November 18, 2019

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  • I was about to say that today was a pretty good Tuesday...however, I do believe that this is not Tuesday. So that actually makes today a really good Monday. We were up at a decent time but still had to scurry around to get our school started.
  • The kids all got right to work on their school. Whitman was even a bit focused today-he finihsed by 1 which is much better than on Friday when it took him until Sunday night to finish his school work.
  • Lunch was at a decent time this afternoon. After everyone ate, we did some more reading. I am working hard on finishing my books-Reagan told me today that maybe when we finish the books in our box, I shouldn't get any more from the library. I didn't have the heart to tell her that I have about 30 in the cabinet plus 30 more at the library waiting on me. 
  • The snack this afternoon was ice cream in a bag. Whitman is possibly doing a report about that recipe, plus Reagan has been wanting to make it for a while. So there were 6 kiddos shaking bags of ice and rock salt all around my kitchen-incredible mess! It took a good while to clean up, but everyone enjoyed the ice cream. I even had some which was actually pretty good.
  • The girls and I left the house at 4 today. We ran to at 6 different stores. We bought a few Christmas gifts and even added a few things on Christmas lists. I was pretty pleased with what all we accomplished.
  • The boys had their Trail Life meeting tonight. They made squirrel feeders and talked about home maintance. I think that they had fun and gosh, those boys sure were cute in their uniforms tonight.
  • The girls and I watched our second Hallmark movie of the season right before bedtime. I guess that it is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

November 17, 2019

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  • All of the boys were awake before we were this morning. Anderson had on his one long sleeve shirt that fits (I was relieved that it fit!) Whitman on the other hand first put on one pair of pants that were too small. That left him with the next size up which seemed a wee bit big. Same thing with his shirt-the other size is too small and this size is too big. Hopefully, he will grow a bit before next Sunday!
  • Church was fine. Whitman did sit in my lap the entire time. This makes things a big crazy since he is holding his Bible-or really, I am making him hold his Bible while I am trying to write in my Bible. 
  • After church we ate lunch at Nonna and Pops' house. They had pork tenderloin which is the kids' favorite. She also had mashed potatoes which Anderson raved about. I questioned him asking if he liked them more than mac and cheese, and he said that he did with that meal.
  • Nonna and I worked on her Christmas list this afternoon. We were able to make some progress but gracious, some of my people are difficult. I guess that Robby and I are difficult too since we don't have anything on our lists.
  • The rest of the afternoon was spent resting. The kids played while Robby and I snoozed. It was wonderful! I did have to jump up and head to church for a playground meeting. While I went there, Anderson and Reagan went to their Lifegroup.
  • I was home in time to eat with the others. Anderson and Reagan came in soon after that. Then we all huddled upstairs to watch a Hallmark movie. Well, Anderson didn't join us and Whitman was only around when the had the popcorn out!

November 16, 2019

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  • I had told the kids that they could sleep in this morning. However, by 9:45 I figured that they had had enough of sleeping in, so I decided that it was time to clean the house. As you can imagine, there were a few folks that weren't too happy with this decision.
  • Soon everyonew as on board with our cleaning, and things went smoothly. We were able to clean upstairs along with most of downstairs. We didn't get to straightening the kids drawers or sweeping the kitchen floor. We can do that tomorrow...or maybe another day.
  • By 11, the house was clean and everyone was ready. We picked up Grannymom and Grandpa and headed to the Wheel of Fortune event. They were trying out people to be on the show-none of us made it. That is fine though because I wasn't sure that I wanted to be on the stage-at all!
  • We eased our Wheel of Fortune disappointment with pizza at Grannymom's house. Robby worked on some pictures while I took a quick run to the grocery store. I took the girls with me so the grocery store run was not quick nor was it cheap! 
  • Back at home this afternoon, the big boys went to Brett's house to ride on his 4 Wheeler for a little bit. I was productive for about half of the time that they were gone. The other half I wasn't productive at all-I had a nap!
  • The Wilsons came over for supper. We had ourselves a Chinese smorgasboard-chicken and pork dumplings, general tso chicken, orange chicken and veggie fried rice. Thanks Trader Joes! 
  • Our meal was so yummy that after supper, the grownups headed to Trader Jors to check everythin out. The Wilsons had not been so we showed them around-though they were out of one thing that I wanted for Christmas nor could I find cookie butter! 
  • We all bought a snack, but also stopped at Kroger to buy ice cream for the kids. We ended up eating ice cream so we didn't even get to our snacks. I bought chocolate hummas-I'm not sure what I will eat it with, but I know that I will find something! 
  • While we were out shopping, the kids played hide and seek tag in the dark. I am not sure what that entails, but they kept tellimg me all about it tonight. When we did arrive back, they were anxious to eat a bowl or two of ice cream. The Wilson's stayed until almost the end of the ballgame. When they left, it was soon bedtime for the crew.

November 15, 2019

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  • Winter mornings are not my favorite. I know that it isn't officially winter, but we are running our heat and that makes it winter. I love the lights, the dreariness and even the chill of winter, but I do not love the heat. In the morning, the heat blows right on me-I wake up sweating every morning. It is just dreadful. I could normally stay in bed longer, but in the winter I have to get out of bed because I feel like I am about to burn up. Ok, enough complaining!
  • School went well-ish today. We skipped our first bit of working together. This usually lasts about an hour, but we were leaving at 10:30 so I needed everyone to have time to finish. Skipping our work together did help, but still not everyone was done.
  • We went to the Nothing Bundt Cakes store because they were giving away free mini bundt cakes this morning. That was fun! We ate our cakes as soon as we sat down in the car. Then we continued the fun with a trip to Trader Joes. Today we bought orange chicken, fried rice, and dumplings. I can not wait to try to dumplings.
  • We came home for about 10 minutes before Campbell, Keaton and I left again. We met up with Nonna and Pops and they drove us to Des Arc for the Christmas sale. Now, last year I did buy a few things-even my blanket ladder. This year I didn't find anything that I couldn't live without. Honestly, things just seemed to be very expensive-and what wasn't expensive I just didn't need.
  • We still had fun though so it was still worth our time. When we arrived back, we met up with the others at Third Realm for a little bit of jumping time. The kids enjoyed dodgeball and weren't ready to leave.
  • We had to leave though because the boys had basketball tonight. It has been a few weeks since they have had the opportunity to go so I think that they were excited about going. I worked on school work and a bit of Christmas work. 
  • When the boys came home, I had supper ready for everyone. I kept making chicken roll ups until I ran out of chicken so we will even have a few extra for tomorrow. Robby worked on the tires for the cars-they all seem to need more air. 
  • Our evening was fairly uneventful-pouring medicine for Anderson (who does seem to be on the mend-though I think some of his medicine is making him a bit wild...or maybe he is just starting to feel better.)

November 14. 2019

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  • This was our first day back in a normal routine, and it went surprisingly well. Whitman did run through our room at 7:10. There are only two reasons that he now comes into our room in the morning time-his brothers aren't awake and he isn't sure if he is allowed to be up, so he comes into our bed or his pants are wet. Well, his tummy was a bit upset last night, so his pants were indeed wet (but not with just pee.) Bless. This caused for a shower and a sheet change/mattress scrub fairly early in the morning.
  • We started on our school work and everything went well. I have a huge pile of books that I really would love to finish by Christmas. Plus there are at least 25 at the library waiting on me. I know that I can't possibly finish them all...or can I? My schedule will have to slow down a wee bit to finish everything.
  • At noonish, we ate our lunch and even did some more reading. The highlight of the day was drawing names for the kids Christmas gifts. They were all so excited to pick their names. They have been sending me ideas for what they want. It is just making me a bit stressed-my friend says that she buys in October, wraps in November and enjoys December-man, I want to do that...but it is already too late. Part of me is afraid to do shopping for them now in case they change their minds. 
  • This afternoon I spent running around working on clearing out some of my piles from the trip. I finished a few of them, but even ended up in the attic going through bins. I should have gotten on the treadmill, but there just wasn't time. 
  • This evening I left for Refresh at church. As always, I had a good time there. Robby made supper for the kids (Disney leftovers). I made it home just in time for bedtime so it was a pretty quick evening for me.

November 13, 2019

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  • I woke right up at 5:30 this morning-would that be 6:30 in Florida? I think that it would be which is when we had been waking up each morning. Now, I should have done the right thing and gotten on up, However, I did what made the most sense and went right back to sleep.
  • Though I probably shouldn't have slept for another 2 hours. That made my morning a bit rushed to say the least. We still managed to get out the door for Bible study with a minimum amount of yelling. I didn't get the laundry folded before we left, but Robby had finished it just as we came home this afternoon.
  • Bible study was fine. All of the teachers had missed the kids, and I am kind of glad to be back in some type of routine. At least I think that I am.
  • After Bible study, went to Third Realm for about an hour. The kids enjoyed jumping though I think they have lost some of their stamina-they were tired pretty quick.
  • We had a fairly good amount of time this afternoon. I was able to mark a few things off of my never ending list. 
  • At 3, Robby took Anderson to the doctor. We had debated wheather to take him or not. He has complained of his ear, but said it didn't hurt. He hasn't had fever, but continues with a cough for about 2-3 weeks now. Overall, he says that he feels fine....
  • However, I guess that he has been sick for so long that he has forgotten what feeling good and breathing well feels like. The doctor said that he is wheezing, has one ear infection, has one ear drum that is retracted, gave him oxygen and a breathing treatment, along with 300 bucks worth of medicine! 
  • After Robby and he picked up his medicine, they stopped at Sonic for a drink before coming to church. Anderson seemed perky and was a bit proud that he was sicker than he thought. After church was over, I came straight home and gave the boy all of his medicine. Hopefully, he will feel better quickly.
  • Robby ran to pick up Grannymom and Grandpa from the airport tonight so he was gone during bedtime. When he is gone, bedtime is a bit later than usual. I was able to get everyone in bed before he came home and even had time to request some library books (one of my favorite things to do!)

Disney Trip 2019-By The Numbers

Total Days: 15
Total Nights: 14
Nights in a cabin: 2
Refills on Popcorn Bucket: 12
Nights in a camper: 8
Nights in a hotel: 4
Lunchables Bought: 25
Days at Disney: 9
Skyliner Rides: 2
Dole Whips: 5
Times the Time Changed: 3
People Soaked from the Rain: 2 (Robby and Graham)
Total in our Group: 23
Mickey Pretzel: 1
Toilet Paper Rolls Bought: 4

Pins Traded: 23,000 (at least)

November 12, 2019-Disney Trip Day 15

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I do think that this was the best hotel bed yet-or maybe we were just tired. Whitman laid his head own last night and was asleep in just seconds. He was one tired little boy. Anderson continues to cough, but thankfully he didn’t really cough any last night so maybe he is on the mend.

Our alarm went off around 6:45, and soon everyone was stirring around-well, most everyone. Campbell was moving pretty slowly; she must still be quite tired! As soon as we were ready, we went down to load the car. I was behind everyone else and wondered why they were all still standing in the hotel hallway. 

As soon as I went out to help Robby, I quickly found out-it was freezing! Graham was trying to help but was shivering to much, and Reagan was digging in the laundry bag to find her only pair of pants. When the cart was empty, I couldn’t even touch the poles because they were icy cold!

We warmed up inside eating our breakfast. This hotel was the winner-a bagel and flavored cream cheese! My favorite breakfast yet. I actually would have eaten anything that was warm because I was still chilly from loading the car. 

In the car, we turned on a movie and headed on our way. Robby said that it was so cold, that he was just going back to Florida. Unfortunately, we did have to head back towards home and fought the wind much of the morning. 

I drove a bit of the way, and the wind was definitely something. It was a two hands on the steering wheel drive. When I wasn’t driving, I was trying to work on the kids’ Christmas lists. That is coming up all too soon. 

We stopped a few times for the bathroom and a stop at McDonalds for lunch. There wasn’t much exciting happening in the car-just lots of movie watching. Just as we always do on a trip-we didn’t take any pictures on our journey home. 

We made it home by 3ish and went right to work. Before too long, we were fairly settled with most clothes in the wash (though I didn’t realize that the kids had a load and a half upstairs waiting to surprise me.) It was a shock to our systems having to unload the car in the cold temps. However, the warm house that we came home to was sure nice.

Shannon had supper for us plus she had a big bag of clothes for the boys, so it was a nice end to our vacation getting to hang out with our framily before we journey back in the real world tomorrow.

November 11, 2019-Disney Trip Day 14

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This morning started like any other morning lately-I had to get up and go to the bathroom! My bladder isn’t what it used to be. I am not too sure if Robby was gone already to take his shower, so I decided that I should get up to take mine as well. 

Unlike Robby, I wasn’t walking down to the showers to take my shower, I was going to use the drippy, tiny camper shower. It wasn’t too bad, and I might just have been getting used to it. As soon as I stepped out of the shower, we started zipping up bags and throwing them out the door of the camper.

We cleaned that place up in a hurry and were soon on the boat. Well, the kids and I were on the boat to Magic Kingdom. Robby took the car to park in the parking lot. We rode the boat because the security line is nutzo at the parking lot, but when you get off of the boat the line is very short. 

It didn’t take long for us to find our spot to head to Peter Pan. Robby barely made it to us before the park opened. Today, they did have a bit of pre show with Mickey and the princess’ before the park opened. That made things extra special on our last day.

We hurried to Peter Pan and pretty much walked right on. By the time that we left, the line was 40 minutes. What in the world? I mean, it is something that you have to see, but a 40 minute line just after the park opened-gracious. 

After Peter, we walked right the Small World. The kids wanted to so of course we did. I love that they appreciate some of the nostalgia of Disney. After Peter, we headed towards Dumbo-not for the ride but just for the playground. This ended up being the second time that we stood in line and then left. Today the playground wasn’t open yet. Whitman took it well, and I promised that we would come and play again on that playground.

We did stop and get some popcorn. We have been using the mess out of the popcorn bucket. It is just 2 dollars a refill so those popcorn bucket refills have been flowing pretty freely. The other day, Robby didn’t even had to pay for his refill-that was our first bit of Disney magic.

Next up, the kids rode the Barnstormer. Whtman doesn’t like it though because he says that it is too short. My 6 year old is a thrill seeker! We then went to meet some characters-Minnie, Daisy, Pluto, and Donald where all in one section. As we left there, Anderson found himself a cookie that he wanted. It was a giant Mickey head-so he had one and so did the rest of us.

Our first FastPass of the day was Seven Dwarfs. That is always a fun ride. Then we spent the last of Keaton’s money-she bought herself an autograph book. It has a picture spot on each page so I am not wishing that I had bought Campbell one like that instead of the one that I just gave to her.

We then headed over to Space Mountain to ride it one last time. It is always fun, but I am always a bit worried that our car is going to come right off of the tracks during the ride. I am sure that couldn’t happen, but it sure sounds like it could.

I did forget to mention that the other day when we were standing in line for Pirates, the man behind us started saying “Whitman” over and over again. I smiled at Whitman, and we just assumed he was talking to someone else. Finally, Reagan told me that he had our Whitman’s magic band in his hand. He had found it, read the name off of the back and was trying to find the owner. After we thanked him, Whitman told him that he thought he was calling a family member.

We stopped at Pinochio’s restaurant this morning for a little snack. I pulled everything out of my bag while Reagan got waters and Keaton and Campbell saw the Fairy Godmother. We rested there until it was time for our last Disney FastPass-Winnie the Pooh. It is a fun little ride. When it was over, we sadly walked down Main Street back to the car. 

There is nothing worse than the end of a vacation. The only thing that makes it a little bit better is planning the next trip, which we did on our long drive to our hotel. Robby drove for a little bit in the beginning. Then I drove most of the rest of the way until supper. 

We ate at Arby’s in Tifton. The worker was so nice that I came to the car and emailed the company. We did have a few bathroom stops but eventually made it to our stopping point for the night. It did seem like it took forever tonight to get to the hotel. The rain that came didn’t help things either. I think that most everyone except for Whitman and Anderson took a nap. We were fortunate that time changed to give us a few more minutes tonight-however, that will make tomorrow morning come early.

November 10, 2019-Disney Trip Day 13

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I really have no idea what we did this morning. That was so, so long ago and so, so many steps ago. Let’s see-yes, when I woke up this morning, Robby was gone or leaving. He had to return the golf carts which wasn’t that easy. First he had to meet a man to get his truck and trailer, and then he had to drive back to the campground to load up the carts. Finally, he delivered the carts and met us at Magic Kingdom.

When I woke up, I hurried around getting everyone ready and making their breakfasts. When I say “making breakfasts,” I really mean more like pouring their cereal and heating up their poptarts. 

Casey took us to the boat dock this morning. Robby could have picked us up this morning and brought us to the Magic Kingdom, but to avoid the huge bag check line we decided to ride the boat. The line for the boat was crazy long, and Graham was doubting if we should try to catch another boat. However, we were all able to fit on the boat, and off we went.

The bag check line was minimal there. Then we had to decide where we were going to go for our first ride of the day-Space Mountain or Thunder Mountain. We checked our FastPasses, and they would take us the Space, so we opted for Thunder.

We were near the front when they opened the park, but after following the kids down all of the least common paths, we were in the front of the line. We rode once, met up with Robby and rode Splash Mountain. Anderson and Keaton opted to stay behind on that ride. I think that they were worried about getting wet, but surprisingly, we didn’t get wet at all today.

After Splash, we walked over to ride the Teacups. Then we jumped in the Dumbo line. Not so much so we could ride Dumbo, but because Whitman really wanted to play on the playground. We weren’t near the playground yet when the Crafts text saying that they were ready to ride Seven Dwarfs.

By the time we all met up, the ride was shut down! That was fine though because we went to the Mermaid ride to fill up our time. The line was fairly long, but the kids all had fun in the line-it did help that I passed out some candy at the end.

Then it was Seven Dwarfs-that is a fun little roller coaster. I had forgotten about it, and as always the theming at Disney is just amazing. After the Dwarfs, we had some of our snacks-a cinnamon roll for Robby and me, a cinnamon roll for Graham, and tater tot mac and cheese for Keaton and Reagan. 

By this time, we had to hurry to our Space Mountain FastPass. We rode that and then fought the crazy crowds all across the park. Campbell, Whitman and I stopped to replace Campbell’s Magic Band-it was kind of coming apart. Then we had to find the others who had just found tables and gotten their food at Pecos Bills.

Yes, we brought in even more tortillas today. Robby didn’t get the chips and cheese dip today and only bought a side of cheese dip-even more economical. It was an awesome meal which hit the spot. We finished off a package of 20 tortillas!

Then we rode our Pirates before meeting the Crafts as they were walking out. They stopped to shop, and we headed on to the campsite. It is kind of sad since all of the buddies pulled out today. We also don’t have our golf carts anymore either. 

We spent a good deal of the afternoon packing up. And yes, I do have tons of room in the car this time. I could buy some more things! We did take the 3 littles to the pool briefly. This was the first time that we have been to the pool that it wasn’t raining. I will say that the pool was crazy crowded though-just like everything the past few days.

We made spaghetti for supper. It was delicious-we had cooked the meat at home, boiled the noodles here and made some cheese bread in the microwave. After we ate, we loaded up for Hollywood Studios.

Once we arrived there, we rode the SkyLiner to Epcot. Then we walked through some of the countries. We didn’t get too very far before we stopped-at France Campbell and Whitman had some ice cream. Robby bought an ice cream sandwich macaron, and a bit later I bought a baguette. We did a pretty good job of exploring France tonight and can mark that country off of our list.

After France, we made our way down by all of the other countries. We would stop to look at their food and read a few menus. In Mexico, the last country, we rode the Three Caballeros ride again. 

Then we went back to Norway. A bit earlier, the Frozen wait had been 40 minutes, but on our walk back, it became 15. We jumped in the line and were soon riding the ride. It was a really great little ride. The technology is pretty amazing on the ride. I think that it might just be one I would really like to do again.

We walked right out of the ride to see the fireworks. They were pretty cool-one part had boats pulling these kite like fireworks. I had never seen anything like it at all. We didn’t stick around to watch the fireworks because we were trying to get to the SkyLiner before the crowds.

We didn’t make it because the fireworks ended before we made it. We didn’t have to wait too long on both of the SkyLiner rides. We were soon back in the parking lot spotting our car. Back at the camper, we had time for a little snack before it was lights out for the kids. 

The car is pretty much packed and ready to go. We just have to load our bags and double and triple check this camper. Then we had some Magic Kingdom time followed by the beginning of our drive home. 

November 9, 2019-Disney Trip Day 12

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When my alarm went off at 6:30 and Robby was still in bed, I woke him up. He has been walking to the showers each morning and has always been the first one awake. Not this morning though. I jumped in the tiny shower here and then started waking everyone up.

We left just as the Crafts were pulling out in their car and the Heltz in their golf cart. We were a bit later than we had been before, but we still headed off to Smuggler’s Run, the new Star Wars ride. Keaton and Campbell went up with Traci’s parents to ride Rock N Roller Coaster. 

They were able to ride their ride twice while we waited in line and only rode our ride once. We were still out o there in 45 minutes so that was good. Anderson was the gunner in our cockpit. Whitman really wanted to be the engineer so I traded my pilot token for him to get engineer.

We could definitely tell a difference today in the crowd levels at the park. There were people everywhere-and not just a few but lots. It is a holiday weekend plus this is the end of Jersey week here. And just what is Jersey week? Well, we hear that people up North have a week off so they come down here. Who knew?

After our Star Wars ride, we met up with the girls and then walked back through Star Wars land to look around some. It was so crowded that we couldn’t really look around too much. When we come back, it will be super crazy because they are supposed to have the second new Star Wars ride open. 

Our first FastPass today was Toy Story. That is always a fun ride. This time I did beat everyone else which made me super happy. From there, we walked over and had our last set of lunchables. We have way too much food on everything else, but we could have bought one more day of lunchables. Oh, well, no one will go hungry. 

Then we met up with the Heltz for our Frozen Sing Along show. It is always super cute. And yes, I did close my eyes for a minute or two during it. Whitman didn’t sing at all during the show which made Reagan frustrated, but he did take it all in.

Next up, everyone but Reagan and Robby rode Star Tours. It was a different simulator ride than the last time, and I really enjoyed this one. We did leave Anderson’s hat on the ride. He remembered it as soon as we left the building, so we were able to retrieve it with little trouble.

After waiting on the hat, Anderson and I had to hurry over to the Disney Jr. Dance Party. It was okay. Whitman seemed to enjoy it but didn’t care at all about dancing. It is one that I will certainly not have to do for a long while. Ah, yes, we also did the Muppet Vision 3D today early in the morning. It is also one that I will not have to do again for a while. It probably needs a little bit of updating.

After the Dance Party, we had ourselves a snack or two. The funnel cake was pretty good-though I haven’t found my perfect Disney snack just yet. Cambpell did really like her cinnamon pretzel bites the other day from Disney Springs, but they weren’t really Disney food. I guess we will have to keep sampling.

Then it was back to the car and then the camper. This afternoon was fairly busy-I worked on our bags and did some packing up while Robby went to the office to pay some bills. Then we loaded the golf carts up full of kids and headed off to explore.

First we dropped off some laundry, then I returned yesterday’s ornament for a better one. Then we drove around some loops to look at the decorations. It is just odd-these people not only have lights or a blow up, but most people here have lights and multiple blow ups in front of their campers. They go all out!

We then went to let the kids play on the playground for a little bit. We didn’t last too long because by then, we were cold! It was downright chilly this afternoon and evening-and yes, I know that it was about 20 degrees colder at home.

The first thing I did when we got back was to change pants, and I even added “warm clothes” onto my master packing list. Soon Robby returned with the laundry, and I had BBQ sandwiches warmed up for everyone.

We weren’t in a rush to get back to Magic Kingdom tonight, but we did hurry over there as soon as supper was finished. That park was nutzo! They were filming the Christmas special which was neat to see. Now, we don’t know any of the performers but will still enjoy watching it Thanksgiving Day.

We rode Buzz Lightyear followed by our long awaited ride on the People Mover. Then the kids really wanted to go to the Laugh Factory show again. When Robby was on the screen and it said, “will buy churros for everyone,” Reagan thought things were bad. However, when he was on the screen, and it said, “feels the urge to get up and dance,” and her father got up and danced, Reagan asked to leave! Of course, all of this tickled me and I probably laughed the loudest during the show.

Afterwards, we went to ride the Magic Carpets before standing in a really long Starbucks line for a drink for Campbell and me to share along with one for Reagan. Then it was back through the crowds towards the camper. 

On the boat, Whitman fell sound asleep. He was exhausted. Actually, when we told him that we were going back to Magic Kingdom tonight, he replied, “but my legs are so sore.” I totally agree! Just 2 more days of walking and then we can get back in our normal schedule and take a break!

November 8, 2019-Disney Trip Day 11

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Once again it was super nice sleeping last night. We had told the kids to be quiet as long as possible. Robby did hear Graham a bit after 7, so he delivered ipads to everyone’s beds. I didn’t hear anything until Whitman came in our room at 8:30 asking to go outside. We mentioned that he could play his ipad, but he was anxious to get outside to use his bubble wand. 

Keaton was in our bed soon after that. She was asking to get her breakfast. This was kind of funny because Keaton hasn’t really cared about eating most mornings. Some mornings she has only eaten because I have insisted. Today though, since we weren’t getting breakfast out for everyone, she decided that she was hungry. 

After most had stirred and had their breakfasts, they started heading outside. It wasn’t long until they found all of their friends to play with. There were lots of golf cart drives around the loop. Robby did a load of laundry and I folded it. We also ran to the camp store to buy some more RV toilet paper...and I may have also picked up another ornament. 

We really did a lot of nothing this morning and on into the afternoon. We did get to the pool just as it started sprinkling. The kids didn’t mind and still swam for over an hour. Well, the big 3 didn’t swim but they did come down to see what all was happening. 

The pool had some activities happening-a hula hoop contest, bingo and some type of dance party. Whitman, Campbell and Keaton loved all of this. They participated in these things for almost an hour. At 3, they had kickball, and Reagan and Graham came flying in from the camper once we told them about it.

The kickballers, my big 3, Keaton, Caroline and Alyssa, were all on the same team so the score was pretty lopsided. They acted like it was no fun but I know that the loved winning the game. Then we hurried everyone on back to the camper to change clothes for tonight.

Our first stop tonight was Hollywood Studios. We walked right to the Dinosaur ride to use our FastPass there. Whitman wasn’t scared, but I know that in his picture he will look terrified. I can not wait to look at it. 

Then we ate supper at Flame Tree BBQ. We had been looking forward to this meal and it did not disappoint. We bought two orders of BBQ nachos with everything on the side plus one order of BBQ mac and cheese. We scooped the meat off of the mac and cheese plus used the meat from the nachos to make ourselves 7 BBQ sandwiches plus one set of BBQ fries. Then we all split the rest of the fries and beans. We had eaten plenty, but after the kids, who had eaten the mac and cheese, continued to rave about it-Robby went and bought one more order of it. So for 30 dollars, we fed our family supper at Disney-not too bad.

The kids all rode the Kali River Rapids. They were expecting to get soaked which is why Robby and I didn’t ride with them, but we guess that they were too light to really get splashed. They were a little wet, but not too bad. It was already chilly enough that we had to wear our jackets tonight so a little wet would be too wet for me. 

Graham really wanted to do the rapid ride again, but there just isn’t time. Whitman saw the playground at Animal Kingdom and put that right on the top of his return list. Our Everest ride was next-it is one of the best. I enjoyed riding it especially in the dark tonight.

We then walked through the Pandora section of the park to see it all lit up. I do enjoy seeing everything all lit up, but I also don’t like the dark as much. It is so hard to keep up with everyone. I am a bundle of nerves walking from place to place with the crazy crowds. I don’t plan on coming back here with a stroller until I am pushing my grandkids, but it sure was easier to keep up with the kids when they were all strapped down in a few strollers.

After seeing Pandora, we headed to the car for Disney Springs. They just put out their Christmas trees-there are at least 20 different trees. Each tree is decorated like a character would have decorated it-Snow White tree has flowers on it, Cinderella’s tree has pumpkins-it was really neat. Santa was even there, but since he had a 90 minute wait, we also decided to wait until we could go to the Bass Pro to see Santa. There is little wait for that Santa and since he knows our names, it is that much better.

On the way back to the car, a 5 minute walk took almost an hour. All the kids could do was trade pins. They are loving it. Reagan and Anderson have specific collections that they are trying to get. Campbell has some things that she is interested in. Graham is enjoying trading but hasn’t found specifically what he wants to collect. Keaton is only interested in getting pins for her others. And Whitman could care less. 

Once we were back to the car, we zoomed back to the camper. Robby dropped everyone off at the showers where we started on our showers. By this time, it was raining pretty good so he had to make a few pick ups so we could get back dry. The kids had some downtime and a drink before bed. Then it was bedtime for everyone-tomorrow is another early day.

November 7, 2019-Disney Trip Day 10

(click here for today's pictures)

Where to begin? It is kind of hard because most days so far on this trip, I have been able to sit down and blog for a bit before laying down at night. Today we were gone from 7 until 8 so there was no middle of the day blogging. 

This morning was Extra Magic Hours at Epcot, so we were stirring right at 6. The boys were already awake before then when Robby went to get in the shower. Maybe they were both excited about our day.

We left right at 7 and found a wonderful parking spot. The bag check line was fairly minimal, but the line to get in was long. The others, who left after us, still managed to beat us into the park. That was fine though because we were all stopped at the rope. Most everyone was headed to Test Track again while some of the group went to Frozen. We never made it to Frozen, but it is still on my list for later.

We jumped in the Test Track line which moved fairly quickly. The kids loved it so much that we sent them on through the single rider line. Reagan opted to take Whitman to the ball ride which seems to be one of his favorite rides. He loves the part at the end where you design “your future world.” 

The others all went on Mission Space while Reagan then took Whitman to Soaring. We met back up with everyone at the ball ride for one more go of it. Then we mosied on over towards Soaring where our first FastPasses began.

Everyone was able to ride together. Robby and I enjoyed watching Maia on the ride. It was her first time on the ride-she might have been a bit scared, but having Reagan and Alyssa there talking her through it helped. It was also fun watching those girls take care of their little buddy.

And speaking of kids, the waitress tonight mentioned how polite the kids were, but time and time again we have seen that ourselves. Campbell had tried her hardest to entertain Gabriel and even push his stroller to help out. The big boys have given up seats, held doors open and helped people in and out of rides. Reagan has made sure all of the little girls are with us and entertained them. Couldn’t be prouder of my kiddos.

After Soaring, we sat and ate our lunches. It was early to pull out lunchables, but we had eaten breakfast early, plus we would have an early supper. Then we went to the Nemo ride. We have been to the parks that during the day, Nemo was only 5 minutes or so-not today. The line was near an hour-good thing for our FastPasses where we didn’t have to wait.

The kids all enjoyed going through the aquarium afterwards, and we had time to kill before our Turtle Talk with Crush. During that show, Crush did talk to Whitman and to Robby. The same thing has happened before-Crush talking to one of our kids and then Robby. Everyone got a big kick out of that.

When we finished Turtle Talk, we headed towards the countries. We didn’t have too long before we had to begin making our way to our 3:30 supper. (Disney dining-you just take the time you can get.) We breezed through Canada even though I do want to come back and watch the movie.

Then we saw Winnie the Pooh in the UK. The kids played in the maze in the back which they do every time we come here. It is a such a peaceful and shaded spot. After we left that area, we were quickly reminded that November in Florida is not like November at home. It was hot and sunny-very, sunny.

We walked through the next few countries-we even looked around in France. Robby toyed with the idea of buying a baguette but couldn’t easily find one. By now, the countries were really, really hot so we started trucking through them towards the boat back to the front of the ball.

We happily made it to the boat to find out that they weren’t floating right then. Eeek! So what did we do? We drug the kids around the world-literally. Well, the only kid we were really dragging was Whitman. By this time, he was hot, exhausted, and the most grumpy that he has been on this trip. I kept digging candy out of my bag to keep him going.

Since our supper was at the Polynesian Resort, we did have quite a ways to travel and needed to move swiftly, and that we did. We hauled! By the time we made it to the monorail, I was soaking wet with sweat. Of course my back where my backpack hangs was drenched, but so was everything else that I had on.

We then rode the monorail for one stop to get to the resort. Traci and I checked in, and despite my many calls they didn’t give us much hope to be sitting together or even near each other. Imagine our surprise, when we were called to our table after the Crafts and were directed to their table-they had plenty of room for all of us. It worked out wonderfully well, actually couldn’t have been better.

Our O’hana meal started out with salad, then dumplings, lo mein noodles (my kids favorite), chicken wings, then lots of meat on a stick-chicken, steak and shrimp. I probably should have picked up a menu or something so I could have listed the actual names of the food so they would sound more appealing. I’ll do better next time-though with Disney prices, the next time that we can eat out is in 2025.

The meal was really good-I had never tried a dumpling, but it was sure yummy. They also said that they are called potstickers. I have heard of that, but also have never had those. I urged the kids to all try something new, but most of them were sitting pretty far away from me so I am not too sure that happened. I even tried the bread pudding-not for me. The waitress did bring a plate of rice krispy treats to supplement the kids dessert since they didn’t touch much of their bread pudding.

After we ate, since we were still wearing our leis from dinner, we stayed in the Hawaiin mode and walked to the back of the Polynesian. All of my kids but Campbell stayed and played cornhole while the others went to look at the water and beach area. It is a pretty area, and it is on my bucket list to stay at that resort.

Then it was two monorails to get back to Epcot. They were all full which made for some pretty long rides. I am not sure where all of these people have come from, but I hope that they stay home the next time I am at Disney. 

Our evening plans bounced around a lot-we couldn’t really decide that we wanted to do. We did end up just taking it kind of easy. We went to Mexico with the crafts to ride the Donald boat ride. Then Whitman used his “gift card” (though he really didn’t have one) to buy a bubble light up wand. Reagan used her gift card and some money to buy a sweatshirt. Now everyone had bought something except for Anderson.

We pulled out the 1 liter that Robby had been lugging around all day to have ourselves a little drink before we headed back to the camper. It didn’t take long for us to arrive back at the camper. Everyone else was still out so we had some downtime before bed. Graham and Keaton fell asleep before we even turned the lights out, and everyone but Reagan were asleep minutes after we turned the lights out.

November 6, 2019-Disney Trip Day 9

(click here for today's pictures)

Once again I never woke up last night, and when I went into the kitchen and looked and Keaton and Whitman, they were still sound asleep. All of these miles that we are walking must be tough on their little legs and feet. I know that my feet our super sore.

We jumped in the car and headed to Animal Kingdom. Today was our first time this trip to go to this park. As we were walking into it, Whitman asked if he had ever been here. He knew it looked different than the others. Animal Kingdom used to be my favorite park; I still enjoy it, but it isn’t my favorite anymore. Though I don’t know exactly which one is my favorite now.

We walked a good ways in Animal Kingdom before finding the spot that we needed to rope drop for the Safari. Most everyone was rope dropping the new(ish) Pandora ride. Once the park opened we shuffled to the Safari ride.

It didn’t take long at all for us to be on the ride. The animals were super active on the ride. We were all focused on them and didn’t even notice that the kids had stuff, dirt probably, all over the hands from whenever they put their hands on the outside of the vehicle. I had wipes in my bag so we were soon focused on the animals again.

We then went to our Tusker House breakfast. We had reservations at 9:40, and the others had theirs a bit later. We were almost finished but they did end up sitting right by us which was super fun. 

The characters were at our table almost as soon as we sat back down with our food. Cambpell already had her autograph book out so she was ready. There was Mickey first, then Donald, Daisy and Goofy. No matter how old you are, it is always fun when they come to your table.

We ate our fill at breakfast-my favorite was the chocolate chip croissants. Whitman ate at least a dozen doughnuts. Anderson agreed that the doughnuts were delicious. We stayed for a good while before leaving to further explore Animal Kingdom.

Oh, and yes, I did have a ziplock baggie with me. I put two Mickey Waffles in there for a snack for later! Ha! Now, what would have really been good would have been if they had cheese-then I could have loaded up with some ham and cheese croissants for later. We ate so much breakfast that we didn’t need lunch of any kind this afternoon, and we barely ate supper.

The next stop was Mt. Everest. The single ride line was short so we went everyone but Whitman on. It was warm by now so we sat in the shade waiting on the others to come. Then it was time to use our FastPasses for that ride. I heard that Whitman loved it. I had forgotten that it is really a pretty good roller coaster-especially, the part in the dark. I kept asking Graham if we had gone over the big drop yet-I guess I missed it. I also missed the Yeti-I saw his shadow but not him. 

The next stop was dinosaur land. We rode the Triceratops Spin which is a fun little ride. Then it was on to the Dinosaur ride. Poor Whitman looked terrified on the ride. I think that he actually did enjoy it, but his picture sure doesn’t look like it. 

Everytime we take a break or even walk down a path, my kids are asking me to find their pins. They are all (except for Whitman) into pin trading. Anderson and Graham are collecting Star Wars. Keaton is collecting Mickey and Minnie. Reagan is gathering one type of cartoony princesses. I have forgotten what Campbell is doing, and Whitman could really care less. They have so much fun doing it, that I feel certain that they will get some more pins for Christmas.

Our next stop was the show It’s Tough to Be a Bug. I am sure that the show it exactly the same as it has been years past, but things sure seemed new to me. It is really one of my favorites shows here at the parks.  

When the show was over, we met up with all of our people for the Lion King show. This show is one of Robby’s favorite shows. Whitman sat in my lap and loved every minute of it-and I put my head up against his and closed my eyes for a little bit. Seriously, this Disney World stuff is exhausting.

The kids then tried to do the Kali River Rapids. The jumped in the line when the wait was 45 minutes which wasn’t too bad. However, the time on the sign and ap quickly shot up to 70 minutes. That is just a bit too long to wait, so they came out of the line. Now, this made some of them not too pleased, but we did offer to come back to Animal Kingdom another day.

Somewhere at this point of the day, the kids claimed their snacks for the day. There were lemonade slushes, dole whip floats, a mickey ice cream bar and even a Starbucks drink. We are living it up!

Also at one point today, two ladies came up to me and asked if I had bought my shirt on this trip. I smiled and said that I made it. They told me that I could sell it! Ha! That was so incredibly fun. I should have given them my email and offered to make one for them. 

The weather was looking dicey so we hurried over to the Pandora land to use our last FastPass of the day. Again, I have not seen the Avatar movie so I am sure if I had seen the movie then I would be even more impressed. The land is beautiful and one person walking by me said that it was really neat all lit up. Maybe we will have to come back to see it at night.

Now, let’s talk about the Avatar ride. It was pretty spectacular. It was more intense than Soaring but pretty much the same concept. Really, it is much more intense. The kids all came off saying that it was one of the best rides here. I might even have to agree with that. 

We then hightailed it to the car. It started raining on our way and sprinkled on us pretty good. We did ride the tram just to get out of the car, even though we could see the car! By the time we made it back, the rain had let up, but it was still dark and cloudy.

It was just perfect for a snooze. Robby ran to the office and put in our laundry. I rested (about 20 minutes) until the kids asked to go to the campfire again. I loaded up stuff for our s’mores and off we went. They again ate their weight in s’mores. After Chip and Dale left, they started a movie. Whitman was really into it so we were surprised when he was agreeable to go back for a shower. 

Soon everyone had taken turns in the showers down the road. There just would be no way to quickly shower everyone here. And that water pressure is laughable in this rig! When everyone was clean, we ate some supper. Since we were still full from breakfast, we just pulled out leftovers tonight. 

Then it was time to dig into the ice cream that Robby and Graham bought. The freezer isn’t that great so the ice cream was more like soft serve. It was still delicious, and we just about finished off a container of Blue Bell. 

We called it an early night tonight because tomorrow is going to be an early morning!

November 5, 2019-Disney Trip Day 8

(click here for today's pictures)

Another good night of camper sleeping until my alarm rang. The bed isn’t that big so I immediately knew that Robby was gone. I assumed correctly that he was at the showers taking a shower. He said that last night before bed he had planned so carefully and had everything ready for himself when he got down there. At least he thought that he had planned well, he had to come back for a towel!

The kids woke up very well this morning, and all began eating their breakfast. This morning choices were a sausage biscuit bowl, yogurt and granola, sausage pancakes on a stick, poptarts and a pancake. It is just about like a hotel breakfast up in our camper. Robby did say that we brought the right amount of stuff, but I reminded him about our plethora of food. It is all things that we can bring home, so it’s all good.

We pulled out for Hollywood Studios right at 8 this morning. It didn’t take long for us to arrive at the gate. Our parking would have been perfect-we were on the perfect row, but we were about a mile the wrong way down that perfect row!

We were there before the park opened and stood for a few minutes. The sun was hot, and the day would have been miserable if the afternoon clouds did not show up. We and about a hundred thousand of our closest friends all shuffled through the park, through Galaxy’s Edge and to Smuggler’s Run, the new Star Wars ride, when the park opened. 

It was a wild because there were so, so many folks. It got a bit warm there for a minute when ever we would stop in the sun. Whitman would just sit down wherever we stopped-he started off the day exhausted. The other night we used the fast pass queue so the line wasn’t too themed, but today the whole waiting area which was massive was incredibly themed. 

Of course all of the theming meant nothing to me since I haven’t seen the movies. Anderson and Graham were soaking it all in and taking pictures of everything that they saw. Within 40 minutes after the park opened, we were off the ride so the wait wasn’t too incredibly long.

I was on the ride with Alyssa and Reagan as the pilots, one of them had no idea what they were doing. Campbell and I were the gunners and Sophia and Keaton were the engineers. The other night when I rode on the ride, it was incredibly smooth like flying easily through space. Today was not like that at all. We jerked and bumped and crashed, and while all of this was happening the girls squealed and screamed and hooted and hollered. It was so entertaining.

As soon as we left the ride and joined the others, I realized that I didn’t have my phone. I tried to blame the boys, but they didn’t have it either. I am probably the one who did leave it though-when I sit down it falls out of my pockets. I went to the front to ask about it, and they were already bringing it to the front. Right as we were leaving there, they noticed that Charlotte had lost her Magic Band. They dealt with that as we walked on.

We ran into some more of our buddies in the new Toy Story area. It was fun, and hopefully we will be able to do all of the rides over there. But we were headed to our first FastPass-Rock N Roller Coaster.

The hope had been that Whitman would be tall enough to do it. We had steadily been tracking his height at home. He had even been doing stretches. However, it was all in vain-he just wasn’t tall enough yet. Thankfully, Whitman is so easy going that he didn’t really care at all. 

We did a child swap which basically meant that I could go again later with him, plus take two other kids with me. That worked out well for Reagan and Anderson who went the second time with me. 

The others all went with Robby on the ride while Whitman and I had a snack. He didn’t really seem to care that he couldn’t ride, just was happy eating his candy. We were even sitting in the sun at one point and I tried to get him to move, but he said he didn’t want to.

When they returned, it was time for me to ride that ride. I didn’t want to, but since we were at Disney after all, I had to. Reagan and Anderson rode with me-I sat by Anderson and tried not to grab his leg as we shot off. I do not like the shooting off part of the ride. After that, I am fine but the ride is just not really for me.

When the ride was over, we met up with the others at Indiana Jones Stuntshow. We weren’t too crowded and watching Whitman jump and gasp was worth it. Everyone had another FastPass together at StarTours. It is quite entertaining watching people gasp when we say that there are 21 in our party. We quickly found our seats and set down for the ride.

I think that most everyone liked it. It is a simulator which Robby usually doesn’t do too good on. I think that he got a bit hot on the ride today but bounced back just fine. From there, we went to eat our lunch. Reagan wasn’t too hungry because she had used her Dennie snack credit to buy a Starbucks drink.

Robby bought a drink and fries which we devoured in no time flat. The kids ate their lunchables while Robby and I had our cheese, sausage and crackers. We stayed there and cooled off enjoying our refillable cokes for a while.

Then we hauled it back to the other side of the park for our Tower of Terror FastPasses. Campbell had already decided that she was scared of this ride, and before we even put on our seatbelts she was tearing up. Gracious me! I talked to her through the whole ride telling her what would be next, but that just didn’t help at all. She was crying as loud as Maia did during Star Tours. 

After TOT, as Whitman calls it, Graham was able to use my Magic Band from earlier since I had the child swap because we couldn’t take Whitman on the first go around. He loved his second ride. Meanwhile, everyone else started cashing in on their snacks. Anderson and Campbell bought ice cream and ate it while waiting on Graham. Robby then jumped back in the line to buy ice cream for Graham-he didn’t want to buy it too early where it would be melted. 

Keaton and Whitman chose cotton candy for their snack. We took a few pictures on the main street area before Robby bought our snack. We bought a s’more covered brownie-Doesn’t that sound big? Nope, remember the Where’s the Beef commercials? That is how I felt when Robby handed me my half of the dessert. Kind of made me sad. I am going to google “biggest snacks in Disney” when I have a minute.

I did buy my first Christmas ornament of the trip-and forgot to ask for my passholder discount. Ugh! From there, we headed to the car, and just as we arrived at the car Reagan realized that she didn’t have the spare phone, yep, that was our second phone to lose today!

She quickly realized that she had just left it in the bathroom after we left the park. We then ran back down the long, long parking lot to that bathroom. Her phone was there and all was well, but I was exhausted after that long haul.

We joined the others in the cool car and headed back to the campsite. The kids played volleyball, drove the golf carts while Whitman made a stink bomb by filling a bag full of stinky leaves. It was nearly 5, when we finished playing (and I had finished working on the blog-first round), and we started on our supper. 

Tonight’s supper was chicken roll ups which is a Dennie family travel favorite. They were easy to make since the chicken was already cooked. We heated up the panini and had ourselves a yummy meal. As soon as we were finished, we loaded back up for Hollywood Studios. 

It was nearly 6 when we left the campground. Robby and Graham dropped us off there and went to Epcot to park since that is where we would be tonight. Their plan was to walk through the park and easily ride the new SkyLiner to Epcot. Things don’t always go as planned! Ha!

By the time they made it to the back of Epcot, it was raining on them-also lightening so no SkyLiner and no boat. They debated what to do. And yes, here is where I should mention that we opted not to bring our bag tonight, the bag with the ponchos. Robby didn’t really realize that he had big and little ponchos in the car. He did however look to see about bringing an umbrella but opted not to.

Meanwhile, the rest of us where at Hollywood Studio when the rain started. We quickly found shelter and decided what to do. Our first stop was Tower of Terror. My plan was to sit with Campbell and Whitman and wait on Keaton, Reagan and Anderson. Though Campbell headed off with the others to ride the ride so I quickly convinced Whitman to ride it. They both rode it this time and absolutely loved it-I am so glad that they tried it again.

About this time, Robby and Graham decided to walk the short .7 mile hike to Hollywood to catch up with us. The walk was pretty Robby said, and it was only misting on them. However, when they made it to Hollywood, it started pouring. 

Robby and Graham caught up to us while we were meeting Chewbacca. That was all inside so we stayed there as long as we could for him to dry off. We also met that little round Star Wars robot thing along with Darth Vadar.

By this time, we walked towards our next FastPass. First we did stop at the twirling alien things. Robby did drop his phone on that ride-we really shouldn’t even be allowed to have phones on this trip. It fell in the car, and they quickly scooped it up. This was a good ride for Robby to help dry his shirt.

On the Toy Story Mania ride, we all held tightly to our phones. It was a really fun ride. Anderson did beat me by a few thousand points, but everyone enjoyed it-except our arms were really tired. Maybe we need to start doing arm exercises for when we come back.

Then it was on to the new Slinky Dog ride. The rain had caused it to stop, but by this point it had stopped, and the ride was running again. It was a really fun ride, and I am glad that we will be able to do it again. I think that the whole area was much more fun to see at nighttime. 

We did close that park up riding Slinky Dog, however, we weren’t done yet. We met up with Traci, Abigail, Candice, Alyssa and Caroline and headed off to Epcot. They were having Extra Magic Hours until 11. The boats looked full so we caught a bus. Keaton was thrilled with this because she got herself some more transportation cards. 

We arrived there about 9:45 which left us little time left to play. The single ride line at Test Track was only 10 minutes so we jumped in it...however, it wasn’t really 10 minutes. We ended up waiting in the line for the rest of the evening. We did finish the line about 3 minutes before the park closed at 11. The kids hurried to try to make it to Star Tours (or whatever that ride is called), but they did not. 

We then had to wait a few minutes on Robby and Whitman. Since Whitman couldn’t do the single rider line for Test Track, they went to the ball ride. Whitman had been asking about going back on the ball all day long. He was perfectly pleased. Then they were able to get on Soarin right before the park closed and sit on the front row.

Everyone piled into my car on the way home. It was well after 11 when we made it home and nearly midnight when the kids went to sleep. Robby and I were up much later blogging, working and getting things ready for in the morning. It was another good, exhausting Disney day-maybe tomorrow will be slower.