Saturday, December 5, 2009

Three Days Worth of News...Long Post Ahead!

First of all, Beth has sent us a link to the pictures she took on our first day at the Magic Kingdom. Enjoy! Again, we are so grateful that she came to Disney with us and shared her time and talent. Thanks also to a whole host of people who helped her with accommodations, airfare, etc.

Now to pick up where we left off:
Charlotte slept until about 7 PM Wednesday night. We woke her up because we didn’t want her sleeping till 10 or 11 and then being up all night. Our plan was thwarted anyway. She was awake until 5 AM. Yes, you read that correctly. 5 AM! She just kept eating, watching movies, reading books. And NOT falling asleep. Roger and I took turns staying up with her but neither one of us really got much sleep. We finally decided to take her for a drive and she was out less than a mile down the road. Looks like we are back to resorting to infant sleep strategies.
Anyway, we decided to let her sleep and Roger and I went back to bed as well for a bit. My cousin Sarah, her husband John and their almost 3 year old daughter Tricia were on their way to join us for a day of fun at the Magic Kingdom so we diverted them away from the park and towards GKTW. We showed them around the resort and Tricia got to check out the Candy Land playground while Charlotte and Roger slept. Tricia had never met Charlotte (or CJ as she calls her) but it was so cute that from the moment she got to the resort she kept saying “Go see CJ? Where CJ?”

Charlotte got up about 10. We grabbed some breakfast/brunch and finally headed off to the park. We piled into one vehicle to save on parking. I think we made it into the park right before noon. The plan was pretty much a re-do of the day before. We went back to Mickey’s Toon Town Fair to see Mickey, Minnie, and the Fairies. This time, Tricia joined us in the experience. Yet again, we got great “star treatment” with our access pass. I think the park may have been even busier on Thursday and it was good not to have to wait HOURS to see the characters. When we went back to see the fairies, Rosetta was the same cast member as the day before, and as soon as Charlotte walked in, she said “Charlotte! You came back to see us again!” It was so great. This time I caught the whole experience on video and will post that soon on our new YouTube site (links will be provided). Her visit with the Fairies was still, I think, the highlight of the trip.

We got some lunch and then headed over to Fantasyland again. We repeated a few rides from the day before (Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo), tried a few new rides that we missed the day before (the 3-D movie Philharmagic which CJ LOVED), and we met Tigger, Pooh, Eeyore, and Peter Pan.

At this point, we headed towards Adventureland so we could scope out a good spot for the parade. We found a good “accessible” point and then Roger and CJ kind of camped out while we kept Tricia busy browsing Adventureland and getting ice cream.

The parade was fun and fabulous. Because of our great seat, many of the “walking” characters (those not on floats) came up to Charlotte and greeted her personally. She really loved seeing Stitch and waved at many of the other characters. Ariel even noticed (way up on top of her float) that CJ was wearing her mermaid dress today and blew a kiss right at her!

After the parade, we made our way with the crowds out of the park, got some dinner at Cracker Barrel (yum) and hugged goodbyes to Tricia, Sarah, and John. We’ll see them again next week but it was so great to be able to pal around with them in the park. Tricia was a doll and so much fun to play with. She really made Charlotte laugh with her jokes and funny phrases too. We were on our way to dinner when we started telling jokes. Roger tried to teach her the “interrupting cow” joke (it’s a knock-knock joke) and Tricia’s interpretation was to say in her toddler voice, “Knock knock. Who’s there? (long pause) MOO!” It had all of us (including Charlotte) in stitches!

Friday dawned bright and…rainy. It was raining from early on and the forecast was pretty much rain all day. The original plan had been to meet up with a bunch of people at Animal Kingdom but we pretty soon nixed those plans. Through conference calls and logistical arranging, we decided to all go to a lovely mall in the area that has nice holiday decorations, a kid area, and a food court. The crew included two of my friends from High School (Cara and Kim) and their kids, my friend Jamie (our current paparazzi), and cousin Julie, Aunt Jeanne, and Julie’s 17 month old Chloe. We pretty much hung out at the mall for about 4 hours talking, letting the kids play, window shopping, and eating lunch. Despite the diverse group and the abrupt change in plans, I think it all worked out pretty well.

As the rain continued, we said goodbye to Kim and Cara and the rest of our “crew” caravanned back to GKTW. Roger, Jamie, and Julie went to get ice cream when we got back to the resort while I stayed at the Villa with CJ, Chloe, and Aunt Jeanne. It was a great visit with everyone.
Around dinner time, we left Aunt Jamie in charge of CJ and Jeanne and Julie drove Roger and I over to Epcot to drop us off for our “date”. The plan was to trek through the Nations of the World and sample the food and beverages (mostly beverages) of each country. We knew we would both drink so we planned to take a taxi back to GKTW.

Here was our itinerary:
Mexico (margaritas and flautas)

Norway (no eating…we just rode the Maelstrom)

China (plum wine and noodle soup)Germany (beer and brats)

Japan (warm sake)

Italy (a sampling/tasting of three white wines)

Morocco (Coffee with hazelnut liquer and baklava)

France (cognac)

England (ale)

Ok, so yes, that’s a lot of alcohol and yes, we were pretty inebriated by the end of the night. In our defense, at most of the countries we shared one drink and shared one serving of each of the food. On that note, I don’t remember much of what happened after England. Roger got me to the car and we got home safely but we both definitely woke up this morning with a bit of a hangover. I rarely drink like that and can probably count three other times in my life when I’ve had that much to drink at one time but Roger and I had a great time. We really enjoyed ourselves!

CJ was up bright and early at 4 AM or so. She watched TV for most of the morning while mommy and daddy “recovered”. It was still raining and we knew the rain was supposed to last most of the morning so we had already changed the Sea World plan to Sunday. Eventually, we ventured down to breakfast and then took in some of the Magical Castle at GKTW that we hadn’t checked out yet. Unfortunately, horseback riding was canceled due to the weather, but we rode the carousel, Charlotte got a “touch up” on her manicure at the La-Ti-Da Kids Spa, and she made her special pillow. We also got to make her star. The ceiling of the Magical Castle is covered in 70,000 gold stars that are about 2” in size (each). Every wish child who has stayed at GKTW gets to put their name on a star and then the Star Fairy puts the star in a special place. Each star is barcoded so they will always know where her star is and she (or Roger and I) can come back and visit it anytime now that she has stayed at GKTW. While we can’t ever stay here again, we can come back to volunteer and visit.

After our time venturing out, we headed back to our Villa for a little more rest. We ordered lunch from Katie’s Kitchen (a GKTW favorite that is really Boston Market) and then trekked out to Downtown Disney just as the weather started to clear. We did some window shopping and souvenir shopping at Downtown Disney. Charlotte got a cat nap and we enjoyed the beautiful weather. The sun finally came out!

Our return to the Villa has included getting caught on our updates (hence this posting) and some more R&R time. This was a good “down” day.

Tomorrow’s agenda is Sea World (finally) and an informal reunion with some HS friends at Downtown Disney. Monday will include packing up from GKTW and if time and weather permits, we may finally return to Disney to check out Animal Kingdom. Then it’s off to Daytona Beach for the second half of our vacation.

To close this post, I’m going to re-copy some of Roger’s posts from Facebook from Thursday. This was after her “long night”…

She had a moment early this morning where she got confused and started to cry "I don't know what I want." Today, to kind of give her a way to explain it, I told CJ she was a caterpillar getting ready to go into her chrysalis. Soon she would go to sleep and when she woke up, she would be a beautiful butterfly. She seemed ok with this. In reinforcing the butterfly analogy, I was talking to Charlotte about it outside of Cracker Barrel and I talked about how things are going to get harder and harder to do because the cocoon is going to wrap around her closer and closer. At that point I made a face like I was getting squished and she found that highly amusing. She laughed a lot today and that’s good for everyone.

We hadn’t really officially decided how to explain what is happening to Charlotte to her but I think Roger’s analogy really nailed it. It’s perfect! Yet again, he amazes ME with his patience and vision. Charlotte had so many moments today when she was chatty and “with it”. She also has times where she just seems to regress or drift inward, not wanting to interact with anyone. She has taken to putting her Romp n’ Roll sport bottle in her mouth like a bottle sometimes (with chocolate milk in it, of course) and I think some of that infantile regression is coming out in all its shapes and forms. It’s been so great to enjoy this vacation with her. I’m glad she has all these moments of happiness!

1 comment:

  1. Yay...I've been waiting for an update from Disney. AMAZING pictures! I love the look of love on her face with each character. Such memories! I hope you continue to have an amazing time and cherish each second! Love you guys!


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