Frequent flyer miles are great for free flights, but NOT great for flight times. It took us most the day to travel, but we did it! Luckily, my kids have a little travel experience which tends to help. Or is it that I know, as a mother, what to realistically expect from a three and six year old? Maybe. But probably it's the fun travel kits Mimi prepared for the kids that kept them busy for hours. Jane was feeling pretty cool in her new shades.
First day, Epcot center! And in case you're wondering, yes, we matched our shirt colors on purpose almost every day, which we highly recommend. Definitely made it easier to keep track of each other, and with my kids and Mimi (mom, you know it's true, you are just as curious as Jack and Jane) who tend to wander, it was so nice!
We walked on almost every ride with less than a 10 minute wait. We did wait to see a whole slew of characters all at once, and it was worth it. The kids loved it!
Pretty sure Alice didn't really get the whole Disney thing, but she sure was happy while we were at the happiest place on earth!
The back half of Epcot is a world showcase, featuring several different countries and their cultures. I love this part because you get a little taste of a world tour, my dream come true! This is Jane in Norway. Have you ever seen a more striking viking princess?
Second day, Magic Kingdom! How could you not smile in a place like this?
Storytime with Belle was a lot of fun. Jack even got to be her father, the inventor (how appropriate!), as the children acted out Belle's story on stage. She was awesome.
In line for our first ride of the day... Peter Pan of course! "Line" is a loose term because there really weren't any lines at all, especially first thing in the morning!
We got so many pictures with characters, it's not even funny. The kids were loving it, even pictures with the villains! This was right before Jack did his pirate training course with none other than the Captain Jack Sparrow.
While Jane was with her fairy godmother (she was brilliant!)...
Jack actually found a friend to have a duel with. Papa told me that it ended in his opponent getting a good hit and Jack playing dead. Both these boys were really getting into it, it was awesome.
Mandatory Mickey bars!
Disney with my family has never been for the faint hearted! We get the MOST out of each day that is humanly possible. We wore these two right out!
The Buzz ride is a favorite for everyone. If you don't get a good score, you're punished with the enemy Zurg. Papa even went back on this one later by himself to improve his score! Everyone feels like a kid at Disney!
For some reason, this is one of my favorite things at Disney. We had to get the classic picture.
When I was in Florida 10 years ago with my parents and brother, we didn't get to the Animal Kingdom. I knew my kids would love it, since they are so fascinated by zoos, farms, and anything bug related! It did not disappoint!
While everyone else was running to the biggest attractions, my kids (of course) had to stop at each little cage and learn about each spider, scorpion, and bug inside. We went against all our "get it in" instincts and let them enjoy each one and ask all kinds of questions. It was great!
Jane kind of likes her sister. Even when Alice doesn't get it, Jane thinks she's hilarious!
I love bridges like this. It reminded me of some from Thailand. But lots stronger, wider, and it even had side rails! This equals less stress for me!
The kids loved the great drum display in the African part of the Animal Kingdom. There was just so much to do!
While dad and Jeff took the big kids on the rafting ride, mom and I took Alice to cool her down a bit. It was HOT, but she was such a happy girl, as usual.
Jack's favorite ride was the rollercoaster Everest, which I regret not getting a picture of. He went on it three times in a row and begged for more. Jane would have loved it too, but it was one of the few rides the whole trip she wasn't tall enough for. It was SO fun having kids who love rides! Jane tried everything, although didn't want to repeat a few of them. If you ask her what her favorite was, she'll probably tell you the Tower of Terror. Who could have guessed?
This trip was our turn in my parents rotation of taking each of their kids' families on a trip. We felt SO spoiled to have all this time with them all to ourselves (sorry sibs, you know we love you, but we all like our Mimi and Papa time!) They were the bests hosts ever, and it was fun to be in the position of "kid" rather than responsible adult once again! Dad has a thing about taking charge of tickets and anything important, and Mom pretty much planned the entire thing. We pretty much just showed up ready to play. I haven't been on a trip where I didn't plan every detail myself in a while, so this was AWESOME!
This is how Alice slept the entire trip. Yes, it's a drawer. She slept awesome. If you can't tell, she's a swaddler and likes things quite cozy.
Mom and Dad rented a house for us all to stay in, and it was incredible to come home exhausted each day to a place we could really relax in! You'd be amazed at the cheap places you can find to stay in Florida right now. This four-bedroom house was cheaper per night than our very average hotel room in Rexburg, Idaho!
The kids loved the game room, but we were so busy, we didn't play in it nearly enough!
Even though they could have had their own rooms, they chose to share. They thought it was heaven to have a TV in their room, and we found them cuddled up together in bed watching a show (even though they really had their own beds). I love that my kids love each other.
We got home early on Saturday and the kids headed straight for the backyard for a swim! This pool was just right for an evening dip!
Our Sunday consisted of church meetings (and if you can believe it, we ran into the mission president of the Bangkok mission also on vacation in Florida. Small world, right?), having my aunt and uncle over for dinner (which regrettably, I got NO pictures of, can you believe me?), and the kids building forts all over the house. It was great! We loved visiting with Glen and Sherry, who we rarely get to see. How can I be related to so many great people?
The kids loved having a "down" day, and we ALL needed it to recharge for the next three days!
What a trip, and this was just the beginning!