Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wonderful Walt Disney World

I've decided this blog will serve as my journal and a scrapbook. While I was pregnant with Morgan I made this wonderful scrapbook full of all the excitements of pregnancy (ultrasounds, shower invitations, belly pictures etc.) and after she arrived I started a scrapbook for her. I made it from the day she came home from the hospital until Thanksgiving (that would be about 2 weeks) and it stops there! Now Paige is 8 months old and I haven't done one for her either so this will have to serve as the Stickler scrapbook and my journal! I hope I can keep it up and look back on it years later to see what I was doing in March of 2007!

After a somewhat decent night of sleep last night I finally feel up to documenting our trip to Disney! I have to be honest and say that from the beginning I had some reservations about taking a 2 year old and an 8 month old to Disney World. I've always thought we'd go when the girls could remember it... when Morgan is 6 and Paiger is 5. Well, when Kathie called me about it 2 months ago and told me that for her 60th Birthday she wanted to take all her children and grandchildren to Disney, I was 1/2 excited and 1/2 reserved about the idea. I knew it would be fun but would require a decent amount of work, no naps, and sleeping in a hotel room with 2 kids (one who still cries at night)! But after an absolutely delightful trip I'd do it all again next weekend! :)

Here's a brief outline of what we did (this is more for me than anything so I can remember what we did and where we went... it's amazing how hard it was for me to remember what we did and it was only 4 days ago!!) Where is my mind going!

Wednesday 3/7: Morgan left early with GiGi & Pop Pop and Justin, Paige and myself travelled down late Wednesday night after Justin got off work. MapQuest (shortest distance) took us through the cast gate and the most random back way we thought for sure we'd be lost but managed to pull right up to the front of the hotel! The rest of the Stickler clan (GiGi, Pop Pop, Morgan, Jennifer, Dave, Ava, Ryan, Dona, Laura Lee, Banks, Lucy Ford, & Chapel) all ate at the Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney and said the food was really good!

Thursday 3/8: Morgan joined us in our room Thursday morning and was mesmerized with the view from our room. We had a beautiful room at the Grand Floridian that overlooked the pool! We had breakfast at the Gaspirilla Grill at the hotel and then headed off to the Magic Kingdom. We somehow managed to all (15!) stay together on Thursday. Morgan loved the carousel, small world, and others (including the "train ride" (aka Monorail) to the park). She wasn't too into the Peter Pan ride... too dark and too many pirates. Lots of tears were shed. Unfortunately, it's kinda like the carwash--- once you're in you're in and you can't exactly hop out, so she endured it and we promised we wouldn't make her get back on! We all ate lunch together in Frontier Land and the big guys (Dave, Justin, Ryan, Banks & Laura Lee) went on Splash Mountain and Dona and I and the younger 4 headed back to the hotel for naps. We were hopeful that the girls would nap but after so much excitement Thursday morning they couldn't quite wind down. We headed back to the Magic Kingdom that evening to Cinderella's Castle to have dinner at her Round Table to celebrate GiGi's birthday! All the little girls got their picture taken with Cinderella and the dinner was delicious! Of course the entertainment provided by the Fairy Godmother & mice was especially fun for all too! Since dinner was planned early this night Justin and I intended to go out and celebrate our anniversary but after such a long day all we could do was crash.

Friday 3/9: We had a lively breakfast at the Polynesian... Lilo, Stitch, Mickey and Goofey were all there too! It was true Polynesian style with tropical fruit juice, lays, and Mickey in a Hawaiian shirt! They brought us cake to celebrate our anniversary, GiGi and Pop Pop's anniversary & GiGi's birthday. It was lots of fun and good food too! After breakfast we parted ways. Justin and I took the girls to the Animal Kingdom (our favorite of all the parks). Morgan loved being in the backpack up high where she could see everything. We strolled through the park and especially loved the Africa exhibit and the 2 week jeep safari through Africa. We came back to the hotel around 1 and had lunch. The girls actually took naps (I think!) and I managed to sit by the pool for a couple hours! We all met back up for dinner at Jiko a wonderful restaurant at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. There menu consisted of traditional African food and it was all so good! It was another long day and even though it was our anniversary we decided to cash in early and go to bed with the girls!

Saturday 3/10: After a little confusion of how to get into Epcot before it actually opened we made it to Norway for breakfast with the Princesses! It was very fun, even for Morgan who didn't have a clue who any of them were! After breakfast we were most excited about taking Morgan on the Nemo ride but to our dismay it was broken! We actually waited in line in hopes that it would be fixed but they finally told us there wasn't much hope! So, we settled for a picture of her in front of the ride. We did a few other exhibits and had lunch in Mexico and had to hurry back to the hotel because my sweet husband scheduled me a massage for our anniversary! Justin took the girls to the room for a nap while I was pampered for an hour with a Swedish massage! I returned to the room to find Justin and the girls fast asleep so I headed to the pool! After good naps they all joined me and we spent some time splashing before dinner. We headed back to the Magic Kingdom for another group picture and a great dinner at the Frontier Tavern. I think the kids enjoyed this one the most. I'm not sure what kind of impression we left on those dining around us but I think they knew we were having fun! Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Chip & Dale all made their way to our table during dinner! The family style dining was wonderful too! It was a great way to end a vacation.

Sunday 3/11: After a great breakfast at the hotel we packed up and headed home! We met up with Bill & Kathie in Micanopy (where Doc Hollywood was filmed) and spent some time strolling around and had a nice lunch with some great entertainment!

We had an absolutely wonderful vacation. Bill & Kathie are so selfless and giving of themselves for their children and grandchildren! I can think of a lot of things they could have done with all that they spent to treat their children and grandchildren to such a wonderful time. Everyone had so much fun and we feel truly blessed to be included! If I can figure it out I will add a link to our pictures on Kodak Easy Share. Justin and I decided that we're ready to travel more. I think when you have kids you have this preconceived idea that you can't do anything any more. Especially when you have more than one. I've always had the perspective that now that I have 2 kids I won't ever be able to go anywhere or enjoy things if they're with me because they require so much... and it's so not true. Both girls were very good and had a blast! It gets me excited about taking them on other adventures! It's really exciting to see them learn new things and experience new things and I hope that we can branch out more.

Here are the pictures:

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