Monday, December 31, 2007

We've got your snack right HERE, Santa

"DEAR SANTA CLUAS
I LOVE YOU AND
WEV'E GOT
YOUR SNACK RIHT
HERE------------------------>
AND WE PUT A LID ON
YOUR CUP IN CASE YOU WANT
TO BRING IT INTO THE
SLEIGH WITH YOU
FROM: ISABELLA"

Friday, December 28, 2007

Disney Travelogue, Part Two

We began our first full day at Disney World in Cinderella's Castle, having breakfast with her highness and friends. Needless to say, meeting Cinderella was a HUGE highlight for a certain little girl.

one happy child

We'd gotten so little sleep the night before, that the little one was on a bit of an edge during breakfast, and there was one minor meltdown. Also, she read the back of the wand and star they gave her, and reported, LOUDLY, "They gave me a wishing star...and it is MADE IN CHINA."

"They gave me a wishing star, and it is MADE IN CHINA."

Fortunately, most of the day was happyhappyhappy, and not a little bit silly.

happy

silly

From there, it was off to ride the greatest carousel ever, which to tell the truth, Mommy probably enjoyed as much as Daughter. Heck, we ALL rode the carousel.

everybody show your teeth

I want topiaries now, worse than I ever did before. And I wanted them pretty badly before. If you can make baby elephant shrubbery, a poodle ought to be a snap.

please help me, I'm a shrub shaped like an elephant

Yep, Mommy rode the Dumbo ride. And I'm glad I did.

dumbo wave

Highlights from the Magic Kingdom were Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Mickey's PhilharMagic 3-D show. Bella FREAKED during the 3-D show. She'd never seen anything like it, and kept reaching out trying to grab things, dodging projectiles, and squealing when we got "splashed" with water (there are tiny sprayers on the backs of all the seats that squirt a little water at certain times during the show). It was a hoot. This 3-D show was really good, but the ones at the other parks were pretty pitiful in comparison. It was kind of too bad that we saw this one first, because then we thought they'd all be that good. Nope!

3D

Bella loved "It's A Small World," but it freaked Alex and me out more than a little.

there were some folks behind us tripping out a little during this ride

After hitting most of the rides and attractions Bella was interested in, we hit a lull. When a five-year-old, who is in the middle of THE MAGIC KINGDOM, says to you, "I think I need to take a break," then it's time to TAKE A BREAK. Besides, by this time, she was drawing attention away from some of the performers.

casting a spell

So we undertook the torturous journey back to the Grand Floridian resort (this is an important part of the Disney experience--they do NOT make it easy to get back and forth between your hotel room and the parks, because if you are not in the park, you are not GIVING THEM YOUR MONEY), where we all took LONG naps. I can't speak for everyone, but for me? That was one GOOD nap. That evening, Alex and I let his mom get a little more rest, and we took Bella back out to the Magic Kingdom so we could hit the rides we'd missed during the day: Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, and Pirates of the Caribbean. It was great; there were no lines, and riding the rides in the dark made for a dramatic experience. Bella LOVED Splash Mountain, which really surprised me. I expected it to frighten her, but no. She'd have ridden it all day. Since there were no lines, we went directly from Splash Mountain to Big Thunder Mountain, where the roller coaster does a lot of twisting and turning and short drops. She loved THAT one, too. After it was over, she was practically VIBRATING, and I asked her, "So, what did you think of that?" She said, "It was just...so...nervous, and...and...annoying...AND GREAT!" Hey, whaddaya know? Just like Mommy--nervous, annoying, and great!

On our way out of the park, we just had time to slip into the last voyage on the totally Depp-u-tized "Pirates of the Caribbean" attraction. We were underwhelmed, for the most part, though the multiple appearances of wax Johnny Depp-as-Captain-Jack-Sparrow figures was at first impressive and then unsettling. It was somewhere around this time that I wondered aloud if Disney had a morgue, or holding area for folks that drop dead from heat exhaustion, and Alex opined that they probably just prop you up in the POTC attraction until your body is claimed.

We got back to the hotel just in time (barely) to get ready for our 9:00 dinner reservation that Alex's mom had arranged for our anniversary, which happened to be that day. But that's another post.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Post-Dated Disney Travelogue, Part One

We set out last week, bright and early, and got to the airport with plenty of time to spare. Yaaay, us! And then we were promptly fogged in. For HOURS. Thank goodness for Webkinz and Leapster.

computin'

Even so, it wasn't long before Bella was losing patience, and crying, "Can we just go to Disney World already? THAT'S WHY WE'RE HERE." Our original flight was delayed, delayed, delayed again, and finally canceled. If you want to witness a really sad scene, hang around the airport terminal when they announce the cancellation of the day's only flight to Orlando, and then watch two dozen Disney-bound children burst into simultaneous tears. Eventually Alex got us another flight that, unfortunately, went through Atlanta instead of directly to Orlando. Bella was really excited about flying, and thoroughly loved it. I was apprehensive at first, mostly due to the good-sized crop of trepidatious (the correct word is "trepid," just in case you're relying on me for vocabulary enrichment, but it's not nearly as satisfying as "trepidatious"), sobbing children all around us. I thought their anxiety would be contagious, but I needn't have worried. It wasn't long before she was an old hand at flying, and was ordering snacks and beverages like she'd been doing it her whole life.

let's see, have I got everything?

mom, seriously

And yes, those are MY iPod earbuds, and yes, they fit my five-year-old daughter. If you are similarly afflicted with teeny-tiny ears, and standard iPod earbuds are a problem for you like they are for me (and my kid), then I highly recommend this model, that my mom found. They're made by Sony.

So it was that we arrived in Orlando not around noon, as intended, but something close to eight hours later, and dog-tired. We took Disney's Magic Express (definition: comfy bus with a perfectly-timed Disney infomercial playing on GPS-driven television sets) from the airport to our hotel, leaving our checked bags behind for Disney to pick up and deliver to our suite. In hindsight, if we'd picked up our own bags, we would have been able to go to sleep in our own pajamas that night, but we weren't exactly thinking straight.

No matter what time you arrive, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa is one heck of an impressive place. Bella and I were both well-entertained by the ginormous Christmas tree and life-size gingerbread house (yes, made of real gingerbread) for the duration of the checking-in process. Alex's mom had secured us some first-class lodgings, and we were verrrrry grateful.

lobby Grand Floridian

ginormous tree

In that backpack is her Webkinz pink pony, "Alice." She wore it ALL DAY LONG, never once taking it off.

Once the concierge had us finally settled into our rooms, albeit without luggage at that point, we ordered room service and went to bed, which caused our luggage to be delivered at last. No, I can't prove causation, but that's how it played out.

The next morning, we were off to the Magic Kingdom, where we had reservations in Cinderella Castle for breakfast at Cinderella's Royal Table. I cannot possibly overstate the anticipation for this event in one five-year-old girl. Having said breakfast reservations gets you into the park shortly before it opens, along with the opportunity for pictures like this (click it, please--it's so pretty!):

morning at Cinderella Castle

But be aware that while you're taking that picture, you're just about to miss THIS one:

first sighting of Cinderella Castle in its entirety

And you really want to document that first glimpse of CINDERELLA'S ACTUAL CASTLE in person...which will be followed shortly by a near-meltdown due to overwhelming emotions. I believe the sentiment expressed at this point was, "THIS IS JUST BLOWING MY MIND!"

we're just a wee bit overwhelmed by being AT CINDERELLA'S CASTLE


Click through to see the note on this photo, and how we very nearly lost Bella to Disney Princess Delirium. More to come.

parents are just too darn slow

Tending To Loose Ends While I Gather My Thoughts

(By the way, the winner of the Miffy giveaway here, chosen at random by an objective 3rd party, was Stacy, of I'm All Up In Your Stuff. Stacy, email me with your shipping info!)

Monday, December 10, 2007

I Would Have Updated Sooner, But Florida Is Trying To Kill Me

Too Tired To Say Much More

I'm too tired to say much more than that, because Disney World is an insane orgy of forcing you out of your hotel room to walk and walk and stand in line and walk and stand and stand some more before you walk again, and it is also located somewhere in the vicinity of the surface of the sun, creating a climate that tries to boil your brain right out of your head. In DECEMBER.

But we are having a great time.

Also, Bella just threw up for only the second time in her young life since the days of infant spit-up...in Shash's van. NICE. TOUCH.

I have to go soak my deformed foot in a bucket of ice now. Note to self: Have Frankenfoot checked out when we get home.

Monday, December 03, 2007

GIANT! FREE! MIFFY! YOU WANT ONE!

Because I am all about subtlety. And because when Mir asks, you can't say no. Well, probably some people can say no to Mir, but I am not one of them. And even if I was, I'm highly convince-able anyway.

What's all the hubbub? Well, it's all over this cutie, with whom you are well familiar if you have a small child:

It's Miffy! And she's huge (like, over 2 feet tall)! And she's wearing...um...a spacesuit! (Some of us have speculated it's "pajamas," but we'll leave that open to inerpretation. It can be an exercise in imagination! That's the ticket!)

Wouldn't YOUR child like to have a giant spacesuit/pajama-clad Miffy? She's HUGE. 28" tall. And the folks at Ty's Toy Box are the only ones who have her, and they're GIVING her away. The only other way to get one is as a bonus $1 purchase with any regular Miffy purchase for a limited time through Ty's Toy Box.

OK, so why am I telling you all this? I have one of these giant spacesuit/pajama Miffy plush dolls, a Ty's exclusive, to give away to one of my readers. Here's all you have to do:

1. Visit www.tystoybox.com, browse around a bit, then come back here by 11:59 CST WEDNESDAY, and leave a comment on this post about something you saw while you were there, that you think your child would love (anything, doesn't have to be Miffy-related--this is about feedback).

2. I will choose, at random, using some magic internet randomizer thingie that Mir found, one commenter to receive this giant plush spacesuit/pajama Miffy doll! That's it!

If you decide to go ahead and do some shopping while you're at Ty's (and once you look around a bit, you very well might), here are a few things you might want to keep in mind:
1. Right now, there is automatic free shipping on any domestic orders over $65
2. Right now, you can get a $10 international shipping credit on any international order over $65
3. TODAY, you can enter coupon code HOLIDAY5 to get $5 off any order of $50 or more.

And now the only bad news: Due to the size (ginormous) of Giant Spacesuit/Pajama Miffy, this offer is limited to the U.S. only. :-(

So, head over to www.tystoybox.com, come back here and comment on what you see, and win a chance at a free prize. Help Mir show Ty's that bloggers really do have a lot of influence when it comes to things like SHOPPING.