Disney – Day 5 – Hollywood Studios

Well, another day has come and gone.  We went to Hollywood Studios F.K.A. MGM Studios. 

This day started out early, since we had to be in the park before 8am for a character breakfast.  It was well worth it.  As we drove in, the ticket booth wasn’t working yet so we got to park for free (can you believe that, something for free at disney?)  It was all the cartoon characters Ava has been watching.  She got to meet the little einstein characters and JoJo the clown.  She was so excited.  It was a really nice breakfast since it was geared for really young kids and not as many folks were there for it.

After breakfast, the park had officially opened so we headed off to see a show.  The High School Musical show was about to start so we watched it.

From there, we decided to have a little fun so we snuck off to the rocking roller coaster.  I entertained Bryn and Ava while Kim and Rebecca waited in line.  I thought it was going to take forever, but they finally returned.  Since I had also gotten a fastpass ticket, Rebecca was able to ride with me a 2nd time as soon as they were done and we returned much quicker for Kim.  I beleive we have made a roller coaster junkie out of Rebecca.  She now claims most of them are ‘boring’ and we have to find more exciting ones. (and that occured later.)

We then decided to let Ava and Bryn play so we went to the honey I shrunk the audience set.  They LOVED it.  Ava found a friend and started following her around – they played all over the place.  Bryn on the other hand discovered she could climb up the steps to the slide as was constantly laughing as she slid down face first.  She also managed to convince Rebecca to go down several of them with her.  She even had me go down the big roll of film with her (photos in the photobook.)

When they tired, we dragged (kicking and screaming in Ava’s case) them out to go watch a show.  The show was delayed so we had lunch and then watched a small film ride.  Not that exciting, but enough to chill out the girls.  We then went to go see the Disney playhouse show where we saw even more characters and got more signatures. 

During the playhouse show, Ava and bryn stood up and danced a few times.  They had Mickey, Little Einsteins, Handy Manny and Winnie the Pooh and Friends.  It was a good show for their ages.

After that we went to the animation studio where Bryn fell asleep so we mellowed out for a few minutes.  We knew we had one more ride before the day was out.

We then headed to…the Tower of Terror.  Ava was pitching a fit by then so somehow she finally just collapsed in my arms asleep.  I got her in the stroller and we propped it up on the street so she wouldn’t fall out head first.  Rebecca and I then went to the ride.  She wasn’t really that scared…at first…lol…then we got seated and it took off.  After some boring dialog and some movement it was a 30-40 foot plunge straight down.  She grabbed my arm, but then all parts not attached to the ride via seatbelt floated up.  So basically we were holding our hands up through most of the ride while it took us up fast and then ‘free fall’ dropped us.  It was GREAT.  When it was done, we both wanted to do it again, but it was getting late so we decided to catch up with Kim and we got some ice cream.  Rebecca dropped her’s while trying to carry a cone and roll the stroller.  An employee was nearby and came over with a broom to clean it up.  As Kim was getting some more money for her to go replace it, they employee was nice enough to say no need, to follow him.  He took Rebecca back over to the ice cream store and they replaced her ice cream for free.  Yea Disney!!  True customer service!!

After that,  we all headed home tired and exhausted from a long day of play.

Tomorrow I think we plan to chill out and maybe to to Typhoon Lagoon (we were going to go to blizzard beach, but that park is closed for maintenance this week. and then Downtown Disney that night for shopping and dinner.  Somehow I think we will still be exhausted.   I wonder if I can talk Rebecca into swimming in the shark tank with me?  If we do, maybe I’ll get a picture!  LOL.

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Disney – Day 4 – Animal Kingdom

Well, we’re finally starting to get in a groove.  We got up and had a nice breakfast in the room – although of course Ava and Bryn didn’t eat much (they ended up snacking all morning instead.)

We arrived at the Animal Kingdom and got a few signatures on the way in.  There are always a couple of characters out front here.  We went straight to the safari and got our fastpass.  We goofed off for a few minutes then went on the ride.  It’s always a fun one since you get to see several cool african animals (ie. Giraffe’s, Zebras, Lions, Hippos, Rhinos, etc.)

We decided to eat lunch early, so we went to the Rainforest Cafe.  It’s a good dining experience that fits with the park.  While you eat, the robotic animals/puppets occasionally put on a show – a much larger scale of the Caribou steakhouse place.  Everyone enjoyed it – especially the Volcano desert we split at the end.

After that we headed over to Dino land where we rode a small dinasour ride and then Kim and Rebecca rode the cool ride while me, Ava and Bryn went and played in the play area.  All the girls enjoyed it. (I don’t care for that ride since it spins and I tend to turn green…lol.)

Rebecca and I also tried the indoor dinasour ride, but it was a letdown – in her words…boring.

We then just had to sign up for the Mt Everest rollercoaster.  While we waited, Ava, Rebecca and Kim got soaked on the water ride while Bryn and I chilled out watching the bird show.  We then took turns riding everest and everyone loved it.  Kim and Rebecca wanted to do it again so Me, Ava and Bryn were going to head over to the ant show.

On the way, we got interrupted by the parade.  That was great except for everyone was in front of us so I had Ava on my shoulders and I was holding Bryn in my arms the entire time.  As soon as it was over, the rain started so we hurried on over to the Ant show (the animated ants, that is.)  Ava enjoyed it and we missed most of the rain while inside.

We walked around a little more, but that was really the day.  As we were leaving, we discovered all the characters had moved outside the entrance and were there for photos/autographs.  We lucked up and got Goofy, Mickey, Minnie and Donald.  All in all another great day at Disney World. 

Tomorrow – Day 5 – MGM Studios (now called Hollywood Studios) and a character breakfast.

Disney – Day 3 – Epcot

Well another fun and exhausting day.  I get the feeling we are going to be dragging by the end of the week.  We’re running at full speed and loving every minute!

We got up again today and ate breakfast in our room.  From there, we went straight to the park.  It wasn’t that crowded so we went right to the Nemo ride.  Everyone loved it.  From there, we took some pictures with the sharks and then sat down to watch Crush’s show. (for those of you not in the disney ‘know’ that’s the surfer dude talking turtle from Nemo.)  During the show, he asks kids their names and a lady walks around with a microphone asking them questions.  Every time a kid was asked their name, Ava would yell her name.  So, all you heard was “Ava” and then “Ava” throughout the show.  Since they let her sit up front with the other kids, there was no stopping her.  She loved it!

Next we watched the sharks and the dolphins in their respective aquarium tanks.  Once we dragged her out of there, we went over and Rebecca and I rode the Mission Space ride.  Neither of us got sick (although it was a close one for me since it was a big spinning ride.)  Ava played in the fountain while we did that and had a wonderful time.  We then went back to the room where Kim attempted to get Bryn and Ava to take a nap while me and Rebecca went to the pool.  Well, we didn’t get to stay long, and the girls didn’t really take a nap so since we had an appointment we headed back to the park.

This afternoon, we had scheduled a princess dinner.  It was GREAT!  The girls got to meet and get pictures with Belle, Ariel, Jasmine, Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Cinderella even stopped by.  They now have a book full of princess signatures.  Ava would occasionally see one pass by after they had stopped at our table and yell their names so they would turn and wave at her.  It was cute.  (Although we were worried Ariel would feel disappointed because when she visited Ava – Ava kept yelling out Beauty (short for sleeping beauty) since she could see her at a table nearby.)

After the meal (which was norweigen, so we really were just paying to see the princesses since nobody but me really liked the food,) we walked around the rest of the World Showcase area.  Bryn would start dancing (bouncing like crazy in her stroller) every time we heard music or drumming) and we slowly exhausted anything they had left.

Overall it was a fun day…and we managed to meet all of Ava’s favorite princesses at one time.  While everyone always comments that Epcot might not be the best for small kids, it has continued to be a great stop as we visit. 

Tomorrow – Animal Kingdom…I can’t wait (I just hope the thunderstorms aren’t going to be around for long.)

Disney – Day 2 – Magic Kingdom

Well, it was a LONG day.  I went out late and got groceries so when we got up, we were able to fix some breakfast (and hopefully save a buck or two.)  Of course Ava didn’t eat anything, but Bryn decided she would eat a little.

Then we were off.  We packed everyone up and arrived soon after at the Magic Kingdom.  We immediately took the tram over to the Monorail where we zipped right over to the Magic Kingdom.

Upon entering, we got Rebecca and Ava a signature book and pen (of course, Ava still thinks it is for her signature and not the characters so has proceeded to decorate several pages herself.)  As soon as we left the shop, we spotted pluto and got the first one. (and it turned out to be the only one of the day, but there are better parks for that.)

We then set out to fantasyland.  First up (upon Ava’s immediate sight) was the Dumbo ride.  Kim and Bryn got in trouble on that ride.  For some reason they told her it was ok to let Bryn sit on her lap, but as soon as the ride started, they stopped it and told her she had to sit beside her under the seatbelt.  Doh.  Talk about being singled out. 

We then rode It’s a Small world and Pooh bear followed by the ferris wheel.  I then convinced Rebecca to fast pass Space Mountain with me.

We had a hotdog on the square for lunch and then rode the little tram in futureland while waiting on our time for Space Mountain.  I think she was a little nervous, but we rode it and when we were done, she said she would ride again given the opportunity (that is after threatening to cause bodily harm to me if I posted a certain picture I took in the middle of the ride.)

Before we left fantasyland, I was able to convince Ava was 40″ tall (at least if she stood on tiptoe) so she rode the Stitch ride with me and Rebecca.  It really wasn’t as scary as they made out (at least not to her) and she had fun on it.

We then mellowed out the end of the day in frontierland.  I managed to get my fresh pineapple juice drink so I was happy.  We decided to ride the coaster train ride so we fast pass’ed it.  I was hoping I was going to be able to sneak Ava on again, but they wouldn’t let me this time so Kim and Rebecca got to ride it.  They both enjoyed it.

To end up the day, we tried the new Pirates of The Carribean ride.  Everyone got on it.  It was a nice indoor air conditioned boat ride, but the line ended up being a little over 30 minutes and by then we were already tired.  Everyone almost passed out before we got home and I think most of us about fell face first while eating sandwiches back at the room before settling down for bath and bed.

Overall a wonderful day.  Tomorrow we have a scheduled dinner with the princess’s at Epcot.  I know the girls can’t wait!

Photos again at the flickr site. Photos at Disney

Disney – The Road Trip

Well, the ‘fun’ part of the road trip began the day before.  I worked a long day, so that left all the packing and organizing to Kim.  All went well until the rental van (we decided to rent a mini-van since the jeep just didn’t have enough room for 5 and luggage.)  We had a nice Dodge minivan with the built in DVD player reserved.  When she got there, they told her the brakes weren’t working right.  So…we got a nice, bland, chevy minivan.  Err…yeah. 

 All went well that night.  The girls all met ‘Nana Margie’ and Rebecca at Ryans and had a nice dinner (where they pumped the kids full of ice cream.)  That made for a wild evening since Bryn was on a nice little sugar high.

We left nice and late Saturday morning (around 8:45) and were dreading a 7-8hr drive turning into a 9-10hr drive.  We stopped at lunch at…of course….Cracker Barrel in Cordele.  We had another stop for gas somewhere in the middle of nowhere Florida.  Next thing I knew, we were there!

4 Girls in the car and only two bathroom stops from Cumming to Orlando.  AMAZING!

We got checked in and went to the Golden Corral for lunch.  After that, everyone was exhausted so we ended the first day.

 Tomorrow….

Magic Kingdom here we come!!

Pictures can be found at Photos from Day 1

First Snow of 2008

Well, January seems to be the month for snow.  We actually had enough
this time for Ava to build her first snowman.  We also learned that
while Ava doesn’t mind the cold and loves to play in the snow, that
Bryn doesn’t care for it in the slightest.  When I got out her coat to
go outside with me and Ava today she started screaming she was
dreading it so much (so she ended up staying inside with Kim.)  Me and
Ava had a blast!  We threw snow at each other and build 2-3 snowman
and then she proceeded to knock each one down.

First snow pictures:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/silentmenace/sets/72157603753377486

and of course a video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGyJVXPT4xk

After the snow, we went inside and played a little.  As you can tell,
Ava tends to get all dressed up.  Bryn just sits back and claps.

Anyhow…hope it isn’t too cold for everyone.

My first YouTube Posting

Well, if everything works right, I should have Ava making her first YouTube appearance today. I couldn’t resist. It was a version of the ABC song that I could never put into words. Watch and witness for yourself.

The ABC’s by Ava

School Time

Well, Ava has officially started school.  Only half day 2 days a week, but it’s a start.  She dove right in.  I think Kim is getting into more trouble than Ava is.  We just got Ava’s second report card, and it seems that we aren’t supposed to send peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch due to the peanut butter.  Ava also isn’t allowed to bring her lovie with her (today she had brought her Giraffe.)  Oh well, live and learn. 

Also, it appears she is becoming the little bully.  Report today said she needed to stop ‘hitting’ her friends in class.  LOL.  I can’t help it.   How did I know I would be raising a little bully.

 Bryn on the other hand is the attention hog.  She really doesn’t like it if she’s not being held or paid attention too.  To the point of screaming until you acknowledge her.  Fun.  But, she’s eating cereal now so next thing you know she will be chasing her sister around the house.  I guess it’s time to babyproof the house again.

Anyhow, that’s all I feel like typing for now.  Only 4 months after my last post.

Mother’s Day

Well, this has been one of those days I needed to journal before I forgot it.  It started around 6:45 with Bryn waking up.  That got both Kim and I up.  I went back to bed.  Kim started to come back to bed, but Bryn wouldn’t go back to sleep so we alternated checking on her until around 7:30 when Ava got up.

Ava was in rare form.  I guess she must not have slept well.  She was whining about everything.  She went upstairs with me and while I was taking a shower, she decided to throw the steps (to a exercise stepper Kim has) off the balcony upstairs.   Then she cried because she couldn’t get the largest piece over the banister rail.  She cried when I took her downstairs.  Overall, she just wasn’t happy.

Then we went to Church.  It was Bryn’s baby dedication day.  Everyone was dressed nicely.  Ava was going to go up on stage with us, but she melted down beforehand.  Before the service started, we had to meet with all the other parents for some instructions.  Of course, Ava was fine at first, but by the end, she was crying because she wasn’t allowed to run around.  That meant she got to go to nursery instead of the service with us.  We were so frazzled, we made it onstage ok, but didn’t follow directions afterward.  As I’m typing this I also realized that we didn’t pick up Bryn’s certificate or little bible.  At least they should hold that for us to pickup on a later date.   I even forgot and took the pager home with us.

Afterwards, we had a good Lunch with Kim’s mom and brother.  Ava was pretty much ok with that.   Naptime followed.  That lasted all of an hour or so for Bryn.  She got Kim up…Kim finally got frustrated so I got up and took Bryn downstairs.  She sat around whining a little, but overall, satisfied that she had someone to give her attention since she was determined not to take a nap.

The rest of the afternoon was a little better…we went to Golden Corral (the only place we can get veggies and sit down fast that we’ve found…not to mention CHEAP.) hehe

We went downtown to IKEA and bought some furniture for my office.  Ava really enjoyed that, since it was a store full of stuff she could run around and touch or climb up on.   I think it was her goal to use every bed there for a trampoline if I would have let her.

I guess the biggest regret was that I think we only got 1 or 2 pictures all day.  Oh well.  Maybe next time.

Easter 2007

Talk about a fun Easter. This was really Ava’s first year where she could really enjoy hunting for eggs. Even with the cold weather, we had a blast.

We had bundled up for the weather and made it to the church in plenty of time. Ava was so impatient she started screaming when I wouldn’t let her start collecting eggs immediately. It was so bad, mom’s around me were trying to console her, but she wouldn’t have anything to do with them. She just cried because I wouldn’t let her go.

Once the egg hunt began, though, she forgot all about that. I removed her mittens and she charged ahead full speed. She thoroughly enjoyed it. She would spot the egg and charge. If you tried to point one out to her, it was all you could do to get her to stop scanning the ground and look to where you were pointing. She had her total focus on finding the eggs in the grass. She collected a nice little pile in her basket when it was all done and as we walked back to the parking lot, I would occasionally take a couple from the basket and spread them out along the way so she could find them again. It was a great time.

All through this time, Bryn and mom followed, bundled up from head to toe. As you will see in the pictures, Bryn never even peeked outside it was so cold. She just stayed bundled up in a blanket inside Kim’s coat.

After the egghunt, we went over to the gym to have an indoor picnic. Ava had fun chasing the other kids around in between chomping down on a cheeto or two. She had this bad habit of running over to the basketball hoops and standing under them. I was ready for her to get smashed by a ball, but somehow she managed not to.

That evening, Ava and I spent a little time dying some easter eggs. While she didn’t get to do too much this time, hopefully it will grow into a yearly thing as I can still remember the smell of vinegar and the dipping of eggs into the dye. Not to mention, eating all the hard boiled eggs afterward. She didn’t eat any so far, but I’m sure I’ll get her to try them soon.

On Sunday, I had hid some eggs downstairs so when she got up, she got to grab her basket on the stairs and do the hunt all over again.

We got her an easter basket full of gardening toys. Inside was a pink hat that had her running around saying hat, hat. I’m glad it matched her dress for church because she was very demanding about wearing it all day long. It made for some great photos since her hair had just the right curl to stick out from around it.

Bryn got her share of photo moments, too. She got to spend most of Sunday with dad. We helped with her nursery class, so since she was one of only 3 babies with 3 teachers, I got to walk around with her the entire time. Once we got home, she and I curled up on the couch and took a nice long Sunday nap. All in all, it was a very nice weekend.

In celebration of the holiday of the resurrection, I couldn’t have asked for a better weekend spent with family and friends. Reminiscing back, I hope I can always give my children a good memory of Easter. I know I have a lot of good memories around the family time and egg hunts that took place growing up.