Sunday, April 10, 2022

Cecilia's 6th Birthday

 We celebrated Cecilia's 6th birthday at home with a scavenger hunt for presents, a piƱata, and lasagna for dinner. We had swim lessons on her birthday and made some egg-free funfetti cupcakes and then the next day we went to another club pool with a slide and a mushroom fountain so the kids enjoyed that.

We also got to celebrate Cecilia at school by reading in her classroom and bringing in a baby picture. The Kindergartners had wonderful questions and comments for Cecilia on her birthday and all wrote her very nice birthday cards.

The following weekend we went bowling with family and it was so nice to see everyone again. We bowled with cousins and played in the arcade. We really enjoyed it. Thanks for everyone who came out to celebrate Cecilia.

Friday, April 8, 2022

Disney World 2022

Sat 3/19 - ARRIVAL @ Beach Club (after a 3 hour delay) to a lovely dinner at Cape May Cafe at the hotel. We took pictures outside near the water and looked around the grounds of the hotel.


We entered the park before opening since we were staying at a Disney Resort.  We started with "rope drop" (which really meant we got in the park early to wait in a line of people who all got there early - HA) but we went right to Seven Dwarf’s mine train - Kyle went on it and didn’t like it (picture says it all) - so he didn’t want to go on any more roller coasters. 

It’s a small world brought back many memories and Ed and Brigid feel like it hasn’t changed much in 30+ years.

Peter Pan’s flight was a hit with everyone then we loved Dumbo and we did Buzz Lightyear too.

After eating at Peco’s Bills (it was just ok and they got the order wrong for Kyle so we weren’t sure if we were feeding him an allergy friendly burger) we did get to watch the parade go by while eating so that was good.

After lunch we headed over to Splash Mountain but they had just closed the ride off temporarily with no time table for reopening so we were bummed that we couldn’t go to that.

So Cecilia and Kate went to Space Mountain with Marcia, Kaelyn and Audrey and she loved it - she rode in the very first space and that picture says it all. She loved both Seven Dwarfs and Space Mountain.

We also went to the Tomorrowland Motor Speedway where Maeve and Cecilia got a chance to drive around the track in a go-kart.  Upon completion, they were able to step into the photo booth to have a driver's license printed. 

Then we grabbed some food in Tomorrowland at Cosmic Rays before heading out for the evening on the bus that took us back to our hotel. It was a long day but the kids had fun and did really well. Maeve started to go downhill after dinner but we thought maybe exhaustion and some dehydration from the fun day in the sun.

She did wake up shaking in the middle of the night and by morning time she definitely didn’t feel good. We tried to have her come to Hollywood studios but she didn’t last long - she went on Toy Story mania and walked around a little but but then went back to the hotel where she napped most of the day. Unfortunately this lasted for about 2.5 days!! 


With all the craziness of the morning, Marcia, Kaelyn and Audrey went ahead and got in line for Slinky Dog dash. They were a little ahead of us so Eric, Cecilia and Kate went on it together. She didn’t like that one as much - she thought that was too fast. Meanwhile Grandparents went with Kyle on Toy Story Mania and he loved that. 

Ed and Kate wandered around and helped Brigid find the front of the park to make the 1+ mile back to the hotel with Maeve. They rested there while the rest of the group saw the Disney Junior live show with Vampirina and Doc McStuffins and got pictures with the characters and Kyle and Cecilia. Cecilia was also taking pictures and videos with her camera. Then went to the Frozen Sing Along and Eric thought that was the best show. Kate ran out of that show and walked back to the hotel (1 mile), then, so Brigid could join Marcia, Ed, Kaelyn and Audrey for the Indiana Jones show. And while that was going on Kyle, Eric, Cecilia, Jan and Steve went to the Beauty and the Beast show.

Then Eric switched spots and spent the afternoon with Maeve instead of Hollywood studios and the rest of us went to Mickey and Minnie’s runaway railway. That was a cute ride that all enjoyed.

We got dinner at the 50's Prime Time cafe before heading home around 6pm to see how Maeve was doing (still not good). Another long day so we were all looking forward to resting for our resort day.  Prior to bed, we were able to get in a few games of 6 person Rummikub that Steve brought.  Both Audrey and Cecilia loved that.  Maeve continued to get some rest but couldn’t eat anything. We were hopeful that she’d feel better for the day at the pool.

Tue 3/22 - RESORT DAY

The pool didn’t open until 10am so we had a lot of time with the kids up by 6:15am. Cecilia slept with Grandma Jan and Grandpa Steve so that Maeve could rest in our room. Maeve slept all night but was throwing up in the morning so she must’ve had the virus that was going around school and not dehydration. Poor thing!

After a fun morning of Kyle and Cecilia playing in the sand and swimming, Kate stayed in the hotel to be with Maeve while the others went to the adjacent Yacht Club to eat at Ale & Compass Lunch. Brigid was doing laundry at the hotel since they had already been gone a week and while she was folding it, she tripped over the sheet on the floor and bent her toes back which led to a fractured foot (that we didn't realize yet). 

We said goodbye to Marcia, Kaelyn and Audrey and Ed and Brigid brought them to the airport. 

Brigid's foot got worse as the day progressed so she brought her cane to dinner at Disney Springs (this place is like a city inside of Disney which required going through a security checkpoint to enter) but it really wasn’t improving. The Boathouse at Disney Springs is what Grandpa Steve and Grandma Jan really wanted to go to but Maeve still wasn’t feeling that well. We pushed her to go but she really couldn’t eat much. We felt so bad for her. So we were all exhausted but she said she’d try steak. The wait for food was typical- about an hour - but they didn’t cook Maeve’s steak right 2 different times which was frustrating and she needed to leave the table several times. So we quickly finished the dinner there and on the way out while Eric was helping Ed and Brigid walk the long way back to the car with the barf bags in hand, Maeve threw up as we were approaching the elevators. It was not an enjoyable time unfortunately because it looked like a great place to be.

On Wednesday, what should’ve been our day at Animal Kingdom, Maeve was up in the morning still throwing up and Brigid couldn’t walk. Maeve was so disappointed as Animal Kingdom was what she was looking forward to the most. We just had to figure out a way to make it all happen so as we were thinking up different plans Brigid thought we should ask Bethany (our trip planner with Mouse Counselors) if there was a way to switch our park days. Kate thought it would be impossible but she sent us down to guest relations. Brigid led with her foot issue and explained the situation and we said we had a sick kid and were just looking for a way to switch Animal Kingdom to Friday so hopefully Maeve would feel better and they agreed! Before we knew it, they had asked if they could call the paramedics to look at her foot. They wrapped it and let her have a wheelchair for the remainder of the time. She spent the rest of the day icing her foot and Maeve rested again. We were so thankful to the wonderful staff at the Beach Club - that resort and the workers there really made the trip better for us.

Since our plans changed considerably for this day, Steve really wanted to take us back to Disney Springs for a 20 minute ride on the amphicar at the Boat House.  The boys all made a morning of it and went back to Disney Springs.  Eric enjoyed shopping while Steve waited the 1 hour + for our turn for the ride in the amphicar.  Steve was so happy that Eric still had the prior nights dinner receipt in his wallet for a discount on the ride!  Kyle really enjoyed this ride in the vehicle that can both drive on land, as well as, drive in water.  There are very few of these left in the world, and the Boathouse restaurant has about 5 of them.  

By the afternoon, Maeve was feeling well enough to go down the big and small water slide a few times and Kyle and Cecilia went on it probably 100 times. They loved it. We also ran into Cecilia’s classmate by the pool, Hudson, and Eric ran into one of the people he went to high school with.  It was a much needed relaxing day at the resort. We picked up dinner at the Yacht Club marketplace with good sandwiches and salads and ate in the room.

Thankfully by Thu, 3/24, Maeve was feeling better. Kate was the most excited for the day at Epcot. We decided after the hustle and bustle of working the Genie + app at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios and paying $15/ person/ day to skip ahead on about 3 lines, we would just take our time getting to Epcot shortly before it opened to the public. It was right by our hotel which was perfect because it was forecasted to rain some of the day. We started out in Norway with early access to Frozen Ever After and didn’t have to wait long.

Then Kate started to get some treats from all over the world. We started with Lefse in Norway. The we did as planned and headed to Soarin around the world and since Kyle couldn’t ride, Brigid and Ed took him to the Seabase aquarium and the Seas with Nemo and friends ride. We also stopped to admire a lot of the flowers and topiary’s at the Flower and Garden show and take pictures with the photographers.

It started to pour (it continued to do this throughout the day in short bursts) and Maeve was not excited about wearing the poncho or her rain coat so she was pouting about that while getting wet. We decided to head back into the area with Soarin and took a boat tour after the kids ate sandwiches for lunch. It actually was a really good ride, and very informative about what Disney does to partner with Agriculture and the government on new farming and growing techniques. We really enjoyed it. 

After that ride, we went to the different parts of the worlds and collected the stickers for the kids, ate fish and chips and crepes (extremely long wait), and got some beer from Germany. It was so good! The mobile ordering for food was pretty slick too. 

After that we started to wander around and Ed and Brigid went to The American show and we went to Beauty and the Beast live. We were hoping that Kyle would take a nap but he wasn’t going to do that and then it just downpoured for a few minutes. Maeve hated being wet, Kyle was tired and hungry, so Kate went back with Kyle to the hotel so he could rest. He didn’t nap but think he just needed more food - he had some yogurt and snacks that Jan and Steve packed and brought over from their house in FL - and some iPad time and seemed to feel much better. 

While Kate was back at the hotel, Maeve sought out visiting Anna and Elsa as she was vey interested in doing this. To her credit, she was able to find both Anna and Elsa for some pics that were socially distanced without autographs due to the ongoing pandemic. Cecilia was sad that some of her stickers from her Passport were missing so Kate picked some of them up again on her way back to Epcot a few hours later for dinner. Ed and Brigid also came back to rest from pushing the (free) wheelchair around and then we all headed back to dinner at Via Napoli. Kyle was crazy at dinner but he really enjoyed it. Poor Maeve still couldn’t eat much but she was a trooper and we got some good wine, pizza, meat and cheese, and Eric got tiramisu. It was at dinner that Cecilia pointed out to Steve that his all important Magic Band was missing which granted access to the parks.  We looked for it at the restaurant and tried to re-trace our steps, unsuccessfully.  He was able to deactivate the Magic Band in the Disney app and report it as lost.  Cecilia never seems to miss a beat.  Fortunately the Magic Band was found, turned into Lost and Found and Steve was able to go a few days later back to Disney Springs yet again and pick up his lost Magic Band. 

Afterwards, Eric and Jan and Steve and Ed took the kids back to shower and get ready for bed then Kate and Brigid walked around to see Mexico and go on the Three Cabelleros ride - and the area looked familiar in that Brigid thinks that’s where they ate dinner in 1987 with Grandma Garvey around Thanksgiving week when they were last at Disney.

Then Kate walked Brigid back after taking some pictures around the park and Eric and Kate went back to the harmonious fireworks show. it was so nice that our hotel was only a 5 minute walk so the kids actually each were up late different nights to watch the fireworks at 9pm from our bedroom window.  Epcot was Kate and Eric's favorite park, but it wasn't as much for the kids.

So the last day, Fri 3/25, was supposed to be a resort day but since we changed to Animal Kingdom, we didn’t want to miss our character breakfast that was so hard to get into so we cancelled Raglan Road dinner at Disney Springs. Disney Springs was busy and a long walk and was just an Irish Pub so we thought we would have a leisurely morning at the hotel and then head via the Skyliner gondola ride to Riviera for our only character breakfast at Topolino's Breakfast @ 11:00am. It was really good food and a great time to see another resort, see Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy, and all of Disney had the most allergy-friendly accommodations that Kyle got his own basket of cookies and pastries that he could eat.

After lunch, we finally got to ANIMAL KINGDOM. We could’ve spent longer there but we got in all of the highlights. We walked in and the bird show was going on at the tree of life and that was really cool to see the Macaw fly overhead. 

We went to Dinoland first for Kyle and rode the Triceretops that are similar to a Dumbo ride. The kids were excited to do a magic shot and really got into all the picture taking. The girls wanted to play all the carnival games there but they were expensive and we knew we had a limited time so we talked them out of that and instead they played in the fossil area for a few minutes.

We then headed to Asia where we saw the bats, tiger (Kyle’s favorite) and monkeys.

Onward to the Safari which is what Kate and Maeve were looking forward to most in the trip. We only had to wait about 30 minutes to go on the Kilimanjaro Safari. It was so worth it. We got up close to a Rhino that was within inches of Eric and Kyle and we saw wildebeast, a lion, giraffes, hippos, and more. It was awesome. Kyle and Maeve say that is their favorite (Cecilia’s is Seven Dwarfs and Space Mountain ;))

When we got done with the Safari, we were near the Lion King show and we knew we wanted to catch the last show of the day so we hung out for about 30 minutes until we got wheelchair access for Brigid and front row views. After Brigid turned off her flash, she got lots of great videos and pictures of the show. It’s Kate's favorite Disney movie so we loved it. The fire dancer was a big hit with the kids too. 

After walking through Pandora’s area and taking more pictures, we got some food at Santu Canteen which was delicious Asian bao buns with cheeseburger. We really lucked out with some great food which was unexpected as we didn’t remember the food being so good last time. They we ended near the Tree of Life and saw the Kangaroos near there and went into some shops before heading back to the hotel.

On the last day, the kids had to go to the arcade again! They loved that place and we walked over around The Boardwalk. It really did feel like you were in the East Coast. While Disney isn’t at the top of our list to go back to, we’d definitely recommend that hotel to others.  It was a blessing to have the help of our parents and it was fun for them to be able to spend time with the Grandkids. We also enjoyed seeing Audrey, Kaelyn and Marcia.

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Maeve - Ski Racing & Cecilia lessons

 Maeve had an enjoyable first year of ski racing with Team Gilboa at Hyland Hills. She went twice a week and participated in 4 races this winter. Eric enjoyed bringing her to the slopes and skiing with her on occasion too. Cecilia also had some lessons and they both really loved getting outside and doing something that Dad loves too.