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Old 06-04-2012, 12:36 AM   #16
PrincessEeyore
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Ashley I absolutely loved the update!

The last paragraph was easily the highlight of my night, and I'm not ashamed to say that I can very easily relate...

That story about Geoffrey is too bizarre, who knew a pot of tea could cause someone to change face so quickly. Oh well, I'm glad you and your husband had such a lovely dinner and laughed the whole night! Your post about V&A may have single-handedly convinced me that it's a place I need to dine at at least once!

Can't wait for more!
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:56 AM   #17
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Caught up and subbing in! Loving your trip report so far, especially your posts about V&A's! My DH and I will be eating there in October on our Disneymoon, so I love reading about other peoples experiences.
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Old 06-04-2012, 11:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrincessEeyore View Post
Ashley I absolutely loved the update!

The last paragraph was easily the highlight of my night, and I'm not ashamed to say that I can very easily relate...

That story about Geoffrey is too bizarre, who knew a pot of tea could cause someone to change face so quickly. Oh well, I'm glad you and your husband had such a lovely dinner and laughed the whole night! Your post about V&A may have single-handedly convinced me that it's a place I need to dine at at least once!

Can't wait for more!
I'm glad I'm not the only one!!

It WAS strange, too weird to really believe had I not actually been there myself. And even then we kept thinking "Surely not. Tea??"

You really should visit once! Some people have said it isn't worth it, but that dining trip was an incredible experience for us. It was a chance for us to try things we wouldn't be able to try literally anywhere else. I told my DH that for my 30th birthday, all I wanted was to go back there, but I want to reserve the Chef's table! So we'll see

Quote:
Originally Posted by RachVH View Post
Caught up and subbing in! Loving your trip report so far, especially your posts about V&A's! My DH and I will be eating there in October on our Disneymoon, so I love reading about other peoples experiences.
Welcome!! And Congratulations on your marriage! Thanks so much for reading along! And great choice! My advice to you would be not to be afraid of letting them know about any foods you don't like ahead of time. Some people have said that it ruins the experience, but for me it definitely did not. If there are things you know you don't like, don't spend money for them just because they're "gourmet" - as I learned with the eggs haha

Thank you both for commenting! As a new poster it can be kind of scary writing a report, and a little insecure thinking "Am I doing this right?!" so your feedback is a real encouragement!
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POP/POFQ Dec 2011 - Eating and Napping Our Way Through The World - A First Timers Black Friday Trip Report!
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:17 PM   #19
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Chapter 8: Heading Down On The River

Chapter 8: Heading Down On The River


6 AM came too early the morning following our late night dinner (but doesn't it always?), and once more we all woke up to the sounds of Nana shuffling about the room getting ready for the day.

My eyelids fought against me with all of their might, beating wildly against my half-hearted will to pry them open, but a few moments later I was up and dressed. Little voices were quietly babbling from their cribs, and I was greeted with luminous smiles from two precious babies. Somehow, those nearly toothless proclamations of love have a way of brightening your whole day.

Good morning hugs and kisses were passed around and as soon as the babies were changed we headed down for some (much needed) coffee and breakfast.

We refilled our mugs with the unremarkable Nestle coffee and grabbed some bagels and fruit to go - no time to stay for a leisurely breakfast today, we had to go back and pack, in just a little while we were off to Port Orleans French Quarter!

We packed up our things and triple and quadruple checked to make sure all was accounted for. Only on vacation can you lose so many things in such a small amount of space. We learned that lesson before, so we were much more careful now.

Around 9:30 we headed out to the Pop bust stop and bid adieu to the value resort, bound for more moderate luxuries


Cya, Pop!

On the ride over to the French Quarter my mom expressed her hope that this resort wouldn't be like Pop. It was far too cramped for her (and to be honest, we felt the same way with 5 people and a double stroller and two cribs), the beds we found to be like rocks, and she was disappointed there was no hot tub. But really, for the cost, what more did we expect?

I assured her that we were moving from a Value resort to a Moderate, which meant the amenities would be nicer. She nodded her head and I sent up a silent prayer that I was right. I'd booked POFQ because I had *read* that it was the best of the moderates, tied with POR, but for some reason the FQ theme appealed to me more.

We pulled under a green wrought iron awning and my hopes raised, and as soon as we pushed our way through the glass doors and into the courtyard I knew my prayers were answered. I think we all just stopped and looked around for a few seconds, before being so rudely interrupted by two toddlers who wanted to explore too, and were making it known how unfair it was that they were strapped in this rolling prison.

I went and checked in at the front desk where I received my KTTW cards and information about the Deluxe Dining. She asked me if I needed help with any of the reservations - nope! Had em all booked 180 days ago! (Don't mind me, I was just a little proud that I didn't look like a rookie here )

Our room was ready so we were on our way to find it. Every step we took into the resort filled my heart with joy and excitement - and best of all I could see it on my DH and DM's faces. They loved it! The best was yet to come, though, because what I hadn't told them was that I had upgraded our room to a River View, I just knew they were going to love it.

We found our building and I took the elevator (have you ever tried pushing a double stroller up a few dozen stairs? Not thanks! lol) and as we turned the corner BAM, we were here!



Inside we found a CM already setting up the pack n play cribs for us, already we were off to a better start!


Everyone checking out the room.


Hey Mickey!

It was just beautiful! Everything still smelled new, it was clean and bright and we just adored the decor! AND, it was BIGGER! We now had no problem rolling our stroller into the room and parking it out of the way, nor did we trip over each other once the cribs were set up.

But the best part?

Our view!!


I can't even tell you how excited everyone was. The resort was so relaxing and calm, and our view was just absolutely perfect. Every so often we'd see a carriage trotting down the lane or the ferry taxing across the river. I could have lived there.



We decided to head down to Sassagoula to grab some food, since by this time it was close to lunch and naps!

Once again my camera died, so the only pictures I have are from the cell phone. *sigh* sadly, this would be a recurring theme throughout the trip.


The path from our building leading to the pool and the ferry dock.


Main courtyard!

LoveBug fell asleep in her stroller on the way down, so while Nana went and got food, I took the opportunity to capture some memories of DH and Looberry


Blowing kisses




LoveBug woke up as soon as Nana got back with some food, we ate and decided that it was such a beautiful day we'd check out the pool!

We took a dip and let the girls splash around for a while while Nana relaxed on the patio


Pretty soon it was nap time, so we went back up to the room and dried off.


LoveBug after a nice swim

Then we all settled in for a nice long nap!


Continued in next post
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*The evening star is shining bright, so make a wish and hold on tight, there's magic in the air tonight and anything could happen*

Grand Floridian Dec 2012 - The Sweetest Little Disneymoon Ever! **In Progress**
POP/POFQ Dec 2011 - Eating and Napping Our Way Through The World - A First Timers Black Friday Trip Report!

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Old 08-08-2012, 04:48 PM   #20
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Chapter 9: A Yakkity Dinner

Chapter 9: A Yakkity Dinner (Alternately entitled: The Post That Tried Not To Exist)



**I think I've written this post about thirteen hundred thousand times, but thanks to a spastic computer, it never published. I even tried to type it into Word and save it, but once again the virus from hades refused to allow me passage. Fortunately a 36 hour hard drive wipe was "all" it took, we're back in business now!

I'm honestly not even certain that anyone is still reading this, and it crossed my mind to chalk it up as a loss, call it a learning experience, and move on. BUT, I am determined to get one full report under my belt before beginning another one (hint hint!), and we haven't even really gotten to the best part of the trip. SO! I'm hopping back in the saddle and setting my mind to finishing this, STAT!**




We awoke some hours later to stirring, and hopefully well rested, babies. We had all slept later than I anticipated, apparently the past few days had worn us out more than we realized. We had planned to spend some time at our first park of the trip this night, but we were quickly approaching our ADR, after which the park would be closing, so I hurried everyone to get ready and in just a few minutes we were on our way!


To the Animal Kingdom!

Now, the week that we took this trip was promoted as one of the slowest weeks in Disney, that was a big part of why we decided on it (and my obsessive love of Christmas), but even with that in mind, this is not what we expected to see.


A nearly EMPTY park. At first we thought maybe we'd hit all the crowds once we got through security.


But no! This is the way it was the entire time we were there! It was a little strange, to be honest, but we weren't complaining! We literally walked on every single ride we wanted to do, and some of the other ones were closed - and actually found ourselves a little *whispers* bored!


Obligatory Tree of Life picture

We still had 45 minutes until our ADR but we thought we'd check in early to see if the had anything available, because at this point we were just meandering through stores that we had no intention of purchasing from.

Sure enough the hostess said there was PLENTY of space (because the park was empty! ha!) and we could come on in. Thus began our dinner at Yak and Yeti!


DH and Looberry!

Now, I only had my cell phone camera, and the food pictures stunk, BUT I've seen some other Disers "borrow" from the interwebz, so I'm going to do the same!

This was our first taste of the DxDP, and we quickly realized we may have bitten off more than we could chew (har har), and coming from a big ol' foodie like me, that's saying something!

As you know, we each got an appetizer.

I ordered the Wok Fried Green Beans

Which were freaking delicious! We have a thing, fried green beans and I. *insert dreamy sigh* By I digress.

DH got the pot stickers

I don't care for pot stickers, something about the texture makes me gag. But he loved them, so you'll have to take his word for it.

And Nana ordered the Pork Egg Rolls!

Which I LOVED. I briefly considered order these for my entree, but then I came to my senses.

For an entree I ordered the Beef and Broccoli

Yum. Yum, yum, yum. I love steak. And Broccoli. And starch. Winner!

DH ordered the Shaoxing Beef and Shrimp

And he absolutely raves about it to this day.

And Nana ordered the ribs!

Which were pretty good. They weren't great - but we have some awesome rib joints up here, so we consider ourselves a little spoiled. For being a theme park restaurant, we thought these were definitely good!

At this point we were all stuffed beyond comprehension, but I'd heard SO much about a certain dessert that I HAD to try it, no matter if it landed me in the indigestion infirmary.

The cream cheese wontons

Nom. Nom, nom, nom. I love these - SO glad we tried them! I only managed to eat one, and dh and Nana split one, and the girls ate the rest of them. (oh, they'd eaten off our plates the whole dinner too. I'm not one of those moms that lets her kids only eat dessert. Usually. AHEM.)

With full bellies we managed to meander out of the restaurant. The park was closing in just a few minutes and the kids were getting grumpy again anyway, so we made our way out. The park was beautiful at night with the lights shining, that was probably my favorite part.

That being said, I don't foresee us going back to the AK until the girls are old enough to ask for it. I don't care much for the zoo feel anyway, but when we do go back, chances are good we'll stop at Y&Y again.

We made our way back to POFQ and hopped back in the pool for a while. It had been a really warm day, but we noticed the temperatures dropping off quite a bit more than they had the past few nights. So, we packed up the girls and gave them a warm bath back in the room, tucked them in bed, and then DH and I went out to the bar to have some quiet time while Nana went to bed in the room.

When we finished our beers we walked around the resort, taking it all in. I love POFQ. It is so absolutely beautiful. There was a movie being played on the open grassy area where a few families had gathered. I look forward to doing that some day with our kiddos.

We found ourselves down at the dock and decided to hop on board the ferry and take the trip down to DD. The ride was so much fun. We were fascinated by the tree-house villas, and if we ever stay at DW with a huge group, I'm TOTALLY booking those!

We decided that we didn't feel like shopping that night, so we just stayed on the boat for the ride back, talking and laughing and having some much needed private adult time. (Not like that. this is a family park, get your head right! )

By the time we got back it was close to 11 so we decided to call it a night and hope that tomorrow - our second day in the parks - would prove to be more of a success!



**Thanks to the Disneyfoodblog and other various google images sources that provided these pictures**

Continued in next post
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*The evening star is shining bright, so make a wish and hold on tight, there's magic in the air tonight and anything could happen*

Grand Floridian Dec 2012 - The Sweetest Little Disneymoon Ever! **In Progress**
POP/POFQ Dec 2011 - Eating and Napping Our Way Through The World - A First Timers Black Friday Trip Report!

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Old 08-09-2012, 09:11 PM   #21
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Chapter 10: A Prime Time for Hollywood

Chapter 10: A Prime Time for Hollywood



We woke up, as you can probably guess, just before the proverbial rooster, thanks to Nana's internal clock. The babies insisted they were wide awake and ready to face the day - the whole day, even. I was skeptical, but obviously outnumbered I surrendered my warm cozy pajamas in lieu of something a little more public appropriate.

Once dressed we decided to meander down to POR for breakfast and check out the grounds. We followed the carriage path that wound beside the river, the birds chirping and the sun spilling it's new light over the water. It was a truly beautiful morning. I decided not to bother with the camera and just enjoy my little family.

I fell immediately in love with the southern styled mansions, and Nana was oohing and aahhing every step of the way. I definitely made a mental note to keep it on our list for possible future resorts.

We got to the Riverside Mill Food Court and paid for our breakfasts, then chose a table and sat down. As we ate and fed the kiddos we talked about what our plans were for the day, and decided that it'd be best to put the girls down for an early nap before we headed off to the parks. We had Hollywood Studios on the agenda for both lunch and dinner, so we needed them to make it through.

As we finished our rather unremarkable breakfast and began walking back, I noticed how humid and hot it was getting and remarked that it'd be nice if it cooled down a touch. Those words would come back to haunt me.

Back at the FQ we went swimming again and all took a nap. The babies took a while to fall asleep, so when it was time to wake them up I was already feeling like this might be a bad idea, but we had an ADR to get to and, gosh darn it, I wanted to play in a park!

So off we went! It was a beautiful sunny, clear day, and even though they were short on sleep, the twincesses seemed relatively happy, I was feeling hopeful.

Now, I don't know when, but sometime on the 10 minute drive from PO to DHS, my clear, sunny skies turned ominously black. Remember that hopeful feeling? It was starting to slip away. I checked the weather on my phone, and according to them there was no rain in the area. I was doubtful, but maybe it was just a clump of dark, low, heavy clouds passing by. Maybe?

We got through security and swiped our key cards, and just as I was about to take out my camera and snap away, those "not" rain clouds opened up and DUMPED about a million gallons of water on us. So the camera was quickly shoved away, sunshades were thrown over babies, and we made a mad dash to the 50's PT cafe. All I can say is thank goodness I did my homework and had SOME idea of where we were going.

We parked our stroller under a tiny bit of awning and prayed that we would be okay when we got out, then we pressed into the packed restaurant and gave our names and sat to wait.


DH and Looberry, a little wet!


Nana and Lovebug were pretty dry though.

Now, we were just about 10 minutes early for our ADR, so when 10, 15, 20 minutes passed our ressie time, I began to get a little frustrated. I checked with the hostess who assured me that we were "close". 25, 30, 35. Babies started getting anxious. They were hungry, and confined to adults' arms and supervision, neither of which made them happy.

Finally, 40 minutes after our ADR time, we were called back to our table.


Duck, DH!

Our "cousin" brought out our drinks and took our orders pretty quickly. There was a little playfulness, but I think she could see that we were all a little bit flustered, so she took it easy on us. She was great with the girls, though, and I was appreciative.

Soon, actually really fast, our appetizers were brought to us.


DH ordered the wedge salad. Now, DH had never HAD a wedge salad before. So they bring our all of our appetizers, and he's still a little miffed about waiting so long, so when she set the salad in front of him and had rushed away to another table, he took one look at it, then looked at me and said "Are you kidding? They couldn't even take the time to cut it up?!" I had to fight my laughter, for the time being, as I gently explained to him that it was a WEDGE salad, and this was how it was supposed to be. It clicked, and he blushed a little and said "oh... yeah. I guess that makes sense." And oh, he loved it! And now he orders one every time we go somewhere that offers it, and every time I tease him. I mean, I have to, right?

Nana and I got the same thing

Onion rings. These were pretty good, not great, and certainly not the best I've ever had. I thought the onion pieces were too thick, so that they slid out of the breading when you took a bite. But the coating was good and crisp and not too greasy, so that was a redeeming factor.



The Twincesses liked them, anyway

Our cousin came back to check on us, and seeing that we were ALL in a much better mood, upped the ante a little. She was hilarious and sweet and so much fun. We had a great time talking with her.

Soon she brought out our entrees


DH got the salmon with onion strings (which I don't see on the lunch menu anymore... hmm.) At any rate, he thought it was a little bland but nicely cooked.

And once again Nana and I ordered the same thing - like mother like daughter?

The sampler!

Oh man. Oh my, oh my, oh my. Delicious. Perfect on a rainy day. I'm usually a meatloaf snob, I like my own and that's about it, because I can't handle dry door stoppers, but this I thought was really very delicious. The beef roast was also good, but the fried chicken was the star of the show. I dream about this chicken, folks. Nom.

Adequately stuffed, naturally we ordered dessert!


Smores for DH - which he said tasted like smores, sooo mission accomplished? ha


Nana ordered the Seasonal cobbler - which was apple. She said it was just like apple crisp, which was good!

And I ordered this huge, mountainous beauty

Can I just talk about how ridiculously childlike I felt ordering this? It was AWESOME! DH ate all my caramel corn, the girls ate half of one piece, and I ate half of another, and that was all she wrote. I felt like my pants were going to burst, I just couldn't do it!

We "paid" the check, left our tip, thanked our cousin and headed out. There were still tons of people waiting and we didn't want someone else's starving toddlers melting down because we felt like dawdling.

Now, I know that 50's PT gets a lot of mixed reviews on here, but I loved it. No, the food will probably not blow your mind, you won't be elevated to a new culinary horizon, but it is really good solid home style food. If you like that, if you need a break from the "special" Disney food, this is your place to go.

So with that said, we wandered out into the open air to find it still lightly sprinkling and decided there was only one thing we could do - time to find some ponchos!



Continued In Next Post
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*The evening star is shining bright, so make a wish and hold on tight, there's magic in the air tonight and anything could happen*

Grand Floridian Dec 2012 - The Sweetest Little Disneymoon Ever! **In Progress**
POP/POFQ Dec 2011 - Eating and Napping Our Way Through The World - A First Timers Black Friday Trip Report!

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Old 08-09-2012, 10:52 PM   #22
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Just found your TR, Following along. We will be travel to WDW this Nov/Dec
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Old 08-10-2012, 12:52 AM   #23
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Just found your TR, Following along. We will be travel to WDW this Nov/Dec
Hi! Thank you!!!

We're actually going to be going back in early December as well, this time just the two of us! I loved the decorations, I think Disney during Christmas is just pretty hard to beat
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*The evening star is shining bright, so make a wish and hold on tight, there's magic in the air tonight and anything could happen*

Grand Floridian Dec 2012 - The Sweetest Little Disneymoon Ever! **In Progress**
POP/POFQ Dec 2011 - Eating and Napping Our Way Through The World - A First Timers Black Friday Trip Report!
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Old 08-10-2012, 03:10 AM   #24
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Oh my goodness, your 'twincesses' are adorable!!! : How fun to have time to get used to being away from home and rest up from your long travel day!

I can't believe how empty AK was. Amazing! I have yet to eat at Yak and Yeti, but I know what I will order when I do.

I am impressed at how nice your Mom looks after going through the rain to get to 50's prime time!

Victoria and Alberts looked absolutely fantastic! Yummo!! I wonder if you could get the truffle bread to go??

Looking forward to more adventures!!
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:07 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by ShortStuff View Post
Oh my goodness, your 'twincesses' are adorable!!! : How fun to have time to get used to being away from home and rest up from your long travel day!

I can't believe how empty AK was. Amazing! I have yet to eat at Yak and Yeti, but I know what I will order when I do.

I am impressed at how nice your Mom looks after going through the rain to get to 50's prime time!

Victoria and Alberts looked absolutely fantastic! Yummo!! I wonder if you could get the truffle bread to go??

Looking forward to more adventures!!
Thank you!! We think they're pretty cute too, and looking back now kind of makes me sad, they still look like babies! Now we have full blown toddlers! We said that any time we have a family vacation we're always going to give ourselves a day to unwind, it was so nice to not have to rush right into the parks.

Yea, my mom always looks nice! lol People ask us if we're sisters alllll the time. No one believes she's 50 :

And YES! I wanted to ask if that was possible but I thought that might not be a very classy thing to do. But oh man. I dream of that truffle bread. We're hoping to go back for our big trip in a few years, I'll be turning 30, graduating with my masters, and (based on our current pay off plan) we'll be debt free all in one year. We thought that'd be a great reason to go for a big ol' celebration, and you can bet V&A's will be on that trip! Now here's hoping they still have that bread. HA!

Thank you so much for reading along!
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*The evening star is shining bright, so make a wish and hold on tight, there's magic in the air tonight and anything could happen*

Grand Floridian Dec 2012 - The Sweetest Little Disneymoon Ever! **In Progress**
POP/POFQ Dec 2011 - Eating and Napping Our Way Through The World - A First Timers Black Friday Trip Report!
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:27 PM   #26
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I'm loving your updates! I especially love seeing the positive reviews of 50's PTC.... My family and I are eating there in October and I've heard mixed reviews lately.

We also love POFQ. It's our favorite resort and it's our home away from home.

Can't wait to read more!!
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:36 AM   #27
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Chapter 11: A Blustery Afternoon

Chapter 11: A Blustery Afternoon



We strolled into the first gift shop we could find and stumbled upon a CM handing out thin plastic ponchos. I didn't think it would be enough to keep the babies dry (or ourselves, for that matter), but my husband pleaded with me not to spend $50 dollars on ponchos, so we went with it and hoped for the best.



As we walked on the rain began to clear up, though the clouds remained ever ominous. It was a dark and dreary day, and what had begun as steamy and muggy was quickly turning to cold and damp. Fortunately I had been one of those moms and had packed two pairs of pants and long sleeves for the babies, even though it was close to 90 degrees that morning. So we quickly changed the girls out of their dresses and into their warmer clothes and headed deeper into the park.




Our first stop was, of course, Star Tours! DH is a newly indoctrinated SW fan, and when he found out about this ride it was his primary request.



Again we were amazed by the complete lack of crowding. Nana decided to pass on the ride, so she explored the rest of the area with the girls.

We walked right on to the ride and were joined by less than a handful of other people. We got lucky, apparently there was a rebel on our flight who drew out the fury of the government, but fortunately our captain got us to safety. The nerve of some people!

Once off the ride we browsed the gift shop and saw a lot of things we liked, but nothing we liked enough to buy, so we found Nana and moved on.

The girls were starting to get anxious, and it was starting to rain again, so we decided to give the Muppet Vision show a shot. As it turned out, the rest of the park had the same idea.

We must have just missed the show, because we spent what felt like a small eternity waiting in the queue with the ever increasingly restless babies. It was incredibly humid and packed wall to wall. Finally the doors opened and we filled into the auditorium. It worked for a few minutes, but soon the babies decided they were absolutely NOT entertained, and instead of forcing the rest of the group to suffer through their whining, I scooped them up and waited at the exit while Nana and DH finished the show. It got a little better outside while the girls tried out their new walking legs, but soon even the minimal freedom of the ramp began to lose it's entertainment appeal. Then, not a minute too soon, the show ended and we began to hunt down the stroller from the parking area.

Unfortunately the rain had picked up, as well as the wind, and the stroller was sopping wet. We dumped it out and tried to dry it off as best we could, laid the ponchos down, and put the girls on top.



I was determined to make the rest of this day go well. I wanted desperately to see the Osborne lights, and we had a much anticipated dinner planned at the Brown Derby. They say where there's a will, there's a way right?

Well, my friends, it would seem that the will of a few one year olds - aided heavily by terrible weather - had the ability to force their way.

As the sun set the chilly weather turned down-right freezing. The area where the Osborne lights was set up had roped off all of the sidewalks (and thus, any hope of shelter from the rain.) I get that they're looking to keep guests away from all the lights, but man, this night might have actually worked if we'd not been standing in freezing rain. But I digress.

It was dark, it was raining, it was freezing, the babies were crying and yelling, we were all soaking wet and rapidly growing irritated with everything.

Just then the lights went on with the music, and it was breath taking, and for that moment it was all worth it. But just that moment, because seconds later our girls had a melt down to end all melt downs, I had completely lost my patience with everyone, and we realized that dinner was absolutely out of the question.

We headed out of the park less than 60 seconds after the lights began, I was glad we'd seen it, but it was tainted.

Fortunately the bus back to the FQ was quick. I was sitting in near tears at just how much of a failure the day had been. We were all angry, and probably me most of all. This was my first trip to Disney, it was going completely opposite of what I had envisioned. We pulled into the bus loop and left the bus as quickly as we could. We strolled up to the room in silence and got the girls dried off and into warm pajamas. Nana went down to the food court to get some macaroni and cheese and a hamburger for herself and the girls.

My emotions were still running high, so I sat outside while the kids finished eating and just cried. After I'd gotten it out of my system, I went inside and freshened up, kissed the girls goodnight and tucked them in.

DH suggested we take the ferry down to DD to find something to eat, so we pulled on some warm clothes and headed down to the ferry dock, leaving Nana and the babies falling quickly asleep in the room.

I took the opportunity to use my rarely free hands to take some psuedo-artsy pictures








The boat ride was refreshing, albeit cold, and by the time we made it Downtown, I knew exactly where I wanted to go for dinner. Raglan Road!






Continued In Next Post
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*The evening star is shining bright, so make a wish and hold on tight, there's magic in the air tonight and anything could happen*

Grand Floridian Dec 2012 - The Sweetest Little Disneymoon Ever! **In Progress**
POP/POFQ Dec 2011 - Eating and Napping Our Way Through The World - A First Timers Black Friday Trip Report!

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Old 10-09-2012, 04:04 PM   #28
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Chapter 12: Music and Dancing and Bread Pudding - Oh My!

Chapter 12: Music and Dancing and Bread Pudding - Oh My!



We disembarked the ferry and hurried our way through the, once again, pouring rain to Raglan Road. We pulled open the doors and the warm air in the lobby hugged itself around us, welcoming us with it's sweet aromas. It was a busy night, so we waited a few minutes before we were able to get a seat - but it was worth it!



We had a fabulous view of both stages. For the few of you who may have never been to RR before, there are two stages. A small one in the middle of the restaurant, and a bigger traditional stage set at the back.

I'm fairly certain that they have live music every night, but at the time I didn't realize that, so when we saw them playing we were ecstatic. There's just something about live music that evokes a fun atmosphere.

Our waiter was friendly enough, if a bit rushed and distracted, but we placed our orders fairly quickly and he was off.

While we waited, the dancers started to perform. They did a dance all together (there were 4, two men, two women) and then one of the women (who was also the hostess? I don't know if that's normal, lol) got on the small stage right in front of us for a solo.



She was gorgeous, and so incredibly talented.

Now, all the reviews I read kind of put me off, because they say that RR is so loud you can hardly hear yourself think. We found that, while definitely loud, it wasn't quite that bad, and we were able to talk most of the night when we weren't solely enjoying the entertainment.

Soon our entrees came out. I had this beauty!


The Serious Steak - a sirloin glazed with whiskey marmalade and an onion ring, with mashed potatoes. The green was a basil oil, similar to pesto.

And DH ordered the Mighty Mixed Grill

Lamb, banger, steak, black pudding, chicken, and bacon. He loved this - and he even ate the black pudding. *shudder* Brave man. lol

It was close to 10:30 at this point, so we scarfed our entrees. Our waiter came to check on us and I decided I was feeling adventurous, so I ordered a drink.

This drink


The Iced Irish. It's basically an alcoholic caramel macchiato. Clearly I am not mom enough (too soon? bahaha) for drinks like this, because I took 3 sips and had to call it. It was SO strong! I like my drinks sweet usually, but if not, I prefer them to taste like a drink with a little alcohol. This was like straight alcohol with a small splash of coffee. So, if you're a real drinker, unlike me, you'd probably love this.

Even though we were bordering on stuffed, I knew I had to order dessert. I'd had my eye on something for YEARS (literally, folks!) and there was no way I was walking away without it!

You know what I'm talking about.

And here she is!


Ger's Bread Pudding!

Oh. My. Cow. Can I tell you about how I died inside when I ate this? Died. It was amazing and glorious and everything I hoped it would be!

Oh, my husband got dessert too. This is what he ordered


I think it was an apple pie/crisp. I didn't taste it, because I was already exploding myself fitting in the bread pudding, and I wasn't going to waste any stomach space with an inferior dessert.

After we finished we hung around and watched the band for another half an hour or so to let our food settle, and then it hit us, sitting in that comfortable booth, in the warm air, with full bellies - we were exhausted. I know, what wimps. So we paid our check and made our way out.

We waddled back to the ferry and made it to the hotel room a little after midnight, said a prayer over everyone that tomorrow would be better, and went to bed.


Continued in next post
__________________
Ashley (27) Papa Bear (26) : DD Looberry (3) : DD Love-Bug (3)

*The evening star is shining bright, so make a wish and hold on tight, there's magic in the air tonight and anything could happen*

Grand Floridian Dec 2012 - The Sweetest Little Disneymoon Ever! **In Progress**
POP/POFQ Dec 2011 - Eating and Napping Our Way Through The World - A First Timers Black Friday Trip Report!

Last edited by disneydreaminA115; 10-24-2012 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 10-24-2012, 08:41 PM   #29
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Chapter 13: A Sweet Day at EPCOT!

Chapter 13: A Sweet Day at EPCOT!

The next morning Nana had mercy on us and decided not to shower when she woke up at 5am. Instead, she slipped quietly out of the room to walk the path between POFQ and POR and watch the sunset, while the rest of us got some much needed sleep time! By the time she came back it was almost 8 am (which, can I still say, is disgustingly early?! We're spoiled, but our girls sleep until almost 9:30 every day!) Still, we took it where we could get it, and as everyone dressed with sleepy smiles, I just felt that the tone was setting for a good day.

We decided to have breakfast over at Riverside, and since I'd never walked it before, we took the carriage path. At 8:30 in the morning it was so still and quiet, a Midas sun had just begun painting everything gold, and the river reflected the magnolia trees with such a shimmer, it really did feel like Disney magic. Our breakfast was standard food court fare - nothing special. On the schedule for this day was a late lunch and afternoon at Epcot, so we had planned to just bum around in the morning. The previous days cold front had changed the atmosphere dramatically. Twenty four hours before it was hot and muggy and humid, and now the air was dry and only just barely warm.

Never the less, we donned our bathing suits and brought the kids into the pool that they so loved to play in. When their little lips started turning blue, we figured it'd probably be best to get them dried off and down for a nap. So, in true Martin family fashion, around 11 o'clock we all laid down and slept for an hour and a half. When we woke up everyone was still in good spirits, so I began to thank my stars! We dressed quickly, packed up the stroller, and headed to the bus loop for Epcot.

A few short minutes later, we were walking through the turnstiles and past Spaceship Earth! I wanted to take some pictures, but we were running late for our ADR, and the babies were getting hungry. So I checked my Epcot map on my iphone and managed to guide us right to the front doors of

Le Chefs De France


I'd heard so many good things about this place, and Ratatouille is one of my favorite movies, so this was an easy choice for me!

While we waited we saw the Pere Noel show, which I thought was just lovely



And I took a ton of photos - I wanted to capture the NOT cranky mood!

YAY SMILES!

We waited for about 10 minutes before we were led inside.

The room was decorated very sparingly - but beautifully - for the Christmas season.


In my mind, France equals romance, and this restaurant did nothing to change my opinion.

I had long since stalked the menu, so I knew exactly what I wanted - and what I hoped everyone else would get. (Don't you do that to?!)

We ended up ordering only 2 appetizers, the French Onion soup, and the Onion flatbread/tart





These were both delicious, but I admit that the tart threw me! I wasn't expecting it to be so thin-crust pizza-y. We all preferred the onion soup - but then again, we're all big soup people

After we put in our orders for food, this little guy came to visit!





LoveBug was elated!

Our food came out very quickly afterwards, right about when the girls started to protest our forced hunger strike

DH ordered the short ribs while Nana and I both ordered the Macaroni, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed. I've heard people rave about this dish, but for me it just fell a little flat. There was way, way too much nutmeg for m. DH's dish, however, I wanted to steal from him! If/when we go back, I will absolutely be ordering the short ribs instead!

The twins were unbiased and eagerly ate anything on a fork in their general vicinity.

Once again we were way too full for dessert, so we cashed out and packed up. I wanted to get as much out of our time here as we could, and we had a special event coming up that I didn't want to miss!

We began our walk around world showcase, and I was absolutely enraptured by all of the detail that went into every design. I was especially fond of Morocco

Epcot is one of the places I am especially looking forward to visiting when we go back, I didn't get to spend nearly enough time there.

We made it down to Italy and I called for a pit stop! I'd read on the Disboards about this wonderful sweet wine, and that's right up my alley!
You all know what I'm talking about - Rosa Regale! Unlike the macaroni, this did not disappoint. It was light and sweet and everything a good desserty wine should be. I may or may not have gone back for another glass (because DH stole half of mine - don't judge me!)

I checked my cell phone and realized we were running out of time before our next event, and there was still one place that I was determined to visit. DH is completely addicted and obsessed with caramel, in fact, that was one of the selling points for this trip - there was no way we were getting out of visiting Germany

We sauntered into Karamell Kuche and the aroma of warm sweet caramel washed over us. Ahhhh. I need an air freshener like that! The choices were a little overwhelming, and DH was going nuts. We ended up ordering a caramel cookie for the girls, a chewy caramel bar for myself, a soft caramel creme roll for nana, and DH ordered a salted caramel chocolate square. Of the 4 of us, only Nana remembered to take a picture.



Which was fine, because to be honest, neither the cookie nor the caramel bar were photo worthy.

DH simply couldn't stop eating his long enough for anyone to get near him with a camera. He was more than impressed, he raved about it for the next two hours.

Sufficiently sweet toothed out (for now), we headed back towards the American pavilion, because it was time for one of the most exciting things on my schedule - the Candlelight Processional.

I am a Christmas fanatic, I love everything about it, but especially the savior who gives it such an eternal meaning. When I started researching the narrators, I couldn't believe my luck - the presenter who would be there during our stay was none other than Michael W. Smith - practically the leader of modern Christian music, and someone we were all very very familiar with. I couldn't pass up a chance like this.

As we passed the line for those waiting to get seats without a reservation, I was extra glad I had decided to buy the lunch package. There is absolutely no way the kids would have waited in line for an hour - hour and a half like some of those folks!

We settled in mid center of the theater and shortly after the choir started filtering it.




We'd been sitting for about 20 minutes when the girls started to fidget, so I pulled out my secret mommy stash of snacks and toys and prayed that we would make it through.

Finally they announced Mr. Smith, and out he came!

The story and the songs were lovely, and even though the girls really began to become restless a while in, the end was coming up and I knew we'd make it if we really tried.



And we did! The finale song was sung just after the sun set, and it was beautiful - but we scrammed out of there as soon as we realized it was all coming to an end, because we knew it was about to become a human traffic jam with folks leaving and other folks lining up.

It was dark and getting very cold again, so we decided to head back to POFQ before dinner.

But not before we made one more stop - on DH's begging and pleading.

And this is what we left with



They look manageable in the picture, but these things are enormous, and they actually lasted him for about 2 weeks post-trip!

This time, he says, he's planning on getting enough for a year. HA. We'll see.

It was pitch black by the time we rolled out of Epcot, and while I was disappointed we didn't get to see Illuminations, I was so grateful for the pleasant time we had.

We got back to POFQ and Nana decided she just wanted to pick up dinner at Sassagoula and turn in for the night, which meant DH and I got another solor date night!

I pulled out the girls warmest pajamas and snuggled them in bed for the night - the weather was downright frigid now, and I was thankful again that I'd been over prepared for this trip.

I had thought at this point in the trip it might be nice for DH to have some "normal" food, so I booked our dinner at the Whispering Canyon.

I have never been interested in the Wilderness Lodge because, while I love the beauty of nature as much as the next gal, it's just not my idea of luxury. However, when we stepped foot in the lobby, my mouth actually dropped. I think that WL might have been the most beautifully decorated resort we saw. The GF was gorgeous, but in a very different way - it was classy and refined and lovely. The WL was earthy and just screamed Christmas. I took a few pictures while I marveled at the enormous tree.









Breathtaking. While you won't find me staying at the WL during normal seasons, I've put it on my bucket list to stay there during the Christmas season at some point!

And that's about where the positive reviews end. I'm not even going to spend much time on this dinner because to be frank, it just wasn't worth it. Everything we ordered was cold and yet dripping in grease. The Skillet was dried out and bland and tough. The only thing I enjoyed was our drink. Our waitress was in a bad mood it seemed, so while she was polite, we didn't experience any of the antics I've read about. I don't know if it was just a bad day, but we were incredibly underwhelmed and it felt like a waste of time. We were only there a total of maybe 30 minutes before we decided to go back to our resort.

Once we got back we ordered some drinks from the pool side bar and spent a few hours just talking some chairs in front of the sea serpent. It actually turned out to be lovely! We decided to call it a night because we had an early morning the next day, and it was finally time for me to experience the real magic of Disney!



Continued in next post
__________________
Ashley (27) Papa Bear (26) : DD Looberry (3) : DD Love-Bug (3)

*The evening star is shining bright, so make a wish and hold on tight, there's magic in the air tonight and anything could happen*

Grand Floridian Dec 2012 - The Sweetest Little Disneymoon Ever! **In Progress**
POP/POFQ Dec 2011 - Eating and Napping Our Way Through The World - A First Timers Black Friday Trip Report!

Last edited by disneydreaminA115; 11-08-2012 at 01:55 AM.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:30 AM   #30
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Chapter 14: The Best Day

Chapter 14: The Best Day


The final full day of the trip had come, and while I was sad that the time had flown less elegantly than I had anticipated, nothing could temper my excitement because today we were visiting the park I had been dying to see for 24 years. The Magic Kingdom! In order to get the most we possibly could out of it I had planned a very early breakfast at the Crystal Palace. Initially I was worried about getting everyone up and out on time, but after the week we'd had it was obvious that that was not going to be a problem, and by 7:30 our family was heading to the bus stop for a day of magic and fun.



The day wasn't much improved from the previous few in that the weather was chilly and cloudy, but we had made sure to bundle the babies up tightly and everyone seemed to be refreshed rather than disappointed by the brisk air.
We squeezed past the long forming lines, showed our reservations to the CMs and slipped right on through the gates. We were in!



It was empty as far as our eyes could see, and my sensors were going haywire, I was trying to absorb as much as I could while quickly walking to our almost past ADR.






The castle! And a few more people we caught up with.


We checked into CP and were told it would be a few minutes, so I decided to get another shot of the castle while we waited.



I spent the next 5 minutes Facebooking and picturing and frolicking and basically acting like a child in Disney World for the first time. Which was not far from the truth

Finally our names were called and we were led into the restaurant!



We were led just to the left of the lobby, so I had a view of the beautiful arrangements the whole time. Our host/server told us the characters would be around to our half of the restaurant soon, so we scooted up quickly and filled our plates so that the kids didn't flip.

Apparently they were starving that day, because they polished off some fruit, eggs,and french toast in record time.




Ha. Do you love messy baby pictures as much as I do? Or does it just gross you out? If so, sorry. (not really *snort*)

Just as we were about to go up for seconds we spotted some cuddly fluffy creatures from the 100 Acre Wood!

Now, I'd read on the Disboards about some of the reactions little kids have to the characters, and I had no clue whatsoever how our girls would react. We were playing roulette.







Less enthusiastic than my ideal, perhaps, but I would say it was a success! There was no crying, not much smiling either, but no crying. So in our world, that's a win!h


Here, Pooh, have some french toast


Aww, Nana loves Pooh too!

Sufficiently stuffed we decided not to press our luck keeping the babies tied down any longer, so we paid our tip and strolled back outside.

To our delight we found that the clouds had begun to break up and the sun was starting to peek through. A good omen! I had done my research beforehand and knew that the most "whole family friendly" rides were in Fantasyland, so that was the direction we headed. We decided to keep the theme of the morning alive and walked right on to the Winnie the Pooh ride. It ended up being a GREAT choice! We all loved it, even the kids!




(Isn't she adorable?)




We had a great ride! DH decided to grab some iced coffees while Nana and I took the girls on one more time. When we got off we were waiting in the gift shop browsing the merchandise when DH appeared with the coffees. I shifted Looberry from my arms to my hip and gratefully accepted the drink.

And then so did Looberry. All down the front of her outift.

Thankfully it was cold coffee, so burns weren't a concern. I rifled through my diaperbag to grab another outfit only to find I had packed two extra changes of clothes for Lovebug, and none for Looberry. I know what you're thinking - they're twins, what's the big deal? Well, they were born 2 months early because Lovebug decided to stop growing in utero, and when they were born Looberry weighed 3.3lbs and Lovebug was 2.1. Even as they've grown they've maintained that ratio, so Looberry is always one size bigger than Lovebug. Aren't you glad you asked? HA.

At any rate, we found a pair of warm, cute, way overpriced pajamas in the Pooh gift shop and knew it was either that or we went ALL the way back to the hotel. So we bought the pajamas. Nana however is ever the equal opportunist and decided it would be completely unfair to buy Disney pajamas for one and not the other (and secretly I agreed, but I knew I couldn't convince my DH to buy a pair of $30 dollar pajamas in the spirit of "īt's only fair") so she purchased another for Looberry, and I tried to suppress my glee. Sneaky girls, already they know how to sucker us in. LOL. We promptly changed them both (because if we had matching pajamas, they were going to match today!) and headed to the next attractions.

Next stop was It's a Small World! I'd been to Disneyland many years ago and remembered this ride as one of my favorites, so it was high on my list.



The girls were instantly fascinated, just as I hoped they would be.

Side note about our kids - they have never been cuddly since the day they figured they could roll over. For some reason though, this ride turned my fidgety little near-toddlers into content little snugglers. It. Was. Awesome!



DH, however didn't love the ride as much as we did. Not surprising. Ha.

Afterward we made our rounds through the rest of Fantasyland. The crowds continued the trend we saw throughout the week, and I don't think there was any ride we waited more than 5 minutes to get on.

I loved the Peter Pan ride, but not Snow White. I wanted to go on it because I knew it was being closed, but honestly it was just too dark and loud for us. We're happy go lucky kind of people!

So to counter the mood, we hopped on the Carousel! It was the girls' first time on a Merry go round, so I made sure I got about three hundred pictures






We wandered and meandered further into the Magic Kingdom, into Adventureland where we walked onto even more rides - Pirates of the Caribbean, The Jungle Cruise, one after another with - GASP - happy babies!!!

Before we headed over for a quick trip around Tomorrowland, we stopped in the The Tiki Room, and I am proud to say of the handful of kids in there, ours were the best behaved. What a change! HA! Afterward, as we walked we passed this little known shop - maybe you've heard of it - I think they call it Aloha Isle? *smirk* Of course I had to get a Dole Whip! And let me just say, it absolutely lived up to the hype. I am now a certified Dole Whip addict. It's true. I was happily sipping away, just about to cross the center of MK, when we hit the parade!





The girls loved the music and the bright colored dancers. That was the moment that I cried. THAT was the moment that I had been dreaming of, that was my ideal. Everyone was happy, everyone was GLOWING. There wasn't a more content woman in the world right then.

We made our way into Tomorrowland where I was determined to go on at least ONE roller coaster this trip - Space Mountain! DH doesn't love roller coasters like Nana and I do, so he kept the kids entertained while we went on. Now, please don't stone me for what I'm about to say... but... I hated it. Maybe I'm getting too old or maybe I'm just lame, but it was WAY too whip-lashy for my liking. I'd never met a coaster I didn't like until that day. *insert sad face* but it's okay, it didn't do a thing to dampen my mood

When we walked out DH was flagging us down, he had found one of my absolute FAVORITE characters in the WHOLE world. STITCH!!!

And this might be my favorite picture of the whole trip!



I realized then that we were going to be cutting it close for lunch, so we continued to make our way over to the Liberty Tree Tavern and checked in. Without a moment's hesitation we were led to our table.
Our server was prompt, and we were starving, so we ordered our food quickly. We ordered the tavern fried cheese and the soup (I think chili?) for our appetizers to share. And oh my cow. That was THE best fried cheese I have EVER had in my life. But I hear rumors now that they've changed them to run of the mill mozzarella sticks? That's really sad. Truly. Has anyone started a petition against this yet? If not, they should.

For our entrees we all ordered something different - I ordered the cheeseburger, Nana ordered the turkey meal, and DH ordered the potroast. The babies had some of everything.

This was easily in the top 3 of our favorite meals. I know it's not anything fancy or gourmet, but the food was amazing. Spot on. I haven't had a cheeseburger that good in maybe my whole life. No joke.

The meal was quick, and since we were at the end of a long week of over-eating on the DxDP, we all passed on dessert, completely fooded out. I never thought I would say such a thing.

We left our tip and headed out of the park, with two babies fiercely rubbing their sleepy eyes. I was amazed that they were still awake, as we were WAY past nap time! Sadly we began to make our way to the exit, slowly as we dared without sending the babies into a fit. We collapsed on the bus a few moments later, exhausted and filled to the brim with happiness - and sadness. What a day it had been! I only wish it had happened sooner. By the time we made it back to the hotel it was well after 3pm, and we all crashed in bed for a nice long nap.

Sometime around 5:30 we woke up, still physically dragging and not at all hungry for the dinner we had planned, so we canceled it. I decided it was for the best, as we had an early morning flight to catch anyway, and we probably should spend the night packing and getting some sleep early on.

With the Florida warmth creeping back in with the sun, we decided to spend some time in the pools again and catching part of the movie on the lawn while the girls ran off what was left of their pent up energy.

Around 8pm our bags were packed and stacked by the door and we were all snuggled in bed, with dreams of Disney World still alive in our heads.



Continued in next post
__________________
Ashley (27) Papa Bear (26) : DD Looberry (3) : DD Love-Bug (3)

*The evening star is shining bright, so make a wish and hold on tight, there's magic in the air tonight and anything could happen*

Grand Floridian Dec 2012 - The Sweetest Little Disneymoon Ever! **In Progress**
POP/POFQ Dec 2011 - Eating and Napping Our Way Through The World - A First Timers Black Friday Trip Report!

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