Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

We were so lucky to have Brendan here for Christmas! It felt - well - normal. Which was good because very little about 2011 has been normal! The kids had a blast and Santa seemed to get everything right! Aidan got an electric scooter and the girls got Barbie ATV's. Emmy LOVES hers - Aoife isn't quite ready but I'm sure she'll be zooming around with Emmy in no time! Aidan is quite excited that the label on the scooter says for ages 13 and up. I guess Santa forgot to read that part! We continued the tradition of opening up family presents on Christmas Eve - everyone gets one present from the others and then left everything else for Christmas morning. It works really well for us to spread it out a little! After presents and lunch we took the new outside toys out to play. One of the great things about living in the South is that it can be warm on Christmas - and it was this year! We had a nice turkey dinner in the evening since Brendan had missed a home cooked Thanksgiving! We had a full day after Christmas to enjoy as a family and then Brendan went back on the 27th. It won't be long now and he'll be home for good!

Opening presents on Christmas Eve:Santa came!JOY!
Dollhouse for Emmy from her godparents:All Aidan wanted was LEGOs and more LEGOs!Happy chaos!This is the only way Aoife would ride her ATV:Christmas dinner - not sure what Emmy has against the timer but she did a similar thing last year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Downtown Disney Again

On our last evening we went to Downtown Disney again to pick up a toy for each of the kids. They had been so good about not begging for things when they saw them!! Aoife chose a Minnie Mouse, Emmy chose the girl kitten from Aristocats and Aidan chose Stitch. We also picked up a couple of things for Christmas!! We made it a quick trip and headed back to the hotel. It was an early morning the next day. It was a long day the next day since we got stuck in Atlanta for about 6 hours. We finally made it home around midnight on the 21st. What a fantastic trip!!!

With Winnie the Pooh and Friends!
notice the DO NOT CLIMB sign on the bottom left!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 5 - Disney's Animal Kingdom

On our last day we visited Disney's Animal Kingdom. It's always so much fun to go on the Safari ride and we really lucked out this time. The kids and I were waiting for Brendan to go run and get fast passes for the Kali River Rapids and Aidan started talking to a girl who was working security. We chatted for a while and told her that Brendan was on R&R and she surprised us by letting us right through to the front when he met us! It was so nice!! After we went on the Safari ride we walked through the zoo portion of the park that is a long walk through the woods - it was awesome!! We grabbed a quick lunch at Yak and Yeti Restaurant in the Asia section of the park. Again - the food was incredible!! By this point I am getting positively chubby from eating delicious 3 course meals twice a day!!! After lunch, Brendan and Aidan went on Expedition Everest - the roller coaster! I took the girls to the dinosaur playground and the boys met us there after the coaster. Brendan took Aidan and Emmy on the Kali River Rapids ride after that and Emmy was so brave and everyone got soaked! Aoife and I waited on a bridge over the end of the ride and watched them come down the river! So much fun!!

Here we are!!
The Safari Ride:A sleeping hippo!!Walking through the woods!Aoife is NOT happy with the wobbly bridge!! I had to carry her over.Drumming:Eating lunch at the Yak and Yeti:American ingenuity:Aoife loved the chopsticks!Emmy's all smiles!Playing in the dinosaur playground:The Kali River Rapids:

Day 4 - Epcot again!

We slept in the morning after we went to the Christmas party and then headed to Epcot for lunch in Norway with the Princesses! I have to say - if you want to eat with the Princesses, it's a better choice to do it in Norway than at Cinderella's Castle. The meal was half the price and the food was AMAZING! The Princesses were a little more relaxed and spent more time with the kids. After lunch we toured through the countries and endured grumpy kids - boy were they tired! It was also a little more crowded than we were used to since it was the afternoon but we still had fun. We ate dinner in Mexico and they were super accommodating and let us move our reservation from 6:30 to 5pm. They were probably happy to open up a table at 6:30!! The dinner was, again, fantastic!! Disney has really stepped up their food quality and I was really impressed and I'm not easily impressed by restaurants!

Here we are with France in the background:
Norway, right before lunch:With Belle - the hostess for the lunch in Norway:Since when is Mary Poppins a Princess? The kids still loved her!Snow White told us that she has traveled many times to the Kingdom of Boston:Sleeping Beauty:
In Canada - Aoife refused to be in the picture:In Morocco - this was my favorite Disney country as a kid - I love how the streets circle back on each other and it smells like incense! ENGLAND!! We sat and listened to a band for a little while - relaxing!