Sunday, August 10, 2008

Home Sweet (stinky) Home

Ok I know what you are all thinking. I'm sad to be home and I think it stinks. Actually it is the more literal sense of the word. Yes we came home to a refrigerator that had quit. I'm guessing somewhere around the first week of our trip. The person who was supposed to be watching the house shall remain nameless but apparantly she didn't come in to check. All dogs are alive so I know they were fed. The pool had evaporated so much water the pump was running on air. Not sure if it will work or not yet. Great to depend on people isn't it.

So we spent about 3 hours getting the rotten food out of freezer and getting whole refridgerator out of house. It was absolutely gross!!!!!

We made it home ok. No problems with the RV. We can't wait for our next trip. We would like to go to a lake or campground close in the next few weeks. We all just love travel and the time we spend together. Back to normal here though. Kids all went to their rooms. Boys playing the wii. Jenni whining to me about wanting something to snack on. Back to normal for sure.

Tim has already gotten on the computer and ordered our photopass CD. There were some great shots on it. I'm glad to be home but sad also.

Thanks for following along. I'll post more pictures in the next few days.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Almost home!

Saturday, August 9

We got started this morning around 8:15. We headed out and had a beautiful drive up through Mississippi.

I actually drove for about a third of the day. Yeah me!

We ate in the RV. The kids really want to drive on home tonight but we stopped in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Tim picked this place tonight. Park Ridge RV Campground. It at least has cable and wifi. It could be a really cute place. there is a family that runs it and they live in a house on the grounds. It really has potential. I at least feel safe here unlike last night.
I think we are all ready to get home. The kids start school next week and we have quite a bit to do to get ready for that. Tim even commented tonight about how much he has enjoyed this trip. I am so glad we were able to take it. We have made memories that will last all of us for a lifetime.

I hope you have enjoyed the posts. Again I am sorry about the last week. I wrote everyday on the computer but I just couldn't find the energy to go up to the WIFI hotspot at 1:00 a.m. Thanks for reading and caring and praying for us on our journey. We love you all!


Friday, August 8

Well we got up this morning and got an early start. We left about 7:15 central standard time. We had a little trouble getting out of the Disney complex. We missed a turn and I got us turned around into the Epcot driveway. Luckily the parking booth attendant was able to get us back out to where we needed to be.

Kids slept until noon. I told you we were exhausted.

We drove and drove and drove.

We decided to stop for dinner in Pascagoula, Mississippi at a Cracker Barrel. Never, never, never stop at a cracker barrel in this area. Our waitress was a second act from Maxine. In fact we named her Maxine 2. I don’t know if this was her name or not but it fit. She took our order. Repeated it to us twice!!!!! It took over 15 minutes to bring our drinks. The food was all screwed up. She completely left off Jessi’s meal and half of Josh’s. She came back with Jessi’s in about 5 minutes. We sat for most of the meal without refills in our tea glasses and by the time everyone was done with their food, Josh still didn’t have his eggs with cheese. When they finally did come they didn’t have cheese. This is the first time that I ever remember Tim not leaving at least a little tip. It was absolutely horrible. Made for great humor for the rest of the evenings drive.

We stopped in Hattiesburg, Mississippi as Shady Cove Rv Park. Another one of my great picks. NOT!!! I picked it but it was horrible. The lady said she would leave an envelope with our site on it taped to the window. We get here at 9:00p.m. after driving all day. No envelope. So we just picked a site and left an envelope with payment. How crazy is that. It wasn’t quite as bad in the daylight but no cable and no wifi. I absolutely quit picking the RV parks.

Tim's Birthday

Thursday, August 7

Up and at em early. We were at Disney’s Hollywood Studios when they opened the gates. We walked directly to the Toy Story Mania ride and we still had to wait 30 minutes. Amazing!!!!! When we got off the wait was over and hour and the FASTPASS machines were already to 3:00 p.m. It is a fun little game though.

Jake, Josh, Jessi and I headed for the Rockin Rollercoaster. Great Aerosmith music for the wait. Little loud though. Oops showing my age. We get in the train which looks like a stretch limo. You pull up to this wall opening. It counts down and it rockets you out to about 60 mph in about 5 seconds then you start the loops and corkscrew turns. It was totally awesome!!!!!! We loved it. Too bad the wait was so long. We would have gone again.

Next we went and met up with Tim and Jenni and then went and had lunch at the Toy Story Pizza place.

After lunch we headed back to the RV to start packing things away.

We headed over to the Polynesian about 4:45. We are going to the Luau with the Sproats. We arrived at their hotel. It is beautiful. Lots of palm trees and very beach oriented. It is huge. I never would have guessed that there would be so many rooms.

The Luau was a lot of fun. They had a little show kind of deal. Josh, Jenni, and Hannah went up to learn how to hula. Jessi, Jake, Maddie, and Sam were kind of sticks in the mud. Our waitress Maxine was a joke. She was so confused and slow. She tried hard though. Kind of an older lady. She just couldn’t get it together. They asked for everyone with Birthdays. We made Tim go up and he had to do a kind of birthday dance with about 15 other people whose birthdays were today.

The kids loved the fire twirler. He was really entertaining.

After dinner, Jessica, Maddie and I went over to Magic Kingdom to use our Fastpasses. Jake decided to stay and swim instead of using his so we gave it to Maddie. We went and rode the Space Mountain Roller Coaster for our last hooray in Disney. I actually had tears in my eyes as I left through the gate for the last time. This has been so much fun. Every family should get to come at least once in their lifetime. We have all had an absolute blast.
I took Maddie back and her and Jessi swam for a while. Tim and I stood on the beach and watched the fireworks for the last time too. Again feeling such sadness that tomorrow we have to start home.

I think Tim was extrememly lucky to have spent his birthday in Disney World. What a place to turn 29 again.

Wednesday, August 6

Wednesday, August 6

Today we got up and hit Epcot early when it opened. We went right to soarin’. Tim and the kids got in line and I went and got FASTPASSES. I caught up with them in line and we all rode together. We then had breakfast in the restaurant and waited for our FASTPASS time. Laura and Maddie came and road with us instead of Jenni and Tim which was perfectly fine with them since they really don’t like it.

Next we went over to Test Track and got FASTPASSES for after lunch. Then we headed to the Garden Grill for lunch. Our waiter this time wasn’t as friendly. Kind of strange. It really goes to show that the waiter/waitress can really make or break your dining experience. The lady the first time we ate here was so nice and friendly and we loved it. Sam was so excited to meet Mickey and Pluto. Chip and Dale were also there. It was so much fun to see his eyes light up. Food was the same and really excellent. Just wish we had the first server again.
After lunch we headed to Test Track. We got right on. Hannah didn’t like it at all. The rest of us loved it. It is really fun when you get going around the outside of the building.

Tim has a blister on his foot and he was ready to head back. Jake and Tim headed back to start getting things packed up.

The rest of us went to the Nemo underwater ride. It was really cute. Then we went into this turtle talk where you talk to Crush from Finding Nemo. Really neat show. It is a film type deal with a screen only the turtle is really talking to the audience. He talks to kids. He asked for questions and of course my little clown Josh raised his hand. Crush called on him and Josh asked what he ate. The turtle answered him and then asked Josh what he ate for lunch. Josh of course says “I don’t know” They had quite a conversation about what he had to eat. It was really funny.

We came back to the RV and regrouped. Jessi, Josh and I took out for Downtown Disney. We had some other shopping we wanted to do. We rode the boat down to the West Side and then walked our way back to the bus stop. Really neat shops. Of course all tied to Disney. We headed home and got on the wrong bus in the campground. No big deal it just took us 20 minutes longer to get back home.

Then me and the kids headed for the pool. I just love the relaxing dip in the pool and the end of the day. Even with all the other people. Jessi really doesn’t like swimming with so many people around.

Tuesday, August 5

Tuesday, August 5

Everyday it gets harder and harder to get up.

Tim and Jenni decided to stay at the RV Park today while Jessi, Jake, Josh and I headed to Magic Kingdom. We went to the Splash Mountain Log ride. It was 9:45 in the morning and we had to wait an hour and ½. It was decorated with the Briar rabbit story and was very cute I think Jenni would have loved it. The kids loved it. Not very big drop though. Still pretty exciting.

When we got off the ride it was lunch time so we stopped and had hamburger and BBQ at Pecos Bill’s again. We really like this place. Good food and great carrot cake dessert.

Next we met up with Laura and Scott and went through the Haunted Mansion. Scott and Sam headed back to hotel and the rest of us walked around and rode a couple more rides. Nothing new today just the old stand by stitch’s great adventure. Josh really loves that one.

Tim and Jenni went to the pool and did crafts and had pizza for lunch. Jenni really had a good time. I kind of wish we had spent more time there myself.

We came back and got Tim and Jenni and headed to Animal Kingdom for dinner at the Tusker house. This was African influenced food and it was delicious. They had a peanut butter and jelly bar for the kids. It was really awesome. The desserts were fabulous. They had a cherry/apple cobbler like thing with vanilla sauce to drizzle on top. So delicious.

After dinner, I took Sam, Maddie, Jessi, Jake, and Josh and got in line for the Everest Roller coaster. The wait wasn’t too bad about 35 minutes. We get all the way up to the front of the line and train before us isn’t working right. Then they lost power to the whole ride. Now I don’t know if that is an everyday ploy to shut down the ride or if it was true but we weren’t able to ride. They gave us fast passes but we have to go back another day to use them. Don’t know if we will have time so it was really disappointing.

It looked stormy so we headed back to the RV. We all turned in pretty early tonight.

Monday, August 4

Monday, August 4, 2008

Today we all kind of slept in. We were all pretty tired after last night. We took our time getting around and didn’t head out till lunch time. We decided to go to Magic Kingdom for lunch.

OK now I understand about the great numbers of people and the long lines. It was crazy today. People everywhere. We were so lucky last week and didn’t even know it. It was crazy!

After lunch we went and road the Mickey Philaharmonic and It’s a Small World again. The wait for Splash Mountain the log ride was over two hours! We didn’t do that. We walked back around the park and headed for the shops. Jenni is looking for clothes for her baby Minnie doll.
Scott and Laura called. They had made it and are swimming at their resort. We are all meeting at the Contemporary resort for dinner.

We had to take the monorail to dinner. It was really neat. We ate at a restaurant called the WAVE. Kind of adultish for this place. The food was really good but again more of a formal atmosphere. This was the only place we could get in tonight though. When Tim called to make reservations last night, we were lucky to get the places we did. Last week we had no trouble at all. The person taking the reservations said this week is really busy because it is the last week before kids start school. Like I said glad we had last week with lighter crowds.

After dinner we decided to go to Animal Kingdom’s extra magic hours. We all rode over on the bus. Jessi, Jake, Josh, Maddie, Sam, Scott and I headed for Expedition Everest. Oh this was so awesome!!!! You get in a cart. It takes off nothing too dramatic. It takes you up a steep grade and the tracks quit. Then you go backwards for a while then the tracks change again and you go forward. A giant Yeti comes at you. It was so cool we rode it twice. It took us about 40 minutes to ride it twice. During the day the wait can be as long as 2 hours. It was so cool.
The first time we rode it Jake left his new hat in the cargo holder. We went back but of course they aren’t going to be real helpful. They are trying to get people on and off as quick as possible. They sent me to lost and found for the everest ride. The lady there said it had been turned in but they had already taken it to the front of the park at guest services.
We walked back to the front to meet Tim, Laura, Hannah, and Jenni. They had gone to see the Lion King show. It took about an hour to actually get to the guest services. No hat. They told me it sometimes takes a while for the cart to get back to them with the lost and found stuff. The gentleman there tried to get me to call a central lost and found in the morning. I said no. She said it had just been turned in and it was coming to here. We would just wait till it came in. So everyone else went home but Jake and I sat at the Guest services area till almost 11:00 when the guy came and took Jake to the store and gave him another hat. He told me it wasn’t here yet and he didn’t know how long it would take them to get it there. I thought that was pretty nice. If the lady hadn’t said it was turned in and they had it I would have just gone on but it was found and turned in and I didn’t want to have to go running all over this 43 square mile complex trying to find their central lost and found tomorrow.

Jake and I made it back around 12:00. So off to bed for rest for another big day tomorrow!

Laundry Day

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Well today was laundry day. I got up early and got things started. $2 to wash and $2 to dry. Yikes! We were running out of clean clothes so it was definitely necessary.

Tim, Josh, and Jessi went back to Epcot to ride the Soarin and Test Track again. They were able to ride soarin twice before the wait got too long. They spent the whole day at Epcot until we met them at the German Beirgarten for dinner.

Jake and Jenni slept until almost 11:00 a.m. I was able to get all the laundry done and most of the RV cleaned up. It wasn’t too bad because we aren’t in it for long.

When they got up and around we headed out for Magic Kingdom. We ate at the hot dog, corn dog baseball place again. The kids like the little corn dogs. We walked around and rode the Mickey’s Philharmonic. This is a really cool theatre 3D movie. It combines several of the movies and things come flying at you. At one point the broom from Beauty and the Beast throws a bucket of water on you and you actually get sprinkles of water on you. We loved this one.
Then we went to ride “It’s a Small World”. This is pretty lame but very colorful. One book said you will be sick of the song by the time you get off of the ride and that was pretty close to true. It is a boat ride through several rooms with little dolls decorated for different countries. Not much action but ok.

Next we went to meet Tim and Jessi and Josh at Epcot. We headed for Germany and the Beer Gartein. This was a really awesome restaurant. The tables were arranged on different levels all facing the stage. It was a buffet and thankfully they had macaroni and cheese on it for the kids. Tim and I loved the food. It was really spectacular. Then the entertainment started. It was really fun. Of course they had a small dance floor. Josh and Jenni went out and danced up a storm. They were so adorable. Jake and Jessi wouldn’t go. The squares! Josh and Jenni were swirling each other around. I got most of it on video. It was truly precious.

After dinner we headed to the gift shop. I had been putting this off but I figured I better let them spend their money. Unfortunately they didn’t get it all spent. So now I’m having to keep track of whose money is whose. They purchased some cool stuff though.

Next we headed back to the campground. When we got in, Jake, Jessi and I decided to go to the Magic Kingdom extra magic hours. We left here around 11:00 p.m. The park is open till 2:00 a.m. this morning. We headed straight for Space Mountain. I really thought they would chicken out. Jessi was really nervous. She did it though and of course the first thing out of her mouth was “lets go again.”. I’m really excited that my kids are finally liking roller coasters. The wait for this ride during the day can be as long as an hour and ½. We made it through twice in 30 minutes. We like those extra hours. The magic hours are only for guests staying in one of the Disney resorts. I was amazed at how many young tolddler kids were out that late.
After Space Mountain, we went and rode the race cars again for Jake and did the Buzz lightyear ride. By now it was pushing 1:30 and Jake was ready to head back.

This was really fun and awesome! We had a great day. Jessi was the real trooper because she was in a park from 8:30 a.m. till 1:30 a.m.

I'm Back

I am so sorry! We have been going so much that I just couldn't keep up. I was taking the kids to the pool at night. It was open 24 hours. By the time I got back it was so late and I was so exhausted that I couldn't go up to the front gate to post. I honestly have never in my life been as exhausted as I am now. I will try to catch up tonight but I'll add pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Disney's Hollywood Studios

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Well today we were a little slow getting around again. We headed out for Disney Studios around 9:30.

We headed right for the Toy Story Mania ride. The FASTPASS times were already after 4:00 in the afternoon. The wait time was already 50 minutes so we got a fastpass and started walking around the rest of the park. The kids were able to get Woody and Buzz Lightyear’s autographs. Then we walked around the corner and Lightning McQueen and Mater from the movie CARS. You only got to have your picture taken with them. That was really cool.

We watched a stage and movie of the Little Mermaid. It wasn’t quite as good as the others at animal kingdom but was pretty good. We went and had lunch at the Toy Story Pizza Arcade. It was good. Then we decided to head back to the RV for a little rest and take some time to clean up. We have been going so much that the kids haven’t even put their beds up. We aren’t in the RV till well after 10:00 and we usually go right to bed.

We headed back over to Disney Studios around 3:30. Our Fastpass times were 4:20 and 4:25. This really was a cool ride. You rode in little cars that spun around. You had 3D glasses on and a lazer gun. It was like arcade games. You shot at things for points. It kept track of your points and at the end of the game they were on a big screen. This was really a cool ride. The little kids liked it so much they wanted to go again. The walk up time wait was only 60 minutes so Tim took the little ones and waited in line. Jessi and I just wandered around the park. We walked down to the Rockin Roller Coaster. I couldn’t get her to get on even for $100. Josh and Jake said they would both ride it with me but by the time we got back the wait was over an hour and we didn’t have time before dinner. Maybe tomorrow.

We had reservations at the 50’s Prime Time CafĂ©. I was really looking forward to this. It is set in the 50’s and your waiter is supposed to act like your mom. Apparently, I’m not mean enough to qualify as a mom like these. Of course they did the usual yelling about elbows on the table. When the guy at the table next to us didn’t eat all of his green beans, she forked them up and made him eat them. It was funny but my gosh. We were thirsty from walking around. I drank all of my tea and she came back and told me to slow down. I was a little offended. The food was good. But overall, I was a little disappointed.

We headed back to the RV after dinner. I promised the kids I’d take them swimming after I get this done so we’ll probably be at the pool till after midnight.

So now we have been to all of the parks. I don’t know if it is that we are exhausted that the last two (Epcot and Disney Studios) haven’t impressed me much. If I were to do this all over, I would definitely do all of the other three first and save Magic Kingdom for last. It really is my favorite. Next would be Animal Kingdom (I thought I would like this one the least), Disney Studios, then Epcot. Although Tim and the three older kids are planning on going back tomorrow morning to do Soarin and Test Track again. Jenni and I are on Laundry duty in the morning. We are all running out of things to wear.

Sorry there are so few pictures. It takes over 5 minutes to upload one picture. I haven't downloaded todays pictures so I'll post them on Monday as well.

Next Post will be on Monday Night.

Friday, August 1, 2008


Friday, August 1, 2008

Today we got up and headed out for Epcot. Tim and I were really excited. We thought this would be the park we liked best. We arrived shortly after opening.

We headed straight for the SOARIN ride. This is a ride where you are placed in a hand glider type contraption that lifts you off the floor with a huge screen in front of you. The very first scene Jennifer started screaming her head off. I kept yelling close your eyes, close your eyes. When she did, she was fine. Tim had to close his for most of it too. It was totally awesome. The seats would tilt and you felt like you were really gliding over the earth. The golden gate bridge, the Grand Canyon, over the ocean, over big cities. It was so cooooool!!!!!!

Next we headed for the GM Test Track. Of course the wait for it was already over and hour so we did the fast pass (where you get a slip of paper that tells you to come back between a certain time later in the day). Even with the fast pass we still had to wait about 20 minutes.

While we waited for the Fast Track time to come, we went to an energy show hosted by Ellen Degenerous. I thought this is going to be stupid but it was awesome too. You were in a huge theatre with wrap around screnes, then the seats in the audience came apart and you wandered through prehistoric times. Then wrapped around back to a theatre. They reassembled and you watched the end. It was really cool too.

Then it was back to the Fast Track. You actually get in little cars. You go over bumpy roads , the car slams of the brakes, then you go outside of the building and probably reach speeds of about 60 miles per hour. The kids loved this one too.

Next we went to the Honey I shrunk the Kids 3D show. It was really a let down. You hear so much about it but no big deal.

Next we had lunch at the Garden Grill. It was a revolving indoor restaurant with neat scenes all around. Several of the characters were here also. Jenni is really getting used to eating with the characters. I suppose I’ll have to dress up as Minnie when I get home to get her to eat. Food was exceptional again today.

After lunch we headed around the world tour deal. We really thought this would be neat but I wasn’t impressed. Mainly just shops with junk in each country. I expected like music and street actors etc.. Tim said it may have been because it was sprinkling but it wasn’t that bad.

The best thing to me here was the Coca cola testing area. You went in and they had coke products from different countries that you could just try for free. Only sample size fountain drinks. This was really interesting. We all liked the super sweet cola from costa rica.
We headed home and Tim and I took a nap. We have been going non stop from about 7:30 a.m. to usually 12:00 midnight It was some much needed rest.

The kids have really gotten in to the pin trading. Jenni goes up to every cast member (worker) and trades one pin or another. She never comes home with the same ones she left with. Josh is collecting all Stitch. This is really a fun pass time while you are here.
Another awesome thing here at the campground is all the really cool golf carts. We saw one painted like Tigger, one like Lightning McQueen, and various other. People bring theirs from home. Or you can rent one here. Ours is a rental from here number 804. We saw a family today riding ice chests. Yes I said ice chests. They had made a seperate compartment for a battery and it ran just like one of those little motorized scooters. You just sit on top of your cooler and away you go.

We decided to go to Magic Kingdom for dinner. We used 5 counter service meals because Jenni wasn’t hungry. So now to date we have 8 snacks and 3 counter service meals extra. I’m telling you the food plan is awesome!

After dinner we were heading back to the front gate and Jenni wanted to ride the Alladin Flying Carpets. This is just a circular ride where the carpets go up and down. I forgot that one of the camels on the side spits water. We got spit on by the camel. We were all laughing so hard.
Then we headed back to the RV and I brought Jake, Josh and Jenni to the pool. The pool here is open 24 hours and I bet there are 100 people out here and its almost 11:30 at night. Amazing!

Tomorrow we are headed to Disney Studios. Josh has several rides he wants to go on here. More tomorrow.

Magic Kingdom Day 2

Thursday July 31, 2008

Today we decided to go back and see the other side of the Magic Kingdom. We didn’t get there at opening but we did go around 9:00 a.m. We headed right for Adventure Land where we road the Jungle Cruise nothing to exciting here. Basically a leisurely ride around a river with badly set up scenes of jungle stuff. The boat driver tried to make things light with bad jokes. It was OK. Then on to the pirates of the Caribbean ride. Same kind of thing only mostly indoors and scenes from the movie acted out by clay figures. Again OK nothing over exciting.

Then we walked on around to the Haunted Mansion. Cool ride. You go into a room and the ceiling rises so all the paintings stretch. Then you go into a room and get into a coffin like cart that takes you along the rest of the ride. Really nothing too scary. The coolest part was when you are almost done and you go in front of a mirrored wall and it looks like a ghost is in the cart with you. Jenni really freaked out. The other kids loved it.

Next we went to the Hall of President. There are pictures of Presidents in the outer room. Then you go into a theatre. Now of all the rides we have gone on, this would be the one that Tim practically runs to get a seat in the middle of the theatre. It was really funny to watch him hurry in. /Tim hurries no where. Let me add that even at the start of the show the theatre was less than ¼ full. Glad he ran to get a seat. They had a stage that had animitronic figures of all the presidents. Each one was introduced by name and the others would move their heads to look at the one being introduced. Don’t tell Tim I said so but it was really kind of cool.

Next we had lunch. Now let me tell you that the fool plan is awesome. We have eaten incredibly. Most sit down meals are all you can eat family style, and the counter service meals are huge too. As of today we have two extra counter service meals and 2 snacks left.

After lunch we circled back around and walked through the Swiss Family Robinson’s tree house. Pretty cool!

Then we decided it was time to go back and rest. So we headed back to the RV and relaxed till about six.

We had dinner reservations at a Liberty Tree Tavern. Really good food. This was a character dinner and Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Chip and Dale, all came by the table. Goofy and Dale (or Chip not sure the difference) started goofing around and I have never heard my kids laugh so loud. Goofy pretended to fall down a short thing of stairs. Dale ran to his rescue. Just really funny.

After dinner we walked out of the restaurant and the night parade was coming. We had a great view at the top of the stairs outside the restaurant. It was magical. The floats were so elaborate. The costumes awesome. This is really something to see.

After the parade we made our way back to the castle gardens to get ready for the fireworks show. We watched it from the castle tonight. Very beautiful and magical. It was a wonderful day. This place is truly magical!