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View Full Version : SOOZE's Grand Gathering... it's so good, I have to bevel! Update! 2/3


Sooze
06-16-2011, 05:58 PM
Don't know what a bevel is?! Join my TR and find out! Here are links to each episode for your convenience. Don't forget to leave a comment if you feel inspired to do so. THANKS FOR READING!

Oh... if you want to know who is involved, just read the post below this... it'll give you the introductions!


TRIP REPORT LINKS

Day 1 Trip and Arrival at BWV (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41724088&postcount=21)

Day 1 Family Arrival at BWV and killing time! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41731761&postcount=30)

Day 1 O'hana (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41756450&postcount=53)

End Day 1 Magic Kingdom (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41866357&postcount=70)

End Day 1 Magic Kingdom Cont'd (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41866611&postcount=71)

Day 1 Photo Pass Pictures (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41902998&postcount=83)

Day 2 DHS and American Idol Experience! (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41917392&postcount=97)

Day 2 More DHS fun (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=41958470&postcount=117)

End Day 2 with MORE DHS fun (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42139840&postcount=128)

Day 2 Photo Pass Pictures (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42139995&postcount=129)

Day 3 Morning at MK (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42321992&postcount=146)

Day 3 Family Meal at Teppan Edo (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42515594&postcount=151)

Day 3 Rainy Day fun in World Showcase (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42516546&postcount=152)

End Day 3 in Epcot (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42712457&postcount=164)

Day 3 Photo Pass Pictures (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42712728&postcount=165)

Day 4 Princess Breakfast (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=42888244&postcount=172)

Day 4 Rainy Epcot Afternoon (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43284546&postcount=181)

Day 4 Dinner at DTD (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43284898&postcount=182)

End Day 4 With Soarin' (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43290642&postcount=183)

Day 4 Photo Pass Pictures (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43290735&postcount=184)

Day 5 Quick Morning at DHS (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43531968&postcount=189)

Day 5 Afternoon at Animal Kingdom (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43673728&postcount=194)

Day 5 Animal Kingdom Cont'd (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43673874&postcount=195)

Day 5 Photo Pass Picture (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43673944&postcount=196)

Day 6 Last Morning with ABC at MK (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43923935&postcount=201)

End Day 6 Epcot Farewells (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43924236&postcount=202)

Day 6 Photo Pass Pictures (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=43924290&postcount=203)

Sooze
06-16-2011, 06:20 PM
Hello there Trip Report reader-type people! My name is Sooze, and I have been attempting trip reports for a while now. If you are interested in perusing any of them, feel free to click on a link in my signature (the dates/ resorts) that are underlined have a TR with them.

I'm extra super excited about this Trip Report.

Why?:confused3

First, it's the first time we are attempting a Grand Gathering.

Second, what kind of stories do you think will be told when THIS group of people goes to Disney together?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/Miscellaneous%20Stuff/SillyHarloffs.jpg


I know, right? We look like a bunch of crazies!! AND WE ARE!!!
Allow me to introduce the cast of characters. I'll keep it short... because there are 9 of us going!

Let's start with ME! I'm at the bottom right of the picture. My name is Susie and I'm a 3rd grade teacher in Indianapolis. I also love performing with community theater.

I'm sitting next to my beautiful DD. Her name is Shaelyn. She is a red-headed, 5-year-old firecracker who will wait for DAYS to see princesses and fairies!

Behind me is my DH. His name is Matt. He is a band director at Avon High School in Indiana and is also a drum and bugle corps man. If you care, he is the brass caption head for the Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps.

Next to him is our DS, Tyson. Tyson is eleven and is the only male child. He wants fast, scary rides and will probably spend as much time away from the little girls as he possibly can.

Let's hop over to the back Left corner. See the bald guy? Oh... wait... all of the guys are bald. My bad. Well, the bald guy in the back left corner. That is DH's brother, Ben. Yes... my kids have an Uncle Ben. And, no, he does not make rice for us! He is also a band director in Minnesota. For anyone who knows drum corps, Ben was the original trumpet soloist for the Broadway show Blast! which was a musical theater adaptation of drum corps. Pretty awesome!

In front of Uncle Ben is his gorgeous wife, Cindy. Cindy is a beautiful dancer, and has spent most of her life on stage. She is a wonderful mother and wife and will probably be a crying mess most of this trip, as she watches her daughter experience the magic for the first time.

Next to Auntie Cindy is Avabelle, their daughter. Avabelle is 4 years old and was born a year after Shaelyn... almost to the day! Avabelle is also very girly girly and will happily join Shae waiting for those princesses! This will be her very 1st trip to Disney World.

Finally, we have the grandparents. Matt and Ben's mom and dad. We shall call them "Mahna" and "Pahta". I know... kind of strange. Those words were created by Tyson when he was learning how to talk. It was his version of "Grandma" and "Grandpa"... and has stuck! Pahta is a former band director and current elementary music teacher in Southern Indiana. Mahna is a nurse in a nursing home. Actually, I think she's in charge of the nurses! Mahna and Pahta are getting close to retirement... so we are hoping to spend lots more time with them in the future. They are fantastic in-laws and I love them to death!:love:

Here is a more respectable picture of us...
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/HarloffFamily.jpg

Please join me! I will be posting some details on our reservations, basic plans, and thoughts about this trip.. plus plenty of pictures. I love me some pictures... and I'm sure this TR will end up being FULL of them.. FUNNY ones!!

Sooze
06-19-2011, 10:39 AM
So here are the basic of all basics:

Arrival
Sunday 6/26 We are driving, the rest of the family is flying.

Staying
at Boardwalk Villas in a 2BR

Departure
Friday 7/1

ADRs
O'Hana
Akershus
Teppan Edo

We plan to use our full kitchen a lot on this trip to save some cash!

I won't waste too much of your time on this quick PTR. So I hope some of you come back for the real report! Hopefully being started over the 4th of July weekend!

Sooze
06-19-2011, 10:45 AM
Last month, the kids and I worked hard on a little countdown calendar project. We mailed the calendars to the family and they just loved them!

Here is a picture of Avabelle with her calendar:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/AvabelleCountdown-1-1.jpg

We put a picture on each flap, then under the flap we put down something we 'couldn't wait' to do with them! For example, under the picture of me eating a Mickey Bar it said "We just can't wait to eat Mickey bars with you... bring the napkins!"

We hope they have enjoyed this way to count down to our awesome week together!

I also used the DISigns part of the DIS to locate someone to create custom T-shirt designs and made shirts for everyone. I will post pictures of these soon! I will present these to everyone when we are all together at the Boardwalk. I can't wait to see their reaction!

cdotla
06-19-2011, 11:15 AM
Am I first?

Another Sooze's TR??!!! I'm in....can't wait!:goodvibes

PS - Love the countdown calendar!

Sooze
06-19-2011, 01:54 PM
You are my one and only!! Thanks for checking in! This will be idle for a while. I'm off to teach a band camp and then we head to WDW. Look for updates over the 4th of July weekend.

Thanks again!!:goodvibes

Queenofallthings
06-19-2011, 01:56 PM
I'm in too...sounds like a great time is going to be had by all!popcorn::

Sooze
06-25-2011, 08:25 AM
I'm in too...sounds like a great time is going to be had by all!popcorn::

Glad you hopped on board! Just returned from teaching a camp. We are trying to unpack, do laundry, and repack so we can get in the car for our long drive tonight!

Thanks for joining the thread! :goodvibes

Sooze
06-25-2011, 08:28 AM
Quick day-of-departure update:

Shaelyn has developed a nasty cold. Stuffy nose, sore throat, cough. Why does this stuff always happen?
Matt and I just returned from teaching a band symposium camp all last week. This meant lots of outdoor activity and lots of late night fun with friends. Translation: We are both EXHAUSTED and can't believe we are going to get in a car and drive to Orlando tonight!
Laundry is going and suitcases are out. We are going to try to get all of this done by 4pm... our estimated leaving time!
I will be doing some live updates along the way, so stay tuned!!
Thanks again for anyone who is following along :)


See ya real soon!:woohoo:

HeyIt'sMe
06-25-2011, 10:29 AM
Hey Sooze! If it's OK I'll tag along too. :)

We aren't too far from you --- we're up in Westfield. :wave2:

Have a safe drive to see Mickey and have a GREAT time! Can't wait to read your report when you get back.

Debbie

mermaid764
06-25-2011, 11:13 AM
I missed that you started, but am here now and can't wait to hear all about your trip:goodvibes

Blueyed Girl
06-26-2011, 06:29 PM
I'm in!! I will try to keep up a little better this go round. Looking forward to live updates too. :thumbsup2

micandminforever
06-27-2011, 06:07 PM
Sorry I missed the send off, but last week was crazy. I hope by now you are experiencing alot of pixie dust. pixiedust:

I look forward to reading about your adventures when you return.:goodvibes

lauren_elizabeth
06-27-2011, 06:12 PM
Joining along!

I bet yall are having a blast :goodvibes

Looking forward to the live updates!

Sooze
07-02-2011, 05:00 PM
Hey Sooze! If it's OK I'll tag along too. :)

We aren't too far from you --- we're up in Westfield. :wave2:

Have a safe drive to see Mickey and have a GREAT time! Can't wait to read your report when you get back.

Debbie
Of COURSE it's ok!!! Always love to have fellow Hoosiers joining in on the fun!!

I missed that you started, but am here now and can't wait to hear all about your trip:goodvibes
You are here JUST in time! Glad you made it!

I'm in!! I will try to keep up a little better this go round. Looking forward to live updates too. :thumbsup2
I am the queen of falling behind on TRs! No worries, Cherie!
Sorry about the live updates... when you have 8 people to entertain on a trip, I learned there is NO down time! I didn't get on the Disboards at ALL! :sad2:

Sorry I missed the send off, but last week was crazy. I hope by now you are experiencing alot of pixie dust. pixiedust:

I look forward to reading about your adventures when you return.:goodvibes
We sure did have our fair share of pixie dust! Sometimes it showered down from the sky in buckets! :rolleyes:

Joining along!

I bet yall are having a blast :goodvibes

Looking forward to the live updates!
Welcome!! Thanks for joining along. I apologize for the lack of live updates. This is the first time we have brought family along... I didn't realize that there would be NO down time for updating! The good news is that I will be getting this TR up and going very quickly! Stay tuned!! :woohoo:

timandlesley
07-03-2011, 08:23 AM
I'm here! Sorry we never ran into you guys but sure hope you had an amazing trip, can't wait to hear all about it!!!
Lesley

momtotanmanandraerae
07-03-2011, 08:57 AM
We were there at the same time! Just got back yesterday...I remember reading your TRs in the past...looking forward to reading more!

jwwi
07-03-2011, 09:22 AM
Welcome back. Can't wait to hear about your Grand Gathering trip. I'm sure the girls loved to see all the princesses together.:) Did Tyson test the guys ability to keep up with him?

TyTyandMickey
07-03-2011, 11:28 PM
I'm here! Sorry we never ran into you guys but sure hope you had an amazing trip, can't wait to hear all about it!!!
Lesley
I felt the power of Timandlesley, though.. I knew you were there in spirit!! Did Diane tell you I ran into her and the boys at Hollywood Studios?! Sounds like y'all had an AMAZING cruise. Are you starting a TR or a blog anywhere about your adventure?

We were there at the same time! Just got back yesterday...I remember reading your TRs in the past...looking forward to reading more!
So glad you found me! Are you doing a TR too? I'd love to hear how other families dealt with some of those rain moments!! Wow!!

Welcome back. Can't wait to hear about your Grand Gathering trip. I'm sure the girls loved to see all the princesses together.:) Did Tyson test the guys ability to keep up with him?

Pictures are on Photobucket... hoping to kick this off tomorrow! Tyson certainly dragged his grandpa and uncle around! They loved every minute, tho!

TyTyandMickey
07-03-2011, 11:28 PM
Ooops! Apparently Tyson was logged in! Guess I'll go remedy that....

Sooze
07-05-2011, 01:14 PM
It’s always hard on leaving day not to just hop in the car first thing in the morning and GO! But we weren’t due to check into the Boardwalk until Sunday morning, so even waiting until 4pm to leave had us in Orlando by 7am!! We tried to nap, to double and triple check everything, to charge and recharge batteries in electronics, and everything else we could do to pass the time. But FINALLY, it was time to head out! YAY!

I took VERY few pictures on the ride down, because it was so completely UNEVENTFUL. Thank goodness! We hit a 30-minute backup in Louisville, KY due to an accident. Matt almost had a meltdown as this was just 2 hours into our drive and we were sitting completely still on I-65. And to add to the annoyance, there was a car behind us with its bass up SO LOUD, it was vibrating our entire car for 30 minutes, and we couldn’t move away from it. We kept turning around and looking at the guy and plugging our ears, but he didn’t care!

Other than that.. we had wide open roads and PERFECT weather. Here’s a picture as we finally entered KY. You can see there is NO traffic anywhere to the left, due to the accident we had just passed.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1475.jpg

The ride was flawless and soon, we were waking up the kids and saying, “We’re in FLORIDA!”

Don’t they look thrilled:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1481.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1483.jpg

Ha ha! This was RIGHT after they woke up, after having to sleep in a car. I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t matter WHERE I’m going… sleeping in a car is no fun! And to make matters worse, Shae was recovering from a cold. And she woke up with a rash on her cheeks. We thought it was from the seatbelt rubbing on her face while she slept… but we were wrong. More on that later!

Love the sunrise over the Florida horizon! It means we are getting CLOSE!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1484.jpg

It is our tradition when we drive to hit up Cracker Barrel near DisneyWorld. It’s always very early in the morning, so we are seated immediately and served almost as quickly! This time, we were seated next to the most appropriate piece of framed tchotchke:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1486.jpg

One of our favorite activities at Cracker Barrel is listening to Matt explain who all of the people are in the photos that are around the restaurant. For example, he might point to a photo of an elderly gentleman and say, “This is Grandpa Cracker. He invented the miniature syrup bottles you find on your table today.” The kids just crack up at every made-up story he tells! Here he is explaining one of the Cracker Barrel ancestors:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1488.jpg

And here we are, glad that the 15 hours of driving was BEHIND us!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1489.jpg

After filling up on eggs, pancakes, and hash browns, we were SO ready to head on into Disney World. We were crossing all of our phalanges that our room would be ready. We have checked in this early at times, and have been pleasantly surprised to have our room ready. We have also checked in this early, only to have to wait until 4 for our room. We were SO hoping for the first scenario. Matt was going to pick up the rest of the family at the airport. Mahna and Pahta were arriving at 10:40. Avabelle, Ben, and Cindy (from now on referred to as ABC) were arriving at 11:20. How cool would it be to be checked in, unloaded and ready to welcome our family home?!? We’d have to wait and see what the Boardwalk had in store…

So, I’ve written many TRs now, and you all have seen us pass under the Walt Disney World sign. So this time I decided to record our arrival on video. Hope you enjoy (please pay attention to Tyson’s I’m –too-cool-to smile antics. He is SO going into 5th grade!)
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/th_IMG_1490.jpg (http://s160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/?action=view&current=IMG_1490.mp4)

Side note: I ONLY used my iPhone4 to take pictures and video on the trip. The quality is NOT the best, especially since I JUST got the phone a few weeks ago and didn’t quite know what I was doing. But the convenience was AWESOME! Just having the phone in my pocket, ready to whip out and record moments was fantastic.

Finally! We made it HOME!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1492.jpg

This sign summed it all up at that moment:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1493.jpg

Our front entrance:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1496.jpg

While we were driving, at 3 in the morning, from my PHONE… I had already done the online check in. Man, technology is incredible! So we went to the online check in line. They found us quickly and soon we were on our way…. No…. not to our room. It wasn’t ready. BOOOOOOO…… I mean… it WAS only 8am. What was I expecting?!?! Maybe a little magic. But it wasn’t meant to be.

We had some time to kill before Matt had to go pick up the family that was flying in right at that moment! What should we do?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1497.jpg

Oh, there’s PLENTY to do! Come on! We started by just absorbing every molecule of the Boardwalk. I just can’t capture in words how much we love this place. The smells, sounds, sights… the VIBE. We just love it!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1500.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1502.jpg

Love this:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1505.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1507.jpg

The kids played at the playground for a while, while Matt and I rested on the lounge chairs. I had managed to doze for about 45 minutes in the car… so as soon as I let myself sit… I just wanted to CRASH and sleep!! We CAN’T have that happen! Not today! So what else can we do?

How long will we have to wait for this room? Will the whole family be together soon!?! Stay tuned….

teachermommy78
07-05-2011, 01:42 PM
Joining in! We were there at the same time, driving from IL (just started my TR as well!). I love your start! I've always wanted to stay at The Boardwalk. My husband promises me that we will someday. :lovestruc

shannon47142
07-05-2011, 02:47 PM
so fun to see another report from you guys! I always feel like you are truly smiling as you write about your trips!

mermaid764
07-05-2011, 04:33 PM
Ugh that must have been such an annoying start to the drive, particularly the guy with the stereo, it would be nice if people would learn what respect is.

Hopefully your room was ready soon, and I love the pic of the kids looking towards the Yacht Club...such a beautiful resort!

Can't wait for more:goodvibes

Sooze
07-05-2011, 05:12 PM
Joining in! We were there at the same time, driving from IL (just started my TR as well!). I love your start! I've always wanted to stay at The Boardwalk. My husband promises me that we will someday. :lovestruc
Glad to have you!!! The Boardwalk is just gorgeous... and we LOVE being able to stroll our way into two of the parks. Hope you can make it happen someday.. and if not... no biggie! You still get to go to Disney! And you could just spend an evening on the Boardwalk ;)

so fun to see another report from you guys! I always feel like you are truly smiling as you write about your trips!
Aw, thanks! I truly am! :goodvibes Glad to have you back on board!

Ugh that must have been such an annoying start to the drive, particularly the guy with the stereo, it would be nice if people would learn what respect is.

Hopefully your room was ready soon, and I love the pic of the kids looking towards the Yacht Club...such a beautiful resort!

Can't wait for more:goodvibes

Yeah, it was annoying! But, thank goodness, it was the ONLY trouble we had traveling the entire trip!:thumbsup2

We were hoping our room would be ready too.... sometimes, it's so hard to wait, even though you KNOW you aren't supposed to be there until 4....:rolleyes:

lauren_elizabeth
07-05-2011, 05:50 PM
Welcome home! :goodvibes

I love the video of yall driving under those wonderful Disney arches! Shae is too cute and Mr. Tyson is definitely ALL pre-teen boy! ;)

I can't wait to see pictures of your room at BWV. That's one of our choices for our big family trip next year with my parents & siblings!

HeyIt'sMe
07-05-2011, 05:56 PM
Great start Sooze!

"Grandpa Cracker" .... O-M-G that's hysterical. Anytime we take a road trip - be it 2 hours or 16 hours - we have to stop and eat at Cracker Barrel. Now everytime I go in a CB I'm going to crack up when I see the old 'ancestry' photos...:rotfl:

Oh you have a 5th Grader - fun times! My DD (Emily) will be a HS freshman this year.....you never know what mood you are going to encounter at any given time. :eek:

Wow, Matt had to get back in the car and drive to the airport after that loooong drive from Indiana? He's a saint!

Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

Debbie

Queenofallthings
07-05-2011, 07:54 PM
Great update....love the pic of the kiddies right after they woke up...:lmao: We do have fun times as parents don't we:cool1:

Sooze
07-05-2011, 10:00 PM
Welcome home! :goodvibes

I love the video of yall driving under those wonderful Disney arches! Shae is too cute and Mr. Tyson is definitely ALL pre-teen boy! ;)

I can't wait to see pictures of your room at BWV. That's one of our choices for our big family trip next year with my parents & siblings!
Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed the video... Tyson is truly showing those pre-teen signs. Should be a fun few years!!
:rolleyes1 About those room pictures.... uh.... I didn't really take any. :headache: I'm telling you... this trip was SO different for us, having our family with us... I was just totally out of whack. In a good way, of course! But I did neglect taking pictures of the room. This may be a clue about how long we had to wait for it... because by the time we got in it, I was in no mood to take pics...:rolleyes:

Great start Sooze!

"Grandpa Cracker" .... O-M-G that's hysterical. Anytime we take a road trip - be it 2 hours or 16 hours - we have to stop and eat at Cracker Barrel. Now everytime I go in a CB I'm going to crack up when I see the old 'ancestry' photos...:rotfl:
So funny! Now you can start your own stories as well! They are super fun to make up. Don't forget about Great Uncle Barrel!!

Oh you have a 5th Grader - fun times! My DD (Emily) will be a HS freshman this year.....you never know what mood you are going to encounter at any given time. :eek:
When I found out I was pregnant with a girl, I cried... thinking about exactly what you are dealing with... TEENAGE GIRL YEARS!!! I've come to grips with it now.. and I'm ready to face the challenge!! Maybe flooding her with Disney will somehow permeate into her brain and cause happy, magical thoughts to consume her puberty phase. What d'ya think? :confused3

Wow, Matt had to get back in the car and drive to the airport after that loooong drive from Indiana? He's a saint!

Looking forward to hearing about the rest of your trip.

Debbie
We were totally running on Disney adrenaline, for sure!! Thanks so much for jumping on board!


Great update....love the pic of the kiddies right after they woke up...:lmao: We do have fun times as parents don't we:cool1:


Thanks for reading and commenting!!
I agree... being a parent provides SO many 'fun' times!! :upsidedow

Sooze
07-05-2011, 10:47 PM
Matt took off to go pick up the rest of the family, and the kids and I had exhausted the possibilities at BWV. So what should we do?! Aw… why not kill some time at Epcot?! Of course!

Defying all laws of sleep and energy, we bounded down the boardwalk and flittered into International Gateway, knowing that Epcot was just ahead. We just LOVE Epcot. I’m pretty sure we could schedule a vacation where we ONLY went to Epcot, and no one would complain! (Well, except me, since my favorite ride is in Animal Kingdom… but I digress…)

We stumbled on Lightning McQueen and Mater and were excited to take a picture in front of them.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1511.jpg

While the kids were posing and smiling, they couldn’t help but see the gorgeous Epcot ball shining in front of them. It was calling to them… “Ride me first, children. Ride me first. Even if there’s a line, it’ll move fast. Come to me! Ride me first!”

And we did!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1515.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1517.jpg

We loved it, as usual! Next stop:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1521.jpg

We were giddy with excitement about making our family members taste the Beverly!! We are evil! But fun and evil!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1523.jpg

I found this box of candy in a display with all kinds of cute boxes like this. But this was my favorite:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1525.jpg

We drank plenty of Fanta (for Shae and me) and Mezzo Mix (for Tyson), we made fun noises with the sticky sound of the floor on our shoes, and we enjoyed the air conditioning. But Shae suddenly realized that we were very close to the Nemo ride. Oh dear. The Nemo ride. If you’ve been following my TRs for any length of time, you know that I have probably ridden this thing at LEAST 100 times. Shae just loves it. So… yup…
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1527.jpg

Back to the Nemo ride I go….

So are you keeping track of all of the things we’ve done? Yeah… the room still isn’t ready! We had time to play around in the fountains outside of Imagination. Here is a shot of how wet Tyson’s back got!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1529.jpg

Shae was slowly losing her positive attitude. The poor thing MAYBE got 4 hours of sleep in the car. It was hot…. She was still in her long pants from the ride… we ALL just wanted to be in our room…

Matt was slowly making his way back from the airport with Mahna and Pahta. He was going to drop them off at the Boardwalk, then go back for ABC!! He’s crazy, but we didn’t have room in our van to hold everyone, since all of OUR luggage and groceries were STILL in the van.. because our room STILL wasn’t ready.

We walked back to BWV in time to meet Mahna and Pahta in the lobby. We spent a good 45 minutes just relaxing on all of the couches, and sitting on the beautiful porch overlooking the lake. Finally… ABC arrived and we had a joyous reunion out in front of the BWV!! Shaelyn and Avabelle were together at last… and it was WORTH the wait!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1531.jpg

Avabelle had worn her Rapunzel dress the WHOLE trip down from MN!! She is so sweet! Here is a picture of ABC at the airport in MN before leaving for Disney:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/ABCairport.jpg

And here is Avabelle’s face when she saw the Walt Disney World sign!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/Aseeingsign.jpg
(This was her very 1st trip to WDW… you are going to see that face A LOT!)

After hugs and laughter and relief that our travels had all been successful and safe, we looked at each other and said “LET’S EAT SOMETHING!!!” We were all famished so we grabbed a pizza from the Boardwalk CS. We knew O’Hana was waiting for us, so we each just ate one slice. Time for some pictures on the Boardwalk!

Tyson and his little girls:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1535.jpg

Shae showing Avabelle the cute ducks that hang out by the Boardwalk:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1537.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1538.jpg
So we had a snack, and Matt and I had griped for a while about how bummed we were that the room STILL wasn’t ready. We were all just kind of sitting there… My mind was churning with what we can do to pass the time. My plan was to spend these few precious hours before O’Hana in our VILLA… unpacking, sending the boys to get cold groceries, letting the girls nap/rest. This obviously wasn’t going to happen… so I was desperately trying to figure out what to do next.

Suddenly, Uncle Ben bolts upright in his chair and says, “HEY? Should we go see Voices of Liberty?!”

DING DING DING DING DING!!! It was like someone had showered us all with Red Bull and Energy Shots!!!! We leaped from our chairs, tossed the girls in their strollers, and galloped away to hear our MOST FAVORITE vocal ensemble on the planet!! The afternoon had been SAVED!

Here are the boys leading the way. I love Matt’s smile… it captures how we felt when Ben made the most brilliant suggestion ever!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1540.jpg

Once we had made our way into Epcot, Avabelle was the 1st to spot Mary Poppins at the top of the hill. Oh. My. Goodness!! She took off running, yelling “MARY POPPINS! MARY POPPINS!” And what was even funnier was that Cindy was yelling just as loud, and running just as fast! They were so excited!! They hopped in line and within no time, they were visiting with the practically perfect nanny:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/AwithPoppins.jpg

One of our favorite memories from this trip was watching Ben and Matt (brothers) walking through the parks with their little girls on their shoulders. It was so special for Mahna and Pahta (their parents) and Cindy and me (their wives) to see!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1542.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1544.jpg

We enjoyed a wonderful set of Voices of Liberty.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/ABatVOL.jpg

There were a lot of new faces in the ensemble:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/VOL.jpg
This was a YOUNG tenor. He was good. But I missed the young BASS guy. Now… HE is fabulous! And a cutie pie too!

Another new face… and we LOVED LOVED LOVED her dress!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/VOL2.jpg

What a perfect way to kick off the trip!! And, wouldn’t ya know it? As soon as they were done, we got the text that our room was ready!! YAY!!!

So we huffed it back to BWV and began the painstaking unpacking process… wow…

Were we able to unpack, go grocery shopping, freshen up, give the girls rest time, and STILL make it to our 5:15 ADRs all the way over at the Poly?

Guess you’re going to have to come back to find out!!

jeremysdisneymom
07-06-2011, 09:50 AM
I'm here!!! :yay:

We got home last night and I am back to work today. Needed to take a break from my desk full of paperwork! So glad to see that your trip started but disappointed we didn't get to meet up. What is with the sick children this trip! :confused3

We ventured over to the Boardwalk this trip. It was so nice over there.

Boy, your children are growing up! Shae looks so happy to be with her cousin.

I knew Epcot would be a must on your first day and how appropriate it was the Voices of Liberty as your first family attraction. :thumbsup2

:surfweb:Can't wait to read more!

Erika

Native NYer
07-06-2011, 11:37 AM
Joining in!
Can't wait to read more!

Sooze
07-06-2011, 01:31 PM
I'm here!!! :yay:

We got home last night and I am back to work today. Needed to take a break from my desk full of paperwork! So glad to see that your trip started but disappointed we didn't get to meet up. What is with the sick children this trip! :confused3

We ventured over to the Boardwalk this trip. It was so nice over there.

Boy, your children are growing up! Shae looks so happy to be with her cousin.

I knew Epcot would be a must on your first day and how appropriate it was the Voices of Liberty as your first family attraction. :thumbsup2

:surfweb:Can't wait to read more!

Erika
I was super bummed we didn't connect either. Sick kids and rain... not the best combination for DisMeets! Hope everyone is feeling better!! Are you doing a TR?!!

Joining in!
Can't wait to read more!

Awesome! Thanks for finding me and checking in!

ChattaAlley
07-06-2011, 01:44 PM
I love your report so far. Can't wait to read more. I think the iphone pictures turned out great.

Sooze
07-06-2011, 06:27 PM
I love your report so far. Can't wait to read more. I think the iphone pictures turned out great.

Welcome!! :goodvibes And thanks! The phone was just SO convenient. Someday I'll get myself a REAL camera and take some REAL photographs... but for now, it's ALL about the convenience!!

glennbo123
07-06-2011, 08:19 PM
Subbing. With all of those brass players, it promises to be a good TR. ;)

Queenofallthings
07-06-2011, 08:39 PM
I love the pictures...there is nothing like being with family at WDW! Love the pics of the girls and I love that she wore her Rapunzel dress all the way from MN!!

timandlesley
07-06-2011, 09:52 PM
I felt the power of Timandlesley, though.. I knew you were there in spirit!! Did Diane tell you I ran into her and the boys at Hollywood Studios?! Sounds like y'all had an AMAZING cruise. Are you starting a TR or a blog anywhere about your adventure?


So glad you found me! Are you doing a TR too? I'd love to hear how other families dealt with some of those rain moments!! Wow!!




Thanks for the plug, yes, doing a TR here on the dis:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2752980
Yes, she told me , they saw you sing too, said you did really well!!! Will definitely touch on the rain : )

timandlesley
07-06-2011, 10:00 PM
Loving the updates. Video was great of you arriving loved Matt's comment "I WANT TO SEE SOME PURPLE SIGNS!":thumbsup2:rotfl2:
Lauren walked up behind me reading it and she said "Shae is getting so big, I want to see her again" awwwwwww
I honestly don't know WHERE You find the energy!!! Wonder when your room is ready, ours took FOREVER!!!! I've been running into that more and more lately with our trips, oh well, your in Disney so hard to stay bitter for long.
Too funny about the chocolate box in Club Cool, you will see that later in my report too (Luke's fave). Love your nieces faces in the shots already, the pics of the brothers and their girls on their shoulders is priceless.:thumbsup2 Enjoying the report!
Lesley

mermaid764
07-06-2011, 10:27 PM
The kids look so excited to all finally be together, and I love the pic of the girls riding on their daddy's shoulders.

Yay for the room finally being ready, hopefully you had time to get unpacked before Ohana:goodvibes

Sooze
07-06-2011, 10:39 PM
Subbing. With all of those brass players, it promises to be a good TR. ;)
Welcome!! Two questions:
#1 Are you also a brass player? (I'm assuming yes... but you never know!)
#2 Are you the famous glennbo from Dan's TR... the one that he couldn't find in Magic Kingdom? If not, sorry! ;)

I love the pictures...there is nothing like being with family at WDW! Love the pics of the girls and I love that she wore her Rapunzel dress all the way from MN!!
Wasn't that sweet! She was just euphoric the ENTIRE trip. It was awesome!

Thanks for the plug, yes, doing a TR here on the dis:http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2752980
Yes, she told me , they saw you sing too, said you did really well!!! Will definitely touch on the rain : )

Already checked in! You know I could NEVER miss a Timandlesley TR.. they are the best!!

I had no idea Diane and the family made it to American Idol!! I know they had lunch reservations and didn't think they could squeeze in that 12:30 show. How cool!! I know you have all the time in the world :rolleyes1 but if you really want to see my performance, Matt scammed a video on his iPhone and it's posted on my Facebook wall... you know... just in case you want to see it. ;)

Loving the updates. Video was great of you arriving loved Matt's comment "I WANT TO SEE SOME PURPLE SIGNS!":thumbsup2:rotfl2:
Don't you just love that moment when you first get there?!? Everyone is so silly!!

Lauren walked up behind me reading it and she said "Shae is getting so big, I want to see her again" awwwwwww
Well, we have a trip to Kings Island planned for July 31. Are ya busy? :upsidedow We sure would love to see you guys again, too!

I honestly don't know WHERE You find the energy!!!
This day was particularly brutal. I truly slept for 45 minutes that night. It was PURE adrenaline getting me through the day as I wasn't able to ever get that nap that always helps out. But when I hit my pillow that night... WOW! It MAYBE took a millisecond to fall asleep! :laughing:

Wonder when your room is ready, ours took FOREVER!!!! I've been running into that more and more lately with our trips, oh well, your in Disney so hard to stay bitter for long.
It always seems so long when you're waiting for it, but when you look back at that day, it wasn't SO bad. I still don't understand what takes so long. But, I've never worked in the hotel industry, so I can't judge!

Too funny about the chocolate box in Club Cool, you will see that later in my report too (Luke's fave). Love your nieces faces in the shots already, the pics of the brothers and their girls on their shoulders is priceless.:thumbsup2 Enjoying the report!
Lesley
So glad to have you along, Lesley! Thanks so much for your comments!!

The kids look so excited to all finally be together, and I love the pic of the girls riding on their daddy's shoulders.

Yay for the room finally being ready, hopefully you had time to get unpacked before Ohana:goodvibes
And, I'll tell ya, those girls remained excited and loving and kind and just amazing the WHOLE trip. They were so sweet to each other!

Hoping to update tomorrow so you can hear all about O'Hana!

basketlacey
07-06-2011, 10:40 PM
Great report so far! I can't wait to hear more.

I am in awe that you stayed awake from the day before - very impressive!

jecskc
07-06-2011, 10:46 PM
I can't wait to read more. We just bought into DVC and I can't WAIT to try out the Boardwalk. It is one of two resorts that I REALLY want to stay at. The other being Grand Floridian !!

MaryAz
07-06-2011, 11:00 PM
Great TR so far, joining in.

glennbo123
07-06-2011, 11:05 PM
Welcome!! Two questions:
#1 Are you also a brass player? (I'm assuming yes... but you never know!)
#2 Are you the famous glennbo from Dan's TR... the one that he couldn't find in Magic Kingdom? If not, sorry! ;)

Thanks for the welcome.

Yes, baritone (euphonium), and Yes, that's me!

MNTwinsMom
07-06-2011, 11:24 PM
Joining in . . . You had me at band teacher and relatives from Minnesota. :) (I'm a proud former band geek from a family full of band geeks :rockband:)

Great start to your report. You can see the PURE JOY on all of the kids faces upon their arrival at WDW. Can't wait to hear about the 2BR Boardwalk villa.

Sooze
07-07-2011, 09:16 AM
Great report so far! I can't wait to hear more.

I am in awe that you stayed awake from the day before - very impressive!
Thanks so much! This arrival day was truly the longest I had ever stayed awake. The only time it would hit me would be if I sat down and relaxed... and with the whole family there and a five year old running around, those moments were few and far between!

I can't wait to read more. We just bought into DVC and I can't WAIT to try out the Boardwalk. It is one of two resorts that I REALLY want to stay at. The other being Grand Floridian !!
Welcome home!! Sure hope you get a chance to try the Boardwalk, and let me know how it goes! Grand Floridian?! That will have to wait until they build some DVC villas there, right? The exchange rate for points is crazy! :scared1:

Great TR so far, joining in.
Welcome!!! Thanks so much for checking in!

Thanks for the welcome.

Yes, baritone (euphonium), and Yes, that's me!
Awesome! We can always use more band geeks, especially brass players!
Oooo... can I get a spoiler?! Did you and Dan ever meet up? :rolleyes1

Joining in . . . You had me at band teacher and relatives from Minnesota. :) (I'm a proud former band geek from a family full of band geeks :rockband:)

Great start to your report. You can see the PURE JOY on all of the kids faces upon their arrival at WDW. Can't wait to hear about the 2BR Boardwalk villa.
Welcome aboard! :banana: I LOVE when band geeks find me!! And one from MN? Even better!

If you're totally in need of something to do, if you click on the 2009 BCV or 2010 BWV Spring Break links in my signature, it will take you those trip reports... we went with another family of band geeks and it was a band geek extravaganza!!

Thanks for joining the fun!

glennbo123
07-07-2011, 10:29 AM
Awesome! We can always use more band geeks, especially brass players!
Oooo... can I get a spoiler?! Did you and Dan ever meet up? :rolleyes1

Sure, hey why not...here's my account (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=38624208&postcount=2256) of how that morning went. (We had actually already met Dan and Candi earlier in the week, but Parker was with his grandparents on that occasion.) Once Dan finishes his fictionalization of that morning, I may have to post this link on his thread to clear up all of the exaggerations and stretchings-of-the-truth. :laughing:

Sooze
07-07-2011, 03:49 PM
Sure, hey why not...here's my account (http://www.disboards.com/showpost.php?p=38624208&postcount=2256) of how that morning went. (We had actually already met Dan and Candi earlier in the week, but Parker was with his grandparents on that occasion.) Once Dan finishes his fictionalization of that morning, I may have to post this link on his thread to clear up all of the exaggerations and stretchings-of-the-truth. :laughing:

:rotfl: Thanks for that! And now, it seems, I've found myself ANOTHER great Trip Report writer (Dead Man's Chess?! Hilarious!!). I'll be over later to catch up from the beginning of your TR! :goodvibes

glennbo123
07-07-2011, 04:36 PM
:rotfl: Thanks for that! And now, it seems, I've found myself ANOTHER great Trip Report writer (Dead Man's Chess?! Hilarious!!). I'll be over later to catch up from the beginning of your TR! :goodvibes

:yay: Thanks! Feel free to take your time....it's a little lengthy, and is now in "Completed" status. :sad:

KidaniMom
07-07-2011, 05:08 PM
I read your very first post and had to skip right to posting a reply. My DS (almost 13) is also Tyson! He is an avid trumpet player in the concert and jazz band at his school. My husband and I met in the UConn Marching Band and we own the Blast DVD! Can't wait to read the actual TR but I liked meeting your family.

Sooze
07-07-2011, 06:10 PM
I read your very first post and had to skip right to posting a reply. My DS (almost 13) is also Tyson! He is an avid trumpet player in the concert and jazz band at his school. My husband and I met in the UConn Marching Band and we own the Blast DVD! Can't wait to read the actual TR but I liked meeting your family.

Get. OUT!!! :cool1: :cool1: I'm so glad you found me! That is so cool! Now you can go watch the Blast DVD and say, "I know that bald trumpet guy!!" You can really see him in the song where he comes down from the rafters, standing on a chair! ;)

LOVE that you and your DH met in band! Matt and I met in Drum Corps.. we both marched with Star of Indiana (not sure if you are familiar with drum corps, but being East Coasters means you MAY have heard of it!)

Thanks for checking in, and tell Tyson we said HI! Our Tyson JUST started playing trumpet this year! What a coincidence!!

Sooze
07-07-2011, 07:00 PM
We were so relieved that our room was finally ready that we started happily walking towards ‘home’…. Then it hit us… We had to unpack the van. :headache: UGH!!! What? Bell services and their shiny carts and strong muscles? Nope… we had NINE people with arms and legs, and we were determined to lug every thing inside on our own.

Wow… Who knew you could fit THAT much stuff in a mini van! Our 2 BR villa was on the 5th floor, overlooking the creepy clown slide. It was a beautiful room, and I LOVED that it was way up high. The walk was pretty long, especially with all of that STUFF, but after a few trips and throbbing fingers, we were IN!

Ok. This is where I’m supposed to post brilliant photos of our beautiful, clean, spacious 2BR villa. Uh…. Yeeeeaaaahh. I’m telling you, the thought didn’t even cross my mind. I was so freaking out about unpacking, loading in groceries, sending the boys to WalMart for cold stuff, and trying to figure out how I could get Shaelyn (and maybe even myself) the smallest of naps, that I completely forgot to take pictures. If you feel the need to unsubscribe at this time, I totally understand….. :sad2:

Well, the next two hours was a flurry of activity!! Imagine me, my MIL and SIL whizzing about the villa unpacking all of our families’ clothing, loading food and paper products here and there in the kitchen, all the while our children are in a complete Disney craze, going out on the balconies, opening and closing doors in the villa, finding the Disney shows on the TV…. WHEW!! When the men returned with cold items, we quickly put them away, looked at each other, and started laughing!! It was so crazy what busy little bees we were.

By the time we were done, we had about 30 minutes before we were going to leave. Our plan was to walk through Epcot, take the monorail to TTC, then hop a resort monorail to the Poly. Matt would drive the van to the Contemporary to park, so he could haul tired people home at the end of the night. After much discussion (with 9 people, there is always much discussion!), we decided to just cram all 9 of us in the car and drive to the Poly. That way, we could spend another 30 minutes in the villa. YAY! This meant I could lay Shae down for about 45 minutes. SHE CRASHED!!!!

Me? I had to get rid of long ride car funk. I freshened up and spent time chatting with the family…. Yeah…. No nap! At 4:15, we finally tried to wake up Shae, who was GRUMP. EE!!!!! This girl can NAP…and 45 minutes just wasn’t cutting it! She recovered quickly when we hopped in the van, like a family of clowns!! :crowded: I'm sure our seating arrangement was all kinds of illegal!

Enough talk… let’s get to the pictures, shall we?
Here are the girls posing (they do a LOT of posing) in front of a tiki man at the Poly:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1549.jpg

I mean, seriously, aren’t they just beautiful?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1551.jpg

Cindy, Mahna, and Avabelle were newbies to O’Hana. Of course, WE have been here multiple times… we just love it! Matt, Ben, and Pahta have been here together a few times as well… they have run the mini and full marathon the past few years, and O’Hana is a post-race tradition for them now! We were anxious to see how Mahna and Cindy liked it, but since both of them eat healthier than anyone else in the family, I look back at it now and have to laugh that we made them eat here!!

Avabelle and Shaelyn loved the pineapple bread:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1553.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1555.jpg


I was so glad I remembered to ask our cousin/server to take a picture of all of us!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1557.jpg

Soon, the food started FLOWING! Here are the most AMAZING pot stickers EVER, and those famous wings:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1558.jpg

My favorite is dipping the pot stickers in the peanut sauce. OMG…. When I die, I want a bowl of that peanut sauce buried with me…. SOOOOO good!!

Since the girls really weren’t interested in that food (we ended up getting mac n cheese for them), our amazing cousin/server brought out a bunch of drink umbrellas for them to play with. They were a hit!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1560.jpg

Please notice Shaelyn’s cheeks. They are STILL red. Uh huh…. Something going on here, and it ain’t a heat rash!

Pretty soon, the ukulele player was out doing his thing. Avabelle loved the music and was inspired to hula! Here’s a video of her exquisite dancing!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/th_IMG_1562.jpg (http://s160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/?action=view&current=IMG_1562.mp4)

If you’ve never been to O’Hana, they bring you tons and tons of MEAT… pork, chicken, steak and shrimp. I am NOT a shrimp eater, and was shocked when Tyson asked for a whole bunch of it. Then he realized he had to pull the shell off…. Here is his face as he figured this out:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1565.jpg

The boys were ALL ABOUT the all-you-can-eat meat fest!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1567.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1569.jpg

I knew we were due for TONS of fun on this trip, after this meal. We were so loud and FUN… the CMs were eating us up because we were SO happy to be there, and so willing to cheer and laugh and get involved in the fun. You can imagine in the pictures above, that when a skewer of meat approached us, we went nuts, cheering and clapping. So fun!

Last time we were here, Shae spent a lot of time folding and refolding the warm towels they bring you to wipe your hands. This time, she and Avabelle used them to CLEAN. First, they cleaned themselves, then they had to go around and wipe down everyone else, then they started moving on to the restaurant itself. Here they are cleaning a totem pole:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1570.jpg

Towards the end of the meal, I started having some serious stomach pain. It wasn’t the normal I-ate-too-much-and-can’t-move pain. It was double over and grimace, I need to use the bathroom but it’s not helping, does anyone have Gas-X pain. I hated that it was taking away from my experience, and tried not to make a big deal about it. But being the drama queen I am, I had to… it was interrupting my moment with dessert, for crying out loud!

Anyway, Avabelle enjoyed the coconut race:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1575.jpg

And Tyson made me laugh with his totem pole antics:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1577.jpg

Still in pain, I excused myself while the family dealt with the bill, and tried to walk around, stretch, and recover from this annoying pain. Shae and I found the dolphins:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1579.jpg

And Cindy came to the rescue with some Gas-X.

Now… let’s put Avabelle on her 1st monorail…. And let her take her 1st steps on Main Street…. AND let’s capture the 1st time she sees the castle!!

Oh yes!! You’ll want to come back for this one!

mermaid764
07-07-2011, 07:12 PM
Other than your stomach not feeling good and Shae's rash it sounds like Ohana was a great start to the vacation:goodvibes

I can't wait to see what your niece's reactions to the castle and main street were

shannon47142
07-07-2011, 07:30 PM
:goodvibesthis update is why I love to read your reports!! Besides your stomach pain and the red checks, the pictures of happiness of all your family makes me smile:cool1:

ZFamily5
07-07-2011, 07:54 PM
Joining in! We just got back from a trip with my aunt, uncle and cousin too! And we started our trip reports around the same time! And my sisters are almost the same ages as Shae and Tyson! I'll stop talking about all the similarities now...Sounds like you're having a great trip so far! :thumbsup2

Villainess
07-07-2011, 09:01 PM
Joining in! Your DD and niece are just adorable. We are going to Ohana's on our upcoming trip - first time in many years, cannot wait! :banana:

Sooze
07-07-2011, 11:07 PM
Other than your stomach not feeling good and Shae's rash it sounds like Ohana was a great start to the vacation:goodvibes

I can't wait to see what your niece's reactions to the castle and main street were
Ha ha! We had medical issues, for sure! But, yes... O'hana was the PERFECT way to start the vacation!

:goodvibesthis update is why I love to read your reports!! Besides your stomach pain and the red checks, the pictures of happiness of all your family makes me smile:cool1:
Aw, thanks! Lots and lots more happiness to come!! So glad I could make you smile! :goodvibes

Joining in! We just got back from a trip with my aunt, uncle and cousin too! And we started our trip reports around the same time! And my sisters are almost the same ages as Shae and Tyson! I'll stop talking about all the similarities now...Sounds like you're having a great trip so far! :thumbsup2
I love the similarities! I wish I had a 14 year old to help me with Shae and Ty sometimes... it looks like you are a great help with your siblings! Thanks for joining in on the fun!

Joining in! Your DD and niece are just adorable. We are going to Ohana's on our upcoming trip - first time in many years, cannot wait! :banana:
Thanks so much! They had the extra special Disney glow on this trip, for sure! I hope O'hana is as fabulous for you as it always is for us! Glad you get to return!!:cloud9:

heaven2dc
07-08-2011, 11:38 AM
Loving your TR!! The girls look so cute looking out over the water at BWV :hug: We were on the 5th floor with a boardwalk view last year and it was a long trek to the elevators (we ended up going down the stairs and coming out at the pool area but at night took the elevator). Were Tim and Lesley there the same time you all were? And on the 5th floor too? If so, do you know if your rooms were in the same hallway? That would be SO coindidental (we were there in 2008 when another famous Dis family were in the rooms right below us but we never saw them - would love to run across a Dis family one day....oh wait, I did meet a very sweet Dis gal who passed along a stroller from the stroller/swap thread but it was a short meeting.)

HeyIt'sMe
07-08-2011, 11:51 AM
Hey Sooze!

Your dinner at 'OHana looked so delicious and FUN! We always stay at the Polynesian and we've only eaten at 'OHana once. I loved it but my DH & DD weren't crazy about it so we've never been back. Yes, I am considering divorcing the DH and sending the DD to military school. :laughing:

Sorry to hear your stomach was hurting but glad that Cindy had some Gas-X!

Poor Shae ..... hope her red cheeks/rash don't turn out to be something too bothersome. Hmmmm.....staying tuned to find out!

Debbie

Sooze
07-08-2011, 12:10 PM
Loving your TR!! The girls look so cute looking out over the water at BWV :hug: We were on the 5th floor with a boardwalk view last year and it was a long trek to the elevators (we ended up going down the stairs and coming out at the pool area but at night took the elevator). Were Tim and Lesley there the same time you all were? And on the 5th floor too? If so, do you know if your rooms were in the same hallway? That would be SO coindidental (we were there in 2008 when another famous Dis family were in the rooms right below us but we never saw them - would love to run across a Dis family one day....oh wait, I did meet a very sweet Dis gal who passed along a stroller from the stroller/swap thread but it was a short meeting.)
Thanks! I'm happy you're enjoying the report!! Our trek from the elevators wasn't TOO bad... definitely not as far as Tim and Lesley! We were in Disney as the same time as them but not at the BWV. They were there BEFORE the cruise, and we joined them at the world after they disembarked! We DID stumble on Diane and her family (Lesley's good friends that they often travel with) at Hollywood Studios. It is SO much fun to see people in real life after you've learned all about them via the DIS! :thumbsup2

Hey Sooze!

Your dinner at 'OHana looked so delicious and FUN! We always stay at the Polynesian and we've only eaten at 'OHana once. I loved it but my DH & DD weren't crazy about it so we've never been back. Yes, I am considering divorcing the DH and sending the DD to military school. :laughing:

Sorry to hear your stomach was hurting but glad that Cindy had some Gas-X!

Poor Shae ..... hope her red cheeks/rash don't turn out to be something too bothersome. Hmmmm.....staying tuned to find out!

Debbie
Hi there!! I would LOVE to stay at the Poly someday!! Though I'm afraid we'd be tempted to eat at O'hana every night! :rotfl:

You'll have to stay tuned, but the Gas-X didn't really help! You'll have to see how I finally got that pain to go away.. unfortunately, it lasted most of the night.:guilty: And Shae's rash... it FINALLY faded when we got HOME! Again.. you'll have to see what it turned out to be! :flower3:

I just love cliffhangers, don't you!! ;)

TeaForTulips
07-08-2011, 12:46 PM
joining in! popcorn:: love it! :cheer2:

Sooze
07-09-2011, 12:10 AM
joining in! popcorn:: love it! :cheer2:

:banana: :banana: Welcome to the festivities! Glad to have you along!!

lauren_elizabeth
07-09-2011, 07:23 AM
Yay for finally getting into yall's room! I know how much of a pain that is when everyone just wants to get settled in and chill out for awhile.

Ohana's is such a FUN meal! The whole atmosphere is just a good time :goodvibes I loved how the girls ended up cleaning the restaurant... that's too cute! :lmao:

Yikes for having awful stomach pain :( That's never any fun on vacation. Did the Gas-X help you out?

basketlacey
07-09-2011, 07:45 AM
Love it! Such a beautiful family!

I just booked Ohana for us yesterday. I wasn't sure if I was going to keep that one but seeing the fun you guys are having is GREAT!

Sooze
07-09-2011, 04:57 PM
Yay for finally getting into yall's room! I know how much of a pain that is when everyone just wants to get settled in and chill out for awhile.

Ohana's is such a FUN meal! The whole atmosphere is just a good time :goodvibes I loved how the girls ended up cleaning the restaurant... that's too cute! :lmao:

Yikes for having awful stomach pain :( That's never any fun on vacation. Did the Gas-X help you out?
It always seems like the LONGEST wait, doesn't it?!
The Gas-X barely helped... it took almost the whole night for the pain to subside! More about that in my next update!

Love it! Such a beautiful family!

I just booked Ohana for us yesterday. I wasn't sure if I was going to keep that one but seeing the fun you guys are having is GREAT!

Thank you so much! I'm happy you chose to keep your O'hana ressies. We've had nothing but great times and great food there!

jeremysdisneymom
07-11-2011, 01:04 PM
I am right there with Tyson--shrimp is good but too much work at Ohana's for me!!! The night we were there, they were not that free flowing with the meat. It took forever for it to come.

Shae is just sooo cute. Love how she and her cousin cleaned everything!

Oh, I can't wait to hear about the first visit to MK---so exciting! I can still remember Jeremy's just like it was yesterday.

Queenofallthings
07-12-2011, 09:50 PM
Oh dear...I'm hoping you both recovered...but I'm a little concerned about those rosy cheeks:confused3 We love O'hana's ... it's one of our favorite places on property...I think if the shrimp wasn't peel and eat that's the only "meat" I would have there...the flavour is delicious.

Sooze
07-16-2011, 09:51 AM
I am right there with Tyson--shrimp is good but too much work at Ohana's for me!!! The night we were there, they were not that free flowing with the meat. It took forever for it to come.

Shae is just sooo cute. Love how she and her cousin cleaned everything!

Oh, I can't wait to hear about the first visit to MK---so exciting! I can still remember Jeremy's just like it was yesterday.
Oh, I'm sorry O'hana kept you waiting. Next time, try cheering and being obnoxious every time they bring a skewer... they might enjoy the applause so much, that they keep bringing more! :rotfl:

Avabelle's first MK experience was beautiful! I wish my photos captured more of the magic, but you'll get the idea!

Oh dear...I'm hoping you both recovered...but I'm a little concerned about those rosy cheeks:confused3 We love O'hana's ... it's one of our favorite places on property...I think if the shrimp wasn't peel and eat that's the only "meat" I would have there...the flavour is delicious.

We DO recover, no worries. Just an annoying distraction that makes for good TR material! :goodvibes

I NEVER eat shrimp... I had no idea there were different ways to serve it! I learn something new all the time!

Sooze
07-16-2011, 10:34 AM
I will begin this episode with this picture:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/AseescastleatOhana.jpg

As we were wrapping up our O’Hana experience, we noticed that you could see the castle peeking up from behind the trees when you looked out the windows of the restaurant. This is Avabelle seeing the castle spires for the first time. Couldn’t you just die? This was the face we saw on Avabelle for most of the trip. It was awesome! And since she was THIS excited to see the castle from afar, we couldn’t WAIT to see her expression when she was close enough to touch it!

Shaelyn helped Avabelle back onto the monorial for our ride over to MK:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/Gettingonmonorail.jpg

The girls were just so happy to have each other.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/AandShaeonmonorail.jpg

The monorail was pretty crowded. Every time we rode it on this trip, some of us would have to stand. Here is a random monorail picture, and one of the few pictures of me!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/monorailride.jpg

We hung together very well, considering the crowd level. Matt and I had to rethink our usual ‘enter-the-park’ strategy, which involves him grabbing the kids and going through the ‘guests without bags’ entrance while I wait for security. With a group of 9, we found ourselves really having to slow down our usual auto-pilot methods! Not that it was a bad thing, just different. Moving 9 people through various security checkpoints and ticket kiosks just took longer than we are used to.

But it was worth the small bit of chaos. Here we were! Heading towards Main Street!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1580.jpg

Mahna and Pahta. They were like a couple of giddy college kids this trip!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1582.jpg

Are you ready for it? The moment precious little Avabelle saw the castle for the first time? Well, here it is:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1584.jpg
A moment later, she was jumping up and down and laughing that adorable four-year-old laugh.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1586.jpg

The next ten minutes were my definition of euphoria. Watching Avabelle, seeing the sun setting, smelling and feeling the Main Street vibe, appreciating and absorbing the fact that we were all here as a healthy and happy family. Life was perfect at this moment! (I even forgot about my belly pain for ten minutes!) We took the most leisurely of strolls towards the castle. We even stopped to be silly every moment or two:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1589.jpg

Two red-faced folk:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1591.jpg

We made it to the hub and took time for a few pictures. I just LOVE this one of my in-laws:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1593.jpg

A happy princess Avabelle:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/Abaandcastle.jpg

Heading through the castle:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1594.jpg

Castle shot:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1597.jpg

Daddy and Shae Shae:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1599.jpg

Castle detail:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1601.jpg

Beautiful!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1603.jpg
So, what should we do first? Well, if you were bringing a four-year-old to MK for her first time, what would you do?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1604.jpg

Yep! Us too!

Matt and Tyson, trying to figure out WHY we are on this ride!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1608.jpg


The girls sat together on the boat, of course, and had a WONDERFUL time seeing all of the “dolls” and their great costumes. The rest of us sat back, relaxed, (and one of us tried to stretch out and work out some stomach pain.. ugh!)
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1609.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1612.jpg

Ben + Cindy = Adorableness!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1613.jpg

Mahna + Pahta = I hope we can all be this happily married in 35 years!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1614.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1615.jpg


Waving as we came in to dock:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/Smallworldwave.jpg

((Cont’d in next post))

Sooze
07-16-2011, 11:03 AM
Next stop for a family of musicians:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1619.jpg

Avabelle sporting the sassy 3D glasses:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/philharmagic.jpg

This was SO much fun. I’m not sure why, but we often bypass this attraction when we come as just the 4 of us. What a special treat to have the whole family go see this. The moment that stands out for all of us was watching the girls react to the 3D effects. When Ariel’s jewels come spinning out into the audience, both girls just started reaching out to try and touch them. And when Ariel’s outstretched arms come at you, both girls were trying their hardest to give her a hug. It was so touching to see their genuine need to touch the things from the screen that were jumping out at them. Awesome!

Our last attraction before we staked out parade spots was the Haunted Mansion. There was absolutely NO line, but we went to play with the hands-on stuff anyway!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1620.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1621.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1623.jpg


Story behind this picture. See the fish on the left of Uncle Ben? It had a stream of water flowing from his mouth. As you can see, Uncle Ben had made a GREAT picture opportunity, but just as I snapped it, the fish stopped spraying water. So now, the picture just looks creepy!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1624.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/IMG_1626.jpg

We had a great ride and I was BLOWN AWAY by the new ending!! How amazingly COOL!!!

It was about 8 and the parade was starting in an hour. People were already finding spots, and we wanted to make sure Avabelle had a front row seat. We found a place in front of the Hall of Presidents (our usual spot!) I volunteered to sit and save spots while the rest of the family rode POTC. This also gave me a chance to spread out my hoodie and lie down! This made ALL the difference in the world!! Just 20 minutes of lying down cured my belly ache. I was so GLAD!! Of course, in about 20 minutes, the crowds were really encroaching and I texted Matt to tell them to HURRY UP! I DISPISE saving spots when the crowds start coming.. I feel guilty not having people with me, but taking up all of that space. Soon, we were all together again. Cindy and I busted out the Dollar Store glow bracelets, and all was well!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/paradewaiting.jpg

The parade was wonderful, as always. The girls attracted the attention of all the characters (though the adults screaming the names of each character MAY have helped a bit….).
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/Tinkfloat.jpg

As soon as the parade was over, we made our way to the hub to snag a spot for Wishes. I was very interested to see how this Memories show affected Wishes. I wasn’t even sure if Wishes still was the same. We had a very easy time finding a wonderful spot with a GREAT view of Tink’s flight path! VERY quickly after we arrived, the Memories show began. This, as I found out that evening, is a PRE-SHOW to Wishes. It begins at around 9:45… so you have something to watch while you wait for Wishes.

OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!!!! We were COMPLETELY BLOWN AWAY by the technical wizardry demonstrated in this show. I mean… take your breath away effects done on the castle. Oooohs, Aaaaaahs, Gasps….. it was an INCREDIBLE 10 minutes! We cannot wait to go back to MK and see this again. The only downer was that the pictures of guests that are being projected on the castle were much too small to be able to see any of them! Our picture MAY have been put on the castle, but we never would’ve been able to tell! Oh well, the other effects were so amazing, we didn’t care!

Wishes soon started. Avabelle screamed with joy as Tink flew right over our head. Our whole family was smiling from ear to ear as the stunning fireworks display lit up the sky. Again… life at that moment couldn’t have been any more perfect!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/Abaparadewatching.jpg

As the music was winding down and the crowds started inching to the gates, we find this:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%201%206%2026%2011/Abaexhausted.jpg

All together now…. Awwwwwwwwwwww!!! Her early flight and day of adventure had taken its toll. There were EMH at MK this evening, but NONE of us were up to it. It was a unanimous decision to head back home and hit the sack. We had another day of memory-making ahead of us. We joined the cattle drive to the entrance, moo-ed as we squeezed onto the monorail, disembarked at the Poly, dragged our tired selves to the van, and finally made our way to our villa. The kids were out cold within moments. The adults opened some wine and chatted for just a short bit, but the draining day forced us all to bed quickly! Can you imagine how tired I was?!?! I’ll just say, that I remember getting into bed, but I don’t even remember laying my head down. I truly think I was asleep before I hit the pillow!!

Tomorrow was Hollywood Studios, and my family had convinced me to audition for American Idol. Stay tuned to see how THAT goes!

ZFamily5
07-16-2011, 11:47 AM
Awwww! This whole update had me sitting here with a smile on my face! I'm sure my family thought I was crazy! LOVE Avabelle's reaction to seeing the castle and the picture of Avabelle and Shae on the monorail is too cute! Everything about this update made me smile, from Mahna and Pahta on IASW to Tyson's face riding IASW! Thanks for starting my day off right! Can't wait to hear more!

mermaid764
07-16-2011, 01:53 PM
Awww Avabelle's reaction to the castle had to be the most precious thing I have ever seen, what an awesome picture!

What an amazing night you guys had at the MK, and yay for finally feeling better.

Can't wait for more:goodvibes

micandminforever
07-16-2011, 01:57 PM
Your pictures were wonderful. Thank You for allowing us to is MK through the eyes of the young and the young at heart. Matt and his brother were lucky to be raised in a home with parent that love just being with each other and family. I am sure that has carried over into their marriages, and been a blessing to you and your SIL.

cdotla
07-16-2011, 02:05 PM
Great report so far!

Love your neice's reaction to seeing the Castle for the 1st time!

And that shot of the 2 brothers walking with their daughters on their shoulders through the Parks is ADORABLE! I can see why their wives and parents were so moved. Great capture with the photos!!:goodvibes

American Idol audition?!! I am definitely excited to hear about this!!!:banana:

Sooze
07-16-2011, 04:39 PM
Awwww! This whole update had me sitting here with a smile on my face! I'm sure my family thought I was crazy! LOVE Avabelle's reaction to seeing the castle and the picture of Avabelle and Shae on the monorail is too cute! Everything about this update made me smile, from Mahna and Pahta on IASW to Tyson's face riding IASW! Thanks for starting my day off right! Can't wait to hear more!
So glad I could start your day with a smile! :goodvibes It was such a magical day!!

Awww Avabelle's reaction to the castle had to be the most precious thing I have ever seen, what an awesome picture!

What an amazing night you guys had at the MK, and yay for finally feeling better.

Can't wait for more:goodvibes
We caught so many great moments with Avabelle... that was the beginning of a face-filled-with-excitement trip for her! Stay tuned for more adorableness!

Your pictures were wonderful. Thank You for allowing us to is MK through the eyes of the young and the young at heart. Matt and his brother were lucky to be raised in a home with parent that love just being with each other and family. I am sure that has carried over into their marriages, and been a blessing to you and your SIL.
Thanks so much! We tried to keep our iPhones handy and our lenses pointed at Avabelle at all times!

And you are SO right! ALL of us (my SIL and I included) come from families where mom and dad stayed intact our whole lives. I don't know how that happened, but it is a correct assumption that the love of just being together has blessed all of our lives and marriages!
Great report so far!

Love your neice's reaction to seeing the Castle for the 1st time!

And that shot of the 2 brothers walking with their daughters on their shoulders through the Parks is ADORABLE! I can see why their wives and parents were so moved. Great capture with the photos!!:goodvibes

American Idol audition?!! I am definitely excited to hear about this!!!:banana:

Thanks so much! I knew this was going to be an amazing trip to write about! So glad you're here to enjoy!

American Idol audition! Let's just say it was an AMAZING morning for us all at DHS!! :woohoo:

Aunt Bee
07-16-2011, 05:39 PM
Great Trip Report and what a beautiful family! Our extended family of 20 is heading to WDW the week after Christmas (are we crazy??) for our own Grand Adventure. We have our family reunions at WDW every 3 years and this year we decided to choose the Holiday time; hope we won't regret it.

This year we will have a 3 year old and a 4 year old who will see the castle for the first time. They've actually seen it before but were too young to remember. Anyhow, just seeing your little one's face made me smile and also made me very excited to think of my two little granddaugthers seeing the castle and meeting a princess for the first time.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures and your story.

Aunt Bee

Native NYer
07-16-2011, 05:59 PM
Avabelle's expressions are just priceless! I love seeing how excited kids get when they experience the magic of Disney.

BsAngel
07-17-2011, 11:36 AM
Cant wait hurry up the girls remind me of my neices when we took them at that age oh what memories :goodvibes

mreid1974
07-17-2011, 12:28 PM
subbing!!! Really enjoying your TR thus far. Have always wanted to try O'Hana and after reading this we are definatly gonna have to try it. I also love reading first time trips for people. Whether it be kids or adults. And seeing her face seeing the castle for the first time reminds me of when we took my step son to Disney for the first time.

Queenofallthings
07-17-2011, 03:58 PM
I have to say I am loving your TR! The kiddies are beyond adorable and the adults look like they all get along so well...you can just tell how much fun you're all having!! Great update!!

Sooze
07-19-2011, 01:24 PM
Great Trip Report and what a beautiful family! Our extended family of 20 is heading to WDW the week after Christmas (are we crazy??) for our own Grand Adventure. We have our family reunions at WDW every 3 years and this year we decided to choose the Holiday time; hope we won't regret it.

This year we will have a 3 year old and a 4 year old who will see the castle for the first time. They've actually seen it before but were too young to remember. Anyhow, just seeing your little one's face made me smile and also made me very excited to think of my two little granddaugthers seeing the castle and meeting a princess for the first time.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful pictures and your story.

Aunt Bee
Yes. Yes you ARE crazy! But the memories you make together will be worth the crowds and expenses!! :thumbsup2

One thing we learned having Avabelle with us, is to have the cameras out and ready and aimed at her face at all times!! :goodvibes

And thank YOU for following along with us!
Avabelle's expressions are just priceless! I love seeing how excited kids get when they experience the magic of Disney.
It was great for us having a first-timer... since we go so often, that feeling of awe and amazement gets lost for us (unless we witness something new, like the Memories show at the castle!!). So we just LOVED having Avabelle with us!

Cant wait hurry up the girls remind me of my neices when we took them at that age oh what memories :goodvibes
Updates to come soon!! Thanks for waiting and for enjoying the memories!

subbing!!! Really enjoying your TR thus far. Have always wanted to try O'Hana and after reading this we are definatly gonna have to try it. I also love reading first time trips for people. Whether it be kids or adults. And seeing her face seeing the castle for the first time reminds me of when we took my step son to Disney for the first time.
Welcome! And thanks for commenting!! I hope you give O'hana a try, and that you love it as much as we do! I've heard of some people having bad experiences, but we have NEVER had a bad one there!

Glad I could bring back a wonderful memory for you!

I have to say I am loving your TR! The kiddies are beyond adorable and the adults look like they all get along so well...you can just tell how much fun you're all having!! Great update!!

So happy you are liking the TR! I had a feeling this would be a fun one to write!

This October, I'm taking a trip with the kids, another family of friends, and another mutual friend of mine. We are all HEAVILY involved in community theater (including the kids). I think it's going to be another amazing trip and hilarious trip report!

This December, we are taking our first cruise and it's a NYE cruise! So... I'm thinking I'll have LOTS of fun TRs this year. I'm truly blessed!! :littleangel:

Sooze
07-19-2011, 01:29 PM
Here are the few pictures we had taken in front of the castle that very special first night!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0004FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0008FourBySix.jpg

Love the brotherly love in this one. Matt is purposely blocking Ben's face. Some things never change, eh?:laughing:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0010FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0015FourBySix.jpg

Fantasyland Mom
07-19-2011, 01:38 PM
I have loved reading this so much that I subscribed AND went back and read some of your other reports:thumbsup2!

jeremysdisneymom
07-19-2011, 02:29 PM
Love Avabelle's pictures the first time in the Magic Kingdom. It is just precious.

I also love the picture of Shae and her with Tink in their hands.

Okay, where is Miss Shae's princess ears? Please don't tell me that she is not wearing them now. I loved how she wore then in your other reports!

mermaid764
07-19-2011, 02:38 PM
Your pictures turned out great, I love the one of the girls holding Tinkerbell.

I also love your shirt Sooze, is that from the parks?

Sooze
07-19-2011, 03:07 PM
I have loved reading this so much that I subscribed AND went back and read some of your other reports:thumbsup2!
:goodvibes You just made my day!! Thank you so much!!!

Love Avabelle's pictures the first time in the Magic Kingdom. It is just precious.

I also love the picture of Shae and her with Tink in their hands.

Okay, where is Miss Shae's princess ears? Please don't tell me that she is not wearing them now. I loved how she wore then in your other reports!
:rotfl: She DID bring the ears... but didn't wear them as much. Honestly, I think it was the HEAT! Plus, she was always so distracted with her fun times with Avabelle, that we would forget about the ears! She still has them though... I'm sure they'll be back for our fall trip!:thumbsup2
Your pictures turned out great, I love the one of the girls holding Tinkerbell.

I also love your shirt Sooze, is that from the parks?
Thanks! I tried to use Photopass as much as possible since we pre-ordered the CD.

My shirt is actually a Wal-Mart special! Sometimes I find some really cute ones there!

mickeyfan71
07-19-2011, 03:39 PM
Just found your TR and I have already subbed! You and your family seem like y'all have so much fun together! Excited to see Avabelles reactions to more firsts and the funny photos!

Queenofallthings
07-19-2011, 08:36 PM
Great pictures!

I too love your shirt...that color looks really good on you! Brothers...some things never change do they:confused3 My sister and I are the same way....she would argue that it's more me than her though:rotfl2:

disneylovin24
07-19-2011, 08:49 PM
Stumbled across you TR tonight. I knew I had to read it when I saw the family picture featuring everyone in Yankees shirts:thumbsup2


The photos of your neice witnessing everything for the first time are too precious! I can't stop smiling looking at them.

This is the second TR I've read today with pictures of Ohana food. It looks so good, I so want to be there eating it right now.


Can't wait to read more:goodvibes

glennbo123
07-19-2011, 09:47 PM
Love the brotherly love in this one. Matt is purposely blocking Ben's face. Some things never change, eh?:laughing:

And it looks like Pahta is up to no good too. His hand is coming down on Ben's head. Other than that, the pictures look like family portraits -- really great!

teachermommy78
07-19-2011, 09:50 PM
Oh my goodness!!! How sweet is that update!!! Great update so far! You all seem like such a fun bunch!

ZFamily5
07-19-2011, 11:27 PM
Great pictures! I especially love the one of Shae and Avabelle! Too cute!

Sooze
07-20-2011, 08:49 AM
Just found your TR and I have already subbed! You and your family seem like y'all have so much fun together! Excited to see Avabelles reactions to more firsts and the funny photos!
Welcome!! :banana: I'm happy you found me, and that you are enjoying the report!! Lots of fun stuff to come!

Great pictures!

I too love your shirt...that color looks really good on you! Brothers...some things never change do they:confused3 My sister and I are the same way....she would argue that it's more me than her though:rotfl2:
You know, sometimes it's a pain in the rear to stop what you are doing and make time for photopass pictures (we usually blow right past them), but I'm so glad we took that time! Such great pictures of ALL of us!

Thanks for the kind words... Most of my Wal Mart shirts don't fit right, or get shrunk accidentally in the wash, but this one has really turned out to be a great purchase! And, as my mom tells me, it makes my eyes look really blue :)

How funny about you and your sister... I am the same with my little sister. We are still complete goofballs and I love it!

Stumbled across you TR tonight. I knew I had to read it when I saw the family picture featuring everyone in Yankees shirts:thumbsup2
Welcome! :woohoo: I often wonder how many people I've turned AWAY with that picture!:rotfl: I'm sure some Boston-type folks have QUICKLY clicked off my report!


The photos of your neice witnessing everything for the first time are too precious! I can't stop smiling looking at them.
They make me smile, too. It was so magical!

This is the second TR I've read today with pictures of Ohana food. It looks so good, I so want to be there eating it right now.
Me too!! Have you eaten there before?


Can't wait to read more:goodvibes
Update coming today! :thumbsup2

And it looks like Pahta is up to no good too. His hand is coming down on Ben's head. Other than that, the pictures look like family portraits -- really great!
:lmao:I did not notice that! Looks like they are both ganging up on poor Uncle Ben!

Oh my goodness!!! How sweet is that update!!! Great update so far! You all seem like such a fun bunch!
Glad you enjoyed it!!

Great pictures! I especially love the one of Shae and Avabelle! Too cute!
Thanks so much! When they took that picture, Auntie Cindy said, "What are they doing with their hands?" I said, "Do you want me to tell you, or do you want to be surprised?" She said, "Ooo! I'll be surprised!!" It's SO much fun to be in Disney with people who don't 'know it all';)

Native NYer
07-20-2011, 09:01 AM
Great pictures!
They really capture everyone's excitement.

Sooze
07-20-2011, 12:14 PM
Great pictures!
They really capture everyone's excitement.

Thanks a bunch! Looks like you're getting closer to some excitement with Mickey!!

Sooze
07-20-2011, 02:08 PM
After a solid night’s sleep, we all woke up rested and ready to go! Our goal was to get to DHS at rope drop, send Matt flying to the TSM FP machines, send myself flying to AIE auditions, and just see what happened from there!

The first thing I noticed this morning was Shaelyn’s rash. Not only did her cheeks NOT look any better, but it had spread down her legs and arms. I started thinking of all of the allergic reactions she could be having.. detergent? Food? We weren’t TOO panicked, though, because the rash was not bothering Shae at all. No itching, no pain… it just looked nasty! We decided to ride it out another day and see what happens.

After eating a quick breakfast at the villa, I took a step out onto my balcony for some fresh air, only to see this:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1629.jpg
:scared1:
Uh, yeeeaaaahhh…. NOT what you want to be seeing in Disney World. We quickly turned on the TV to find out it was a hotel off-property that burned to the ground. This was not a guest hotel, but more of a living place for people with no means to own a home or rent an apartment. I was glad to hear that no tourists had their vacations ruined, but saddened for the people who lost their only ‘home’.

With that taken care of, I had time to snap a quick picture of the view from our amazing villa:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1630.jpg
(LOVED being on the top floor!)

And soon we were out the door and on our way. Hmmmm…. Should we walk to DHS or hop on a boat?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1633.jpg
BOAT BOAT BOAT BOAT BOAT!!!

Ok, guess we’re taking a boat! The princesses were decked out and settled comfortable in their royal carriages:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1635.jpg

And soon, our FriendShip was ready to take us (ever so slowly) to DHS:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1637.jpg

The back seats were open, and our large group quickly took them over:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1639.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1641.jpg

The crowd level at DHS was actually not too bad! We made it through the gates smoothly and I was soon shoved away by my family. GO AUDITION FOR AMERICAN IDOL!!!
When I arrived at auditions, there was one other young man with me. We sat through Ryan Seacrest’s spiel and I soon found myself in a tiny room with a very nice gentleman. He introduced himself and asked me some questions about me. He gave me a cute button with my name on it that said “I auditioned for American Idol”. He asked me to sing, and I did…. And he quickly sent me on to the next round! The Coke Lounge was waiting for me!:thumbsup2

Lighting fixture in the lounge:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1642.jpg

Coca Cola décor everywhere:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1645.jpg

In this room, they have iPods loaded with the 100 songs that you can choose from. In the 1st round, you can sing whatever you want. If you make it to the 2nd round, you have to pick from their list. Since I had done this before (and felt like SUCH the pro), I chose the same song as last time, since it worked for me. I sang “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by good ol’ Whitney Houston (before she went crazy).

There were at least 6 people waiting in the Coke Lounge. We all had our head phones on and were practicing our tunes for the next round of auditions. This is the list of songs that I pretended I was taking a picture of… but I was really video recording what it sounded like in the lounge. You can hear a guy singing.... usually, you can hear 3 or 4 people singing at a time!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/th_IMG_1646.jpg (http://s160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/?action=view&current=IMG_1646.mp4)

I was watching a young girl across from me, who was there with her mom, trying desperately to choose a song. Since the competition is karaoke-style, there really weren’t too many contemporary songs. She kept saying, “I don’t KNOW any of these songs… they’re so old!” :sad2:Thanks a lot, kid…..

Soon I was in front of the producer, who had me sing my song for him. The words were on a screen behind him so it was karaoke style. I did my Whitney song along with a back up (I Can See Clearly Now). He was very quick to play the Ryan Seacrest video for me that told me I MADE IT!!!!! And told me to stick with Whitney.

Now, that was the cool part. But even cooler still was that they put me in the very first show of the day, and they put me in the 2nd singer slot. Now, if any of you have seen the show, there are 3 singers. Before each singer sings, they do a little ‘bit’ with the host. The 1st slot gets to have a special message from their favorite American Idol played for them. (This was the slot I had last time, and Kelly Clarkson told me to relax and have fun.) The 3rd time slot has a video bit where they go out into the crowds before the show and have people chanting for that person. For example, if it was me, they would’ve filmed people yelling “SUSIE IS MY AMERICAN IDOL!!” and silly stuff like that. But the 2nd slot… the 2nd slot is the BEST because they do a whole video montage. They interviewed me, they took video footage of me dancing, giving thumbs up by the AIE sign, running down the hall, being silly… then they put it all together into a great video that played before I sang. And because it took extra time for me to film this video, they gave me two fast passes for ANY attraction at DHS. Each fast pass would get up to 5 people in!!

Here I am with my bling bling. You can see the crew behind me filming another 2nd slot contestant.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1652.jpg

They day was just awesome, but I was in for another quick surprise. As I was standing and waiting for my turn with the film crew, I spotted a DISer meandering past the filming location! DDDisrunner, AKA Diane and her family! I walked right out to her, catching her off guard, I think, and just yelled “DIANE!?” We had time for a quick picture:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1654.jpg

She asked when my show was, which was 12:30, and unfortunately, they already had ADRs for lunch, so they were going to miss it. Oh well….

I got in touch with the family, who were all off riding rides and seeing VoTLM. We finally reconnected with hugs and cheers! We had about an hour to kill before I had to report back to AIE. We caught Donald and Daisy while we tried to figure out what to do next.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1656.jpg

And a quick visit with Stitch. (Whom Avabelle had NO CLUE about! )
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1658.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1660.jpg

After a bit of milling around, we decided to head over to Star Tours. I was surprised the wait was not too long, but the line did extend beyond the queue while the CMs were trying to reroute the wait. And here, here was the first ‘unmagical’ moment of our trip. When Sooze almost got in a tiff with another guest. Yeah… here’s what happened:

You know when the line extends out of the queue and most normal human beings look for the end of the line and get in it? Then you have those selfish, unaware-of-their-surroundings, it’s-all-about-me-and-mine kind of people, who just push their way into line like it’s a funnel instead of a line? Yeah.. you know what I’m talking about. Well at LEAST four families cut in front of us, and by the time another family started weaseling their way in, I was OVER IT. I said… kinda loudly …”REALLY?! Do you not see the line behind us? REALLY?!?!!” And the mom turned to me and said (super duper SNOTTY, btw) “I’m SORRY. We didn’t know there was a line!!!!”

….


….


….
:confused:


REALLY? Really. Now, if I had any ounce of confrontational bones in my body I would’ve barked right back at her and said, “How could you NOT see the line?” Or “Do you see it NOW? Why don’t you go get IN it!!?” No. I backed off and said, “I’m sorry. You’re just the 5th family to cut in front of us.” (And no, I was not snotty at all… truly.) So you ‘d think she’d get out of line and go to the back? NOPE. She and her family stayed in front of us, along with the 4 others that cut as well. This brought about our word for when things didn’t go exactly the way we wanted:

UNMAGICAL.

Oh well. Time to shake it off and see what this refurb was all about.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1662.jpg

Cindy was asking what kind of ride this was and I told her it’s a simulator… totally not scary and that Shae had ridden it before. Avabelle should be fine! What I didn’t realize or remember, was that Cindy suffers from Vertigo. :headache:Doh!! About 30 seconds into the ride, I could see that she was miserable!!! She was closing her eyes and holding her head. I felt so bad!!! Afterwards, she had to sit on a bench for a while and recover. Uh oh… two unmagical moments in a row!

After torturing Cindy on Star Wars, it was time for me to head back to AIE for my big performance! I gave the family hugs and they gave me wonderful words of encouragement. They were going to get VIP seating and early entrance so they kind of hung around the AIE and waited.

I met the AIE CM outside of the stage door and was introduced to the two girls I’d be singing with. One was an adorable 14 year old who was singing Pat Benetar’s “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and the other was a 20-something who was singing “Independence Day” by Martina McBride. This girl had vocal cords of STEEL… she was awesome! Anyway, we were escorted into the green room:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1664.jpg

We were given instructions about how the next hour was going to go. We split into three stations. One was hair/makeup, one was vocal coaching, and the last was quiet time in the green room. Each one of us was at a station at a time. I started with hair/makeup, then moved on to my vocal coaching session (loved it!) and ended up with the green room time. They had great American Idol coffee table books to peruse, so time went quickly.

Finally, it was time to get on stage. We were able to do a practice run of our songs. The VIPs were already in the audience, so my family got to see my practice run. They were AWESOME fans… just screaming and cheering for me. And, with 8 of them there, I had, by far, the biggest personal fan club!

The show was great, and it was a full house. If you’re interested, here is a video of my big performance!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/th_IMG_0308.jpg (http://s160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/?action=view&current=IMG_0308.mp4)

In the end, the girl who sang Indpendence Day was the winner, which was COMPLETELY justified. She was AMAZING!!! Tyson held it together and didn’t cry when I lost (like he did last time) and I was relieved that I was able to share this VERY MAGICAL experience with my family and didn’t have to come back for more this evening!

We were all ecstatic and starving and ready for a break at the villa. We had a wonderful walk back home, and were actually stopped a few time by people who had been in the audience of AIE. They were so supportive and complimentary of me… I felt like a little celebrity. (And this continued later in the week with a surprise encounter…..)

Up next… afternoon breaks and more DHS!!

Sooze
07-20-2011, 02:12 PM
I have TONS of Photopass pictures from American Idol Experience that I'll be posting at the end of Day 2. So if you want to see more... they're coming! :goodvibes

ZFamily5
07-20-2011, 02:27 PM
That's so cool you got to do the AIE!! Thing2 wanted to do it, but she wasn't quite old enough. Maybe next time...can't wait to see the Photopass pictures of it! Did you get a copy of the video montage they made of you?

jeremysdisneymom
07-20-2011, 02:43 PM
:cool1:Yay, I am so glad you got to do American Idol. Sure wish we had been in the park that day. Would have loved to seen it!

I can't believe we missed Donald and Daisy dressed that way. I love Daisy and would have jumped in that picture!

shannon47142
07-20-2011, 03:34 PM
How cool for you!! I dont know you, but I felt so proud of you as I watched your video:goodvibes

disneylovin24
07-20-2011, 04:53 PM
WOW, not a pretty sight to wake up too:scared1: Happy it wasn't on disney property.

So cool that you got to try out for AIE. Watched your video, you are amazing! I always wished that I had the ability to sing, you are so lucky that you do!

mermaid764
07-20-2011, 04:58 PM
Wow how awesome that you've made it to the stage twice now, your performance was amazing!

Hopefully Shae's rash was nothing serious, and yikes about that building burning down.

Can't wait for more:goodvibes

Sooze
07-20-2011, 05:33 PM
That's so cool you got to do the AIE!! Thing2 wanted to do it, but she wasn't quite old enough. Maybe next time...can't wait to see the Photopass pictures of it! Did you get a copy of the video montage they made of you?
It is so much fun! You have to be 14 to audition. Sure hope Thing2 makes it happen in a few years! Unfortunately, due to copyright garbage, there is NO video documentation of my AIE other than the bootleg cell phone video my husband took (which, I'm pretty sure, is illegal!) :rolleyes1 I forgot to tell him to video record that beginning part too... bummer, because it was TOTALLY fun!

:cool1:Yay, I am so glad you got to do American Idol. Sure wish we had been in the park that day. Would have loved to seen it!

I can't believe we missed Donald and Daisy dressed that way. I love Daisy and would have jumped in that picture!
The whole American Idol thing just worked out perfectly. Getting into the first show meant we could do that, then head home for lunch... it was perfect timing and my family was so proud of me for getting on stage!

I loved their outfits too! I've never seen them dressed that way!
How cool for you!! I dont know you, but I felt so proud of you as I watched your video:goodvibes
Aw, thanks! It's crazy what the DISboards can do! :banana:
WOW, not a pretty sight to wake up too:scared1: Happy it wasn't on disney property.

So cool that you got to try out for AIE. Watched your video, you are amazing! I always wished that I had the ability to sing, you are so lucky that you do!
Thank you so much! I am thankful every day for the gifts I've been blessed with!! It took me a long time to be comfortable enough with myself to share those gifts with others!

Wow how awesome that you've made it to the stage twice now, your performance was amazing!

Hopefully Shae's rash was nothing serious, and yikes about that building burning down.

Can't wait for more:goodvibes
Maybe the THIRD time I get on stage, I'll actually make it to the finals. Not that I minded NOT winning in any way.. I just think it would be cool to see how that final show is different!

You'll just have to stay tuned to find out about that annoying rash... ;)

micandminforever
07-20-2011, 08:02 PM
I loved the video, I know your family was proud.

How was the new Star Wars?

I hate people that break in line. Even when I do not say anything I have been know to give them what my husband calls my teacher look. It has been know to stop a middle schooler from breaking in line in the lunch room.

MNTwinsMom
07-20-2011, 11:18 PM
Popping in again to say I'm enjoying your report.

The pictures in front of the castle turned out great - you can't even tell you're in pain :) I love photopass because you can get EVERYONE in the photo. (even the trip report writer who is usually behind the camera)

I enjoyed your American Idol report. What a great experience to have done it twice and to have a fan club along this time! :cheer2: Which trip report would have your first time in it? I may have to go back and check it out.

One more question, if I can push my luck . . . are you DVC owners? Just curious if you used your own points to get your villa, rented points or paid directly through Disney. (not that it's any of my business) :rolleyes1

heaven2dc
07-21-2011, 12:37 PM
How awesome that you are gifted with such a beautiful voice and got to audition for American Idol twice! Would love to see a fellow Diser onstage sometime plus a celebrity such as yourself!

How cool that you got to see Diane and family! It's funny how so many Diser's on here are celebrities ;)

Sooze
07-21-2011, 12:54 PM
I loved the video, I know your family was proud.
They were... especially the in-laws because they rarely get to see me perform. It was awesome to share that with them!

How was the new Star Wars?
Ya know, I was barely able to pay attention because I was so worried about Cindy. I do remember that the 3D was AWESOME and that the new scenes were so updated and cool. I' can't wait to ride it again when I can enjoy myself and not spend the whole ride feeling guilty!

I hate people that break in line. Even when I do not say anything I have been know to give them what my husband calls my teacher look. It has been know to stop a middle schooler from breaking in line in the lunch room.
Oh my.. you teach middle school? :worship:You must have an AMAZING teacher look!! :laughing:

Popping in again to say I'm enjoying your report.

The pictures in front of the castle turned out great - you can't even tell you're in pain :) I love photopass because you can get EVERYONE in the photo. (even the trip report writer who is usually behind the camera)
One of the benefits of doing theater... I can fake my pain-free belly for Photopass Pictures! :goodvibes I always realize when I start putting my TRs together how I'm hardly ever in any pictures. Seems unfair, doesn't it?

I enjoyed your American Idol report. What a great experience to have done it twice and to have a fan club along this time! :cheer2: Which trip report would have your first time in it? I may have to go back and check it out.
Here's a link to the report. Just click on the "American Idol Experience" link once you get there! Enjoy! Just be warned, there aren't a lot of pictures at all, but a pretty detailed explanation of my experience..including a run in with a REAL LIFE celebrity!

Sooze's 1st American Idol Experience TR (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?p=30575174#post30575174)

One more question, if I can push my luck . . . are you DVC owners? Just curious if you used your own points to get your villa, rented points or paid directly through Disney. (not that it's any of my business) :rolleyes1
:rotfl: It's totally fine you asked! We are, indeed, DVC members. We own at SSR and AKL but prefer to stay at BWV and BCV because they let us walk into our favorite park!

How awesome that you are gifted with such a beautiful voice and got to audition for American Idol twice! Would love to see a fellow Diser onstage sometime plus a celebrity such as yourself!
Aw... thank you so much! I appreciate that a lot! :hug:

How cool that you got to see Diane and family! It's funny how so many Diser's on here are celebrities ;)
My husband thinks it's just bizarre that I will go up to random Disers and be all friendly with them like I've known them forever. He just doesn't get our happy little community!

GreatBiscuit
07-21-2011, 05:22 PM
Hey Sooze!

Enjoyed reading your TR this afternoon.

Great start.

I'm looking forward to more!

Grumpy's Wife
07-21-2011, 05:30 PM
I'm joining in a little late but I just finished reading the whole report so far. I love the fact that you are there with family. We've been on two Grand Gathering trips with 15 of us. So many memories to be had.

I love all your pictures and you did such a great job singing on American Idol.

micandminforever
07-21-2011, 05:41 PM
Oh my.. you teach middle school? :worship:You must have an AMAZING teacher look!! :laughing:


I should have phrased the lunchroom comment in the past tense. I am a retired middle school teacher. I did spend 29 years in middle school so I do have a good don't even think about it look.

Sooze
07-21-2011, 05:59 PM
Hey Sooze!

Enjoyed reading your TR this afternoon.

Great start.

I'm looking forward to more!
GB!!! :goodvibes So glad you're here!! Thanks for checking in!

I'm joining in a little late but I just finished reading the whole report so far. I love the fact that you are there with family. We've been on two Grand Gathering trips with 15 of us. So many memories to be had.

I love all your pictures and you did such a great job singing on American Idol.
Welcome! :yay: I'm happy to have you along. This was our first time traveling with family and we are hooked. We have already talked about making it an every-two-or-three year thing!

Thanks for your kind words about American Idol!
I should have phrased the lunchroom comment in the past tense. I am a retired middle school teacher. I did spend 29 years in middle school so I do have a good don't even think about it look.
Even still... it takes a special soul to teach that age!! I can only imagine what that look is like!! It must be MUCH more intense than mine. 3rd graders are much easier to intimidate!;)

Queenofallthings
07-21-2011, 10:17 PM
Another great update:worship: My dad called me at work the morning that place was on fire because he thought it was AKL and that we would have to find somewhere else to stay in August!

Your performance on AI was so good! I couldn't carry a tune if it was in my pocket so I always appreciate when people can sing....for years I thought I could but everyone kept telling me different:rotfl2:

Great picture with Dianne and her family....she's one of my favorite people!

teachermommy78
07-22-2011, 09:50 AM
EEEEEEE!!!!!! how awesome!!!! What date was this? I can't wait to get home and watch the video!

Silly Girl
07-22-2011, 10:43 AM
Great report! We were there the same week. Unfortunately we did not go to DHS on the same day. Wish we had, so enjoyed your AIE performance you posted. You have an amazing voice. Interested to hear about your daughters rash. My DD had an awful rash just like that when we were there about 5 years ago. She was 10 then and never actually found out what it was but think it was due to the heat.

Sooze
07-23-2011, 05:24 PM
Another great update:worship: My dad called me at work the morning that place was on fire because he thought it was AKL and that we would have to find somewhere else to stay in August!
Now THAT would've stunk!

Your performance on AI was so good! I couldn't carry a tune if it was in my pocket so I always appreciate when people can sing....for years I thought I could but everyone kept telling me different:rotfl2:
Aw, thanks so much! So YOU would've been one of those people that audition for the REAL American Idol who really think they're good but they're not? :lovestruc Hilarious!

Great picture with Dianne and her family....she's one of my favorite people!
That whole family is just awesome! I was so glad I got to see them for even a few moments!

EEEEEEE!!!!!! how awesome!!!! What date was this? I can't wait to get home and watch the video!
This was Monday, June 27. Hope you enjoy the video!!:thumbsup2

Great report! We were there the same week. Unfortunately we did not go to DHS on the same day. Wish we had, so enjoyed your AIE performance you posted. You have an amazing voice. Interested to hear about your daughters rash. My DD had an awful rash just like that when we were there about 5 years ago. She was 10 then and never actually found out what it was but think it was due to the heat.

That would've been fun if you were able to see my performance! Maybe next time. You shall hear about the rash soon. Did your DD's rash itch or hurt? If not, it may have been the same thing!

Sooze
07-23-2011, 07:23 PM
After an amazing morning, we were all tired and hungry. We had a lovely walk back to the villa, where we made lunch and enjoyed the AC.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1666.jpg

Since this was the first time we were all in the villa together, awake, and not trying to run off somewhere, I decided it would be a perfect time to present the family with the shirts I had made for them. Now, I didn’t take any pictures of the presentations, but you’ll have to keep reading my TR to see them when we actually wear them! As soon as I presented the shirts, the gifts started flying. Ben and Cindy gave Tyson a $25 gift card for his birthday along with some other Disney goods. They also gave Shaelyn some ADORABLE outfits, which just so happened to match some of Avabelle’s things! There were lots of other gifts flying around… it was lots of fun! H
Tyson taking time away from the gifts to eat a bite.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1670.jpg

The girls playing with some new princess dolls.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1671.jpg

After a calm lunch and some rest time at the resort, we were on our way back to DHS. We still had much to share, including the long-awaited viewing of Beauty and the Beast. I have to say, Tyson has probably not seen this show since Shae was born. I always take her while he and Matt are off doing big-kid stuff. I also have to say, he was NOT happy to have to sit through it again! Once I pointed out, however, that he needed to keep an eye on Avabelle, since she was about to see it all for the first time, he perked up. And, honestly, I think he enjoyed it… just a bit!
The girls kept themselves entertained with their new princess dolls, as they had quite a wait before showtime.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1675.jpg

I had plenty of time to sit and scope out the extent of Shaelyn’s rash. Look at this nasty thing:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1681.jpg

I made the decision that I was going to HAVE to take her to immediate care the next day. It just was NOT getting any better… it was getting worse!

As you can see, we had some great seats way up front. We were right on the edge of a row, too, so the girls would have an unobstructed view of the stage.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1684.jpg

Soon, we were enjoying this wonderful show.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1685.jpg

She couldn’t pull her eyes off the stage.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1692.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1695.jpg

When Beast emerged on stage, Avabelle’s gasp was quite loud!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1697.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1699.jpg

We had an AWESOME Gaston. (He is my favorite in this stage show!)
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1708.jpg

And then, the moment we’ve been waiting for. Belle coming out in her beautiful yellow gown!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1718.jpg

Couldn’t you just die with the sweetness of that expression! She was thrilled beyond words!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1725.jpg

So here it comes… are you ready? The moment I got the title for this trip report…. We were emerging from the show and gathering our group of 9 in front of the amphitheatre. As we are congregating, Cindy announces, “That was so good, I just have to bevel!!” Ah… a phrase that only an experienced dancer would ever conjure up! “What is it?” you ask? Well, if you’ve seen the Beauty and the Beast musical at DHS, you’ve actually seen plenty of beveling! It’s when a dancer pulls one foot next to the other and pops up the heel. Wait… you’d like to see what it looks like? Well, you’re in luck because just as Cindy was announcing her need to bevel, we were taking an adorable picture of the girls:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1726.jpg

And Avabelle hears her mommy mention the bevel… at which she immediately pops her foot into the most perfect bevel ever! I died! I said, “Avabelle… can you teach Shae how to bevel?” Oh.. of course!! She jumped right on that! Here is there little lesson taking place:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1728.jpg

And the final product:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/DisneyDay2i.jpg

And from then on, whenever we were happy about something, we all just had to pop our feet into a bevel!! I know… I know… some of you are probably like, “What in the heck? That just isn’t funny?” But you know how things are just hilarious sometimes, but no one else gets it? Just go with it, my friends!!

Somehow we convinced Mahna and Pahta to hang on to the girls while the big kids jumped on Tower of Terror. Oh, yes. I know how! We gave them money and told them to let the girls go buy a toy! Perfect! I was nervous about Cindy.. she had never ridden TOT and after the Star Wars experience, I wasn’t sure about it. But, oh my goodness, am I ever glad she got on the ride! Imagine the first time YOU experienced TOT… you know, back in the day when you didn’t KNOW when the drops were going to happen, so every little thing that happened had you freak out a bit?! That’s what we got to experience with Cindy. She was screaming every 5 seconds and we were all dying! Tyson, the TOT expert, was having an especially great time laughing at his auntie! I was able to snap a few pictures, but soon realized that my iPhone protective skin was overlapping my flash just a teensy bit, so I kept getting this annoying flash refection. So my apologies in advance! Here is Cindy before the ride started. I think she was trying to convince herself that she was having fun!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1731.jpg

Tyson in all of his glory.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1732.jpg

See if you can make out Cindy’s screams! At least they look like screams of enjoyment and not pain!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1733.jpg

Cindy’s verdict? She absolutely LOVED ToT!! YAY!!!

So remember those TSM fast passes that Matt ran to get first thing in the morning? Well, I forgot to mention this earlier, but the ride time was for when I was performing at AIE. So we thought they might not let us use them since our ‘time’ had passed. So we headed over to TSM with a plan. If they let us ride with our old FP, then we’d hop on and save my AIE fast passes for later that day. If they DIDN’T let us ride with our old FP, then we’d use my AIE fast passes to get on. Didjya follow that? So what happened?

Turns out you can use a FP for ANY time, as long as it’s after the first time listed on your FP. YIPPEEE! And, even better, when we got over to TSM, it was JUST reopening after having to shut down for some reason… so it was COMPLETELY empty! We got RIGHT on!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1737.jpg

These two were like giddy little college kids the entire trip. Could they be any cuter?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1741.jpg

And Shaelyn was in heaven with the new toy she got while we were riding TOT.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1742.jpg

Matt and Ty rode together, with Shae and me behind them. When we sat down, we found ourselves face to face with this silliness.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1744.jpg

Can you believe it? I actually beat Shaelyn?!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1746.jpg

Up next… what else can we do at DHS? LOTS!!

ZFamily5
07-24-2011, 06:32 PM
Great update! Love Avabelle's face when she saw Belle on stage! And I love the way your TR title came about! The picture of Avabelle and Shae beveling is adorable! Can't wait to read more!

glennbo123
07-24-2011, 08:37 PM
Great chapter Sooze! That picture of Avabelle is priceless.

JolllyHoliday
07-24-2011, 08:50 PM
Love the pic of your little girls face when she saw Belle's dress. Jusst priceless!

Sooze
07-24-2011, 10:42 PM
Great update! Love Avabelle's face when she saw Belle on stage! And I love the way your TR title came about! The picture of Avabelle and Shae beveling is adorable! Can't wait to read more!
Thanks! We still have more amazing Avabelle reactions ahead.. so be ready!

Great chapter Sooze! That picture of Avabelle is priceless.
Thanks so much! We learned to keep the camera focused on her as much as possible. Her reactions were fabulous!

Love the pic of your little girls face when she saw Belle's dress. Jusst priceless!

Priceless is a great word for it! I'm so glad we were able to be there with her to experience so many firsts!

mickeyfan71
07-25-2011, 09:46 AM
The picture of Avabelle is priceless!

Imagineer5
07-25-2011, 02:02 PM
Awesome report! Still getting caught up!

I have to ask (sorry if this is too personal!) but we are looking into buying DVC and I love the idea of the 2 BR units but I'm wondering something - where did everyone in your party sleep??

Thanks and can't wait for more!

Sooze
07-25-2011, 03:13 PM
The picture of Avabelle is priceless!
Thanks so much! I agree completely!
Awesome report! Still getting caught up!

I have to ask (sorry if this is too personal!) but we are looking into buying DVC and I love the idea of the 2 BR units but I'm wondering something - where did everyone in your party sleep??

Thanks and can't wait for more!
Thanks for checking in!!

In the 2BR unit at BWV there was a 1BR attached to a studio. Matt, me, and our 2 kids stayed in the studio. (2 in the bed, 2 in the sleeper/sofa). Mahna and Pahta slept on the sleeper/sofa located in the living room. Ben and Cindy had a huge king-sized bed in the 1BR. They were going to have Avabelle sleep with them, but we ended up making a bed for her on the floor of the bedroom. When I booked the room, the DVC agent told me that they recommend 8 people max in a 2BR. I said, "Ok... thanks!" :rolleyes:
Since the girls are small, it wasn't a big deal. When the kids are older, we will definitely look into those tree houses!

Oh.. and if THIS isn't too personal, if you DO decide to go into DVC, and you need a name of someone as a 'referral', PM me, and I'll hook you up with our names!! (DVC rewards its members quite nicely when we refer folks :rolleyes1)

Enjoy the TR!!:goodvibes

jeremysdisneymom
08-01-2011, 03:09 PM
Love Avabelle's expression at Beauty and the Beast! Too precious.

The girls are just adorable with their bevel.

Sure hope Shaeyln's rash clears up and she can enjoy her vacation.

zipadeepixie
08-05-2011, 05:17 PM
What a fun trip report. You have the cutest family! I can't wait for your next update!

Sooze
08-06-2011, 07:47 AM
Love Avabelle's expression at Beauty and the Beast! Too precious.

The girls are just adorable with their bevel.

Sure hope Shaeyln's rash clears up and she can enjoy her vacation.
Thanks!! Fortunately, the rash wasn't bothering Shaelyn at all! It was bothering those of us that had to LOOK at it!! :laughing:

What a fun trip report. You have the cutest family! I can't wait for your next update!

Aw, thanks so much!! Update coming up!!

Sooze
08-06-2011, 09:56 AM
We had already experienced SO much on this beautiful DHS day. Our evening was filled with taking as much more in as we could. Here are some pictures of some of the many things we enjoyed!

We sauntered the Streets of America. Since it was desolate, we were able to just relax for a bit here.

The in-laws enjoying their walk:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1747.jpg

Shae and I played on the doorsteps along the street while the rest of the family caught the Muppet Movie. Shae is terrified of 3D (and Star Tours did NOT help). She usually just keeps the glasses off, but I thought she’d enjoy some down time with me instead! Here is the view from one of the many stoops we visited:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1750.jpg

Avabelle really liked the Muppets Movie. So much so, in fact, that she just had to bevel!:thumbsup2
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/DisneyDay2l.jpg

She also had fun pushing her new little Disney baby around in her stroller:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/DisneyDay2k.jpg

At some point, we stopped for a frozen treat. I was surprised that the kids all wanted something fruity, not chocolaty. Strange… but we went with it!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/DIsneyDay2a.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/DisneyDay2b.jpg

Frozen treats are so refreshing, aren’t they Ty?!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/DisneyDay2c.jpg

Avabelle was SO excited to meet more characters! Here are some she encountered at Pixar Place.

Sully!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/DisneyDay2d.jpg

Green Army Man! (She LOVED him!!)
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/DisneyDay2f.jpg

One of my favorite things about traveling with the whole family was that we had LOTS of people to take turns with the strollers!! :goodvibes
Here are Mahna and Pahta before one of their ‘stroller shifts’:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/DisneyDay2j.jpg

As the day started to wind down, we heard from some friends of ours who live in the Orlando area. Corey teaches Carolina Crown with Matt. He and his lovely wife just had their first little boy. They recently purchased APs so they could start bringing the little guy to Disney as much as possible. When they heard we were at DHS, they decided to come over and hang out for a bit. Here is Corey’s wife with their ADORABLE little man!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1751.jpg

Is this baby not just PERFECT?!:lovestruc
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1752.jpg

We decided to use one of my FPs from AIE to ride Rock n Roller Coaster. At this point, Mahna and Pahta were feeling the effects of the day. They opted to walk the girls back home and let the rest of us get our upside-down on!!

I only have one picture to capture this experience… but only one picture is necessary. This is probably my favorite picture from the whole trip. Check it out:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1755.jpg

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

YES!!!! Isn’t it awesome!?!?! Cindy’s face is PRICE. LESS!!! She LOVED the ride and we were able to end the evening on a fabulous fabulous fabulous note!

It was time to head back home, but I had one quick adventure left. Once again, the magic of Facebook has allowed me to meet up with people at Disney… this time, a very dear friend of mine from High School and college, and his wonderful wife were just so happening to be at DHS that very night! We had been texting throughout the evening and finally ended up in the same place at the same time. Instead of making my family come with and sit there while I talked with people that they didn’t know, I sent them home, and went to find Robbie and Alicia on my own! We had a lovely reunion and spent some time chatting. Here we are:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%202%206%2027%2011/IMG_1759.jpg

We shared hugs and parted ways. I was then able to take my very own solo walk all the way back to the Boardwalk. Night time. Quiet. No rushing. No sweating. Sounds and smells of Disney. Oh my goodness… pure Disney heaven, I’m telling you!:cloud9:

We enjoyed a few glasses of wine and relived some of the glorious moments of the day, then headed to bed. We had an EARLY day tomorrow with some EMH at MK!

Sooze
08-06-2011, 10:13 AM
Well, my PhotoPass pictures from this day are almost COMPLETELY from the AIE! Sorry… this is my little homage to MYSELF, I guess!

A few from our Donald and Daisy experience:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0021FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0029FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0032FourBySix.jpg

Now onto…. ME!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0035FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0036FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0039FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0043FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0045FourBySix.jpg

Here I am with the other contestants. The winner is on my left in the red skirt. Again… WOW! She was incredible!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0049FourBySix.jpg

This shot was from my video montage:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0050FourBySix.jpg

So was this:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0051FourBySix.jpg

This is me telling the host how awesome it is that I get to sing on a Disney stage!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0052FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0058FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0066FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0083FourBySix.jpg

Judgment time!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0088FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0089FourBySix.jpg

End of the show, when all of the judges come join us:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0090FourBySix.jpg

micandminforever
08-06-2011, 10:25 AM
Great pictures, the ones with Donald and Daisy are so cute. The American Idol pictures are fun, thanks for sharing the experience.

I agree it is great to meet up with people at Disney and share the Disney magic.:goodvibes The baby was adorable, and to meet up with old friends just adds to the magic.

It is heart warming to see the magic is still in the marriage of your DH's parents, in the handholding pictures.

jamiesmom07
08-06-2011, 10:41 AM
Great so far! I am subbing, and enjoying every minute of it. Thanks for taking the time.

glennbo123
08-06-2011, 11:11 AM
Hey Sooze! Love the picture on RnRC. That's a great ride, isn't it? :thumbsup2

That was great that you got to meet up with some friends during the evening. I'm digging the Nittany Lion logo on Robbie's shirt.

And, last but not least, I'm glad that you posted your AIE photopass pictures because it made me realize that I completely missed that post somehow, so went and caught it. Wow! What a great day!!!

Fantasyland Mom
08-06-2011, 11:16 AM
I love all the Photopass shots!! Such a cool experience!
All the kids in this TR are so adorable! Beveling, babies...too cute!

shannon47142
08-06-2011, 12:03 PM
fun, fun update!! Love your photo pass pics:cool1:

Sooze
08-06-2011, 12:08 PM
Great pictures, the ones with Donald and Daisy are so cute. The American Idol pictures are fun, thanks for sharing the experience.

I agree it is great to meet up with people at Disney and share the Disney magic.:goodvibes The baby was adorable, and to meet up with old friends just adds to the magic.

It is heart warming to see the magic is still in the marriage of your DH's parents, in the handholding pictures.
Thanks for the wonderful comments. It's crazy how Facebook has made that kind of communication and planning so simple!! Love seeing friends from long ago in the happiest place on Earth!

Great so far! I am subbing, and enjoying every minute of it. Thanks for taking the time.
Thank you so much for reading and posting! Glad you are here :banana:

Hey Sooze! Love the picture on RnRC. That's a great ride, isn't it? :thumbsup2

That was great that you got to meet up with some friends during the evening. I'm digging the Nittany Lion logo on Robbie's shirt.

And, last but not least, I'm glad that you posted your AIE photopass pictures because it made me realize that I completely missed that post somehow, so went and caught it. Wow! What a great day!!!
LOVE LOVE LOVE RnRC!! That take-off is worth the wait, for sure. Nice catch on the Nittany Lion. I spent 8 grade - college living in Pennsylvania, which is where Robbie and Alicia are from as well. Glad you could catch up on the AIE. That was one of the highlights of the trip! :thumbsup2

I love all the Photopass shots!! Such a cool experience!
All the kids in this TR are so adorable! Beveling, babies...too cute!
Thanks so much! This was the first time we've ever pre-ordered the PhotoPass CD. I was so glad I did once I actually made it on stage at AIE because they take 100+ pictures of that alone!

Love the beveling.. love it!:lovestruc

disneylovin24
08-07-2011, 07:48 AM
Love all of the Photopass pictures!

Of course you need to bring plenty of people to WDW for stroller duty:thumbsup2

That baby is adorable:cutie:

Queenofallthings
08-07-2011, 08:02 AM
Sounds like another great day! I love the picture of your in-laws walking down the Streets of America holding hands:lovestruc

Your photopass pics are great....they got some really nice shots of you! The ones of Donald and Daisy are adorable...it's a rarity to find them together:thumbsup2

Sooze
08-07-2011, 08:27 AM
Love all of the Photopass pictures!

Of course you need to bring plenty of people to WDW for stroller duty:thumbsup2

That baby is adorable:cutie:
I'm going to feel so overworked the next time we go without family!! :rotfl:
I'll have to let Corey know that the DIS gives his little guy some love. Seriously... the cutest baby I've ever seen! (Besides my own, of course!)

Sounds like another great day! I love the picture of your in-laws walking down the Streets of America holding hands:lovestruc

Your photopass pics are great....they got some really nice shots of you! The ones of Donald and Daisy are adorable...it's a rarity to find them together:thumbsup2

It was a great day. I never would've thought that we would max out a day at DHS, but it's slowly becoming a park that we can easily spend all day in.... and then some!

I never really thought about the fact that Donald and Daisy were together. Now that you mention it, we WERE pretty lucky!

jeremysdisneymom
08-15-2011, 12:11 PM
Love the pictures with Daisy and Donald!

It looks like you had a great day at DHS. Love Avabelle pushing her doll in the stroller.

GreatBiscuit
08-18-2011, 01:25 PM
Hey Sooze!

Finally caught back up.

LOVE the RnRC & AIE pics!

Sooze
08-18-2011, 05:50 PM
Love the pictures with Daisy and Donald!

It looks like you had a great day at DHS. Love Avabelle pushing her doll in the stroller.
Thanks for checking in!! The pictures from this trip are some of my favorites, for sure!

Hey Sooze!

Finally caught back up.

LOVE the RnRC & AIE pics!

Welcome back! It's almost better to wait a while so you aren't bored in between updates!:rotfl:

Sooze
08-18-2011, 05:53 PM
Well, my intentions of rocking this out before school started failed miserably! And... I'm in the middle of rehearsals for another show. I will be performing in the Indiana Community theater premier of "Curtains". It was recently on Broadway with David Hyde Pierce. Very cool show and I have an amazingly fun role! YAY! But with a new school year for my kids and myself, and this show, and Tyson's football, and Shaelyn's ballet... well.. you know how it goes!

I'm still hoping to update on the weekends. Maybe I'll aim for two at a time. We leave for WDW in mid-October, so I know this will at least be done by then!:rolleyes1

Thanks to my faithful followers. It means more to me than you'll know!:love:

ZFamily5
08-18-2011, 06:07 PM
Take your time! We all get busy at this time of year!

GreatBiscuit
08-18-2011, 06:25 PM
Well, my intentions of rocking this out before school started failed miserably! And... I'm in the middle of rehearsals for another show. I will be performing in the Indiana Community theater premier of "Curtains". It was recently on Broadway with David Hyde Pierce. Very cool show and I have an amazingly fun role! YAY! But with a new school year for my kids and myself, and this show, and Tyson's football, and Shaelyn's ballet... well.. you know how it goes!

I'm still hoping to update on the weekends. Maybe I'll aim for two at a time. We leave for WDW in mid-October, so I know this will at least be done by then!:rolleyes1

Thanks to my faithful followers. It means more to me than you'll know!:love:Congrats on the new role!

We'll be here whenever you are able to post.

Sooze
08-20-2011, 09:29 AM
Take your time! We all get busy at this time of year!

Congrats on the new role!

We'll be here whenever you are able to post.

Thanks to both of you!! :hug:

Sooze
08-20-2011, 10:51 AM
A few years ago, my husband forced me to switch to an iPhone. I never felt like I would need something so complex with the ability to do so much. I also feared that I would lose this expensive little computer that I could carry in my purse or pocket. Before my iPhone, I lost MANY a phone (only to find them a few hours or days later), so I had a huge fear of misplacing this expensive gadget.

A few years later, I had learned that this iPhone had become a part of ME. I can’t go anywhere without it, and I check it every 15 minutes or so. And I’m proud to say I’ve NEVER lost it. I even used it as my one and only camera on this trip. So… imagine the horror I felt when we arrived at EMH at MK… Yes EMH at MK… the day the girls were going to ride the perfect rides for THEM and meet two of their favorite princesses. Imagine my horror when I realized I left my phone back at the Boardwalk.:eek: Oh. My. LORD!!! Not only did I forget the communication device… for talking to my family members on the trip, and (MOST importantly) posting Facebook updates, but I forgot my CAMERA!!!

The day was not off to a good start. For me. The rest of the family was pumped up. Mahna and Pahta decided they needed to slow down. They slept in a bit more, hung out at the Boardwalk, then went to Epcot alone. The rest of us waited for the next bus to MK.

Not quite a bevel… but still a cute little lady!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3a.jpg

It was a quick wait and a fun ride, since we only rode the buses this one time! Soon we were at MK and had just missed the rope drop. Oops. As soon as we were inside, Matt and Tyson took off to find more exciting things to do. ABC, Shaelyn, and me? We had a date with Fantasyland! We hit all of the rides that preschool girls would love including Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh, the Carousel, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, It’s a Small World, the Tea Cups… just one right after the other. Morning EMH at MK ROCK!!!

But, man… wouldn’t you love to have seen pictures of all of that?!



Yeah…. Me too. :sad2:



I did steal this one from Cindy:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3g-1.jpg

At around 9:15, we knew the Rapunzel Meet and Greet was going to be starting in 45 minutes, so we headed to that area. There was already a line 50 people deep! They had cut off the 10:00 greet and were starting the line for the 11:00. Already!! WOW!! Cindy got in line and sent Ben, Avabelle, Shae and me off for more fun while she held our spot. The CMs in charge of the line were actually encouraging people to do this. I thought that was interesting…

While we were getting our Carousel on for the 3rd time or so, Ben got a text from Cindy (this was at around 10:30) to hurry and get back over to the Rapunzel area. They were letting a few more people in and Cindy was right at the cut off. The only down side was that the girls would not be able to do the coloring and dancing that they do before Flynn and Rapunzel come out. Well… that sounded ok with us! The girls just wanted to see them… they didn’t have to color. (Besides… Lucky for us, Shae as already done that!)

So we waltzed right in and only had to wait a few minutes. It also meant we were the last ones to see them before their break. So they spent extra long with us! Just before our turn, we asked one of the CMs if we could see Pascal. She went and found him for us!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3b.jpg

We have TONS of Photopass pictures of this experience coming up later, but here are a few that Cindy took. Rapunzel was very excited about Shaelyn’s dress and told Shae that she was Rapunzel’s very first twin of the day. I felt bad because Avabelle had her Rapunzel dress, too, but just wasn’t feeling like wearing it. Here is Rapunzel playing “mirror mirror” with her “twin”
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3c.jpg

And a group shot:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3d.jpg

Sadly, they were getting rid of Flynn just a few days after this was taken. I could write an entire update about how disappointed I am that they keep ousting the princes/guys…. But I’ll save that for another time!

Our next mission was to find Tiana… another one of the girls’ favorite princesses. When we arrived, a small line had started to form and we had a good 30 minutes to wait. Cindy was AWESOME about always packing small snacks, so the girls had a great time nibbling while waiting.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3e.jpg

Soon, the beautiful Tiana arrived…. With NO NAVEEN!!!! WHAT?!?! They ousted him TOO!?! I had no idea and was really disappointed. It’s just not the same without them both. I know Disney is cutting money where they can (Though I still don’t know WHY they have to do that)… but stop ruining guest experiences with characters. That is one of the most important reasons we come here. You can’t just go see Tiana and Naveen anywhere!!

Ok…. I’m done. Here’s a picture for you while I go calm down:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3f.jpg


More to come from Photopass….

We had filled up our morning with great rides and princesses. We were ready to head back to the resort to rest up for our evening at Epcot. On our way out, we stopped to make a few wishes:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3g.jpg

Did you see Avabelle’s toes? Can you tell her mom is a dancer?!

And I think I was wishing to NEVER forget my phone EVER again!!

Perfectly enough, as we were heading out, the next show in front of the castle was about ready to start. We walked right up to the stage and found a place to watch. Here is another priceless Avabelle face as the princesses emerged and waltzed beautifully before her!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3h.jpg

I REALLY hated not having my phone at this point because I LOVE taking pictures of this show. Being able to stand so close to twirling princesses and dazzling Disney dancers provides for some awesome picture moments. Oh well… next time…

We made our way back to the bus stop and were very quickly put on a bus and on our way home. Thankfully, our brief encounters with buses on this day were flawless!

The girls enjoyed some lunch (please notice Avabelle’s pose again!)
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3h-1.jpg

And we were soon reunited with the whole family. At this point, I made the decision to get Shae some medical attention for that blasted rash!!! The rest of the family decided to hit the pool, while Shae and I searched out the urgent care center that was recommended to us by the Concierge…

You know… the same urgent care center that every single Disney CM recommends to every single Disney guest that asks?!

Uh.. yeah. We drove to the clinic, which was very close to DTD, walked in the front door, saw the computer screen that said the next available time was 5 pm (4 HOUR WAIT?!?!?! NO THANK YOU!!!), and turned around, and walked back out to the car! I got on my iPhone (That I was happily reunited with at lunch), used the “Around Me” app to find a Walgreens Take Care Clinic, drove 45 seconds down the road, and walked right in to see a nurse practioner.

HELLO!?! Biggest new Disney tip ever!! Don’t use the Urgent Care clinic that Disney tells you to use! It’s called CVS Minute Clinic and Walgreens Take Care Clinic. Use them, folks!!

Long story short… after a brief examination, Shaelyn was diagnosed with “Fifth Disease”. I remember hearing about it when I was pregnant and a teacher, because it is very risky for women who are pregnant. Well, Shae had it. Basically, it’s a virus, there’s nothing you can do about it, by the time the rash appeared, she was no longer contagious, heat could make the rash appear worse, and enjoy the rest of your time at Disney!

I felt SO much better after hearing the diagnosis. The rash was not bothering Shae at all, it just looked nasty. So now that I knew it was a common virus, and that no one in our group was pregnant, I could relax and enjoy our few precious days we had left.

And tonight was our Teppan Edo night at Epcot… and the night we got to wear our matching T-SHIRTS!! You KNOW you want to stick around to see those, right?!

Before I go, I thought you might want to see one of Mahna and Pahta’s experiences while we were enjoying MK. They bumped into Mahna’s favorite Disney character, Tinkerbell, at International Gateway.

Enjoy!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_2723.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_2722.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_2721.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_2729.jpg

Is she not the cutest Mother-in-Law ever?!

micandminforever
08-20-2011, 12:36 PM
Once again great pictures of the girls and a magical morning. The pictures may have been borrowed and few, but captured the pixie dust and wonder in the girls faces. I look forward to the photopass pictures.

Great news that Shea's rash would not change future plans or be transferred to anyone else. I know you were relieved.

jwwi
08-20-2011, 11:28 PM
Wow, so many updates to read. Looks like your family gathering at WDW is going so well. The girls are so cute together, it must be fun for Shae to share her time there with her cousin. And your in laws are so sweet, I am sure that they are just loving their time there with everyone together. I know I would be!
Congratulations on making it onto AIE again, I love the pictures too! How fun for Tyson to be able to stay with the adults to experience RNRC. Your sister in law's face is priceless.
Your trip reports are always full of such fun experiences and suggestions. I am sure you may save many from long waits for care with your tip to go to CVS or Walgreens to see a NP.

Also, I love the view from your Villa, how beautiful!

Sooze
09-05-2011, 08:51 AM
Once again great pictures of the girls and a magical morning. The pictures may have been borrowed and few, but captured the pixie dust and wonder in the girls faces. I look forward to the photopass pictures.

Great news that Shea's rash would not change future plans or be transferred to anyone else. I know you were relieved.
Thanks a bunch! There are some great Photopass pictures to come, if you're still here...:rolleyes1 I've been AWFUL about getting on the DIS lately.


Wow, so many updates to read. Looks like your family gathering at WDW is going so well. The girls are so cute together, it must be fun for Shae to share her time there with her cousin. And your in laws are so sweet, I am sure that they are just loving their time there with everyone together. I know I would be!
Congratulations on making it onto AIE again, I love the pictures too! How fun for Tyson to be able to stay with the adults to experience RNRC. Your sister in law's face is priceless.
Your trip reports are always full of such fun experiences and suggestions. I am sure you may save many from long waits for care with your tip to go to CVS or Walgreens to see a NP.

Also, I love the view from your Villa, how beautiful!

It was SUCH a magical vacation! The girls got along like this the ENTIRE trip, and even big brother/cousin, Tyson, was supportive and loving to his little sister/cousin!

Thanks for your comments!! They are much appreciated.:lovestruc

glennbo123
09-05-2011, 09:19 AM
Dang, I'm really slow in catching your updates. Sorry to read that you forgot your iPhone/camera -- yes, we would have liked more pictures, but the ones Cindy got were great.

I am amazed at the Tinkerbell cast member, and how she can stay in-character body-language-wise while talking to your mother-in-law. Each one of those shots is totally Tinkerbell!

Sooze
09-05-2011, 10:04 AM
With Shaelyn’s rash diagnosed, my iPhone back in my pocket, and rain in the forecast… it was time to head out for a wonderful evening at Epcot. We had reservations at Teppan Edo, and I was beyond excited to enjoy this entertaining and delicious meal with my family!

It was also the evening for us to wear our matching shirts!! YAY!! If you want information about how I made them, just send me a message! I will give a shout out to shadowryter on the DISigns thread. She is the creator of the awesome artwork!

We decided to take a photo opportunity outside of the Japanese Pavilion. Here we are!

Mahna and Pahta:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1760.jpg

Close Up:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1763.jpg

Avabelle, Ben, and Cindy:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1765.jpg

ABC Close Up:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1766.jpg

And here WE are (Matt, Tyson, Shaelyn, and Susie):
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1768.jpg

One more Close Up:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1772.jpg

You can see in these pictures that the clouds were building up and getting darker by the minute. We headed into Teppan Edo, parked the strollers in the lobby (since we knew they’d be soaked if we left them outside), and were quickly seated. I was also quickly in possession of this:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1774.jpg

Mmmmmmmm….. Tokyo Sunset….

Our meal experience did not disappoint. Service was fast and flawless. Drinks were flowing:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1775.jpg

Kids were entertained:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1778.jpg

Laughter was plentiful:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1779.jpg

And soon we were enjoying a FANTASTIC chef. Here is a video of him joking with the kids, and creating the famous “Choo Choo”.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/th_IMG_1781.jpg (http://s160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/?action=view&current=IMG_1781.mp4)

Did you hear the eruption of laughter, applause, and delight? Those were CONSTANT throughout our entire meal. Such a fun, fun, fun experience!

Love this shot of the chef hamming it up:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1782.jpg

And one of him hard at work:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1784.jpg

Doesn’t Tyson look excited about the three things on his plate?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1790.jpg

He was eying that shrimp and chicken….
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1797.jpg

The girls were more than happy with their noodles and chopsticks!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1792.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1794.jpg

Tyson eventually enjoyed slurping the noodles. Such fine restaurant etiquette.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1796.jpg

Some family shots from around the table:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3j.jpg

The cuteness just never stops:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3k.jpg

See? Total cuteness:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3l.jpg

Soon, we found ourselves settling the bill and facing the fact that we had to go outside in the torrential rains… the ones that started pouring as soon as we sat down to eat. But before we decided what to do, we had time to give the meal a rating. So how WAS our meal?

It was SO GOOD…. We had to bevel, of course!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3m.jpg

PERFECTION!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3n.jpg

So what DID we do to avoid the rain?.....

Sooze
09-05-2011, 11:08 AM
We were just not ready to head out into the downpour, so we spent a bunch of time perusing the gift shop in Japan. Honestly, this is my favorite gift shop in all of World Showcase. I mean… Hello Kitty, Monchichi, Pick-a-Pearl, socks made for flip-flops, and trying on kimonos all in one place? How could you NOT love it in here?

Our first stop was Pick-a-Pearl. We had to wait a while, because most of the guests in Epcot also decided to dodge the rain in this gift shop as well! Soon, Mahna and Shae were picking out their oysters.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1803.jpg

Mahna getting excited:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1805.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1800.jpg

What would be waiting inside?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1802.jpg

Two beautiful pearls:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1807.jpg

We decided not to have them set in any jewelry this time… it was just so crowded! So we made our way back to the kimono area and were thrilled to see Cast Members who were willing and excited to help the girls try on some kimonos!

Avabelle chose pink, Shaelyn chose red:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1809.jpg

Such helpful Cast Members!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1812.jpg

Loving the pampering:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1814.jpg

Adding the finishing touches:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1817.jpg

Japanese princesses!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1820.jpg

Checking it out:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1821.jpg

After spending about an hour in the shop, the rain had let up enough for us to get out! Where did we run off to? The caramel shop in Germany, of course!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1825.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1827.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1830.jpg

We LOADED up on goodies, then walked to the American Pavilion to eat inside… the rain was lighter, but still coming down!

Dry and happy cousins! (You can see that rash again.. ugh!)
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1831.jpg

Here is Matt after opening up a bag of carmelly goodness. He is taking in the aroma! Ha ha!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1836.jpg

Disney vacation content:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1848.jpg

You may have noticed that Avabelle and Shaelyn had sparkly jewels on their faces. This was something Cindy had brought from home. They had fun decorating themselves! Then.. they had fun decorating Pahta! I’m not sure how this game got started, but the girls were putting a jewel on Pahta’s nose. Then he’d make some goofy face or sound, and the girls would just SQUEAL with delight!! I caught a few pictures:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1840.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1841.jpg
Ok… see the people in the background of this picture?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1844.jpg

They made me feel like a rock star! I was coming back into the dining area from using the bathroom, when one of them yelled “We loved you in American Idol!!!” What?!?!?! HUH!? Then they all started saying things like “We voted for you!” “You were great!” So humbling that they would recognize me, and think that much about me to actually stop me and say something. It made my day!!

By this time, the girls were getting a bit antsy, so I took them out into the drizzle, where they immediately began a game where these tall tables were their ‘house’ and they would dodge out of their house, feel the rain, then run back into their house! So cute!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1850.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1853.jpg

Uncle Ben even joined in on the fun!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1855.jpg

We had had enough of the rainy WS, so the family headed around to Future World. The girls hopped and skipped their way to Spaceship Earth.

On our way, we stumbled on a CM with a bubble machine!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1861.jpg

We played here for quite a while. Here is a short video of the girls enjoying themselves!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/th_IMG_1866.jpg (http://s160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/?action=view&current=IMG_1866.mp4)

Coming up… how did we wrap up this wonderful day? How about a whole-family ride experience!?!

Sooze
09-05-2011, 11:11 AM
Dang, I'm really slow in catching your updates. Sorry to read that you forgot your iPhone/camera -- yes, we would have liked more pictures, but the ones Cindy got were great.

I am amazed at the Tinkerbell cast member, and how she can stay in-character body-language-wise while talking to your mother-in-law. Each one of those shots is totally Tinkerbell!

I'm GLAD you're slow.... because I'm even SLOWER! :headache: I loved those Tinkerbell pictures, too... and thought the same thing. I also love that my MIL went right up to Tink and interacted that way with her! It was the classic Disney-brings-out-the-child-in-all-of-us moment! :lovestruc

Thanks for hanging around!

ZFamily5
09-05-2011, 02:26 PM
Great updates! Not sure how I missed the one from August 20th...

Have you seen the TR "How many iPhones can you lose in a week?"?

All of the pictures are great! As always, Shae and Avabelle are so cute! And the matching t-shirts are great! Can't wait for more!! :thumbsup2

thechesters420
09-05-2011, 04:19 PM
Your pictures are just great! Love the shirts!

micandminforever
09-05-2011, 05:29 PM
I am still here and loving the new pictures and videos. DH and I have traveled with his family to Disney several times and Teppan Edo is always a most do.

The matching shirts are great.

glennbo123
09-05-2011, 08:44 PM
You're right, the cuteness just doesn't end!

So, did you have to buy kimonos after they tried them on? I'm wondering how you could not. :laughing:

That's great that some people recognized you from American Idol and told you that they voted for you. I'm sure that did make your day!

jwwi
09-11-2011, 09:31 PM
What a perfect store to have to wait out the rain. So much to see and do. The girls look so cute in the kimonos. I like the food and candy area:rotfl:, there are some really good sweet tart kind of candy, but they literally just melt in your mouth. They come in a long strip, and each little packet has a different flavor. Have you tried them?

teachermommy78
09-17-2011, 09:22 AM
You are totally a rock star!!! The pictures of your MIL and Tink made me laugh out loud. I always find it so funny to see characters appearing deep in conversation with guest. They were both so serious in their facial expressions and animated in their hand motions. I wonder what they were discussing! :rotfl:

Sooze
09-21-2011, 07:06 PM
Great updates! Not sure how I missed the one from August 20th...

Have you seen the TR "How many iPhones can you lose in a week?"?

All of the pictures are great! As always, Shae and Avabelle are so cute! And the matching t-shirts are great! Can't wait for more!! :thumbsup2
How Many iPhones can you lose in a week!?! That sounds hilarious!! I may need to check that out.. AFTER I finish this TR, right?! ugh!

Your pictures are just great! Love the shirts!
Thanks so much! I loved making them, and loved giving them out even more!

I am still here and loving the new pictures and videos. DH and I have traveled with his family to Disney several times and Teppan Edo is always a most do.

The matching shirts are great.
Teppan Edo is definitely becoming a family favorite! Thanks... we got a lot of compliments on those shirts!

You're right, the cuteness just doesn't end!

So, did you have to buy kimonos after they tried them on? I'm wondering how you could not. :laughing:

That's great that some people recognized you from American Idol and told you that they voted for you. I'm sure that did make your day!
Don't get angry with me... we did NOT buy the kimonos... I KNOW.... I'm a terrible mother...

What a perfect store to have to wait out the rain. So much to see and do. The girls look so cute in the kimonos. I like the food and candy area:rotfl:, there are some really good sweet tart kind of candy, but they literally just melt in your mouth. They come in a long strip, and each little packet has a different flavor. Have you tried them?
You know, we didn't even go near the candy area. Is that crazy!?:confused3 Next time... next time for sure!! And I'll look for those tart candies... they sound delicious!

You are totally a rock star!!! The pictures of your MIL and Tink made me laugh out loud. I always find it so funny to see characters appearing deep in conversation with guest. They were both so serious in their facial expressions and animated in their hand motions. I wonder what they were discussing! :rotfl:
Ha ha! I'm a rock star?! I felt like one, for sure!

When Pahta showed us those pictures of Mahna and Tink, I felt the same way! My MIL is very quiet and reserved and I just LOVE that she was so in the moment that she was able to carry on this conversations! :love:

Sooze
09-21-2011, 07:16 PM
Here's my annual theater update! We opened the Indianapolis premiere of "Curtains" last weekend and it was absolutely wonderful! Such a great cast to work with and the audiences seem to love the show!

Of course, it has been putting a HUGE damper on my ability to get to this TR! And, once again, I apologize!

Thought you might like to see a few pictures from the show!

Here I am with my 'romantic lead' :lovestruc
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/Theatre%20Stuff/CurtainsSP3.jpg

And here we are having a moment...
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/Theatre%20Stuff/CurtainsSP.jpg

Oh, and here's another moment... :rolleyes1
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/Theatre%20Stuff/CurtainsSP2.jpg

Here is a big all-cast number. Pardon some of the unfinished junk on the stage... it was a dress rehearsal night!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/Theatre%20Stuff/Curtainsboat.jpg

And another Oklahoma-like number
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/Theatre%20Stuff/curtains.jpg

Fun stuff! I just LOVE performing with community theater. Such an amazing outlet!

I WILL be posting an update tonight!!! YAY!! See y'all soon!

micandminforever
09-21-2011, 07:41 PM
It looks like a fun play. The pictures were great.

Sooze
09-21-2011, 08:23 PM
It looks like a fun play. The pictures were great.

Thanks! It has been such a humbling and fun-filled experience!

Sooze
09-21-2011, 08:46 PM
The whole family made their way to Future World. We were able to secure some FPs for Soarin' and were giddy with excitement to experience this ride together for the first time!!

Before that, though, we headed to this iconic ride:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1868.jpg

As was the norm on this trip, we had a short wait for the ride:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1870.jpg

One of the best things about this trip for me, was that whenever we waited in line, there was always a TON of conversation. Here is Uncle Ben asking the girls something deep and thought-provoking, I'm sure:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1871.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1874.jpg


Pretty soon, we were zipping through the FP line in Soarin', ready for takeoff!

Well, almost. For those of you who have read my TRs before, you know we NEVER sit ANYWHERE except the top row, center. So after politely asking the CMs if we could wait for the next round, we had a moment to catch this cute family picture of ABC, complete with more adorable face from Avabelle!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1889.jpg

Once we were placed on our gliders, the girls couldn't contain their happiness.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1891.jpg

They just had to bevel!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1894.jpg

We had the most amazingly wonderful flight! It was such a joy to share this for the first time for Mahna, Cindy, and Avabelle. I spent most of the ride watching THEM. Them and their wide, glowing smiles!! It was awesome!

Soon, we were on our way out and I was able to catch another quick shot of the brothers with their girls (can you see them holding hands? How cute!):
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1895.jpg

We made it to WS in time to catch Illuminations. As you know, this is our personal family favorite, and we often find a spot an hour ahead of the show. Not today. Again, this vacation was about our whole family, not just us and our traditions. We were too busy maxing things out! So we just stood at the entrance to WS and watched the show. I'm not sure if the family enjoyed it as much as they should've, but when you're watching from behind 5 rows of standing people, it just can't be the experience we wanted it to be. Avabelle still enjoyed it!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/DisneyDay3o-1.jpg

Everyone was pretty beat and quite exhausted from dodging the rain, and just having a really long day. Of course, Tyson was on a Disney high, and was nowhere near ready to leave. Plus, there were EMH at Epcot tonight! Our solution? Everyone went home... except for Tyson and me!!:banana: It was time for me to get my Epcot thrills on!!

The first stop:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1900.jpg

We flew to Mars, and I had to listen to Tyson reciting the ENTIRE ride, word for word, along with Gary Sinese. Geeze, I'm thinking he may have ridden this one too many times...

We then scurried over to the single rider line at Test Track. Both times, we ended up in the same car! We also snagged a few fun ride photos:

Ride 1
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/Photo0146FourBySix.jpg

Ride 2
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/Photo0147FourBySix.jpg

We felt fufilled and decided to head back to the Boardwalk. I had the most wonderful time strolling through an emptying Epcot. And I mean strolling... we were just taking it ALL in. On our way out, we saw a pretzel stand still open and decided to stop for a late-night snack! I have such wonderful memories of sitting with my boy and enjoying this perfect night!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%203%206%2028%2011/IMG_1902.jpg

We finally made it home and crashed with the rest of the family. Luckily, we were able to sleep in the next day. We all dreamt of the wonderful experiences waiting for us... princesses and space shuttles.... and RAIN.... oh my....

Sooze
09-21-2011, 09:08 PM
From our visit with Rapunzel and Flynn:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0098FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0100FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0104FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0106FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0109FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0111FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0114FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0118FourBySix.jpg

Auntie Cindy getting in on the action!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0121FourBySix.jpg

Why not? Me too!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0127FourBySix.jpg


Time for Tiana:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0130FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0134FourBySix.jpg

:love:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0137FourBySix.jpg

And I love that the PP Photographer turned and snapped this one:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0139FourBySix.jpg

So serious!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0140FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0142FourBySix.jpg

Aren't the hug pictures just the best?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0145FourBySix.jpg


That does it for day 3!

micandminforever
09-21-2011, 10:06 PM
It is great that you and Tyson got EPCOT thrill time together. The Test Track picture are priceless, and the girls with the princess are magical.:goodvibes

glennbo123
09-22-2011, 12:51 PM
Looked like a fantastic day....what a wonderful family you have! You can really see how you enjoy each others' company.

The photopass pictures from earlier in the trip are adorable.

zipadeepixie
09-22-2011, 07:18 PM
OMG - those princess picutures are the cutest ever!!! I wish my daughter was little still! Well . . . she only 7 .. . going on 18!!!! I remember when she was 3 and thought they were real princesses! So cute!

jeremysdisneymom
09-26-2011, 12:43 PM
How great that you and Tyson got a night to yourselves. I am sure there was some great memories made there.

Love the princess photos! Just precious.

jordanyosh
09-30-2011, 05:13 PM
peep

Sooze
10-08-2011, 08:38 AM
It is great that you and Tyson got EPCOT thrill time together. The Test Track picture are priceless, and the girls with the princess are magical.:goodvibes
Such an awesome day! We still talk about it!

Looked like a fantastic day....what a wonderful family you have! You can really see how you enjoy each others' company.

The photopass pictures from earlier in the trip are adorable.
I have been blessed, for sure. Love every single one of them so much!!!

OMG - those princess picutures are the cutest ever!!! I wish my daughter was little still! Well . . . she only 7 .. . going on 18!!!! I remember when she was 3 and thought they were real princesses! So cute!
I was super pleased with PhotoPass this trip. They captured so many precious moments with those princesses.

Wait a minute.... the princesses aren't real!?!? :scared1:


:upsidedow
How great that you and Tyson got a night to yourselves. I am sure there was some great memories made there.

Love the princess photos! Just precious.
He still talks about that night. I know he loved having his OWN time with me, since that is so rare in our lives. And you can bet I loved having my own time with HIM, too! :lovestruc

peep
:hug: Love me some Jordan peep!!

Sooze
10-08-2011, 09:11 PM
The entire family was needing a sleep-in morning, and, thankfully, we had just that planned for today. Today was going to be different for all of us. Mahna and Pahta were going to drive over to the Kennedy Space Center with Tyson, while the rest of us were headed to Epcot for the Akershus Princess breakfast.

We prepared for our meal by getting the girls all dolled-up in their princess dresses and glittery eyes. I was able to use a new bandana that my sister gave to me.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/disneyglittereyes.jpg

How perfect is that?

Soon, we were all on our way to our day’s adventures. Here are the royal princesses awaiting their escort to Norway:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1908.jpg

And here comes one of my favorite shots of the entire trip. It’s another one of Shae and Avabelle, but Avabelle was pulling on her face, playing with her sunglasses. She just so happened to be using her longest fingers. I grabbed this picture as fast as I could! It’s awesome!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1906.jpg

I really want to crop and zoom and blow that one up… frame it… and give it to Ben and Cindy for Christmas! Wouldn’t that look beautiful hanging in their living room! HA HA HA!

Soon, we had bid farewell to Mahna, Pahta, and Tyson, and were on our way to the Princess breakfast. Ben and Cindy had decided to surprise Avabelle this morning. She knew she was going to eat breakfast, but had no idea the princesses would be there! We were all so excited to see her reactions.

After checking in, the girls had a few more moments to pose while we waited our turn to enter:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/2princesses.jpg

We were finally escorted into the line. If you’ve eaten here before, you know the line starts well outside. It takes a while and a twist or turn or two, before you finally can see Belle awaiting you. Cindy happened to glance around the corner and catch a glimpse of the beautiful yellow gown and perfect princess…. And immediately got emotional.

Well, here… see for yourself:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1909.jpg

Isn’t she just adorable! We sure don’t have to wonder where Avabelle gets it from, do we?

Here she is trying to guess what would happen next!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/abelleguess-1.jpg

Soon, she found herself in the presence of her very favorite princess. The ‘awwwwws’ were plentiful as the two of them interacted. Such a beautiful moment!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/belleandabelle.jpg
Next, it was Shae’s turn.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1914.jpg

And a quick video of the interaction. She was much more subdued… such the Disney pro. I think she feels like Belle and she are just old friends who haven’t seen each other in a while.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/th_IMG_1912.jpg (http://s160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/?action=view&current=IMG_1912.mp4)

We were quickly seated and able to get right to the buffet. Avabelle was over joyed but still had no idea that MORE princess were coming. Imagine her precious face as the parade of royalty started filtering into the room. And then when she realized that they were ALL going to PERSONALLY visit HER?!?! Pretty dang awesome!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/princessexcited.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1916.jpg

Shae knew all along, and was so good at helping us keep the secret!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1918.jpg

And, just in case you were wondering how fabulous the glitter eyes looked… here you go:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1920.jpg

Soon, the personal visits began. I always feel like these whoosh by much too quickly, but we still have the pictures and memories!

1st up, Cinderella:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1922.jpg

The ever-classic Aurora:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1924.jpg

Snow White and her princess pose:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1926.jpg

Beautiful red heads:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1930.jpg

And Avabelle’s turn with the mermaid:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/abelleandariel.jpg

Soon it was time for the Princess Promenade around the restaurant. It was so nice that the girls had each other and had no qualms about leaving the table to join in the fun!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1931.jpg

Another quick video of the promenade:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/th_IMG_1933.jpg (http://s160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/?action=view&current=IMG_1933.mp4)

I can’t even tell you what we ate!! Of course, we NEVER do this meal for the food. It is what it is… typical Disney breakfast buffet fare. They DO throw in a bit of a Norwegian twist with some kind of fish stuff… but ICK! Not for me!

I know that we had a wonderful time, watching our little princesses absorb every second of pampering and magic. It was also nice that Tyson didn’t have to sit there and watch the girls get all of the attention. He was in his own spotlight with his grandparents, which made us all feel fantastic!

Until the rain came… and came…. and came…

What should we do with a wash out of a day? How bad was it at Kennedy Space Center?

Stay tuned!

Queenofallthings
10-08-2011, 09:56 PM
Oh my goodnesss.....that was such a great post! Those little faces just say it all....what a great shot with Belle....she's my fav too!!! I agree, at a princess meal, it's never about the food:cool1:

micandminforever
10-08-2011, 11:09 PM
The princess pictures are great. Shea and Avabelle are adorable in their princess glitter and dresses.

Sooze
10-11-2011, 08:34 PM
Oh my goodnesss.....that was such a great post! Those little faces just say it all....what a great shot with Belle....she's my fav too!!! I agree, at a princess meal, it's never about the food:cool1:
Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed the princess extravaganza!princess:

The princess pictures are great. Shea and Avabelle are adorable in their princess glitter and dresses.
Thank you! We are enjoying these years when they love to get fancy!

glennbo123
10-11-2011, 08:52 PM
(In my best Goofy voice) Aw shucks, that was sweet!

I'm glad the girls had such a good time with the princesses. :goodvibes

jordanyosh
10-12-2011, 04:09 PM
:thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2

so neat to see little peeps 1st visits to various locales at WDW especially when it includes their favorite princess. Belle is mine too. I don't cry when I see her though...at least not anymore.

Blueyed Girl
10-18-2011, 07:53 PM
Aww, what an awesome update with CUTE pictures!!! The one with the "long" fingers made me laugh out loud. That is hilarious!!:lmao:

I miss DS being so young. We only got to do the princess breakfast once when he was 3. I thought I should fit it in back then before he got old enough to tell me no. :rotfl: Oh how I miss the magic of him getting his sword to protect the castle and then closing his eyes to wish upon his wishing star!! :wizard: :love:

Now he would be happier going off like Tyson. Which is fine. But now mommy has no princess time at all! BOO!!!!!! :rolleyes1

jeremysdisneymom
10-19-2011, 12:56 PM
Awww, how precious! I love the looks on all their faces.

I think this was the day we were supposed to meet and didn't make it.

Hope you are having a great week in Florida!

Sooze
11-18-2011, 05:40 PM
(In my best Goofy voice) Aw shucks, that was sweet!

I'm glad the girls had such a good time with the princesses. :goodvibes
I can totally hear the Goofy voice... and it fits perfectly!

:thumbsup2:thumbsup2:thumbsup2

so neat to see little peeps 1st visits to various locales at WDW especially when it includes their favorite princess. Belle is mine too. I don't cry when I see her though...at least not anymore.
Oh... you're a big tough guy now that you're a midwesterner.... I see how it is. ;)

Aww, what an awesome update with CUTE pictures!!! The one with the "long" fingers made me laugh out loud. That is hilarious!!:lmao:
I cropped it on just her and her 'gesture' and sent it to her parents. That'll be a great one to frame for the living room! :rotfl:

I miss DS being so young. We only got to do the princess breakfast once when he was 3. I thought I should fit it in back then before he got old enough to tell me no. :rotfl: Oh how I miss the magic of him getting his sword to protect the castle and then closing his eyes to wish upon his wishing star!! :wizard: :love:

Now he would be happier going off like Tyson. Which is fine. But now mommy has no princess time at all! BOO!!!!!! :rolleyes1
It's awesome and horrible at the same time to watch our little ones grow up, isn't it? Just think, in about 10 years, he might want those princess meals again... especially if Jasmine is around. :rolleyes1
Awww, how precious! I love the looks on all their faces.

I think this was the day we were supposed to meet and didn't make it.

Hope you are having a great week in Florida!
I think it was that day, too... I hate it when my Disfriends and I are in the World at the same time and we just can't make it work... sigh. Someday... :goodvibes

Sooze
11-18-2011, 09:56 PM
Since the girls were on a character high, we decided to head over to Future World to the Character Connection. On our way over, the rain started to slowly take over the sky. By the time we hit Club Cool, it was downpouring. We knew from watching the weather, that today was going to be a wet one, but you always tuck that hope away that the Disney Bubble will protect you. That was not to be the case.

We made a quick dash into Club Cool and decided to introduce Uncle Ben and Auntie Cindy to the Beverly. ((evil laughter))

Uncle Ben didn’t really enjoy his Beverly:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1983.jpg

But Auntie Cindy…

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1986.jpg

She missed Uncle Ben’s warning reaction. Just look how innocent she is here. That “Why is your camera out? Why are you smiling at me?” face is just perfect, isn’t it? So what did she think of it?

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1988.jpg

And yes… there were a few gags involved!!

The girls settled for something more yummy:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1989.jpg

Auntie Cindy was not bitter. She even bought the girls a box of some of those cute candies:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1992.jpg


After being evil to our loved ones, we headed over to the Character Connection. As you can see from the above picture, we were falsely lulled into the belief that the rain might be over. Little did we know…

I have all of the Character Connection pictures on our Photopass, so you’ll see them later. But we had a great experience. A very short wait, followed by many hugs and squeals as we met the Fab 5. Here is Shae’s reaction to (yet another) autograph by Mickey Mouse:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1941.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1943.jpg

We had heard earlier that Tinkerbell was in her ‘rain site’ today, which is in the hallway next to Club Cool. So we decided to head over there. To our surprise, Chip and Dale were just hanging out in there, with not a soul around them, so we jumped on that experience!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1993.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1995.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1998.jpg

After meeting the REAL Chipmunks, we headed over to the Tinkerbell area. She had just wrapped up one meet and greet, and wasn’t due back for another 45 minutes. As we debated what to do, the heavens gave us the answer. BUCKETS and BUCKETS of rain started POURING. The wind got scary rough, and the lightning and thunder rolled in. Well…. I guess we shall wait for Tinkerbell.

Fortunately, we were toward the front of the line, so once our almost-an-hour wait was over, we were quick to see the famous Pixie.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_1999.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2002.jpg

I realize this was a rain site, and even a temporary placement at Epcot for Tink, but I am hoping they find a wonderful spot for her and her pixie friends back at Magic Kingdom soon.

At some point during our wait, we heard back from Mahna, Pahta, and Tyson. Things out at Cape Canaveral were AWFUL!! It had been pouring on them since the moment they arrived. They took a bus tour out to the launch pad but couldn’t see anything through the pouring rain. We felt so bad for them, as they had really been looking forward to this outing for a long time!!

And now that the rain from Cape Canaveral had spread on over to Lake Buena Vista, we realized our afternoon was about rained out. We had one more indoor place to explore, though! Innoventions!!

We decided to do the one activity that didn’t have a long wait. Innoventions was pretty crowded as the rain had herded everyone inside! The dads were super excited about this exhibit… can you tell?

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2007.jpg

The girls had a wonderful time with this exhibit and were SO good about taking turns and sharing. It was like watching a Disney commercial come to life!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2008.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/pigshare.jpg

Even Cindy got in on the fun!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2012.jpg


We were pretty tuckered out. The rain was draining… and knowing the rest of our family was suffering in the monsoons brought us down a bit. We ponchoed up the girls, whipped out what umbrellas we could find, and trekked back to the Boardwalk. Here is Matt after the long haul.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2016.jpg

Notice Shae is glowing! That’s because she didn’t step in a single puddle, or get a drop of rain on her. The rest of us? We were ready to dry off and hang out in our home for a while!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/resting.jpg

And that’s just what we did. Hot coffee, Disney cartoons, happy girls playing with their Disney goodies…. It was a wonderful afternoon! We waited for the rest of our gang and then decided what to do with the rest of this washed-out day!

And it wasn’t even in our plans!

Sooze
11-18-2011, 10:53 PM
Soon after we arrived at our villa to relax and dry off, our poor Mahna, Pahta, and Tyson stumbled through the door. They were wet, tired, and cold, but were able to maintain a positive attitude about the whole thing. They did get to see some neat things in the museum, get a few pictures taken, and even get a cool new shirt for Tyson!

Soon we were trying to figure out how to best spend this soggy evening. We didn’t have plans for dinner and decided that it would be best to go out to eat, since none of us felt up to cooking. I got on the phone and tried to find a place at DTD. Not surprisingly, Portobello was wide open. So we made a reservation and got ourselves ready to head to DTD.

We decided it would be fastest to drive…. But our van wouldn’t fit all of us… safely. So leave it to Uncle Ben to volunteer to ride in the back. The WAY back of the van.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/beninback.jpg

It didn’t matter. We were so happy to be dry and back together again, knowing a nice meal was ahead of us. Being stuck in the WAY back of the van was just another fun memory we were creating, although probably not the safest memory!

We parked, made our way into the Marketplace, and promptly had to stop for some photo ops.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/lotsopink.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/cinderellasass.jpg

Just look at these poses:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2018.jpg

Portobello was empty and we were seated immediately. Matt and I had eaten here once before but only ate appetizers, so I was excited to see what a full meal would be like. Wow, we certainly were not disappointed. I don’t know why this place is always empty…. The food is fantastic!

We were all in excellent spirits, too. Which just added to the greatness of the meal.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2020.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2024.jpg

Playing with ice cubes:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2026.jpg

Tyson was seriously contemplating the menu:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2028.jpg

Here are Uncle Ben and Auntie Cindy after eating some of the amazing food. They were pumped up for this meal!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2030.jpg

The girlies loved their ‘sketties’:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2032.jpg

After the perfect meal to get us back in Magical Mode, we were ready to hit the stores of the Marketplace. Here are just few pictures of merchandise and displays that I enjoyed that evening:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2035.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2038.jpg

Ended up buying this one for Tyson, then when we got it home, I realized there was glitter in the lightning. So it has become a part of MY T-shirt collection!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2039.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2042.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2044.jpg

I went to take the kids over to Goofy’s for some sweets. On the way over, Shae spied the face-painting kiosk. We have NEVER done this, mostly because neither of my kids seemed interested. Not tonight! Shae was relentless… she wanted a pretty face painting. What the heck? Why not?

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2046.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2048.jpg

Adding glitter:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2050.jpg

Finished product. She LOVED it!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2052.jpg

A few more cool displays:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2054.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2056.jpg

We ended up getting some chocolate dipped pretzel rods at Goofy’s (our standby… these are SO yummy!!)
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2057.jpg

Watching the magic happen:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2059.jpg

THANK YOU GOOFY’S CANDY COMPANY!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2064.jpg



It had been a very long day….. but were we done yet?! NOPE! We were itching for another ride on Soarin’. Come back to see how our rainy day came to a wonderful end!

Sooze
11-19-2011, 09:13 PM
We decided to make sure this day ended in a positive way by heading back into Epcot. We drove back to BWV and walked into International Gateway. The rain had finally let up, thank goodness!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2068.jpg

Matt and I took a moment for a rare photo of the two of us.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2069.jpg

We headed straight to Soarin’ and just hopped in the standby line. It was the only thing we wanted to do that night, and ended up waiting less than 30 minutes.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2073.jpg

Of course, we waited an extra round so we could have the top row, center section. Soon we were strapped in and ready for our flight. I love Uncle Ben’s face in this picture, don’t you?

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2075.jpg

So happy to be Soarin’!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2079.jpg

I decided to take a few pictures of my feet during this ride. That way, I could picture exactly where I was when I got home. I still love looking at these, even though they are blurry!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2087.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2088.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%204%206%2029%2011/IMG_2095.jpg

We wrapped up the evening with Illuminations and our favorite leisurely walk back home. Tomorrow was going to be another wonderful (and much DRYER) day at Disney!

Sooze
11-19-2011, 09:27 PM
Here are the Photopass Pictures from this day. Enjoy!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0152FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0153FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0154FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0171FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0175FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0179FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0186FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0192FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0194FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0197FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0200FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0207FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0213FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0215FourBySix.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0221FourBySix.jpg

micandminforever
11-19-2011, 11:58 PM
I enjoyed the photpass pictures, the girl's smile said it all. The pictures at Club Cool of the reactions were great. :goodvibes

mreid1974
11-20-2011, 12:07 PM
Great updates!! So sorry to hear that it rained on you guys but you made the best of it!!

glennbo123
11-20-2011, 02:12 PM
Holy mega-updates Batman!

:woohoo: for "introducing" Uncle Ben and Auntie Cindy to Beverly. Hee hee hee.

I can relate to that picture of the dads at Illuminations. ::yes::

Bummer that Cape Canaveral was somewhat of a washout. :sad1:

Huh, I'd always thought that Tinkebell's eyebrows were closer to her hair color. :rolleyes1

I love that picture of Shae arriving back at the Boardwalk all dry. She looks like she had a great time while Dad got wet. You probably made some memories with that little jaunt.

Hey, the 'WAY Back'...that's what we call it too! :banana:

Nice picture of you and Matt.

Great photopass pictures. The girls are TOO CUTE!

Sooze
11-21-2011, 06:43 PM
I enjoyed the photpass pictures, the girl's smile said it all. The pictures at Club Cool of the reactions were great. :goodvibes
Thanks for hanging in there with me!! That has been the most fun about bringing newbies to WDW... the Beverly!! :little angel:

Great updates!! So sorry to hear that it rained on you guys but you made the best of it!!
I think those of us in WDW faired better than those who went to Cape Canaveral. But we DID end the day with smiles all around! Rain on vacation is still better than rain any other time!

Holy mega-updates Batman!
I am SO behind, Glenn! I had to do something drastic!!

:woohoo: for "introducing" Uncle Ben and Auntie Cindy to Beverly. Hee hee hee.
I need to find a new victim now. It's SO deliciously fun!

I can relate to that picture of the dads at Illuminations. ::yes::
I know, right? Just not the most fun for them...

Bummer that Cape Canaveral was somewhat of a washout. :sad1:
I still feel bad about that whole thing. What can ya do? :confused3

Huh, I'd always thought that Tinkebell's eyebrows were closer to her hair color. :rolleyes1
:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
I love that picture of Shae arriving back at the Boardwalk all dry. She looks like she had a great time while Dad got wet. You probably made some memories with that little jaunt.
We love ALL of our walks from Epcot to BWV, but this one was particularly memorable!

Hey, the 'WAY Back'...that's what we call it too! :banana:

Nice picture of you and Matt.

Great photopass pictures. The girls are TOO CUTE!

Thanks for your comments, Glenn! And thanks for not giving up on me! :hug:

Sooze
12-24-2011, 09:53 AM
Today was a very flexible day. We knew we wanted to finish at Animal Kingdom, so we could enjoy the EMH production of Festival of the Lion King! So what did we decided to do? Well, first.. we SLEPT IN! YES!! Then, we headed back to Hollywood Studios!

Up first, Mahna and I had a date with the animation class! We sent the ‘big boys’ off to ride big scary rides. Avabelle and Cindy did some shopping. Mahna, Shae, and I got in the waiting area for the class. While we were there, we got to observe some classic non-parenting. See the lady with the cell phone? She didn’t look up from that thing for a SECOND. Not even when her kids were ALL over the place in that cramped waiting area. Don’t get me wrong, I go into cell-phone-coma sometimes. But when you have people everywhere, and your kids are insane, I think it would be important to look up from your phone and correct your kids’ behavior. I busted out the teacher/mommy look on those kids a few times!!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2106.jpg

I was worried how Shae would do in the class, since she didn’t want to draw, she just wanted to watch. It actually went very well! She had fun bouncing back and forth between Mahna and me. Here are some pictures from the experience:

Silly Mahna ready to draw:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2109.jpg

Can you guess who we drew?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2111.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2112.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2114.jpg

My finished Pluto:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2114.jpg

Mahna hard at work:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2118.jpg

Our instructor hard at work:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2121.jpg

Our finished products:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2123.jpg

Our instructor gave us a choice to have both ears down or one ear up. You can see Mahna and I each did our own thing! And didn’t Shae do a nice job of taking that picture?! :rolleyes:

After class, we all regrouped and headed over to Toy Story Mania. We still had a FP left from my earlier American Idol Experience, so we all hopped into the FP line. Shae was excited to find a 5!! (Her age, of course!)

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2124.jpg

We were quickly getting our glasses:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2128.jpg


And heading down the stairs to the ride:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2131.jpg

We were soon loaded in:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2132.jpg

And enjoyed another fabulous ride on TSM.

Afterwards, we were already heading back to the resort for a quick lunch. Then we were off to AK. I was bursting with excitement to show my in-laws my two favorite shows on Disney property! I couldn’t get to AK soon enough!!

micandminforever
12-24-2011, 11:46 AM
Great fun at the Animation class. My DH and I did the class on our last visit and had a great time. We had fun drawing Mickey.:goodvibes

jeremysdisneymom
01-06-2012, 12:17 PM
Wow, some great updates Sooze! Love the girls with the characters!

Too funny about the Beverly! I love those expressions.

I keep forgetting the drawing class at DHS. We never head that way and it slips my mind. Tom and Jeremy would both enjoy it. You did a great job!

Hope you have a great Christmas and wonderful time at Disney and on the cruise. I followed you along on FB. Will you do a report?

IluvXU
01-06-2012, 08:19 PM
I too hope for a cruise report!

Sooze
01-07-2012, 11:00 AM
Great fun at the Animation class. My DH and I did the class on our last visit and had a great time. We had fun drawing Mickey.:goodvibes
I think the animation class is one of my top 5 things to do at Disney!!!

Wow, some great updates Sooze! Love the girls with the characters!

Too funny about the Beverly! I love those expressions.
That was one of my favorite things about this trip... experiencing 'old favorites' like the Beverly with NEW VICTIMS!! ;)

I keep forgetting the drawing class at DHS. We never head that way and it slips my mind. Tom and Jeremy would both enjoy it. You did a great job!
You have to promise me you'll go next time! Even with people who don't or can't draw very well, it's a GREAT experience!

Hope you have a great Christmas and wonderful time at Disney and on the cruise. I followed you along on FB. Will you do a report?
I will... I'm just not sure when that will happen! I have GOT to finish this one... then I have a Halloween report (that will be pictures mostly)... then I can rock out the cruise report!! So hang in there, like you always do for me! :hug:
I too hope for a cruise report!

Stay tuned.... it will be coming... but not until I get this one done. And you can see how quickly THAT is going...:sad2:

THANKS TO ALL FOR STICKING WITH ME!! ANOTHER UPDATE EXPECTED THIS WEEKEND. Hoping to wrap it up!! ((fingers crossed))

Sooze
01-08-2012, 09:13 PM
We eventually found ourselves at Animal Kingdom. This park has really grown on me each time we venture to Disney. There aren’t A LOT of attractions that we do here… basically Everest, Nemo musical, and Festival of the Lion King. But I think that’s why I enjoy being here so much. It’s a place where I can just take it all in and not feel like I’m missing a lot when I slow down.

Any way, we had a few things we wanted to share with our family. So we made our way into the park.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2133.jpg

And were happy to see the large tour groups making their way OUT!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2135.jpg

We stopped for a Mahna/Pahta/Tree of Life shot:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/Photo0225FourBySix.jpg


Then we headed into Dino Land. The skies were NOT looking friendly again…
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2137.jpg

Cindy, Avabelle, Shaelyn, and I decided to take a spin with the Triceratops. The rest of the family went to get FPs for Kilimanjaro Safari. Here we are enjoying our ride:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2139.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2141.jpg

Check out that rash.. ugh!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2144.jpg

Check out that sky… double ugh!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2145.jpg

Fun story for this day… Both of the girls are HUGE Tangled fans. Auntie Cindy wanted NOTHING else on this trip except a stuffed Pascal (Rapunzel’s chameleon sidekick) for Avabelle. We stopped in store after store after store to try and find one, but there were NONE… ANYWHERE. Then, as we were heading back in line to ride Triceratops Spin again, Tyson came RUNNING up to us with TWO Pascals. We were elated and asked how on Earth he found them? Well, he didn’t find them… he WON them! They were prizes in one of the carnival game booths in Dinoland. He spent his money playing the games until he won two of them… one for Shae and one for Avabelle. Cindy was THRILLED! And so was Tyson!

A view from our dino ride:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2149.jpg

The family gathered together again and headed into the theater to catch Finding Nemo: The Musical.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2152.jpg

We had great seats right behind the walkway, so we had no heads in front of us, and a great view of some of the action that takes place there.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2156.jpg

Everyone enjoyed the show SO much! We had an awesome cast, as usual and had a wonderful time singing along.

Up next was our safari ride… Doesn’t Mahna look thrilled?

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2160.jpg

I think Cindy was asking us if the animals could get into the truck here…
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2161.jpg

After making fun of Cindy for her concern… we were on our way!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2165.jpg

Coming up… a bunch of Safari pictures… ENJOY!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2166.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2169.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2170.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2177.jpg
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2178.jpg

Here’s Tyson’s reaction to seeing a giraffe let a load loose:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2181.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2185.jpg


http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2188.jpg

After a relaxing and enjoyable safari, we were off to camp Minnie Mickey for the greatest show on Disney property! We decided against the EMH show because tomorrow was leaving day, and we were wanting to head to bed early.

Sooze
01-08-2012, 09:25 PM
We scored some excellent seats for Festival of the Lion King. We had hyped this show up to our family so much that even THEY were super excited to see it!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2199.jpg

(Can you see Avabelle’s new Pascal on her lap?!)

Cindy is a dancer and her daughter is already growing up to become one as well… they enjoyed watching the amazing dancing that accompanies the fantastic singing in this show. Here are a few shots from the show:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2201.jpg

Tumblemonkeys!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2203.jpg

Love watching these two:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2208.jpg

Unfortunately, we witnessed a fall! Eeek! The male dancer was spinning the female out of a hold. We think he spun her a bit too hard and she lost her footing and fell. Of course, she got right back up and, in true professional fashion, went on as if nothing ever happened. That is the first time I’ve seen something like that happen. As a family of performers, we know that stuff happens all the time! This just happened to be OUR first time seeing it! Glad she was ok!

And, some video footage. This lady has lungs of STEEL! AMAZING!!!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/th_IMG_2210.jpg (http://s160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/?action=view&current=IMG_2210.mp4)

The show got excellent reviews all around and even got a few of us choked up. I’m a sucker for that show… tears every time!

We decided to take Avabelle back over to Dinoland so Shaelyn could show her the greatest playground ever… the Boneyard!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2211.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2219.jpg
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2222.jpg

Cindy couldn’t resist….
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2223.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2226.jpg


After playing for quite a while, the family was ready to head back to our villa to begin packing and getting ready for an early night to bed. Tyson and I sent them on our way and headed to Everest to get our ride on!!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%205%206%2030%2011/IMG_2227.jpg

By now, it was EMH… and we stayed until we rode that thing 10 times!! By the end, we were walking right on. It was AWESOME!!! I. LOVE. THAT. RIDE!!!

I enjoyed spending time with my boy. We took our time making our way home, soaking up every last moment, knowing tomorrow was our last day….

Sooze
01-08-2012, 09:29 PM
This is the ONLY Photo Pass picture from today! We clearly were not into pictures at Animal Kingdom, I guess! :roll eyes:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0223FourBySix.jpg

glennbo123
01-08-2012, 09:36 PM
Tyson is THE MAN for winning those 2 Pascals. :thumbsup2

Glad you got to spend some alone time with him, having fun riding EE. Making memories!

jeremysdisneymom
01-09-2012, 09:40 AM
I just have to say, what a nice young man you have. It warmed my heart hearing that Tyson spent his money to win not one but two stuffed animals for two girls! How awesome is that! You should be very proud. :thumbsup2

I agree, I love the AK because I never fell rushed there. We take our time and see what we want to see.

shannon47142
01-09-2012, 06:03 PM
what a fun update!! Tyson is amazing to do that for the girls!! I love Everest too==glad you guys enjoyed the time together!

Sooze
02-03-2012, 05:38 PM
Tyson is THE MAN for winning those 2 Pascals. :thumbsup2

Glad you got to spend some alone time with him, having fun riding EE. Making memories!
We were SO excited that he found them. Believe me, he got GOBS of praise that whole day.. from all of us!!
I always love my Ty Ty Time! :lovestruc

I just have to say, what a nice young man you have. It warmed my heart hearing that Tyson spent his money to win not one but two stuffed animals for two girls! How awesome is that! You should be very proud. :thumbsup2

I agree, I love the AK because I never fell rushed there. We take our time and see what we want to see.
Well, you know how it is with a son this age.... some days I just want to scream at his annoyingness and aloofness.... and other days... he is just an angel!! Of course, when we are in Disney, it is MOSTLY the latter.:little angel:

what a fun update!! Tyson is amazing to do that for the girls!! I love Everest too==glad you guys enjoyed the time together!

Thanks!! Tyson does love his sister and cousin.... it was nice to see it in action that day!

Sooze
02-03-2012, 06:19 PM
Well, we made it. It had been a magical, memory-making week of family fun… but it had come to an end. Early… and I mean EARLY this morning, Mahna and Pahta were driven to the airport by Matt. When we woke up, we already had that ‘something is missing’ feeling. But we pulled ourselves together to try and enjoy the time we still had. ABC’s flight wasn’t leaving until the evening, so we all decided to soak up some more Magic Kingdom time before Matt had to haul them to MCO!

We loaded up the car with luggage and stuff, and headed to the TTC. We decided to take the ferry over, and since the morning rush was over, we had a pretty decent wait. The kids weren’t buying it, tho. I’m telling you… they were BOO BOO FACE!! Even this amazing chalk Minnie couldn’t lighten their “we-leave-today” moods.
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2245.jpg

Here they are on the ferry… Tyson deep in thought about the impending doom of departing the magic:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2248.jpg

Avabelle still managed a smile, but she didn’t know the misery that lay ahead…
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2250.jpg

A beautiful ride across the lagoon:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2253.jpg


We got him a bit more chipper when we reminded him we’d be staying at this amazing resort in just a few months:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2256.jpg

Love this shot of Uncle Ben and Avabelle walking into MK:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/Day6AandB.jpg


By this time, I was starting to get annoyed at the kids’ behavior. I get the Disney depression, I do. But WE still had a WHOLE DAY here, and wasn’t about to spend it with this negativity. Seriously… look at this:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2263.jpg

We had a long talk about it, and eventually, they started to come around. So how did we REALLY get the smiles back? Well, we rode the Peoplemover, of course!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2265.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2268.jpg

Spent some time with the giant stone earth. The kids are always intrigued with this. Does anyone know the story behind it?! What is its purpose, other than attracting germy, wet hands?! I love how I’m in the background of this picture just contemplating these questions:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/Day6BigGlove.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2269.jpg

Who cares?!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2271.jpg

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2273.jpg

We decided to let Avabelle pick her last ride of the trip. She had us head over to Fantasyland.

Tyson couldn’t control his excitement over this ride:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2277.jpg

Can you guess what it is?!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2279.jpg

But of COURSE!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/Day6Aanditsasmall.jpg

We hopped in line and ended up waiting a bit. It gave us a chance to catch this rare photo of our families!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/Day6Familypic.jpg

The cousins were in full-on LOVE mode… since it was hitting us that ABC would be leaving and we would me missing them like crazy!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/Day6cousins.jpg

Shae and Avabelle sat together taking up all of the sights and sounds. They were just so cute! Here they are waving at the Pinnochio Haus patrons:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/Day6IASWwave.jpg

After the ride, we spent some time in Fantasyland, especially checking out the construction. Avabelle just loved the large characters on the walls!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/AandBeast.jpg

How cute is this?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/AmimicsBelle.jpg

Soon it was time to give good-bye hugs to our wonderful Minnesota family. It was so hard to see them go! Here are a few shots of their way out of MK.

Last stop by the castle:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/Day6Aandcastle.jpg

Last stop on Main Street with some of the fabulous performers:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/Day6MainStreetgoodbye.jpg

So long, DisneyWorld!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/Day6Seeyarealsoon.jpg

And one last monorail ride with Uncle Matt:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/Day6AandMattmonorail.jpg
They had a quick ride to the airport and a safe ride back home to Minnesota.

But what about US? The last piece of the family to stay at Disney? Well, we are crazy, and insist on soaking up every available minute of the day. So we still had several hours to go. Our plan was to leave after Illuminations that night. So how should we finish up our day?

Sooze
02-03-2012, 06:59 PM
So Matt took the rest of our family to the airport, leaving the kids and me with a bit of time to kill. We piddled around Magic Kingdom, doing some things we don’t normally do. For example, hanging around the stockade:

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2284.jpg

Or posing prettily while waiting to ride the Magic Carpets. (Seriously, though, we had never ridden these things)
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2295.jpg

Everybody now… “I can show you the world. Shining, shimmering, spleeeendddiidd!”
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2298.jpg

My babies:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2300.jpg

We grabbed some lunch at (I think) Pecos Bill’s:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2301.jpg

We had to use self control to not buy into these little guys’ begging:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2303.jpg

Plllleeeeeaaaaaaaassseee!??!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2305.jpg

You KNOW you wanna!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2308.jpg

We were going to hop a ride on Pirates to wrap up our MK morning, but it was one of those crazy times of day when the line extends out into the entrance. Nope. Not gonna do it!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2285.jpg

I tried really hard to convince the kids to stay and watch this with me:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2290.jpg

But for some reason, I just can’t do it! So what’s a mom to do?

Take her kids on over to Epcot, that’s what!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2309.jpg

Our chariot awaits:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2311.jpg

We enjoyed our last monorail ride of the trip. Matt was on his way back to WDW and we had planned on having him park at the Boardwalk so we could walk over to the car after Illuminations. When we arrived in Epcot, we headed straight to Spaceship Earth. We were also able to partake in some of the dump area activities.

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2322.jpg

Team work!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2324.jpg

Shae got a little frustrated with the technology. The girl just doesn’t have enough video game experience! (Which is fine with me!)
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2325.jpg

By this time, Matt had caught up with us, and he and Tyson headed out to find the wild rides. This left Shae and me to (once again) enjoy the slower paced life at Epcot.

We meandered back over to Club Cool for some free drinks. With no one to trick with Beverly, it just wasn’t as fun! But the free drinks were delicious as always!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2327.jpg

The girls’ favorite!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2330.jpg

Next stop… was Nemo… sigh… again…. The girl just cannot get enough of those clam-mobiles! We spent a lot of time in the aquarium afterwards, which we both enjoyed!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2331.jpg

This one is kinda eerie, isn’t it? Like there’s a ghost behind the jail bars in the tank?
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2336.jpg

Smoochies for Nemo!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2337.jpg

Our family was reunited with a Kim Possible experience. Tyson still enjoys these very much, even though he has done them all!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2340.jpg

Uh-oh… the going home blues were begin to settle in. This time, it wasn’t just the kids being affected!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2342.jpg

We soon found ourselves staking out our Illuminations spot. I can tell I had caught the Disney Departure Blues because I had stopped taking pictures at this point. I just couldn’t face my camera, I guess!

We huddled close as we watched our favorite fireworks show, and dragged out the moment when we had to start the long trek back to the car. I did catch this one last picture of my kids consoling each other… how much does THIS capture that “I just can’t bear to leave” feeling?!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Day%206%207%201%2011/IMG_2344.jpg


This is where this Grand Gathering story ends. I don’t want to bore you with the details of the departure… there were tears… and many hours on the road… but we made it home very quickly and without any problems whatsoever. It was the trip we had dreamed it would be, and we would share memories of the trip for weeks and months to come.

Thank you to anyone and everyone who stuck with me as it took me FOR. EVER to finish this thing!! :hug:Hope I can find you on my next Trip Report… which I shall be starting soon. ( I am TWO trips behind… ugh! ) :sad2:

Sooze
02-03-2012, 07:08 PM
Here are the few pictures we had taken at Epcot on that final day. Hope you enjoyed them!

http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0237FourBySix.jpg

In color:
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0239FourBySix.jpg

I love this one!!
http://i160.photobucket.com/albums/t161/sooze73/11%20Disney%20Grand%20Gathering/Photo%20pass/Photo0245FourBySix.jpg

Thanks again everyone! Have a safe 2012!

:love:

micandminforever
02-03-2012, 09:08 PM
Wonderful trip report, once again I enjoy every installment. You packed alot into the last day.

I also hate the last day. I feel like I need to go around and tell each ride and shop goodbye. Then finish up in the Magic Kingdom.

Sooze
02-04-2012, 10:33 AM
Wonderful trip report, once again I enjoy every installment. You packed alot into the last day.

I also hate the last day. I feel like I need to go around and tell each ride and shop goodbye. Then finish up in the Magic Kingdom.

:good vibes Thank you so much for sticking around. I'm so happy you enjoyed it!

And telling different parts of the park goodbye? We TOTALLY do that!

Thanks again!

LisaKeys
09-04-2012, 03:05 AM
I was reading your current trip report, and decided I had to read your Grand Gathering TR. I am SO glad I did - and yes - I used the links and read it entirely in one sitting. I loved how everyone got along so well, and truly loved the magical experience of family at Disney! I have to admit, I cried through the last day as the family split apart to travel back to their homes.

Thanks again for a fantastic TR!!!

PS: I liked how you placed the Photo Pass at the end of each day. Nice touch. And of course how you add in videos.

I'll see you back at your current TR. :surfweb:

Sooze
09-06-2012, 08:34 PM
I was reading your current trip report, and decided I had to read your Grand Gathering TR. I am SO glad I did - and yes - I used the links and read it entirely in one sitting. I loved how everyone got along so well, and truly loved the magical experience of family at Disney! I have to admit, I cried through the last day as the family split apart to travel back to their homes.

Thanks again for a fantastic TR!!!

PS: I liked how you placed the Photo Pass at the end of each day. Nice touch. And of course how you add in videos.

I'll see you back at your current TR. :surfweb:

You just made my day!! :goodvibes:goodvibes
It takes me so long to finish my TRs, that I often lose people in the process... so it's nice to hear someone enjoying a completed one!!

Thanks a bunch!!