Monday, August 12, 2013

Lego love

Between visiting  Legoland and the Lego store in Downtown Disney, we saw some amazing Lego projects.   {These are just a few shots of some of the fun Lego creations that we saw over the course of the week.  When I have a chance I will include more on my Flickr stream.}
Above, the new Lego Chima ride at Legoland (be prepared to get wet).  Below – Lily on a block raft on the lazy river; me and the kiddos on the roller coaster.  Our group (age 5, 6, and almost 8) absolutely loved Legoland. One of the criticisms of Legoland Florida is that it is not geared to older children.  For our age group it was perfect.  We arrived at the gate opening and left when the gates closed.  We spent the morning at the Lego waterpark and the afternoon on the rides.
Legoland was very special moment at the beginning of our vacation.  Lily had no idea she would see her cousins on this vacation.   This was her birthday surprise.  Her cousins arrived at the park and quietly snuck up behind her  wrapped like presents (in about 100 F temperature!).
Presence is the best present. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Disney Character Sightings: my retrospective


By far - more than even Space Mountain - my favourite part about Disney is the character sightings. I have loved this part of Disney since my first visit (age 9) in October 1981.  At that time, Disney admission was $11 for a child (sales tax included).  I am the one with the stylish green track shorts and “bangs” cut by self. 


Here is the back of our 1-day Disney passport.


We travelled as a family to the Disney and Epcot a few more times in the 80s.  I don’t think I returned to the Magic Kingdom until July 2006.  We brought my {then} eight year old niece  and it was Lily’s first opportunity to meet the princesses.  During this visit, Lily was 11 months and spent most of the day  in the stroller.   These photos were taken at the Magic Kingdom character spot.  We waited for what seemed like ages to see the princesses, but didn’t mind because it was important to my niece.    By the time we reached the princesses, Lily woke up to meet them.




Snow White left a red kiss on Lily’s forehead.  Lily seemed pleased. 

In 2008, my family travelled to Florida to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday.  On that trip, we didn’t spot the princesses, only the mean step sisters.  This is one of my favourite character photos from that visit.  I am holding Hope (she is about five months old) and my sister is holding Lily.

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Jump forward to this year’s trip, we dined with the princesses at the Norwegian restaurant -  (Askerhus) at Epcot.  It was a wonderful experience. If you want to meet the princesses all in one spot, this is the place to do it. The girls enjoyed everything about this meal.   Before the trip, I felt bad that I hadn’t made any special bookings (the trip was planned very quickly) and I had heard that you have to book these sorts of things months in advance.  By chance,  I just checked online 24 hours ahead and found a lunch reservation for 1:40 pm, it was perfect.





This trip and on prior visits, we have had a chance to meet traditional characters.  Here is Lily in 2006 and 2008.


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This year, we met the traditional gang at the Epcot character spot.  Here is a shot of Minnie.


The kids also had a chance to meet Stitch, Chip and Dale, and one of the newest Disney characters, Duffy the bear.




Other than the princesses, probably the highlight of this year’s trip was meeting Alice at the United Kingdom pavilion in Epcot.  She was an amazing actress and so fantastic with the girls. I don’t think I will ever forget this meeting.


Lots of magical memories were made.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Champagne Birthday


Things have been quiet in this little space as we have been on vacation (subject matter for future posts).  We returned from our Florida vacation in the wee hours on August 8th, which also happened to be Lily’s  so-called champagne birthday.  Until six months ago, I had never heard of this term, she learned it at school. 

champagne birthday:  Another term for a "golden birthday" which means you turn the same age as the day you were born.{Source: Urban Dictionary}

Given the timing of our travel, we kept things simple – a few friends for dinner.  The theme was Florida flamingos which was fitting because we just returned from Florida.   One of our vacation souvenirs were the Lego flamingos, pictured above.  The girls made them at the Downtown Disney Lego build.  You can find the build instructions here

There are tons of great flamingo party ideas in blogland (Kim K’s post about her daughter’s amazing flamingo party has stuck in my mind for over a year. I then found this pinner’s board and this party over at a Bushel and a Peck).  Lots of fun ideas out there.    Here are a few details from our party.

To make a garland, we used some flamingo postcards from the 60s (my grandma’s collection) and we added a few more from our vacation. (I scanned the older ones to my flickr stream here)



To one of the postcards, we attached a tropical hair clip.


I found these plastic Flamingos at Dollarama.  We now have a family of eight.


Given it was a champagne birthday, the guests decorated their own champagne glasses for water or pink Fruitopia (Fruitopia is Lily’s favourite special drink).


The guests made their own pizzas (I rolled out the dough, they did everything else). There was hardly anything left over.  For dessert, Lily asked for sundaes instead of birthday cake.  We used waffle bowls and they made their own sundaes.  The meal was Lily’s favourite things, except I forgot to put out two menu items – dried seaweed and whip cream (not together).



We also made sunprints from shells we brought back from Florida.




She and her buddies played multiple rounds of pin the feather on the Flamingo.  I found the large flamingo at the Dollar Tree.  I also purchased another which we used to decorate our gate (not shown).


Each of the guests went home with a little flamingo drawstring backpack (fabric: Michael Miller Shore Thing, designed by Emily Herrick).


So now she is eight, how did this happen?


Have a great weekend!  We are celebrating my dad’s 75th this weekend and my husband’s birthday next weekend. 

I just learned that August is the most popular birthday month in North America!