Here are some photos and highlights from our trip to the Magic Kingdom. You can see the full collection of vacation photos here (minus all these pesky words).
Saturday, January 21st:
We got up at 3:30am for a 5am taxi to LAX. We managed to achieve our goal of being completely packed by Thursday night, and just had a few last-minute things to do that morning (like the AngelCare monitor). Jon & I got all ready, woke Alice and dressed her just before the taxi arrived, threw the bags in the car and hit the road. We fed Alice her breakfast in the car, which was unexpectedly difficult because the sun was not yet up...
At the gate, we let Alice run around as much as possible. Jon took her to watch airplanes and she had a good time waving at everything, including a pair of pilots in their cockpit, working on their pre-flight checklist. We also applied her first Safety Tat temporary tattoo. We ordered them online and customized to include both our cell phone numbers. Since Alice can't yet say her name, we thought these would be an extra good measure in case she got separated from us at any point. Jon chose the orange kitty theme (of course) and Alice loved rolling up her sleeves to show it off and point at the kitty. We put them on the backs of her hand, extending up her wrist, so that it would be visible to anyone even if she were wearing long sleeves.
|getting a tat and having an airport snack.|
|guess what? you can't throw felt!|
|cheers to vacation!|
|a grainy night shot from our balcony with a view of the volleyball court, Crescent Lake, and the Dolphin hotel.|
|another grainy shot. Welcome to vacation!|
Sunday, January 22nd:
We planned a "free" day for our first full day of vacation. We let Alice be our alarm clock, and then went for a walk around Crescent Lake, taking in the view of the Beach Club & Yacht Club, Swan & Dolphin hotels, and the Boardwalk hotel and shops. Then Jon headed off to meet his cousin and her beau, who live in town and had kindly offered to ferry us to a grocery store so we could stock up on Alice's favorite foods. While he was gone, Alice and I ran a few laps around the lake and then headed back to our room to get our swimsuits on. When the grocery party returned, we all headed out for lunch and a nice little visit at Beaches & Cream. And then it was time to hit the pool!
We decided to stay at the Beach Club for a few reasons, not the least of which was that we picked the cheapest week in the off-season, so room rates were way, way low. It was within walking distance to Epcot, where we were planning to spend the majority of our park playing time. But most importantly, it has arguably the best pool on Disney property. This was integral to our vacation itinerary, which included two "free" days for doing nothing but playing at the hotel and pool.
Alice hasn't been to a proper pool since she was about 3 months old, so this was a virtually new experience for her. She loved playing with the buckets and toys on the kiddie beach, which had really cool sand. It might have been synthetic- definitely engineered - but it was really heavy and washed right off so you didn't have it stuck to your feet all day.
After a quick nap, we headed over to the Animal Kingdom Lodge for dinner at Sanaa. We'd eaten at Boma before and were excited to try this newer restaurant which boasts better views of the animals than either of the other restaurants. We arrived just as the sun was setting and we got to see some giraffe, zebra, and gnu roaming the savannah from our vantage point in the lobby. Unfortunately, by the time we made it down to our table at the restaurant, the sun had completely set and we could barely make out the animals grazing just outside the windows. From my seat, I was just able to see a pair of zebras munching their way down the path. Alice was pretty tired and out of sorts. We tried our best to keep her entertained with stickers, but our meal was a bit rushed. Just as well, though, since we couldn't see any animals. I would definitely recommend visiting this restaurant before sunset!
|slightly delirious, with stickers.|
Aside from the transportation kerfuffle, our relaxing "free" day was the perfect way to start the vacation and our dinner at Sanaa was a great seque into our first morning at the parks. Next I'll post some photos and tidbits from our play days!