Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Disney World 2010 - Day 3

Day 3 was Sunday and we decided to make it a day of rest. We figured out where the temple was, and there was a chapel right across the street. Church started at 11, we got there at about 10:15. So, we decided to wander around the neighborhood and see what we could see. It happened to be a VERY nice part of town. Right next to a lake. Big, fancy houses. We found one with a for sale sign - with a .com of the address. So, just for fun, we looked it up. It was going for $8,000,000. Yikes! There was another house right down the street that looked like a castle. With a draw bridge and everything. Crazy!

Anyway, we attended Sacrament Meeting, and then spent some time on the temple grounds. It was in the 50s and the wind was blowing. A little chilly for us. There was another family there from Wisconsin. They thought the weather was perfect. All about perspective I guess.

Zander wanted to take pictures, so a lot of these are his.

My sweet kiddos

We took the rest of the day to catch up on sleep and get ready for the rest of the week. It was nice to have a bit of a break.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Disney World 2010 - Day 2

Our original plan had been to wake up early and get to the parks as soon as they opened. However, with our late arrival, those plans changed. We slept in a bit, went to breakfast, and made a stop at the grocery store to get essentials for the week. Then we headed to Disney's Animal Kingdom. It was raining pretty hard that day, so crowds were fairly light. Nice for us.

The first "ride" we went on was the Safari ride. They took us all around to look at the animals. It was pretty fun.

Then we walked around on some of the exploration trails to see even more animals.

There was a petting zoo

There was a building where they showed some of the animals and how they cared for them.

And we saw FLICK from Bug's Life - ironically, the kids watched this movie on the airplane the day before. So they knew who he was. Ainzlee wouldn't have anything to do with him.

The "centerpiece" of the animal kingdom is the "Tree of Life". It has animals carved into it. It's pretty neat.

Brandon took Zander and Ady on the raft ride. They got wet, but the LOVED it.

We watched the show "Flights of Wonder" - lots of really neat birds.

Zander and Brandon went on a super fast roller coaster. Zander cried at the end and said he wouldn't do that again.

Ady and I took some pictures while we waited. Ainzlee slept.

Then we went to Dinoland

Ainzlee slept - the other kids played in the "boneyard" where they got to dig for dinosaur bones

Then we rode on a triceratops

And saw Goofy and Pluto. Ainzlee was scared.

We were pretty worn out by then and decided to leave and have some dinner. Then we headed to Hollywood Studios to see what we could see.

They had an incredible lights display - with lights that "danced" along to the music. Really neat!

We went on a few rides - like the "Great Movie Ride" where you get to be "in" the movies. I thought it was pretty neat. There was a gun fight and an explosion - all three kids cried at that. We also saw a Little Mermaid show. Very well done.
And we met Lightning McQueen and Mater.

It was a pretty fun day. We really enjoyed it!

Disney World 2010 - Day One - Getting there

For Christmas this year, Brandon's parents gave the whole family a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida. We have been looking forward to this for a very long time and were very excited to go. We left Friday, December 17. Zander was supposed to have school that day, but since our flight was supposed to leave at 11:30, we didn't have him go that day. So, he missed out on his little Christmas concert and party.
However, as the day progressed, we realized that maybe he should have gone to school for part of the day anyway. It would have been better than spending the day at the airport.
We woke up to FOG that morning - something that's rather rare for Phoenix. And apparently, we weren't the only ones to have it. Most of the West Coast was covered in fog too, so many of the flights were delayed - including ours.
We got to the airport a little after 9am. When we checked in, we were told that they couldn't print our boarding passes, and we would have to check in at the gate to get them. Strange...
We made it to the gate and found out why. Our flight was overbooked and they were trying to move people around so that we would be able to sit together. Nice. Were were scheduled to be on the same flight as Brandon's sister and her family, but his parents were taking a later flight. Not only was our flight overbooked, but it was about an hour and a half late because of the fog.
The airline worker finally figured out that they were overbooked by 4 seats and offered an incentive to anyone who was willing to take the next flight. Since Brandon happened to be right there when the announcement was made, and his parents were on the next flight anyway, we decided to take it. They gave us back the price of our tickets - plus $300 per person - in flight vouchers. We thought it was a pretty good deal. Especially since we were thinking of taking a trip to visit my family next summer.
So, we got our tickets for the next flight, which was supposed to leave at 2:40.
It didn't. It was after 4 when we finally boarded the plane. The kids - and the rest of us - did not enjoy sitting in the airport almost all day.
One nice thing was that Santa was visiting the airport that day. The kids got to have thier picture taken with him for free. Ainzlee didn't want to sit with him when Zander and Ady did - she was scared. But, with a bribe of a candy cane - he convinced her.

We were scheduled to have a layover in St. Louis. A very short one. As it turned out, with our new flight time, the plane we were scheduled to be on there would leave before were got there. We talked to the airline, and they made some calls. Somehow, they got approval for our pilot to fly pretty much as fast as the plane would go, and they had the other plane wait for us in St. Louis. We sat at the very front of the plane and RAN to the other one. We didn't really get to sit together, but we were happy that we didn't have to spend the night in St. Louis.
We arrived in Orlando just before midnight. After getting our bags and rental cars and finding our way, we arrived at our timeshare at about 1:30am. Needless to say, we were VERY tired and ready for bed.

I love to see the temple....

We went to the Mesa Temple to see the Christmas lights. In the past when we have gone, the crowds have been so thick that it's just all we can do to move. We rarely have time to really take in the spirit of the place. But this time, we timed it just right. It was the first Saturday of December, and we got there just as it was getting dark. There were very few people there, so we were able to take our time. Of course, we had to stop in the visitor's center to "hear Jesus talk" - the kids love that. And they had nativity sets from around the world on display - mommy loves that.
It was really a beautiful experience. I'm so happy we were able to share it as a family.