Sunday, November 29, 2009

Disneyworld, the final installment: Magic Kingdom

Wow, Disneyworld was 2 weeks ago already, yet the memories are still fresh in our minds. Viana and Brooke will daily say something like, "I liked splash mountain, tomorrow when we go on it I will..." or "Maybe tomorrow I will say 'wheeeee' on the roller coaster". It's pretty cute.
We went to the Magic Kingdom 4 different times. It's such a great park. Although we did decide that Buzz Lightyear Astroblaster/Space Ranger Spin is much better at Disneyland, and Small World is also much better in California. But we still LOVED our Magic Kingdom time! (Hence the 4 visits :)
The first night we arrived we went to The Crystal Palace for a character meal with Winnie the Pooh. In the top corner picture you can see Grandpa Glen...yep, he was there too! It was a great place to unite with our family and the food was GOOOOOOD. Eric even had Ratatouille. The second day we were on our trip the 5 of us snuck to the Magic Kingdom in the morning for some pictures, and to take Ram on his first ride. We got there just in time for the Celebrate parade. Viana LOVES parades, so she was thrilled. See there cute little hands waving like mad in these pictures? Darling.

Ram's first ever Disneyworld ride was, of course, Buzz Lightyear!!! He is now an official Carter.
We went back again on Friday morning. Mostly for the girls to play in the Winnie the Pooh play yard...another of their favorite things to do at Disney parks. They had a BALL being able to run around and not have to wait in some line or be stuck in some stroller.

We also took Brooke on her first Roller Coaster: Goofy's Barnstormer. She was tall enough even without the heels we brought for her! Holy cow, that girl loved it!! And so did Viana, who during this trip became a roller coaster expert!! Brooke and Viana knew exactly how to behave on a roller coaster: hold your arms in the air and scream the whole time! By the end of our trip Viana and Brooke were able to go on this roller coaster 5 times!! They LOVED it.Saturday was our group day at the Magic Kingdom. It was so fun...the girls were finally behaving like themselves. We went on Splash and Big Thunder Mountain. What 3 year old do you know who can leave her arms up an entire roller coaster ride? Well, if you didn't know any before...now you know Viana.
Here are some more pictures from our days at the Happiest Place on earth. You got the Carousel (family fav) the castle, Pluto, Street Musicians, Indians, Pirates, Mickey and Minnie, the Haunted Mansion (which we were really nervous about how the girls would do on this "scarier" ride...they loved it! Viana "screamed" the whole time, and Brooke sang spooky music the whole time. It was so cute!), and hey, Ram was there too!
The final night we got to have 5 Carter family time. It was the most magical evening and the perfect finish to our vacation. We went on Small World(girls love it), sat with Goofy while we watched the fireworks, saw Tiana from Princess and the Frog, Ram and I rode the People Mover twice (once with the fam, once while Eric took the girls on Astro Orbiters) and the People Mover is one of my very favorite rides, so I was THRILLED. Plus, the castle was beautiful in the evenings. And Eric even posed in front of the closed Space Mountain. Though disappointed about that, the People Mover went inside Space Mountain, as it usually does, but all the lights were on, which they usually aren't, so it was SO cool to see the inner workings of a dark roller coaster.

Thank you Grandma and Grandad, we had such a wonderful trip!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving at Hoover's!!

Lest you think it is a typo, have no fear... That's the slogan on the server's shirts at the location of our Thanksgiving meal. We had about a million options for Thanksgiving this year, but when it came right down to it, we opted for the no-cooking-no-cleaning option. Well, I did make a cheeseball that we quickly devoured after Eric's Turkey bowl (you should have seen his AMAZING diving lunging catch for a touchdown!)

But after that, we loaded into the car,
Drove up into this beautiful canyon...

Right past Big Rock Candy Mountain...
To this quaint little restaurant...

That's right, Hoover's.
We were all very excited.

Especially with our view of the game!
And our good company (I tried to capture the essence of Hoover's regulars with this shot. It's all good recreational, ATVer, huntin', cowboy hat wearing type good-uns.)

They had an all-you-can-eat buffet. Turkey, ham, salmon, potatoes, 12 pies, veggies, salads, and on and on. Viana returned with this plate teeming with goodness.
I then turned to take a picture of Eric's loaded plate...and it was already HALF GONE! Now that's good eats!
And hey, Ram was there too!!
And the best news of the day...while we were talking about possible pie options that we could make at home Viana kept saying that apple pie was her favorite, but I did not think apple pie was in our foreseeable cooking escapades. But good fortune, they had apple pie at Hoover's!!
What a great thanksgiving. And this is what I was the very most thankful for! :)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Disneyworld: Epcot

Epcot is such a great park...sadly we spent the least amount of time there. But we had two huge events at Epcot: Date Night, and Brayden's birthday celebration. While we were there during the day we were in high spirits though!Well, as long as we weren't being eaten by a shark!Date night was SO GREAT. (have you noticed through out our journey that Eric and I have had either matching or complimentary shirts? Aren't we cute??) The 4 brothers and their dates got to leave 10 kids with Grandma (Ram trucked along with us...although we could have left him, he just slept the WHOLE time on our date!)We went to Morocco in the world showcase portion of Epcot for dinner at Restaurant Marrakesh. It was some good eats!!Then we had general galavanting about the world showcase, and hit up Test Track right before the park closed. (Jen and I rode this ride with 2 drunk guys(not our husbands..they stayed with Ram) in our car...so it was a pretty entertaining and hilarious ride.)I really like this picture taken in Mexico.Norweigian troll and huns :)Germany :) Japan :)
The day after date night we went back to Epcot for Brayden's dinner...which he's not in this picture, but Happy Birthday Brayden!

Next time I go to Disneyworld I will remember how AWESOME Epcot is and remember to schedule more time at that park!!

Up next=The Magic Kingdom...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Disneyworld: The Polynesian Resort

Thanks to Eric's brother Nick, who is JAG, we got a sweet military discount and were blessed to stay at the BEAUTIFUL Polynesian Resort. It was so tropical. It even had lush plants that took Eric right back to his mission. Each building was named for an island...though we didn't stay in Fiji, we got a great picture!It's right across the lagoon from the Magic Kingdom, so not only was it beautiful it was convenient! There was a monorail stop at the hotel, and the transportation center was a stone's throw from our lanai door.
We loved how even though it was a culturally Pacific in decor, they just couldn't keep the Disney magic out. Hidden Mickey's were all over. Here's an easy one to start with, can you find the rest?In the carpets...On the desk...Even the bed spread...And this one was by far our favorite!We had a delicious Luau at the resort. It was so good. And the live entertainment was great!
This is Viana re-enacting the dancing.What a great dream come true for Eric, who has always wanted to stay here!! Thanks Nick for the discount!!!

Up Next=Epcot...