We got up and around Wednesday morning and headed home. We did it all in one day.... and it was a lot of driving! We rolled in at midnight, which wasn't too bad. We were more than ready to be home. It was a fun trip though!!!
As I was walking around taking pictures on Main Street, an employee came up to me and started asking me questions and asked if we were interested in any character sightings. I said yes, and he said, "How about Cinderella?". I knew that she wasn't spotted out very much at all outside of the parade, so I of course was interested. I thought it wasn't that big of a deal, we'd get there and have to stand in line for an hour. Much to my surprise, we got there and the time they told me was our appointment time. There was no one else even there. The Disney employee made a huge deal talking it up to Saraya. They took us behind the curtain and she made a big announcement, "I introduce to you, Princess Cinderella!" as she pulled the curtain back. It was so incredible. I teared up. Cinderella was instantly in character, talking to Saraya about her braids and asked if her mice or her birds braided them for her. Saraya was speechless. When we finally left, she looked up at me with her eyes so big and said, "mommy! she didn't have a mask on, it was really really her!!!!!"
And then, my favorite day.... Magic Kingdom. I love the monorail. They didn't have one at Disneyland this year so it was fun to be able to ride it again. I haven't been to the Magic Kingdom since 1996! So it was fun to see things, how they've changed, and some things I remember so differently!!
I just love Main Street! I love the store fronts, I love seeing the castle, I just love the atmosphere!! Of course we had to take the time to take pictures in front of the castle!!!
The heat was getting to us, and so were the long days... so on Tuesday we decided to sleep in and hang out at the pool before going to the Magic Kingdom. It was nice to be lazy and let the kids play. And the best part for me was getting to actually sit and talk to Sarah!
It was fun to watch the kids together. As much as Sarah and I talk, I feel like I know her kids as if I see them all the time, but actually getting to watch them interact with Saraya was fun. They got along really well together.
The pool area was really neat, it even had a waterslide! David and Stephen got in on the action!
Our second park was Animal Kingdom. No one in our group had been to this one before so it was fun to experience something new for everyone. It's a really neat park!
The first thing we did was go to the Lion King stage show. It was probably the best stage show ever. Now I really want to see the Broadway Show!!
Saraya really enjoyed getting to meet Mickey, Minnie and Goofy.
We stopped in Africa for some lunch. This african band was playing outside a restaurant. Of course, I stopped to listen and was mesmerized. After listening for quite awhile, they wanted volunteers. The head guy started pointing to people and blowing his whistle. Something in my gut told me he was going to pick me. Probably because he had already made eye contact with me a couple times and he could tell I was really enjoying it. I went up and had a ball. (I'll post the video in the next post) The best thing at this park is the safari ride. You climb aboard a truck and drive through a tour of the animals. But they're not in pits and cages, they're roaming around in their natural habitat. It was really incredible. The closest animals that came to our truck were the rhino and the giraffe. But we saw lions, hippos, crocodiles, flamingos... all kinds of animals.
At the end of the day I was really wanting to ride the rapids ride... cause I love it! David, James, Saraya and I rode it!! Saraya really liked it!!
We went to Hollywood Studios, which I haven't been too since I was in high school. I used to love it, it was my favorite park.... although now, I'm not sure why. It was still fun though.
They have a lot of stage shows at H.S. and the first one we went to was Beauty and the Beast. It was GREAT! I loved the movie and I owned the soundtrack back in the day. Ashley and I sang along with all the songs!!! It was a really great show.
Saraya's favorite thing here was probably the Playhouse Disney stageshow. We got to see the characters from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Handy Manny, Pooh and Friends and Little Einsteins. They had a back lot that looked like the skyline of New York City.... so of course we pretended like we were there again. I think we all three secretly would've actually rather been there!!
But the best part of the day was when we went on the two "big people" rides. The Twilight Zone's Tower of Terror and the Aerosmith Rockin' Roller Coaster. They were AWESOME!!! The Tower of Terror is a free fall ride. I'm usually not so good with these, but this one wasn't one big fall so that made it a lot easier to handle. Even still, I screamed the whole time.
We got a fast pass for the Rockin' Roller Coaster but when we got there the line wasn't long at all, so we rode it once and used the fast pass to ride it a second time. This is probably THE BEST roller coaster I've ever riden! I'm kind'f getting too old for them though! Riding it twice in a row just about sent me over the edge. I'm very glad we waited until the end of the day to ride them.
We left the park and had a nice mexican dinner. It was so great to have Scott and Ashley down for the day. I enjoy any time that I get to spend with her.
I don't think I've ever had a vacation like this one. We had so many people along for the ride..... James, me and Saraya, James' mom, my mom and dad, my brother David, my best friend from Raleigh, Sarah and her two kids, Cole and Adison. Then, once we were in Florida, we had my cousins Stephen, Ashley and Scott join us.
We got on the road Friday after work and drove to Nashville to stay at my aunts house. It broke up the drive a little, but it was still a long car ride. We had two hours worth of stops... which put us at 14 hours in the car on Saturday alone. Sheesh.
We finally got to the time share condo Saturday night and it was probably the nicest one I've stayed in. I'm so glad that my parents have it! I can reap the benefits without paying a dime! :-)
We could see Epcot from our balcony... and we could watch the fireworks over the ball at night!! It was really neat.
Friday we left on a girl trip to Springfield, MO... it was my mom, my grandma, my great aunt, Saraya and me. We went to celebrate with my wonderful cousin Christy at her baby shower for baby Payton Joy!!
We got to my cousin's house around 9pm. They have a black full size poodle and Saraya met her in the dark, and wasn't too crazy about a dog that was the same height as her. She even opened the door to go to the bathroom and freaked out cause the "pluto" was in the hall. Yes, she called it a pluto instead of a poodle. It was so cute that I really didn't really want to correct her, but I did. I had to carry her to the bathroom. The things you do for your kids. But by the next morning, after observing her in the daylight, they became fast friends and I even came out after my shower and found them cuddled together on the couch watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
The shower was a lot of fun. Seeing family is always a good time. But one person was missing.... my great aunt Marty (Christy's mom). She was talked about often, and I know that she would've been beaming from ear to ear if she'd been there. Crystal gave a precious gift, a blanket with photos of Christy and Marty on it. I enjoyed getting Christy some personalized burp cloths, bibs and a onesie that my friend Sarah made. They turned out so cute!!! She got lots of great stuff and now we're just waiting to meet that precious baby girl!!! Christy was just precious with her baby bump and was positively glowing! I'm so glad I got to see her pregnant, but now I can't wait to meet Payton!
Four years, seven months and two days ago something happened in my life that changed me forever. At 4:42pm, Saraya Ashlyn was born. Little did I know how much emotion could come over me so quickly for someone that wasn't even apart of my life moments earlier. Time is an odd thing. It can seem to pass so slow at times, and other times it moves at a rapid pace. It seems like I blinked and it's instantly time for her to go to Pre-K.
Last week, Saraya and I went to Target and she got to pick out a new lunchbag for school. She was so funny in there.... making a line on the shelf of all her options. And of course she picked, (drum roll please) Hannah Montanama. (That's what she calls her) Does she watch Hannah Montana you ask? No she doesn't. She's seen snips of songs on the Disney channel and she is facinated by the fact that she sings and performs and has costumes. So there ya have it.
I have been pretty okay with the whole Pre-K thing. Since I work, I usually only bring her up here with me once every couple weeks. We have the priviledge of her getting to stay with either Grandma (James' mom) or Ibe (my mom). So I'm used to not seeing her everyday all day long. But when we dropped her off at her classroom my heart began to hurt. To know that she's starting a process of learning and experienceing life on her own. A process I want her to have, yet in the back of my mind, I know this will only give her wings, and one day she'll leave the nest. So as she hugged and kissed me bye (after running into the room without a second thought of us!!!) I did get choked up.
Knowing how excited she is about her class makes things so much easier. And knowing that she's learning great skills to take her into Kindergarten makes it worth it. I've known her teacher since high school, and I got a post on Facebook from her after school on Tuesday. It sounds like Saraya is the same little girl in class as she is at home with us. Loves to learn, loves to interact, loves to help, and loves to be a leader (sometimes that turns into bossy - but we know where she gets that! gotta love first born girls!!!!). I am very proud of her. Already, at four years old, she has a fun personality, and has so many great qualities. I will enjoy watching her grow into a woman.
I love to laugh. I love to talk. I love relationships. I love to sing. I love to scrapbook. I love a good cry. I love my friends. I love to cook. I love to have people over. I love the nba. I love games. I love music. I love tv. I love reality tv. I love my church family. I love being loud. I love when I'm organized. I love the internet. I love taking pictures. I love my husband and daughter. I love to worship. I love my Savior.