Friday, September 9, 2011

A Magical Vacation

I apologize for the lengthy and unintended hiatus. The wonderful and problematic thing about maintaining a DIY blog is the work that goes into each post. No, I don't mean the time spent putting the post together. I mean the time spent doing the project in the post! Alas, I'm back with a lot to share.

The guest posts were intended to mask our family vacation to Disney! Tim and I have been planning and researching this trip for a year. We had 9 people on the trip: Mom, Steve, Camera, Shon, Tiffany, Jordan, Brooklynn, Tim and me. My mom and Steve have been featured in several posts, so you've 'met' them. The others made a guest appearance in my Halloween post last year. Despite the 100+ degree temperatures and 85%+ humidity, we had a great time.

With a group that large, we thought a hotel wouldn't be a viable option and we also planned to eat several meals at home to save money (boy do I love a deal!). We rented a house with a private pool and hot tub, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a large living space for everyone. We used to find our property, but other websites like are great resources as well. The pool was pretty important for us because we have a large group. I read that hotel pools can be very crowded and difficult for large families, so we opted for the private pool.

Magic Kingdom
 We allotted two days each at Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom. This was Brooklynn's favorite park. She enjoyed the 'magic' of it all including princesses, the castle, and tons of characters. You can see the lanyards in our photo below. Disney sells pins all over the parks. When you buy a pin, you can trade with any Disney staff member, so this was a pretty fun game for Brooklynn.

Brooklynn & me

Tiffany had a birthday (age 13) while we were on the trip. Not to get all sentimental on you, but I remember when she was a baby not that long ago... We visited Animal Kingdom and Logan's Steakhouse on her birthday, both her choices. We actually didn't plan to visit Animal Kingdom, but we finished Epcot in one day, so we spent our last day at Animal Kingdom instead. The Safari is definitely the highlight if you're looking to see animals. In general, it's still a theme/attraction park rather than a zoo. All of the attractions/rides are animal themed while the safari had the animal component (as well as the petting zoo which we did not visit). Tiffany liked Logan's because you could throw peanut shells on the floor.

Camera, Tiffany, & me
 I first visited Disney when I was 5 with my mom, Steve, and brother Adam. My mom and I took a photo at this exact location almost 20 years ago!

Mom & me

Jordan liked Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM) the best. He enjoys the fast thrill rides like the Aerosmith Rockin' Rollercoaster. This is also my favorite ride!
The Guys: Steve, Shon, Jordan, & Tim

Tim and Steve preferred Epcot. My good friend Mansi always says about her husband, "Calvin loves learning!" I would say that statement applies here. Tim and Steve liked the opportunities to learn about different countries and cultures. Steve and I went to an attraction about Walt Disney's life, vision, etc. It was remarkable the vision this man had. Interestingly, Epcot was his vision for the future (and the only park he planned before his death), which is why it contains so many futuristic rides.
The whole gang at Hollywood Studios.

Now that I've shared my vacation/absence from blogging, let's get back to DIYing! A lot has been happening in the 6 weeks-ish since I've posted, so look forward to seeing some great posts soon including a new paint color, an organization project, and a great caulk trick. Get excited!

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