Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm the trash man!

So Will just loves picking up 'pretend' trash and even real trash and loves the trash can. We've even bought his his own smaller trash can- here he is putting it on his head! crazy boy!

Our BIG boy at 18 months

So William had his 18month appt and is still a BIG boy and I am not just saying that. He is 34.75 inches tall (95th percentile), 29.2 lbs (85th percentile) and his head is still off the charts in size (thanks dad!). He is growing like a weed, running, sitting in booster chairs instead of high chairs, eating with utensils and slowly building his vocabulary with new phrases and words like 'stop' and 'move dog'- the 'move dog' is a very important one that is used a lot around here. LOL He had some blood drawn and is slightly anemic like me. He has more teeth coming in and actually likes us brushing his teeth, he wants us to use the electric toothbrush though, he thinks it is the coolest!

So here are a few pictures from our neighborhood block party the weekend after my trip (May 16th). We have a great small neighborhood with lots of young families and older retired couples. They had a bounce house, fire truck and lots of food and drinks. We also got a business card for some neighborhood teens that babysit, so we might actually be able to get out to more movies or dinner now! Will really enjoyed the bounce house!

We've been busy at the Peters house- we also did the Fort Worth Zoo last weekend. I wanted to go before it go too hot. We went on memorial day weekend, on Sunday. We met my BIL/MIL and their two kids out there. Will really enjoyed it- he wanted to see everything and run around. Here is Alan, Will and the penguins!

Our little man continues to show his OCD tendencies, much like me. Here he is lining up his 'lids'. I have a plastic box full of all the lids to his little cups and bowls. He loves that box and takes it out of the cabinet and plays with all the lids. He likes to hold them up and have me tell him what color they are too.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Day 6- DIS Unplugged Podcast Cruise- Day at Sea

So day 6 of our trip, day 4 of our cruise (Wednesday) was our day at sea. We still had yet another busy day planned! I got up early and grabbed some breakfast then headed to the LIVE podcast recording at the Buena Vista Theatre that started at 9am. I got a good seat towards the front. It was great to see all of the podcast crew in person- after listening to them for the last year online. I finally got to put names with faces for each of them. They were just as hilarious as ever. The podcast included some comments from Lee Cockerell, a former recent VP of Operations for WDW. we also got to do a Q&A with him as well and he promised to take back some of our comments to Disney managment- like why the disney website is so horrible and if they will ever change the coffee they offer onsite at the parks and resorts (nescafe). After the podcast, Lee signed some books and then also gave a presentation for about an hour from 11-12. It was very interesting, he shared thoughts from his book "Creating Magic" which is intended to teach people to be great leaders, so it is popular business book. It uses examples from disney to illustrate his points. I stayed for his speech and got my book signed as well. The DIS provided the books to us for free!

After the presentation, it was almost time for our group photo at 1pm in the main lobby. There were 300 of us DIS'ers on the boat and most showed up for the photo! We managed to do it surprisingly fast!

After the group photo, i finally grabbed some lunch, I was starving! I checked out the menu at some of the sit down restaurants and buffet, but nothing really grabbed me, so I got a burger and fries at the fast food spot near the pool and ate in the shade on deck, enjoying the atmosphere. But my meal was quick, as I next had to head to the Twigirls and Twiguys meet at Tonya's stateroom. this was a quick get together for Twilight fans. Some of them brought gifts, cute bookmarks, pens and stuff. Tonya kindly hosted it in her HUGE stateroom. I think it was a category 4? Anyhow, it had a separate living area, dining area, bar, huge bedroom, large wrap around verandah and even a walk in closet. It was pretty amazing. Oh and two full baths. We enjoyed some cake and pie and discussed the books on the verandah, enjoying some sun.

I snuck out of the meet about an hour in to meet my mom at the spa. We had purchased the rainforest pass and had not used it yet and it was the last day. So we headed down to the spa and enjoyed just relaxing on the heated chairs and I also enjoyed the aromatherapy suana and mild sauna as well as the tropical shower. We spent a good hour or so there- it was about 5pm by the time we left. time to get ready for the last show- Disney Dreams. The show was at 6:15 and was fabulous. I mixed myself a drink to take with me. which speaking of, disney DOES allow you to bring alcohol on board, you just have to carry it on. So it was nice to enjoy a beer without paying for it! I did bring some malibu rum with me, but never used it, so brought it back home. the show was great and we highly enjoyed it! We headed back to the room to put our luggage in the hallway. You had to leave your luggage outside for the porters to take. So we had to pack earlier that afternoon. Now it was time for our last dinner. Tonight we dined at Triton's with a french theme.

The servers all carried flags from their countries and did a little parade around the restaurant, it was cute. Tonight I ordered the french onion soup which was very good. Then I had a nice steak with potatoes and it was delicious, cooked perfectly. It was my favorite meal of the trip and I forgot to take a photo of it! go figure. My parents tried the lobster macaroni which was highly recommended and they enjoyed it. I had chocolate mousse for dessert and again, my favorite dessert of the trip. We were sad to say good bye to our tablemates, they were great.

After dinner, it was nearing 11pm and once again, I was beat. I am not a night owl and as much as I wanted to join the festivities at wavebands, i decided to turn in, as we had an early morning. I knew they were doing karaoke that night, so i hated to miss it, but I heard all about it and sounded like it was a lot of fun. So I turned in and it was very rocky that night- the ship was really moving- we could hear the creaking in the room and see the curtain swaying. That actually helped me sleep very well.
Day 7 started bright and early-----it was Thursday and we had a scheduled breakfast time of 8:15 at Triton's. We enjoyed a nice breakfast but were a bit rushed, as we had to be off the ship by 9am usually. We gave our tips to our servers and bidded farewell and headed off the ship back into the port. We were taken downstairs to the area to find our luggage. Since we were some of the last ones off the boat, our luggage was easy to spot. We found a porter to help move it all for us. We were taking the Disney provided bus back to the airport. Our flight was at 2pm. We got on the bus and left a nice tip for the porter. The ride back was fine and we had time for lunch at the airport, so we enjoyed some snacks at Chili's to kill time. Our flight was delayed an hour due to weather in Dallas. We finally made it home after 5pm. Alan was there to pick me up and we headed to get William- i was so happy to see him after those 6.5 days!

Day 5- DIS Unplugged Podcast Cruise- Part 1

Day 5 of our trip and day 3 on the cruise was our stop in paradise, Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. I went up to watch the ship dock this morning from the 'secret deck 7' which is located aft. It is a small little deck that is hidden away at the end of the state room hall. There were some other DISer's out there too. I got some great pictures of the island from there.

After docking, i headed up to meet my parents for breakfast at Beach Blanket Buffet. We enjoyed a nice breakfast out on deck before heading down to the island around 9am.

The Island was amazing just as promised. We first headed to the family beach, you simply walked off the ship and there was a post office and then a tram that would take you to the beach area just a few minutes away. Or you could walk, we opted for the tram. Once at the family beach, my dad and I headed to get snorkeling gear. We had bought a package that included snorkel gear, a float and a bike. We knew we wouldn't use the bike, but the package was still cheaper than just ordering it a la carte. The beach was pretty empty, as folks must have slept in. Dad and I headed into the snorkel lagoon area, which was roped off separate from the rest of the beach. We got my mom settled in a nice chair and off we went. My dad had not snorkeled and gave it a try, but kept getting water in his mask, so he gave up. I snorkeled for a while, but there really were not a lot of fish. I went out pretty far, saw some of the items in the water, but never saw the 'mickey' in the water. I didn't get out that far, i was getting pretty tired, it was a lot of work! The water was crystal clear and pretty shallow too. It didn't even look barely 7-8 feet at the most and closer to shore it was only a few feet for quite a ways out. I was almost the only one out there that early. they did have lifeguards stationed out pretty far too which was nice. I did see a sting ray on my way back in, that was cool. but nothing beats the sea turtle i saw in hawaii.

The flatties also made an apperance at the beach, but they forgot their swimwear! oops! After snorkeling- we decided to head to the adult beach, known as Serenity Bay and it was perfect over there. We took a tram, as the adult beach is around the corner of the island. Once there, we found a few chairs, near a hammock and then got a few floats. I headed to the bar and got a nice big pina colava and headed out to the water. I enjoyed chatting with DIS friends in the water just hanging onto my float and drink. It was pure heaven. The water was once again crystal clear and there were more fish over here. It was more rocky though, so you needed swim shoes if you planned to 'walk' on the bottom. I just used my float the entire time. I ended up getting burned since I was out there so long, even with sun block. This second picture below- you can see me floating way out there! The beach was quiet and serene and we really enjoyed it. After spending some time in the water, I then enjoyed the hammock for a bit.

About 1:30pm or so, we decided to head to get some lunch. There was a nice outdoor grill by the adult beach and we enjoyed hot dogs, burgers, sandwiches, fruit, salad, ice cream and more. The food was good, plentiful and free of course. After that my parents were pretty pooped, so they headed back to the ship, with a stop at the on island store first.

About 3pm, if i remember right, the DIS group gathered at the heads up bar for a party/social. I headed over by myself and hung out with some of my DIS friends and enjoyed a free drink (another pina colava) courtesy of the DIS.

Here is Todd 'double fisting' it!

After spending an hour or so at the party, i was getting pretty hot and tired. Plus I was burned and well i am somewhat shy, so it's not like i was miss social butterfly by myself. But there was a guest coming.......Mickey made an appearance at this special DIS only party! I managed to get in line for a quick pic. After that, i headed back and dropped off some postcards at the post office and then got back on the ship, but not before Capt Hook lured me in for a pic right at the boat! I didn't get a pic with Capt Jack Sparrow, but maybe next time!

All in all, i have to say Castaway Cay was my favorite part of the cruise. I wish we stopped there twice. It was great to enjoy the adult beach and even if I had Will with me, we would have still enjoyed the family beach and they offer kids programs on the island too, so adults could still sneak away to the adult beach for a bit if they wanted. It truly was paradise. Next time I plan to maybe do something else fun- they offered a stingray adventure, parasailing and more.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day 5- DIS Unplugged Podcast Cruise- Part 2

After returning to the ship, I got a snack and sat out on deck in the shade for a bit before heading to the room to take a shower. then I headed up to the forward deck 10 to take some sunset shots.
I walked around ship a bit to take some pics of the entertainment district area- they have a sports bar, a piano lounge and then the main club where there were nightly games, karaoke and dancing at Wavebands.

Then it was time for dinner at 8:15 and tonight was pirate night- AARRGGHH! Our dinner was in Parrot Cay again and many folks dressed for the occassion. Todd posed for a few pics with us in his costume!

I tried potstickers for an appetizer tonight, pretty good.
I then had a roasted chicken breast with a jerk spice on it- it was pretty good. We passed on dessert tonight, since we knew there would be a dessert buffet at the pirate party which started at like 9:45. So we rushed through dinner. We headed up to deck 10 to watch and it was already crowded. The action was on deck 9 and you could watch it easily on deck 10. There was singing, dancing, pirates rappelling down and then Mickey came to save the day and came flying through the air on a cable. And then, finally, fireworks at sea- a first in the cruise industry!

We headed to check out the pirate buffet after the party-----there was so much to choose from!

After the pirate party, we were pretty tired from all day in the sun. I'd been getting up at 7 each day and going to bed after 11, and just going, going, constantly, so i was pretty pooped. So I turned in, knowing we had more activities tomorrow for our sea day! stay tuned!

Day 5 DIS Unplugged Podcast Cruise- Fish Extenders

So what is a fish extender you may ask? well see in this pic below- the silver fish on the wall over the door number? Folks decorate and hang a pocket thing from it and then do a 'gift exchange' with other cruisers (pre-planned). We partipcated in a fish extender gift exchange on board with about 80 other DISers! We had a list of all their room numbers and had to go deliver our special gifts to their doors. It was fun seeing everyone's uniquely decorated fish extenders, as well as the creative doors. Many had some really fun magnets. Here are a few pictures of our fish extender as well as my parents.

Mine and Nancy's door and extender!

Here are just a few of the gifts we received. Usually they are small under a dollar type things, but many folks make creative homemade gifts, from crafts to items that showcase their hometown or state. We received bookmarks, magnets, candy, CDs and more.