Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Magical Mickey Makes May Memories

Since it is almost September, I must get back to playing catch-up on the blog, or it will be Christmas before I even realize it.  So, back to May and my parents' trip to Florida, and our family pilgrimage to the land that Walt built.  Bob and I took the boys to Disney despite our intentions to leave them behind in November, and it was such a success, I was eager to do it again before they turned three and cost us an arm and a leg.  
I'm so glad that we took them with Grandma & Papa Joe.  They had a fantastic time (all five of them).  Mom kept telling me how she'd watched all of the things she was seeing on the Wonderful World of Disney when she was a kid.  My dad actually rode a coupe of rides, and we even used his little cart as a fast pass onto the Peter Pan ride (thanks, Papa Joe).
Here are the happy pair, ready for the day to begin.  We got a little later start than we'd hoped.  Since I've married Bob, I've learned to be on time and early to things by planning in adequate time to accomplish given tasks.  I did not learn this growing up, and sometimes, when going places with my parents, I forget that they have a philosophy that leans more toward "things will start when I get there." So, for my slightly neurotic self, I was concerned that we weren't in the gate at the park until 10 a.m.  (My mom's theme park plan was always be there when the doors open and make them kick you out when they close.  You have to get your money's worth).  Anyway, despite our delayed start that was even more delayed by a broken monorail, we were able to do everything we wanted to do and even managed to stay late enough for the kids to sleep through the fireworks.
The boys are getting so much better at listening to us that I am considering retiring their monkey backpack/leashes.  I have them in reserve as a threat, but especially in large groups, they tend to stick close and follow instructions much better than they used to.  The double stroller works great.  Every once in a while, I wish I had an in-line three seater, but when necessary, we either share the back seat, or the odd man out rides on the handle/cup holder area.  With Papa Joe's scooter, the boys were in heaven.  At one point during the day, Michael was standing in front of him asleep.  They definitely all wanted a turn riding with Papa Joe.

Michael probably spent the most time directing Papa Joe's cart.  Michael, in general, is all about grandpas, and he was delighted to have a special seat with Papa Joe.
Last time we went to Disney, James threw a fit trying to get to the castle (we, of course, had no idea that it was the desire to see the castle that was causing us problems).  This time, he was patient, but still very excited to see the "Mickey Mouse Castle."
I included this picture to demonstrate my family's irritation with my constant need to chronicle our lives with my little camera.  Take the picture and let's get to it!
Our first stop of the day were the magic carpets.  I love that we all got cars near each other so that I could get a couple of great pictures of us.
Now that we're airborne, Aunt Faith decides to smile.  She doesn't do mornings.
I think despite the fact that my dad swears his favorite ride was the haunted mansion (a.k.a. the Happy Halloween ride at our house), that his true favorite was a toss up between the corny jokes on the Jungle Cruise and the Country Bear Jamboree.  The boys refer to the Country Bear Jamboree as the Papa Joe songs.  Michael does love those country bears.
Perhaps the highlight of the day for the boys was a photo op with Jessie and Woody.  They weren't too keen on the line.  James broke ranks about five times and made a dash to the characters.  I'm pretty sure the kids were ready to pack up and go back to Toy Story land with them.  They did keep asking "Where is Buzz?"
This picture is a tragic look at bad parenting.  The boys were tall enough to ride everything at Magic Kingdom except for Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain.  Bob and I debated about taking them on this ride.  We decided it would be okay.  Getting on the ride, I was too big for the bar to go low enough for the boys to be secured, so the entire ride, I worried that my big butt and love for cheeseburgers was going to result in the loss of one or both of my boys in the waters of Splash Mountain.  The brilliance of this picture is in the facial expressions of the boys.  It's a little difficult to see Ryan's face, but if you look closely, you see pure, unadulterated fear.  Michael looks pretty nervous, but the true gem is James with his hands clasped over his ears (for some reason all of our kids do this when they are scared).  We should be locked up for this decision, but the kids LOVED it.  They talk about the "big splash" all the time, and they never talk about being scared, so I guess we did okay.
Winnie the Pooh is a big player in our world.  The boys were so excited to meet Tigger.  Bouncy, Bouncy.

While a little hesitant at first, they all went in for the Tigger hugs.
A Tigger is a wonderful thing.
Ryan takes a turn at the wheel.  I'm pretty sure this face shows how much fun Papa Joe was having.
Ryan still loves Small World.  The boys were starting to wear down, but they got a little lunch and a little ice cream and kept on going.
One of the biggest players in our house during the spring was Sword in the Stone.  The boys were so excited to get a chance to try to pull out the sword.  They weren't very excited to have to do it quickly and share with other potential kings.  In the middle of the afternoon, this being Florida, it rained for a bit (as we were standing in line for the "drive cars" ride - huge tragedy).  It led us indoors to the Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor and the Buzz Lightyear Ride.  
Here Daddy does his best to mop the floor with Aunt Faith.  I must admit that I didn't even really try to hit the targets.  After the Buzz ride, I had camera fatigue and quit chronicling our adventure.  It was a wonderful time.  We stayed until 10 p.m., then said goodbye to Papa Joe, Grandma, and Aunt Faith and headed home.  They stayed a couple more days in Orlando and had a blast.  We are looking forward to next year when they come back.

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