MIA

Hey guys, sorry I’ve been a little MIA here and there lately. busy, busy, busy, as usual. I’ve been learning a few new positions at work so I can be a cross-trained ninja accountant, and while that hasn’t led to me being at work any later than usual, I have opted to work through lunch to get some extra stuff done, which is usually some of my blogging time.

I’ve been trying to finally get into a good eating/working out habit. I get so pumped at the beginning of the week, tired after a few days, and then guilty over the weekend. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Then, my alarm on my cell phone has been acting weird and not going off some days – it’s happened 4 days in the past 2 weeks and at first, I just couldn’t figure it out. Then last night I found out it was how the alarm sound and phone sound interact with each other. Ugh. Anyway, it really messed up my “plan” for starting the T25 program last week…I did 2 days, then got thrown off when I didn’t wake up in the morning to do the 3rd day and didn’t have time after work…so I didn’t do the rest of the week. I did, however, run both days this weekend, since Aubrey granted me with 2 super long naps instead of her usual < 30 minutes. Then on Monday I restarted T25. I had the alarm issue on Tuesday, but I was determined, so I did it after work instead. Aubrey wasn’t too thrilled about it, but Trent thought it was the best thing ever! He did the entire thing with me. His form wasn’t perfect (haha) but he did burpees, punches, kicks, and lots of jumping. He even kept giving Aubrey snacks so she would be happy. He didn’t even break a sweat…nothing like an unlimited-energy toddler to make you feel old.

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Another thing that has kept me busy in the best way is we were planning our 10th wedding anniversary cruise! We have been thinking about a family cruise for some time (our family and friends came with us on our honeymoon cruise) and when we found out that Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas (the gigantic boat with a million things to do) was moving closer to us from Fort Lauderdale to Port Canaveral in Fall 2016 (just a month after our anniversary), we just HAD to book it. So once we knew the family was onboard with our plans (<—see what I did there), we had to made the decision of what room to pick. We are so indecisive with this stuff. Be frugal or splurge on your anniversary? Hmmm…we decided to slightly splurge ;) We’ve never worked with a travel agent before, just always did it ourselves, but since I’ve been working with Pirate n Princess Vacations over at my Disney site, The Best of Disney, I figured I’d try it. So far, it has been a great experience and some nice perks too, so I’ll keep y’all updated on our trip plans! This is going to be the longest wait E-V-E-R! In the meantime, I assign myself the task of reading a bunch of other people’s trip reports and looking at all the FOOD available for my consumption on the ship ;)

Aerial Oasis of the Seas

I’ve also been plagued by the perfectionism bug – my whole life really – I have this mindset that each post has to be so perfect and encompass anything and everything related to that topic. I really want to get over that because in many of the blogs I read, some of my favorite posts are the ones where they just talk about their recent happenings and stuff. I guess I just don’t feel like every day is so blog-worthy in the life of Lynn – but honestly, the other posts I read don’t always have a whole lot going on either, lol, so I’m going to try to take more photos and videos of the daily stuff to share with you. I also have a mile-long list of more in-depth posts I want to write/have drafts of that I want to work on actually hitting the publish button on. My post on getting empty Disney park photos was sitting in my draft box for almost a year when I finally finished it up and hit publish…and you guys loved it! I am so thankful and motivated to share more posts like that.

One of those posts that’s in the works is a series of posts from when we went to Seattle a few years ago. It was such a fun trip and we did so many adventures that I want to share them instead of letting those photos sit in a folder. So stay tuned for that, as well as the rest of our December WDW trip report, and a 7 and 8 month Aubrey update – she’s getting so big!

It’s almost Friday – yay! :)

 

Fun New Foods for Baby & Gerber #WinWinMoment Promotion

Aubrey’s eating progression has definitely been much different than Trent’s. At exactly 6 months, we gave Trent sweet potatoes and gave it to him every day, and then would introduce a new food every couple of weeks. He drank breastmilk for a year and then switched to milk. It was exactly out of the books. But now he hardly ever wants to eat anything and chocolate (vitamin) milk is his absolute favorite thing to consume. When we had started introducing solids to him, we tried to make a small variety of things (without going too crazy) but he was picky from the beginning, so we stopped trying so hard to give him things that were different. I’m sure one day, he’ll do a complete 180 and start eating everything in sight, but for now, it makes us wonder if/what we could do differently for Aubrey to set her up for good eating habits.

Since she is drinking formula, she is already different than Trent. There were a number of factors, but after about 4 months, we switched to formula. Then when 6 months came, we just weren’t prepared to make solid food for her as we did for Trent. I don’t know if it was 2nd baby syndrome, meaning a complete lack of time, or nervousness that she wouldn’t like it.

But one day a few weeks after she turned 6 months, I found myself at Target in the baby food aisle. When Trent first started eating solid foods, it was mostly us making it at home and then slowly finding store-bought snacks and additions to add to his diet. He loved Gerber Puff Snacks…the little lightly flavored rice puffs that dissolve super quickly. Since they are small and dissolve fast, I bought a container of them for Aubrey to try. The excitement of her trying something new pushed us to get started on giving her solid food.

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But this time, we understand that not everything needs to be homemade, and that good, nutritious & fun items can come from a store, too. Gerber has some great options out there and maybe us finding more varieties of foods to offer her will lead her to be interested in a more diverse range of foods. {Fingers crossed}

Since Gerber is having a fun promotion on their Gerber Graduates items, I stocked up and got several different snacks for Aubrey to try. They have so much to choose from…from snacks, to entire meals in trays!

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I really like how each package shows what stage that item is for (crawler vs. toddler) and the skills it helps promote (learning to pick up, learning to use a spoon, etc.), so I can see what items are best for Aubrey at the stage she is in.

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Not only did she enjoy the Puffs…

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…but she went CRAZY over the Cinnamon Maple lil’ Crunchies! As crazy as her hair is!

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She must have had 9 or 10 AFTER she had her bottle for the night. She couldn’t get enough of them!

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We may already have a more adventurous eater on our hands! :)

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Of course, Trent was interested in Aubrey getting her new snacks and wanted something too, and luckily, I also picked him up some Gerber Graduates Apple Cinnamon Cereal Bars.

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If you have a little one about to start trying new foods or a toddler that already enjoys Gerber Graduates, Gerber is holding a promotion that you will love!

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Simply buy 10 Gerber Graduates items in one shopping trip on one receipt, upload a photo of your receipt to gerberwinwin.com and they will send you a free personalized bib and NUK items to make mealtime fun!

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When I got home, I used my phone to take a photo of my receipt, then I uploaded it to gerberwinwin.com.

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After giving them my shipping information, I received the following confirmation.

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And that’s it! There are no shipping or handling charges. Simply purchase at least 10 Gerber Graduates items on one receipt and upload it to get your free set valued at $11.99.  If your child is already going to enjoy Gerber Graduates, you have nothing to lose – it’s a Win-Win!

 

I received free product/compensation as part of a promotional program with Gerber and MomSelect. All opinions are my own and honest. Thanks for reading!

 

December 2014 Walt Disney World Trip Report Day 3

Welcome to our December 2014 Walt Disney World Trip Report! Click here to see all the days & our video!

Another beautiful day today!

I was super excited for today. I had a Fastpass for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and I actually had a chance at riding it! I have either been pregnant or without a Fastpass on our trips since it opened, so I had yet to ride it, even though Brett has already been on it several times, including the day it opened during the 24 hour event last year.

We got a little bit of a late start and I was so close to not being able to make it – when we arrived at Magic Kingdom and saw that we may be able to make it to the ride, we hauled booty to get there. In fact, I was a couple of minutes outside of my FP+ window but I was able to still get on…I actually walked right on, no wait whatsoever.

I’m not sure if you can see me…I’m the one waving and smiling like a crazy person in the back.

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I went through the ride so fast that Brett was able to ride after me using his FP+. He took a photo of me video-taping him. If you watch our video from this trip, I got a good video of Brett while he was riding.

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Here are my thoughts on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: the detail is amazing, the ride is interesting and fun, but it is so very short. I wish it were longer. I wouldn’t wait very long to ride this, but that’s my opinion on every ride basically…20 minutes or less with or without a FastPass. Lynn doesn’t wait in lines. I foolishly waited 2 hours for Soarin’ when I was a Disney newbie back in the day and went with someone other than Brett and was horribly unprepared during Thanksgiving. Never again.

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We then went on the Liberty Square RiverBoat, since it wasn’t running the past couple of times we were there.

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Brett climbed the Swiss Family Treehouse, something neither of us had done in a long time, so he could get some interesting photos from a different viewpoint.

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After this, I don’t recall every little thing we did…sorry, it’s hard to write down every trip detail when wrangling 2 babies, but I know we just started meandering around the park – I don’t think we actually rode anything.

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To make up for it, here is a castle picture. :)

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And ducks. Because, well, baby chicks….

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On our way out, we finally grabbed a Mickey’s Kitchen Sink Sundae.

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We sat at the Tomorrowland Terrace to enjoy it.

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It’s rather small for the price, but we mostly just wanted the container it came in anyway.

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The ice cream distracted Trent so Aubrey could steal his dinosaur.

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We made our way out the park and back to the hotel. We had the WDW Magazine Dessert Party that night, so Epcot was on the agenda. I stayed at the hotel with Trent and Aubrey for naps and a little relaxation while Brett headed to Epcot early. He spotted some deer while on the monorail. :)

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I just love all the Christmas decorations.

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We met everyone at the UK Pavilion, right near the entrance of our party. It has been so fun meeting new Disney fans/writers/photographers that contribute to the WDW Magazine and it was wonderful of Carl (from Dad’s Guide to WDW and WDW Magazine) to organize this event for all of us to finally meet (well, those that haven’t already met) and enjoy some dessert and fireworks.

The view was amazing, and surprisingly, Aubrey slept through the entire thing and Trent wasn’t scared of the fireworks. He sat on my lap while the fireworks were going off and she slept in her stroller. In fact, she fell asleep before the party and didn’t wake up once, so no one got to meet her! :( Maybe next time.

The desserts were great and it was nice not having to stand around so early for a good viewing spot. Unfortunately, even with a bunch of photographers there, I didn’t see very many photos of the desserts or the party. We managed to snag a few, though.

Trent was ready for the show in his front row seat! He didn’t know we were about to watch fireworks lol

 

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That last photo was taken by Laurie’s (from Pics from the Wold of Disney) husband while we were all oblivious and watching the fireworks.

There was no shortage of fireworks photos!

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I really enjoyed how they added an extra Holiday segment to the end of Illuminations. It got so bright my video turned entirely white!

After Illuminations, we left Epcot, but not before grabbing some photos, of course.

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I wish we had the option to add our photo to these, we would totally do it!

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We took the monorail to the TTC, then hopped onto the resort monorail. Brett got off at Magic Kingdom, while I continued on to the Contemporary with the kids. MK was still open for a couple of hours, so Brett took the opportunity to take some photos.

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He actually met up with Judd from WDWOW and Andy from WDW Shutterbug, since they had the same idea after leaving the party at Epcot, and they walked around the park together taking photos.

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Have I mentioned how much love all the Christmas lights and decorations everywhere???!!

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Easter 2015

What a lovely weekend we had! Well, the weather wasn’t the best, but yesterday we had just enough sun peeking through to spend a majority of our Easter outside at Brett’s mom’s house.

On Saturday, our local park/HOA had their Easter Egg Hunt. Last year’s got rained out and this year was not looking so pretty either, so we skipped it. Good thing too, because it downpoured at 11:30ish, only 30 minutes after the hunt started at 11, so either we would have been in the middle of hunting or walking home and would have been soaked. Good call, us!

On Sunday, we started the day with GIANT SURPRISE EGGS!…and crazy hair (don’t care!)

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Trent loves those surprise egg videos on YouTube…one day we noticed him watching one and were absolutely shocked at how many views these videos have. So when we found these giant Easter eggs at Hobby Lobby and just knew he would love them. (similar here on Amazon)

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They were large enough to fit several big items, and then some smaller items in the smallest egg.

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What I love about this age is their appreciation for everything. He loved every single thing he got. Even later on at the family egg hunt, he gave a good gasp at every single thing inside the eggs. From chocolate, to trains, to little dinosaurs…he loved it all.

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Aubrey’s little Princess Easter basket was so cute.

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She got bathtub toys, rattles, a chirping bird rattle, and a stacking ring toy. I think she was happy, don’t you agree?

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They even posed for a photo for us!

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Then we headed off to Brett’s mom’s house, where we feasted on lots of deviled eggs…yum!

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Brett makes the best deviled eggs (above), but I also really loved the Buffalo and Blue Cheese eggs his sister made. Delish.

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We spent a majority of the time outside kicking balls into the Bunny Box…

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…and also bubbles. Lots of bubbles.

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Trent even played some football.

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After the meal, it was time to hunt some eggs.

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Trent gets his own area since the other kids are much older and require the eggs to be more hidden, but there was a rogue one of their eggs in his area with $1.60 in it – he just needs $99,998.40 more for college.

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It was a nice day and I hope you had a lovely Easter!

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Oh, and Nana found another sheep for Trent, so now he has 3 Sheepys to bring everywhere with him.

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In non-Easter news, I ordered the Focus T25 workout DVDs on Friday and they arrived just in time for me to start this morning.

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I got it on the recommendation of a coworker, who told me what she had been doing after I told her that her arms looked amazing. I was sold on the whole 25 minute thing. I woke up at 5am to do the 1st workout and some other tasks that are impossible when the kids are awake. I felt very accomplished this morning, but may need about 10 coffees and a 5-Hour Energy to prevent me from passing out at my desk.

I’ll keep you guys updated! ;)

 

December 2014 Walt Disney World Trip Report Day 2

Welcome to our December 2014 Walt Disney World Trip Report! Click here to see all the days & our video!

We had another beautiful day today! Up first on the agenda, Animal Kingdom and Kilimanjaro Safari!

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After our 2 week safari (hehe), we took the train to Rafiki’s Planet Watch so Trent could see his favorite thing in the entire park…the goats. Forget Expedition Everest, we travel 3.5 hours to see goats.

To make it easy, we parked the stroller and let Trent walk and I carried Aubrey in the Ergo Baby Carrier. It was quite nice! Shame on me for daydreaming about what it would be like to not have a stroller in the future, but then wondering where all of our stuff will go…

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Aubrey was only sporadically in a baby carrier up until this point…combine that with being on a loud train and she was wondering wtf was going on. Then Daddy took a photo of her confusion, which led to even more confusion. She’s such a cute confused little baby ;)

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{Insert funny relative joke about the next photo}

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On the way out, Chip n Dale were outside, so we jumped in the short line. Trent went right up and hugged both of them.

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He still stares blankly at us when it’s time for the photo, but at least he’s looking at us this time. I guess it could get kinda confusing when you have Daddy with a camera, Mommy with a video camera, the PhotoPass photographer with a camera, and the Cast Member just making silly attention-grabbing noises…I wouldn’t know where to look either.

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“Bye-bye!!”

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Trent fell asleep in the stroller at this point, so I fed Aubrey a bottle on a shaded bench near Expedition Everest while Brett rode it. Trent didn’t sleep long, so when he woke up, we went to DinoLand. Brett thought it would be fun to play some games to win some dinosaurs for Trent. We tried to be tricky and wait until we were the only ones playing, so that we’d be sure to get at least a small prize. He was pretty stoked about the first small dinosaur Brett won him.

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We were set up to score another stuffed animal on a different game, when someone joined in at the very last second and they won.

But Brett more than made up for it on the next two games…where he scored a small dinosaur and a large turtle! Trent wanted to hold all of them and wouldn’t let go.

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Not even for Goofy.

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We checked online to see if there were any lunch reservations in the park. Don’t even get me started on us and food lately. Brett is picky, but also wants to eat something different all the time…those two things don’t go together. If we don’t have a reservation anywhere, and Brett decides he doesn’t want chicken fingers, we wander around the park because he can’t decide what to eat. Plus, at this age for Aubrey, I prefer quick meals anyway, because she couldn’t sit up on her own and most sit-down places don’t allow strollers, meaning we have to hold her while we eat…no fun. And trust me, I’m not saying anything here I haven’t already personally picked on him about.

With all that said, Brett triumphed and we got a reservation at a new-to-us place, Tusker House.

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In the end, we all lost though. Usually a buffet is a good way to make sure Brett has something to eat. But here, everything had African spices or was prepared in a way he wouldn’t eat. So 90% of his $40 lunch came from the kids area of the buffet. Then, Aubrey wouldn’t let me sit, so I didn’t get to eat as much as I would have liked either and spent half the time walking her around the open buffet area. Good times.

At least they got to meet characters, right?

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Trent takes after his dad when it comes to food…he didn’t even want to eat chocolate cake. Maybe Aubrey will take after me…hopefully.

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I don’t mean to sound complain-y and negative, but I’m sure anyone with kids knows the highs and lows of a Disney vacation with kids, especially toddlers and babies, and I’m just keeping it real and maybe throwing a little humor into it, too.

Luckily, it was time to head back to the hotel for a mid-day break. Brett took the opportunity to spend some time at Magic Kingdom before the park closed for the Christmas Party. This is why we love staying at the Contemporary, he can just pop over there for some photos like it’s no big deal and then we get spoiled with photos like this…

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I think we were going to go to a park, but then decided to hang out at the hotel instead. It was the best decision because Trent had an absolute blast at the arcade!

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They have a fair amount of games for younger kids, so we loaded up a game card and just went around playing anything we thought he would enjoy.

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He loved Skeeball and this little bowling game the most. The bowling game was perfect for him…the ball would come down into the container and he would pick it up and throw it and with a little help from Brett, he did really well!

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He would jump up and say “Yay!” and then anxiously wait for the ball again.

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I absolutely loved the idea of having a game card – no money or tokens to put into the games and no tickets to carry around. Unfortunately, a new law in Florida since our trip has changed how this is done. :(

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We took a break from playing to watch Holiday Wishes from the viewing area on the 4th floor. OMG so amazing! The holiday fireworks are always more extravagant, but watching them from this perspective was definitely a highlight.

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After the show, we finished using up our game card back at the arcade and let Trent pick his prizes. I grabbed some ice cream from the Contempo Cafe before heading back to room for the night.

I know I say this all the time, but writing these trip reports forces me to reflect on our vacation as a whole. Before kids, we would have never stayed at the hotel and played in the arcade and I would have been mad having only been on one ride the entire day. But this was one of my favorite times…watching Trent get so excited playing the games and picking out prizes, then enjoying the fireworks comfortably sitting in an uncrowded terrace. It doesn’t seem like much, but I enjoyed every second. :)

 

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