Saturday, November 19, 2011

Disney in November

We planned this trip months earlier and had been counting down the days until we got to see my sister and husband and her girls. Our kids love their cousins something crazy. Marjorie is Adeline's closest cousin in age and by far the one she gets along with the best. This was Marjorie's 2nd trip to Disneyworld, but she was too young to remember her 1st trip. Riding the tram thru the parking lot is part of the experience, so we loaded up 2 strollers and 5 kids and one pregnant Robin and off we went to the Magic Kingdom to start our Mickey adventure.

As soon as we ran through the park gates and into Main Street, a lady said " quick there is no wait for the princesses!" So, we grabbed the kids and dove into the princess holding pen. Come to find out the "no wait" had transformed into 30 minutes of standing around. Marjorie and Adeline can't contain themselves. Who is waiting right beyond those doors? Sleeping Beauty? Ariel? Belle? Let's see

Even though it was the 1st week of November, Disney was slowly becoming Christmasized. The kids loved all the decorations

The weather was perfect and the crowds unbelievably low. I can't tell you the last time I visited when the crowds were this low. This will definitely be a time when we will return again with the kids.

Marjories first trip in the race cars in Tomorrowland. It started raining half way through our car ride. Then while not paying attention I slammed into the back of Uncle Mark and Marj with Emma's car

Outside the Christmas shop in Frontierland

A huge Clydesdale prancing right down Main street

Emma and Daddy try on the Chip and Dale furry hats

Uncle Mark with all the girls in 1 teacup, they had just come from seeing the Princess Castle for lunch. Adeline was treated by her aunt robin to a once in a lifetime luncheon with the princesses.

Oh no it looks like Zurg has trapped some super cute aliens, "They've been chosen"

In downtown Disney the kids love to pose in front of anything Disney

Last trip to Disney when Reece was 5 he loved Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and told everyone how it was his favorite ride at Disney. This trip however, was a different story. He screamed and cried the entire ride and was traumatized and violated for the rest of our trip. He was scared of everything then. He cried on Haunted Mansion and didn't want to go on a lot of things he had been on before. Poor Reecers

These pictures are out of sequence, but this was who was waiting behind closed doors for us in the front of Disney. She was the 1st person the kids saw that day.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Surfing, USS Midway and Father's Day 2011

These pictures complete our trip out to San Diego in June, this is my old, fabulous friend Suzanne from Cleveland as well. Her and I have been friends for over 10 years and are soul sisters in so many ways. I had a wonderful time with you guys, even if it was only for a few hours. But, now they live in Tampa, so we have to see them more often.

Oceanside Beach, the kids were brave enough to get in the 68 degree water and swim, surf and make sand castles....Mason, Reece, Ethan and Emma


Adeline chose to stay up with Mom and stay warm by wearing every adult clothing item she could find

Rick rented a wet suit for an hour and after he tired of surfing, he took all 4 kids for a few turns in the cold Pacific waves. This is Emma waiting to catch her 1st wave

The USS Midway, was a cool tourist stop. The kids had a blast, but, of course the place they wanted to go most was the gift shop. Doesn't Emma look like the girl from The Christmas Story in line waiting for Santa?

The kids loved these life size air ground crew members to stand in front of

Ahhhhhhh Emma was sucked in to the jet intake

On the top of the Midway, sunny but beautiful, about 70 degrees

Mission Beach after enjoying a fantastic Mexican Restaurant with the Baldwins

Awwwww pretty boobles

Balboa Park in the heart of San Diego, Miss Jackie had to treat the kids to some dippin dots to eat in front of the beautiful fountain

My BFF Becky and I in front of the Hydrageas, eat your heart out Madonna, they are my favorite flower you uppity b*****.

In the very center of Balboa Park is the International Villages, only open Sunday afternoons. We lucked out and they were just opening when we got there. Each village represented a Eurpoean , Middle Eastern Country, or Asian Country. We had to stop by Poland first. And each cottage had samples of authentic food to try. We had a Polish cookie and juice from Poland, kinda cinnamon flavored, the kids didn't like it.

Inside here, they had Kolache filled with apricot. I had to give a small donation to that cook, they were delicious, and Emma and I devoured them. France had salami and crackers, England had tea and biscuits, and Germany and apple strudel. Too bad I was still full from In and Out Burger.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

California girls and boy

My first trip to San Diego and I couldn't resist my 1st trip to In and Out Burger. Matt's choice on Father's Day for lunch. Good choice Matt.

I got the cheeseburger, but Rick kept the secret of the Monster Burger to himself, until AFTER we had left. It's not on the menu, but if you ask for it, they put everything on a giant burger. Dang. Thanks Becky for documenting the 1st bite for all of times sake.

The Baldwin's backyard is amazing with stonework, gazebo's, tiers and a this incredible fire pit. Reece doesn't even like marshmallows, but every kid is a pyromaniac when it comes to open flames and a stick. Sorry for goobering up your rocks Mr. Matt with all our dropped charred gooey masses. Notice Emma, yes, it was actually cool enough in June for a sweater and long sleeves.

A triple really Emma? I have a feeling those were eaten by me.

The San Diego Zoo has a safari park about 30 minutes from San Diego, BUT 5 minutes from Becky. Yippee. We took the tram tour and found out that baby giraffes can't straighten out their necks until they are 2 years old. You coulda put this little guy in your purse. Don't you just want to poke him in the haunches?

The boys lost no time in reacquainting, but I think Mason is having himself a personal problem going on :)

You can't pass a giant metal rhino without sitting on him. The weather was perfect here and such a relief from the east coast humidity.

We went to MiMi's cafe for breakfast and ordered giant muffins and eggs benedicts. I haven't had that in years. I kept forcing the kids to pose for group photos, you can see Emma's already sick of them. We would spend an entire week in San Diego, saw another old military family from Cherry Point and had lots more fun. Pictures will come shortly

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Our trip out west begins with VEGAS

Rick was able to priceline us a 4 star hotel on the south strip of Vegas for $60 and got the MGM Grand! Amazing, especially driving up to it at night and seeing the entire green hotel lit up. The kids were so excited. Only thing our room stunk like an entire can of lemon lysol had been unloaded in there minutes before our arrival.

The MGM lion in the entrance. This hotel really was pretty amazing

The temperature the next morning was 107 by noon and we headed right to the pool. The kids were waiting for the lazy river to open, but our time in Vegas ended before we could enjoy that. Plus Adeline refused to get wet(she is still very afraid of pools, including ours) so she just sat in the firey heat and melted. So I couldn't see letting my youngest perish, so my older two could get their swim on.

Adeline swelters in front of the cabanas which were like little oasis's in the desert, equipped with tvs, full bars and comfy lounge chairs. I tried to carry her into the water once, and from the amount of screaming coming from her, the lifeguard was giving me "mean mommy" looks, so I stopped

I took the kids to the Grand Buffet that morning and was almost not going to pay for it from the expensive prices. But, then the cashier hooked us up and only charged me for Emma. Well, after hoovering down home made corned beef hash, bacon from England and quiche... she made her way to the dessert table and never left, except to refill her plate. I figured for that price if the girl wanted 3 chocolate mousses, then go for it. She savored the little dark chocolate decoration on top and let them melt on her tongue.

Even though we didn't get to see any other resorts, the kids were perfectly happy having stayed the night and seen the bright lights and big city atmosphere, even if only or 10 hours on our brief overnight. On to San Diego in the afternoon to spend the week with our good military friends the Baldwins.

Monday, June 13, 2011

June starts with mad crazy birthdays

Rickapalooza kicked off summer with our pool party tribute to the man that is Ricardo. His younger sister Emily drove over from Jacksonville and left her mark on these cupcakes that became her masterpiece after 1 hour of decorating and slaving over pull and peel twizzlers. Only problem was the kids avoided the twizzler cupcakes and opted for sprinkles ones that were less complicated to eat.

Aunt Emmy took her nieces and nephew up to their favorite location on earth other than Disney World.....Toys R Us and let them pick out a toy. Wow, what a great aunt

Just as birthday festivities start dying down, don't look now, but Emma Leigh turns 10. Her breakfast request, was pancakes with strawberries, strawberry syrup, whipped cream and bacon. You got it, Emma Roo, with a side of hashbrowns and a smile

Emma sporting her new cool girl hat from Aunt Robin. Hats are her staple signature and she wears them with STYLE. Just don't go breaking your other arm while wearing this one, girly.

On her birthday she wanted to go to Sonny's Barbecue for lunch. I guess that idea has been mulling around for awhile, because it seemed like a random choice, but boy can that girl put away some pulled pork. She invited her good friend Maria and the McDavid's joined us. Emma couldn't wait to get home and try her new laser fingers in the pool. They light up with LED lights.

That weekend when Daddy got home, we took her snorkeling and swimming out to Ft. Pickens and she decided to create a sand sculpture. Here is Emma with her swordfish out of sand

We then took the Sea Monkey over to Peg Leg Pete's and found the marina, docked and had dinner in our bathing suits, while the kids played on the playground, used the restaurants fishing nets to catch a crab and then enjoy grilled shrimp and Bushwhackers. It was hotter than Satan's bathroom out there and no fans, just chocolaty flavored liquor to cool me down.

Emma and Reece waiting on corn dogs and fries. We were serenaded by a band called Three Amigos the Duo. The kids watched some men fillet a few snapper and were grossed out

Emma's Slumber Party took place Sunday with girls from NB Cook and Girl Scouts. Rick rigged up a zip line minutes before girls started arriving. Emma couldn't have been happier. What a wonderful childhood they have

Grace, Ashley, Rachel and Maddie waiting for the rope swing and their turn to play Indiana Jones

The girls were having so much fun outside, with a bubble machine, the disco ball and the pool that we didn't have cake until 10pm. But, the Pralines and Cream Baskin and Robbins cake couldn't wait forever

Make a wish for another amazing year, maybe for one of the male teachers next year in fifth grade or to get a chicken for your future farm.