"An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance.The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break." -Chinese proverb

Monday, July 1, 2013

Road trip to Disney World!

Last week, we returned from a road trip with the kids to Disney World!  Yep, we braved a 2 1/2 day drive...each way...in the car...with the kids.  We were smart and got a DVD player installed in the car before we left.  Great idea, right?  Not for us.  This is the third attempt at some sort of DVD player for a long drive that hasn't worked out.  The first attempt was from our move with Ella from Oregon to Texas.  We had bought her a handheld DVD player and it stopped working on the first day.  We even replaced it and the replacement stopped working too.  The second attempt was last year on our trip to the beach.  It was one of those car DVD players that you plug into the cigarette lighter and it had a monitor for each kid to watch.  That worked for the whole drive there but then didn't work at all for the whole drive back and never worked again.  Okay, so this time we decided to up our game and actually get one installed since this was going to be a long trip with three kids now.  I mean, we're outnumbered now...this is getting serious!  Yeah well, it started acting up on the first day.  It was hit or miss whether it would work or not and we decided that sometimes it "needed a break."  By day 2, it was working maybe 50% of the time and we were cleaning every speck of dust off of every DVD we tried.  Day 3, I don't think it worked at all and for the entire drive home when we were all in the "leaving Disneyworld/this trip isn't fun anymore" blues we couldn't get that thing to play at all.  O.M.G.  Yep, I said it.  So you can imagine how fun the trip home was.

Anyways, the trip there was fun and Disney World was a dream!  On our first night of our road trip, we stayed in New Orleans and it was really fun!  Erik and I hadn't been to New Orleans since right after Hurricane Katrina when Erik worked there for 2 months on a project to help clean up all of the debris.  It was nice to see New Orleans as the city everyone describes and not just this sad and terrible disaster area.  We ate that night at Bubba Gump Shrimp Factory and Miss Ella lost her first tooth!  It had been getting very loose and was hurting her while she ate so I told her it was loose enough to pull and she just yanked it right out...no hesitation!  The next day, we got up and went to Café Du Monde for their famous beignets for breakfast.  They were sooo good!  Then we walked around Jackson Square a little bit, stuck our feet in the Mississippi River just so we could say that we had and hopped in the car and drove.  We made it through Mississippi and Alabama to Tallahassee that night and then Disney World by lunch the next day.  The kids didn't know we were going to Disney World until we drove up to it and told Ella to read the sign as we drove through.  Ella and Ethan screamed when they figured it out.  Liana, who had been sleeping in between them, woke up and when I told her we were going to Disney World, covered her face with her blanket. :-)  We quickly dropped off our bags and our car at the resort and hopped on a bus to the Magic Kingdom.  We had the best trip!  We rode as many rides as we could (thank you, Disney fastpasses!).  Ella was a little fearful of some of the bigger rides but ended up conquering her fears and enjoying them.  Ethan loved all of the rides and is definitely going to be my daredevil buddy for rides.  Liana was too little still for any of the scary ones but loved all of the ones that she was big enough for.  Ethan was so tired on the first day from not getting a nap that he fell asleep on my shoulder as we waited in line for the Haunted Mansion ride and he slept through the entire ride!  We took the kids to a character lunch, which ended up being Pooh and friends.  Liana loved them from afar but was terrified when they came up to us.  I held her for pictures and she would be almost in tears but when we would tell her to smile, she would stop and say cheese and give some sort of attempt at a smile for pictures and then back to fear once the picture was taken.  It was hilarious!  By the end of the week, however, she was giving hugs to Daisy Duck and blowing kisses at Minnie Mouse.  Sleeping Beauty seemed to be her favorite.  She didn't want to leave her and had to go back for one final hug before she let the next little girl have her time.  Ella adored Ariel the most and Ethan's favorite was meeting Lightning McQueen and Mater at Hollywood Studios.  The one thing that we had to do for Liana and finally did on the last day was the carousel.  It was so cute, she would yell, "Horsies!  Pleeeease!" every time we would pass by it.  She loved it!  I still get tickled when she makes it known what she wants or asks for things when we're out and about.  I know that sounds crazy but it wasn't something that she was used to being able to do when we adopted her.  I love that she knows that she's part of a family and that she's able to do that now.  Not that we give her everything she wants but it's nice to say yes sometimes!

This trip was definitely rough, at times, especially for Liana.  She resorted back to some of her eating issues but in a different way.  When we first adopted her, she would save her last bite like she didn't know when she might get more.  Now, she will keep a bite of food in her mouth when she has just started but refuse to swallow it.  She will shove more and more in her mouth if you don't notice and are trying to get her to finish but she will just make a big show of chewing it but will not swallow.  I mean, the child will chew the same bite and hold it in her mouth for 20 minutes or more.  It's a total control thing.  We were at the dining area of our resort waiting for her to eat the tiniest bit of chicken and she just would not do it.  We will compromise but not let the kids win when we pick a battle with them and this is one we refuse to let her win.  So, I ended up taking Ella and Ethan who had been done for a long time for a walk while she sat there with Daddy to finish the three measly bites that we were insisting she finish.  We even walked by the window and waved and smiled at Erik and Liana to show her how much fun we were having and what do you know, all of a sudden she finishes in a snap.  Little stinker.  She has also taken to throwing fits in public because she's sure that we will give her what she wants if she's loud in front of other people.  Oh, how wrong she is!  She'll learn quickly enough (I hope!) that embarrassment won't make us give in to her.

We all had our rough times on this trip but overall, it was a blast and we had the time of our lives!  I really think Erik and I are getting the hang of this traveling with kids gig!  We've been a lot of places with them in the last year, starting of course, with China and I have to say, we make a great team!

Look at that cute grin with one less tooth!
Jackson Square
Mmm...Café Du Monde
Disney World!!!
 We got there on Father's Day...lucky Daddy!
Meeting Cinderella's fairy godmother
My buddy on Splash Mountain, ready for fun!
Sweet girl
Ready for autographs at our character lunch
Excited...for now!
Ethan was loving every second
Ariel, Rapunzel and...well, Ethan :-)
Princess Merida was cute and spunky.  She put Ella's crown on Ethan and he was over it
We skipped naps that day...can you tell?  Poor, hot kid!  Stitch from Lilo and Stitch tried to wake him up so I shooed him away!
Liana decided that Ethan had a great idea so she passed out behind him
Hollywood Studios and hey, Daisy and Donald!
You might not see it here but Liana loves Minnie!
 Lightning McQueen and Mater! 
Jake...Ethan wasn't thrilled
Snow White!
Ella's best moment...Ariel!
On the Little Mermaid ride
Mary Poppins.  Ella asked who she was and I shushed her real quick and told her to go and take a pic and I'd tell her later!
I have to admit, I was a little star struck when we met Mickey!
 Cinderella...my fave
Princess Aurora (aka Sleeping Beauty)...Liana's favorite!
Getting one last hug all to herself :-)
Rapunzel...and yes, it was the "best day ever!"
It rained on us...a lot!
Can't we move in?  Cinderella's got plenty of room!
Last day
Cuties in their mouse ears
Sword in the Stone
Uh oh...we accidentally kidnapped Princess Merida and left Ella at Disney World!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like the trip of a lifetime!! I'm so glad you had such a great time! The pics are just fabulous!! The kids look like they are having the time of their lives!! :):):)