Tuesday, August 30, 2011

*Disney Trip 2011, Day 4: Animal Kingdom + Kona Cafe

(Tuesday, August 30, 2011)  I’m so thankful that we decided to give Animal Kingdom another try.  Sometimes it’s a park that we seem to struggle with finding enough to do and would wander for long periods of time between rides/shows.  This time we went with no real agenda and we had a great time!Photo0204FourBySix
Our normal first ride at AK is Kilimanjaro Safaris and it did not disappoint.  The animals were up and active and it’s always fun to see what ones will come close to the truck.  Our driver was wonderful and we learned lots of new things about the animals.  IMG_1741
IMG_1743During this ride Hannah did something that shocked me!  As we went by one of the unusual animals and the driver pointed it out, Hannah pointed to the display of animals on the ‘animal map’ on the ceiling of the jeep and said, ‘right there Mommy.’ And….she was right!!!

There are about 50 animals displayed on this map and she knew exactly where it was!  Hannah seems to have a real memory for pictures and places and I know this gift will be helpful during her life!  This is the animal we saw.  I can’t remember what it’s called but I think if I ask Hannah she’ll remember! Winking smile IMG_1747
One of the rides I’ve longed to go on since it was built was Expedition Everest but it had never worked out.  This trip with Nana allowed me to opportunity to ride as she stayed with the girls and what fun it was!  It’s on my ‘to do’ list again when Hannah gets tall enough to ride it!
We made our way to DinoLand and enjoyed a few of the offerings there.  A ride on Triceratop Spin is similar to Dumbo without the wait.IMG_1752
Next it was on to The Boneyard for some playtime.  Bec Bec was amazing the entire trip and here she happily ran through the playground with Hannah.  That doesn’t sound like much but it was hot, hot, HOT (100oF plus high humidity this day) and the Boneyard is in the  sun so she was a big helper when she offered to go with her.  It was fun but we didn’t stay long as it was just too hot to let the girls run around for long.IMG_1754
Our next stop was a treat for so many reasons.  We went to see ‘Finding Nemo:  The Musical’ and it was AMAZING!!  The immediate bonus was that it was in an air conditioned theatre but aside from that the show is breath-taking!!  It’s hard to describe but it’s a bit of a play but done with huge puppets.  I really can’t describe it but here’s a little snippet of it.
Hannah sat for the entire 40 minute show with her eyes glued on the stage and the action taking place around us.  If you have the opportunity to visit AK please don’t miss this amazing show!!IMG_1755
We slowly wandered (well, some wandered while Hannah hitched a ride and spritzed herself with a water fan) IMG_1766across the park and watched another show, ‘Festival of The Lion King’ which was also great!  Hannah was chosen at one point to take part in the show and at first she did really well!  She went with the gal and stood with her for about 30 seconds before she decided that this wasn’t for her.  The gal was great as she made sure to wave at Hannah a few times after that and came over to wave good-bye at the end of the show.IMG_1775
It’s cute because Hannah talks about the show and about her part and then she says, ‘I want Mommy.  Wahhh!’ and does a little pretend cry.  This is followed by, ‘Next time, I want to walk with shaker’ so she wasn’t traumatized.
The show was followed by some character time.  On days when fans like this could be found all over the park, IMG_1767
I felt bad for the characters!  Thankfully they’re not out for long before they head to the back for a quick snack. Winking smile
Mrs. BunnyIMG_1780
and MinniePhoto0228FourBySix
At this point Hannah crashed in my arms as we made our way to the bus stop.  I transferred her to Rebecca before we boarded and you can see that this didn’t interrupt her nap in the least!IMG_1789
That night for supper we had reservations at my favourite non-character restaurant, the Kona Cafe located in the Polynesian Resort.  They have a teriyaki steak there that is melt in your mouth delicious!!  For dessert I chose a chocolate fondue that Hannah was only too happy to help me eat!IMG_1790
I guess it’s comes as no surprise that a bath was in order when we returned to the room!

Monday, August 29, 2011

*Disney Trip 2011, Day 3: Epcot, Day I, Part III

(Monday, August 29, 2011 catch-up post)
Epcot, Day I, Part 1                  Epcot, Day 1, Part II
After Hannah’s nap we rode the Nemo Ride and then enjoyed Turtle Talk with Crush.IMG_1706This is the point in the day that I alluded to in the previous post.  About 4 hours after we visited the Character Spot we asked one of the Disney PhotoPass Photographers to take our picture and the evening light was absolutely beautiful.  She took one look at Hannah and said with a smile, ‘I remember you!  You’re the little jumping bean!’  Yes, Hannah’s silliness and excitement made an impression with many. SmilePhoto0196FourBySix
Check out this sunset!IMG_1729
As we were walking from Future World we came across a splash pad that had Hannah’s name all over it!  Even though it was probably 8:00 or so in the evening it was still hot out and she enjoyed cooling off in the fun fountains.  Around the 28 second mark you can hear Hannah exclaim one of her favourite sayings of the day, ‘Oh man!’  I love how and when she uses this cute little 2 word phrase.
It’s because of wonderful opportunities like this that I pack a spare set of clothes (or 2) for Hannah each day when we’re visiting the parks in the summer.  Sheer joy!!IMG_1722
My princess after a great day at Epcot!IMG_1735
Tomorrow – Animal Kingdom!

*Disney Trip 2011, Day 3: Epcot, Day 1, Part II

(Monday, August 29, 2011 Catch-up post)
After dining with the princesses we set off for a day of fun at Epcot! We rode Maelstrom in Norway and made our way to Mexico where we did what every good tourist does....tried on sombreros! IMG_1668
After a quick visit with Duffy the Bear IMG_1682we could tell a storm was brewin’ so we did what every other family with young kiddos did at Epcot, we headed to the Character Spot! The wait was about 45 mins. but the girls were awesome and we had fun while we waited. Nana decided to brave the weather, cover up IMG_1683and head across the hub and visit the souvenir store. She returned in time to see the characters with us. By this time we had another 'character' on our hands as it was well past Hannah's nap time and when she gets tired she gets hyper and SILLY!  This picture makes me giggle as Mickey was literally holding Hannah still so that we could take pics!  She wasn’t bad, just in a fun, silly mood!  Check out that grin!!Photo0103FourBySix
Hannah has a real affection for Pluto, sleeping with her stuffed Pluto held in her arms each night.  She was excited to meet him in the fur!  The photographer and I were teasing that we want her batteries!  You can see here why I often say that Hannah has 2 speeds….Fast forward and Sleep.

Jumping with excitement to meet Minnie Mouse!

LOL!  Waiting to meet Donald.  As you can guess Hannah made quite an impression while we waited.  (More about that later.)IMG_1693
Acting Goofy with Goofy!Photo0187FourBySix
After we left the Character Spot we were surprised to see Chip and Dale just outside the doors!  Here Hannah shows Chip just how happy she was to see him!IMG_1699
Minutes after this pictures was taken Hannah was sound asleep!  We took advantage of the time as Bec Bec and Nana rode Soarin’ and then I rode it after them.  It’s by far my favourite ride at Epcot and at the rate Hannah is growing she might even be tall enough to ride it by next summer’s trip.  That would be amazing and I’m pretty confident my little climbing monkey would love it!
I have one more post to do to wrap up this day.  Coming soon…

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Mickey, Here We Come!!!

I booked this trip last November not even sure it would happen and now it’s here and we’re ready to go!!  Mickey is ready for us and he even sent Hannah a post card this week telling her how excited he is about her upcoming visit!  She was pretty excited and that little post card has gone with us everywhere since then.
DSC_8861 DSC_8866

We’re packed and ready to leave bright and early in the morning.  IMG_1568 By the time this post comes up we’ll be on the road.  Today is a day of travel and tomorrow will be our first day in the parks.  Disney’s Hollywood Studios is on the schedule and I’m excited for Bec and Sharon to try out Toy Story Midway Mania.  It’s new since we were there together back in January of 2008.

When we go to Disney, part of the fun is the prep that goes into it.   I seem to pack everything but the kitchen sink but in the long run it makes a Disney more enjoyable.   Some of the tips I’ve learned from others about things to pack that are a little out of the norm are:

IMG_1566 Dish soap soaked sponges that have been left to dry.  Great for cleaning refillable mugs, sippy cups and more.  On a similar line I was also able to find some disposable sheets of laundry detergent.  I’m hoping to avoid laundry but should the need arise we’ll be ready.

A couple of times Rebecca and I were there at Christmas time and we decorated our resort room window with Christmas lights and posters.  This year we’re trying something new with these little ribbons decorated with colourful Mickey Mouse heads courtesy of the paint chips at Home Depot. IMG_1565

I also have little cards ready that list the park we’ll be attending each day, park hours, show and parade times as well as any dining reservations we might have that day.  It’s nice to have everything in the same place so that at a glance we can see what’s happening that day.IMG_1564

The final thing is something I hope the others enjoy.  I found someone on Etsy who makes personalized iron-on patches so I ordered them for the 4 of us.  I’m hoping one day we’ll have fun wearing these matching t-shirts.  Heh, Disney brings out the kid in all of us!DSC_8869

And so, we’re off!  I won’t have Internet while at Disney so won’t be posting for a  little over a week while we’re away. 

This trip is a dream come true!  A dream I’ve had since I first began Hannah’s adoption back in 2005.  A Disney trip with my amazing little girl!!  Hannah is well aware that we’re going to ‘Mickey’s House’ tomorrow and while she may not fully understand what that means, I have a feeling she just might be dreaming sweet dreams of Mickey too!IMG_1567

PS – Happy 2 1/2 yo birthday Hannah XiaoFen!!  For your 2nd Birthday we celebrated with a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme and for your 2 1/2 birthday we’ll be with Mickey himself!  Fun!!!  Cannot wait to celebrate this special day with you my sweetie.  I can’t believe you’re 2 1/2 already!  Slow down my love.  Life seems to be flying by at lightening speed.  I’m so thankful for the next 9 days of being with you without the distractions of normal every day life and work.  9 days of fun with family is the best!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Moment in Time: Oh Canada Flag!

Hannah absolutely loves finding Canadian flags when we’re out and I’ll tell you, she’s good!!!  We can be driving in a completely new area and she’ll spot them in the hardest to find places and excitedly shout, ‘Canada Fwag!!!’  DSC_8847

After she calls out it’s not unusual for me to hear, ‘Sing Mommy, sing!’  from the back seat.  Earlier this summer I began to sing the Canadian National Anthem with her when she first took a liking to Canadian flags and I’m really impressed with much she’s learned!

On this day we were driving in the car with Mom and Dad so I was in the back seat with her.  I started to sing, ‘Oh Canada’ but my independent Miss let me know that she could sing it herself thank-you-very-much!  I think she did GREAT, especially when I remember she’s not even 2 1/2 years old yet!  I giggle in a couple of places because of the way she’s added her own flare to the song.  ‘Oh Canada’ becomes ‘Oh Canada Fwag’ and each time she sings ‘Stand on guard for thee’ she changes it to ‘Stand on guard for the end.’  Heh….so cute!

Great finish XiaoFen! 

I know right now she’s all about Canadian flags but I hope at the same time I’m also instilling a love for our amazing, beautiful country in my daughter.  IMG_1554

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