Always gotta have our traditional hotel pile on Daddy on the bed pic!
When everything first started happening with Zach's medical stuff last year I had so many sweet friends reach out (both in real like and via social media!). One sweet blog friend, Jennifer, asked for my address to mail me a gift. I was so surprised that it was LuLaRoe Beauty and the Beast leggings! She also then later sent me a pair for each of the girls so we could all coordinate. How thoughtful was that?!?! If you're interested in LulaRoe, Jennifer has a great Facebook group you can join here! Thank you SO MUCH again Jennifer for such a thoughtful gift for us!!!
We never go to the "fancy" part of Disney Springs. We prefer to stick to the Marketplace area as it's the more Disney section of Disney Springs. You could EASILY spend an entire day at Disney Springs if you do enjoy higher end shopping. And I do want to explore more on that side of things as I know they have a cupcake ATM place now and the polar bear is at the Coke store supposedly too which would both be really fun things!
We have a good system down where our kids save their chore earnings up to spend at Disney Springs. It works out great and they love shopping for that perfect item and learn the value of a dollar (Britt always leaves much more motivated to do her chores ha!).
Britt decided on our Hollywood Studios Day that she wanted a lightsaber with her money. She had just enough to build her own! Kye LOVED getting to build his own and it really is a great value. It's $25 for the basic one (which, of course, we got) and it's a fun experience and the lightsaber is awesome.
The build your own lightsaber is in the back of the Once Upon a Toy store. It's a nice little area and Kye enjoyed the freedom to roam and check out all the Star Wars gear while Britt and Daddy worked on her lightsaber.
Tess did some shopping too ;)
Our newest Jedi!
The same store has a new display of precious moments Disney themed dolls. Y'all. I had a HUGE Precious Moments collection as a kid. Actually sidenote but my mom had them stored in boxes on some shelving in our basement. She was always complaining that my dad used duck tape for everything and supposedly the shelf fell which caused the box to fall and bunches of them broke. I have no clue if Dad actually used duck tape when putting up the shelf (I doubt it) but that always stuck with me haha.
IF I was a collector...I'd be all about these dolls! I'm really, really not a collector type person though. I think having so many collections as a kid made me not like that sort of thing as an adult. I'm happy to take a picture with them and then keep moving on ;)
We always visit the pin store at Disney Springs. This way we don't have to deal with buying pins in the parks (and we've not been trading at all the last several visits either...it's just too much hassle to carry it all around and then remember to stop and actually trade) and the kids have a wider selection to choose from for their special pin. We try to ask them "what is the thing you will remember most from this trip?" and steer them to pins that will help them remember this specific trip.
No surprise, they ALL wanted Star Wars ones! Which I loved! We did have SUCH a fun Star Wars filled day!
Hidden Mickeys everywhere ;)
We follow the same routine with our Christmas ornament. We try to get something that will trigger a memory to this specific trip. I know how our kids will look back on our Disney travels...they will all get LUMPED into one big "remember when we used to go to Disney all the time?" memory. I try really hard to have special things from each trip to help that trip stand on its own as a separate memory for them. I doubt it'll work haha but it's worth a shot. And for me personally I like having ornaments that are specific memories b/c it helps ME remember the little moments. We have a Tinkerbelle one from the trip where we first met Tink and an Elsa one from when we met Elsa...and now we will have a Storm Trooper on our tree too ;)
Another must stop: Goofy's Candy Co!
We let each kid pick a treat (Kye always wants to spend his own money and buy a slushie too) but this time we saved the treats to eat on the car ride home :)
Kye taught her some moves!
More shopping fun :)
When she was an infant Tess reminded me so much of Pocahontas. Which I know is unfathomable looking at her now but she had SO much dark hair and had this darker skin complexion as a baby. Now her only Pocahontas feature is how much she loves animals ;) With her blue eyes and long blonde hair she's def more of an Aurora to me!
Lego car racing time :)
For my 30th Birthday Zach took me to Disney and we got to experience lunch at Beaches and Cream Soda Shop. It's a place we have both remembered fondly and have wanted to take the kids back to. It's tricky to get reservations because it's very small. We also didn't want to go back until the kids were old enough to REALLY enjoy it. Since Kye's birthday weekend was based a lot on food (the way to this kid's heart!) we thought it'd be the perfect time for a visit!
I originally had us booked at 2 PM which put us getting back to Valdosta pretty late. My dad and Audrey were coming through that night to visit so I was really hoping to hurry back but didn't want to cancel the reservation. At 9:30 Saturday night I got a notification while we were waiting to meet Mickey that a noon timeslot opened up. I grabbed it!!! I called Disney Dining that morning because I was worried I'd be charge a no-show for the 2:00. They dropped the charge because I was visiting the same restaurant. I'm not sure if that's a policy or not but if you ever do cancel due to a better timeslot coming available and it's within that 24 hour window then call!
Disney's Beach Club Resort is SO PRETTY. I love the entire vibe. It's very ME. We took our time walking so the kids could stop and watch the animals in the pond below and so we could all just soak it in and enjoy the scenery.
Hidden Mickeys are our jam!
One last birthday treat for the birthday boy!
We had a decent wait for our table and sweet, observant Kye happened to notice the arcade right next door to the restaurant.
He used some of HIS money to buy an arcade card so he could play the Star Wars game we'd played on our Mommy/Son trip. He was SO PUMPED to get to play it again!
The girls were content playing the games without any actual playing ;) Britt was completely out of money after her lightsaber and there was NO ONE in the room with us so it was fine to just let them "play"
The first thing Kye said when we went inside was "Look they have the same thing Grandpa does!" The restaurant has a large jukebox and it made my heart happy that Kye has such distinctive memories linked to my family :)
Do you see the Hidden Mickey?
The food is really fabulous and it's SUCH a fun atmosphere!!!
(and yes, we brought in food for the kids and just Zach and I ordered)
But we were REALLY there for the KITCHEN SINK!
When we had visited just Zach and I we saw other tables get The Kitchen Sink and we KNEW it'd just be such a fun thing to do with the kids. They bring it out with a big production and combined it with Kye's Happy Birthday! Here's a video of his adorable excited smile yet mixed with some embarrassment too (guess we're on our way to the "pre-teens" huh?).
If you are ordering The Kitchen Sink I do have some advice: don't get the whip cream on it unless you LOVE whipped cream. I don't like it AT ALL. I assumed it'd be like the type of whipped cream that you can just scrape off. But, nope, it's an entire CAN and it's ALL mixed in there. It was good for my waistline though I guess because I def didn't eat much ;) You get to tell them what you do not want on the sundae (we said no bananas or pineapples) and you get to pick your ice cream flavors as well! But no, you don't get to keep the sink ;)
They brought out bowls (and smaller spoons ha!) and we dished it all out!
Action shot of a mama in motion ;)
So good it'll make you SICK
Not bad ;)
When we finished and were waiting on the check Kye wanted to finish out his arcade card so they headed back to the arcade and Tess cleaned their bowls for them haha
We have NEVER had any sort of crowd when visiting Disney's Beach Club Resort. I don't know if it's just our timing or luck or if it's just not a really popular place to stay or what? But I def don't mind it at all. It felt like we owned the place ;)
We debated if this was a true Hidden Mickey or not but we looked into it and it IS considered a Hidden Mickey ;)
They have a BEAUTIFUL courtyard area perfect for photos. One of my favorite photos of our family was taken here on a trip we took with Casey's crew!
Had to find more Hidden Mickeys on the way out!
Sweet little ducklings!
We were all sad to leave Disney (aren't we always?) but having our yummy treats for the drive home made it better ;)
We had a WONDERFUL trip! I am always so thankful for time away with my little family. I love the laugher we share and the memories we make. It was such perfect timing and I literally FELT the stress melt away while we were there. It's like getting away from "real life" allows me to clear my mind and really prioritize things. It was just what I needed! Kye had an AMAZING Disney birthday celebration!!!