Monday, September 11, 2017

Disney Reflections

We'd been planning and saving for our Disney Trip for a long time.  Here are some of my reflections and thoughts from the trip...

Macie was hit on!: When we were at the pool one night, a little boy was playing with Gavin.  Gavin told him about his sisters.  He said this is Lilah and then found Macie.  When Gavin introduced the little boy to Macie, the boy said, "Oh WOW!"  My mom and I were right there and lost it.  Gavin was teasing Macie all week saying, "Ooh La La!"  I'm so not ready for this!

Stressful!: Disney is so much fun and one of my favorite places to be.  This is my 5th trip there and by far the most stressful.  We had a lot of fun as the previous posts and pictures show, but having a group of 12 with different ideas, interests, ages, speeds, etc is hard to make sure that everyone is happy and gets the most out of their trip.  It was also extra stressful because people back home were constantly calling and texting us about the hurricane.  We were well aware of what has happening and appreciated a text of concern, but constant, daily texts made it more difficult to relax and enjoy the trip.  I started dreading looking at my phone.

Home Sweet Home: Our trip home sucked, but it could have been way worse!  All I kept thinking about were all of the other people who were leaving their homes with no where to go and didn't have any idea what they would find when they came back.  We ran into so many people and most were so kind.  I've never appreciated my home in Indiana more and I hope I never take what I have for granted.  I've been praying for all of those people and will continue to do so!

Future Trip: Brian and I are talking about going back to Disney, maybe just the five of us, in a few years.  There are some things we'd do the same and some different.  With the kids being older, we'd have to pack less and take less with us into the parks.  I'm honestly ready to go back now, but our next trip will be to a beach somewhere!!

Good Bye, Disney!  Hope to see you again!

The Trip Home...

The trip home was LONG!  It took us 27.5 hours to get home and 11.5 hours of driving time to get out of Florida!  To put that into perspective, it is a 12 hour drive from our house to Disney!  We knew the Hurricane was set to hit on Sunday morning in Miami and we'd heard that gas as sparse, so we made sure we filled up on gas earlier in the week.  We left our hotel at 3:30pm our time and didn't arrive at my parents' house until 7:00 pm the next day.

Even though it was long, we were never stranded, at a complete standstill, or without gas, food, or a bathroom.  We'd brought food and other supplies as best as we could.  We saw LOTS of gas stations that were out of gas, so if we found one with gas, we filled up even if we only needed a few gallons.  The lines were long, but never terrible.  The bathrooms were dirty, but better than the side of the road.  I prayed the rosary three times that day and we made it home safely!

We did stop at one gas station where some guys were starting a brawl and the cops were being called because someone cut someone else off at a gas pump.  We also pulled off into an abandoned gas station for four hours to try and get some sleep.  It was quite the adventure.  Honestly, the worst part about it was that poor Ari was DONE and let the rest of us know it!  She cried and screamed the majority of that 27 hours.  I had quite the headache when we got home.

My three kids were honestly excellent travelers.  They were so good considering how long we were in the car and the fact that they were a little worried about the storm.  On Saturday, we stopped at Jim and Nick's BBQ for a nice lunch before our last 4 hours home.  It was a nice way to break up the long travel.  We were never so excited to be home, but boy were we exhausted!

Lilah drew this Mickey for Andre

And this Minnie for Ari

We were going to buy these at the restaurant, but the waitress gave them to us because of our long trip!

The way home

The way there...

WDW Vacation ~ Day 8

The last day didn't go exactly as planned, but we made the best of it.  We didn't set any alarms for that morning hoping to catch up on some sleep.  Our plan was to swim, do more laundry and head to Hollywood Studios after lunch.  I woke up really early that morning getting anxious about the Hurricane that was coming.  Mom and Dad asked us to meet them in their room and we decided it would be best to leave later that day instead of early the next morning.  We kind of rushed around doing laundry, packing, showering and getting ready to head to the park for our last few hours of fun.

At Hollywood Studios, we had a few must dos: Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular, Tower of Terror, Rockin' Roller Coaster, and Sci Fi Dine In Restaurant.  I really wanted to see Fantasmic, but that wasn't until the end of the night and we knew there was no way we could do it.  I didn't feel up to doing Tower of Terror, so Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt Allie, and Aunt Annie took Gavin and he ended up doing it twice! I went to part of the Indiana Jones show with everyone else and then headed to Rockin' Roller Coaster.  I was so glad that Gavin was tall enough for it.  It is another one of my favorites.  He loved it!  

We had a later reservation for Sci Fi, but they were able to let us get in early.  It was good food and the kids thought it was cool.  After that, we stopped by a candy store to spend our last bit of the gift card and then headed back to the hotel to pack up and go home.

Brian and I bought a silverware set to use for our special dinners

We got CJ and Avery thank you favorite are the dinosaur droppings for CJ!

Not the best picture, but Gavin's goodies!

Macie's goodies!

The best sundae!

Lilah's goodies!

Gavin loved having a map and being the navigator on this trip.  I remember being the same way when I went as a kid!

Ta Da!  The end of our trip!

This picture is taken right at the beginning of the ride and Gavin and I look so scared lol.  We were loving the rest of it!

Tower of Terror Group

Tower of Terror Take 1

Tower of Terror Take 2

WDW Vacation ~ Day 7

The original plan for Day 7 was to go to Epcot in the morning and then Animal Kingdom in the evening.  Instead, we stayed at Epcot until after 4 and then swam in the evening again.  At Epcot, we headed to the other side that we'd never even done with the kids and rode Soarin', Living with the Land, Relaunched! Mission Space, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Spaceship Earth, Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Turtle Talk with Crush.  We were also able to get pictures with Baymax, Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto.

For lunch, we ate around the countries again.  I was so hot that I didn't eat much, but I know we visited France, Japan, Ireland, United Kingdom, Australia, and Scotland.  I'm probably forgetting one or two.

Funny story about about Relaunched! Mission Space:  So I told Gavin I would take him on that ride since we weren't going back to Animal Kingdom.  It had two levels, green and orange.  Orange was more of a wild ride and that is what Gavin chose.  He asked Allie to go with us.  As we are in line, they keep warning you about close, dark spaces, how wild the ride is, motion sickness, etc.  Allie and I were getting a bit nervous, but went ahead with it.  After you are strapped in with bars over your shoulders and everything, they shine a light down on sick bags!!  Allie and I just start laughing because it was either laugh or cry and Gavin got very serious and said, "Stop laughing! Stop laughing!  I don't want us to have to use those things!!"  The ride was very intense and your head gets sucked back so hard Gavin was crying out in pain for a few seconds.  You have to push buttons as part of the ride so that was fun, but WOW!  We all agreed we would do green next time!

Goofy made Mickey Ears like the kids were wearing

You can barely see Lilah in the back row between Uncle Charles and Aunt Allie!

Macie and I were inline to ride Test Track, but she decided right as we were loading that she didn't want to do it.  I totally understood and waited with her for the others.

The girls originally wanted to see Joy and Sadness from Inside out, but the wait was quite long, so we decided to do Frozen Ever After instead because the wait said 35 minutes.  It was a tad longer but the que was really neat and the ride was very well done.  Well, this picture totally cracks me up because there was a drop we weren't expecting and Gavin is freaked out that we aren't buckled in and Brian is NOT happy with me.  It ended up being a small splash and not a big deal.  It was Macie's favorite ride!  Once again, you can barely see Lilah on the other side of Brian!

Pluto was another character Gavin was happy to see.  He even licks the autographs!