A few more days in Florida...

Tuesday, December 31, 2013
The weather was down right RaNdOm while were in FL!  We made the most of it and spent a lot of time just hanging out which is interesting with 2 busy kiddos!  One day the kids swam and the rest of us sat pool side out of the 40 mph winds.  The pool was heated thankfully...we also ate out a lot at all of our favorites!

JB's fish camp with the gang...a tradition!

Bailey and Grandpa (with a Solon photo bomb - my mom taught him how ;)
Erin, Vera and Madelynne

My sweet boy - oh I love him so much...even if he is drinking mountain dew...seriously he is sneaky and I didn't notice until now!
Grandpa relaxing...it was warmer the last day but got windy but we were determined to be on the beach and play in the sand!
My love and I....I am so blessed!
My bug...she has a thing for hoods and pockets these days!
Hard at work...
Our masterpiece...can you tell what it is?  Yep, an octopus!  A total group effort and fun to make...

It was fun to be with family on the beach and enjoy the sunshine!


Chef Mickey Breakfast...

Monday, December 30, 2013
We headed downstairs from our room for an EARLY breakfast with Mickey.  We were exhausted from our busy day before hence everyone looking tired ;)!  Luckily it was in our hotel (The Contemporary) which was awesome and the buffet was extensive and amazing.  As we ate, characters came out to greet us.  Solon ate it up and hugged and loved on each one.  Vera screamed in fright and the restaurant-goers laughed.  Maybe she will like it better next time (we better go back, right?  Yes I think so too!).
First up Goofy...he is so goofy, that guy!
And Donald who told us he was really #1...Solon gave him a squeeze (so sweet!).

Mickey...
...and shockingly Vera let Minnie give her a kiss on the cheek and Vera gave her a high-five...Minnie is Vera's VERY favorite!
Still no smile from her for our picture...
Pluto...
And Solon and his Grandpa...best buds!  Solon always says "Grandpa is so funny!"  They are kindred spirits - who knew when we named Solon after him!
Daddy and Solon checking out all the autographs.  We filled up all the pages and met a lot more characters then I initially thought!
Auntie Raquel sent these cute autograph books from etsy to us...we left a page empty next to the signature so I can get my act together and print a picture of each character with us to paste next to it.  A great keepsake from an amazing trip!

After breakfast, we headed back to the beach - we had a thanksgiving feast to get to and the weather was cool to say the least - brrrrr.....

Character Sightings...

Thursday, December 26, 2013
We didn't spend a lot of our time with character greetings at Magic Kingdom because we had a date with Mickey and Friends at Chef Mickey.  We did meet a few princesses and Vera was in awe albeit clingy ;)!
Ariel
Cinderella
Aurora
(wins most in character award)
The night we were at Magic Kingdom we went to the Crystal Palace (off of Main Street USA) for dinner and met the Winnie the Pooh Characters.
Eeyore and the gang...
Piglet and friends...

Pooh
...and Tigger too!

Solon absolutely loved the characters, Vera not so much...but it was fun to watch the wonder in Solon's eyes as he gave each one a high five and hug :)!

Disney World...

Monday, December 23, 2013
I am going to warn you, this might be my most picture heavy and longest post EVER.  Wowzers and I didn't even include all the Character meetings, I will do that in a separate post!  

We woke up bright and early.  Thanks to a tip from from some friends, we heard they opened Magic Kingdom with a little show so we arrived at 7:45am after doughnuts in the hotel room.  Surprisingly, people perked right up and we walked from the hotel in about 5 minutes.  The Mayor of Disney opened up the park with all the character friends and fireworks.  There is no shortage of fireworks at Disney....

Can you tell the excitement level was high, I may have teared up!
We got the obligatory pictures on Main Street USA...
And then like that a sprinkle turned into the skies opening up...mom was off to buy some ponchos that were entirely over-priced while we snapped a few more photos while hunkering down under cover.

It seriously only rained for like 20 minutes but it rained hard...some expensive plastic for a 20 minute rainstorm but we would have been soaked...then just like that, after a ride or two - it was sunny out and 73 degrees!
We hustled back to Fantasy Land as we knew those lines would be LONG later on.  To our surprise we got on one of the first boats into "It's a Small World"...Vera loved all the dolls!
We were shocked to see nearly no line at Peter Pan so we hopped on to that ride next...
And by some miracle...there was no line at Little Mermaid, to ride the ride and to see her...we did all of these "quintessential rides" in less than an hour...it was not even 9am yet?!




Next up Grandma's favorite, she was so tickled to ride with Vera.  Grandpa rode with Solon and Maddie and I enjoyed the ride together...you are never too old to enjoy Dumbo!



Solon learned on this trip he loves roller coasters...a boy after his mom and dad's heart.  Lucky for us the line on the Barnstormer was short so he rode it twice in a row!
We jogged over to the cars in tomorrow land as Grandpa couldn't wait to take Solon for a spin...and Daddy took Vera.  I was a horrible driver, I bruised my knee...good thing I didn't have a passenger ;)!

At this point Solon was fading, note him in the picture...we needed a snack ASAP!  So we got some popcorn and cotton candy and continued on to splash mountain and Thunder mountain railroad...both also were Solon's favorites!  Vera stayed behind with Maddie!

We stopped for some lunch before waiting in our only "long" line of the day at Adventures of Pooh...we couldn't believe we waited almost an hour for that ride as the kiddos didn't really even get it BUT it was the only long line of the day...we were spoiled!


Disney also had all these awesome shows going through out the day so we stopped and watched part of one as we were walking by the castle!  Again more fireworks and fun!


Grandpa and Mommy took the kiddos on the tea cups, we were the only ones brave enough to spin!  Grandpa got us going really fast...we were all laughing hard!
And while we were riding, Grandma and the gals went to get us some ears...when in Disney, wear ears!

We all took a spin on the carousel...
Before heading to meet some princesses.  Vera was pretty quiet and in awe.
 And of course Auntie Ellen thought she needed her own crown...she loved it.  Everywhere we went all day they called her "princess", she still likes to be referred to as that!

Then we headed to the Crystal Palace for a yummy buffet dinner with all the Pooh characters.  Solon totally got into it and started giving each character a hug.  He LOVED it!

Ok so by this time it went from 73 degrees to maybe low 50's or colder...it was chilly!  We all wore all had gone back to put on long pants and then mom bought the kids hats and gloves...I bought a sweatshirt...we were cold but having so much fun, we didn't want to leave...

So we headed to Adventure land to do Aladdin's ride and then Pirates of the Caribbean and Thunder Mountain Railroad at night....Solon kept his hands up the whole time and squealed with delight :)



We finished off the evening in tomorrow land at Buzz's ride before starting to melt.  We watched the Holiday light parade from the candy shop on Main Street as we didn't want to wait for a prime spot and miss out on rides.  Solon is terrified of fireworks so we ventured back to the contemporary to watch them from there, still beautiful but not nearly as loud.


We rode the monorail around and Grandma and Grandpa took Solon for an extra long ride while we took Vera up to bed.  Look at those smiles, it seriously is the most magical place!  We had a great day and only waited in two long lines.  The kids did fabulous and us adults had lots of fun too!  We were there from 7:45am until 10pm!  We all tuckered out pretty fast that night and we had an early wake-up call to eat at Chef Mickey's in the morning!


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