As promised some Florida Pictures:
Day one and two: Disney World
Our hotel was only about 5 miles from the parking lot for Magic Kingdom but, random trivia for those like me who haven't been there before, the parking lot is about 2 miles from the entrance to the park. First you take a tram and then you have a choice of a boat or monorail to take you the rest of the way. In the end you don't have to do much walking to actually get into the park from your car which was good since we basically didn't sit down again until we left 10+ hours later. We were exhausted but had a wonderful time.
In the front door we saw a line to get pictures with a few princess and decided to get that over right away. Even though there was a line full of little girls all excited to meet them each princess talked with Isabelle as if she had nothing else going on in her life. They all loved the pink feathers in her hair.
And there is the Cinderella's Castle. Jake and Isabelle did a little puppetry while we were there.
Classic family picture. The crane added a nice homey touch.
After those classic pictures we launched into a day of lines, rides and general chaos and fun. We started the day with me reminding the whole family we were simply going to be present in the moment throughout the day and not get stressed out. Of course I am the only one who forgot that at any point and so I had to stop several times and remind John to remind me to be present in the moment. I want to do everything and tend to run my family like a crazy slave master trying to squeeze out every ounce of fun when what they really want to do is just sit down and enjoy the moment. In the end that is all I want too. Present in the moment.
Here we are enjoying a show we came upon as we were looking for our next adventure. Isabelle was great about walking around all day but she got plenty of time in all our arms and on John and Jake's shoulders. I particularly enjoyed the time with Jake and seeing him interact with our family. His love for his sister and the easy way we all work together to move through the day. He never complained but wasn't afraid to tell us what he needed whether it was food or a picture with a speeder from star wars. I really saw that my little boy has become a young man who is ready to go out into the world but who will hopefully always have a little time to laugh with his mom as well.
The first day ended with a wonderful fireworks show, this time viewed from dad's shoulders.
And a $10 balloon. Who doesn't need a $10 balloon at the end of the day?
Hollywood studios was a totally different experience than Magic Kingdom. For one thing we had never been there so we didn't know what anything was, what the good things are, where to go or how to start. In retrospect it wouldn't have killed me to pick up one of the millions of books on getting around Disney. I immediately picked up a map and felt stressed. We made a vague plan of how we would proceed but when we were less than half way through the map more than half way through the day I started to panic. Then I remembered I was being present in the moment, took a breath and enjoyed the parts of that park we got to see not worrying about what we didn't do.
They had hula hoops out when we arrived and discovered that Isabelle has a previously unknown talent for hula hooping.
And we got in a few character pictures.
We spied the Mickey Mouse water tower on a back lot tour.
Isabelle wanted to pose like Minnie.
so, of course, I needed Jake to do the same. Like so many other things that week he was a great sport trying to act like he didn't want to but enthusiastically participating anyway.
We saw Beauty and the Beast. Edited down to a 30 minute show it was pretty much just the top songs but wonderful and we enjoyed it.
We missed our opportunity to get a picture with Mickey when we were at Magic Kingdom and I told John that we could not leave Disney without the classic picture. Shortly before the park closed we found the Mickey line, which was pretty short and got our picture.
And the Incredible's were there too. Since this is possibly one of my favorite Disney movies ever we had to get in this line as well. Frozone had John posing like a super.
Thus ending our 2 days at Disney. It is a classic family experience I am glad we had and highly recommend but having gotten it out of our systems we were ready for the next adventure.
Stay tuned for further stories from Florida.