After circling the lagoon on the monorail, we finally arrived at Magic Kingdom, three days after we arrived at DisneyWorld. It was Leah’s first monorail ride of this trip, though she had seen them several times over the last few days and kept asking to ride them. She held onto the pole all by herself and was pleased.
When we last spoke, we had returned to the hotel and Leah was sleeping. She had to be awakened shortly thereafter to head for a dinner engagement, and this is what she looked like shortly before rising:
Leah, being thoughtful as always, decided to rise at 5:15 this morning and ended up playing the iPad between her mostly-sleeping parents in our bed. After we roused Aly a few hours later, we hopped in the Red Grand Caravan (that’s-a how we roll, d-o-g) and made the short drive over to EPCOT, otherwise known as “the golf ball” in our little crowd. We spotted Daisy right after entering the park with a short line, so we got in line and Leah kept saying “Hi” and trying to get Daisy to wave at her while we waited. Aly, of course, almost missed seeing Daisy because she was wrapped up in a complex derivative transaction involving two fellow small-human pin traders, but a quick tap on the shoulder brought her back to reality and just in time to grab her autograph book and get a hug from Daisy Duck.
We headed over to Fort Wilderness and hopped on a bus to head back to Pioneer Hall for the Hoop Dee Doo Revue dinner show starting at 4pm. We only waited a few minutes for the doors to open and we were seated at a table in the second row from the stage, which was a great location for Lele. We had no idea how she’d react to the raucous song & dance show, but we figured with corn and fried chicken on the menu, she’d probably be fine. Aly was hoping to get picked for the finale and join the cast, but I warned her that she wasn’t likely to get picked, even with only 20 or so tables filled of the hundred-plus in the room.
The power of the breakfast burrito
Like the idiots that we are, we scheduled a character breakfast at 8:05 am this morning at Hollywood & Vine inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios (which we still refer to as MGM). Since the girls went to bed somewhat early last night, it actually wasn’t too bad getting everyone up and out on time for the quick drive over to DHS in our red Dodge Grand Caravan rental car. At the Grand Rapids airport yesterday shortly after parking our car in the parking deck, Aly asked me “Is someone going to be renting our car while we are renting a car in Florida?” – priceless.
This has really been a tale of two trips – the parts where Aly has “been a shit”, as my mom used to say about me with some regularity – sorry mom, but it’s true, you did say that about me a lot, and I’m sure deservedly; and the parts where we’ve been able to have fun as a family, where Aly has had lots of fun.
This was our second trip on AirTran, after our trip out east this summer. We upgraded to business class both ways when we checked in online for our flights, and it was worth every penny. We picked the first row on both flights, and it worked out great to have the extra room for Leah, and the endless animal crackers for Aly. The crews on both flights were polite, friendly, and engaging, which is a nice departure from what we had been accustomed to flying NWA and Delta over the years. Aly got to spend quite a while in the cockpit on both ends of the southbound leg, and another good chunk of time in the cockpit upon our return to GRR. The pilots were great with her in both instances, and she absolutely loved it – can’t say enough good things about AirTran at this point. 10/10 for air travel.
Leah, as part of her campaign for 2011 Goudie Baby of the Year, blessed us by sleeping until 7:30, which meant I didn’t have to freeze my arse off taking her around the Boardwalk this morning – it was 38 degrees or some such silliness. We got all our stuff packed up and I took our luggage to the car while the girls checked me out (of the hotel, you lechers) and then I met them at Kouzzina for breakfast.
After my pleasant (but too) early morning with Leah, we woke Aly up and got her ready for the Princess Storybook breakfast at Akershus in the Norway pavilion at EPCOT. Leah was already ready for her first nap, so she slept in the stroller on the walk into EPCOT and around the front of the World Showcase while Rachel detoured over to Soarin’ to grab fastpasses for later in the day (that’s the kind of pre-kids commando stuff we used to do all the time). Leah woke up right after we parked the stroller at Norway, so the timing worked out pretty well.
The day began with a DEFCON 2 Aly meltdown, so we ended up skipping MK this morning and giving her some down time in the room while I grocery shopped. I can’t believe we’ve been in Florida for three days and no MK yet, but such is how your life changes when you successfully (open to interpretation, of course) procreate.