Archive for October, 2008

Trick or Treat?

Saturday morning I discovered a mystery package addressed to Banks and Mary Reese on a front porch from the UPS man…would it be a trick or a treat?I could tell it was from Williams-Sonoma, so I knew it was probably a TREAT!
{Excuse our hair…we had just gotten up and we are really into wearing mix-matched pjs}
It definitely was a treat! I was these fabulous Halloween suckers from Baby Carter:

Thanks Baby Carter! We have LOVED our Halloween Treat!

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Wordless Wednesday

3 Peas in a Pod

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Monday night I bought these:
That is why I love this place:

I love being able to buy the tickets and picking out our seats online days before we even go to the movies! Plus it is new and very nice…to us it is the only place to go see a movie!
So last night, the family loaded up and we headed to Huntsville. We stopped by Rosie’s to eat before we headed to the premiere of this:

Jody and I have never heard so many preteeneyboppers squeal when Troy or Chad appeared on the screen. It was hilarious! The kids LOVED it and were glad to see it on opening night!

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Disney Vacation – Day 6

After breakfast and a packing session, we headed to the pool for one last dip! Banks was the first kid up the stairs and down the slide, so he became the Keister Coaster Kid of the Day! He got a clown wig, glasses, clown nose, necklace, coins and a diamond ring! We all enjoyed the perfectly heated pool before heading upstairs to finishing packing and showering!

Before checking out of our home away from home, we left the swapped stroller with the concierge to store for the next person in line! We grabbed our rental car {they didn’t charge us for parking because of the lost key fiasco} and headed to Downtown Disney to spend our earned “Disney Dollars”! We found most of our prizes at the World of Disney. Mary Reese got to make her own princess crown there while Jody and Banks headed to Once Upon a Toy to make their own Light Saber! We grabbed a delicious sandwich at Earl of Sandwich before stocking up on some goodies from Goofy’s Candy Company! We all picked out a new Christmas ornament from Disney’s Days of Christmas before heading to the airport!

We got to the airport in plenty of time to catch our flight! Only one disaster on the plane ride home…Mary Reese pitched a major fit in the middle of the aisle because Banks got to sit by the window and she had to sit in the middle seat! She sat by the window on the way there…so it was his turn, but she didn’t like it! We arrived in Birmingham just before 5:00 and grabbed some always delicious Davenport’s Pizza with Debbie, Christopher, Stacey and David before heading back home! We truly had a magical trip and can’t wait to go back in a couple of years!

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Disney Vacation – Day 5

We decided to sleep in since we had been out late the night before. We got up and headed straight to Hollywood Studios after breakfast {our mission…Fast Passes for Toy Story Mania}! About the time we got to the gate I realized Mary Reese left her blanket on the boat, so Jody sprinted down to claim it before the boat took off for their next trip. Hollywood Studios was pretty crowded, so we headed straight to the new Toy Story Mania ride to snag Fast Passes {mission accomplished}. We stopped by the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground on our way to the sorcerer’s hat to meet and greet Minnie and Daisy. Then we decided to head to Epcot since we had not ridden one ride there and Jody was dying to eat in Mexico!

Somewhere between leaving Hollywood Studios and Epcot, we lost Mary Reese’s blanket again {this time it was gone for good…thank goodness for a backup}! As soon as we arrived in Epcot, Jody grabbed us Fast Passes for Soarin’! Then we ate at Cantina de San Angel and rode the boat ride through Mexico. Jody decided to ride Test Track since the single rider line was only 10 minutes while the kids and I made our own paper in Innovations East {they did do something educational while we were gone}.

We decided to go ride Living with the Land since it looked like the bottom was about to drop out at any minute. Just as we reached The Land…the bottom dropped out! By the time we voyaged through the greenhouses and fish farm, the rain had stopped. Then we headed to the Seas with Nemo and Friends ride. After you ride, you can walk upstairs and view the aquarium. Banks even got to give one of the scuba divers a high-five through the glass! Before dinner we had time to ride Spaceship Earth {through the giant ball} and watch the Honey, I Shrunk the Audience 3-D movie. We tried to email postcards home from Spaceship Earth but our pictures never came up on the screen!

We left Future World on our way to Japan for dinner at Teppan Edo! The food was delicious, the chef was very entertaining and it was probably our second favorite meal behind Le Cellier! After dinner we debated about walking all the way back to The Land for our Soarin’ Fast Pass ride. We decided we would regret it if we skipped it…so off we went! We ended up running into Alice from Wonderland in England on our way. After we got off Soarin’, we all decided the extra steps were well worth it!

Since we had already seen IllumiNations, we decided to head back to Hollywood Studios because they were open to midnight! We thought about catching the last Fantasmic show but decided to ride Star Wars and Toy Story Mania instead. We were very grateful for Fast Passes to Toy Story because the standyby line was still estimated at 45 minutes! When we got off the ride…we realized why everyone wanted to ride this one so bad. We all had a blast and wished we had another Fast Pass! It definitely put the Buzz Lightyear ride in Magic Kingdom to shame! We ended the night {and our time} at the parks with Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Sandwiches!

Once we got back to the Boardwalk, Banks and Jody finished up their Arcade Card while Mary Reese and I headed to bed! Tomorrow’s plans: packing, more pool time and a shopping spree in Downtown Disney…

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We caught a cab to the Animal Kingdom for our before-the-park-opens breakfast reservations with Donald {Mary Reese was infatuated with Donald the entire trip}! I was really excited about this day because it would be the first time any of us visited this park! We got some pictures made in a virtually empty park on our way to Tuskar House in Africa! The breakfast and the jungle juice were both delicious and delightful {just as Amy Jackson promised}! We got to see Donald, Daisy, Mickey and Goofy! This is the only opportunity we had to get Mickey’s autograph during our entire trip!

After breakfast, we grabbed Fast Passes for Kilimanjaro Safari before walking through the Pangani Forrest Trail! We then rode the Wildlife Express Train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch where we received another “Magic Moment” {special ears commemorating the “Year of a Million Dreams”}! We took the train back and hopped on the safari ride with little wait thanks to our Fast Passes! The ride was wonderful…we got to see so many different animals! Both the lions were asleep but we could see them perched on top of their rock!

After our safari ride, we decided to brave Kali River Rapids! We met a really nice family in line who we ran into again several times during the rest of our trip. All four of us came off the ride SOAKED! Jody grabbed him and Banks Fast Passes for another rapid ride and for Everest before heading to DinoLand USA!

The kids really enjoyed DinoLand. We rode TriceraTop Spin, played Fun-Fossil {carnival-style} Games and played in the Boneyard! {Primeval Whirl was closed for refurbishments.} After all this riding and playing, we had worked up an appetite!

We decided to try out Flame Tree Barbeque and snagged a great table outside with a wonderful view of the Tree of Life. After lunch, we had just enough time to catch the 3-D It’s a Bugs Life movie before the Jammin’ Jungle Parade!

We headed over to the entrance to Africa to watch the parade because we wanted to ride the safari ride again after the parade was over. It was the perfect spot to watch the parade…the kids sat in the stroller and Jody and I had a rock wall to sit on!
After the parade was over, we headed for another safari ride using our Fast Passes! This time we got to see the black rhino {he wasn’t out earlier}, the male lion {he was awake} and a baby giraffe! Banks and Jody rode the rapids again while Mary Reese and I watched from the observation bridge. Jody then went to tackle Expedition Everest! We headed back to the Boardwalk to recharge before heading back to the Magic Kingdom to enjoy the extra magic hours {they were open until 1:00 am}!

We got to the MK right before Spectromagic started, so to avoid the crowds we caught the last WDW Railroad to Toontown because Mary Reese was dying to drive an Indy racecar! Both of them got to drive cars…she about slung me out several times when she decided to turn around to talk to Banks {while still driving}. We then rode Buzz Lightyear and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority again. We decided to try out the Astro Orbiter for the first time! We were so excited we did because we caught the finale of Wishes while waiting on the observation deck to board our space ship! It was the perfect spot to watch the fireworks! I will admit that ride made me a little nervous but Mary Reese LOVED it! We then headed over to ride the carousel, Dumbo and It’s a Small World one last time before catching the bus back home!

Mary Reese was acting like such a big girl on the way home. She looked and me and said “And what was your favorite ride today?” Hers was driving the race cars and Banks said his was Buzz Lightyear!

Tomorrow…another round at Hollywood Studios and Epcot!

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We all sleep in, ate a leisurely breakfast and then headed down to the pool for a dip! Banks loved the clown slide and Mary Reese loved all the elephants squirting water around the pool. We headed back to the room to get ready for our big date with Cinderella and her princess friends!
Since Banks was dying to ride the monorail again {and we had plenty of time}, we walked through Epcot to catch the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. We were the first people on the platform, so we asked to ride up front with the drivers {they let up to 4 people do this each ride}. They both loved being “Monorail Co-Pilots” of the Orange Monorail and even got a special card to commemorate the occasion!
The Magic Kingdom was PACKED {attendance was over 44,000 at noon that day}, so we made our way straight to the castle for our lunch reservations at Cinderella’s Royal Table! They call your party when your table is ready, then you have your picture made with Cinderella before heading upstairs to your table. The girls are given a magic wand with a wishing star and the boys receive a sword with a wishing star. The Major Domo’s Pie {shepard’s pie} and Chocolate Buckle dessert were both delicious! We got to see Belle, Snow White, Jasmine and Sleeping Beauty upstairs. I wish you could have all seen the excitement on Mary Reese’s face – it was PRICELESS and worth every penny I paid to eat in the castle! After lunch they had a wishing star ceremony and both kids wished for a night in Cinderella’s Castle {it didn’t happen while we were there…but it didn’t hurt to wish}!

Wishing for a night in the castle
We decided to ride the Walt Disney World Railroad around the park twice! It was really nice to just sit and get out of the crowds for a few minutes. We disembarked the train and rode the raft to explore Tom Sawyer’s Island. Mary Reese had been dying to tour Mickey and Minnie’s houses, so he hiked it on over to Toontown! After the tour of homes, we walked to Fantasyland to ride Snow White’s Scary Adventure, play in Ariel’s Grotto and to ride Peter Pan again. By that time we knew we needed to go claim our spot for Spectromagic and Wishes!
We finally found a spot right in front of the castle but it was wall to wall people {it was super crowded and they weren’t kidding on the message boards about finding a spot an hour in advance}! I tried to get us some popcorn to snack on but the lines where ridiculously long! Spectromagic was an updated version of the Electric Light Parade they had when I was growing up! All the floats and characters were so neat all lit up! Wishes was fabulous and getting to see Tinkerbell fly from the top of the castle to somewhere else in the park {it is a big secret where she actually lands} was wonderful!

After the fireworks, we made our way back down Main Street and caught the bus home! Banks and Jody went to the ESPN Zone for a really late dinner while Mary Reese and I opted for ice cream at Seashore Sweets. We all hit the hay to get our beauty rest for Donald’s Breakfast Safari the next morning…

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