Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Christmas in January

I mentioned in my last post that we went to Wal-Mart at nearly 10 o'clock after our first full day at Disney to get some back relief for David and me (aka strollers). I tossed the economical new umbrella strollers in the back of the van. I thought to myself, "hey, we will need to do some minor assembly before using." And I even thought "glad I keep some scissors in the car."

Fast forward to the next morning. We arrive at the parking lot for Animal Kingdom just after 9, ready for our second full day. I gather our supplies and start getting the kids out of their seats. David heads to the back of the van to get the strollers ready. Problem: we cannot find the scissors. I KNOW that they were in the car on the ride to Orlando, yet they are no where to be found. We start to get a little worried. The hard plastic ties that are holding the things together are nearly impossible to break without cutting. So we are tearing the car apart looking and searching for something sharp. Screws, nails, pens, nothing was working! The kids were sort of wandering in the car and entertaining themselves.

After about 2o minutes, I found the scissors, the strollers were all assembled, and we were on our way. The only issue we have now is that during their unsupervised wandering throughout the car, they found some accessories.
Oh, yes, we have the Christmas Spirit in January and with new wheels, too!
Also notice that Spencer spent half the day playing with bubble wrap from the strollers. Who needs expensive toys?

We had a pretty darn good time at the Animal Kingdom. We saw the Lion King Show, we went on a safari, we saw lots of cool animals, and the Tree of Life. We gazed at the new roller coaster that was built inside a replica of Mt. Everest. Maybe next trip we will all be tall enough. . . We rode the train and went to the petting zoo. Lots of fun!
The funniest Animal Kingdom incident came when we were inside the learning building at "Conservation Station." You could see x-rays of turtles and other animals, which Jessa said reminded her of the x-rays from when she broke her arm. There were all sorts of tanks with lizards and snakes and spiders. Jessa is way more fascinated by these sorts of things than I am - I am not a fan of crawly, slithery things. We also saw a very poisonous "cow ant." Jessa thought this was WAY cool. So shortly after we saw the ant, she ran into an employee who worked with the animals. And Jessa walked right up to her and said, "Hey, you know what? I just saw an ant right over there that could kill a cow!" We were so tickled that she was impressed by that tidbit and wanted to share it. Jessa was also tossing around the word "diabolical." She used it whenever she was talking about the snakes and big, hairy spiders. Many times, she used it sort of correctly.

And we did meet a few characters. David and I were fired up to meet Rafiki from the Lion King (they were a little scared).
David's favorite line, "Follow old Rafiki, he knows the way!"
They both were excited to see Pochahontas (despite the fact they have never seen her movie. . .)

And Spence was very interested in meeting "Mr. Cricket."

The second half of the day we went to Hollywood Studios. We took advantage of the "park hopping" option that we paid for with our tickets. This is such a great idea! We had a great time at Hollywood Studios, too. It took us a few minutes to figure it all out. My awesome tour guide (aka my awesome husband) had not researched this park as much. I think it was mainly because we did not have a ton of fond childhood memories of Hollywood Studios. . . Time to make some, right?
The coolest part to our little family was the Pixar section. It was INCREDIBLE. You should see the attention to detail that they paid to recreating all the "Toy Story" toys.

AMAZING! Look at these big old toys!!

We did not get to ride the cool new "Toy Story" ride because the line was ridiculous (see wait time above). We made a note to try again later (we did, story to come). But the kids had a blast playing in the "Honey I Shrunk the Kids" play area. Jessa loves playgrounds and would have spent the entire day everyday we were there running around with all of her new best friends playing. Never mind that there are so many other things to do. . . Spencer was not a huge fan of this area. There were sound effects. They were loud and actually pretty realistic. Every now and again, you would swear a humongous bee was headed right for you. Poor Spence would actually duck and look up tentatively.

Spencer hears the bee and looks up - YIKES! A BEE!

Jessa's not afraid of any ant!
Another funny part is that the movie that this play area is based on is pretty old, and yes, I remember when it came out. So one of the cool funny play things was a slide made out of a 35mm film canister. My 21st century children who have never seen 35mm film, did not believe me when I said that is what it was. Spencer still argues with me whenever he sees the pictures. He says, "Ma-ahm, IT IS A BATTERY."

It is a cool huge film canister, but please do not tell Spencer I said that, OK?

We got to meet several characters, like

Woody and Buzz

The dinosaur is not there, but it looks like he is, huh?

and Lightning McQueen and 'Mater

Jessa did not want to meet them, but Spencer is still talking about it.
If he sees something "Cars," he says, "Hey, Mom, we met Mater!"
I know this is already a long post, but I have to share one more thing.
When Mimi asked me what was my favorite part of the whole trip. And when I started to think back on the whole trip, my favorite moments were these. And it was not a ride or a meal or a character. As we were "hopping" from Animal Kingdom to Hollywood Studios, we had just parked at Hollywood. We were walking to get on the tram. I looked up and Jessa was grabbing Spencer's hand. I love when they have spontaneous displays of affection. NOTHING makes me happier than to see them being kind and sweet to each other.
They held hands on the way to the tram and during the tram ride to the front gate. When we got off the tram, we unfolded the strollers. And those little boogers insisted on holding hands in their strollers, too. Was it hard to navigate the crowds like that? YES! Was it worth it to see them getting along so well? ABSOLUTELY!
Look at his face!
The parade is so loud, but at least they have each other. . .

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