Saturday, November 28, 2009

Disney Day 4

We decided for a first on the Tanner Disney trip and we made it to EPCOT before it opened, matter of fact about 45 minutes before it opened. We sat outside on a bench wondering why the other people were in standing in like, needing to be first? When they opened the turnstile we were able to get inside and then wait for the official "rope cutting" by the characters near the water fountain. It wasn't a big deal at all. What was neat, was that there were no lines in the character connection. Cole had slept the entire time we were waiting to get in, so we were anxious to see what kind of mood he would be in when we woke him up for something so different.

We decided to head straight to meet the characters and see what Cole would think. We only waited behind about 4 people and it took only a few minutes. I had waited a long time for my own little one to meet them and was so very excited. Would he laugh? Would he cry? Would he care??

It turned out he loved them! First up was the big guy himself, Mickey Mouse. Cole was a little shy at first and just starred and starred. He smiled and reached out for him after a minute.

The second one was Minnie and Cole absolutely loved her. He reached for her nose and tried to give her a kiss. (Ok, more like he was probably trying to take a bite out of her nose...but what's that minor detail worth?)

Donald was our least favorite and took up the least amount of time being interactive. We looked back at the pictures and all the other characters were so involved in playing with Cole and the pictures were of them hugging us or something. Donald was all about, here I am and it was kind of strange.

Pluto was fun and Cole loved the big ole doggie. It reminded him of his Millie & Gizmo at home.

Goofy was last and played Peek a Boo as we walked up, it was so fun. Cole really liked him. As we walked off when we were done Cole kept looking back over our shoulder for them.

We gave Cole a bottle and Daddy went to get fast passes for Soarin'. Then it was time for riding the Imagination ride and seeing Figment. He is one of my all time favorite characters and rides. I was one of the people who had a fit in 1999 when we went on our honeymoon and saw they tried for a brief moment to take Figment out of the Imagination ride, what were they thinking?! Thankfully, they fixed that pretty quickly. There have been periods on and off where you could meet him and I loved that. Currently though, he's not out.

Then we went to the Land where we rode the boat ride. (My friends girls call it the vegetable ride, so funny and I like that) It's also my Dad's favorite, Andy & Dad rode it one year over and over while Mom & I did other stuff one year. Anyway.... Cole found it....relaxing...

Then Andy & I took turns on Soarin' and holding a sleeping Cole. We had lunch in there too. Soarin' is one of our favorite things in 'all the world' these days. Then we ventured over to let Daddy ride as a single rider on Test Track while Cole & I shopped a little.

Daddy & Cole checking out the jumping water!

After that we decided to call it a day and head back for a nap time.

We had dinner reservations at Boma at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. It's a very neat place to visit, with the animals just outside the doors. It was dark early though and we didn't get to see them this time. They have night vision goggles, but we've never been able to see animals through them. While it's a neat resort, it isn't on my list of places I want to stay.

Boma is very good though and we had a super awesome waiter. When I learned that my favorite, butternut squash soup, wasn't on the buffet that night ... I was sad and the waiter ended up coming back bringing us both a bowl. How sweet was that? I have tried every brand of butternut squash in the stores, ordered it several places and there is the only place I like it. It tastes like a piece of pumpkin pie, that's melted. It was so sweet this time I almost couldn't eat all of mine and couldn't touch Andy's. (Which had been my plan ;) Anyway, it was super sweet of our waiter. We were always a little nervous about trying it and it's "African theme cuisine", but there is a huge variety to choose from and it's very good. I do recommend it to people often.

Cole ended up sleeping all the way there, through dinner and all the way back. Poor baby probably thought we'd never left.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving from the Tanner family!
Andy, Monica & our own little turkey - Cole
Granny & Grumpy Rakestraw too....

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Disney Day 3

Sunday was going to be our hottest day there, 90 degrees again. We couldn't wait to spend the day doing nothing and going swimming. It would be Cole's first time in the water other than dipping his toes this summer at my parents pool, he wasn't amused as a newborn.

(Shout out to the Howells. We'd planned to meet Jason, Jill and the kids for lunch. It takes so long to get Cole ready, load up and get somewhere...then return... We decided we'd just have to skip this time. I wanted it to be a nothing kind of day and getting ready to head out with a little one is anything less than an easy run out to lunch. We love yall and hope we can get together next time. I wanted Cole & Davis to meet each other.)

We went to breakfast in our hats and play clothes, then came back for long naps and nothing-ness. Then we put on bathing suits and were off. We went to the big pool (the themed one) first for about two hours. Andy grabbed lunch from the quickie place and we ate at the picnic tables by the pool, it was perfect. We sat by and watched everyone while Cole slept. Then it was time to take him in the kiddie pool and it was so funny. He didn't know what to think. He splashed a little, watched everyone and tried to decide if he liked swimming or not. He had a little girlfriend who kept coming over to tickle him and he really liked her a lot. He loves other kids, he wants them to talk to him. If they don't talk and smile, he doesn't understand and looks so hurt. We saw that happen a few times, he'd watch kids and wait...then look at us like "why aren't they talking to ME?"

After spending some time in the kiddie pool we went back to "our" pool in "our" section of Riverside. There are about 6 pools in the entire resort. "Ours" was right beside our room, we sat out there a few times every day and evening. We played in that pool too! Then it was nap time again for everyone!!

We had reservations for Biergarten @ EPCOT that night, but decided to cancel those and eat right there at Riverside. We've eaten at Boat Wrights there in the past and really liked it!! It was one of our favorite meals this trip too, so much we went back and ate the exact same meal another night. Prime Rib for me and Voo Doo Chicken for Andy, we had pecan pie with ice cream for dessert- yummy~

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Disney Day 2
Magic Kingdom, Halloween and O'hana

We decided that we'd spend our first day at the Magic Kingdom, of course! We had bought matching shirts back in January on our trip, just days after finding out Cole was a boy. It was very exciting to put on our cheesy matching shirts, love it!!

Cole was amazed from the get go with things to look out, a speedy tram and a monorail....all before we got in the park! We stopped at the ticket do hickey to get Andy's free 5 day hopper through the military appreciation and mine was $132 (would have been 99, but I added hopping....then we didn't biggie though) We could have got them at Shades or a base and saved on paying tax, but with buying just my ticket so cheap...we didn't bother.

-you'll notice Cole is using my burp clothes that I made and blanket just for the trip, I'm such a geek...had his name and a mickey embroidered on one so we can keep it and know where we were his first halloween-

We arrived and walked down Main Street with our very own little boy.....amazing!! We had our picture made, imagine that and headed off towards Fantasy Land. We got fast passes for Peter Pan although the line wasn't too long. Then we headed towards Small World which we are pretty sure was Cole's favorite. He sat wide eyed and mouth open through the whole thing. His head was going back and forth, back and forth!! Then we gave him a bottle while watching the Small World boats go through. It was time for Peter Pan which he also seemed to enjoy, though it was dark so he wasn't as comfortable in there.

for the record...i stick my big toes up like this and Cole does too.....

We walked through Liberty Square and then to Adventure Land where we saw one of my all time favorites, The Country Bear Jamboree. I love, love that show!!! We both know the entire thing pretty much by heart. Then we headed to the Tiki Room, but little man just couldn't hold his eyes open a minute longer. He slept right through. He slept in the stroller while his Momma and Daddy ate ice cream. (Dole Whip for Andy & then....well most of my Coke float for Andy too) Cole woke up and we went to Tomorrow Land and got on the People Mover (TTA, whatever they call it these days) It's always a favorite. They are working on refurbishing Space Mountain so it was all covered up in there. We thought Cole might have had enough for one day and decided to head back to rest.

Cole and Mommy on the people mover

After resting we had reservations at our all time favorite place in all "the world", O'hana at the Polynesian. Oh my stars! If you haven't eaten there, you MUST! They bring out all sorts of starters to share family style at your table. (Asian noodles, steamed veggies, BBQ chicken wings, the best salad ever (honey, lime dressing of some sort...could be my favorite part) and coconut bread..seems like I'm leaving something out)Then they come around to your table with meat on skewers right off the grill: pork, turkey, steak and then...grill shrimp. They are wonderful!! They brought us shrimp and more shrimp, finally giving a whole HUGE enormous skewer full to just us. It was crazy and yummy. Then for dessert they bring hot bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream....banana foster caramel like sauce to pour over. Oh oh is so very yummy!!

People that hear me talk about our Disney eating obsession...but my kids wont like it, wont sit still, whatever. It's Disney folks!! They are there for entertaining your kiddos, never fear!! While Mom & Dad are chowing down, there is entertainment at O'Hana. There is a lady who teaches hula and you get a lei, she sings a song and kids slow dance with their parents, there's a kid parade and limbo and then coconut racing. The kids hit a coconut with a broom around the restraunt. Your kids will not be bored! The room overlooks Bay Lake, the other resorts on the monorail line and there is the castle in the background. Can you go wrong?? I told one family about it who ate there at night as Wishes (fireworks program) started at the Magic Kingdom and there little boy was asked to turn off the lights in the restaurant for the show, they pipe in the music and everything!

I had big plans of taking Cole somewhere for Halloween all dressed up. It was 90 degrees Halloween Day in Disney World...there was no way that he was wearing a fleece like Mickey outfit. People were dressed up all day though and we saw some fantastic costumes. People are So creative!! They were trick or treating at the resorts and everywhere else it seemed, pretty neat. We ended up going back and taking a few pictures of Toot dressed as Mickey and then pretty much called it a night.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cole's First Disney Trip
Officially Day 1
We arrive

I've dreamed for so long of taking our own little one to our favorite place on Earth, Walt Disney World. Finally last week, that dream came true! I had a lot of people say to me "He's too young, he wont remember it, what can you DO with a baby?" We've been going and doing for 10 years now and taking Cole was something we couldn't wait a day longer to do! So off we went....

We decided to leave Thursday evening about 7:30 after a day of work for both of us. Andy gets up about 5AM and I knew he wouldn't be able to drive as far as we both wished. Still, we knew any further down the road we could go, would make life easier on Friday. Cole had his last bottle, was in his jammies and we were off.

We made it to Valdosta around midnight and found a room at a Comfort Inn & Suites. I have to say it was one of the most comfortable beds ever. It had a feather topper and was queen size, the softest sheets. Ooo La La.... They didn't have cribs or pack n plays, so Daddy was lucky enough to spend the night in the bed with Wild Man! I hear it was quite the night of wild kicking and flinging himself around. When I woke up Andy was on the opposite side of the bed from where he started. Seems a little bitty guy takes up a big ton of room.

Cole in Valdosta in his jammies

We woke up about 7, had our free breakfast and were off again by about 8:30. Cole went back to sleep and woke up a few hours into our journey, we stopped at a Cracker Barrel to give him a bottle and change his diaper. (Just like our mountains trip that I didn't blog about) You can't beat a Cracker Barrell for their comfy rocking chairs and clean restrooms. We got a cheese & cracker plate, extra pickles and sweet teas to go. Cole had to have a little entertainment for about an hour so Mommy crawled between the seats and wedged herself between the mountain of stuff to entertain the doodle bug. Crawling through was quite the sight I'm sure....

We arrived, checked in within a few minutes (people, pre-check in online for Disney...takes you one minute to grab your resort room keys while everyone else waits in line) and unpacked. Our room was fantastic. It was right beside the parking lot, a pool (there are a bunch at Port Orleans Riverside) and laundry area. (Which we used every other day!) Perfect, perfect location!! It was our second time there and it has become our favorite I think.

Cole finds a "not so" hidden Mickey in our room!

----Side note here to say Riverside is awesome! Check out the January blog for pictures around the resort. It is located along the river and very pretty. You can rent boats, ride the "river cruise" to Downtown Disney or just enjoy the boat traffic. The table service restaurant "Boatwrights" is very good and the quickie service place has a ton of selections. The bar area, which is entirely family friendly and not your typical "bar area" at all, is so much fun. More about the wonderful night with Mr. Piano man later. There is a store, of course. There's an acrade and a big ole lobby. You can take a carriage ride from right there or just visit the pretty big ole horses. The walkway to Port Orleans French Quarter is a wonderful easy walk. You can use the pool and all over there as well. The "main" pool at Riverside is cute with the slide and all, a kiddie pool and the area is really neat. There's a fishing hole where you can cane pole fish, a huge play ground and they have story telling by a camp fire at night. There are 5 or 6 pools located between the other buildings and they are pretty big as well, with laundry facilities at each of those areas. There is the "mansions" section, where we've stayed both times. "Think Gone with the Wind and Tara" Then there is "alligator bayou" which is more... cabin like. It's the only resort that "techincally" holds 5 people, there's a trundle slide out bed. It's a beautiful resort with tons to do right there"------

Anyway.... we had supper at the quickie resort location. I had yummy turkey, mashed taters and veggies. Chocolate cake for dessert, gotta love the dining plan. Andy had a chicken caesar salad and oatmeal raisin cookie. Yummy~

Then we hopped on the boat (another reason Riverside is so neat) and headed downtown. It was the first time we've been by the Tree House Villas since they have reopened, sure would be fun to stay there. Our friends, Amber & Jonathan, stayed and said they are super neat. The 10ish minute boat ride is a nice way to get from place to place for sure!!

Downtown Disney was PACKED and there were kids in costumes everywhere. It was still the night before Halloween, but they had trick or treating at tons of locations and boy the kids were out in droves. We met my wonderful friend Terry and hung out awhile. We walked around the World of Disney, lines were way too crazy to shop though. We took some pictures, visited a bit and got scared to death by a magician. (He came out of nowhere and talked into a microphone, making poor Cole cry like crazy. The only real time he cried all week and it was because of the surprise factor, the man came out of nowhere)

By then the crowds were crazy, Cole was tired and we called it a night.

Terry, Cole and Me

Andy, Cole & Me