Monday, March 11, 2019

Disney Springs

If you missed the other days of our trip, you can check them out here:

Our last morning was a mostly just a travel day.  I did make reservations for us at Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs at 11:00.  We got up, ready, and to Disney Springs by 10:00 (when the stores opened) to do a little bit of shopping before lunch.

First up?  A coffee stop!  Cooper didn't want anything and decided to take a rest while we ordered - haha.

I posted this on instagram, but I'll post it again here.  When LL was little, I remember thinking that I wanted the baby/toddler stage to stay forever because I didn't think the preteen/teenager stage could ever compare.  I was so wrong, friends.  I love this girl, and the stage that she is in, so very much.  The toddler stage is fun and super cute, but there is beauty in growing up.

LL has been all about the Lego Friends lately, so she was excited to see all the girls.  Also - one of these things is not like the other.  ;)

The cute picture for mommy...

...and the silly picture for Cooper.  His face seriously cracks me up so much.

When I went to take this picture, he did this pose all on his own.  When I asked him what he was doing, he said "posing like Woody"!  Ha!  This seriously cracks me up!

This was our first family visit to Planet Hollywood, and it was a huge hit!  We had a blast looking around, and the kids were so pumped to find Kevin's sled from Home Alone!

This was an epic bbq sandwich!

LL liked seeing this dress...but then I realized that I don't think she's actually seen the movie?!

I made a fun video of our trip to remember all of our fun!  Check it out!

We all had so much fun at Disney, and we for sure won't be waiting as long to go back!

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Disney - Day 2

If you missed the first day of our Disney recap, you can read all about it here!

Before I start, I'm sure you'll notice right off the bat a different in attire!  First day - shorts.  Second day - all the winter gear!  It's crazy how quickly a cold front can come in and change the weather!

On the second day, we chose to go back to Magic Kingdom and either hit the things we missed the day before or re-ride our favorites from the day before.  First up?  Mine Train.  We didn't ride it the day before because the line was almost 3 hours long.  This time, we ran straight there at rope drop --- and still had to wait an hour and a half!  When I planned our trip, the original crowd calendars predicted our first day would be an 8 out of 10, and the second day would be a 6.  Well, that was not accurate!  After we left, I looked up the actual crowd levels, and they were a 10 and a 9!  Whew!

We had the kids' water bottles hanging from Matt's bookbag, and it would crack me up when they would drink from them.  They looked like little baby cows drinking from udders - haha.

Thankfully the line had quite a few activities for them to do while we waited.  It actually seemed to go by pretty quickly.

Ready to ride!

We had quite a few friends in town the same weekend, so we met up with Meghan and her crew for a few rides that day.  We hadn't done Small World the day before, and it's a good ride for a big group of people.

For our snack break, we got churros - something the kids had never had before!  They both loved them.

It made me laugh when the kids wanted to stop and do this...and when they knew what to do!

Ariel was a favorite from the day before, so we made sure to hit it again.

I love the joy on Cooper's face (and that he was having so much fun that he didn't want to stop to look at me).

When you wear a Rapunzel shirt, you have to take a picture in the Rapunzel area!

We got in line for the Magic Carpets, but the wait time must have drastically changed once we got in.  We thought it was going to be about 30 minutes, but I swear we waited at least an hour.

This picture was a must have for me.  I have one just like it from all of our trips!

2015, 2016, and 2019!

The wait was long, but we're still as happy as can be!

LL really wanted to meet Merida, but we got to her area with about 20 minutes to spare.  We decided to just sit down in line and have a snack break while we waited.  Matt got the kids this slushy to share, and it was a huge hit.  Even though it was cold outside, they loved it - especially the candy straws (of course).

He also got some of these cat tails, and they were auh-mazing.  I have thought about these several times since we've been home.  They are a must-do the next time we go for sure!

We were third in line to meet her, and she was fantastic!

It amazes me how they talk about literally everything in character.  She was saying here that LL's jacket felt like a bear!

Cooper didn't want to meet her, but he did jump in with us for a family picture.

After Merida, we met back up with the Hempe's to ride the People Mover.  Meghan, Lorelai, Logan, and I all rode in one car.

Matt, Kevin, Luke, and Cooper rode in another.

Our kids really pair up so great.  Luke and Cooper love hanging out, and LL is in a stage where she loves "little" kids.

 What do you do when you end up at Disney World with your bff's?  Group Castle pictures, of course!

It was still early, but it was seriously so crazy cold and so crazy crowded.  We all decided to leave early and head over to Disney Springs for dinner.  We went to Blaze Pizza and it was a huge hit!  We all loved it!  It was super crowded there, too, because no one was sitting outside.  They have a lot of outdoor seating, but everyone was passing on it because it was so cold.  We had to stand and wait for a table for a little while, but we finally snagged a table for four...and squished 8 people in it - haha.

After pizza, we stopped by the chocolate store on the way back to the car and got a snack for everyone to eat when we got back to the hotel.

Matt and I split this huge cookie, and it was really good!

Even though it was cold and crowded, it was still an amazing day!  It's impossible to have a bad day at Disney, right??

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Disney - Day 1

Before I dive into the post, I wanted to apologize for the little blog hiatus that I took.  Life got super busy, and I just needed to take a few things off of my plate.  I took some time off from social media and blogging, and it was so very good for my mental space!  That being said - I'm back and ready to catch up!

Back in July, Matt started a new job.  In his new job, he travels quite a bit.  This traveling requires him to be gone from home a few nights a week every week.  He loves his new job, but being going requires sacrifices from all of us to make this work.  For his first full quarter in his job, he hit all of his sales goals and earned a bonus.  We decided to take his first bonus and use it for something that we've all sacrificed - time.  It just seemed fitting to use extra, unplanned money from a job that requires him to be gone for some time away from home with all of us spending time together.  

We've been talking for a while about how it has been about 2 years since our last trip to Disney.  In fact, when we mentioned Disney, Cooper said "What's that?"  The last time he went, he was 4, so he doesn't remember it at all!  We looked at our calendar and booked a trip to Disney World for MLK weekend!

We drove down Friday night after school.  We basically just checked in and went to bed.  Asleep and dreaming of the next day!

Matt got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, and the kids were all snuggled up like this.  They are nice to each other sometimes (even if it's when they don't realize).

We were up bright and early the next morning and ready to get on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom!

Cooper was so excited to ride the monorail!

We made it to the happiest place on earth!

I don't care how old you are - rounding that corner and seeing the castle always gives you such an amazing feeling!

This was going to be a pretty crowded weekend, so we used the Disney app to really help us avoid the lines if possible.  First up?  Zero wait for Ariel!

After the ride we went right over to meet Ariel, and it was possibly the funniest princess interaction ever.  Cooper was pumped to meet her, but then got super shy when we got in there.  The photopass photographer got his perfect shot of Cooper ignoring Ariel and her feelings about it all - haha.

Eventually she won him over!

Princess high-fives!

Once she won Cooper over, she spent some time talking to LL about her upcoming birthday!

 Group hugs!

LL and I looked at the Gaston statue while the boys took a potty break.  It was so funny to read the sign and have her ask me "why is it from him to the townspeople?".

After Ariel we went over to Dumbo...and believe it or not, this was a first for all of us.  We've never done it before!  It always has a longer wait than Magic Carpets (but is basically the same ride), so we skip it.  This time the wait wasn't bad so we hopped in line.

One of my favorite places with my favorite people?  Life is good. 

We tried to explain this to Cooper while waiting for The Barnstormer...while also explaining that throwing knives is not a good thing - haha.

We had a fast pass for Buzz next!

Obviously I have no idea where the camera is - haha.

We defeated Zurg!

When we got off the ride, we lucked out because Buzz was right outside and the wait to meet him wasn't long at all!

After Buzz, we went to Casey's for lunch.  They had a BBQ slaw dog and it was absolutely amazing.

After lunch, we jumped in line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - also a first for our crew!

We had to wait about an hour, but thankfully the line had plenty of activities for the kids to do to make time pass quickly.

We had been pumping LL up for this (she is not our daredevil)..

...but then the nerves kicked in.  This picture cracked me up later.  Hold on tight because we're going anyway!  (Spoiler alert - she loved it)

You've got to get a classic snack if you have a picture of it on your shirt!

We did the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House and I was surprised at how much the kids enjoyed it!

The line to wait for Tiana and Rapunzel wasn't long, so we did that next.  Cooper's legs were tired, and he just wanted to be held.  I can't hold him for long, but I'm going to do this as long as possible!  Pretty soon I won't be able to pick him up at all anymore!

First up was Tiana.  She was so beautiful, so sweet, and just took so much time to just talk to LL.  It was great!

After his Ariel experience, Cooper decided to not meet any more princesses and just stand with me and Matt.

I am always so impressed with the princesses.  Rapunzel was great also, and LL loved talking to her.  She even talked with Cooper a little bit by the end of it.

I love this one!

It surprises me how both kids are older, yet they both still love the carrousel!

We're not too old to ride, too!

We went to Philharmagic next.  It is not my favorite at all, but Matt loves it.  We didn't do it on our last trip with Cooper, so Matt wanted to make sure to do it this time.  There was a little bit of a wait for the next show, but we didn't mind having a chance to sit down for a few minutes.

Ready for the show!

Another thing we've never done before is the teacups!  The kids asked Matt to spin us, and I'm for sure not doing that again - haha.  I was sooooo dizzy and sick feeling when we finished!

I realize this is pretty nerdy, but I absolutely love the Carousel of Progress!  We don't usually do this, either, so we made time for it this trip.  Surprisingly, the kids loved it, too!

I can't get much happier than I am right here!

We got a few souvenirs and found a spot for the fireworks!

I had a little pillow that was attached to my bookbag, and this is what Cooper did during the middle of the fireworks!  You know you're tired when you'll lay down on the ground in the middle of the show!  It was so crowded and I was terrified that people were going to step on him.

Day 1 and 15,000 steps!

We got back to the hotel and went straight to bed to get as much rest as we could for another day at the park!