It was HOT when NayNay came to visit last week. Honestly, it didn’t feel much like Fall at all. But we didn’t let that stop us from a very sunny and sweaty visit to the corn maze at Ottawa Farms!
Every now and then the things I lean on lose their meaning,
and I find myself careening,
into places where I should not let me go.
She has the power to go where no one else can find me,
yes and to silently remind me,
of the happiness and good times that I know.
~ James Taylor
September has slipped away and autumn is officially here. The weather has cooled slightly and October’s bright blue skies are shining on us. The past few weeks have seen several picnics in several parks – first for Jazz Fest, then the Ardsley concert series, and finally the big to-do of Savannah’s official Picnic in the Park. All included great music and friends. I adore picnic season!
In between all that picnicking we have just been going about our every day, zany life. There have been birthday parties (for friends and for dogs), baby showers and bungee trampoline jumping, dining room ping pong, go carts, skee ball and root beer floats after school. It all passes in such a rush, it’s easy to think of it as just routine. But when you stop and really look at it, our every day life is pretty extraordinary. I’m so happy I get to share it with these amazing people.
To quote Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
We’ve been back for weeks now, and I’m just getting our last photos from Disney World posted. Re-entry after a Disney trip is always hard . . . somehow posting these last photos makes it really final. The trip is over. But oh, what a trip it was!
Our last park day was, of course, a visit to the Magic Kingdom. We had a few special things planned – breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table (so exciting to finally go inside Cinderella’s castle!!) and lunch at Be Our Guest (Beast’s castle complete with magic rose, enchanted windows and lots of fun Disney touches – try the grey stuff; it’s delicious!) But we prepared Lola ahead of time for the fact that we would not be able to stand in line for hours to meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen. So perhaps the biggest surprise of the day came 5 minutes after the park opened when we found ourselves 3rd in line to meet the Queen and Princess of Arendale!! Lo was thrilled. We probably could have gone home right then and called it a successful day.
Fletcher is a really good sport about the princess stuff, but for him Disney is all about the rides. This year we discovered the Sorcerer’s of the Magic Kingdom game, and interactive game with trading cards of magic spells where you race around the park battling Disney villains. I think he could have done nothing else all day and been perfectly happy. But then, of course, he would miss the roller coasters!
The kids were already asking when we can go back before we left the park for the night. My guess is it will be a while before we return – we have some other adventures on the horizon . . . But I certainly hope it isn’t too long!
On Labor Day Monday, we were up early and headed to Hollywood Studios! A big part of the reason for the this trip (besides my general Disney obsession) was the Frozen event happening all summer at Hollywood Studios. My sweet girl is SO Frozen crazy. I just knew she would love it. I even made her a princess Anna costume to wear, which turned out fabulously. She loved it and wore it for 3 days in a row – and got lots of compliments on it every time. In fact, when we got on the bus to go to the park, the driver asked for Lola to stand with him at the front of the bus while he announced over the speaker system for everyone to be on their best behavior because we were in the presence of royalty! She loved it!
Despite the holiday, the park was really not that crowded and we never felt like we waited very long for anything. In addition to all the wonderful Frozen events (a parade where Anna pointed out Lola and commented on how they looked just alike, a sing-along, Wandering Oaken’s snow play area, and the awesome Olaf take-along fans) there were plenty of other things to keep us busy. Both kids did the Jedi Training Academy, which was way cooler than I expected. Fletcher was particularly fierce when fighting Darth Vader – guess those fencing lessons paid off! And then, to cap off the evening, there were fireworks and snow on Hollywood Boulevard. Pure Disney magic.
It was soooooo hard for me to keep this one under my hat all summer, but I did it! Somehow the kids had NO idea that we had planned a surprise visit to Disney World. I’m not sure how I pulled it off, but I don’t think I’ll ever do that again. Frankly, sharing the excitement and the build up to the trip is one of the best parts of the experience.
After we broke the surprise we jumped in the car and headed to Florida for 4 nights at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort. The plan was for a day in Hollywood Studios, a day in Magic Kingdom, and a day off for me and the kids at the resort in between (while Raymond, sadly, went to work.)
On our day off, the kids and I visited the LEGO store at Downtown Disney, made a trip to the Port Orleans resort for gluten-free beignets, and spent some quality pool time where Lola conquered her fear of the water slide, sang “Let It Go” through the microphone to the whole pool, and won a prized inflatable frog playing Bingo. We roasted marshmallows over a campfire at sunset and made use of the resort’s beachside hammocks. And on our last day when the resort pool was out of use for repairs, Disney graciously comped us tickets to Typhoon Lagoon water park! We had to get on the road back to Savannah, so we didn’t get to take full advantage of Typhoon Lagoon, but a few turns around the lazy river and a few waves in the massive wave pool were a great way to end our vacation!
And then, of course, there were the parks. But that will have to wait for another post! :)
When we arrived, we discovered they had upgraded us to a cool pirate themed room. Score!