Monday, September 29, 2014

Disney 2014, Day 3, Part II (Epcot)

(Monday, September 22, 2014)
We enjoyed spending the day with Wes and Sarah and parted ways around supper.  Hannah and I had reservations at a new-to-us restaurant called, ‘Teppan Edo’ at the Japan Pavilion.  Hannah decided to catch a quick nap on the way so that she would be able to enjoy supper.IMG_4926
We had an idea what this meal could be like and it didn’t disappoint!  The cast members are all from Japan and oh so gracious!  I think I bowed for an hour after we left!  Winking smileIMG_4928
Guests sit around a large grill in groups of 8.  Hannah and I were with a family from Toronto and a mother and daughter from Maine…I think!  (We’ve met so many people this week that they quickly blend together!)IMG_4927
At the beginning of the meal we were each able to select a protein that would be cooked Teppan-Yaki-style.  Hannah chose chicken while I chose steak and shrimp.IMG_4939
Typical of one of these meals, it is part cooking and part show.  The only thing missing at Disney compared to other locations is the fire.  Here our chef made a Choo-choo train of onions!
Even adding spices to our meal is a part of the show.
Final prep of the veggies before serving. 
The food was delicious and it was such a neat, entertaining meal.  We also got along famously with the mother and daughter we sat with which is always a bonus too!  Mmm…noodles!IMG_4940
After we finished our delicious dinner Hannah we walked our of the International Gateway and passed China during our travels.  IMG_4943Hannah had one request before we left that I was happy to offer her.  She wanted to ride Test Track at night!   We did….twice and oh how fun it was even though it was raining lightly when we entered the outdoor portion of the ride!
I took this pic from the screen outside the ride.
What a wonderful day we shared together at Epcot!  IMG_4951

Friday, September 26, 2014

Disney 2014, Day 3, Part I (Epcot)

(Monday, September 22, 2014)
Sorry for the slow posting.  It is partially due to the challenges of posting with resort Wi-Fi but also because we arrive back in our room exhausted each evening and taking the time to post without falling asleep on the keyboard is a challenge!!
Today’s park was Epcot and I had a special surprise planned for my sweet girl!!
Pardon the foggy pic.  The room is cool and the outside weather wonderfully hot and steamy so my camera lens takes a bit to adjust.  I think she looked absolutely beautiful!  Hannah loves that she was born in China and Mulan is currently her favourite princess so choosing this costume was a great fit for her!
Early in the morning as I was getting ready I called in the help of Auntie Trish and Miss Bonnie to help with Hannah’s hair.  (It’s such fun having all 3 families in rooms next to one another!!)
The day was scheduled to be a shared with a friend and her family (Andrea and I work together) but unfortunately a nasty bout of food poisoning kept her in their room.  Wes and Sarah were still up to a day out so we met at Epcot in time for breakfast with the Princesses in Akershus located in the Norway pavilion.
The first princess the girls met dressed in her formal wear was Belle.IMG_4894
Followed by AuroraIMG_4904
Snow White and finallyIMG_4908
After breakfast we headed next door to the China pavilion where Hannah was able to meet Mulan!!IMG_4913
So many people commented on ‘Princess Mulan’ as her costume is not easy to find.  (I ordered this one from It was adorable as many people (cast members and other guests at the park) bowed to her throughout the day and some even said they would be over to visit her in China and get her picture and autograph.  So sweet and Hannah soaked it all in!
A visit to The Living Seas is often completed with pictures near the fish of Nemo.IMG_4921
During our travels we met Chip and Dale who also bowed to Her Majesty.  Sweet!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Disney 2014, Day 2, Part II (Magic Kingdom)

(Sunday, Sept 21, 2014)
We had been able to secure a coveted FP+ reservation at ‘Be Our Guest’ so we enjoyed a delicious meal there for lunch.IMG_4838_thumb
After lunch….Dumbo!IMG_4843_thumb
This picture is typical, energetic Hannah!IMG_4845_thumb
Our final FP+ for the day was a visit with Ariel after enjoying her ride Under the Sea.  The girls were surprisingly quiet as they sat there and Ariel called them ‘Giggle Fish’ which of course made them giggle all the more!IMG_4851_thumb
At this point the adults did take a moment to enjoy a ride on Space Mountain.  It’s fun being here with other adults as it offers me an opportunity to ride some of the bigger rides.  I screamed all the way through this one and Trish said she couldn’t scream because she was too busy laughing at me!  Hee!IMG_4854_thumb
We happened to be crossing the park at the same time the new ‘Festival of Fantasy’ parade was starting so we watched that before heading to Adventureland to enjoy a refreshing Dole Whip!  Mmmm!!!IMG_4862a_thumb
This day was hot, hot, hot with temps in the 90’s and high humidity.  Ice cream and mister fans were a refreshing treat.IMG_4864_thumb
The final ride was Aladdin’s Flying Carpets.IMG_4867_thumb
Here the girls are ducking trying to avoid the spitting camel.  I in turn was riding with my brother who manoeuvred us so that the camel spit in my ear!  Touché I guess for the acting part I gave him with Belle this morning!IMG_4869_thumb
As we were preparing to leave for supper our friends who we’re also here with (Bonnie, Paul, Nathan and Kaitlyn) were just arriving for ‘Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party’.  They looked adorable dressed up as Peter Pan, Wendy, Mr. Smee and the Pirate Fairy.IMG_4873_thumb
From here we boarded the monorail and rode to the Polynesian to enjoy supper at the Kona Cafe.  Hannah has this thing she does where she rubs the thumbs of those she’s closest to while sucking her bottom lip.  It’s sweet (unless you’re trying to use your thumbs to text, write or….cook!)  On this day she found Uncle Dave’s thumbs and he became one of her inner circle of comfort peeps. IMG_4873a_thumb
The Polynesian Resort is undergoing a lot of renovations so things look much different with constructions walls everywhere.  Like it does everything else, Disney has a way of making even construction walls pleasant.  A new photo op place in front of a wall.IMG_4877_thumb
We left the restaurant shortly before 8 and Hannah was asleep before we exited the monorail 2 stops later.  We transferred to a bus and headed to see the ‘Frozen Fireworks’ at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  They won’t be playing when we’re there Thursday and I didn’t want to miss them as this is their final week so this was the night.
I went up within a bout 6’ of then entrance/exit turnstiles and was pretty sure security was going to ask me to move since I didn’t have entrance for the park that day so I was too close.  A kind security guard did approach me and quickly told me I could not stand there for the fireworks!  He instructed me to walk 6’ closer the moment they started as I would need a much better view then what I was able to get to where I was due to the overhang.  Heh….I had a great view standing with my toes touching the entrance to the park line.  Perfect!  Thanks Joe!
And, in customary Hannah fashion, this was her ‘view’ of the fireworks!  IMG_4886_thumb
She was out until morning even though we took a bus back to our resort, I stopped to get a drink and then changed her when we returned to our room and put her to bed!  That’s my girl!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Disney 2014–Day 2, Part I (Magic Kingdom)

(Sunday, Sept 21, 2014)
Hannah and I were awake bright and early Sunday morning, ready to spend our first day in the Magic Kingdom with my brother Dave, SIL Trish and Hannah’s cousins Makenna (5) and Kallen (just turned 2 two days prior!)
We took the bus to MK and arrived in time to watch the opening show which is my favourite way to begin any MK day!  After the show were made our way into the park and Trish and I looked at each other, barely able to contain ourselves that we were finally there together with our families!!  (The ‘littles’ of the family in Dave and Trish’s case as their oldest 4 are home this week.) 
We stopped for our customary photographs in front of Cinderella’s castle.  They’re getting ready for Christmas so please pardon the crane in the background.  IMG_4814
This next picture just makes me howl!  Makenna was having a bit of a rough moment and I was able to capture it as a Disney photographer took their family pictures.  Hilarious!IMG_4816
Yes, we are at the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’ and yet the kids have their moments.  Hannah will too I’m sure!  We love Disney but long days with stimulation overload can lead to the odd meltdown that we just help them through and move on.  (Unless it’s mommy’s meltdown and then Hannah gently reminds me to ‘Take a deep breath’ and then I apologize and we move on.  Oh no, meltdowns are not just for kids!)
We eventually did manage to take a quick family shot in front of the castle but the bright sun did not lend itself well to the kiddos looking at the camera.IMG_4818
After taking a ride with Pooh where the girls found these beautiful jewels on the way out IMG_4820and a ride on Prince Charming’s Carousel
we had FastPass+ (FP+) reservations for Enchanted Tales with Belle.  I think at this point Dave was questioning the planning of being here with his sister as when they were asking for palace guards I quickly pointed him out and he was chosen as were Hannah and Makenna!IMG_4830
Our final ride before lunch was the new ‘Seven Dwarfs Mine Train’ and it didn’t disappoint!  Hannah and I had watched them building it for more than 2 years and have been excited to ride it for months!!  This video starts just after my poor kiddo wacked her head but then after that we were off and she loved it!  (Heh…can you tell Mommy did too?) As our car rolled to a stop Hannah declared it the ‘Best – Ride - Ever!!’  High praise from my wee adrenalin girl!   We’re looking forward to riding this one again a couple of times later in the week!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Disney 2014–Day 1 (Travel Day)

(Saturday, September 20, 2014)

And we’re off! 

After spending Friday night with great friends Hannah and I were ready to head to Disney!  I’d booked this trip when we were there in August of 2013 thus securing us a Free Dining Package!  We love Disney and when we don’t have to pay for food it’s even better.  It’s a HUGE savings to us!!

After a quick repacking of the suitcases spreading out all of the things that we had needed our last night it was almost time to go.  Note the half empty suitcases.  Over the years I have been able to pare down what we bring and also with Hannah being 5 now it means much less ‘stuff!’  Even since last year I realized we no longer needed pull-ups for night-time, a bottle, a receiving blanket and more.  Our last holdout to babyhood at Disney is the stroller and I’m sure this will not be our last trip with that considering we walk an average of 8-12 miles a day and Hannah still crashes in it when she gets tired.IMG_4797 (1)

Hannah and Ben were happy see one another but their time together was far too short!  I love the friendship these two share!IMG_4797 (3)

I had acquired Nexus passes for Hannah and I and they were wonderful!  We cruised across a bridge dedicated to Nexus cardholders and went through customs in moments.  We were quickly on our way and things were just as smooth at the airport.  No longer do I need to take my belt off, the computer or DVD player don’t come out of the carry-on suitcase nor does my CPAP machine and I get to leave my shoes on.  What a treat!!  When Hannah was a baby my top number of grey bins at the airport was 7!!  This trip – one!  Woot!

Our flights took us from Buffalo via Chicago to Orlando.  Not the most direct route but the one that was the best price so that’s what we did!  Hannah is such an amazing traveller that I don’t concern myself with stopovers.  Our motto is ‘getting there is all part of the vacation adventure!’ 

This is our ‘Ahhhhh!  We’re going to Disney!’ pic.IMG_4797 (5)

Upon landing we took our customary picture at the Orlando airport.IMG_4798

Since it was 8:30 in the evening before we got to our room there was time for a swim and then supper before heading to bed.  Pasta from the Art of Animation resort is one of our favourites!IMG_4802

Hannah and I love, love, love Disney as all of you know!  This trip is going to be extra special as my brother Dave and his wife Trish and their kiddos Makenna and Kallen will be here!  Our great friends B&P with their 2 kids are too as well as another friend with her hubby and daughter.  We’ll do some things with just the 2 of us and at other times we’ll be in various groups.  Can’t wait!!  Trish and I have dreamed of this day I think since the girls were born and this day is finally here!!  We’re at Disney!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

New Taste Treat–Grilled Pizza

Earlier this summer I saw a chef grilling pizza on the BBQ.  I made a mental note that when I eventually purchased a BBQ I wanted to give that a try.

So I give you, grilled pizza!  Easy, delicious and quick to whip up.  Give it a try!

First, I purchased prepared dough from the grocery store.  I’ve made my own in the Kitchen Aid a few times but this time it was all about simplicity.  As I fought with the dough to get it to a size larger than a quarter (How do they do that?  Will need to take lessons from my friend’s son who is working at a local pizza shop!) I also cooked or heated most of the pizza toppings.

Once everything was ready to go it was time to start grilling!

I put the dough directly on the grill and let the bottom get crusty.  So neat to watch it bubble and expand!IMG_4739

When the one side was grilled I brought it into the house and flipped it onto a cookie sheet with the grilled side up.  The whole thing had pizza sauce and (cooked) bacon on it.  I added mushrooms to my side making sure not even one jumped to Hannah’s side and to her side we added pineapple. (This was also a great thing to make together!) I love cooking and baking with my girl!

Cheese was then sprinkled on the entire pizza.  I need to be cautious with Hannah’s cheese intake so hers tends to have less and mine more but I did that when she wasn’t looking. Winking smileIMG_4741

Once the pizza was topped it was back to the grill for a second time.  IMG_4742

I would like to show you a pic of us digging in but it was so delicious that I forgot to take any pics.  You’ll just have to trust us that it was delicious!!

If you’re looking for a tasty new way to makeover your pizza, try baking them on the BBQ!

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