Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Make A Wish Trip

***warning-long post!***
Finally, as promised, a post about our trip.  Sorry it took a while, I've been recovering from jet lag and catching up on things after we got back!

First off, a huge thank you to Make A Wish and Give Kids The World for making it possible for us to go.  We were treated first class all the way!

Day 1- Travel Day.  A nice perk was being the first ones on the plane leaving Seattle.  We had a connection in Nashville.  From what we saw from the plane, it looks beautiful.  Then it was on to Orlando.  We didn't get to the Village until 10 that night, and they had a meal waiting for us!

This was our villa at Give Kids The World Village.  The village hosts families from all over the world.  It's run mostly by the nicest volunteers you'll ever meet!  Even though most of the events at the village are geared to small children, we enjoyed it!  They encourage "ice cream for breakfast" at least once during your trip, so we had it one morning.  And it was good....
Day 2- The Magic Kingdom!  What can I never gets old.  Make a Wish provides passes to the parks which let us "Fast Pass" all of the attractions.  Sometimes it was the actual Fast Pass line, or other times a wheelchair or special entrance.  After a while, I didn't even feel guilty jumping the lines....

This is my favorite Disney Ride.  Ever.

The only downside that day was getting caught in the mass exodus at the end of the night.  The monorail went down, so everyone was diverted to the ferry (across the lake to the parking lot) and buses.  First we were told one thing, then another about which was quicker.  After waiting about an hour, we were told the monorail was back up, so we finally decided to go back and get in line for that, which turned out to be a good move.  It ended up taking us almost 2 hours just to get out of DisneyWorld.  For an organization that handles most things so well, it was a little disappointing.

Day3- Off to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure!  Islands of Adventure was high on the girls' list because they wanted to go to the Harry Potter World.  They tried Butterbeer- they said it tasted like cream soda with caramel (good but very sweet).  This was also where I discovered that I can't go on rides that go upside down.  I went on the Dragon ride...BIG mistake!  I felt so sick afterward that I did nothing but sit and drink water for an hour.  So I missed most of Potter World.  I did enjoy the other parts of Islands of Adventure, especially the Jurassic Park ride and Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls.  Ok, I admit it.  I love the water rides.

After Islands of Adventure, we went over to Universal Studios and saw several shows.  The highlight of the day- and one of the best of the trip- was seeing Blue Man Group at Universal CityWalk!!!!

(picture from placestogoflorida)

Day4- Epcot!  I think we may have enjoyed Epcot the most of all of the theme parks.  I think that's because everything was new to us (except the Soaring ride, which we've done in California).  We learned the hard way that you can easily take two days just with Epcot, which also includes the World Showcase.  Unfortunately, we only made it through about half of the showcase pavilions.  My favorite of the ones we did see was France.

Family Joke- Oldest Daughter loved this show on Disney channel.  Probably because her name is Kim.... She and her sister did the mission to save the world from the Procrastinator Ray!

Day5- Gatorland and Disney Hollywood Studios.  Okay, true confession time...I skipped Gatorland.  Not because I didn't want to go, but because I injured myself!  I managed to take a big piece of skin off my right foot, and it HURT!!!!  It was painful to walk on, so I took the morning off.  Husband and girls went to Gatorland, an older attraction, and really enjoyed it!

Now, is it just me, or do those gators look WAY too close?

This is how I saw Hollywood Studios!  Notice how unhappy I look....NOT!  At least the family didn't have to worry about me keeping up with them!  I did manage to go on most of the rides, though I skipped the Aerosmith rollercoaster (that upside-down thing again).  In my defense, I did go on the Tower of Terror, which husband wimped out on!

Another highlight was the Beauty and the Beast Show.  We were in the front row and it was wonderful!

We also really enjoyed the American Idol experience.  It really felt like being at the show, minus Ryan Seacrest and the judges. We saw the finale show of the day.  My pick didn't win, but they were all good.

Day 6- Sea World and Aquatica water park.  Originally, we planned that we'd all go to the water park, but since I hurt myself, I couldn't go.  So the girls went to the waterpark, husband and I went to Sea World.  We enjoyed it, but I think he would have rather been in the water.
My beautiful girls.

That night, we went to the Arabian Knights dinner theater.  The storyline was pretty cheesy, but the horsemanship and pageantry was beautiful.

Day 7- we only had a few hours before our flight, so we walked around Downtown Disney.  Yes, we went up in that balloon!
A pirate at heart.
Coming back was mostly uneventful...TSA at the Orlando airport was s...l...o...w!  We had a connection in Denver.  Our flight was late, so we had 20 minutes to make our connection.  We came in at gate C1, our plane left at C30!  I don't think they could have put it any further away!  We made it...barely.
All in all, a great trip, and wonderful family time.  And we're totally spoiled for any future theme park trips.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We're Home...

We made it back from our Make A Wish trip last night.  Our trip was fantastic, and I'll be posting about it soon.  Right now, I'm way too tired.  I haven't recovered from the three hour time difference yet!

I do have to thank two awesome organizations for our trip:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Checking In

Yikes!  I've been neglecting my blog the last few weeks!

My mom-in-law came up from Arizona and spent two weeks here.  Which meant both brothers-in-law were around most of the time.  Plus, oldest daughter finished up summer quarter at college and is home, with all of her stuff taking over the family room.  I loved having everyone here, but...what a zoo!

We're counting down to Florida!  We leave Sunday on our Make A Wish trip.  I think it's finally sinking in that we're really going.  I'm sure it's going to be a great trip.  There's a family at our church who did their wish trip to DisneyWorld in July, and they said that their trip was awesome!  Just wish it wasn't going to be hot and humid....I'm gonna melt.

Well, I suppose I should go and finish packing...and hoping I don't get stuck behind this guy....