Thursday, June 28, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 15

Friday, June 22nd, 2012
Today Uncle Tim took us to the neighborhood park and had the boys help him build a trebuchet (catapult).  First they tried to lift the 25lb dumb bell.  Then they used the lever part of the trebuchet to lift the 25kb dumb bell to see how much easier the lever made the job.  Then they launched tennis balls and water balloons to see the difference in distance they would go based on the items’ weight.  Finally we used our body weight to increase the force on the lever to see how far the items would go.   It was a BLAST!!!

After Uncle Tim and the boys dismantled the trebuchet we headed back to the house for lunch.  After lunch we opened presents from Uncle Tim and Aunt April.  We played with our new toys!!  Then Uncle Tim had to go to work for a couple hours.  Simon took a nap and the older boys played hard J  When Tim got home he made us super tender chicken to make fajitas.  We ate quickly as Aunt April’s mom got 6 free passes to the opening showing of Brave!!  Ian couldn’t decide if he wanted to go to the movie.  He decided to stay home and play.  Joey found out and decided to stay home with cousin Ian.  So Mommy, Aunt April, Alan and Eddie went to see BRAVE!!
 When we were taking the exit to hwy23 it was way backed up so we off roaded to take the next exit down.  We got to the theatre with time to spare J  They delayed the show about 10min for those people stuck in the traffic on hwy 23.  The showing was for employees of Wells Fargo Banking and their families.  Thank you Mrs. Zeoli for sharing them with us!!!  The movie is AWESOME and will be part of our family collection as soon as it comes out on DVD.  I think the soundtrack will be added to itunes soon as well.

Saturday, June 23rd, 2010
Today we had French toast for breakfast.   Then we played more with Ian and Simon!!  We had leftovers for lunch and played outside.  When Simon took his nap Uncle Tim got out the new sprinkler.  We played in that for a while.  Then it turned into a water WAR!!  We took baths/showers when we came inside.  Then we played some more J  When Simon woke up we had a snack while Uncle Tim showed us how to butterfly and brine a chicken.  We had the chicken and roasted red potatoes and zucchini for dinner.  Then we walked to the park to play. Uncle Tim showed Mommy some tricks on the big camera.  Then Mommy and Aunt April went to the store to get ice cream for night night snack.  It was yummy!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 14

Thursday, June 21st, 2012
Today we got up bright and early to a wonderful breakfast of pancakes, sausage, and eggs!!  Thanks Deanna!!  We were on the road by 8:30am headed to Ann Arbor, MI to visit Uncle Tim and Aunt April.  We had extra time to stop and smell the roses so to speak.  We wanted to get there a little after 5pm when they would be getting home from work.  There was a HUGE Ikea just north of Cincinnati.  They have 1hr of free childcare to shop!!!  One of many reasons to LOVE Ikea J  I found some fun stuff and picked the kids up after exactly 1hr.  We went out to the van to check in with Daddy.  Then we all went back in to shop together for an hour.  All I can say is it’s a good thing there isn’t an Ikea near by and that we don’t have much space in the van J

We divided a bag of Swedish Fish for lunch and got back on the road.  After about an hour of driving we stopped at Wendy’s for a real lunch.  The boys even got to get Frostys for dessert!! 

As we were getting closer to Ann Arbor I noticed we had 30min -1hr to spare.  We drove past a sign for a candle outlet so we took the exit at Dundee, MI.  The downtown has lots of unique shops that would be super fun without little hands.  We spent 30min in Swan Creek Candle Co. and I’m sure they were very happy to see us leave.  I bought some fun stuff including supply to pour your own candles in the empty jars from used up candles.  The lady checking us out asked if she could put matches in the bag for me.  I said that probably wouldn’t be a good idea, but thanks.  We were on our way with 30min of driving left.  When we got on I 94 I told the boys to put on shoes as we were only 15 min away.  They asked if that was a long time or not.  I said it was short and Joey pipes up, “Mom why can’t you just drive in super fast speed?”  Our total miles for the day 364 miles.  Total miles for the trip so far 3,916!!  I better get the oil changed while in Ann Arbor.

We got to meet Simon for the first time and warmed up to us very quickly.  He is 110% boy and fearless.  I think I will catch up on my missing work out tossing him in the air.  He likes to tell Aunt Amy the following phrases:  more, more; again, again; higher, higher!!  Ian and Alan hit it off and were chatting away over pizza as well.   

Pictures from our Michigan Travels are HERE.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 13

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
Today we drove  165  miles to the Mills family’s house in Frankfort, KY.  We took our time in the morning as it wasn’t far to their house and they had morning activities until 12:30pm.  We would have gotten there by 1pm according to the GPS.  Unfortunately, we had a meltdown, pit stop shopping fiasco, and traffic parked on the interstate for 20min.  We  arrived around 2:30pm for a LATE lunch.  The boys took right to playing and almost didn’t even care about having lunch!!

After lunch they went back to playing toy guns and war while Deanna and I got caught up with each other.  Steve grilled burgers, hot dogs, and brats for dinner.  Then we took a tour of the garden out back and Daniel built a camp fire to toast marshmellows.  There were TONS of fireflies for the boys to chase in the yard as well!!

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Today we caught up on some very needed sleep!!  I got up around 9:30am and Deanna had banana cake and chocolate donuts out on the table waiting for us J
We just relaxed and played until it was time to pick Michael up from Aerospace Camp at noon.  After we picked Michael up we took the short tour of downtown.  We got to see the old capitol building as well as the newer capitol building. 

Daniel asked to go to Tai Smile for lunch.  The boys explored Tai food.  Alan was happy when I told him he could get plain chicken and rice.  Eddie, on the other hand, was very upset and difficult about ordering.  He simply did NOT want to share food.  I told him we were going to order 2 different things and share with Eddie, Joey, and Mommy.  Deanna didn’t skip a beat as she stood up and took Eddie by the hand to have a talk outside while the rest of us finished ordering.  We had Cashew Chicken and Egg Noodle Bowl.  It was YUMMY!!  The best thing about Tai Smile is you choose the level of spiciness with the number of stars you want so we could just get 1 star and still feel our tongues J

After lunch we took the tour of Rebecca Ruth Candy Factory.  This is were Bourbon Balls were invented by Ruth Hanly Booe (1891-1973).  Her story is amazing as she was widowed at a very young age with a very young son named John.  She raised him herself and managed to own her own business in a time that was unheard of.  They opened the factory in 1919 a year BEFORE women could vote!!   The factory burned down and she was unable to borrow the $50 she needed to rebuild and replace equipment from the bank.  She got the money from the maid at the local hotel and paid her back in 2 months with interest!!  Not only was she a successful business woman, but a successful single mom.  John even made Eagle Scout!!  We got some yummy treats to enjoy on the rest of our trip J

After the tour we headed back to the house to relax and play some more.  Deanna made Chicken Parmesan for dinner and Daniel taught me how to play chess as part of his chess merit badge for Boy Scouts. 
After dinner Deanna called a family friend and took us to see some real winning race horses!!  First we saw the mama horses and the 3 week old colts.  Then Miss Kim and her crew pulled up to introduce us to Brass Hat winner of several state races over 2 million dollars.  He currently holds one of the track records at the Churchill Downs race track and LOVES to eat peppermints!!  Miss Kim let the boys feed him quite a few mints J
Then she took us to meet their FFA pig.  The boys were more excited to jump in the hay with her daughter and friend.  When we got back the boys went through the shower quick and played.  Steve gave me some more pointers on chess and we played a game before it was time for bed.  The boys were begging to stay longer J

Pictures are here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 12

Monday, June 18th, 2012

Today we had to say goodbye to the Tuckers L  We got on the road around 8:15am this morning headed to the Tennessee/Kentucky boarder.  We stopped at Sikes & Kohn outlet store between Troy and Montgomery.  Mommy got some new shoes!!  Then we hit Mulberry street in Montgomery in search of Mommy’s favorite coffee beans only to discover the shop isn’t there any more L  Most of the other shops are closed on Mondays so we headed to Prattville.  It was just after 1pm so we decided to have lunch at Chick fil A.  It was PACKED and ended up taking us an entire hour to get lunch!!  We hit Wal Mart in search of Alabama T-shirts for the boys, but they didn’t have any L  We got some snacks and new movies.  Then we drove past our old house and Madison’s old house.  After that we decided to check Target for the Alabama T-shirts on our way out of town.  No luck there either.  The gas at Raceway was only $3.04 so we topped off the tank and got back on the road.  Total time in Prattville, AL 2hr 15min and I felt homesick as that was one of my favorite places to live.

We decided to stop at the Alabaster, AL exit to check that Wal Mart for the shirts and they only had them in the Men’s department.  Alan really wanted shirt so we got a small incase we couldn’t find another one.  There as an Old Navy in the strip mall so we checked there and BINGO they had some in the Boy’s department on clearance!!  Eddie threw a fit because he didn’t want a red shirt.  I tried to explain that was the team color and that was the only choice.  He wanted an Alabama shirt, but he wanted it to be ORANGE!!  He still doesn’t understand the rivals of Alabama wear orange.  He threw a big temper tantrum  right in the store like he was 2yrs old.  I grabbed the shirts and paid as quickly as possible.  Then we went back to Wal Mart to return the other shirt and use the bathroom before we got  back on the road.  One more stop for the day just south of Huntsville for dinner.  We drove 517 miles and checked into the Hampton Inn with Daddy’s points around 10pm.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 11

Sunday, June 17th,  2012
Today we started the day with breakfast.  Then we went to 10am mass at our old church, St. Dominic’s.  After church we made a big spaghetti lunch and headed back to the beach at St. Andrew’s state park.  The parking lot was FULL so after driving around a bit, I dropped Chalane, the kids, and the gear off and found the last spot as far away as you could get from the boardwalk!!  We found a spot to plant the umbrella and enjoy another weather PERFECT day!! 

After a few hours we got cleaned up and drove to Captain Anderson’s pier to catch the Dolphin Cruise.  Joey was asleep on my lap in less than 5 min.  He missed out on feeding the sea gulls Cheetos.  They are so trained for the boat they flock right to you and practically grab the Cheetos out of your hand!!  The kids were very excited to see the sea gulls catch the Cheetos in mid air.  When we got to the deeper water I woke Joey up to move to the front of the boat and watch for the dolphins.  We were very lucky tonight and saw 3 different pods.  They were all quite large and we saw 50+ different dolphins playing in the water!!  After the cruise we headed back for showers, dinner and bed time.  Tomorrow will be the first big driving day without Daddy.  We are headed to Nashville, TN to spend the night in route to the big stop with friends.

Pictures can bee seen here.  

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 10

Saturday, June 16th, 2012
Today we met the Tuckers at St. Andrew’s State Park to spend the day at the Jetties Beach!!  It was PERFECT beach weather; sunny and 80 with a breeze!!  The kids had a BLAST with Madison and Alex.  After the beach we headed to Madison and Alex’s grandma’s house to take showers and get cleaned up for dinner.  Then we went to Bob Evan’s to have dinner.  After dinner we had some extra time so we went to play at the mall and see The Lorax at the cheap theatre.  Joey fell asleep shortly after the movie started.  We decided to get ice cream after the movie so we went to McDonald’s and discovered the ice cream machine was broken!!  The next stop was Burger King and you guessed it, the ice cream machine there was broken too L  Finally we got ice cream sundae’s at Dairy Queen!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 9

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Mommy was up all night sick so we took our time getting started today.  We got to Epcot around 10:30am and went straight to Soarin’.  Next, as promised, we went to the Captain EO show starring Michael Jackson!!  The boys wanted to buy the movie and couldn’t believe it was so short J  This attraction came to Epcot in 1986 and they brought it back shortly after Michael Jackson died.  One of the people working there told us this would be the last year it will be open L  So glad we were able to see it again.
Next we returned to the Land to ride the boat through Living With the Land through the greenhouses and fish farm.  The exit is right by the entrance for Soarin’ so we hit that right one more time too.

On our way to Mission: SPACE we stopped to watch the new Jamminatiors street show of janitors that stomp and drum on metal trash cans.  It was a great show!!  Alan, Eddie, and Daddy got in line for Mission:SPACE.  Joey and Mommy went to get ice cream, but Mommy’s phone rang.  Daddy was calling to make sure we were at the ride exit because Alan was going to have to ride ALONE!!  We got out of the ice cream line and booked it over to the ride exit.  There was a climbing play area for Joey to play on while Mommy anxiously waited for Alan to come through the exit.  I was a bit surprised that Daddy and Eddie came through first and even more surprised to see the grin on Alan’s face when he finally came through!! 
Joey couldn’t get the ice cream off his mind so we all got ice cream for lunch and headed over to the innoventions area for the kids to play.  Mommy’s tummy was still giving her problems so she found a place to sit.  Alan and Eddie did the Sum of All Thrills and they can’t wait to upload the code online to see the movie they made creating their own adventure!!  Mommy was ready for nap time at the hotel, but wanted to get pictures with the characters and the space ball first.  We waited in line at the Character Spot for 40min to meet Mickey, Pluto, Minnie, Donald, and Goofey!!  Then we went toward the park exit to get on last family shot before Mommy and Joey went back to the hotel.  Alan, Eddie, and Daddy made their way through the countries at the World Showcase.  They had quite an adventure getting back as the monorail closed on them and they had to take some extra buses!!  Mommy and Joey laid down at 5pm and ended up sleeping all night!!

Pictures are HERE.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 8

Sunday, June10th, 2012

Today we slept in today and didn’t make it to Hollywood Studios until 10:00am.  We went to the Star Wars Event Exclusive Darth “Mall” to check out the Star Wars specific events and merchandise.  They had all kinds of cool art and Star Wars stuff.  They also had a station where they took a picture of your face and put it on an 8X10 photo of the different characters.  When we got through the tent we headed to the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster staring Aero Smith.  Alan, Eddie, and Mommy went first while Daddy and Joey waited to use the parent swap.  Mommy found out this roller coaster goes upside down while we were waiting in line!!  Alan was totally freaking out as he claims he almost fell out the last time Daddy took him on it.  Mommy not only survived, but actually enjoyed the ride.  It was in the dark so I didn’t know when I was going upside down J  Daddy and Joey were waiting at the gift shop exit.  Alan and Mommy joined Joey for a snack while Daddy and Eddie took a turn.  Then we headed over to the Hollywood Hotel to ride the Tower of Terror.  Mommy’s tummy was really flipping by the end of the ride!!

It was time to head over to the Star Tours and discovered they already had all the spots for Jedi training filled for the whole day L  Shortly after that we learned ALL the fast passes you need to meet the actors that actually played the characters in the Star Wars movie were gone and very few stand bys actually get to meet the characters L  We got in line for Star Tours then headed to Pizza Planet for lunch.  The boys got cool kid meals in R2D2 buckets!!

After lunch we got to meet Phineas and Ferb!!  Then we hit Star Tours again.  Each time  you go through a different adventure so it’s like a whole new ride!!  We decided to get the Star Wars specific event 2012 T-Shirts for the whole family.  We hit the Toy Story Midway Mania.  Then we hooked up with Missy and her crew to ride the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.  Our crew was pretty cranky and their crew still needed lunch so we went our separate ways. 

When we got back to the hotel Daddy took the boys to the pool and  Mommy took a desperately needed nap.  When the boys got back Mommy headed over to Epcot to explore all ALONE!! Daddy took the boys downstairs for pizza and an early bedtime. 
I walked all the way around the lake through all the countries.  It was nice to not keep track of anyone and just stroll through shops without having kids asking me to buy stuff J  I got a HUGE hand twisted pretzel in Germany.  Missy got to the park just as I finished the loop so I met up with them in time for the laser light show, but after a seeing lighting a couple times I decided to head back to the hotel and try to go to bed early.  The Captain EO ride with Michael Jackson that I loved when I was 12 is back!!  It closes at 7pm so I missed it tonight and I don’t want to miss it tomorrow J

Pictures are HERE and HERE.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 7

Saturday, June9th, 2012
Today was early hours for Animal Kingdom so we were all up by 6:30am and headed to the first bus at 7:30am.  The park opened at 8am and we headed directly for Expedition Everest rollercoaster!!  Everyone was tall enough to ride this year J  Then we headed to Africa so we would  be close to check in for our Wild Africa Trek.  We had plenty of time to walk through the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail for a preview of what Alan and Mommy would be exploring on the Wild Africa Trek.  When we finished the Pangani Forest it was almost 9am our meeting time to check in at the Tusker House Restaurant.  Missy and Aidan got there shortly after we did and the moms and boys got all checked in and sent Daddy, Eddie and Joey on their way with the camera.  I can’t believe I was going to trust the included photo CD for the big excursion!!  We had to step on the scale and get harnessed up at the beginning of the trip.  Everyone had a souvenir stainless steel water bottle with a carabineer clip hooked into their vests.  We also to hooked up to ear pieces so we could hear Stephanie, Chapin and the other helper tour guides along the way.

We were on our way with tour guides Stephanie and Chapin through the Pangoni Forest.  Our first stop was to learn about the Hippos.  Another guide, Dan, took us to the edge 6 at a time while he called to them and threw lettuce to them so they would swim close to us!!  They are awesome and their teeth are HUGE too.  They have 2 front teeth that point straight out of their mouth.  They live and travel in what used to be called bloats, but are not known as pods.  They are relatives to whales and dolphins.  They can be under water for 5-8 minutes and live to be about 40years old.

After the hippos we clipped in the safety guides to cross 2 rope bridges directly above the crocodiles!!  We learned that they pant like a dog to cool off in the heat.  They also have 65-70 teeth and they grow 2 sets of teeth a year!!    The animal reserve on the park has 26 crocodiles.  They can swim super fast, but aren’t really very fast on land. 

After the crocodiles we took off all the safety harnesses and boarded a truck to see the savanna.   We got a really “cool” washcloth that you can re-wet and refridgerate to stay cool!!  The truck was also equipped with binoculars to see the animals even better.  Our guides told us all about the animals we were seeing.  My favorite was the giraffe of course.  We also saw elephants, rhinos, gazelles, lions, cheetahs, and more!! 

Next we stopped for an AMAZING lunch that was catered by the Tusker House Restaurant and served to us on the Savanna in tins.  We had yogurt with granola, fruit salad, brie and dried apricots on the top level of tins and in the bottom we had air dried beef, serrano ham, awesome biscuits, smoked salmon with creamy dill sauce on top of slaw, and a pecan dessert.  The boys had more kid friendly food in their tins J

After lunch we had a short tour of past the future zebra enclosure.  We learned that zebras can be very MEAN and they will be kept away from the other animals to keep the other animals safe.  The North safari tour was short and we were done with the 3 hr tour before we knew it.  Part of our ticket price was donated to the Disney Wildlife Foundation and we got to vote for ours to go to elephants, wild cats, another animal I can’t remember, or the general fund.  We also received an exclusive pin to wear.  I highly recommend this experience J

Daddy and the guys were having some sweet treats at Tusker House Restaurant when we got back.  Missy crew showed up shortly   after and we decided for the families to go do their own thing for a while.

Daddy took us to Camp Micky and Minnie to meet the characters, but the line was way LONG so we opted to see the Festival of the Lion King show instead.  The boys were getting very tired in the show.  We headed to Dinoland U.S.A. for a few more rides.   First was Dinosaur where you go back in time to save the last dinosaur.  Then we hit the Primeaval Whirl ride that is part roller coaster, part spinning tea cups.  Joey wasn’t tall enough so we did the parent swap.  Mommy, Alan and Eddie rode first.  Daddy too Joey on the TriceraTop Spin twice and switched places with Mommy.  The rain was moving in and we were all tired so we headed to the park exit.  We saw Goofey on our way out of the park.  Eddie was upset we were leaving as usual and convinced Daddy to let him get his souvenir Mickey Wizzard hat on the way out of the park.  We had to RUN to the bus to catch it in time.  Alan and Mommy are journaling while the other take a short nap before we head to Epcot for a nice dinner out and hopefully dry nighttime laser light show tonight.

WoW!!!  I had no idea how much we could pack into one night.  We headed to Epcot around 7pm and went on Spaceship Earth with no wait.  Then we checked the character wait time and decided to do that another day.  We headed to the World Showcase to find good seats for the Illuminations:  Reflections of Earth Laser/Firework show.  We found a wall to sit on between England and France and Daddy and Eddie went to get food for dinner from Morroco.  The show was AWESOME as usual!!!  We decided since it wasn’t raining we would RUN to the monorail to get to Magic Kingdom for their fireworks at 10pm.  We made it to Main Street right as the show was starting J  They had a bonus Electrical Parade at 11pm because it got canceled last night due to rain.  We had an hour to go on rides and thanks to the medical pass we were able to ride Buzz Light Year and Mommy, Eddie and Alan did Space Mountain while Joey and Daddy did the People Mover.  We got off about the same time and took some Photo Pass pictures with the castle lit up as we made our way back to Main Street for the Electrical Parade.  Joey and Daddy went into the Confectioners Shop to get some Mickey Ears for Joey’s souvenir.  He even got his name put on the back.  The boys got curbside seats for the parade and it was off to the monorail and bus back to the hotel.  Mommy spotted a tag engraving machine so Alan and Mommy made Alan’s souvenir tag and caught up with Daddy at the bus stop.  When we got there Joey was asleep on Daddy’s lap.  He was falling asleep while he was walking!!  I still can’t believe we hit 3 parks in one day and saw as much as we’ve seen today.  It was after midnight when we got back to the hotel and time for BED!!

Pictures are HERE.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 6

Friday, June 8th, 2012
Today we woke up bright and early at  6:45am to catch the 8:15 am bus to the Magic Kingdom.  We rode the bus to the Monorail and arrived at the park in time for opening ceremonies!!  After waiting in line to get in we were told to take the tickets to guest services to activate them.  It only took a couple extra minutes to  take care of that and we were off to Tomorrowland.  We went right for Space Mountain before anyone could work up too much fear we got fast pass tickets for 11:15. 

Next we got in line for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.  Then we took the Tomorrowland Transit Authority People Mover to take a tour of all things you could do in Tomorrowland.  Afterwards we saw the wait time for the Tomorrowland Speedway was only 20 min so we got in line to RACE!  Alan was 54” so they let him drive alone, next was Joey and Daddy, and finally it was Eddie and Mommy (Eddie drove).  Alan was having a really hard time and stopped often.  Daddy was pushing his car from behind and one of the workers jumped in to help Alan run the gas pedal.  Because of the domino Eddie was also having a hard time going slow enough so Mommy took over the gas pedal and it really ticked Eddie off.  He informed Daddy of how mean Mommy was before we were even out of the car!
When the race was finished it was time for Space Mountain.  There were definitely some butterflies and scared people in our group (Alan and Joey).  We all got on and everyone survived.  The wait for Buzz Lightyear was short so we rode again!!  When we got off Buzz was just getting ready for a meet and greet so we got to  meet him and get our pictures taken with him J

Daddy promised if we hit Tomorrowland for some rides right away we could take family pictures in front of the castle before the rain set in for the day.  We made it with overcast skies and then we were off to Adventureland.  We got passes for the Jungle Cruise then got some ice cream and rode The Pirates of the Caribbean while we waited for our start time.  As we got off the Jungle Cruise they were closing the ride due to inclement weather.   We headed to Fantasyland to get Fast Pass tickets to Peter Pan’s Flight.  It started down pouring and Mommy accidently got Fast Pass tickets for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh L  It came with bonus Fast Pass tickets for Mickey’s PhilharMagic 3D show.  We had gotten separated in the rain and with the “magic” of cell phones we met up in Pinocchio Village Haus and decided to cross the street to see the Mickey’s PhilharMagic show and get out of the rain.

After the show we got ahold of Missy and her crew.  We met her on Main Street and wished Aiden a very Happy 9th Birthday!!  We grabbed lunch at Casey’s Corner then headed back to Pirates of the Caribbean to meet up with the rest of Missy’s group.  We made 15 total in our group and almost filled the whole boat!!  After the boat ride we decided to ride some more roller coasters so we headed to Thunder Mountain and they let 13 of us through with Missy’s medical pass.  Then it was time for Splash Mountain so I went to visit with Missy while they all got WET!!  They would only let 6 people use the pass at a time so we got to visit for awhile.  When Emily was in the waiting group she made friends with a live squirrel that was enjoying our gold fish cracker crumbs.  That poor girl is caught between two brothers.  Before we moved Eddie proposed and Joey calls her his girlfriend.  When Grandma Joan asked Emily if she loved Joey yesterday she said “Yes, but I belong to Eddie”.  I noticed she was holding Eddie’s hand most of the day.  Even though her cousin, Caitlyn, has a BIG crush on Eddie, she was forced to hold Alan’s hand :P

Missy’s group decided to go see the Mickey’s PhilharMagic show and the Saucer crew was going to go on Peter Pan’s Flight, but the wait time was 60 min so we opted to go on It’s a Small World.  Both attractions ended at the same time so we reunited and tried to use Missy’s pass, but they only let 6 on with it total so Missy’s family, Alan and Mommy went on the ride while Daddy and the rest of the group got dinner at Pinocchio Village Haus.  I hiked back to the group and we headed back to Tomorrowland where we set up a meeting place for those who weren’t riding to sit under a covering out of the rain.  Those that wanted to ride grouped and re-grouped to ride Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear and the Speedway race track.  When the riders got back they wanted rain ponchos.  Once the kids were “covered” they had a blast puddle jumping and inventing some kind of game with force fields.  We decided the rain was bad enough they would probably cancel the parade and fireworks and if not we didn’t really want to sit around to wait and find out.  We said our good byes and headed back to our hotels for the night.  We were “home” around 9 pm.  The kids have showered and are writing in their journals before bed and tomorrow Missy, Aiden, Alan and Amy will be doing a VERY special event at Animal Kingdom that will be birthday presents for BOTH boys!!

Pictures are HERE.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 5

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Today we used the 2nd day of our 2 day passes to Universal Studios Orlando.  The forecast is for rain so we bought cheap rain ponchos yesterday and put them in the pack.  We got to the park just as it was opening and got to park in the Spiderman section today!! 
Once we entered Islands of Adventure we stopped at the bathrooms and had a slight miscommunication as Mommy thought we were meeting at Harry Potter’s castle and Daddy was waiting at the bathrooms.  We got it all straightened out thanks to cell phones.  Mommy and Eddie got in the 65min line to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey while Alan, Joey, and Daddy went to do the Flight of the Hippogriff and Pteranodon Flyers.  They met Mommy and Eddie at the castle when the ride finished and the whole family headed to Jurassic Park.  We all rode the Pteranodon Flyers and then hit the bathrooms.  Daddy took Eddie and Joey on the Jurassic Park River Adventure to get WET!!  Mommy and Alan re-filled the cheap refill cups from day one with lemonade and waited in the gift shop for them to get off the ride.
After Jurassic Park we headed to Seuss Landing to see the Cat in the Hat.  Then we rode the Caro-Seuss-el while Daddy went to buy lunch.  He bought us Green Eggs and Ham for lunch!!  It’s a good thing he also got chicken strips because the boys weren’t to keen on the green eggs and ham J
When lunch was done we went to see The 8th Voyage of Sinbad Stunt Show and sat in the splash section up front.  The show was all right and we totally got wet in the splash section!!  After the show we got in a very long line for Poseidon’s Fury and were not sure what we were going to experience at the end of the line as the description on the map wasn’t very detailed.  The boys were VERY impatient in line.  It turned out to be worth the wait in my opinion.  We were all corralled into a big room where Taylor, an archeology student, gave us some history of a war between Poseidon and the bad guy.  Somehow the bad guys was awakened and we all got moved into another room where we had to help find Poseidon’s trident so he could defeat the bad guy.  The water and fire effects in the show are AWESOME!!  I had my arms around Alan’s neck and I could feel his heart beat faster and faster throughout the show!!
It was down pouring when we got out of the Poseidon show so we found a dry place to dig out the rain ponchos.  Then we headed back to Seuss Landing to ride The High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride.  After the ride Joey made a One Fish, Two Fish tag for his back pack.  Eddie tried to make a Green Eggs and Ham tag, but it printed wrong and they had to shut the machine down L  We bought family “Thing” shirts to wear while we travel.
Then we went to the other side of the park and got in line for Twister!!  It was an awesome experience to go through the movie with Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt.  They put us right on the set of the movie and made a tornado for us to feel what the drive in scene was like first hand!!  It was AWESOME!!  After twister  we went on the Revenge of the Mummy roller coaster.  Daddy made Alan ride with him and Eddie the first time around while Mommy waited with Joey in the child swap area.  Then Eddie got to ride again with Mommy!!  It’s more intense than Space Mountain, but Mommy survived J
Next we went to the Terminator 2 3-D experience.  It was a mix of scenes from the movie, live actors, and special effects.  As we were walking out they were advertising for a Live Magic Show so we went into the magic shop across the street to watch.  It turned out to be a total sales gimmick,  but the boys were wide eyed!!  They totally wanted to buy EVERYTHING in the show so it was a very effective gimmick.  Mom and Dad won the battle and no money was spent J
The wait time for the Hollywood Rip Ride Rocket was only 15min so Daddy and Eddie headed to wait in line.  Joey was having a good time playing in the seats to see if you were too big to ride and Alan joined him.  Mommy visited with the height checker dude and we learned that you can get a special certificate if you are too short that will allow you to go straight to the front of the line on the next visit to the park when you are tall enough to ride.  That would have been very helpful information to have on Monday for Eddie.  Anyway Joey got his certificate and we played awhile longer.  Then Joey needed to use the bathroom so we took a pit stop and came back to the Rock It to wait for Eddie and Daddy.  It seemed like a long time and they still didn’t get off so we walked to the corner to get a churro and pretzel to snack on.  Then Joey and Alan played o
n the seats again.  Joey needed the bathroom AGAIN!!  We got back from there and they STILL weren’t off the ride!!  Mommy went to ask and found out there was technical difficulty that shut the ride down and they didn’t know how long it would be.  The ride started shortly after that and Daddy and Eddie FINALLY came back.  They actually got to ride it twice for waiting for so long for the technical difficulty!
Since Alan waited so long and Joey wanted to go back to the hotel we let Alan pick our next ride.  We went on the E. T. Adventure.  Then it was time for the park to get ready for the evening show and since we were all wet and tired we decided to skip it.  We headed out of the park and Eddie was very upset and fighting with Daddy the whole way out the park!!  We stopped by Panda Express and Moe’s to get a very LATE dinner on the way back to the hotel.

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Today we checked out of our Hampton Inn hotel in Altamore Springs, FL and met up with Missy, Ketan, Aiden, Emily, Mama/Grandma Joan, Lisa, Austin, Lacy, Jacob, and Caitlyn at the house they rented in Kissamie, FL .  They grilled hotdogs, burgers, and corn on the cob for lunch.  Then the kids went swimming with Daniel and Grandma Joan!!  Everyone picked up where we left off like no time had passed.  I can’t believe how TALL the kids got in the 2 years since we moved!!

Tomorrow is Aiden’s 9th birthday so he picked Magic Kingdom to visit first.  Stayed tuned for our adventures.  It’s forecast to rain all 4 days of Disney L

Pictures are HERE.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 4

Monday, June 4, 2012
Almost a year ago Mommy commented on a blog and won 4 two day passes to Universal Studios Orlando for FREE!!  They sent the actual tickets with an expiration date in mid-June.  We headed to the park this morning after FREE breakfast at the hotel.  When we were 5 min into morning traffic I asked Daddy if we had the tickets and he promptly took the next exit to go back to the hotel to get them.  I’m glad we caught that early so we wouldn’t miss much time at the park.  The boys were excited to park in the Cat in the Hat section of the parking ramp and they all even remembered the row number all day!!
We had to wait in the line to purchase one more ticket so we could all get into the park.  We got one child ticket for 2days for $150.  Not too bad for a total ticket price for our family of 5 to spend 2 days at Universal Studios!! 
Once inside the gates we headed straight for The Wizarding World of Harry Potter!!  The wait time for Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey where you make your way through the classrooms and corridors of Hogwarts was already 90 minutes and well worth the wait.  Joey wasn’t tall enough for the actual ride which is an amazing 4D experience that moves you through all kinds of scene’s from the books/movies, but he even enjoyed seeing all the parts of the castle while we were waiting in line.  They had parent swap and Alan was afraid of the ride so he waited with Daddy and Joey while Mommy and Eddie did the ride.  I told him he would really enjoy being in the movie and he should ride with Daddy and Joey.  He was pretty angry with me when he got off!!
Next, we headed to the Flight of the Hippogriff, a family friendly roller coaster that spirals and dives around the pumpkin patch and swoops past Hagrid’s hut.  Alan worked himself up big time.  There was a technical difficulty resulting in several people leaving the line.  We got to know the family in front of us in line.  They were from West Virginia and their daughter, Emily, was the same age as Eddie and they hit it off so well she asked if she could ride the ride with him!!  They had a great time and the 45 min wait flew by.  I convinced Alan to ride it even though he didn’t want to and it was one of his favorite rides of the day!!

It was time to head off to Marvel Super Hero Island to try to meet some of the characters.  We found Captain America and Daddy headed off to get lunch ordered while we waited in line to meet him.   After lunch we headed to The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.  The wait time was 60 min, more than enough time to let lunch settle.  Everyone was tall enough for this AMAZING high definition 3D experience where you help Spider Man catch the bad guys!!
When the ride finished we got in line to meet Spider Man and he put the boys in charge while he took a 5 min break from pictures to contact the other super heroes.  When he got back they took pictures in front of the green screen.  They were wearing teal Spider Man T-shirts for the event and there was enough green mixed with the blue that the fancy pictures they try to sell you were just floating heads!!  I’m not paying big bucks for that so the 2nd day we will wear our orange Avengers shirts and see if we can try again.
When we left the shop Storm and Rouge were doing the meet and greet picture thing so we went to the back of the line and there wasn’t a line to meet Cyclops so we jumped to meet him for pictures first.  When we finished getting pictures with Storm and Rouge we were off to find Wolverine, but he had already finished his photos for the day L 

Thanks to Mommy’s new smart phone app we saw that the wait time for Doctor Doom’s Fearfall that rockets you 150 feet into the air and then drops you faster than gravity was only 5min.  We went to check out the height requirements and Eddie was only ONE inch too short.  It was a short wait so we sent Daddy on his way while Eddie stomped around FURIOUS.  His fists were clenched and he was literally stomping back and forth.  Then he said, “It’s your fault I’m not tall enough Mom.  If you would have let me pick my food for lunch so I could get vegetables I would be tall enough.”  He was dead serious and I HAD to take a picture by the height requirements so I would remember how hiliarious the moment was!!  The lady working the entrance was more than amused J  We even called grandma to share the story while we waited for Daddy.  She was able to help Eddie cool off a little bit.  Then it was time to regroup and check show times.  It was getting close to parade time at the other park so we headed in that direction to find a short 10 min wait for the Shrek 4-D adventure.  We found a great spot for the parade afterwards and had Dippin’ Dots while we waited for the parade.  It was taking forever so Daddy went to find out what the delay was.  We were on the wrong route, but had enough time to find a new place to watch the new Superstar Parade!!  It started with Despicable Me and an AWESOME dance routine.  Next was Sponge Bob, Hop, Dora and finally Diego. 

After the parade we headed over to the E.T. Adventure.  As we were getting to the last section of the line Joey had a potty emergency so Daddy took him out.  Mommy, Alan and Eddie road in the front row of bikes with E.T. on the front of Eddie’s bike!!  Then we waited for Daddy and Joey to go through the last part of the line and ride.  The Woody Woodpecker’s Nuthouse Coaster was right next door to E.T. and there was NO line so we road it 3 times in a row before we headed to the Simpson’s Ride.  This was a good ride, but NOT a favorite for our crew.

The wait time for Men in Black Alien Attack was only 10 minutes so we headed in that direction.  Daddy locked his back pack in the lockers and we got in line.  This was an absolute FAVORITE of the day for EVERYONE!!  The ride is similar to Buzz Lightyear’s ride at Magic Kingdom only you have to shoot the alien bad guys and it keeps your score.  Somehow Daddy, Alan, and Eddie got in the car on the opposite side as Joey and Mommy.  The game keeps score for both cars and lets you know which side had more points.  Mommy and Joey won!!  We decided to make sure we ALL got in the same car to try and win together the next time around.  We totally WON!! 

We had time catch the 8pm Disaster before the new Universal Cinematic Spectacular 100 years of Movie Memories show.  The Disaster was a fun show, but we were all running out of steam and happy to find seats and dinner while we waited for the closing waterfall, laser, and firework show.  They showed all the best classic movie clips on falling water.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

We just couldn’t get up this morning so we decided to just hang out and recover from our travel and fun.  It was the best choice as Eddie got sick from sinus drainage at breakfast so we did laundry and hung out in the hotel room until lunch time.  Then we headed for lunch and shopping.  There were pamphlets with coupons to Build a Bear in the hotel lobby so we went there to get unique to Florida items for the boys’ collection.  Joey got a cool scuba outfit for his Monkey, Eddie got a Captain Hook costume, and Alan got a Florida T-shirt, swim trunks, and a cool shark hat.  It down poured rain for a long time while we were at the mall.  We decided to stop by Target to get rain ponchos in case it rains tomorrow or any other day we are at parks this week.  They only had 2 so we also hit Walmart to get 3 more.  We passed a Hooters on the way and decided to have dinner there.  We are playing new DSI games and chillin’ out in the room before bed and another BIG day at Universal Studios!!

Pictures from Universal day 1 are HERE.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 3

 Friday, June 1, 2012 -  Sunday, June 3, 2012
Today was a short driving day.  We only had about 3 hrs in the van to get to Uncle Harold and Aunt Joyce’s in Pensacola, FL.  It was great to spend some time with them over the weekend!!  We had sandwiches and chips at the house with Uncle Harold when we arrived.  After lunch we settled in the living room and Mommy and Daddy took a nap while Uncle Harold headed out to pick up his grandson, Riley from day care.  We were very excited to meet him and later to see his mom, Heather!!  It was a very relaxing weekend just hanging out.  I really got homesick for living near Uncle Harold and Aunt Joyce and as we spend more time in Florida I miss living here more and more. 

The boys had a BLAST!!  They get spoiled every time we visit Uncle Harold and Aunt Joyce.  They spend all of Saturday playing the back yard kiddy pool and sprinklers with Rachael!!  On Sunday, Uncle Harold took all 3 boys to Denny’s for breakfast by himself.  He said Eddie ate 2 full kids meals and must have a hallow leg!!  They stopped at the park on their way home and Joey had his regular encounter with ANTS!!  He stepped in an ant hill and got tons of bites on his foot!!  Aunt Joyce fixed him up at the house while Mommy and Daddy loaded the van to get on the road.  We stopped by Heather and Todd’s on our way through Milton.  Their house is very close to the bay so Mommy spent some time with Riley while the rest of the crew walked to the end of the road to see the bay.  Eddie got in BIG trouble there as he decided to throw Joey into the Bay for a better view!!  We got everyone cleaned up and disciplined and were back on the road.  Then it was off to Orlando for more FUN!!  We got to our hotel for a late dinner at the Texas Roadhouse across the parking lot and then it was time for bed.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 2

Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Today we were up early again and headed to Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.  As we walked through the turnstiles into the museum the ticket lady directed us way to the back to catch the Tram Tour of NASA right off the bat.  They take your group picture in front of a green screen before you board the tram.  The first stop was to see the control room for the Apollo missions.  The software is way outdated so it’s just there for display.  We toured all kinds of things and saw some of the new projects they are working on.  The space shuttle program has ended and they are now working on sending a way advanced rover, Curiosity,  to MARS in August this year.  We also saw some of the components of the Orion program that will continue exploration of space.

The Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle was originally part of NASA’s Constellation Program, which is no longer an active NASA program. However, the design for Orion was carried forward as the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (Orion MPCV) as part of NASA’s new plans to explore beyond low Earth orbit and into deep space. For the latest information on Orion MPCV, visit the Orion MPCV page. 

Another show called Living in Space showed what the sleeping quarters looks like for the astronauts.  Alan was selected to be one of the astronauts in the show and was very excited to show us how the astronauts exercise in space.  They have to exercise for 2hrs every day to keep their bodies in shape without having gravity!!
The favorite of the day was the play area for kids!!  Eddie spent a lot of his Christmas money on a real orange astronaut suit that he absolutely LOVES!!
Daddy had a paper to write for work so the boys and I drove out to Spring, TX to see the Hatch family.  Jenn introduced Daniel to me.  It was great catching up with Jenn, Ryan, and their 4 kids!!  The kids could have played all night J  Unfortunately the Hatch kids had their last day of school in the morning.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Saucer Summer Tour Part 1

I don't post on the blog in "real" time for safety reasons. Daddy had to fly home today so we can start sharing our Saucer Summer Tour.
                                                                                                     Sunday, May 27, 2012 

 Today we embark on our Saucer Summer Tour Adventure!! Please keep all hands inside the vehicle at all times and fasten your seatbelts!! First stop, Aunt Kristine’s house in Seminole, TX. We got to Aunt Kristine’s in time to rest a bit and have Daddy fire up the grill to make hot dogs and hamburgers. While Daddy was grilling Eddie helped Aunt Kristine mix up some yummy lemon cupcakes!! After dinner Alan helped her mix up some blackberry icing for the cupcakes and we all had dessert.  After dinner Alan hosted a wine tasting for the grown ups since Aunt Kristine and Daddy would be missing the Wine Festival in Albuquerque. We had a great time visiting and cutting out cool butterflies for Aunt Kristine’s upcoming wedding!! It was super late when we finally went to sleep for the night.

                                                                                                         Monday, May 28, 2012 

 Joey wasn’t left out of the helping as he helped Aunt Kristine make strawberry pancakes for breakfast. Then we hit the road for a long lunch stop in San Angelo. We first stopped to see property Uncle James and Aunt Sherrie are looking at. Then we headed to Cheddars for lunch with Granny D, Grandpa Bear, Uncle James, Aunt Sherrie, Thomas and Lilly. After lunch we stopped by Granny D and Grandpa Bears to print some documents and visit. Then we had 3 more hours of driving to San Antonio. Unfortunately the Alamo was already closed when we arrived. We took our time exploring the River Walk and got on the last boat ride of the evening!! The River Walk is a MUST see in San Antonio!!

                                                                                                  Tuesday, May 29, 2012

 Today we were up early and headed to Sea World in San Antonio!! Daddy got “Hero” tickets to honor the military so the whole day including parking and food for all 5 of us cost $75!! We had a BLAST. The first thing we saw was the Sesame Street 4D show (This is something I would skip in the future. The intro was LONG and BORING!!) Then Brave Eddie went on the Electric Eel with Daddy!! He had so much fun he talked Mommy into going on it with him  Then we checked out the Penguin Exhibit on our way to Rio Loco, which turned out to be the family favorite of the day. It’s like a white water rapids ride for the whole family in one tube and has a waterfall at the end!! Then we went to see the Azul show. It was AWESOME!! Come be amazed by the magical partnership of beautiful beluga whales, exotic Pacific white-sided dolphins, colorful birds and acrobatic performers. Sail away on a journey beyond reality to a place where creatures of the sea and sky meet in an incredible celebration of nature’s mysteries. There was a funny guy planted in the audience that got soaking wet in his lawn chair and enjoyed spraying and goofing around with the people around him in the audience. He was a family favorite for the day as well  After the show we had lunch and then it was off to Atlantis. A family ride that’s part water ride, part coaster, and altogether exciting. Get a panoramic, 360ยบ view at the top of the first peak, followed by a 10-story reverse camelback that sends you on a wet and wild plunge into the lake below. Alan was super excited for this ride, but sobbing when we got off saying it wasn’t at all like the pictures. The drop was straight down and you got soaking wet. Alan, Joey and Mommy went to catch part of the Cool Vibrations water ski show while Daddy and Eddie rode to Atlantis a couple more times. We waited for them to get off the ride in the SPLASH zone!! We had time for Rio Loco a few more times around before the One Ocean show to see Shamu. Dive into the exhilaration of the sea in our all-new Shamu show, One Ocean. The energy and spirit of the ocean envelops you in a multi-sensory celebration of life underneath the sea that entertains as it educates and inspires. Majestic killer whales join you on a journey into a world that drenches your senses in vivid colors, vitality and global rhythms of the ocean. Dancing fountains set the stage as you connect with thrilling sea creatures and realize we are all part of one world, one ocean. Your soul is ignited as our worlds are united and you realize that we all have the power to make a difference in the planet we share. The boys were pretty tired and wiped out by the time we got to the show so it’s hard to determine how much they really liked it. The park closed when the show ended. We discovered blisters on Alan, Joey, and Mommies feet as we walked out of the park toward the van. We had a quiet 3.5 hour drive to Houston.

 You can see the pictures from these adventures here I'm not sure why the pics posted out of order, but you'll get the idea.