Monday, February 14, 2011

Animal Kingdom

Here is part of AK’s opening ceremony. Minnie is showing us the checklist for what we need to enjoy AK.

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JW went straight for Safari fast passes and Eli and I went to Dino-Rama which we had all to ourselves!

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We were one of two Mommy-Kiddo pairs on the Dino ride.  We even got to go for a second ride!

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Dino USA is made with little kids in mind. Eli loved surveying the grounds.

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In a couple of years I want to come back and take this same picture to show how big she has gotten!

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Goodbye Dino USA, onto Asia!

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This is Everest, it contains a pee-in-the-pants rollercoaster & a frightening Yeti!

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I love this pic but I’m not sure what she is looking at…

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A reassuring besito before our Wild Safari!

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I loved the safari! It was educational and exciting! And of course it was very exciting to see the animals!

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Eli and I were pretty mystified the whole time by the wildlife or as she calls it, “Wild Animal Baby”. The ride is intentionally rocky and unfortunately JW’s belly was recovering from the Everest roller coaster so he didn’t love the ride as much.

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Here is Dumbo’s mommy.

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And this is not a lion, it is a “Meow-Meow Rowr!”

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And here is my best impression of our friend in the background. AK has a huge man-made tree that has tons of animals carved in it. This ape is just one. We are waiting to see the show inside of the tree. I can’t  remember the name but it’s all about bugs.

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The show was very cute and smelly!  They had a stinkbug toot into the audience and we could actually smell the stink!  Eli later demonstrated the stinkbug ‘dance’ for some strangers to our hilarity!  Here are the 3D glasses we wore for the show:

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That’s the fake tree in the back!  I enjoyed AK way more than I thought I would.  The last ride we did was the Dinosaur one where we travelled back in time to try and bring back a dinosaur. It was so scary to be in the midst of grumpy dinosaurs!!  After that we had conquered Animal Kingdom!  Although next time we go there will definitely be things we never got to see!

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Happy Valentine’s Day Funeral

We took Eli to the park yesterday after church. Then my mom met us and we came home unknowingly without my phone.

When I realized my phone was missing I was in denial that it was in the park. I don’t remember it falling out of my pocket.

My phone is nearly 3 years old but as quickly as technology ‘improves’, my phone is like 30!  In dog years that’s like 60!  Poor phone, I had no idea it would die such a violent death.

When we left the park there was a group of elementary school-aged boys playing with rocks.  JW even commented that they were up to no good. I think it’s fair to say my senior citizen phone died at the hands of those naughty boys!

The down side: I didn’t get to say ‘good-bye'.  I didn’t use it until ‘the wheels fell off’. And the worst of it all, I have to spend all day researching phone companies!!! Any suggestions? If you love your phone company/plan, give me a holler! 

Oh wait, one more worst thing. Did you notice there is no sim card pictured below?  That’s right my entire address book is gone. So feel free to go ahead and email  me your tel. number because I will be sending out a MASS email asking for your phone number soon!

The UP side: I get a new phone. Whoop-dee-doo.  An empty phone with no numbers!! I have exactly 3 phone numbers memorized:  JW’s, my parents’ land line & 911!

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So long Nokia phone, you rarely ever dropped my calls.  However you were so small you always fell out of my hands and in between my ear and shoulder.  Thank you for letting me tape you to my chest for old'-fashioned ‘hands-free’ usage.  Thank you for taking newborn pictures of Eliana in the hospital when I was bed-ridden.  Thank you for playing my songs and recording Eliana’s baby cooing.  Thank you for returning to me after I lost you on a weekly basis.  Thank you for helping me have really great conversations with the people I love for the past 3 years!  You will be missed!  Especially until I get a new phone. (Sniffle, sniffle)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 2: The Magic of the Kingdom is Hard Work!

JW and I took to Disney World with a conquering attitude thanks to the inexpensive advice of Tour Guide Mike. We followed his advice and itineraries as much as possible to maximize our time there. As I look back at our 800 plus pictures I can now clearly see why we were all pooped by noon!

Here is Eliana modeling her Disney couture (which was completed the night before we left town, of course!) while waiting for the opening ceremonies to kick-off. We always arrived at least 30 minutes before opening at all of the parks! Which meant waking up at 6am for showers, clothes pressing, breakfast, primping and extensive packing! Like I said, capturing Disney’s magic is hard work!

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Eliana’s outgoing spirit seemed to grow exponentially while being surrounded by thousands of strangers! Once again she is getting her groove on to the sound of the park’s music. Her pants were also specially made for our trip however you can’t see them in these pics. They are denim ruffle pants!!

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Eliana’s Minnie bow was finalized minutes before we left for Magic Kingdom that morning! It is my first puffy bow. Because I loved that bow so much, I kept tabs on it obsessively the whole 6 days! Eli would throw it and I would run to catch it and tell her to hand it to me next time. I guarded that bow the entire time but then I got careless on the bus back to the airport. Yep, we lost the bow just hours before the end of our trip. Very tragic. But thank goodness I can make her another one…

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Behind Eli & Dub is a shot of the Main Street USA Railroad Station just moments before Mickey & friends arrived.

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You can’t really see it but we had just been given Pixie Dust to throw when Mickey arrived. Thanks to the kindness of a cast member we came home with lots of Pixie Dust but more on that later.

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This banner decorates the entry gate of Magic Kingdom. 020511 067

At last the opening ceremony! I didn’t get any good shots of this because we didn’t want to lose our place in line in front of the gate. But seeing the characters even far away was exciting. Just ask Eli!

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This is one of my favorite pics of our trip. Her face says it all!

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As JW pushed Eli in the stroller I clicked away attempting to chronicle every step of our way! Here we are making a mad dash to Dumbo, just like Tour Guide Mike said to!

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Main Street USA!

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Alas! The castle!

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The reason Dumbo was our first stop is because this is one of the rides at MK with the slowest moving lines. And the longer in the day you wait to ride it, the longer the line will get. So if you plan to do it, do it first. Since we are all Dumbo lovers in our home, it was a must do!

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This is just before take-off. Eli was very excited to see her friend in person!

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Here is one of the views from Dumbo—beautiful! Eliana was sad to leave Dumbo and cried for a little. But who can cry for long if the follow-up to Dumbo is Winnie the Pooh?

020511 115 Winnie the Pooh was one of my favorite rides! One thing Disney is good at is making movies come to life and putting you right in the thick of it all! The Pooh ride was beautiful! They even had wind for the blustery day, it was awesome! And here is a classic image of Winnie that I closely identify with:

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This image of Winnie reminds me of how I got with fudge during my pregnancy!! Here are Eli and Dub getting off the hunny pot:

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Next up was Peter Pan! Here are Eli and Dub leaving the ride. I didn’t get great shots from inside. But they make it seem like you are flying through the movie!

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Then we hit Snow White:

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We were warned to tell Eli about the witch throughout the ride. To Eli all witches are, “Ahhh-bee!”, funny! However she is referring to the Spanish word for witch, “bruja”, not the English word for witch!

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Prince Charming’s Carrousel was one of Eli’s favorite rides. I know this because she cried the hardest when we got off of it!

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Yee-haw! Or as Eli says, “Chee-co, chee-co!”

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The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was surprisingly thrilling to me and surprisingly creepy to JW! I wanted to go faster and faster but JW started getting dizzy! And poor Eli was completely oblivious to any danger!

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After this ride we were done with Fantasyland (booohoooo!!) for the day so we waited for the train to take us to Adventure land. We waited for a few minutes and since Eliana loves trains…

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She became supernaturally ecstatic when she heard the “Choo-choooooo!!” and saw the train coming to us!! It looks like she is crying but she is actually laughing with glee!

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She was so excited and she definitely wasn’t hiding it! One of Eli’s cool Disney moments…

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While Dada went on the longest ride in the world (Splash Mountain) Eli and I had time to hang out in a playground and ride Aladdin (much like Dumbo).

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This is the cool view from Aladdin’s Magic Carpet.

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Yo Ho, Yo Ho, A Pirate’s Life for Me! After we ate lunch at Pecos Bill we rode Haunted Mansion & Pirates (with Eli). 18 years ago when I rode Pirates, Johnny Depp was not part of the ride. In my opinion because of the new addition, Pirates is much more enjoyable!

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We did disobey Tour Guide Mike on our first day. Eli fell asleep on us in the stroller around 11am, oops! So we let her sleep and pushed through our agenda. As a result we stayed later than we were supposed to and were exhausted! Here we are at Mickey’s Philharmagic, one of my favorite shows simply because it smelled amazing!

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And on the way out we couldn’t resist stopping for the 3pm parade!

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You can see from Eli’s face that we should have left hours ago!

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One of the highlights of the day (for me) was getting Eli a new baby, a Dumbo baby! This sweet little elephant provided much comfort and happiness to Eli the whole trip and don’t worry we did not lose him!

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After a quick diaper change Eliana found this fountain and was the happiest baby in the world!

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We let her splash to her heart’s content.

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Can you see the castle behind her?

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This pic concludes our first Magic Kingdom day! Since we stayed past the reasonable time we were too tired to do much else the rest of the day. We had lights out by 8pm!! I hope we are smarter the next time we visit!

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I think this was my favorite day at a park because we did so much and Fantasyland is the best! I almost forgot that we did Space Mountain sometime after lunch and let me just say, “Don’t ride in the front seat!” It is terrifying because you can’t see anything in front of you!!!

And one more thing! I completely forgot about Eliana's bona fide Magical Disney Moment! Before we exited the park we went to the hat store in Main St. to buy matching embroidered Mickey hats. While we waited for our names to be embroidered, Eliana was hard at work charming everyone in the store.

When we looked over at her she was in front of a mirror with some cast members who were having fun trying on the fancier, more expensive Princess mouse ears. She looked really cute in the Aurora and Cinderella mouse ears but we had already bought the classic ears and I had my heart set on those anyway. Later one of those cast members and I were talking and when she found out that Eli's birthday was Friday she decided to gift Eli the Cinderella mouse ears! I guess cast members are allowed to do that sometimes so Eli walked away with 2 sets of mouse ears! Sorry I have yet to get a pic of her in those ears! I'd better work on a matching cinderella dress to go with those cute ears...