Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ripstik for 2nd Grade Circus!

Sophia has decided what she is going to do for the 2nd grade circus:


And if you don't know what a Ripstick is. . .
it is like a skateboard, but with just 2 wheels (caster wheels).  
Very tricky to ride!

Saturday, February 25, 2017


I had always wondered what was at Epcot, and now I know why it is often ranked as the 2nd best of all the Disney parks. It was a mix of technology themed rides (including a space launch simulator that Madeline and Brenda loved), as well as a tour of the world with little sections dedicated to a variety of countries around the world (complete with mostly authentic food).
It was a lot of walking, but also a lot of fun.  

We started with a 45 minute wait for the Anna and Elsa ride (the longest wait of the day) and enjoyed a boat ride through Norway, followed by some creme puffs and european cookies.

On the way back to our next ride (a flight simulator), we spotted trees covered with orchids!

Happy Cousins!
(Because we haven't walked around much yet. . .)

Everyone needs a family shot at the Epcot center.

The excitement was palpable at the Nemo ride--a ride perfect for Sophia's speed.

In Mexico (after we had lunch) we visited the Aztec calendar (which isn't really a calendar).  

There were beautiful hand-carved wooden animals from Oxaca.

Dos Cousin-Caballeros

Sophia thought Mom needed a Sombrero!
Maybe this one wasn't quite the right size?

In China we watched a video about China in a theater-in-the-round.
Unfortunately, that also meant we had to stand to watch it for 14 minutes
(no sitting allowed). 

No disney trip is complete, until you walk around with
a stuffed tarantula wearing a sombrero on your shoulder
(and, yes, Brenda actually did walk around with it sitting on her shoulder
for a while when Sophia was too tired to carry it):

The big golf-ball over the water:

Of course, when you stop in Japan, you have to take pictures.

Sophia and Celeste were a little tired of pictures:

The whole time we were in Japan, we enjoyed a festive drum concert at this temple.

We had dinner at the Moroccan restaurant in Morrocco.  A little pricey--but good food and a great place to rest and enjoy ourselves with air conditioning (we got in at 4:40, right after they opened up).

The food was good, and so was the belly-dancer show!

We headed to France--Madeline found an actual light-up Lumier!

In Paris, Godzilla-Sophia is really a lot bigger than the Eiffel Tower!

This is apparently something in Canada.
Stacey, who grew up in Canada, had no idea where it was from. . .

We finally got Sophia to kind of smile in a photo with her daddy.  

It was a long day, and a long trip.  Sophia convinced us to skip the water and light show to take one last dip in the pool together as cousins.  This pool (that we definitely did not spend enough time in ;)--

And now, it is time to rest and go home. :(

Disney's Animal Kingdom

Disney's Animal Kingdom (a mix of a zoo and an amusement park) may actually be our favorite of the parks!

We ran into the park to start off with an intense animal safari--lucky for us, 9:00 am is still early enough for the animals to not be napping much yet. 

The hippos were their usual lounging selves.

We decided not to pet the 10 foot long crocodiles.

Everyone loved the elephants!

Zebras are actually black, with white stripes.

Nathan, Camille, Madeline, and Brenda all rode the you-will-get-wet river ride.  Can you tell who chose not to wear a poncho!

We snuck in a second run of the safari.  The animals weren't as active this time, but we got to see a few more fun things like happy cousins, 

a Sophia cuddling a stuffed tarantula,

an ostrich (that came up right to our truck), and some rhinos fighting over their afternoon snack!

The girls had a great time watching a musical and acrobatic production with a lion king theme.

Madeline and Brenda took Nathan and Camille on their first ever roller-coaster-with-a-backwards-and-in-the-dark-loop-di-loop.  If it wasn't an hour wait, Brenda and Madeline would have gone again!

The roller coaster was in this mountain--Mt Everest (full with yetis)

At the heart of the park was a gorgeous tree covered with carvings of animals.  We took some time to find some of the animals, but we definitely could have used some more.  It was incredible.

Sophia and her spider "Webby" loved the tree.  

As did Madeline and her new elephant.

Cousins enjoyed a musical production of Nemo--it was actually pretty good!

We finished off our day with a visit to the tree, dinner, and then another visit to the tree (after dark during a light show). . .

Friday, February 24, 2017

Day 2 Magic Kingdom

Today we saw how many people the Magic Kingdom can really hold--we think a lot of people who avoided the rain yesterday came today.  :)  It took us an extra 30-40 minutes to get to the park due to traffic, crowds, and a broken Monorail, so our plan to hit Space Mountain first, had to change, but it got us on the Speedway later in the day.

We started with Pirates of the Caribbean, and even Sophia gave it a try.  After a break at the Tikki Room with Dole Pineapple Whip (a definite must-have, according to Camille), we took a leisurely boat ride through the Jungle

Madeline chose two swords at the Pirates of the Carribbean ride as her souviniers, and they got  a lot of use during the day:  first, for sword fighting of course, and second, as digging tools on Tom Sawyer's Island

Madeline demonstrated her great driving skills, hoping that she could get a driver's license soon!

Sophia even took the wheel when she and mom went for a little spin on the Speedway.

Swords were invaluable during the main waiting periods we had throughout the day!

We ended the day with the fireworks show and the storytelling show at the castle.  It was nice to just sit, eat popcorn, and play with the light-maker that shoots bubbles that Mom thought was necessary to keep the younger kids entertained.  It also entertained the older kids (including Mom) too.