Life as we know told by Heather

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Gobble, Gobble!

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. Apparently this is still not the year my kids will enjoy the Macy's Parade. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Magic Kingdom

What a beautiful day it was when we went to the Magic Kingdom. Sunny and in the low 70's. I would have loved two days just here, as we didn't get to see as much as we wanted, and I was sad that we had to miss the Peter Pan ride. But it was fun anyway.

We rode the tea cups first at Xander's request. Jason went with the kids and my dad and I was in the non-extracurricular-spinning cup with Erma and Troy.

In line to ride the race cars.

It's A Small World is one of my favorites. I think I took the most pictures here (don't worry, I won't post them all). Jordis liked to wave and say hello to all of the dancing ladies.

Of course we had to ride Dumbo.

Xander scaled this house in no time while Jason took Jordis to meet some princesses.

The kids wanted to ride the train so we took it around to another part of the park.

After Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which Xander loved, he begged to go on Splash Mountain. We weren't sure how that would play out since he doesn't like getting wet but Jason took him and said he had a great time. Unfortunately, the picture I got of them on the ride is really blurry because I can tell it would have been really cute. While they did that the rest of us went to see the Bear Jamboree show.

It wasn't long before nightfall. The kids opted to skip the parade, so we rode a few more rides, got burgers and fries and they rode the race cars again with Grandpa, Grammy and Uncle Troy while Jason and I rode Space Mountain. Watched a few fireworks and then stuck around for awhile to let the crowd thin out.

They had put up the Christmas decorations the week we were there and I loved the Mickey-shaped wreaths they had on the lightposts. They also took out the usual flowers out front that form Mickey's head and replaced them with poinsettias.

Are you noticing a theme yet with how all of our days ended?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wednesday in Florida

I bet you can't wait for this Florida trip to be over with, eh? Rest assured, just a few more days. It was day two in a row of cold and cloudy and we ended up giving the kids a coma rest in front of the tv after their rip-roaring daily wake-up call that occurred between 5:30 and 6:30.

We got up and took the kids to this breakfast buffet we like in Kissimmee. There's nothing spectacular about it, but we like to occasionally pick and choose and it makes it easier to feed the kids. It's also really cheap.

After that we headed over to Old Town for some shopping. My dad started taking me here when I was 14. Then I went when I was older, and also on our honeymoon, so now we just can't go to Florida without stopping. I love to go to Black Market Minerals, which is one store that's still there after all these years. The kids pretty much had no interest in being here, but Jordis agreed to a picture so I took the opportunity.

Then it was time for date day. Jason and I had booked a couples massage at a little bohemian looking spa I'd found online before we went down. So we packed the kids some lunch and they spent the rest of the day with my dad and step-mom. They took them to the mini golf at our resort and then got dinner at one of the restaurants. After our massage we came back and got ready for dinner.

Our original plan was to eat at a restaurant where we dined 10 years prior when we were on our honeymoon. However, the restaurant has since moved to a different location, and upon looking at the menu we discovered there wasn't even anything much we wanted to eat there, either. This is only fitting since the place we met is gone, the place where we had our first date is gone, engagement location gone, wedding location gone, it's just a pattern with us.

So Jason found us a new place online before the trip, and it was incredible. At the host stand they asked for our last name so I just spelled it, which I always do, because if you say it people just ask you how to spell it anyway. Little did I know the man was from Shreveport, Louisiana and he said, "Oh, Cajun!" We were off to a good start.

The place was rustic Italian looking and we had a cool half-circle booth. The lighting was dim for ambiance, but not dark enough that you can't see anything. They even completely pulled the table away so we didn't have to slide all the way around the booth. When I ordered lemon in my drink the server brought me a plate of lemons on the side. Bonus points for him!

We decided to go there based on the menu but we both ended up ordering from the daily specials. Jason had some kind of steak with risotto and some grilled vegetables (that I ate, of course, except the broccoli).

My dinner was one of the most fabulous meals I've ever had. It was a butternut squash ravioli in a tomato cream sauce with diced tomatoes and fresh parmesan cheese. It was such a neat combination.

After we picked up the kids and put them to bed we ate our yummy desserts that we got to-go. Jason had a chocolate cake with mousse and ganache and I had tiramisu. No sharing here, we each found our favorites on the menu.

Such a sweet ending to a great day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


On our 3rd day in Florida we decided to take the kids to Epcot. Our resort offered free shuttle service to and from the theme parks, which was great in theory for the sheer fact that it would save $12 in parking fees. However, in order to make sure you get on the shuttle you want to get there first, which means getting there early. And waiting. Then when you want to come back later the same applies. It's even worse when the shuttle is so full by the time it gets to you that it has to leave you there and drop people off before coming back to pick you up. It just doesn't work well with toddlers, which is why we gladly paid the $12 parking fee two days later when we went to the Magic Kingdom.

We were first for the shuttle, and dressed like this because it was supposed to be sunny and in the mid 70's. However, it never got over the 63 degrees it was when we left the resort, and the sun never came out either.

I'm a huge fan of Epcot and must say I was highly disappointed in what they've done to some of the classic rides over the years. But the kids didn't know any different so it was okay. I was glad they liked Figment, even though I had trouble getting a decent picture of him. And Xander was super excited to ride the big ball. Jordis wasn't big enough to ride the car racing ride, so Jason took Xander to do that while Jordis and I waited in line to meet Minnie Mouse. She did really good for the first 25 minutes. Then, as we rounded the bend towards the end of our wait she started this:

When there was only one group of people ahead of us she said, "Let's go now." I said no, which resulted in this:

She was deathly afraid of Pluto and wouldn't even walk past his line to see Minnie (who I must say was oddly small. I almost wanted to ask her if she was skipping school that day.) I had to chase her around and pick her up and carry her as she screamed, "No Mommy, no doggie!" at me. Which is why when we get to Minnie she looks like this:

After that we decided to head over to the countries, which is my favorite part. We were there during the food and wine festival, which is when there are more cities from around the world who set up shop with their local cuisine. We already knew that there was a Louisiana booth there, so we were quite excited. But first we stopped in Germany to get the kids some hot pretzels. I asked Jordis if she would give me a bite and she offered up a few granules of salt.

After the kids ate pretzels we found our booth and sampled some crawfish etouffee and bread pudding. It was so good. Then we got our free beads and the kids danced on the curb to some Cajun music.

It wouldn't be a day at Epcot without stopping in France for some dessert.

Jordis liked to meet the characters, but Alice was the only one she'd go up to by herself the whole week.

Next we went to the Nemo ride which was cute.

After the ride you can stay for Turtle Talk with Crush, which is really cool. Crush is the Turtle from the movie Finding Nemo and they have some computer generated program that makes it look like you're sitting in front of a tank and the turtle swims up and talks to all the kids. It's set up so that the turtle can pick kids out by their outfit and then he can actually have a conversation with them. Poor Xan actually wanted to participate, even raised his hand, and we felt so sorry for him because the one time he was interested he didn't get called on.

At this point we were cold and tired, so we headed back to our condo to eat dinner and put on warmer clothes. We drove to the Magic Kindgom and parked there (free after a certain time) so we could ride the monorail over to Epcot, as Xander had been fascinated by it all day.

We rode the boat ride in Mexico, did a tiny bit of shopping, then headed over near the lake to find a spot to watch the fireworks and laser show, stopping on the way for the kids to check out some drums.

I got a very expensive coffee drink from Morocco and it was so strong it just about made me sick, and wide awake to boot. The show was great, although the kids slept right through it. We thought for sure Xander would wake up with all the vibrating and very close fireworks, but these two were in little comas.

Epcot stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, but our shuttle driver says it stands for Every Person Comes Out Tired, to which we couldn't agree more.