Final Disney Report (I promise!)

25 06 2009

Our third big day was spent at Hollywood Studios.  I had never been there before so wasn’t quite sure what to expect.  I enjoyed it, although there weren’t as many big attractions and rides.  We did enjoy a lot of shows and a lot of air conditioning!

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Ariel, the favorite princess of all 3 of my girls!

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One of my favorite things was attending an art class with one of the Disney artists as our teacher.  He gave us step-by-step instructions on how to draw Minnie.  We loved it!

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I am convinced we had just as much fun on the days we didn’t go to Disney.  Our rental house had a pool so we spent most of our days off relaxing by the water.  I read a good book, drank lots of water, and reapplied sunscreen very, very often. . .

Ellie loved her Panda Bear Float.  I loved it too!  It held her in very securely making it very easy for me to relax while she was in the water.

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My gorgeous daughter, Lydia. . .

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And my gorgeous daughter, Bryn. . .

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A family shot, taken by my awesome brother-in-law.  Thanks Jeff!

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That’s all folks!  From here on out I will resume my normal postings which amount to a whole lot of nothing!  The excitement of Disney is over but we are just starting the summer and I am loving it!!  More to come soon . . .





Disney Report Part 2

20 06 2009

After a very full day at Magic Kingdom, we spent an entire day resting by the pool.  The following day we were off to Epcot.  We had never been there before so it was a new experience for all of us.  We loved it!

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The girls loved meeting Belle.  Lydia told Belle she likes to write books.  Belle told her to send a book and she would read it to the Beast.  Lydia spent the rest of the day contemplating what her book should be about and finally settled on snow.  She figured Belle hasn’t had a lot of experience with snow (especially now that she lives in Florida).  As soon as we got home she started writing her book.  It’s ready to be sent, I just need to figure out where to send it. . .

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For lunch, we headed to Morocco!  We had a fabulous meal.  A belly dancer came out at one point and invited all the kids out to dance with her.  Bryn was the only one from our group brave enough to go.   That’s her on the right in the orange.

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My delicious Moroccan meal:  chicken kabobs with a green olive sauce, steamed vegetables over couscous, and beef pastires with powdered sugar on top.  I almost licked the plate at the end, but I refrained myself!

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The day we spent at Epcot was actually our 11th anniversary.  The waiter brought out this dessert (sweet dough with a vanilla custard, almonds, honey and ice cream. . .YUM!) and they all sang to us.

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This one’s for you Rhonda!

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Our family outside of Morocco!  It was my favorite place in all of Epcot (although I also loved Norway because of it’s delicious pastries).  I think I loved it because it reminded me very much of my days in Israel. . .

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Ellie caught a little nap in between all the action:

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Bryn tried on some of the belly dancing gear, then gave us all a demonstration:

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Lydia peeking out from a fan in China!

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Stay tuned for more pictures to come!





Florida Report

19 06 2009

We’re back from Florida and I am feeling settled in enough to post some pictures and tell you a little about our trip.  We had a really good time, despite the incredible heat and humidity!  We made many trips to inside places where we could enjoy the a/c before venturing back out into the heat.

I plan to divide this report into several posts.  This one will cover the flight, and our first day and a half in Florida. . .

Here’s Ellie and me on a very early flight (we woke up at 3:30 a.m. to make this 5:50 flight):

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Here’s Ellie demonstrating how we all felt about half-way through that flight!

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We decided early on in the planning of this trip that we wouldn’t tell the girls that the rest of the Esh family was going to be there too.  You can imagine their surprise when they walked into the house and discovered their cousins!  They declared it “The Best Surprise Ever!”

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We arrived in Orlando at 9:30 a.m.  and after settling into our rental house, we headed to Downtown Disney, one of my favorite places.  This dragon is made of Lego’s!

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Ellie loved Mr. Potato Head!

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Here we are in front of the castle on our first morning in The Magic Kingdom (before the heat and lack of sleep made us all a little grumpy):

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B and L wearing 3D glasses getting ready to go to my all time favorite thing in all of Disney:  Mickey’s Philharmagic!

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The highlight of my week was this meeting with Mickey and Minnie. . .I”ll tell you why at the end of this post!

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Okay.  We were on the second leg of the flight (from Atlanta to Orlando) and we sat next to the sweetest college student.  My girls were each holding a stuffed Minnie (thanks Kay!), and this student looked at my girls and said, “You must be going to Disney!”  We all nodded that we were and she said to us, “I work at Disney. . .I’m really good friends with Mickey!”  I was like hmmmmm. . .that’s interesting, could she possible be Minnie?  But I thought the chances of that were pretty slim, so I figured she must work behind the scenes somewhere or something.  Well, after the girls got all settled in with their snacks and coloring books, I asked her a few more questions and she eventually confessed that SHE WAS MINNIE!!  I couldn’t believe it!  We were sitting next to Minnie Mouse on the plane!!  What are the chances??  So, I’m smart enough to know there are many, many  Minnie Mouses (Minnie Mice?) throughout Disney.  But turns out, she was one of the Minnie’s that works at Magic Kingdom and she had to work the next day, and we were planning to be there the next day.  So, she told us that her shift started at 5:30 and that we should come to Toontown anytime after 6:00.  Then she told us to tell the attendant that we knew her (her name was Nina) and we might be allowed to bypass the line.  She said if she draws a heart in the air with her forefingers then we would know it’s her.

To make a long story short, we got to Toontown around 7:00 and the line was incredibly long (an hour wait).  I told the attendant that we were friends with Nina and is there any way we could bypass this line?  She said, “Let me check.”  She came back a few minutes later and told us to come back at 7:30.  At 7:30 we were shown into a secret back door that I think must have been for staff only, and then we were escorted in to see Minnie, as if we were royalty!  As soon as Minnie saw us, she went crazy!  She started drawing hearts in the air, and blowing kisses and hugging the girls. . .it was so special!  My girls were loving it and so was I!  It was amazing to me that we were treated with special care like that all because we met sweet Nina on the plane!  I can still hardly believe how that all worked out.  Definitely a special memory for all of us.

So that’s it for this post, I hope you don’t find my picture posting obnoxious. . .there’s lots more to come!





The “to-do” list is greater than my energy level

7 06 2009

Going on vacation is hard work.  We are so very excited to be going to Florida this week (we leave Wednesday), but the reality is that I am completely overwhelmed with all that has to be done between now and when we leave for the airport.  I love flying (hmmm. . .3 hours in the plane or 20-some hours in the van?  I’ll take the plane, thankyouverymuch), but flying with kids means extra organization is required.  Everybody needs non-messy snacks, self-explanatory entertainment packets, markers, etc.  And it all needs to be neatly packed in carry-on bags that they can each handle.

In the van, I just throw it in and figure we’ll find it eventually.  In the plane, I actually have to know where everything is.

Not that I’m complaining, mind you.  This trip to Florida is a gift to our family and I could cry every time I think about the generosity behind it.  I am so very grateful.  I just don’t feel like packing, that’s all.

But I will.   We leave for the airport at 4:00 a.m. (yes a.m.) on Wednesday.  So I’ll be packing Tuesday night until I can pack no more, and then I will sleep as much as the excitement allows me to, and then we’re off. . .





The Countdown

1 06 2009

This is just a quick note before I head off to work to let you know that I just sent B and L out the door for the last day of 1st grade!!  How can that be???  I can’t believe we are ending another school year, and at the end of this day I will officially have 2 2nd graders!  Oh my. . .makes me want to cry!

The countdown is on for our trip to Florida.  Nine days to go!  The girls are ecstatic (and so are Conrad and I, to be honest!).  The fun part of all of this, is that they have no idea that when we get off the plane in Orlando, Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Jeff, Aunt Candace,  and Cousins Maria and Tori will be there waiting for us!  Should be a fun surprise!

Off to work. . .