The girls are still talking about Disney World, still drawing pictures of their favorite characters, laughing over things we did and said and saw.
(Sami's documenation of her favorite trip)
This post will mostly be a travel log via photos. With a bit of story-telling along the way. Because I love to tell a story. But mind you, I was too busy having a good time to take great pictures with my point and shoot, too present to capture much. But here's what I got. And here's what we did our remaining days at the most magical place on earth.
The girls looooove Minnie.
Every picture I'm in, my jeans are oh so comfortably stuck to my behind. Completely wet from water rides. We made the mistake of riding the Khali Rapids first, thinking we'd dry out with the noonday sun.
Well, we got SOAKED. To the bone. So wet that my hair was plastered to my head and my pants didn't dry until 4PM. We had to drape the girls shirts over the stroller for the whole day while they went jacket-only on top. Would be the perfect ride in the heat of a Florida summer. But not January.
The Safari, however, was absolutely worth doing. We saw some amazing wildlife. Like this baby elephant.
And these giraffes. Did you know giraffes are mostly silent? They communicate by infrasonic sound, sometimes grunts or whistle-like cries. They are Eliza's favorite animal. She would like one as a pet. I've been saying no, until I learned they were soundless. That characteristic does have its own appeal.
Later in the afternoon I talked Sami and Eliza into riding "Dinosaur" with me. A land-rover thrill ride that blasts you back in time to the Cretaceous period, 65 million years ago. This was the photo that popped up on the monitors after we exited the ride.
They went through the entire ride with their hands over their eyes. I believe this is the moment when a T-Rex almost bit Eliza's head off.
Animal Kingdom was fun, but by the end of the day the girls were ready to go back to this place.
Magic Kingdom was by far their favorite spot.
This was their favorite ride.
There was no deterring them. The warning signs meant nothing. And we learned something about our daughters. All three are adrenaline junkies. Doug? He loves the rides just as much, but his poor stomach doesn't. He has to tote dramamine in his pocket and can only handle so much spinning and twisting.
I love everything that spins and goes straight down... fast. So some times it was me and Eliza and Sami for a second or third run on rides like Space Mountain. Ali was happy to experience each ride once.
But Splash Mountain?
And by the end I discovered if I ducked my head down right before the big splash at the bottom I wasn't completely drenched.
The girls, however, took water in the face every time. Like champs.
At the end of a busy day, we took the passenger boat back to the hotel (visible across the water). Just a three minute ride. It really was nice to be so close to everything.
That night they were showing "Rapunzel" on the pool deck. So we gathered up our snacks and blankets, and set up lawn chairs in front of the screen. Wish I'd snagged a photo of all three girls munching on their mickey mouse rice-krispie treats. But I didn't want to stand in front of everyone.
Most nights the girls were out cold in one minute flat. Truly.
First stop was the home of Doug's people. Norway. We worried a bit that the world showcase wouldn't hold the girls' attention. But Epcot gives out these little bears you can take to each "country" for a passport stamp. And all the young ambassadors that did the stamping were so kind to our girls. They wrote their names in different languages, drew them funny faces or flags.
I'd be scared if these Vikings hopped out of their boat and landed on my shore. Oh wait, they did. And they never left. And they do scare me some days.
We found this lovely princess by her wishing well outside the German pavilion.
Our last and final day at Disney World, we went back (again) to the Magic Kingdom. We loved the parades.
And in the early afternoon, we stopped to watch a show with all the princesses on stage, in full costume, dancing with their princes. Eliza's face says it all.
While standing in line for our last ride, the girls tackled Doug with a huge thank-you hug. At no prompting from me. They practically knocked him over.
Dinner with Winnie the Pooh and friends, followed by fireworks, was how we ended the day. The next morning we packed bags and flew home.
To these two fellas, who were waiting at the kitchen window. I couldn't get out of the car fast enough. I had missed their sweet faces SO much. And their soft pink cheeks? Mmm... I kissed them all afternoon.
And here's Gordon kissing his Dad.
Disney World is one magical place. Bibbidi-Bobbidi-boutique-hair and all. I'm so grateful to our parents for being willing to watch the boys, and to Doug for making the trip possible. If you're planning your own Disney vacation and want suggestions on places to eat, or other do's and dont's, email me. Doug did hours of research, dug through pages of reviews, and read this book cover to cover. We'll give you the inside scoop.
I love you Doug. A dream is a wish. And you made this one come true.