Thursday, October 29, 2009

Punkin Patch

October has been a busy month! Let's just leave it at that and post some pics from this weekend's annual pilgrimage to Burt's Pumpkin Farm. It was a beautiful, crisp Fall afternoon and the first time the 4 of us had done something as "just the family" since I can't remember when. It was a great day!

Disney World, Nana's, Amelia Island

Three trips in one...11 days out of town! I don't think I've been away from home that long since my honeymoon!

Our journey began with a sick visit to Savannah's pediatrician :( Yep, another year, a renewed relationship with the nebulizer...ugh! Not something we wanted to bring on a fun Disney vacation, but Savannah has taken to it this year like the trooper she is.

Friday night...arrive at Nana's house. This would be the first of several nights that Savannah got to sleep with Mommy and Daddy all night long! Great.

Saturday morning, Stephen, Savannah and I left Gage with Nana and headed toward Orlando. Once in Orlando, we stopped for lunch and swimming with the O'Donnells. Here's Kaitlyn (7), Abby (5), Savannah (3) and Megan (3). Megan is about a month older than Savannah. When Kaitlyn was just 2 months old, I had the privilege of holding that time, she was the youngest baby I had ever held. Now she's grown into such a beautiful, smart, young lady!

After lunch, we headed to the hotel...The Contemporary...posh! The view from our room was top notch!

After several failed attempts of obtaining reservations for Chef Mickey, we decided to head to Downtown Disney for dinner. However, once we got downstairs, the hostesses at Chef Mickey were practically begging folks to come on in. So we obliged. Little did we know that this was a grave mistake as Savannah was terrified of Donald, Minnie, Mickey, Goofy and Pluto and it set the tone for the next 2 days. Savannah's motto for the next 24 hours would be, "I just want to go home". Great!

After dinner, we visited the gift shop. Savannah loved the Chipmunk hats and wanted Daddy to wear one too.

Then she wanted to pick out a stuffed animal...or ten.

Sunday morning we went against all advice and headed to Epcot. Hint to anyone with kids under the age of 8...don't take 'em to Epcot! While Savannah was tall enough for Soaring, she was not quite emotionally ready for that adventure. But for the ride ever! Eventually we made our way over to Test Track which Savannah did not want to ride until she saw the cars. She happily jumped in the car and laughed hysterically (drool flying out of her mouth) during the part where the car goes really really fast around the track. She proclaimed that ride her "favorite". It wasn't Stephen's favorite, however. Right before we got on the ride, he realized that he lost one of our 2-day park hopper passes. That equates to a $200 loss. Great. He trucked it over to Customer Relations to see what could be done. Of course those Disney folks had it all under control and simply issued Stephen a replacement 2-day park hopper. So cool!

Later, we decided to tour the World Showcase and enjoy the Food and Wine Festival. We dined on several delicious treats and then about halfway through Stephen realized he lost his iPhone. That equates to a $400 loss. Great. He trucked it over to Customer Relations to see if anyone had turned one in, yeah right. No such luck. The last place he remembered having it was Test Track so he headed over there. Thankfully a really super nice, honest person turned it in, thus Stephen's roller coaster mood was back on the up swing. It was time to go back to the room for a nap.

After a little rest, we decided we better get Savannah to a "park" (ie playground) before she called a taxi to take her home. We walked over to Magic Kingdom (just a 5 minute walk from The Contemporary...sweet!). We decided not to force any rides on Savannah. We found a little playground in Fantasyland and she was finally happy! We let her play there for a good long time before asking if she wanted to try the Pooh ride. She agreed and actually liked it...score! Time to go back to the room and sleep.

Monday we were one of the first 100 people in Magic Kingdom and hauled over to Dumbo which Savannah declared as her "favorite". Then we rode Pooh again..."favorite". Peter Pan..."favorite". Small World..."favorite". Wow! We were on a streak! We then decided to head to Mickey and Minnie's houses and try our luck with Goofy's Barnstormer which Savannah declared as NOT her favorite. But she did enjoy touring Minnie's house!

Despite Savannah's strong desire to "just go home" and Stephen's roller coaster of emotions on Day 1, Day 2 was looking up. About 30 (or was it 60?) days before our trip, Stephen made our reservations for lunch at Cinderella's castle. He called at 7:00 am to get the reservation. After Savannah's reaction to the characters at Chef Mickey and any character we may have spotted in any park during the first 36 hours, we were certain lunch was going to be a miserable failure. Savannah wanted NOTHING to do not only with the characters with big heads and crazy costumes, but she also feared the princesses...we saw both Snow White and Belle at Epcot. Since Savannah had been saying for months that she wanted to be Tinkerbell for Halloween this year, we figured we'd splurge and buy her costume at Disney. So before lunch, we stopped in the shop and picked out her Tinkerbell dress. She gladly donned this ensemble and, in my opinion, it was the saving grace for a perfect lunch! Savannah, like many of the girls at lunch, was dressed as her favorite Disney "princess". I think the dress made her feel at ease. It sort of reminded me of that cute kid in Big Daddy (Adam Sandler...great movie) who wears sunglasses so that he cannot be seen. The Tinkerbell dress made her fit right in.

The first princess to come to our table was Snow White. Since meeting Snow White the day before was such a disaster, my expectations were pretty low for this encounter. Savannah, however, blew us out of the water. Not only was she not afraid, she jumped down off her chair and practically tackled Snow White showering her with lots of hugs. They even played peek-a-boo...

The princess lunch did not disappoint!

Savannah saw Cinderella's Fairy Godmother after lunch and though it was necessary to tell her she had a hot dog for lunch. Don't you think the Chuck Taylors make the outfit???

After lunch, naptime. Later we came back to Magic Kingdom...just in time for the rain. So what do you do at MK when it rains? Ride the Teacups, of course..."favorite". By the time we got off the Teacups, the rain stopped and we continued to enjoy lots that MK has to offer.

The most memorable (and I cannot believe I actually forgot to put this in the blog so I'm coming back in now to write it) was The Jungle Cruise. When we loaded onto the boat, the "captain" told Savannah to come all the way up to the front by him. He was a young, college kid and was very good at his job. We thought Savannah was going to be terrified because he would throw himself down onto this big wooden box in the middle of the boat and it would make a really loud BANG sound. He started with his Jungle Cruise spiel. I wish I could remember the joke he told, and I'm not even sure Savannah really got the joke, but she laughed out loud. Anyone who has been around Savannah for any length of time knows that when she laughs, it's a full on belly laugh. Well that was all the captain needed to keep playing off of Savannah which she then thought was even funnier. The two of them just kept playing off each other the entire ride. Savannah had the entire boat laughing and I was crying from laughing so hard. There were at least 3 families shooting video footage during the ride and everyone was cracking up. Each time she laughed, everyone laughed which just made her giggle even more. By the end of the ride, Savannah became known as "Giggle Girl". As we approached the dock to unload, the captain got his cohorts to watch as he made Giggle Girl chuckle some more. There is just no way to capture the hilariousness of this experience...I actually need to Google "giggle girl Jungle Cruise" and there is likely a video on You Tube!

That evening, we decided that since the lunch went so well, we should let Savannah meet her most favoritest of all...Tinkerbell! We met 3 fairies, but Tinkerbell was by far her favorite....the only one whose lap she sat in and the only one she tackled when she saw her.

After 2 days of Disney, it was time to depart Orlando, but not before a stop at Sea World. As we were getting out of our car in the parking lot of Sea World, another family was pulling into the parking space behind us. I noticed they were all pointing at us and laughing. I had to check to make sure my shirt was on, pants zipped, nothing hanging out of my nose, etc. Then they got out of the car and said, "Look, it's Giggle Girl!" and then we recognized them as the family that sat across from us on the Jungle Cruise the night before. It's a Small World afterall. Sea World was....HOT! I mean, it's not supposed to be 98 degrees in October...even in Florida! Savannah got to feed the dolphins!

The 3 hour car ride back to Nana's was pleasant for all. Savannah slept the entire drive!!!

So what was Gage doing during all this??? We like to call it "Nana Bootcamp". Kiddos don't leave Nana's without learning something! For Gage, it was crawling and pulling up on furniture. He had mastered both in the 3 days we were gone.

Savannah, Gage and I spent the next 3 days with Nana. On Friday, Susana and Sophie drove down and met Savannah and I at my mom's condo on Amelia Island. Gage continued his stay with Nana. The girls had fun playing in the sand and eventually the water too.

Three days at the beach...TIME TO GO HOME! HOME SWEET HOME!!!