Saturday, June 28, 2008

Summer Fun

Hi folks; sorry that I have been negligent in my blogging responsibilities but it is for good reason. We have had lots of family visiting. One of Marc's Aunt's and a few cousins were here with their one year old son, Max this past Tuesday for a BBQ. We had a lovely time catching up and here is the best group shot that we could get to prove it. My son, Justin obviously loves his fiancee, Judy very much as we could not get a pic without a kiss in it :)

My nephew, Sam is here now. I blogged about him recently here. All of my kiddos love Sam but Katie being the very demonstrative girl that she is shows her affection for him whenever she can. She looks at him with googley eyes and coyly makes her mouth the silliest shape as she utters his name and looks for his attention. He is forming a nice bond with Ethan as well and the bond that he shares with Justin has always been very special as Sam is an only child just as Justin was for the first 20 years of his life. They are almost 10 years apart but seem more like brothers when they are together rather than cousins. Check out this cute pic of the cousins both surfing the net on their Macbooks

Sam arrived here last Wednesday and we have been busy ever since. Actually, we are always busy but his arrival ushered a higher level of craziness :) On Wednesday evening we celebrated his 14th birthday. As you can see by the pics, Katie looks very happy to be celebrating with him.

Thursday, I had to go to work and so the bigs stayed with the littles. They played and went swimming until I arrived home and took over after lunch as I sent them to play a round of mini golf. When they got home Sam was a bit under the weather and by the time that we finished dinner with my folks that evening he was VERY under the weather. We had already made a plan to take Sam to Walt Disney World for his birthday so I pulled out my arsenal of remedies and layed them all on him. He went to bed with a fever, sore throat and general malaise and he woke up almost!! We were off to the Happiest Place on Earth (That is unless you are Marc who is not really that into Disney) This is a trait that he shares with my ex-husband and my question is Who does not like Disney? and how do I, a Disney enthusiast, keep marrying such men? Yes, I realize that Marc has many wonderful traits....I am just being sarcastic..sheesh!! Ok, I digress; back to my story...

Well, we tore Disney up!! We divided and conquered the Magic Kingdom. I knew that gridlock would be the end result if the six of us stayed together so we sent Justin and Sam on their merry way while The Dynamic Duo were escorted around the park by us. We hit as much stuff as we could with the DD. The one huge impediment to making greater headway in the park was the fact that if one was not using the restroom then the other one was. It was a bit wearing but I am happy to report that they both did great in the staying clean and dry department; even when waiting in hour long lines. We accomplished a great deal before trying to find a cool place to nap them in their stroller.

We found this lovely little hideaway in the enchanted grove area of fantasyland that was surrounded by stone walls and ceiling. It was actually cool in there and was quite an oasis from the searing Florida Summer heat. This little area was an alcove that led to a location for employees to enter and exit a back office area. One of the manager's actually told us that we had found the best kept secret in the Magic Kingdom. As our children slept they unknowingly garnered huge amounts of attention as employees walked back and forth past them. The usual question of "are they twins?" was the most common and usually we responded with a "no, they are almost 3 months apart" over and over which usually requires further explanation, if we so choose to give it. It was enough to almost make me want to lie and say "yes, they are twins." to just be done with it.

After about an hour there, we walked to meet up with the big guys over by Space Mountain so that Marc and Sam could ride. Following that, we split up again for dinner and more rides before meeting to wait for the parade down Main Street. We were completely bummed that after keeping the "by then, gruesome twosome" entertained for 90 minutes in our prime viewing position, that the parade was called on account of inclement weather just off in the distance. They made this call at start time instead of 45 minutes before when the weather began rearing it's ugly head. It never worsened and also never got that close to us. The cynic in me thinks that decision to wait was based on loss of potential revenue from all the thousands of people that were waiting (drinks, ice cream, other food, souvenirs, etc.) I was pointing that out and somehow my anti-Disney hubster took Disney's side and told me I was being ridiculous. Now why did he decide then to take their side I will never know!

Now it was 9:15 PM and we began our trek with the family to get back to our car and then find our hotel. Once we actually arrived at the hotel it was after 10:00 pm and what we found was not pleasant. What should have been a very nice hotel was a dump and that is a nice way to describe it!! I demanded a new room for us. Justin's and Sam's room was somewhat passable so they stayed put. By the time the children got into bed after their shower (no bath in that hotel .... too yucky) it was 11:30 pm and they passed out. I slept with Katie (not really as she hogged the bed ;-) and Marc slept with Ethan as the beds were too high and I was concerned that somebody would fall out of bed. We woke up bright and early to head home and now we are recouping our strength before the evening's activities.

Sam leaves to go home tomorrow and it has been wonderful being with him. We do not get to see him enough at all as my sister and her family live in Northern Virginia but we definitely make the most of the moments that we have together.

Here are a few more pics from the rest of our time at "Mickey's house" as Katie Starr refers to it.

Riding the tram into the park to start our marathon Disney Day

The next three shots are both kiddos with a birds eye view of the show at Cinderella's castle

Don't ya just love the hand placement on Marc's head?

Ethan looking a little solemn before riding the teacups but his sister looks excited

Now he is getting the swing of it!

Say Cheese!

My man has still got it Look at Sam go; great knee action!
Riding in the "It's a small world" ride How much longer till the parade starts...NOT!!

That's all folks!!


Candy said...

Sounds like you all had a great time. I don't know how you did it in this heat, but you go girl! Happy Belated Birthday, Sam.

Tammie said...

Sounds like a wonderful vacation with Sam! It really is nice that you have such a great relationship with him. And how cool that he & Justin are so close also!

Not a Disney man!? Marc!? Wow. Who'd a thunk!? I mean here you have a man who is the very definition of fun, & he doesn't enjoy Disney. Go figure.

Katie Starr & Ethan look like they had fun visiting Mickey's house. As always the pics are great.

Carol and Taylor said...

OMG. You are truly much more hardcore than us, to actually brave Disney in June with 2 toddlers. Plus, to stay there so long. We usually don't last more than a few hours, leave for naps, and return for dinner after the heat of the day.

Despite your losing hotel roulette so glad you had a magical day.

Jane said...

I have the greatest sister in the world don't I! Lori, Marc, Justin, Katie and my mister delicious Ethan...thanks for loving Sam so much! I can't wait for him to come home today, but I am so glad he shared some special time with you all. Love, Missy Lil Sissy

Tamara said...

It took Jim a long time to become half the Disney nut that I am. I'm glad you had a good time- it sounds as if the Dynamic Duo had a great time.
My "twins" love Small World and we never miss it.

Vivian M said...

What wonderful pictures...and what fun! I was totally shocked to find out Marc in not that into Disney, who would have thought?
Glad Sam had a great visit!

Kelley said...

It looks like you're having all kinds of fun!

I can identify with you as to Marc not being a Disney man. Tom is very much like that. He likes Epcot, and that's it.

We just got home from a week at Disney!

captain corky said...

Who is that good looking guy holding holding Max and sitting next to Uncle Howard?

Oh wait... That's me. ;)

It was really nice visiting with you guys.

Beverly said...

her first crush how sweet.