Sunday, January 31, 2010

Disney World Wednesday & Thursday

Wednesday morning was...not as fun as we would have liked it to be. We had schedule a "Grand Gathering Experience." We were going to a special Character Breakfast with the whole family, all 20 of us, at the Magi Kingdom. I woke up when my alarm went off and went quickly to the bathroom where I spent a good amount of time puking my guts out. Will power and determination helped me to get showered and ready for the day, I wasn't going to miss out on any of the fun. My mom called around to see how all the other families were doing and found out that several of my sister Marie's kids were up all night puking. Another phone call informed us that several of David's kids were also participating in the puking party. The last phone call let us know that Peter's family was fine and ready to go play. This was not good. Our character breakfast could not be rescheduled, but who wants 9 puking people at a breakfast. We decided that those who were well enough would still go and we'd check in with the rest and meet up later.
I wasn't going to miss Anna seeing all the characters so I went. I didn't eat anything and the smell of the food just about did me in, but I made it and the kids who went had a great time.
Throughout our trip the nice Disney employees kept giving Anna stickers. She LOVES stickers.
My favorite part of the character breakfast was a comment made by my nephew Zach. He was excited to meet the characters and have them sign in his little book. When Daisy Duck handed him back his book after signing her name Zach said, "Hey, she drew a monster in my book!"
Devin, like usual, had his camera out and was taking pictures like crazy. Anna wanted to get in on the picture taking fun too. She likes Daddy's camera.
Part way through the breakfast we got a call that Marie and the rest of her family were going to come and try and make it. We were glad they got there just in time for a few pictures.
Anna loved the fountain in the middle of the restaurant. She couldn't get enough of it.
After breakfast we had a pretty good day at the Magic Kingdom. I was feeling pretty sick all day long, and it was pretty cold, but we still had lots of fun. Anna LOVED everything we did.
Anna was not too excited about any of the 3-D shows in any of the parks. I think this had a lot to do with the fact that we wouldn't let her hold any of the 3-D glasses. Mostly because she broke this pair shortly after we took the picture.
This next picture is great because it is similar to one we took on our last family trip to Florida several years ago. This time it is all of the dad's holding the sleeping children rather than the moms. I'm glad Devin didn't mind holding Anna when she fell asleep in line, she is getting heavy!
All of the little cousins had a great time playing in the Splash Mountain play area while they were waiting for all the big kids to go on Big Thunder. They were having so much fun they didn't want to leave when it was time to go.
Devin took some great pictures that night. The castle looked so cool, all covered in "snow."
Thursday things were much better. We slept in a bit and then went over to Hollywood Studios. This was a fun park to go to with our big group because there are a lot of shows so our whole group could stay together.
We decided to skip the Fantasmic show so we could go on Rockin' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. The best part of the day was after going on Rockin' Roller Coaster one last time, we all did a sprint...literally...over to the new Toy Story ride. If you were in line before the park "closed" you could go on the ride. Anna completely enjoyed her ride in the stroller as we ran as fast as we could over to the Toy Story ride. We made it. We were pretty much the last ones in line. By that time Anna had really figured out how to walk along in the lines.
We laughed as we watched Mr. Potato Head pull his ear out and drop it on the floor, that isn't suppose to happen. If you look close in the picture he is missing his ear.
This was by far one of our favorite rides. The boys were really excited.
By the time we were done on Toy Story the park was pretty empty. It was fun walking through the park with no one else there.
Look closely in this next picture and you will see my brother David looking just like my Grandma Beth in so many pictures. That's a Grandma Beth pose if I've ever seen one.
Now for my favorite funny story of the day. On the bus ride home I sat next to my nephew Spencer. (As you can see from the picture below, he is pretty stinkin' cute.)
I asked him what was his favorite thing that we did that day. Spencer is 4 years old and I was surprised that he said, "Ooohhh the Tower of Terror is SOOOOO COOL!!!!" I couldn't resist asking what makes it so cool. His answer went something like this, "You go into this hotel and there are spider webs EVERYWHERE!! And then you go into this elevator thing and you watch this TV thing and you see these people get turned into ghostes. The ghostes come back to try and get you. They want to turn you into a ghostes. Then you go in the elevator up and down and UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN! It was AWESOME!!!!!!!" If I only had a way to record him saying it. It was hilarious! Thank heavens Thursday was a lot more fun than Wednesday. Did I mention that the sun even came out and we even took our coats off for a while. YEAH!!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Disney World Monday & Tuesday

Before too much time has gone by I want to catch up on our trip to Disney World. Without too much detail here are some of the highlights from the first two days of our trip.
Anna was a great helper as we packed. She loved sitting on the suit case. She also loves her new toy cell phone that we bought her. She will sit for quite a while just playing with her phone.

Anna was great on the plane ride out. She had lots of fun looking out the window, playing with the built in TVs in the seats, and she even took a nap for a good hour or so.

Once we got to Florida we went as fast as we could to get to Hollywood Studios so we could see their big Christmas light show. It was pretty amazing. I loved how they even had fake snow falling.

We were pretty surprised at how cold it was. The wind didn't help either. After a long day of traveling we decided that it would be best to head home early so we could get a good night's rest.
Tuesday we went to Epcot.

Epcot is my favorite park in Florida...well one of my favorites. We had fun going on Space Ship Earth. They have remodeled the ride since our last trip. I miss Walter Cronkite narrating the ride. We had lots of fun with all of the new interactive stuff at the end of the ride. Of course Anna had to get some good driving time in.

After Space Ship Earth we went over to go on Soarin'. My mom and I went on it while Devin watched Anna. My mom loved it! Anna loved her first nap of the day.

Devin and I then went on Soarin' together and we also went on the little plant boat ride. We then went over to the Imagination place and went on the Figment ride, which Anna absolutely loved. I'm glad she like this ride. It has been changed since I was a kid, but we would go on it over and over and over. It made me happy that she liked this ride too. We found out very quickly that if a ride had music and moving animals or people Anna loved it. Anna really enjoyed playing on all of the interactive stuff at the Imagination pavilion.

We went to lunch in Canada. We had the Deluxe Dinning plan. So we got a $100 meal for $16. Yup, that was a good deal and a REALLY good steak!
We then met up with all the rest of the crew at the American Adventure.

We then went over to Norway and had the pleasure of getting our first shocked look from a Disney employee when they asked, "How many are in your group." and we responded, "20!" "Really?" "Yup, we go from here to that person way back there."

I love the fact that we would fill a whole boat, even two on some rides. The cousins really had a great time sitting next to each other. There were so many possible ways to mix people up, no one ever had to sit by the same person twice.
We were off to Mexico next. It was fun to see how they have changed the Mexico ride. It was closed last time we went. Of all the rides in Epcot this is the one Anna loved the most. She would just bounce up and down and clap her hands. I think she really liked watching Donald Duck pop up in different places along the ride.
All of the kids who were tall enough went on Test Track next, and those who were too small took naps...or at least some of them did. As Anna was sleeping I enjoyed listening to a cute little grandma who was just complaining up a storm in Spanish about how, "Just because she is the grandma it doesn't mean she has to always stay with the baby. Why does Grandma have to carry all the stuff? And Grandma do this and Grandma do that." She was just complaining up a storm and I finally just started laughing and she looked at me and I just smiled. Yup you never know who can understand what you are saying.
After that we all did different things. We met up later that night for Illuminations...the best firework, lazer, light show.

David had picked out a good spot by Mexico to watch the show. Watching the show by Mexico had two bonuses. First, Anna got to go on the Mexico ride a few more times. Second, we all got to have a churro.

The fireworks were fantastic and no one froze to death. Our first full day at Disney World was completely wonderful. Not without several funny moments and tears from several children, but overall it was a wonderful day.

Anna Loves the Snow

We had a really good snow storm Friday night. Saturday was a beautiful day and we thought it would be fun to let Anna play in the snow. We went over to my mom's house so Anna could play in the snow with her cousins. Anna loved every minute of it. She would have stayed outside all day, but we thought it would be best to have her come in before she got too cold.
Anna and Elizabeth had a great time on the sled. (Liz not so much, she didn't like being cold.)

Anna had lots of fun. She even face-planted a few times and didn't get sad. She tried to eat the snow but didn't like it at all. Peter was nice and took Anna for a ride on the four wheeler. Once again, Anna had a great time.

Anna loved playing in the snow. I can't wait to take her out again.

What Anna Loves to Do

Anna is such a happy little girl.  She gets up early and just goes full blast until she takes a nap around 1pm.  If we are lucky she will sleep until 3pm or even 4pm.  Then she goes strong until bedtime at 8pm.  Here are some of the things that Anna loves to do lately.

1. Read stories.  She loves looking at books.  She loves to read them herself and she loves to be read to.  Her favorite book is "The ABCs of cookies."

2. She has found a love for playing with boxes.  Her favorite thing to do is to ride in them as Dad pushes her around the house.

3. She loves to play under and around our feet.  The best time is when we are washing the dishes.  She will crawl around and around and through our legs.

4. She also loves to play with socks.  One of her favorite daily activities is to pull all of the socks out of the drawer.   Here is a video of some of her favorite things to do.

We also finally got a picture of Anna falling asleep while eating.  She just put her head down on the table and was gone.

I would probably fall asleep eating too if I was as busy as she is all day long.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Disney World Half Marathon

I thought I'd post about the half marathon first.  Devin and I signed up for this race a year ago.  We felt pretty lucky that the week that my family picked just happened to be marathon weekend at Disney World.  It was nice to have a race to have to train for in the winter.  Normally I'm done racing for the year in October.  Nothing like a race right after the holidays to keep you focused on running more than holiday goodies.
Even though the weather report said it would be cold we kept telling ourselves, "But this is Florida, it will be warmer than Utah.  It will be a nice warm run."  Well, I should have listened to my aunt Wendy who told my mom that it was going to be freezing.  I didn't even bring my running pants, oh how I wish I would have.  Devin and I both layered our clothes as much as we thought possible.  I had 3 shirts on plus my hoodie, my ear warmer and a hat, and gloves.

We kept thinking warm thoughts.  All the racers looked more like they were getting ready to go sledding.
Even though we were turning into popsicles it was tons of fun.  I love the energy that builds before the start of a race.  Unfortunately before the race started, the wind really started blowing.  Luckily we found some big garbage bags that helped to break the wind a bit.

We woke up at 3am so by the time our wave of the race started at 6am we were more than ready to start running.  The wind and the light rain wasn't bad, but when it started sleeting...well that wasn't my most favorite part of the race.
Thank heavens the sleet and the rain went away for a while and we enjoyed a wonderful run to the Magic Kingdom.

It was a blast running down Main Street USA, around the castle, through Tomorrow Land, back through Fantasy land and on to Frontier Land.  There were characters lining the streets and so many people cheering us on.  We were glad that they had given us a little disposable camera so we could stop and take a few fun pictures along the way.  (Funny trying to take pictures with a "film" camera where you have to look through that little hole to take the picture and you can't see what the picture looks like until you get it prehistoric!)
Our race then took us back the Epcot.  It started raining pretty good and by the time we crossed the finish line we were soaked!  (Splashing through puddles had nothing to do with that I promise.)

It was my worst half marathon time ever, but Devin set a personal record.  We both went into the race with three goals in mind. 1. Not to freeze to death.  2. To finish the race. 3. To have fun.  Three checks! We did not freeze.  We both finished.  We actually ran the whole race together and crossed the finish line hand in hand.  (That has NEVER happened before!) And we had tons of fun.  I'd run this race again in a heartbeat.  Maybe next time we run it, it will be warm.