Friday, June 22, 2012

Disney Wrap Up

Well, it was grand. With a 3 and 4 year old - the meet and greets with the Disney characters were right up their ally.  Alyssa and Gianna were the best sports about waiting in line.  We really saw a lot of characters, but G still laments not meeting Snow White and Peter Pan. 

As for rides, we didn't too a whole lot of them.  Dumbo, Alladin's Magic Carpet Ride, Peter Pan's Adventure, and of course - the beloved, "It's a Small World."  Does that ever get old?

Oh, you want to know what ride had Gianna screaming in terror?  Don't even bother guessing. 
Winnie the Pooh, thank you very much.  I was not prepared for that little outburst.  In her defense, that whole Heffalump think is a little creepy and in the dark with thunder sounds - well, that just put her over the edge.  She doesn't understand the concept of "fake thunder."  And she didn't even flinch on the Peter Pan ride full of pirates, skulls etc. Go figure.

Oh yeah, we did meet a certain mouse and his girlfriend.
Remember when they were the be all - end all of Disney World?
They are still pretty high up there in my book. Even though Mickey and Minnie don't speak, Gianna managed to have quite a lengthy visit.

When we were leaving, Mickey got my attention, pointed to Gianna and gave me a thumbs up.  Made me smile. ;)

* * * * * * * * * * *
Disney Parades were another thing I never tired of.
 We stopped at every one we heard.

This was a lovely consolation prize for not getting a personal visit with Snow White and her prince. 

 Did you know that Snow White and Bell are the only princesses whose Prince has no known name? You'd think that they could at least given the poor Beast a name!

* * * * * * *
Parting ways - Alyssa was heading back to Lake Charles, and Gianna was off to visit her other grandparents in Tampa.

It was a fantastic trip - but it wore all four of us OUT!  I learned a lot about what I would do and not do next time we venture to Florida. I better start saving NOW!   Gianna and I stayed another week in Florida with family and friends. That's coming up next.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Life according to iPhone....

Eating in bed...we are SURELY not at home.
 At the fountain at L'auberge.
On the day we closed on our former home, I took Gianna to Prien Lake Park to the big kick-off for the summer reading program at the library.
Clifford was there.  Gianna went to give him a great big hug and immediately turned around with a big smile.  I didn't have my camera with me, so I dug my phone from my pocket.  I laughed at her habit she obviously acquired from our Disney trip.
 There was a clown there who put on a really impressive magic show...with lots of animals.
 Gianna got her face painted by her friend, Ms. Amy (one of our two favorite librarians in the Bluff.)
I'm glad she opted for the flower in lieu of the spider she said she wanted. 
The clown made her a cute little balloon bear.
 Gianna is into mermaids lately.  She told me, "Mommy, you go ahead and say Abbra Cadabbra and turn my legs into fins, but just don't cut my legs off. Okay?"

Instead of breaking it to her that I really can't do magic, I had her close her eyes while I used some some pajama pants to turn her into a mermaid.  She was completely tickled when she opened her eyes after my big Abbra Cadabbra.  She thinks I'm amazing - as well she should. :)
 Yeah, the amazing mommy may have started something that's going to be tough to stop.
Silly mermaid. Doesn't she look old.  She two weeks away from being FOUR.  Holy cannoli!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The BEST Part of Disney! (Buckle up - photo overload!)

Once my house was on the market I was able to plan our Disney trip.  I wanted to plan it before school let out hoping the crowds wouldn't be terrible.  (They weren't.) Only six weeks out, our options were limited while looking at some of the Disney experiences we wanted to consider.  The Bibbity Boppity Boutique is going to have to wait.  The Breakfast with the Princesses in the Castle: we'll save for another time. (You have to book it six months ahead!)  The Disney rep I spoke with suggested we consider a Dinner with Cinderella, Prince Charming and the step-sisters at the Grand Floridian.   Done. And boy, was that ever the best Disney decision I made!
This hotel was spectacular.  It would be a great choice for adults going to Disney without kidlets.
It wasn't long after we were seated that a certain prince made his way to our table. He was adorable (I'm sure I'm old enough to be his mother.) Gianna saw him, flung her arms wide open and said, "C'mere and give me a hug!" His eyebrows raised and expression softened and he said, "No one has ever greeted me like that before."  Poor Charming must be a little less celebrated than his adored wife, Cinderella.
He was completely tickled by Gianna and her more reserved, but equally adorable, cohort - Alyssa. After an animated visit (check out the expressive muchkin below) Prince Charming was quick to tell us that he had to visit the other tables, and gave us strict orders not to go anywhere because he was definitely coming back to visit.
Check out G's look of adoration. Priceless.

Not far behind the Prince came the stunning Cinderella.  Geez Louise!  This princess looked like she was an airbrushed wax figure.  Her complection, teeth, eyes, eyelashes --- everything was perfection.  And my oh my -- did she ever give these two girls the royal treatment.  She was with us for quite an extended amount of time.  My child had a whole agenda she formulated for Cinderella -- and to our surprise, Cinderella completely obliged -- with joy! 
First she visited with the girls in the most royal and traditional manner.  Then Gianna suggested they play hide and seek.  I wish I would have gotten pictures of Cinderella underneath the dining table hiding from Gianna and Alyssa.  Unbelievable.  They played 3 or 4 rounds before Cinderella had to continue her visits. Hilarious. She too, promised she would be be back to play Princess Ball - yet another of Gianna's many requests. 

I dare you to find a flaw with Cinderella. Go ahead, I dare ya!

But before she moved along -- Gianna asked her if Cinderella could take her to her mean stepsisters.  (Only my child has those two and the mean queens as her favorite characters!) Cinderella, once again, obliged her...and brought her clear across the dining room to Anastasia & Drizella.  After many shenanigans, Anastasia came to our table for another lively visit. 
Gianna told her how nice she was and asked her to please try to  not "shred" Cinderella's dress anymore. Remember that scene from the movie? We all got a kick out of that. 
And - more dancing.  Gianna was determined to have a "princess ball."

There's a story about this kissy-faced picture.  I'll get to it later.
After we got the girls situated with their supper, I went to the buffet to get my food.  I came back to find Drizella sitting on the bench at our booth with Gianna on her lap. I just LOVED this girl. She was a hoot and a half.  I was beside myself because I couldn't reach my camera and I missed about 10 minutes of awesome shots before I couldn't stand it any longer.  "Drizella, could you please reach over and hand the momma her camera?"

She looked at me square in the eye and said, "YOU are HER mother?" pointing to Gianna.  "Oh yes. She's mine."  I anaswered.  Then she cocked her head, widened her eyes, raised her eyebrows and began clapping very loudly and slowly. She extended her arm and said, "I simply MUST shake your hand!"  She shook my hand and pulled me close and quietly said, "I have never seen anyone like this."  I know, Drizella, I know.  :)

And talk about play games.  She was an absolute hoot.  I should mention that at some point during this visit, Gianna managed to get Drizella to rally the whole cast for the long-awaited Princess Ball. 

By this time, a lot of the other little girls started realizing Gianna was making things happen - and they started to following her - knowing they would get in on some action. Drizella provided all sorts of action.  She was quite the Pied Piper. 

If I were young and cute again, I would totally want to be Drizella or Anastasia at Disney. I think it would be so much more fun than a princess, no to mention that I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I'm not cut from Princess cloth.
The characters kept coming back to our table all night long.  They would make a round, go in the back for a break and they were royally introduced again, probably for any new patrons that had come. At one point Prince Charming came up to me and said, "I've got to tell you, these two are quite topic of conversation around here."  I have no doubt, Charming. None whatsoever.

Well, at some point Gianna got a big fat lipsmack on her forehead by Anastasia.  One by one the other characters would come around wanting to know who kissed her.  It started an epidemic.  By the end of the evening, Gianna was so covered in lipstick that she almost looked like she had rash. Ha.
Such amazing memories.

As you may have guessed, we ended up almost closing the house down.
Apparently, the characters aren't supposed to take photos together, probably because it would disrupt the flow and everyone would want to have those shots as well. We weren't aware of that until the royal couple had a quick chat with security. They came back and told us to get some pictures with the two of them and the girls.  PC leaned back and whispered to us, "We are never allowed to do this."
Awe.  I think they were just as smitten as we all were.

It was truly a magical night. Of course, Iain was at the very front of mind - knowing how much we would have enjoyed this together - as only parents could. I knew he was there -- I just missed having my own Prince Charming with me watching our daughter light up the room in her own magical way.
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