Remember how my family is a group of nerds? Maybe I wasn’t as forthcoming as I should have been.
We tossed around getting matching t-shirts made to commemorate our family reunion in Disney World, but it was something that (I thought) never got off the ground… Time ran out, neither my mom or I had any great ideas on exactly what to do with them – since there was no way we would ever just slap our names in a Disney font on the back and call it a day – so nothing ever got done.
Rather, I never got anything done.
Since we are a military family (two brothers, a sister-in-law and a husband who have served or are serving), it was a giant “duh” that my mom and I didn’t come up with this idea to begin with. They had our names and “U.S. Disney” along with their rank on the front, uniform patches on the sleeves and a giant Mickey mission crest on the back, complete with “Happiest Place on Earth” in Latin underneath. My mom, Rick and Alicia never do anything half-assed. They were something to behold.
Like I said, UBER NERDS.
We took some pictures at the hotel and then headed back to Magic Kingdom to get a few shots in front of the castle. Just as we were finishing up, the morning parade was in full swing and Alice had a very difficult time sitting still. She had to get up and shake her groove-thang.
Right after the parade, we hopped on the monorail to Epcot to have lunch. The group split off afterwards and we headed to The Seas with Nemo and Friends, the “giant ball” and Journey into Imagination. The kids were happy campers but whoa, were they exhausted.
After a nice, long nap at the hotel, we trucked back out to Epcot for dinner. Nathan and I’s favorite thing to do in Epcot is eat; it is just about all we used to do before we had kids, but dragging the kidlets around from restaurant to restaurant was not going to go over well, so we settled for eating pastries in France. The only time I can honestly call a Quiche, parfait, macaroons, croissant, strawberry tart and Diet Coke a nutritious dinner is when I’m on vacation. Both Alice and Finny were happy with our dinner – obviously.
With our bellies full, we moseyed around The World Showcase; stopping at the Toy store in Germany and Japan’s giant department store. I balked at the $65 price tag for the princess dresses when we got there, but after we tried one on Alice, BOTH Nathan and I were ready to fork over any amount for that cuteness. Alice is much more sensible than her parents; she posed for a few pictures before she demanded that we take it off. She’s a good girl.
After making the full loop, we settled in to watch the fireworks. I always get choked up during the fireworks at Epcot; maybe it is because I would watch them every night when I worked there in college. Maybe it is because Nathan proposed to me during them ten years ago. Maybe it is because they are simply THAT GOOD… I have seen them literally over a hundred times, and they NEVER get old. Oh. I love them.
It was still early, only nine, and the kids were awake and ready for more, but we headed back to the hotel hoping to get some semblance of a normal night’s sleep.
The next day was our “day off.” Not that we intended to relax – we just took a day off away from the parks. My brother, Mike and his friend Julie (my best friend from junior high, actually), took her daughter, Finn and Alice to a character breakfast at The Grand Floridian.
We hadn’t seen any characters up close yet, and Alice was terrified. I thought she would ease up for Alice and Mary Poppins, but they freaked her out, too. Finn had no problem with the characters. He just DID NOT want his picture taken right when we got there.
Finn polished off three bowls of Strawberry Soup – which is mostly heavy cream and pureed strawberries, and Alice was beside herself as she tore apart her Mickey waffles. After breakfast, we took a bus to Downtown Disney and indulged Finny as he played Legos at the enormous Lego Store. Finn Nathan crammed as many Legos as he could in the fill-a-cup-of-Legos wall. Alice had fun playing with the Legos, too, but she went out of her mind when I took her to World of Disney’s princess section. I wanted so badly for her to get the Rapunzel doll, but she was set on Ariel.
Finny played in the fountains and rode the mini train… We were all tired and happy as we headed back to the hotel. Finn wanted nothing to do with a nap, but Alice slumbered on for hours. Once she woke up, we took the kids to the pool. Alice was a little leery of the actual pool, but spent an hour playing at the splash pad.
Finn, on the other hand, has no idea how to swim, but has enough confidence in the water to get him into some major trouble. He would run off, get himself into deep water and smile as he almost drown. We had to keep an arm around him the entire time, and it has become apparent that we need to find a place where we can teach him to swim. Pronto.
Before long, my cheeks were red from laughing so hard with the fam. I forget how much fun we have when we are all together. It was a blast, and after the kids were in bed, all us big kids headed back to Downtown Disney to have a few drinks. I haven’t had a real drink since before Alice, and after two beers back at the room, the martini I had put me way past tipsy, resulting in an embarrassing recital of the Thriller dance… By just me. With no music. In the middle of an Irish bar. Classy…
Stay tuned for more!