Magic Kingdom – Part 4

After the parade the heat and crowds were really picking up so it was perfect that we had a 4 o’clock appointment.

DJ was going to get her first haircut at Disney’s Magic Kingdom!  There is a small barber shop on Main Street that specializes in first hair cuts.  I couldn’t think of a better place to get a first hair cut and the hair in front was starting to hang in her eyes.

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All done and she earned her ears!

image_10Since we were up front, we took a bit of time to take a few more pictures and relax and let her run around.  There was another show coming up at Cinderella’s castle that we were going to see next.

image_11I was so happy to have my mom and sister come with us.  My mom said it was so much fun and she remembered trips to Disney with us as kids with our grandparents coming along.

The group in front of the castle.

Magic Kingdom – Part 3

After lunch we went over to the ride that I remember the most, It’s a Small World.  DJ was really excited about getting on a boat.   The line for this wasn’t too terrible but probably one of the longest we went through that day.

image_3And after this ride, we had just enough time to hit up Dumbo!  DJ has a stuffed animal Dumbo and has watched the movie several times.  I was so excited for her to ride this one because she actually knew the character and got the idea of “flying”.  Again, the line wasn’t long.  It was fun that J and I got to go with her and we all fit to ride together and my mom and sister stayed behind so they could take our picture.

image_5 image_6We loved it and she was very sad when the ride was over.  I think this was the first ride that she didn’t want to get off of and wanted to ride again.  Look at that smile!

Next up was a 3:00 Celebrate It parade.

This parade was fantastic and she loved all of the characters that came up to give her high fives.  She sat in the stroller and just watched and waved.  I wish I got better video of how excited she was jumping up and down to see this parade!

image_7As you can see by this point the hot Florida sun was starting to get to us but we had something special planned for 4 o’clock!

Magic Kingdom – Part 2

Since it was 10 am and we had three major rides done, we wanted to get one more big one out of the way early on.  We stopped in line for the Winnie the Pooh ride.  This one has a neat interactive line.  It was helpful but DJ was already on the point of a meltdown and she couldn’t really enjoy the fun activities they had set up for the kids.  Little games were throughout the line like gophers popping up from the ground and honey streaming down a screen that you could draw “art” in.  Sadly, this was probably our most disappointing ride of the day.  The ride itself moved very quickly and was a big jerky.  There were no songs that you could enjoy through the ride and just a lot of flashy stuff as you went by.  It was a very short ride and we weren’t really disappointed to get off.

Right after riding Little Mermaid

Next, we headed over to use our Fast Pass on Peter Pan.  This ride books up quickly so we were happy to be able to walk right on.  Since GiGi and AL didn’t have a Fast Pass they found some shade and waited.   The ride went pretty fast but was really cute.  Flying on a boat and the entire ride you are looking down at Neverland and the various scenes.  DJ hasn’t seen Peter Pan so she’d didn’t really get it.

After that ride, we decided it was about time for lunch so we made the decision to try to head the “Be our Guest” restaurant at the Beast’s castle.  They said it was going to be a 40 minute on the bridge.  I loaded DJ up in the Ergo carrier and she finally put her head down and fell asleep.  The wait only ended up being about 25 minutes before we were placing our order.

Waiting on the bridge for lunch for Be Our Guest

Magic Kingdom – Part 1

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We arrived at the park before it opened. After getting a locker we waiting for the welcome show at the train station. DJ was already a bit tired and cranky (asking for her pacifier) but once the singing and dancing started she got into it. She was jumping up and down when she heard the whistle of the steam train coming and even more excited when she saw all the characters riding and waving from the train. After a countdown from ten Mickey opened the park. As we went to go in DJ didn’t want to go and instead was asking to stay with Micky.

Once we distracted her enough to get into the park we booked it over to fantasyland. We saw that Peter Pan and Its a Small World was having a delayed opening for the day so we grabbed fast passes for Peter Pan. Then we continued on to our first attraction, Enchanted Stories with Belle.

The line was already 20 minutes but we jumped in and stood our place outside Maurice’s house. DJ didn’t really like the idea of standing in the line which was outside the house in the heat and sun. As we wrangled her we finally made our way into the house. In the first room we saw belongings of Belle and Maurice. Then we were welcomed through a magical mirror into the other house. Each kid played a part in a play for Belle and DJ was reluctant but joined in holding her dancing spoon and fork sign.

After a great experience at Belle we met up with Gigi and AL. We all jumped on and rode the horses on the carousel.
After that we headed over to the little mermaid ride. It was a other basically nonexistent line and the ride was wonderful. I was amazed that it was barely 10 am and we had three rides done.

Part two later!

Trip to Charlotte

In November I was able to take another work trip, this time to Charlotte.  Unfortunately, we were not staying downtown so I didn’t get to see much of the city besides a nice mall in the area.

As part of the convening, we did a cooking demonstration at a local restaurant.  We got to try some great dishes!

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Holiday Plans

I am so sad we won’t be hosting thanksgiving dinner at our house this year. We chose not to invite everyone over because 8 adults and 7 not so little kids would just be tight in our house. The kids need room to run around and activities to do. We just aren’t set up as a kid friendly house right now.

If I were to be able to host Thanksgiving, there is no doubt I would be using these bad boys. Printable thanksgiving party decor. The suite includes menu cards, kids stuff, place cards, etc. All in some great green and orange designs. I’m so sad.

However, this will be our first Christmas in our new house. We are thinking of hosting J’s family over for Christmas dinner and the family gift exchange. The kids always get enough gifts during the family gift exchange that it keeps them busy for a few hours. This would give us (ok really, me) the perfect opportunity to use some free printable Christmas decor!

I have already scouted out some of the great gift tags etc that West Elm has posted. Who knew they posted cool stuff like this on their website. I can’t wait to start planning a menu and everything else! Merry Christmas!

New Orleans

This past week I was lucky to travel on another work trip to a location I had never been before. J has been here before but I hadn’t. I still wish we could have gone together but he had to stay home with school and work.

The meeting took place at the Hotel Monteleon. It was about a block off of Bourbon Street on a much quieter side street with lots of antique shops. The hotel was beautiful and is known for its moving carousel bar in the lobby. We arrived around 3 pm with some time to explore and the hotel was perfectly located for walking around.

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One of the first places I walked with one of my co-workers was Cafe du Monde. Since it was a Monday afternoon, we easily got a table and enjoyed some beignets and some hot chocolate.

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It was amazing how simple and small the restaurant was. The wait staff simple went down a cafeteria style line and gathered the food to be served.

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I really enjoyed walking around New Orleans. It was a very easy city to navigate and during the day I felt very safe. I ventured into some of the shops on canal street and enjoyed the scenery there.

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After a long day of meetings, I was also really lucky to enjoy a wonderful dinner hosted by the event at Broussards. It was a wonderful restaurant and we enjoyed many of the dishes shared at the table.

Here are some pictures from the restaurants website:

Broussards New Orleans Restaurant French Quarter Bourbon street

Broussards New Orleans Restaurant

New Orleans, Broussards, Restaurant

Here are some of the dishes we tried at the table:

Hot Appetizers:
FLASH-FRIED CALAMARI
In a Creole tomato & olive relish with freshly ground black pepper

CRABMEAT BROUSSARD
Crabmeat Baked in Artichoke-Brie Béchamel, Surrounded by Herbsaint Spinach

ESCARGOT PERSILLADE
Baked Burgundy snail and shitake mushrooms in garlic parsley butter, with a hint of Herbsaint demi glace, set in a Phillo cup shell

Soups:
TRIO OF SOUPS
Demi-Tasse of Shrimp Bisque, Gumbo and Turtle Soup

My entree was a special of the evening but it was a Salmon with crab meat and cous cous.

For desert we tried the following:
Crepes Broussard
Crepes Rolled with a Cream Cheese, Brandy Pecan Stuffing and Served in a Strawberry Sauce

Bananas Foster
Bananas Sauteed in Rum, Brown Sugar, Butter and Cinnamon. Served over Vanilla Ice Cream.

Cranberry Almond & Raisin Diplomat Pudding
Served with Bananas Foster Sauce

It was a wonderful trip!

Seattle Washington

As I mentioned in this post, I was able to go to Seattle!

I went out to Seattle for a business trip and took a few extra days to explore the city. At the end of July it was the perfect weather, 70-80 degrees in the early morning and getting up to 80-90 during the day in the sun. It was the first time I had really traveled alone and for the first day or so it was nice. After a while though I was longing for some company.

I stayed in a great little hotel that was in the perfect location downtown. Called The Moore Hotel, it was about 2 blocks from the market, very close to Macy’s and other shopping downtown, and very close to the shuttle that takes you from downtown over to the space needle.

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The room was a good size, updated furniture, and was clean. Since the weather was nice, I was happy to see that the windows opened! They even left me a little towel animal in the morning after making up the room.

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I could see Macy’s from my window. Luckily they were having a great sale that week so I did plenty of shopping!

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The bathroom was so cute with a little clawfoot tub!

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The first day I spent exploring the city on my own. First I went up to the market and was surprised to see that by 8 am, things were still slowly opening. It was nice to quietly walk around though enjoying the cool weather and a warm cup of Starbucks hot chocolate.

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As you can see there are usually crowds of people at this fish booth but this early in the morning there was no one there. This is the one that is famous for “throwing” fish.

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I bought a great peach and found the public seating area that overlooked the water and sat and enjoyed my breakfast.

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For lunch, I looked up some reviews and decided to try this place called Matt’s at the Market. It was a little hard to find, but once I did I was very pleasantly surprised. They had a great lunch menu and I opted for a soup and salad combo for about $11.

The restaurant is actually on the second floor of this building with all the corner windows overlooking the market. If you have trouble finding the restaurant, the best thing to do is to go to the information booth at this corner and ask for directions. There is a small set of stairs opposite the information booth, if you go up those stairs you will start to see signs for Matt’s and you will easily find the restaurant.

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There was a long wait (about 45 minutes) but since I was alone I was able to grab a seat at the bar. Most of the 20 or so tables in the restaurant are along these windows that overlook the market.

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That afternoon, I found a nice little park on the edge of the market and on the water and relaxed there for a while:

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For dinner, at the recommendation of the front desk, I ate here (Momma’s Mexican Kitchen)

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It was good but not great.

The next day I spent just walking around downtown since there wasn’t much else to see or do at the market.

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After my two days by myself in downtown Seattle, I headed over to the space needle and checked into my hotel near there for my work meetings.

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