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Friday, January 8, 2016

Britt and Mommy's Girl Trip!

When Zach and Kye decided to go camping, Britt and I didn't want to be left out on the fun! Zach and I talked about it and decided the guys would go away for one night on one weekend and that Britt and I would go away for one night on the following weekend. 

I talked to Britt about what we should do on our girl's trip. Here's what she requested: stay in a hotel, go in a hot tub, and cuddle up in bed together. No camping for this girl ;) 

I started looking into places to go and got a little overwhelmed. I didn't want to stay in a hotel in town b/c that's lame (and most of our hotels are sketchyyyyy) but I also am pretty paranoid about traveling solo. I've NEVER taken my kids on a long car trip on my own.  I have a good bit of "stranger danger" anxiety and always worry what if something happens...even like just they have to pee and we have to stop at some creepy rest stop or something. Being concerned about our safety as top priority I thought we should just go to a Disney Resort Property. I know this may sound dumb but I feel safer at Disney? 

I looked into it and thought we'd stay at a cheap cheap room on property and then do something princess themed that didn't involve going to the park. I was WAY too close to my travel date to book Bippity Boppity Boutique, they have a princess tea party thing that was over $300, and another Alice in Wonderland type thing that I'd have to drop her off for. I then started thinking about it and reminded myself of what BRITT was wanting out of the trip: hot tub, hotel room, cuddles. I decided instead of spending money on an activity that we'd instead stay in a NICE resort and enjoy ALL the resort had to offer! Britt's never stayed on Disney property (none of our kids have) and I haven't stayed in very many of the resorts so I was excited about the opportunity and was especially excited to surprise Britt about it! 

We left first thing in the morning and Britt picked out some movies to watch (Big Hero 6, Incredibles and Frozen of course but I diiiiiid talk her into mixing it up and watching Princess and the Frog b/c it fit the theme of our trip!). We hit up CFA for breakfast on the way! 



I'm really working on my anxiety issues. I'm working on praying about it and then TRUSTING God to handle it. I needed a pick-me-up and figured it'd be smart to stop halfway and use the bathroom. I found a nice McDonald's and got myself a treat and we did the potty thing and I was proud of myself for not freaking out about it :) Small victories!


I have very little Disney resort knowledge but as I did my research I found Post Orleans Riverside. I'd honestly never heard much about it but I saw that they had a princess themed room and other activities I knew we'd enjoy so I was all about it! I called and talked to a CM about it to make sure and she said all Disney properties keep the hot tubs at cooler temps so they are kid friendly :)

I told Britt we were staying at Princess Tiana's house for our trip! She was freaking out!


Just pulling in the parking lot I got that "Disney Magic feeling." I know not everyone is a "Disney person" so I get it may sound stupid, but there is a true physical reaction for me when I step on Disney property :) Basically I go from awesome to mega awesome haha 

Right from the start it was simply a trip of magical moments. We met a sweet greeter on our way in who gave Britt a little toy frog (keeping with the Princess Tiana theme). 


While I checked in Britt loved the old school Disney cartoons!


She was in awe of the property (let's be real, so was I!)


When checking in they also upgraded Britt's magic band to a pink one and gave her some stickers...and then came the bubbles. A CM was hiding all around the lobby shooting bubbles from a bubble gun (side note but have you heard the new Disney safety policy? No more toy guns of any kind...including bubble ones!) and Britt had SO MUCH FUN chasing the bubbles around the lobby. It was truly sad how many people had their heads in their phones and didn't even notice the bubbles! We def appreciated it though :)


Sneaking up on the sneaky cm ;)


Along with our check in stuff they gave Britt a special letter from Princess Tiana



I LOVED having my sweet helper unload all our stuff!


Our room was the Royal Room and you can only book it at Port Orleans Riverside. Y'all. I'll be real...I am known for saying that Disney property hotels just are simply a rip off. They are EXPENSIVE and usually TINY and not all that nice?!?! For what you pay you could easily stay somewhere with a TON more space (like we usually rent a house for $100 a night which is less than the cost of even the cheapest Disney room) and be in nicer accommodations. 

When Zach and I stayed one night at Wilderness Lodge and had a FABULOUS time but both admitted the room wasn't anywhere near worth the cost. I have to say. I was BLOWN AWAY by the Royal Room at Port Orleans Riverside. Worth. Every. Penny. I'll go ahead and say this as well...I was blown away by the entire resort. When Zach called to book my birthday trip I don't know why they didn't suggest it? It's so so so romantic! I told Z I 100% want just the two of us to come back and stay there sometime! 

The Royal Room was spacious, beautiful and SO detailed. It was my favorite hotel room I've probably ever stayed in (and that's saying a lot b/c Aflac has hooked us up with some nice places!). Britt and I both were simply speechless when we walked in. We looked over every inch of the room and couldn't believe ALL the details. We truly felt like princesses. If you have a little girl it's the ULTIMATE princess place to stay hands down!



The COOLEST part was the beds. The headboards each have a button that turns on fireworks. No joke. Here's a video of it. 



One of our favorite things was the magic carpet from Aladdin on the floor! I had never looked that closely at it before and there are so many neat details...like how the bug is on it as well as the tiger for the cave of wonder.





Britt going around the room!


Hello magic lamp faucet?!?!


Characters in the borders around the room and bathroom



Princesses EVERYWHERE!


And where would a princess be without her prince?!?!




The one detail I did not love was that they have the same letter from Tiana that they gave us in the lobby but have it as part of the design on the table. Why hand out the same letter? Seeing it again as part of the decor makes it less special?


My personal favorite detail! The footstool from Beauty and the Beast!!!


Hidden Mickeys ;)



SO PUMPED!





Mission one: hotel! Was complete! So our first order of business was to hit up the pool to accomplish mission two: HOT TUB! We put on our bathing suits and I looked at the map of the resort and was like dannnng we have a long walk. Y'all. It took us FOREVER to get to the pool and I was so shocked at the way everything was laid out b/c it's just not like Disney to not put things closer together and to not have you immersed in Disney stuff everywhere. Our path went along the main road?!?! It took us ages and then, once we got there, I realized there was a WAY better/quicker/prettier route to take. I guess I just need my husband around for his directional abilities ;) I swear the map was not clear though! haha! We still enjoyed our walk and it did give us a different view of the resort and it was very peaceful since we were the only people on the path ;)








Finally arrived! And we met an older woman there alone with HER daughter (who was closer to my age). I told Britt that I'm excited for us to be on our first of many mother/daughter trips together :)


When I called about booking I was happy that they said the pools were heated! But man it was a bummer to get there and realize "heated" doesn't always equal WARM. Brrrr! Britt got in a bit and I was planning to get in with her but she told me to just sit and watch and I'm glad that's what she wanted me to do ;) I def didn't complain! I did try to get her to go down the big slide, but she wasn't interested! I wished Kye was with us as that slide would be awesome to him!



Kiddie pool!


A lifeguard came over to us and gave Britt a little toy fish!


We found the hot tub!


Britt enjoyed the hot tub for a little bit but then wanted to go back to the pool to participate in the activities they had going on. The activities staff was awesome. However, I was pretty shocked that at a Disney resort they weren't using Disney music? It was all top 40 current stuff (which I don't love for my kids to hear) and that threw me for a curve b/c we are AT Disney. I figured they'd be piping Disney stuff 24/7 right?!?! 

Britt surprised me a little as she's usually all about attention at home but she held back a good bit with the large group and watched a lot. She did participate in the freeze dance party which was so cute! I did my best to PLAY and ENJOY Britt so I wasn't constantly taking pictures but made sure to snap a few! Each activity earned her a necklace which was added incentive to participate for sure! Here's a video of her dancing and another one of her freeze dancing!


They also played this game where they had to retrieve little toys, she loved that one too


but dancing is always her fav :)


I had to get a pic of the cool water slide, I know Kye would be all over that!


We spent the rest of our designated pool time in the hot tub. It was the perfect temp and Britt just wanted to sit near the jets and "relax" and talk. Of course she never really sat still but she was SO adorable. The other adults (all dads randomly) that we talked to played along in making it a BIG deal that we were on a special trip together. It is a special thing! 

It was interesting staying at a nice resort like that...a LOT of the parents I saw were drinking and many had full babysitters on their trip with them to watch the kids. I've seen people do this on Aflac trips and I do see the advantage of it on Aflac trips b/c there are adult-only functions hosted by the company. I could also see a sitter at Disney maybe so the adults could go to the parks later or have a date or something? It just bugged me to see adults being at DISNEY and not spending time with their kids?!?

I enjoyed our special hot tub time together. I knew it was a top priority for Britt on our trip so we soaked it up! She decided that since we were staying in a princess room that we needed to be actual princesses for the trip. We each picked a princess name (Ariel for me, duh and she randomly picked Jasmine. I think b/c we both loved that magic carpet in the room so much!) and called each other by that name the remainder of the trip. While in the hot tub we actually met a boy named Eric after prince Eric so he fit right in with our game :)

Mission two: hot tub accomplished!


What are the chances that there would be alligators around the edging of the hot tub? It was meant to be for my alligator loving girl!!!



The whole vibe was VERY relaxing. It wasn't overly crowded (probably being mid-Nov helped in that department ha!) and we had plenty of seats to choose from. There were hammocks set up and one of my favorite moments was just swinging in the hammock with my big girl. I had a hammock in my back yard growing up and Britt hadn't ever sat in one before so it was a special moment for me...connecting a piece of my childhood to hers!




Walking back (the SHORTER route!) to the room!


Britt spied this tree with a face on it and it's a moment we still laugh about b/c she thought it was a REAL face and freaked out! haha




Hidden Mickey ;)


We had plans for the evening so we wanted to eat an early dinner. We actually SKIPPED lunch! We had the big breakfast on the way down and I had a bunch of birthday candy she and I both snacked on for the drive so neither of us were all that hungry. We decided to eat dinner at 4ish and took our time walking back to the food court so we could check out all the resort details. It's seriously SO beautiful and I kept thinking about Zach and how romantic it'd be to walk around together. (Side note but it was a LOT of walking and my foot...it did FANTASTIC! I think taking our time really helped!)





This garden (in the courtyard where our room was) was fabulous! It's princess themed (of course) with flowers representing each princess.




Explaining all the princess details to me ;)



My princess!





For dinner we both got pizza! And Britt got hooked up with a free Mickey straw :)



This trip was about one thing: quality time. I've said many times before that quality time is my love language. I've never gone on an overnight trip with just ONE child before and it was so, so awesome. We got to connect and bond in a way we haven't ever done. I think this trip was especially important for Britt. She is a BIG TIME extrovert. She craves attention and physical touch is her love language. I was able to hold her hand, give her lots of hugs, and just truly connect with HER non-stop for 24 hours. She said then, and continues to say now almost 2 months later, that it was the best day of her life and I believe it! Aside from all the super awesome stuff we did and the amazing location where we stayed...at the heart of the trip was the goal of connecting with each other and the goal was for sure accomplished. I loved just sitting the two of us with no distractions and eating our dinner and talking together. Precious, precious memories!



The old school cartoons were awesome!



Had to send Zach a pic of the food court...it's so beautiful!



We had some time before our next planned activity and I wanted to be sure Britt got to enjoy the playground. How cool is it that it goes with the theme of the resort? Something I never stop appreciating about Disney is their details! 




We brought along our own s'mores materials and were the first ones at the campfire ready to roast our marshmallows! This is an activity that is offered for free at MANY Disney resorts (and you don't have to be a guest staying there to participate either!). This particular resort had free marshmallows for the roasting but I will probably always bring along all our own stuff just in case it's not free! 



The cast members did an awesome job with the whole thing. They make activities inviting and fun and kept it all very safe and organized which I appreciated!



YUM!




As we finished up our s'mores we walked back along the path by the food court and could hear the clop clop clopping of horse hoofs. I couldn't have planned it more perfectly. As we walked I talked about being a princess and how we both felt about our new titles and I asked her what she thought we might need to do in order to be real princesses. As we were walking and discussing these things we could hear the horses and she looked up and saw the horse drawn carriage. I asked her if she thought a real princess needed to ride in a carriage and of course she said yes! 

I had pre-arranged for us to ride around the resort in the carriage! We actually recently got the Disney Visa card just to use on Disney purchases where the card offers an advantage and we got 15% off the carriage ride :) We were the first ride of the evening which couldn't have been more perfect timing because the sun set while we were riding (again: ROMANTIC!!! where was my dang husband so we could have made out? ha!). 

Britt was truly SO shocked and surprised and excited and appreciative. It was a precious moment and heck I was pumped too :)


We talked about our lives as princesses. She talked about her husband, Aladdin, and I talked about how I wished my prince Eric was there with me. Our driver, Star, played along so well and told us that the carriage really is perfect for Jasmine and Ariel. The bottom of the carriage is like Jasmine's magic carpet and the top is like a shell covering from the ocean ;) Britt loved that!

The ride took us around the property. She asked where we were staying and since we were staying in the Riverside part she took us over to French Quarter. It was neat and I do wish I'd seen their pool as I think Britt would have liked it even more than ours b/c there were alligator statues ;) 






Our trusty horse: Corbin!



And Star!


After the carriage ride we went to check out the gift shop. Of course Britt would decide to pretend to be Jasmine which is the ONE princess that she has NO toys for. I thought it'd be awesome to surprise her with a Jasmine doll but no luck. We had fun looking around the store and were surprised by the lack of Tiana stuff as well (she also doesn't have any Tiana stuff and I thought that could also be a good surprise since we were staying at Tiana's house!). They did have a resort specific Christmas ornament which I snatched up and I told Britt to pick a pin as her keepsake and we found one with ALL the princesses on it to remember our special hotel room by :) 



We had a little time to kill so we went back to the room to get ready for the movie under the stars and get Britt's sleeping bag and such, Britt was obsessed with the little scroll letter from Tiana and turned it into a microphone/trumpet and wanted us to take turns performing songs for each princess. Of course we sang our princess songs the most. I can belt out some Ariel ;)


Here's a video of Britt singing "Let it Go"
and here's her Jasmine song "a whole new world"
Sorry no video of me singing, I know you are bummed :)


Heading to the movie!


The movie started at 7 and was Inside Out. We had just watched it at home for the first time and Britt loved it so we were excited. We were there a little early and watched a video about protecting the planet by Timon and Pumbaa. We then got to see Lava which I hadn't seen before and omg I LOVED it. If you haven't seen it it's on the special features of Inside Out :) 

Several Disney resorts do the movie under the stars thing and again it's free and you don't have to stay on property to enjoy it! I've always wanted to do both the camp fire and the movie so it was two things off my Disney bucket list!





When we got snuggled up for the movie my exhaustion hit. Whew. It had been a BIG DAY and I was WORN OUT. There was noooo way I could stay up for the whole movie so I talked to Britt and she agreed she was sleepy. I told her it was super late and told her if she wanted to just watch a little bit of the movie we could go back to the food court and get a "midnight snack" instead. She agreed ;)




What could possibly be a better midnight snack?!?!
We were both exhausted and silly and giggly which I loved!


Back at the room we put on our special princess pjs and it was time for mission 3: CUDDLE in the bed! Whoop whoop I was READY! haha! 

Originally when we talked about our trip Britt said she wanted to sleep together which I was fine with. But then we got there and there were two beds and she said she wanted her own bed, which I was also fine with ;) 

We jumped on the beds and tickled a little before calming down to "tell secrets" before bed. Whispering is a must-do for any sleep over!


Pure Joy!



Britt got my princess pjs for me as my birthday present! Girl has good taste :)





It was SO FUN turning off the lights and turning on our fireworks!

Here's a video of it in the dark...super super awesome. We both told Daddy we want these beds at home!


Britt gave me some friends to sleep with :)


We've had two experiences with Britt sleeping with someone. One time we let her and Kye "camp out" in the playroom and it was a DISASTER. She stayed up all night messing with Kye. Then we let Payton spend the night and sleep in the bed with Britt and Britt also kept bugging her. I was interested to see how it'd go with Britt and me in a sleepover situation. We whispered and talked and giggled some but man I was WORE OUT. I told her it was midnight (cough legit 8:30 cough) and that I was going to go to sleep. She just kept right on talking and telling stories and I finally just ignored her and went to sleep and once she didn't have someone to entertain anymore she must have fallen asleep soon after!


I was hoping to sleep in the next morning. I got us a late check out just in case I got lucky! But I also had assumed we'd stay up a LOT later than we did! We slept some and woke up around 8ish or so (almost a solid 12 hours for me what what!) and just stayed LAZY for awhile. We played with princesses some more and sang more songs and made them talk to each other. It was some straight up girl playtime and it's something I struggle with taking the time to do at home. It was something I wanted to make sure to do on the trip! I wanted to PLAY with her not just watch her play! 





While I got ready Britt drew some pictures for me :)


My favorite is the middle one....it's of us holding balloons with the sunshine :)


I found a folder she could use to keep them all in and she decorated that too!


We went ahead and loaded the car and drove over to the main resort parking for our breakfast and to check out!



Selfies suck right?!? I wanted to make sure to use my legit camera and ask people to take pics of us together. Years from now the pics of us together on this trip will be the most meaningful I think b/c it was our first trip ever! I figured the lobby would make for some good pics!




Getting hooked up with more stickers :)


We ate breakfast in the food court and it was pretty slammed. The lines for the stations were crazy long which was a tad overwhelming. This is a good time to mention my thoughts on staying at the resort. I LOVED IT. It was perfect for what WE were doing. However there is NO WAY I'd want to stay there with all my kids (room is too small for sure) or do a full Disney park trip while staying there. I loved the surroundings. I loved the nice leisurely walks. I loved the activities. But with a trip that includes days at the parks I can't imagine having to do that much extra walking! NO way! I also think the dining plan/eating in the food court on a time sensitive trip would drive me crazy. The lines were LONG and it took time to get our food and it'd be insane to have a bunch of people who want different things from different stations! No thanks! I think we will stick with our off property full kitchen accommodations for our park trips ;) For us and our trip though? We didn't mind the wait and didn't mind taking our time and just enjoying everything. We did see plenty of high stress parents though ;) 


YUM! I LOVE omelets!


I was pretty impressed by the food prices! I pay more than that for an omelet at a local restaurant in town at home!


Girl was in HEAVEN! We originally planned to do Mickey waffles but the line was crazy long and when she saw the cinnamon roll she changed her mind :)




Another thing I can't imagine dealing with on a time sensitive trip: Disney transportation. The time Zach and I took a bus from our Disney resort to Epcot was an insane wait! Staying at POR Britt and I planned to take the boat over to Disney Springs. I'm SO glad we were early. The boat could only fit like 30 people I think. And they only come every 20-30 min. And the first boat left right at 10 so we got in line at 930 and a TON of people got turned away for the first boat! If you ever stay on property you get free parking at the parks....my recommendation is to drive your own car rather than use Disney transportation! For Britt and I we wanted the boat experience and were fine with waiting!

The day prior some cast members had asked Britt and I to come play cornhole with them so we played for a few min on our way to dinner. The same cast members saw us waiting for the boat and said they'd been looking for the little princess to give her some stickers from her awesome skills the day prior :) 

I think it's because it was JUST Britt so it's easier for people to give attention to one child? But MAN did we get TONS of attention on this trip! I LOVE special attention (duh haha) and it's referred to as "pixie dust" and I felt like we got LOTS of it. It was super awesome and just added to the fun!

While we were waiting on the boat we watched a group of kids leave for a pirate themed adventure that I know Kye would LOVE. I had looked into it a little for Britt but it didn't fit our princess theme and it would mean she'd be separated from me (it's kids only) which I didn't like. But it was one of the times that I thought about Kye and how I wished he was there. There are pirate themed rooms at another Disney resort where they also offer the pirate adventure thing. It will not shock anyone to learn that I'm trying to convince Zach to let me do this same little trip with Kye! I mean he's only going to be young enough to enjoy trips with his Mama for so long ya know? Especially pirate themed ones! I'm hoping I can wear Zach down to let me make it happen ;) I promised I wouldn't try to make it a yearly thing...just a one time thing! 

Britt and I did talk a lot about Tess too and how when she's old enough we will have to do another girls trip :) Of course I'd LOVE for trips like these to be a regular thing but I know our finances and we can't be doing stuff like this very often! I had gone through my Advocare earnings and talked to Zach about using some of them for this trip so it wouldn't affect our family budget..it was worth every penny and I'm hoping he'll let me use the Advocare money for a little trip with Kye too (wink wink Zach!)



Our boat!


The Port Orleans resorts offer boat transportation (free) to and from Disney Springs (aka Downtown Disney). So on our trip we got to go on a road trip in the car, ride in a horse and carriage, and ride in a boat! Can't beat that! It was a BEAUTIFUL, relaxing ride (again ROMANCE!) and was something fun and different from the norm!








The only rude cast member experience we had was with the boat driver when I asked him to take a picture of us! I always simply tell strangers to "look through here and hit this" when I hand them my camera. A LOT of people are used to point and shoots where the image appears on the screen so they are confused about looking through the smaller eye slot on my camera. It's a brief explanation of what to do just to help minimize confusion and make it a quicker picture. The guy responded with "I take a million pictures a day for people I think I know how to work a camera" RUDE.



We have arrived!


When exiting the dock from the boat we saw something CRAZY jump up out of the water. I have NO CLUE what in the WORLD it was. I suggested maybe an alligator to Britt and she said they don't jump up like that haha. It was too long to be a fish...SO weird!







When we walked into Disney Springs the first door we saw had a ton of Frozen stuff in it so duh we went right in. I hadn't ever seen this part of the marketplace before...it's kinda hidden (the Frozen section is part of the Christmas store!) and Britt was in LOVE! This picture makes me smile so much :) They were belting "Let if Go" and Britt just broke out into song and dance!





Growing up my mom had Snowvillage. Each Christmas my brother and I LOVED getting it all out and setting it up with her. It's a tradition I miss very much and makes me sad to think about. This year I had a goal of focusing on my little family this holiday season and truly ENJOYING it. Part of that meant it was time to decorate our house more. Get more into it. Embrace it! I will talk more about that in another post but Zach and I talked about how we both love my mom's Snowvillage and how we'd like to do something similar at our house. Why not do a disney themed one though instead? Department 56 is the same company that makes Snowvillage so I know it's good quality and they design the Disney ones as well! 

We went into the Christmas store and I expected to see a big display of the village. It's a Christmas store. Instead I couldn't find it anywhere? I asked a cast member and they said they didn't carry it?!?! I'm super glad I decided to ask another cast member b/c she located it for me. All of it on one tiny table and one small shelf section. I feel like this is something a lot of families would enjoy and they should make it a bigger deal?!?! 

I got 10% off for having my Disney Visa and that day they offered free shipping to home which the cast member told me actually would save me also in taxes. So Britt and I went ahead and got our collection started! Our plan is to add a new building and small piece each year (growing up it was a gift we gave my mom at Christmas) but we needed to have a solid foundation so I got 8 pieces to kick us off!


We spent a few hours just walking around Disney Springs. My original plan was to surprise Britt and do the pick-a-pearl together. I thought it'd be special to have matching jewelry to remember our trip by. We checked it out and I don't like how sketchy they are about the prices of the settings?!? While I was talking to the cast member about it Britt showed ZERO interest so I skipped it. I do think it'd be a neat mother-daughter thing to do and maybe someday when I have both girls we can all three do it :) 

It was a TRUE girl day. We just browsed and looked around and took lots and lots of pictures. Britt wanted pics with everything haha and y'all know I loved that! I was on the hunt for a Jasmine for her but legit couldn't find a SINGLE ONE. Are you kidding?!?! NO JASMINES?!?! I was proud of Britt as she never asked for anything. She just loved looking and showing me pretty things and never once did she ask to buy anything or take anything home! 










Getting Stitch to spit at her was something we did multiple times!






Even without the boys, the Lego store was still a must!







Our house creation :)


#skills



Where's Britt?


When we went into the princess section of World of Disney Britt couldn't even handle it. She was freaking out and the way people were looking at us was pretty hilarious. You'd think Britt had never been around any princess merchandise before ;) She kept saying "Mommy oh my goodness look look so beautiful Mommy look come here look!" 


We spotted Jasmine ;)



My plan was to eat somewhere for lunch at Disney Springs but it was SLAMMED and the wait for Earl of Sandwich (supposedly the least expensive place to eat) was waaaaaay around the building and would have taken at least an hour! We talked about it and decided to head back to the resort and just eat lunch at the food court before heading home. 

It was a tad frustrating walking all over in hopes of finding something to eat and then not having luck and having to wait almost 45 min for the boat that was supposed to come every 20. Britt did GREAT with it though. I didn't have ANYTHING with us. Nothing to entertain her. No drinks or snacks or anything. Just us! She's really such a big girl now and did awesome with it all. She never ever complained about all the walking either which surprised me as she's my biggest stroller lover. I think she liked walking hand in hand and having that big girl status too!



These car boats are SO AWESOME but SO expensive!





Yummy (huge!) pasta for lunch!


Britt wanted pizza again...yolo ;)


We were both pretty bummed about the trip being over. We didn't want to leave and decided we'd just stay and live there forever. Britt kept talking about how someone else was probably already in our special room and how sad that made her. She was VERY appreciative of the trip. She thanked me a lot and kept saying how it was the best trip of her life and how she loved being with just Mommy. I reallllly didn't want it to come to an end. 

It was 100% perfection and was exactly what Britt and I needed. She's very different from me in many ways and sometimes it's hard for us to connect and she pushes my patience a lot and is the child that I've grown with in my parenting the most. Our time on that trip was a game changer for us. I think we connected in a way that wouldn't have ever been possible at home or with other family members. That connection hasn't faded since we got home either. We really bonded and I think I grew a deeper understanding and appreciation for Britt and can better relate to her specific needs. I think SHE needed this quality time and I think it's something she'll continue to need in the future (as a fellow quality time needer I get it!). Special attention is important to Britt (future husband be warned!) and being heard and listened to and lots of physical touch makes her feel loved and appreciated. 

It was like on cue the cast members knew we needed some extra magic to end the trip on and music started playing and a parade started in the restaurant! They came and asked Britt to be part of the parade which was straight up awesome!!! She played a little tambourine and rocked it!





And they hooked her up with more goodies (2 necklaces, a Mickey straw AND a Mickey Head Rice Krispie treat!) for participating! We couldn't believe it!!!



Guess that meant the cookie I got for us to share would have to be mine ;) haha


The ride home seemed WAY longer than the ride there! We ended up having to stop twice and I was scared that we wouldn't get home before dark (haha sounds silly but I legit have NO night vision due to having lasik twice so I try not to drive much after dark). We stopped once at a Starbucks to use the bathroom bc I felt like it was a LOT safer than the sketchy gas stations on that exit (it was the Gainesville exit) and then we got back on the road only to realize I was completely out of gas so we had to stop and get gas at a sketchy place anyways! I did have a good bit of anxiety at the gas station but made it through it :) 


As a kid I remember sitting at Wendy's with my dad when he and I came up with the idea of "separate vacations." Dad got my brother and I for two solid weeks in the summer so every other summer we decided to split up the time...each of us having a week solo with Dad to go on a big trip just us and Dad. It was AWESOME. I think we only did it two vacations each? I can only remember two anyway! My two were California (Disney Land, Hollywood, etc) and Hawaii. Both were incredible trips and it was extra special that it was just my dad and I. 

Although clearly Zach and I won't be doing trips on such a scale, I do think it's an awesome thing to have some individual time with our kids making extra special memories. I'm not sure as Tess gets older if we will lump the girls together and have girls trips? I think part of that will end up depending on what Parker Kid #4 is someday...if we have another girl then hello 3 girls with Mom solo maaaaay be a bit much to handle/enjoy! I have always said what I'd love to do is take my girls to NYC when they are engaged. Years ago Zach and I were going to NYC and saw a mom and daughter on the plane with all their bridal magazines and I told him then that I'd LOVE to take my girls to do that someday. I also know Zach hopes to take Kye on golf trips like he and his dad take together. I love that Zach and I both appreciate vacationing and understand the value of quality time with our children. 

I'm so thankful for my Britt. I always tell her that she's so special to me b/c as a little girl I'd always hoped for a daughter and God answered my prayer for a little girl by giving her to me! I'm doubly blessed to have both of my daughters! Mothers and daughters share such a special bond and I have nothing but confidence that our bond will continue to deepen and grow as Britt grows up. I look so forward to all the awesome memories we will make together! One day before I know it it'll go from giggling about being princesses to talking about boys...I'm so thankful our first trip together was one filled with simple childhood joys that she'll never forget! 


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