Monday, March 29, 2010

Princessing First: Epcot Day 1

You may not think of the word "princessing" in the title of this post as being a legitimate verb.  After all of the work it took to make this princess event happen, I can assure you...princessing is very much in the predicate category!

We had a least I did.  My dream was to spend a day at Epcot, strolling around the lake in the warm sunshine, perusing the different shops, tasting the cuisines of many countries and generally taking an easy break from the hyped up Disney jazz, as well as our effort to carry our food in and NOT buy treats.  Epcot was going to be the exception.  I had my wallet ready. It was a lovely plan.  The first wrench in my scheme was when I couldn't get a character breakfast reservation with the princesses in the castle at Magic Kingdom, but could only get one at the Norwegian Hall in Epcot.  This meant that our day at Epcot was going to have to include meeting lots of characters...mostly princesses.  But that was ok.  It would be something for Lily to appreciate since she would probably grow bored with our many-cultural meanderings. 

(Note....please remind me never to stand like this for a picture again.  Yikes.)

Wrench number two was the weather!  It began to rain as we waited to get into the park....
just a sprinkle at first, but it was a preamble to the deluge to come.

  Our brunch with the princesses was at 10:40, which meant that we had get to our target ride (California Soarin') and a couple of others before that. 

 So we were first in line.  We were big on that.  Ok...I was.  I made everybody else be too. 

 All went quite well during the morning, now that I think about it.  We rode "California" (loved it) and got fast passes for later, did "Turtle Talk with Crush" ( from Finding Nemo) and headed to Norway with Lily in all her princess attire.

We were first in (a long) line here, as well...good thing too, because each "princess" got to meet Belle BEFORE her party got seated and served.  We were hungry and damp.  It was good to be first!

Having got the idea of character greetings the previous day, Lily was finally able to relax and enjoy the encounter.

It helped that Lily was decked out in royal garb herself....

I think she felt a lot more respected.
And did I mention we were first?
Can you imagine doing this 100 times?
Six times a day?
More on that later.

The Royal Family

We probably got the last reservation available for this time slot, which was brunch (cheaper than lunch or dinner).  Because of that, we were back in a corner by a staff only door, but it ended up being a great thing...because guess what!  We were FIRST to be greeted by the princesses as they entered (ok technically second because there was one table closer to the door than we were)!  That meant we were free to be done when we wanted, and we didn't have to wait for the princesses to get to us.

A note about God (keeping you on your spiritual toes!):  Look, I know there are real problems and tragedies abounding in the lives of many.  God is present in those big things.  I don't want to ingore that.  But I want to also attest and thank Him for the little gifts and blessings He bestowed on us during our week.  It happened all week long...I'd have a plan and He'd provide a better one.  This breakfast was one small example...I was stressed out that it wasn't in the castle, that we would get a "bad" table, that we wouldn't get our money's worth, etc. etc...and it ended up
working out better than I
 could have ever planned. 

He is present in the little things as well as the big.

First we got to go through the "cold foods buffet."  There were berries, yogurts, toppings, smoked salmon and other Scandinavian preserves, pastries...

Lily ate 50 raspberries.  I'm sure the person refilling the buffet wondered where they all went in the first five minutes of the buffet being open.  I can answer that.

Aurora (Sleeping Beauty)

(same exact person as at Magic Kingdom the day before!..Maybe it's the real Cinderella.)

This was a forced hug.  I made Katie do it.  Just so you know.

Katie:  "This chick is really strange..."

Snow White

Finally!  Lily smiles!

And the most exciting of all!  Ariel!
Lily:  "Oh she's so pretty.  I wish she was in Minnesota."

Alas...all things end. (Smile).  Lily did a quick wardrobe change and had a brief sit on the fancy chair...and we were off for more Epcot adventures!

Lily's comment upon looking at this post as I was finishing:
"I approve."

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Mouse Ears

Disclaimer:  You are about to view cliche and generic Disney scenes.  These are being posted here because....they exist.  It's what you do after you go to Disney.  Please forgive me!  I can't help myself!

We were on our way to Dumbo, but the teacups were empty and what better way to make yourself sick for the rest of the day?  Really.

We got to be the first group on Dumbo after a mechanical delay.  Oh yeah...I love being the first to ride a ride right after it's been "fixed."  It's even better when it breaks down WHILE you are on it and then starts again.  It adds thrill.

I am going to postulate that the success of the Disney megafluence (I made that last word up :)) due almost entirely to the MOUSE EARS.  They are so CUTE!  Everybody just wants to see their little one in these adorable little hats.  They are the world's most expensive headwear, even though the hat itself goes for twelve bucks.  Some come with jewels and veils...they go for $15.

This was Lily's very first "character greeting."  The line is normally an hour or more, but thanks to excellent advice, planning and a whip (just kidding)...thanks to Grandma Marsha for getting us a great place in line, we only waited twenty minutes or so!  Lily was overwhelmed.

She could hardly believe it...

We also waited for the princesses.  Getting the signatures satisfied our need to hunt...

Oh's men who have the need to hunt.  This was a girls' vacation.  Never mind.

Katie figured that if she had to wait in line....

....she might as well get a hat and get signatures on it too....

"If you can't beat'em, join'em!"
She much prefered Pooh and Tigger to the princesses or the fairies...

Speaking of Tigger...

I don't know whether it was a male or a female under that costume...

....but, welllll, Tigger really liked hugging Katie.

"Enough Tigger!  TIGGER!"
"OK then!"

It was a beautiful morning.

This was the only food we bought all day.
We packed the rest in a backpack.
But who can pass up....

...$8.00 smoked turkey legs.
It would be wrong to pass those up.
In fact, you could get into trouble if you tried.
So we got one.
Because we weren't there to cause trouble!!!

Many rides and characters later....a rare sighting of Peter least we were told that it was rare...and that we were very special.
Disney does that.
They are trained.

The day at Magic Kingdom got a "thumbs up."

...and a sweet smile....

And I'm sorry, but the mouse ears...the mouse ears...
I love the mouse ears!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"I Didn't Get Them." by Lily

Warning:  Emotional Material Ahead.  Please proceed with caution.
Note:  Lily's eyes look strange in the following pictures because she had just had them dilated at the eye doctor's.


"Oh Mommy....I didn't get them...."


(More wailing)..."They said I couldn't get them." 
(More wailing)..." I didn't get them...."

"Daddy, oh Daddy........(more wailing)"

"I can't believe I didn't get them.......(sobs)."

 "I didn't get glasses."

Continued weeping in waves for an hour...until the neighbor girls came over and asked to play. 
 Thank you neighbor girls. 
I owe you my sanity.
But could you hurry it up a little next time?  Please?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ready Set Go!

Here we are at the Minneapolis Airport EARLY on a Tuesday morning...Tuesday being the cheapest day to fly and all.   Shhhh don't tell anyone.  We were happy, relaxed and contentedly playing a rousing hand of Go Fish, when the flight attendant behind the desk quietly announced that Chicago (our 1 stop on the way to Orlando) was fogged in for smaller planes and that if we wanted to get to Chicago anytime soon, we should try to get on a larger flight a few gates down which was leaving shortly....and good luck.  How do you spell adreneline?  The two girls didn't know what hit them as I scooped the many carryons (because who wants to pay $20 a bag to check them?) and hightailed it a few gates down.  Seriously, I could hear them calling "Mommy...where are you going?" from somewhere far behind me.  But hey, I got there while there were still seats and soon we were in the air and on our way!  It's a thankless job.

Once in Chicago, we quickly found Grandma Marsha having a quiet breakfast in a sunny corner of the airport.  That was her last peace and quiet for the week.

No more blissful solitude for her!!!  Because we had plans...

Here is Lily's choice of breakfast...the skin of a chocolate muffin.  Nice.
But wait...there's always someone else's food!...

First she sent Grandma off on a quest to find her some WATER because she didn't care for the STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE I'd just bought for her and Katie....Then she snarfed up Grandma's hashbrowns and the remainder of her eggs.

And she got a big ol' bottle of water with a pop top to boot. 
She's a master.

We got settled in our home away from home for the week and had some hula hoop fun at the pool after dinner.
The entertainment was a bit overwhelming at first...

...culture shock and all...

...but after a few more rounds of hula...(Katie forbid me to take pictures of her, but it turns out she's quite good...)

...we all decided we liked being on vacation in Florida. 
We liked it a lot!