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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Family Day at Regal Palms

After our fun day with the Bacons, we had a family day together! Casey and Jordan went to Magic Kingdom for the day so we had a relaxing day just enjoying everything the resort had to offer. Why leave the property when there was so much to do???

We kicked things off with waffles for breakfast!

She was READY for the pool!
When we built our house we went with the basics for pretty much everything, including our pool. The ONLY regret I have about our home is that we didn't even think to do the walkin entrance. I'm not sure the legit name of it? But it's like the beach where it gradually gets deeper and deeper. It is PERFECT for small children. Britt loved just walking back and forth and had a huge area to safely play in without having to be swimming all the time. And I could relax with her and not have to be catching and releasing her the whole time! I loved, loved, LOVED this pool. The way everything was set up was so perfect. Britt and I could be in the shallower "beachy" area and still watch Kye come down the slide! Then we could all easily hop on the lazy river! 

After we swam our hearts out we headed back to the room for lunch. We had some time before nap so Kye went ahead and did his homework for school. Zach and I both feel the same way about missing school: we're fine with it! To us, missing occasionally in order to go on family vacations is totally worth it. As long as our kids don't have any issues in school then I don't see us ever being that concerned with only traveling during school breaks. I got the work ahead of time and he did it all while we were on the trip! I made sure to bring along all the supplies he'd need and he quite enjoyed it! 

Britt was in a MEGA Daddy phase on this trip. All she wanted him to do was hold her and sing to her and love on her non-stop. He enjoyed it but also got a little annoyed with it after a bit too. She can be a tad demanding at times. Typical female, right? ;)

His coloring skills blow me away

The kids took a nice nap and Zach and I watched Parks and Rec (best episode EVER: "Treat Yo Self" hahahahaha. After naps we headed over to Banana Jacks. I saw it when looking at the website for Regal Palms before the trip and it looked really neat! It was part of the resort and had tons of games, a play place, and great deals on pizza! We got a large pizza, a bag of breadsticks, drinks, and a TON of tokens (like 80 I think?) for only $16! We could play all the games we wanted!

Yes, he set a new high score!

The pizza wasn't just cheap, it was also super yummy!

The play portion of the place made me a little nervous. It was actually above all the games. I was shocked Britt wanted to go up on her own without one of us with her and was even more shocked by how much she LOVED it!!! Thankfully there was only one way up (the stairs) and one way down (the slide) so it contained the kids to the confined area but the area to play in at the top was HUGE and I was scared when I couldn't see her the whole time. I'm not one of those parents who just let me kids go play and then I socialize. I watched that play place like a hawk!!! There was a birthday party there at the same time as we were and the kids had play swords up in the play area so I was a little nervous about how that would go down. Thankfully, it was all great! Britt mostly just enjoyed walking back and forth over and over again and Kye had fun playing with some of the other children!

We had a BLAST at Banana Jacks and were shocked at the amount of tickets we earned too! Each kid got to pick a prize and when Kye couldn't decide they were super nice and let him have two haha. We took some pics before going inside for bath time! I'm not sure if it was happiness from being on vacation, or if it was the pizza, or maybe the prizes...but check out all these cute smiles!

Had to get pics of their prizes!

Our bathroom had a huge jetted tub and Zach gave the kids a bath in it. He didn't add any bubble bath but when he turned on the jets and went to bathe the kids their soap made MASSIVE amounts of bubbles!!! Here's a little video too :) 

It took us a bit to figure out how everyone would sleep in the town home. Like I mentioned before, it had three bedrooms and three full bathrooms. Casey and Jordan had the room downstairs so that left us with two rooms upstairs. Typically Britt will sleep in a closet and we tried putting her in Kye's bathroom so we could have our entire room kid-free. But it didn't work so great. She would wake up banging on stuff and it woke him up and she wasn't sleeping super wonderfully b/c it was too bright in the bathroom. So we reconfigured and put her in the laundry room! It had a full washer and dryer (which I mean I didn't plan on using but we actually did end up drying our towels and such for the pool!) and just enough space for Britt's pack and play to fit. It worked out great and we covered the door with a sheet to help block out the light! 

Kye had his own room so why make him sleep on his blow up mattress? He got a big bed all to himself and LOVED his "disney house room!" 
Casey and Jordan stayed at the park until it closed and we had to get up early the next morning for our day at the park so I didn't wait up for them! I always have a hard time sleeping on the night before Disney Day so I figured the early I went to bed, the better chance I had at actually getting some sleep! Zach ran to Publix to get a few things we needed and picked up a little treat for us to share while watching some more Parks and Rec before I went up to bed! When Casey and Jordan got back Zach stayed up talking and talking to them b/c he was so excited to hear alllll about their day at Disney! I think I've created a Disney lover, don't you? ;)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Disney Day with the Bacons

We typically plan our yearly Disney trip for the month of September as it's a very "low crowd level" time of the year. Since Britt has been born we've done quick Disney trips where we leave her at home and just take Kye along. This time I really, really wanted her to come with us. I think she's still too young for the park (we are planning her first visit for February!) but I still wanted her to be there for the non-park portion of the vacation!

I worked out an awesome plan! We invited Casey and Jordan to come on the trip with us. I offered to pay for the stay if they wouldn't mind keeping Britt the day we took Kye to Magic Kingdom. We spent a day together, a day with just our little family while Casey and Jordan hit up Magic Kingdom, and a day with Zach Kye and I at Magic Kingdom and Casey, Jordan and Britt chillin at the resort. As an added bonus to the trip Casey and I put our birthday schemer hats on and surprised Jordan and Zach with water park tickets for their birthdays. So on the fourth day Casey and I would keep the kids so the guys could do their water park thing together. It was a SUPER fun-filled trip and really couldn't have worked out more perfectly!!! I'm so, so appreciative of Casey and Jordan for coming along and I think they had a great time too! We are blessed to have our best friends also be our relatives :)

We headed down to Orlando and were AMAZED by the accommodations we had booked. We stayed at Regal Palms Resort and the website I'd seen prior to the trip did not do the place justice at all. Our condo was massive! Three bedrooms, each with their own full bathroom plus a full kitchen. And the resort amenities were amazing too. Best "hotel" pool EVER for sure. We hope we luck out and can get a good deal to stay there again for our next trip in February. We really loved it!
Had to jump on the beds!

We got down there earlier than Jordan and Casey. We arrived at bedtime so got the kids down then ate our own special dinner together. Yes, I made the crock pot cube steak again for this trip haha. We love that junk and it travels SO WELL! 
Casey and Jordan got there that night and we had plans for the next day to spend all together! Kye and Britt were both SO excited to have Casey and Jordan with us and it truly made our trip even more special :) While getting ready for the day the kids put the cd player to good use and had a little dance's a video!

Our big plans started out at the AWESOME pool area! It was heated with a water slide, the beach type walk in area (perfect for Britt's age!) and even a lazy river. Um. I LOVE me a lazy river!!! It was even better because it was practically empty. The benefit of going to Disney during "low crowd level" times is that there aren't many other people we got the place to ourselves :)

Yes, daredevil Britt even loved the slide!

Casey and Jordan love our children in a way I've never seen anyone love kids that aren't their own. They love Colt and Payton the same way too. They truly adore their nieces and nephews and it's beyond precious to me. I think because Courtney and I had our kids so close together we weren't able to form as close of bonds with each other's children. Since Jordan and Casey don't have babies yet they are able to truly know all of their nieces and nephews in a special way. I love watching them interact with the kids. It makes my heart so happy! Especially with Jordan! I mean he isn't even blood related to our children yet a stranger would totally think they are his kids. He's so sweet with them!!! 

We brought our own tubes for the lazy river!

In da face ;)

We spent a couple hours at the pool then headed back to the condo for lunch! The guys had gone to Publix the night before (which was literally 1 min down the road from the condo!) and had bought everything we'd need for our stay. I'm alllll about traveling on the cheap and we eat in the room as much as possible when traveling!

Kye was ALL about sitting at the bar to eat!

She LOVES Mickey and Minnie. Makes me so, so excited for her first visit!
After naps we got ready to head to Downtown Disney. I'd made Rainforest Cafe reservations for that night and wanted to get there early enough to check out some of the shops and things. Since it was a couple days after Casey's birthday (and knowing how much she LOVES her day!) we said that our dinner would be her birthday dinner celebration too ;)
I meant to show Britt the thunderstorm on Youtube before going to the restaurant and totally forgot to do it prior to going on the trip so we pulled it up to show her before we left. Better late than never, right? 
Outside of the condo! So nice!
My HAPPY Place!!!
We pointed out all the characters on the way to Britt and she said "hey" to them all!

I've been to Downtown Disney many times but haven't ever walked the full thing and checked it all out. We actually still didn't do it all this time but we got to see a lot of things I've never seen before. Our first stop was the Lego store and it was amazing. Kye LOVED it and didn't want to leave! 

I'll admit it: I had MAJOR "mommy guilt" over not taking Britt to the park with us. I truly believe it was best for her to wait. She's too young to be okay to skip her nap and to truly enjoy the park. When we went to the park and saw screaming toddlers I reminded myself that that would be my child and felt better about not having her with us. But, she has so much more "Disney knowledge" than Kye did at her age and she truly LOVES it all so much and it made me feel bad that she couldn't experience it with us. I tried to make the rest of the trip as magical as possible for her. I reminded myself that she's never been to Magic Kingdom so she doesn't know what she's missing! She LOVED Downtown Disney and loved looking at everything and said "cool! cool!" about it all. I treated all the statues as if they were legit characters and got super pumped about them for her :)

I saw a friend recently took her sons to do Ridemakerz and have been wanting to look more into it for myself...thinking it might be a good birthday gift for Kye when we come in February! Has anyone else ever built one? Have an opinion about it??? We went to check them out and Jordan was just obsessed with these Iron Man themed ones. We know what we're getting him for Christmas ;)

Britt enjoyed walking around the store saying "hey" to all the character merchandise while Kye test drove some of the cars!

On our way to dinner! You know everyone totally thought Britt was their so so sweet!

We had reservations for dinner and Zach got pretty annoyed that we had a decent time to wait even though we had reservations. Which, I get. I mean you call 180 days in advance and book the'd think you'd be able to sit down at your reserved time, right? It was very crowded and kinda overwhelming. I don't think the rain going on outside helped much either because it forced everyone to be in the little shop area rather than being able to wait outside. 
Obviously, Britt LOVED seeing the fish!

She also enjoyed listening to the talking tree

Jordan and Kye had matching hair styles!

Zach was such a sweet brother and went on a hunt for a birthday pin for Casey to wear! She wore it to the park the next day too and loved getting all that Disney birthday attention :)

I chose to go to Rainforest Cafe b/c it's really the only "themed" restaurant at Downtown Disney. I felt like it gave us some entertainment while we ate and that it's a fun environment for the kids. I'm pretty sure we are done with it for awhile though. The food is expensive and it's just okay. Nothing amazing. And the animals are neat and fun but the service is so slow and the restaurant is so crowded that it takes away from the experience in a big way. Especially with young kids. We tried to walk them around to see all the animals but it's pretty hard to do with so many people everywhere. Britt, surprisingly, wasn't put off in the least by the thunderstorms. However, she didn't really like the animals! They scared her but the storm didn't! She LOVED the fish though so we stuck near the tanks :) Does anyone have any other Downtown Disney favorites we can try out in February?

Kye had NO issues with the wait time, he was happy as could be coloring and enjoying guy time :)

Kye would also disagree with my comment regarding the quality of the food there: he LOVES the pizza!

We were tempted to do the big lava cake as a surprise for Casey's birthday. But it was $16. And not all that massive? So we opted to all get ice cream treats after dinner instead! I really wanted Britt to experience a Mickey Mouse ice cream. Like I said, I wanted to give her as much magic as possible :) 

He chose the same "rocket ship" that he loved so much on our last visit!
Love at first lick!

We let the kids be "stroller free" on our way back to the car. Britt enjoyed riding piggy back style and Kye enjoyed dancing in the streets to all the Disney music playing! Britt was ALL about some Uncle Jordan. She even wanted to hold his hand while riding on Zach's shoulders. I wonder if onlookers thought she has two daddies? haha!

It was SUCH a fun time at Downtown Disney! I loved having a day with all of us together and really want to have some adult time to do some major shopping next time we visit. Since Mrs. Charlotte will be with us in February I have already been thinking that maybe she and I can sneak away one night ;) The shops there were AMAZING! The prices were pretty reasonable and they had a lot of things that I've never seen anywhere else, including online. It was a Disney Lovers Paradise for sure!!!

The kids were happy as could be and went to bed quickly when we got back. Kye cracked us up on the monitor sleeping straight up sideways :) The boys had football to watch so us girls just talked and made plans for the future together while the boys rooted on their teams! We're such supportive wives ;)
Next up: Our family day enjoying all that our resort had to offer!

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