other things I like to not think about. My children love stuff like this, so they stopped and chatted with the lovely ladies holding these large clear boxes about whatever insect they were holding.

Once I could drag them away from the bugs, we headed straight to Expedition Everest. We first got a fast pass and then stood in the stand by line. We were in, on the ride within 15 minutes. It took longer to get to the queue than we waited. We got into the “train” and took off. This is one of the few rides at the entire Walt Disney World that I have not ridden previously, since it is so new, and as we head into it I think, “wow, this is really kinda lame. They really hyped this up and AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH” Anyways, it got really good. So good that we were very excited that we got to get right back onto the ride and ride it again. The ride picture they snap was SO good on the second go through that I begged that we would buy it. I don’t normally buy them, because, well, they aren’t cheep and I usually look like a goon. But the whole family looks great!

We find some drums to "play" and take a quick picture.

After this we head over to Kilamajaro Safaris and on the way stop and catch King Louie and Baloo. Emily is super excited, as we haven’t seen any characters up to this point. She grabs her autograph book and goes to it.

Jacob wants nothing to do with it. But as we continue on to the Safari he starts to break down and cry because he wanted the autographs. Not to have his picture taken with the characters, but the autographs from them. Josh and him and head back to see them and Emily and I start to stand in line for the Safari. Once we get to the loading we catch up with the boys and hop on our safari. It was really neat to see all the animals. It was still early enough in the day that many of them were out and we saw tons of animals. As with every Disney ride they dump you into a gift area of sorts. They vary in size from a large room that is nearly as large as the ride itself (Pirates of the Caribbean) to a small cart located at the exit of the ride (Nemo show). At the end of the Safari they have multiple carts set up with…drum roll please Webkins. Disney is one smart cookie. This is where the very first “souvenir” is purchased. Jacob had to have the Tiger Webkins. So he bought it and carried it around for the entire day, and has loved it just as much as the 10 other Webkins he owns.

After the safari, we kinda roam around, not sure where to head next. Animal Kingdom is set up in such a way that it is somewhat difficult to navigate at first. We stopped and picked up Fast Passes to the Kali River Rapids and continued checking things out. We went through some of the animal areas, seeing tigers, and a ton of birds, and other strange animals that I don’t remember. When it came time for our Fast Pass time at the Rapids, I become apprehensive. I don’t mind getting wet on a ride, but soaked is not my idea of fun. Plus, my hair never recovers from the water. There is a reason I blow dry my hair almost every day.

We get on the ride and as it takes off I immediately get soaked. top to bottom. Not missing one stitch of clothing or one strand of hair. The ride is fun, as it really is like rafting, so much more than other raft type rides, except that you get soaked.

After we are soaked to the bone we head over to the Rainforest Café for our lunch reservation. The food was good, the atmosphere was good, but the kids didn’t seem to enjoy it so much. I don’t know if we will be back there until they are much older. However, sitting in a dark, cold restaurant soaking wet was a bad idea. I ended up with a slight cold from it. Luckily, I had brought medication with us, and nobody else seemed to have been effected. Probably because they did have nearly the same amount of water dumped on their heads.

After lunch we headed over to Dinoland and rode Dinosaur.

We had picked up a Fast Passes on the way to lunch. By this point the kids have really figured the fast pass thing out and are loving the idea of not standing in line. Dinosaur was not nearly as good as I remembered and was a lot rougher than I like. Neither of the kids seemed taken with it, so while we could have ridden it again, with little wait, we ran (literally) over to try to catch the Finding Nemo show. This was one show that Josh was really interested in seeing and we missed it by minutes. After some time in the Boneyard we decided to head back to the hotel for a little down time. Some swimming and relaxation.

The kids had been begging to go swimming, so we headed off to the bus. On the way, Emily purchased her first souvenir. She found bride Minnie Mouse ears.

She loved them. Because they were like a headband, she wore them most of the days in the park to keep her hair back.

I will continue this day in a separate post, because our time at the Whispering Canyon Café deserves its own post, we enjoyed it so much!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Disney World Update I

It has been a week since we returned from our little adventure in Florida and I think I may finally have a moment to get some of it down “on paper”. I plan to have a separate post per day in order to not confuse myself. As that happens easily enough. I want to write it all down, because I know there is moments I have already forgotten and I do not want to forget the ones I have still in my mind.

So as you all saw, the big reveal was wonderful. They loved the idea of a treasure hunt and had no idea what was going on. And truly didn’t believe it after they received the final clue. Once the realized it was real they ran all through the neighborhood yelling it to anybody who would listen. And then Emily immediately wanted to start packing. Silly girl, we are already packed.

Getting them to bed that night was a bit of a struggle, but they did in fact finally fall asleep. Josh and I finished packing and loading the car up with everything we could the night before, that way in the morning we only had to add the one final suitcase to the trunk of the car and be on our way.

The alarm went off at 4am, but I think I had been awake all night. I got up and got cleaned up and finished the last minute packing of contact solution and hair brushes. We woke the kids up at about 4:30, they got dressed and we were on the road before 5am, a true miracle for us. As we are usually running late in situations like this. I had checked us in with Southwest the day before, so we simply checked our bags and headed through security with little problems and onto our gate area to sit and wait for a while.

The first flight to Houston was uneventful and short. We arrived in Houston and we were all famished, so we headed to the food court for a little breakfast. Josh and I had breakfast tacos, Emily had a breakfast sandwich from Wendy’s and Jacob ate 10 chicken nuggets. He was hungrier than usual.

We next boarded the “Disney flight” as it was filled with families with young children all heading to Orlando for vacation. After we boarded, we waited and waited and waited. It seems that the bathroom needed to be replaced. The removed and replaced the commode in the rear restroom. After about 2 hours with no updates as to why we were delayed (we were just close to the restroom, so we knew what was happening) we were finally in the sky. Jacob took a little nap, as did I. It was late afternoon by then and it had already been a long day.

We arrived in Orlando and we found our car and off the hotel. Disney World is quite a way from the airport and the kids got a little antsy as we headed there. Even I was antsy. I was ready for the fun to begin. Our delay has not only with our flight, but it set the whole day back a few hours.

We drove up to our hotel, Pop Century and the kids were amazed. Tons of oversized icons and tons of memorabilia littered the grounds and lobby. It was really neat to see. We got checked in, after a small wait in line and headed off to our room. We had a decent room assignment. All the rooms are exactly the same, just a room, but we were close to one of the three pools-but not too close that we could hear the noise coming from it and not to far from the bus stops. After settling in a little and up packing a little, in order to get the suitcases out of the way-the room wasn’t nearly large enough to leave them out for the week-we got ready to head out. We went straight for the bus stops to the Magic Kingdom. We waited for what seemed like ages, and finally a bus arrived and we were off to the park.

We walked in and it was just as I remembered it. I love main street and as we walked down I realized that there were more people there than I had anticipated. We were headed towards Tomorrowland and a show at the castle began. It had Mickey, Minnie, several princesses and their princes, Peter Pan, Wendy, Hook and Maleficent. We all stopped as the kids stood in awe, trying to take it all in.

After the show was over I insisted that we eat first thing, as we hadn’t eaten since Houston and I knew that crankiness would begin if food was not added to the stomachs of everybody. Jacob refused to eat, because he wanted ride the roller coasters. So, we ate a quick meal, with Jacob only eating some grapes, carrots and a cookie.

After the meal we headed straight for Space Mountain. The wait lime was 90 minutes, so we Fast Passed it and headed over to the Buzz Lightyear ride. This ride is very similar to the Scooby Doo ride at Six Flags, so the kids jumped right in and really enjoyed it. After we rode Buzz Lightyear we went back to ride Space Mountain, as it was nearly time for our Fast Pass to be good. Oh NO! Space Mountain is “down” and they don’t when it will be back up, but keep your Fast Pass, it will be good all day now, since the ride went down.

The kids were disappointed so decided to get our first treat and headed over to the ice cream cart. Because we were on the meal plan, it was “free” meaning we had already paid for it up front. SO no money left our pockets at that moment. The kids were thrilled to get the ice cream and by the time we were done with our snack, the ride was up and running again.

We head through the Fast Pass entrance and down the long dark queue. Zipping by all the poor folks who are waiting in the stand by line. We get up the loading station and Jacob rides in the very front, with Josh behind him, followed by me with Emily in the car directly behind me. And we are off. I love Space Mountain. I think it is my favorite mountain ride at WDW. Hearing Jacob cackle with delight as we whipped around in “space” and listening to Emily scream with delight was one of the best memories I have of the trip. It was great. And they loved it, and of course wanted to ride it over and over again. But we moved on.

Next was … a Disney classic… It’s a Small World. I love it because it is so simple. But Josh had tainted my children and it was like torture to them. I loved it, but… alas, the family, not so much.

We headed over to Frontierland to ride Big Thunder Mountain but on the way passed through Liberty Square where the Haunted Mansion lives.

We decided to hit that since there was NO wait. Jacob was too scared to watch any of it and I am not a fan of the updates recently added to incorporate it more to the movie made with Eddie Murphy. After we scared the kids to bits we headed over and rode Big Thunder Mountain. The wait was minimal, maybe 20 minutes and the kids were hyped up by this point. We all enjoyed the ride, but it wasn’t as wonderful as I remembered it being. Splash Mountains wait was ridiculous, so we passed on it and headed through Frontierland into Advetureland where we got onto Pirates of the Caribbean. Now, this has long been one of my favorite rides, but they have made it too PC and added (dare I say it) too much Johnny Depp. Not a favorite anymore. After Pirates and quite a stay in the gift shop, we moved over to the Jungle Cruise, which is surprisingly quite a bit better in the evening, when the sun has gone down. It doesn’t look quite as worn as it does in the daylight. The kids really enjoyed it, but were confused that the animals were not real. At this point we are all about to die, so we decide to head out of the park and back to the room. Plenty of time for the Magic Kingdom on Day 3, when we will be back.

Once we return to the hotel we all realize (at 9pm) how incredibly hungry we all are. We head down and buy a pizza and purchase the refillable mugs at the food court. This was all out of pocket, as the credits needed for the pizza were not worth what they would be at another restaurant.

We head back to the room, chow down like people who haven’t eaten in a week and head to bed. While we are laying in the dark, trying to contain our excitement, Emily says, “This is where dreams come true.”

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Sever weather? Play my show!

Last night we had a little bit of severe weather around these parts. The little map of the area showing were the storm was and where it was going, along with the scrolling type at the bottom telling people to get away from windows and not to outrun the tornados in the area. It was severe enough for the alarm to go off on the radio and for the weather teams to break into primetime television to alert the masses as to the severity of the storms. Now, its fine to interrupt the television show during commercials in order to alert those who don’t hear the pounding rain, whistling winds and hail coming on top of their homes. You can even go over the commercial a little into the show. I am fine with that. But, don’t you start try to tell me that this storm needs to interrupt panel on the season finale of Americas Next Top Model. Oh, no, you don’t. And more than once. Good old Jim Spencer interrupted the show 3 times- all during the meat of the show, not ever during the commercials, to warn of our impending weather. You, know what? I just want to see Fatima’s commercial and Whitney’s cover girl shoot. I don’t care if there is a tornado three hours from my house.

While I was very happy that Whitney won ANTM, I would have loved to see the show in its entirety, not around the weather.

Even the president knows not to interrupt primetime television, why can’t the local weather men figure it out.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Emily's first dance recital

Here are some pictures and hopefully a video of Emily's first dance recital. She has been taking class with her friend Anya, whose mother runs a language studio. The classes are free of charge, all I had to do was buy the costume. She really enjoyed learning the dance and I love her being exposed to people of a completely different culture. We look forward to her continuing in the program next fall so that she can be involved in Yolka next December, which was the performance we attended last year.


Jacob took the there is some cometary and shakiness, that comes when a 6 year old is behind the camera.

Friday, May 09, 2008

We're back!

Boohoo, we made it home. We are tired, tan with lots and lots of laundry to do. We are taking it easy today. Yeah! I plan to upload about 1000 pictures to my flickr sometime today, if you are interested.

It was a great time, the kids only bikered as siblings do, no real fights and lots of laughs, giggles and wonder.

I am ready to go back...after the blisters are healed.

Friday, May 02, 2008

The tickets are bought. The bags are packed. And we finally decided to tell the kids we were going.