Sunday, March 16, 2014


On February 9, the weather got much warmer and we went to Epcot!

This crew went to the Chevrolet Test Track, where they designed cars and then tested them on the track.  The cars went really fast!  Mommy, Daddy, and the boys went on Spaceship Earth, where we traveled into the big Epcot ball!

We met up with Uncle Henry, Aunt Patti, Bill and Brooke, and their family.  Then we went on Ellen's Energy Adventure, where we got to see some great dinosaurs.  After lunch, we went to Turtle Talk with Crush, Soarin, and the Seas with Nemo and Friends.  Elsie says her favorite ride of the entire trip was Soarin!  Then we traveled into Mexico, Norway, and China, where we rode a few rides, got a peek at Princesses Anna and Elsa, and watched the Chinese acrobats.  On our way to dinner at The Coral Reef Restaurant, we posed for these great Epcot photos with the group.

We were all so excited to meet our first characters!  First, we got to meet Mickey Mouse.  Elsie was very interested in Mickey Mouse's autograph.


Duncan was pretty confident going up to Mickey, but I think this big hug scared Duncan a bit.  When it came time for the family photo, he needed to be held.

Mickey Mouse with the family, including a sleeping Isaac.

Then it was our turn to meet Goofy!  Elsie gave him a nice, big kiss!

And Isaac started waking up!  I can't imagine what he thought when he saw this huge head looking at him!

Duncan was a bit nervous to meet Goofy, but he did like playing with his whiskers.

Elsie was so excited to take a girly picture with Minnie Mouse...

and Duncan was doing his best to not run away from Minnie's hug!

The whole family with Minnie Mouse!

We capped off our evening by staying for the Illuminations show and fireworks at 9pm!  The kids were great, considering it was way past their bedtime!  The fireworks were just a bit bigger than the ones we normally see at Grandpa's house!  We took the monorail back to the hotel, and got to see the Magic Kingdom fireworks, too, while sitting on the monorail.  Everyone was pretty tired, and we didn't have any problems with kids falling asleep quickly!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Universal Islands of Adventure

On February 8, we headed out in "somebody's car" to Universal Islands of Adventure.  We met up with cousins Eric, Cari, Cal, Teddy, Mimi, and Lena.  Again, it was a bit chilly with on and off rain.  Our family with Grandma and Leah headed out to the world of Dr. Seuss, where the kids rode on a Caro-Seuss-el, The Cat in the Hat, ...

... "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish," and other Seuss-inspired rides.

We then made our way over to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, where we enjoyed lunch, including a Butter Beer, at the Three Broomsticks!  Mommy, Daddy, Elsie and Duncan all rode The Flight of the Hippogriff roller coaster!  It was fast and the kids really loved it.

Mommy and Daddy sneaked away to ride an adult roller coaster, Dragon Challenge, and Daddy did not lose his lunch!  We rode on the Pteranodon Flyers and explored bridges and caves in Jurassic Park for a couple hours before the kids were ready to go back to the hotel and get dry and warm!  Once we were all changed and the laundry was started, we put on our Magic Bands and headed out to explore!

We rode the monorail around to the resorts, past Magic Kingdom, and back to our hotel.  Despite what you see in the picture, Duncan was so excited to be on the monorail.  Both of the kids felt so big standing and holding on instead of sitting in the seats.

We ate dinner at the Contempo Cafe before heading back to the hotel room.  Due to the weather, Isaac was stuck in his car seat for most of the day, so he was happy to be able to stretch out and play with some toys on a blanket in our room!  After we tucked the kids in, Grandma and Grandpa stayed in our room, so Jack and I could go out for a couple drinks at the Wave Bar.

Time to go to Florida!!

By February 7, we had so much snow...

and such long icicles!

We were so excited to leave them behind and fly to Florida!!!  When we arrived, it was a bit chilly in the 50s and a little rainy, but all Duncan was worried about was our car.  We had a rental car, and Duncan was curious about where our car was, and in whose car we were driving!  It was so cute!  We met up with all of the Phippses for our first dinner at Walt Disney World.  We ate lots of tasty Polynesian-style meat at 'Ohana at Disney's Polynesian Resort.

We had a boys table...

...and a girls table.  The girls even learned how to do a hula dance.

After dinner, we came back to get all settled into our hotel - The Bay Lake Towers at the Contemporary.  It was a wonderful hotel, just a short walk on the bridge to the monorail and restaurants at the Contemporary.
The monorail in motion, passing by Bay Lake Tower in the evening

We stayed in a very posh 2-bedroom villa.  The kids stayed in one room with two queen beds and their own bathroom.  Mom and Dad had our own room and bathroom, and Isaac slept in a pack-and-play in the third bathroom!  We had a great living room and kitchen, and were just a short walk to Aunt Kris, Uncle Aaron, John and Leah.  Grandma and Grandpa were just a bit longer walk down the hall in their own (quiet and clutter-free) room.  We ordered groceries in advance so were were able to enjoy breakfast in our own rooms before heading out for the day.
Living area with sofa, ottoman, arm chair, and end tables in an open layout to the kitchen and dining areas