Day 13 – Downtown Disney

We slept in!!! If you call 0830 sleeping in. Today was a day of laundry and relaxed shopping. We headed out around lunchtime to Downtown Disney. Lunch was at Fulton’s Crab House, a restaurant on a “boat” in the water. Not the best seafood we’ve had (definitely not as good as the first night in St. Augustine) but not the worst. We did get to sit outside on the dock facing the water. Ashlyn was on, if you know what I mean. As soon as I put her in the highchair she started screaming. The bread was late coming so I pulled her out and held her for awhile. Fortunately there were only a couple other tables out there…so we were only being cursed by a few. Then, when the bread did come out she didn’t want any. I feared that this would become a disaster.

Our appetizer came and I tried to give her some of that. I didn’t know how she would react to muscles and clams. She liked them. So that placated her for a little while. Lunch came: for me shrimp and Alaskan snow crab (I realize this isn’t from the eastern sea board, I’m assuming they flew it in. Let’s leave it at that); for Du, scallops; for Reagan, something very fishy–mac and cheese.

Ashlyn saw all our food and immediately began whining for some. Du picked up a glob of mac and chees and fed it to A whos jaw started shaking and she started yelling. It was hot. Poor Ashlyn. Poor Du, trying to make his daugther shut up happy.

After she got some temperate mac and cheese she was good. The rest of the lunch was enjoyable. The seagulls were going to love us after we left too. There were crackers strewn about like someone had crunched up a cracker bag and slung it around their head letting crumbs fly as they may. We do try to clean up after ourselves, but sometimes you just can’t get it all.

08feb1606.jpgPicking Finding an orange in our neighborhood orange orchard. This is before we headed out to Downtown Disney.

vacation homeA lot of people down here park their RVs and build around them for their vacation home. No kidding. BTW this isn’t what our vacation home looked like.

Downtown Disney has a lot of shopping. We only hit one area of it. We got a couple of things that we just had to have. Including ice cream shakes and a cookie at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Store. Yum. Reagan got a crown that she got to bejewel herself. She chose all the jewels for it and the veil for the back. That took literally an hour. Then she picked out lots of My Little Pony gear. You get a box and fill it as full as you can. This took a little less than an hour. Meanwhile Du got to play with Ashlyn outside.

lego dinosaur Lego dragon

After shopping Du & I sat on a bench while Reagan played in those kid-friendly fountains. The ones that shoot up from the ground and kids run amuck* amongst the streams of water. Let’s just say we’re not shocked at why most kids are out of control these days. We saw many interesting parenting styles. We know we’re not perfect, but we have our act together most of the time (I know it doesn’t seem like it with #2, but we really do).

reagan in the fountain

Actually, this whole trip has been a study in parenting styles. Our last day at Disney I was in the restroom with Reagan. We were washing our hands while watching another mother plead and “count to three” with her child to get her to wash her hands. Since when has counting to three ever worked? Of course she didn’t make it past two because what is the consequence after three? There is none. You have to stop at two and then start pleading with your kid again. If there actually were a consequence after three the kid knows they still have until 2 and a half, 2 and three quarters, I mean it, I really mean it, if I make it to three you’re in trouble.

Anyway, dinner was Chick Fil-A drive through. Not a glamerous last dinner, but we had to get home, finish laundry and pack. This was an adventure. All the laundry got washed, dried and folded. We set everything that needed packing in one room. Then we started puting it in the suitcases. Did our clothes multiply while we were out adventuring during the day? We went shopping and bought some things, but really this much? Du sucked in his pride and left for WalMart to get another suitcase. To add insult to injury I called him and asked him to pick up some “girly” items while he was there. HAHA! I know how to make a man feel masculine. I told him he was actually held in high respects by all the ladies in that aisle who were wishing their men were secure enough in their masculinity to venture there. He got home with a new suitcase and we stuffed it full. There are still things bulging everywhere.

*BTW, I looked up amuck to see if I was spelling it correctly. The definition made me laugh: “to rush about in a murderous frenzy. to rush about wildly; lose self-control” Isn’t that fitting.

Day 12 – Dining with Princesses

Today Reagan is 6 years old. She says it’s hard to believe she’s six and that’s it’s hard to say she’s six instead of five. Today was also Reagan’s last set of birthday surprises. She got dressed in her special birthday dress and we headed for the Magic Kingdom to “see some of the things we missed the first day we were there.” When we got there we visited the Guest Relations counter to get a birthday button. If you visit Disney World on your child’s birthday make sure you get one of these buttons. The cast members noticed the button and would wish her a happy birthday. Regular visitors would also wish her happy birthday as well. She was on top of the world after she realized how all these people knew her name (her name was written on the button).

We headed straight for Cinderella’s Castle. Back up a little bit. I woke up at 0600, like normal, for an 0800 departure. The park opens at 0900 and we needed to be at the castle at 1000. At 0700 I woke up Du and he lies around in bed for a little while. When I inquire about when he’s going to get up and get going he says, “do we really have to leave as early this morning if we don’t have to be there until 1000?” Ok. First, I woke up at the normal time so you better believe I’ll be ready to leave at the same time. If we’re going to leave later I want to sleep in a little bit. Second, it will take time to get to the castle. And once we got to DW, parked, rode the monorail  took the ferry to the park after waiting in line for the monorail only to find out that general maintenance turned into an actual breakdown, visited guest services,  entered the gates, went back to one of the gate attendants to ask for some Mickey confetti, getting some confetti, throwing said confetti into hair, and then making sure said confetti would not fall out of hair we realized we had to hoof it to the castle to check in on time. It took us 3 minutes from the entrance to the back-side of the castle. That’s fast people.

Reagan’s face lit up when she found out she was having breakfast with the Princesses. Her eyes got big and her mouth opened wide with a smile. We entered the castle and she had her picture taken with Cinderella. Then we go up a winding staircase (very reminiscent of European castles) into the dining room. Dozens of tables were filled with little girls and their families eating breakfast and being visited by princesses. We were seated and the fun began. Reagan and Ashlyn were given wands and “wishing stars” and used them to make wishes later in the breakfast.

ascending the staircaseAscending the staircase.

Each princess came over and greeted both girls. They took time to talk to Reagan and all made comments about her birthday button. Reagan was in heaven. We were too because the food was really good. What was even better was that I paid for the experience when I made the reservations so there was no sticker shock at the end of the meal (make your reservations 180 days before your visit). Ashlyn ate more than Reagan so we got two meals for one out of that. Reagan ended her meal with a birthday breakfast cupcake complete with Mickey sprinkles.

Princess AshlynLovin’ breakfast.

birthday cupcakeSee the Mickey Sprinkles? You may have to double click on the pic to enlarge it.

Before we left the castle Du took her over to some windows to look at the view outside. After they were done they headed back over to the table…with Reagan wearing only one of her glass slippers. I mention that one of her shoes is gone and then realize…she’s playing the role of Cinderella. I find the shoe, we try it on her foot and sure enough it fits. She’s Cinderella all right.

We went to Mickey’s Philharmonic and Minnie’s house after breakfast. The Philharmonic was a good 3D show. The effects were great. Reagan didn’t wear her glasses though. The 3D shows that she’s seen so far have frightened her. So she sat curled up in her chair with her fingers in her ears the whole show. Ashlyn, on the other hand, was smiling and clapping through the whole thing. She couldn’t see it in 3D, but she loves action and noise. I’m sure you didn’t know that about her by now.

We also went on the Jungle Cruise. Our “skipper” was hilarious. We were the only people who thought so, but maybe we’re the only ones with the right sense of humor. Maybe we were the only ones who could actually hear her. We were laughing through the whole thing though.

We headed over to Epcot using the monorail and meandered through the countries again. There’s so much to see in the countries and in Future World. We’re looking forward to coming back when Reagan’s older so we can spend time doing some of the more adult things.

Soon after we enter the park one of the kiosk attendants notices Reagan’s button. He asks her if she’s gotten any special phone calls today. She tells him the family members that she’s talked to on the phone. He quickly picks up the kiosk phone, dials a number and hands the phone to Reagan. It’s Goofy wishing her a happy birthday. After the phone call Reagan says, “I couldn’t say anything to Goofy because he was talking the whole time!”

goofy phonecall A Goofy Phonecall

It didn’t take long before we had to be in Norway at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for dinner with the princesses. Here Reagan got her picture taken with Belle and other princesses visited the tables throughout dinner. Dinner was more of a Norwegian style (at least that’s what we’re told) and also very good. And once again, Ashlyn out-ate Reagan by pounds. We can’t believe this kid only weighs 16 pounds.

We were seated in a small room to the side with four tables total. Another table had a birthday girl as well. So we all sang Happy Birthday when her cake and dessert came out and everyone then sang to Reagan when her cake and our desserts came out. All the girls had so much fun. For some reason this meal wasn’t prepaid for so there was a bit of upchuck potential when we got the bill, but we managed. Actually, it wasn’t that bad compared to some of the meals we’ve eaten on this trip. Both meals were worth every penny. I highly recommend one or both if you have girls and they’re into princesses. If you have boys then you’re up the creek. I have no idea if there are boy character dinners. Are boys into that?

mickey ravioli Mickey Ravioli

It was an early night home, comparatively. We’ve come to realize that it wouldn’t be vacation if we made it home before nine or if the kids ate dinner before their regular bedtime. Usually we leave the park in the evening, then head for an internet hotspot. Then we head home. Tonight it’s 9:30pm as I write this and Du is fluctuating in and out of consciousness while trying to watch Fox News beside me. Hopefully it can be posted tonight.

Birthday nightThe end of a good birthday.

Day 11 – Disney MGM

Rise and shine at 0600 again, like everyday this week. Heather commented to me last night that she’s not sure how I get the energy to do this. I’m not sure either, but I do know that it’s fading. The first two mornings I woke up before my alarm went off, and I even got out of bed too instead of waiting for the alarm. Since then though the alarm has startled my deeply sleeping mind into consciousness and each day it’s getting harder to drag myself out of bed. Once I get going I’m fine, but it’s no longer fun and exciting to get up, get ready, get the girls ready and be out of the house by 0800. Maybe tomorrow will be different since it’s Reagan’s last surprise.

Today we did MGM. The park is small in size like Animal Kingdom. There were a lot of things there we weren’t interested in because the subject matter wouldn’t please all in attendance. There was one show we missed that we wished we could have seen and one show we saw we wished we could have missed (the adults feel this way at least). We missed a huge stunt show that included cars, sets, water, explosions, everything. That would have been cool to see. We sat through and barely tolerated the Ariel show. Du & I couldn’t believe how horrible it was. Reagan however loved it. We all loved the Beauty & The Beast performance. Besides the finale it was the best.

The first show we did was a big hit with Reagan as well. We took part in Playhouse Disney. Ashlyn almost got us kicked out though. We were sitting on the floor in the front row. There’s a HUGE yellow line painted on the floor, which you are clearly not supposed to cross. Ashlyn is either color blind, or doesn’t understand this yet. She not only crawled past the yellow line but proceeds to try to climb the steps to get up on stage. Don’t look at me, Du was the closer parent. I’m the video/camera girl, Du’s the kid wrangler. After nasty looks from the crew that are strategically placed around the stage to prevent this we promptly place her in some type of head lock to make her stay back until the show started.

A at Playhouse Disney The culprit in action

During the parade Ashlyn tried to pull the same thing. She was sitting with Du behind Reagan and me. He was watching her too, but looked away for a second and she bolted for the four inch gap between Reagan and the lady sitting next to her. Remember, I’m the camera/video girl. I had the video camera going in my right hand and the still camera going in my left (I’m talented like that) so I had no clue that she was about to join the parade. I hear Du yell, “Ashlyn!” as he reaches up and grabs her back.

nap climber I was trying to rest before the parade, to get some of my energy back. Ashlyn made sure that didn’t happen though.

That’s not all of her antics for today. While we were waiting in one line she shoved the lady in front of us. Fortunately she’s pretty cute so the lady only laughed. Later, at another attraction, she leaned over and pulled a ladies hair. Once again, only laughter. This won’t last for too much longer though. I think I’m going to start pointing at Du and blaming it on him. Teehee.

We found out how the kid swap deal is supposed to really work today. I got in line for the Star “Tours” ride and Du sat outside the doors with the girls. Once I rode the ride he handed me the girls, I exited and he got to ride the ride. No extra waiting in line. BONUS! While Du was waiting with the girls someone handed him a Million Dreams Fast Pass with six fast pass tickets on it. That would have been a major score if it weren’t for two things: we’d already been to 3 of the 6 attractions, and this park isn’t one that we wanted to use fast passes. It was a nice gesture anyway. We have a cool souvenir now.

After that ride they make you go through the Star Wars gift shop (you’re forced through a gift shop after every ride. I can’t believe how gullible some parents are). I can’t tell you how long Du spent in there, I think I passed out once or twice waiting. He was like a kid in a candy shop…or like me in Sephora. He ended up with one mug. Who actually needs one more mug though? Du rotates his though, do you?

We were taking a tour of the Disney sets and special effects when we got something we didn’t plan on. We were standing in front of this pool of water where they were demonstrating how they make explosions in the water, etc. An explosion went off and water shot everywhere…not on us though because we were standing in the back row. I, however, started feeling wetness on my side. It was the side of me that was holding Ashlyn…she was peeing on me. How’s that for timing special effects? I guess her diaper wasn’t fastened correctly, you’d think I’d know how to do that by now. I made Du carry her after that and so he got soaked as well.

We had another exciting moment when we saw Snow White signing autographs and taking pictures. We walk up and get in line. The character “body guard” gets in line behind us and starts denying everyone else. “This is the last family of the day, people. Snow White is done signing autographs after this family. The line is closed now.” You wouldn’t believe the tricks some families tried to play to have her bend the rules (and this is something <em>they do not bend </em>on.) One lady said to her kids, “well, it’s your last day at the parks kids, your last day in Florida, looks like you’re not going to get Snow White’s autograph.” This was told to the kids after she tried telling the body guard that she had a hard time getting the kids up from laying on some benches for two hours waiting on their grandparents<em>. What</em>? At a theme park? Whatever. Some people tried to slip in between us and the body guard but she quickly shooed them away.

The last show of the day is supposedly the best  of the four parks. Fantasmic is a water, pyrotechnic, musical and character display of wonder. It was neat how the spray of water became the screen for the video. They would play parts of Fantasia (or whatever it’s called) and then show that live with all the special effects. It was really cool…and it was cold outside so the spray of water that was hitting our faces wasn’t really appreciated by me.

We’re at Panera tonight and I haven’t stopped having internet problems. I think I’d rather be at McDonalds paying for my internet. So, goodnight for tonight. Didn’t really edit this, so hopefully it’s manageable.

Lost in Translation Lost In Translation. We saw this while waiting to enter the park. It’s on an Asian sweater.

Day 10 – Epcot

We decided to forgo Panera as our surf site of choice and are now sitting in another McDonalds. This one, however, is a Bistro Gourmet. I had heard of these types of McDonalds but had never seen one. As we were on our way to Panera we passed by this two-story Mickey D’s and decided to give it a try. There’s an elevator that goes between floors. The upstairs is set up as a kids’ game room. We’re downstairs in the bistro part. They serve bistro food too. I had the

Signature House Salad:

A mix of spring greens tossed with prosciutto ham and Asiago cheese dressing. Garnished with goat cheese pesto croutons.

my dinner My McDonald’s Salad…on a plate, with silverware.

I would have believed it to be from Olive Garden before McDonalds. It was good.

Bistro McDonalds The Bistro McDonalds


LUNCH, however was better! We ate in France. France, Epcot that is. There I had French Onion Soup (not as good as my own), a Croque Monsieur (a French toasted ham & cheese sandwich) with a salad, and Crème Brûlée. Très magnifique!

When you enter Epcot you start out in Future Land. It is open two hours before the rest of the park. We rode the Test Track Ride, which was awesome. Reagan was a little frightened, but she ended up enjoying it after it was over. We rode the Nemo ride and then had a “live” talk with Crush, the surfer-talking turtle from Finding Nemo.

Crush was a cartoon character on a huge movie screen, but he was able to interact live with the kids in the audience. He could see them, describe what they were wearing and ask and answer questions. Although he only answered two kids’ questions and really didn’t answer the questions. He just started talking about what he wanted to say. One kid asked him if turtles hang out in a pack and Crush came back with how boy and girl turtles are made (it has to do with the temperature of the sand). Du felt that Crush closely resembled Obama. Not in looks, stop that. He was all style and no substance, all generalities. He makes you feel good and you forget that he’s not saying anything of substance. That was neat for the kids though; you know, the masses who go with the flow and don’t think for themselves.

Du and Reagan rode Soarin’, a really cool ride that’s worth the wait…at least I’m told that. We decided to do the kid swap deal where one parent goes on the ride with the child who’s big enough to ride while the other parent waits, and waits, and waits with the kid who’s too small. Then, when the first two are off the ride you’re supposedly able to just get on and ride too. We tried it with the Test Track Ride and Du was the one who waited for Reagan & I to ride first. They made him go through the Fast Pass line, which was still a wait. So, for the Soarin’ ride, after I’d waited with Ashlyn for about half an hour for them to ride the ride, I decided I didn’t want to go wait in line myself and then have them hungry and Ashlyn-wearied when I got off. I took one for the team…but that gave me leaverage to decide where we were going to each for lunch.

Reagan got to see more characters today. She even had to get a second autograph book. The only one’s she’s missing that she’d really like are Snow White and Pocahontas. We didn’t see Snow White at the Magic Kingdom and Pocahontas ran off the stage as fast as she could after her humans-are-evil-and-burning-down-all-the-forests rant at the Animal Kingdom.

My goal for the day was to pig out in every country at Epcot. That started…and ended in France. We skipped over Canada and England to get to France and I ate so much for lunch I didn’t have room for anything else. We got some candy (and really cool chopsticks) in Japan and Italy, and I think that’s it.

Viking DiesingsThe Vikings

It got really windy during the second half of the day so when we realized we had come full circle and had seen all the countries we decided to leave. We did not want to wait four hours to see a fireworks show that may or may not happen due to the weather.

epcot ball Epcot at night

That’s how we ended up here at the gourmet McDonalds. Oh! We’re raising a fast food kid and I can’t say I’m too happy about it. When you’re on vacation though there’s not too much that can be done about it (no comments please about the full kitchen sitting unused back at the house…I’m on vacation too). Ashlyn ate FIVE chicken nuggets last night. And she didn’t even want them torn apart in bite size pieces. She grabbed one and just bit in. So, that’s how she eats them now. She ate four and some fries tonight. She would have eaten more, but we had a six piece meal, and Reagan did have to eat too. Don’t worry about Reagan. She’s good with eating maybe one nugget and then is full. Tonight she was more concerned with playing with her new Jasmine doll set that she bought with her own spending money. She also bought some glass slippers. The Princess is complete.

Day 9 – Animal Kingdom

You think you can trust your neighbors and they go and betray you. Sure, we’re poaching his internet, but did he have to go and break my computer? Ok, I can’t say that he did that, but that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I was connected last night and tried to upload a video. It’s a pretty big one too and it must have slowed down his internet access. Just as it was about to be finished uploading (I’m convinced I was seconds away from having it up) the internet connection went down and I heard a short beep from my computer that I’ve never heard before. It was the sound of the microwave beep. Just a “beep”. That’s it. Short and sweet. Didn’t think much of it. Until I couldn’t connect to anyunsecured wireless connection after that. Can someone really do that to my computer? Did my computer get sick of me stealing the internet? Does it have more of a conscious than I do? Heather? Help me out here.

Anyway, we showed our neighbor. We’re getting internet, and it’s faster than his too, haha.  Andwe get to smell greasy fries and burgers while we surf. We’re paying for our internet at Mickey D’s and I’m about to down a Big Mac, fries and a COKE people, a COKE. That’s worth paying for surfing. (And they’re letting us use their electricity too. We’ve got our computers plugged in to their wall).

Actually, Disney World has its act together. They serve Coke products and I couldn’t have been happier to take that first sip in the park when I found that out. It was like manna in the desert.

animal kingdom “The girls at the entrance.”

Today we visited the Animal Kingdom. I planned that on purpose. Yesterday, a big park. Today, a smaller park. Tomorrow a big park and Thursday a smaller one. I’m hoping we won’t burn out as quickly this way. The Magic Kingdom was packed yesterday. I couldn’t believe how busy it was. I didn’t know how busy it should be in the middle of February, but I didn’t think it would be that busy. One of our friends we had lunch with said that it’s probably the kids coming down from up north who are having their “winter break”. What’s a winter break? We suffered through the winter in Georgia with no breaks. And it is cold in Georgia in the winter. Du tells me I’m a sissy, but he’s as hot-natured as a woman suffering through a hotflash.

So, today I was happy to see smaller crowds at AK. We headed over to one area of the park that had the Lion King performance and a lot of character sightings/autograph signings. The Lion King performance was great. Acrobats, guys on stilts, absolutely awesome costumes and singing. AndReagan and I had small parts to play! The section we were sitting in was the elephant section. Before the show the main actor asked if anyone from our section would like to help get the crowd ready. We all kept our hands down expecting a kid to volunteer. No kid did. So he asked again. I shot my hand up and he chose me! (No one else was raising their hands, so he kind of had to choose me). It turns out I had to make an elephant sound and lead my section in making that sound before the show. It was fun and I’m a great self-deprecator so I was in my element.

playing the elephantDon’t I look just like an elephant?

Near the end of the show they pulled out a couple of kids to shake African rattles and dance around with the actors. They let Reagan be a part of it and she had a lot of fun dancing around. We were proud of her to volunteer, because until now she’s been shy about volunteering.

Reagan’s Lion King performance was not the last for her though. At the next performance, Pocahontas and Her Forest Friends, she got to start the show by quacking like a duck and banging a drum. Not sure what the quacking was for, but the banging of the drum sure was cool. She got a little certificate for her participation.

reagan shaking the rattle

We got so many character’s signatures today: Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Baloo and the monkey from The Jungle Book, Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and Tigger. Reagan was loving this. She runs right up, hugs the character and hands them her autograph book. Yesterday she got signatures from Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella, Belle and Mickey Mouse. Her book is totally full. I guess we’ll have to buy another one (at $12) if she wants to get any more signatures. I’m impressed with how much time the characters take with each child. I expected something a little like the Santa scene in A Christmas Story. You know, where each kid is herded up the steps, picked up and twirled around, stuck on Santa’s lap and quickly thrown down the slide. This is a kinder, gentler celebrity meeting though. Each character, each human character that is, would talk to Reagan and ask her questions. The characters that don’t talk would still hug and high five and spend as much time as the child herder would let.

We didn’t ride a single ride today. There aren’t as many at AK as there are at MK. We didn’t even make it to the dinosaur section of the park, and the park is so much smaller than MK. But we saw at least four live shows (that I can remember right now) and did a lot of walking through animal habitats. We didtake a safari on a limosine-length jeep with a crazy driver, so that could be considered a ride. Lots of African animals. Even some babies. Very neat.

The main theme running throughout the park is innocent enough on the surface, but if you listen to some of the talk it borders on eco-crazy. Think evil-humans-killing-penguins in Happy Feet (that was an environmentalist wacko movie, y’all, if you don’t believe me you may have already been sucked into the dark side).

It rained on and off throughout the latter half of the day. We entered the Nemo performance with overcast, but dry skies. We exited into a downpour. We weren’t really bothered by the rain. There were people running for cover as if they would melt. We, however, stuck around and got the last four character signatures. The park closed at 6pm, so we were done for the day.

We’ll see if I’m able to post tomorrow. We’ll be getting out of the park late. How late is Panera open?

Day 8 – Magic Kingdom . . . The Perfect Surprise

(editor’s note: This post was ready to be posted yesterday–the actual day of visiting the Magic Kingdom. However, the …person who’s internet we’re “using” has somehow managed to prevent our computers from accessing any wireless internet options at the house. At least that’s what I’m believing. My computer will not connect at the house any more. So, we’re sitting in Mickey D’s right now, and this post is a day late.) 

I woke up before my alarm went off this morning (so before 0600). I just couldn’t sleep knowing what was ahead of us today. I got ready quickly, then cut Du’s hair (that duty doesn’t go on vacation), then woke Reagan and Ashlyn up at 0700. Reagan asked why we had to get up so early and I told a little white one. Actually it was true, just not the complete truth. I told her we were meeting some old friends of ours and it was going to take a while to get there. To soften things up I showed her a Disney dress that I bought at the Disney store before we left (she was with me when I bought it…that’s a whole new story of deception). I just happened to find it in my suitcase after doing laundry. It would be a great dress to wear to meet our friends. It had a little picture of Aurora on the belt buckle so she was game.

On the way to the park I mentioned that I was going to play around with the video camera to get better at shooting. So I did and Reagan obliged by being silly with Ashlyn. Then I pulled the surprise. Instead of me typing it all out watch the following:

Reagan’s Birthday Surprise from Vicki Diesing on Vimeo.

Can you hear the unsteadiness in my voice? I was tearing up the whole time. It was so sweet to see her surprise and genuine happiness.  I love her.

The whole day was good. We rode rides, waited in line, saw characters and had them sign the autograph book, watched two parades and a fireworks show. Ashlyn was even able to ride some rides. To break it up in the middle we had lunch with some friends of ours from New Mexico. Ron was my boss at the Flickinger Center. He, his wife–Pat, their daughter–Marisa, and her son–Aidan all came to meet us. They live in Florida now and are only an hour and a half away. Lucky them. We had a nice visit and a good chat.

GeisheimersThe New Mexico gang, plus a few new ones.

 The girls were so good the whole day, even Ashlyn. She was busy, but never got fussy or upset because she was contained in the stroller or being held by us. Reagan walked the whole day and never asked to be carried…until the fireworks started and she wanted to be up higher to see them.

Reagan kept saying: “Is this real? Am I dreaming?” It’s not a dream, sweetie. But you keep dreaming and they may come true.

R & the castle R with her autograph book.

A & castle A excited to be in the sunshine. (These pics did not upload…I’m working on it.)