So I mentioned that something may have snapped, right?
The next morning, we were planning to leave at 8:30 to head for Magic Kingdom, and by some miracle, all ten of us were ready to go shortly before 8:30. The kids were strapped into the minivan, the bags were packed, and then
Has anybody seen Grandma Jan’s sunglasses? Uh oh. Frequently misplaced but never lost, Grandma Jan’s sunglasses were nowhere to be found in Oyster Cay’s 3,500 square feet, nor in any of our three rental car fleet. We made the kids unbelt and look under the seats, we reached, we knelt, we laughed, we cried, we sang kumbaya, and then, fifteen minutes later, group silence indicated that it was time to leave for Magic Kingdom. Without the sunglasses.
We drove to MK, parked our cars, nearly got run over by some people trying to back along a row of parking cars (hilarious, but dangerous), and walked to the TTC to catch a monorail.
Of course, since we had been out of the car for five minutes, and out of the house for 20 minutes, someone had to stop and use the bathroom, so we had a five-minute wait milling around before we actually got on the monorail. Party of ten == herding cats.
After cross the Seven Seas Lagoon, we had a short wait to get Aly’s annual pass and we made our way into the Magic Kingdom, finally!
We decided that the Teacups would be the perfect ride to start with our large group of ten, so we made our way along Main Street U.S.A. and then took the hub from the front of Cinderella Castle to find that, predictably, the Teacups were closed for refurbishing. Undaunted, we pressed on to the new and vastly improved Dumbo, where the kids enjoyed playing in the new queue and everyone enjoyed their ride on the flying elephant.
Though it was only 10am at this point, it was already warm and humid at this point, so we headed further back towards towards the water play area, where some of the group hopped on Goofy’s Barnstormer and some played in the water. Aly also spent the first of her souvenir money on a spray fan. Of course, she already has one at home.
After that, we headed back to it’s a small world, which everyone rode except for Aly and me, because Aly decided she wanted a Mickey bar instead. I’d say that worked out pretty well for me, eh?
When they came off IaSW, it was time for lunch, so we decided to try Pinnochio Village Haus, which was a first for us and is pretty good. The flatbreads were a popular choice and enjoyed by all. I also had to find a place to plug in my Canon battery charger, as my camera battery was running out of juice and we couldn’t have that happen so early in the day. It ended up being across the dining room from where we were seated, and it was funny to watch how many people gave it a suspicious glance plugged in with no one around.
After lunch, we wandered back through the new Rapunzle’s bathroom area (I don’t know what else to call it) and I took a few pictures. This is the area that used to have one of the skyway stations that they finally took out last year.
We then made our way to Haunted Mansion, where everybody got a kick out of the the new garden queue. Will was quite panicked about the stretching room and made sure to cling to me, while I felt like I had to cling to Aly and Maggie who were non-plussed about the whole thing.
While most of us rode HM, Rachel put Lele to sleep. The others took the raft over to Tom Sawyer Island while I rolled Lele around through stores to try and cool her off. Her cheeks give a good indication of the heat on this day.
We ended up in the quiet(ish) spot near the Splash Mountain playground under the railroad tracks. Well, quiet until some guy thought the pressed penny machine ripped him off and started mashing the lever back and off trying to rectify the wrong done unto him. Of course, putting the proper coin in the proper slot seems to make the machine work better, but that didn’t prevent his noise from waking Leah up.
Around this time, Grandma Jan’s lost-sunglasses stress took over and she tried to convince the group that we should abandon our dinner reservations at Crystal Palace and just go back to our house, despite the fact that it would cost us $100 not to go to dinner because of the cancellation policy and the size of our group. Because of the heat, the kids were a bit whiny, but there was no way I would agree to this.
At this point, we were planning on riding Splash and Big Thunder Mountains, but real thunder appeared and both mountains were closed. We headed over to Pirates of the Caribbean and enjoyed the air-conditioned ride through Tortuga, drunken pigs and all. The sky opened up while we were in Pirates, so we had timed it pretty well. After Pirates, G&G headed to The Enchanted Tiki Room (they did not give it a passing grade) while the other eight of us headed back over to the mountains. We left G&G with instructions to meet us at Crystal Palace around the time of our reservation, explicitly saying not to check in until our whole party arrived.
We split into two groups for BTMR and SM and had great rides on both. The BTMR group decided to take a quick ride on SM, so the rest of us headed to Crystal Palace to meet the grandparents. As I led them back towards CP, Grandma Jan approached with panic in her eye and a pager buzzing in her hand. So with only six of us present, they were calling us to our table. We had to wait about ten minutes for the rest of the group to appear, during which Aly chased a rabbit across the bridge in front of CP.
We were seated shortly and the parade of characters began. Tigger was our first visitor and the kids were all crazy to see him; well, except for Will.
The good news is, Will can be warmed up by Winnie the Pooh. And Maggie can take pictures with an iPhone. Leah also blew Pooh a kiss and demonstrated her sweet post-kiss-blowing overbite.
Everybody got some great autographs and pictures with the characters. More importantly, everybody got some great dinner and enjoyed the food. We headed out of the park at this point and took the monorail back to the TTC, where we then engaged in a debate whether to walk back to the car or ride the parking lot tram. Unable to decide, we chose both and split into two groups. Although our car was fairly far out in the parking lot, the walking group beat the tram group by several minutes, so I took a moment to photograph our “vacation car”, as the kids call it.
Remember Maggie’s iPhone posture at ‘Ohana last night? I have an idea where she learned it:
Rachel and I took all the kids in our minivan – plus Grandma Jan, who was a bit overstimulated by the mad cacophony of singing, laughing and crazy questions with the kids. It took about ten minutes to drive back to the house and then
As we pulled into the driveway, Doug walked out the front door holding Grandma Jan’s sunglasses high in the air. Apparently, the sunglasses were in Aly and Maggie’s bedroom on a table. Much laughter ensued.
Most of us hopped into the pool & hot tub while Grandma Jan headed off to Target to buy some more groceries.
We got the kids cleaned up and off to bed after spending a short stint watching TV in the ten-seat movie theater in the house’s converted garage. After the kids were in bed, we picked up things around the house and then
Yes, yes it did. The sunglasses, returned to Grandma Jan’s possession for less than three hours, were once again missing. The stress level hit 11 and we tossed the place upside down before deciding that they must be at Target. Did I mention that this was an unpleasant time for one and all? Except for the lucky kids, who were blissfully unaware. At least until morning, anyway.