Sunday, May 29, 2011


warning.... more pictures again.
Orlando segment

Monday we drove to Orlando and reached our hotel. Isabel was SO excited when she finally figured out where we were. We hung out at the pool that night and watched Oliver and Company on the big screen poolside. Tuesday we woke up nice and early and went to Magic Kingdom. Mary Poppins was the first we saw to take pics with and we played in Fantasyland for a while. We met Rapunzel, Flynn, Mary Poppins, Tiana, Prince Naveen and of course Mickey and Minnie. Isabel has a crush on Flynn and we have a great picture of him doing the smolder. That little girl had so much fun!! Stella about melted but thankfully we avoided heat stroke. We at some amazing food for dinner at the Liberty Tavern. Isabel and Mike went on Buzz light year and Izzy kicked Mike booty at the game. :) We conquered Izzy's fear of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and now she wants to be a pirate. I really have the best girls.. (have I mentioned that already?) 13 hrs at Magic Kingdom and no crying, no whining, no "my feet hurt" it was magical. We took the bus back, and the girls fell asleep. A couple of quick showers later and we were all in bed ready for the next adventure.

Wednesday brought on Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney. We go to Hollywood Studios and honestly I wasn't expecting much... man it was great. The interactive Disney channel show (Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse Club, Little Einsteins and Jake and the Pirates) so great, Little Mermaid show was fun, albeit a tad scary. Ursula was HUGE! Isabel was curled up trying to not cry in her seat. The Monsters Inc show was hilarious as well. It really was a great venue for kids. We ended our trip there with the Toy Story arcade game ride. Again.. that was so fun.

Downtown Disney was fun. We took a but to the Saratoga Springs hotel and took the water taxi over. We walked around and waited for our dinner at Wolfgang Puck. There is a water fountain over by Planet Hollywood and Isabel made a friend so we watched her play and run around for 45 minutes. Dinner was fantastic, although we were still full from lunch. My salmon so amazing as well as my key lime pie, oh my goodness!!! We barely made it home... bus never wanted to get there and when we did.. we tossed everyone in the showers again and tossed them in bed. Poor Stella was not doing so great after lack of proper naps and getting so hot. At least Tuesday we were in air conditioning most of the day. One more day to go.

Thursday we were all so tired getting up but had to be up early for Isabel's princess breakfast at Epcot. We were running late due to a wrong turn and ran so fast inside. Thankfully all was well. She had a blast getting to do the princess parade with Cinderella the 1st time and Aura the 2nd. Since we were celebrating her birthday she got a card signed by all the princesses (and Mary Poppins). She was totally smitten. We did a bunch of rides, walked around the aquarium at the Nemo ride ( I love the picture in front of the 'mineminemine' birds) and enjoyed watching sea turtles, dolphins and a manatee. We walked around to a few countries but we were all exhausted by this point. We did hit the reset button when we picked up some frozen lemonade and stopped by the french bakery and ate some yummy, yummy food. We ended the day about 3 o'clock with a ride on the monorail. And yes, we're already planning our next family vacation there! Next time I think we'll definitely plan a day or two of rest and not try and do three days in a row. But it was a GREAT trip!

Friday, May 27, 2011

On the road again.. and again, and again.

(warning! LOTS OF PICS!)
St Charles, MO-Destin, FL
So here it is... a month later and I still a haven't posted a real update. So I'm bypassing Easter, birthdays, graduations and anything else I missed and starting with our awesome road trip (which we're still on.. typing while Mike is driving).
For Izzy's birthday (or that's what we tell ourselves) we headed to Orlando. But wait, let me back up (beep, beep, beep). My youngest cousin got married in Destin on May 22nd. I love Will and he and Sara make such a wonderful couple. Sara also spent many-a conversation with Isabel, so I really, really like her even more. We embarked on our trip May 16th and drove to Tuscaloosa to spend the night at the Barr B&B as usual. We were able to drop off many donations, from friends in St Louis, comprising of mainly kids clothes but some adults also. Then we headed to the B&B. Our normal room was occupied upon arrival by a new tenant, but all was well. The accommodations were still perfect. After a great dinner and lovely conversation we headed to bed and woke up nice and early to get in the car and drive to Destin. My Aunt rented a house for all 16 or so of us to stay in. This house was So beautiful, travertine floors throughout, vessel sinks in every bath room (functionality is lost but design impact is there), slate tiled shower, HUGE....huge.. 105" the downstairs one was a mere 80" That was two of the 5 huge ones in the house. 4 floors... right on the beach... (wait I think I have pics on the computer... hold on... not the ones I wanted but there now you can see it)

We took a tour of the house, camped our stuff in the bedroom with 4 bunk beds and a crib. Izzy loved the bunk beds. The 'ladies' headed out for a dinner while the men (and kids) ate some awesome seafood made by my Uncle. Mike loved it. Then we we were all back at the house we had a birthday party for Isabel. I would just like to give a shout out to my whole family.. they easily doubled the wardrobe of both my girls, along with beach toys for Isabel, coloring/word books, a cool t-shirt with disney stuff to color and so much more. Our trunk was STUFFED again. We are so blessed. (then when Leslie and Jacob got there there was even more stuff!)

Wednesday, needless to say, there was a lot of playing on the beaches. Not sure where my brain went, Wednesday we went outside and I lathered up everyone with sunscreen.. everyone but myself so I did not get to enjoy the water or sun much. I did get out to the beach but just stayed covered. Izzy LOVED the beach and water. Stella also had a blast feeling the water and sand. She was just cute!
My other cousin Alex had her 1st baby 5 days before Stella so the kids got some baby bonding time. Mike and I did some shopping with my mom. (Mike scored a $700 suit for $150 it's awesome!) {random pic of my mom... yeah a RARE find. eyes open AND a smile}

Friday morning Mom and I went to the airport to pic up Leslie, Jacob and Dad. It was full of, well an interesting trip. We laughed a lot, got lost, and had some great family time. We had many, many gatherings at this wedding, 4 parties plus the wedding ( we missed one because of the airport trip). Lots and lots of good food, normal family chaos, Leslie and I had a great walk and girl time. Much needed. The wedding was great {note: I sat on the wrong side again, I do not like myself photographed from my right side}. After the reception Mike and I took the girls on a family date. Let me brag for a minute. My girls are amazing. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing they were the whole travel time (and still are), in the car, at the house, everything. I am such a proud momma.

Sunday morning brought the end of the Destin trip, we drove to Pensecola to take Leslie and Jacob to the airport, spent the night and then got up early so drive off to Orlando!