Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Voice behind the Words

Blogging is an interesting hobby.  When I first began blogging back in 2008, I had no idea that there was a blogging community.  I just assumed that only people you knew in real life read your blog. I'll never forget the first non IRL friend that started following my blog, Lea Liz, I was so confused as to how she found it.  However, almost 5 years later, I now understand the ins and outs of the blog world.  I have literally made friends with people I have never met in real life, and it is so crazy.  It is weird knowing so much about someone that you have never spoken to in real life.  

Almost a year ago Kelly's Korner, did a link up that I participated in.  The link up was to find bloggers in your area, and through that I found 2 blogs.  Tammy's and Mica's.  We all started following each other's blogs, then became facebook friends, then instagram was only a matter of time before we met face to face.  They both have 2 young kids, and so we decided to meet up at the zoo today for our very first IRL play date.

I was anxious going in, but at the same time I felt comfortable. After all, I basically knew their entire life story. even though I had never heard their real voice... :).  To make a long story short, we met, enjoyed talking, and died of heat stroke at the zoo. However, it was so much fun.  I was glad to finally hear the voice behind the words, and I am sure they were caught off guard by my country twang. We plan to meet up again soon.  I love the new friends this blog has made me.

In other news the kids and I have been spending lots of time outdoors, swimming, playing, riding the golf cart etc.  

The days have definitely worn them out! 


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Final Vacation Post

I have almost documented all that I wanted to remember from our vacation, and the blog will return to present time shortly.

The later half of our vacation we spent visiting family.  We traveled to Daytona and spent some time with Nick's Uncle's family.  They have two young kids, and a very fun back yard, so our kids were in heaven.  Mckinlee was obsessed with "Gonny (aka Johnny)".  We spent most of our time playing on the beach.  Going to the beach with Uncle Rick is always an adventure.  The kids learned how to catch sand fleas, built huge castles and moats, and played football.  Mckinlee still took the time to nap in her stroller....the girl knows how to relax on the beach.

We then headed back to Jacksonville and visited with Nick's Grandparents, and his other uncles family.  The kids were able to swim with their cousins, and seemed to have a really good time. Caleb even treaded water there without his swimmie. While we were there we were able to see Nick's cousin Chase.  He is from California, and we had not seen him since our wedding.  We took an extra beach day to spend time with him.

It was a great vacation, and I was sad to leave it in.  I am 1/2 determined to move to Florida, so I can go to the beach any time I please.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Disney Our Way

The entire reason Nick and I planned a last minute vacay was because of a wonderful offer from his grandparents.  They are Disney Vacation Club members, and they offered us a couple of nights free at the Disney Boardwalk Resort.  Nick, and I were ecstatic, and so grateful.  However, we were then left with the question of what to do......

Disney is not cheap ya'll, and we have two young of which is a very unpredictable beauty.  I looked into a one day pass to the Magic Kingdom, and I realized that it would cost almost as much as we paid for a week at our condo to get in the park.  No bueno.  I plan on doing an all out Disney vacation next year, when little miss is a little bit older, but I could not justify the expense this time.  So, instead we started looking into free/inexpensive Disney activities, and I have to say, we still felt the magic.

First of all the resort was fabulous.  The staff was wonderful, and truly made you feel as though they were "welcoming you home".  The room was clean, and had everything we needed in it.  How awesome is it that pack n plays are already provided in your room. AMAZING! My only issue with the resort, was that it was a little out there for the activities that young kids would participate in. Next year, I plan to stay closer to the Magic Kingdom.

So, we have a young boy.  Trains, Buses, and Boats are his life.  Disney has all of those, and they are FREE if you are staying at their resorts.  After getting checked in (on Mother's Day) we immediately jumped on a bus, and headed to the Animal Kingdom Hotel....think free zoo.  We were able to see some pretty cool animals, and explore their awesome resort.  I think that resort may be a must stay down the line.  Caleb was ecstatic about the bus ride, and it was like a mini amusement park ride.

After the Animal Kingdom Resort we took a boat ride from the Old Key West Resort to Downtown Disney.  That boat ride was so relaxing and cute.  I felt as though I traveled back in time to the beginning days of Disney.  We even saw a Bald Eagle soaring above our boat.  It was awesome, and Caleb and Mckinlee were both thrilled with this ride.  It was all I could do to keep Kinlee seated in her chair....girlfriend wanted to hang over the side so bad.

Downtown Disney is a great entertainment spot.  We had plans to take the kids to the T Rex Cafe.  Caleb was in heaven, and quite frankly Nick and I were as well.  The atmosphere was so cool.  Huge dinosaurs, meteor showers, fish, and decent food.  It all made for a great dinner.  After dinner we let Caleb build a Dinosaur....why not, it was part of the experience.  He and Kinlee both placed a heart inside of him, Caleb picked his clothes, and he named him, Hudson Playing.  I love that boy!! After dinner we visited the Lego Store, the Disney Store, and took part in a wonderful kids show for free.  They had a DJ who played fun music, and lead the kids in dances.  Nick even participated in the all Dad's dance to Grease Lightning.  It was so much fun, and we did not get the kids in bed until well after midnight.

The next day plans were still up in the air.  Caleb kept saying that he wanted to see Mickey Mouse, but I did not know how I was going to make that happen without park passes. After some internet searching I discovered that some of the character dinners were at resorts, and not within the park.  Chef Mickey's was the dinner I had my eye on.  I ran down to the front desk, and asked if there was any way I could get tickets to Chef Mickey's for that night. The lady gave me a "yea right" look, and started typing in her computer. To both of our surprise there was an opening for dinner at 8:50 that evening. I booked that reservation quickly.  (Apparently it generally takes months, or years to get reservations...Lucky Me).  Before heading out that day Nick and I stopped by the Disney Vacation Club office to learn more about their offer.  Just for us listening to their presentation they gave us a $60.00 gift card that could be used anywhere at Disney.  We did not have to purchase anything.  So sweet! (Chef Mickey's only cost 20 dollars because of it whoop whoop)!

Before dinner we decided to take a ride on the monorail.  Caleb was so thrilled, and we were the tourists that rode it around and around for about 30 minutes.  It was great to see all the sites.  Caleb was in heaven, Mckinlee was miserable.  She was cutting her two year molars, and had started to run a low grade fever.  I had her in the ergo, and I was able to get her to sleep for a bit, but she was crying in between.  Nick and I decided that it would be best to head back to the hotel and let her rest.  Of course, we had to catch a bus from the Magic Kingdom, and some how we caught the wrong one.  At this point Mckinlee was miserable, and screaming, and wanted her daddy.  I gave the ergo, and Mckinlee to Nick, and 2 seconds after he got her all buckled in she threw up all over him and her.  So we are the people in the Disney bus, with a screaming baby, who just threw up all over the place. I was the mom who only had about 5 wipes to clean it up with....yea not so pleasant.  When we got to the stop to catch the correct bus, a kind Disney employee gave us a wet towel to clean off with.  Nick was still covered and Mckinlee was stripped to her pants...I did not bring her a change of clothes.  At that moment it was not so much the happiest place on Earth.  We finally arrived back at our hotel, and we tried to get Mckinlee to rest and take her medicine.  She kept puking her medicine up, and screaming.  One thing you need to know about Mckinlee is she throws up anytime she is sick.  Her teeth pain was causing her to puke.  Poor tiny bit.  We finally got her to sleep, and we all napped until it was time for Chef Mickey's.

covered in puke and he is still a cutie! 
 learning how the monorail stays on the track

Kinlee woke up feeling better, and we all headed to our reservation.  Caleb was so excited, and Kinlee kept saying she was going to see "Innie Ouse".  Chef Mickey's was great.  I highly recommend a late reservation like we had, because the kids got a lot of one on one time with the characters.  Mckinlee was not a fan of the characters in real life, but she loved the food.  Caleb loved it all.  He even said, "Mommy I love this.  Thank you so much for bringing me".  Be still my mama heart! Donald Duck was our favorite.  He danced, chased, and played with Caleb and 2 more boys for about 15 minutes.  It was great!! A Disney Must Do if you ask me.

The final day of Disney we spent time exploring our resort.  We ate breakfast on the boardwalk, fed the fish, took a boat ride, and played at the pool.  Our pool had a huge water slide, and Caleb spent hours going up and down it all on his own. He is such a big boy.  Mckinlee's teeth were still hurting so she fell asleep in the stroller, while I laid out beside her, and enjoyed a margarita.  I unfortunately burned myself pretty bad that day, but it was relaxing while it lasted.

It was a great Disney experience, and now I am super excited to plan our Disney trip for next year.