Thursday, September 26, 2013

Show Me the Way to Go Home...

We got up and out of the hotel at a good time and made it up to Atlanta to stay with the Kvams for a night.  It was a long trip and we must have stopped 10 times for bathrooms and/or food!  We also had to make a quick stop to buy tweezers because we realized that somewhere along the way at the Halloween party, Aidan had gotten a good sized piece of mulch stuck under his thumb nail!  YIKES!! 
We made it to the Kvams and had dinner and stayed overnight.  We got up and got on the road in the morning.  We made it home in the afternoon after a quick stop at the mall in Nashville to exchange some khakis that Brendan had bought.  He has lost nearly 30 pounds and none of his old clothes fit!  He needed a few things to make it through two weeks of R&R but I'm sure he'll need to do some major shopping when he gets back for good!

Declan sleeping in the car:

Zack Kvam and the kids - the last time I saw Zack he was 4 and now he's a senior in High School!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Disney Day 5 - Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween

 The rain and cool weather continued on Day 5 so we didn't go to the water park like we had planned.  We took it easy and I did some laundry at the hotel.  In the afternoon, we got ready for the Halloween Party - we dressed in surfer garb and went as the new Disney movie "Teen Beach Movie".  We met Mimi and Big Dan and headed over to the park for our dinner reservations at The Beast's Castle for dinner.

While we were checking in at Guest Services, Aidan decided that he was going to try to do a two footed jump over a chain between two posts and landed flat on his face on the concrete.  It was pretty scary and in front of Disney security so pretty soon we had the paramedics there.  Aidan was pretty upset and embarrassed - all he wanted was an ice pack!!  We did eventually make it to dinner - an hour late.  It was too bad because it was one of the best dining experiences at Disney!  We ended up not having dessert because we were running out of time.  It was too bad because it looked delicious!!!  At the end of dinner, we got to take pictures with the Beast - Aoife was totally psyched to do this and Emmy wouldn't even go in the room!!! 

After dinner, we went on the new Ariel ride and started trick or treating around Disney.  We also went to the Pirates of the Caribbean before Mimi and Big Dan had to leave to go back to their hotel.  We did a bunch of other rides - all the good ones: Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, the Flying Carpets!  It did rain on us for a little bit but we didn't melt! 

We made it pretty late!  Declan fell asleep during the fireworks and we watched the parade at the end of the night!  Emmy was really tired by the end of the night but everyone held it together and I think we managed to have a great time!!  There really is no place like Disney!!

Waiting to eat dinner:
 Inside the Beast's Castle:
 Pictures with The Beast - no Emmy:

 Outside the Castle:
 Ariel's Castle and ride:

 Cinderella's castle:
 Riding the Flying Carpets:
 Disney Halloween Parade:

 Dancing in the streets before the parade:
 Emmy is very tired....

Monday, September 23, 2013

Disney Day 4 - Declan's Birthday at Epcot

 After breakfast at Ohana, we headed over to Epcot on the Monorail.  We did a few rides like Spaceship Earth and the Imagination ride before we went over to the countries.  We had reservations for lunch at Mexico but we canceled them because no one was hungry and we just didn't have the time to sit in another restaurant for two hours!  We did the ride in Mexico and the ride in Norway and when we came out it was POURING rain.  Brendan had been clever and packed disposable ponchos in our bag but even so we were soaked!! 

We managed to make our way over to America and into the covered area to do some crafts while we waited for Mimi, Big Dan and Bob Meyer to make their way through the rain to us!  They made it, as soaked as we were, and everyone but Declan and I went in and watched the American presentation.  Declan fell asleep in the stroller and I got to have a cup of tea and warm up!  Who would have thought that I would have been cold at Disney in September!!

After they came out of the show, we went over to Germany to see if we could get into our dinner reservation early.  We waited a few minutes and they got us right in.  It was so much fun - good food, fun atmosphere and fun music!  A German band played and the kids danced - it was a lot of fun!  It was a great way to finish up Declan's birthday!!!!

Declan and Brendan and Aoife at the Imagination ride:
 At America - out of the rain!
 In Germany!

 Happy Birthday Declan!!

Disney Day 4 - Declan's Birthday Breakfast at Ohana

Happy First Birthday Declan!!  We ate breakfast this morning at Ohana and saw Lilo and Stitch!  The food was really good and it was served family style.  I liked it better than the buffets because it's tough to have to keep going up for food with little kids!  It's much better if they just bring you an enormous pan of food!!

I liked this character breakfast the best of all of them, although it was still so slow and we left before we saw Mickey, Minnie and Goofy since we'd seen them at other breakfasts.  We got to see Lilo and Stitch - the two most important ones!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Disney Day 3 - Epcot and California Grill

 After breakfast at Chef Mickey's, we took the monorail over to Epcot.  It is so convenient that the Monorail goes right through our hotel!  We visited The World of Energy, Test Track, the Nemo ride, Living with the Land, and Soarin'. 

After the rides, we had lunch at Under the Sea.  It was the worst meal by far at Disney this time.  It was really disappointing because we had a great meal there last time we visited.  The service this time around was terrible and it took us two hours to get our appetizers and entrees!  The kids were freaking out and so after we ate, Brendan took them outside.  It took me half and hour to get the bill!  It was really frustrating since we wanted to be on more rides!  We had purchased the Disney dining plan before we went and made reservations for all of our meals.  This had worked out really well last time we went but this time it wasn't as great.  We felt like we sat forever at each meal!  The staff wasn't interested in getting us our of the restaurant in a timely fashion - maybe because they don't really take walk ins at the sit down restaurants so there isn't any pressure to turn the tables.  I don't know but it surely made us rethink our dining plans for next time!

We took the monorail back to our hotel and met Mimi and Big Dan at our hotel.  Later we had an amazing dinner at California Grill - the super fancy restaurant on the top floor of our hotel.  We had a beautiful view of Magic Kingdom!  It was one of the best dining experiences that I had, although Declan was a mess most of the time and I had to leave a little ahead of everyone else.  I think that California Grill is a must eat at Disney!

Going in to Epcot:
The World of Energy:
 At Living with the Land:
 Ears on the Monorail:
 Dinner at California Grill:

Disney Day 3 - Breakfast with Chef Mickey

On the third day we got up and had breakfast at our hotel at Chef Mickey's!  It was one of the better character breakfasts and there were a lot of characters to be seen although we didn't stay for all of them.  It takes a while for all of the characters to circulate and since they all follow the same path, it may take a while for them to get to you if you happen to be sitting at the end of the path.  We were sitting in the second half of the restaurant so we ate breakfast and got to see Mickey, Goofy, Pluto and Minnie before Declan ran out of steam and we ran out of time.  We did want to spend our morning at Epcot! 

Declan did decide that the characters were pretty cool and Mickey seemed to be his favorite.  I think the people in the costumes view babies as a challenge!