Friday, July 31, 2009

A prehistoric Quest with a dash of motion sickness

Today was day two of our voyage to the sunny state. We awoke this morning around 6:30am, showered, ate our free continental breakfast and then back to the van to head to our next destination.

We were only on the road for 3 hours this time and it was actually enjoyable. Emily (our GPS) lead us straight to our new hotel.. Galleria Palms.

It was a very nice hotel and we were excited to know we would have clean beds to sleep in again tonight. Ben liked the hotel so much that he took too long in the shower so we had to leave him behind.

We forgot to eat lunch before we headed in the "Disney" direction but we were told there was a McDonalds in Downtown Disney so we thought we would eat there..... it would be cheaper right???? Ummmmm......NO! AND it was so packed that we all had to sit at different tables and make funny faces at one another. :)

After our very expensive, non-nutritional lunch at Fatdonalds we walked over to Disney Quest.

We walked up to the ticket window to purchase our tickets for the day and spoke to a very nice gentleman by the name of John. Greg and John started chatting and Greg (jokingly) mentioned it was our birthday tomorrow and wanted to know if we could get in free like all the other Disney parks.

John smirked and said "No, I wish we could, but we are not managed like all the other Disney parks. But, I will see if I can't work something out for you."

After he rang us up we noticed he only charged us half price for all our tickets. HALF price. Do you know how long I looked on the internet to try to find us deals into this place???? So, Greg's quote for the day was...."Trust my read and follow my lead."Ugggggg! I can't believe he saved us that much money just by chatting with a guy.

We did have to wear 3 Happy Birthday pins all day long and if I heard Happy Birthday once today I heard it 300 times. However, I would have worn a tall hat if that meant I could get in half price or free..... well maybe not a TALL hat, but I would have worn a hat. Tomorrow will be more of the same. :)

I was prepared today for motion sickness. I took my dose of Dramamine at least an hour before we arrived and I was ready for some fun. What I was NOT ready for was my reaction to riding in a very small, very hot, very FULL elevator.

The lady packed us all into the elevator, the doors closed and the lights went out. There we all were in the dark heat. Aladdin appears in the mirror in the elevator and I still notice we are not moving. I lean over to Greg and say in a very loud, panicked whisper.... WE ARE NOT MOVING. I am very claustrophobic and I was not enjoying the moment.

I closed my eyes and pretended I was standing somewhere very spacious (which is very hard to do when your body can touch everyone standing next to you). Needless to say it did not work and by the time the doors opened I had worked myself up into a pretty good panic attack and had to sit down for a few minutes. I had tunnel vision and was nearly passing out.

I am starting to think maybe I am getting too old for vacations. Between the Dramamine and panic attacks I am exhausted and we are only on day 2.

After all the elevator commotion we thought maybe we would play it safe and start out on a more calm floor of Disney Quest.... Create. Well, I didn't know "create your own virtual roller coaster and ride it" was on this floor. Leslie and I created our ride and Nick and Greg created theirs. We rode them and I was stunned to find out the Dramamine was doing the trick and I was actually feeling OK. It was fun to ride the coaster we had created just moments before.

We also learned how to draw Minnie Mouse

Here is my chubby little Minnie Mouse.....

and here are the kids drawing their Minnie Mouse.....

Greg and Nick drove a couple Star Wars Pod Racers

This was a real live people pinball game... we didn't play it but it looked cool.

Here is Greg playing his flight simulator. He loved it... I wish we could turn his computer games into something like this for him to play. It was like he was in a real cockpit. :)

THEN we played THIS game......

This game took everyone down. In the pictures above you can see the helmets we needed to wear. The virtual mask would then clip down onto the helmets which were on our heads. We were placed in a virtual comic book war with light sabers that we had to use to fight.

Everyone looked ridiculous playing it but that was half the fun. :) BUT, when the game began we instantly became very sick. This was beyond motion sickness; poor Greg was drenched with sweat after the game was over and he closed his eyes through a big part of it. After this game none of us felt the same again.

We mustered up enough strength to play Pirates of the Caribbean and we were glad we did; it was a great game and we had a blast playing it. The game consisted of running around a virtual ship while the captain (Nick) steers the ship up to enemy ships so we can shoot them and steal their gold. Greg, Leslie and myself continually ran into one another while running from one cannon to the other. It was hysterical and we had a great time.

After winning several chests of gold we needed to walk around an area where everything was not moving around so we decided to do a little shopping in the Disney stores.

We noticed they had nothing in the windows so we thought we would help them out a bit.

Leslie loved the Eeyore's.........

but not the price of the Eeyore's......

We visited Lego World too....

Pictures of everyone waiting for mom to finish using the restroom....

This is where we ate dinner.

It was delicious! Greg ordered Layers of the Earth Lasagna, Les ordered Mammoth Mushroom Ravioli, Nick ordered Peperoni Pizza with a Jurasic salad and I ordered Mammoth Chicken. Plus, they brought us out free birthday treats when we were done eating. (and sang very loudly)

It was a great day. We loved shopping in all the Disney stores and I had fun in Disney Quest too.... I am not sure how people stay there all day though. After a while the motion sickness really does set in.

It is late and I know I made many mistakes in this post... I am sorry and will fix them later... right now I am going to fall into bed and dream of Disney Hollywood Studios. (NOT the Tower of Terror)

See ya real soon........ :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Rush Limbaugh, Dramamine and Benjamin Franklin

Before I start this post I need to let everyone know I usually write in a journal documenting everything we do while on vacation. This is our first vacation where I have had a blog so this is taking the place of my journal. I am sorry if I bore you with frivolous details however years from now our kids will be thrilled to have these memories to reflect back upon. The “X” button is in the upper right hand corner of the screen if it gets to be too much. :)

We awoke this morning at 5:00 to begin our vacation! We were all very excited to get on the road except our little (85 lb) Murphy boy, who was very sad watching us pack all our clothing.

He knew something was up, so Greg and I purchased Murph some new toys….. A kong toy to fill with peanut butter, a “busy bone” and a new squeaky stuffed animal that he could destroy. Needless to say he could have cared less as we were driving away this morning.

We left the house at 6:15am (45 minutes behind schedule) to head south. Traffic was a little congested until we were through Cincinnati. Once we were midway through Kentucky Greg said he needed coffee, he felt as if we drove through Cincinnati yesterday. The first few hours were a little slow while everyone woke up. :)

Ben Franklin asked if he could join us on our trip to Florida this year. We like Ben Franklin so we said yes… the more of him the better actually. Vacation and Ben Franklin go very well together.

We stopped at McDonald’s at 8:00 to get coffee and breakfast. Les had hash browns with a cinnamon gooey roll, Nick ordered a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit with hash browns, Greg had coffee, a bacon, egg and cheese bagel with a breakfast burrito, I had eggs and sausage and Ben had a salty biscuit. (sorry, only a few of you will understand “salty biscuit”, I will explain later in another post)

After a couple hours we started heading into the mountains of Kentucky and Tennessee. This is where my age started to show. I desperately needed Dramamine. I couldn’t look down, sideways or behind me without feeling like I was going to bring up breakfast. Usually I don’t feel this way unless I am reading or looking down for a long period of time… uggg I am so high maintenance these days.

Thanks to our handy dandy new GPS (Emily) we knew right where the next Wal-Mart was (best purchase we have ever made by the way). We touched the “points of interest” button on the screen and typed in Wal-Mart and it told us where several Wal-Marts were located. We chose the closest one and she took us right to it. It was a brand new Wal-Mart Super Center which was good and bad. Good in that it was clean and fresh. Bad in that it only had one fully finished working restroom and it was in the very back of the store.

I bought my Dramamine AND my sea bracelets…. I looked SUPER cool as you can see. I am such a nerd.

The only station that came through the van clearly was Rush Limbaugh. You can see what he did to the kids. Instead of not mixing politics and religion in a crowd we should add don’t mix politics and kids together in a van. :)

Ben was starting to get on Leslie’s nerves; he wouldn’t stop looking at her. Every time she woke up he would be staring at her and it was starting to get to her.

Our next stop was Gas. We were proud of our van… we drove a good distance with our first tank of gas. This is our first road trip with the new van so we didn’t know what to expect. We took time to run into the Hampton Inn next door to the gas station for a potty break. We were given this great tip from a friend; she and her family stop at Hampton Inn's on their vacations and the restrooms are always clean. Thanks Linda.

I opened one of the compartments in our van and to my surprise look who I found.....

If you missed my post about the Fisher Price farmer (which by the way doesn't even belong to us )click HERE.

We spent time listening to “Greg’s mix”…(cd’s Greg created for our listening pleasure). The rule is once the song comes on you have 40 seconds to make your decision. You can veto the song but there has to be a majority vote for the veto to work. UNLESS you over ride the majority, then you can veto but you lose your over ride power for the next song. I guess you get desperate when there is noting to do in a van for a long period of time. We did get excited to see a sheriff canine unit, but the windows were tinted so we couldn’t see if there was a dog inside. We also saw a hot dog wiener car.... pretty exciting stuff!

We stopped again around 4:00 for linner. We snacked around in the van and was not hungry for lunch earlier. Betcha can’t guess where we ate.

We had a good laugh teasing Nick about kissing Ben. Ben had smooch marks all over his face and Nick was the one sitting closest to him before linner. He didn’t find it funny. :)

Look who we found a friend for during our time at Chick-Fil-a.

We called again to confirm our reservation for our hotel stay in Valdosta,. All was good; they were expecting us. You never can be too careful with hotels. I can’t tell you how many times we have shown up to find 1 king size bed in smoking when I clearly asked for 2 queen beds in NON smoking.

After a few more hours of driving (which felt like an eternity) we arrived in Valdosta and plan to have a wonderful night's sleep. We are a few short hours away from Disney! Tomorrow is Disney Quest!

Good night Y'all.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nick man and the all night sleep over.

Found these pictures on the camera... Nick must have taken them himself, not sure what
effect he was going for, but I liked them. :)

Nick will be 14 on Saturday, and when asked what he would like to do for his birthday he replied... " Can I have an all nighter with my friends"? He has done this before with a couple of his really good friends from kindergarten and first grade.

An all nighter consists of staying up all night long playing Xbox, drinking Mountain Dew, and eating nothing nutritional. I know..... a mother's nightmare.

Needless to say Nick was given permission for his all nighter (second one this summer but whose counting?) and they had a great time. Here are a few photos of the horrible lack of parenting.

If you look closely in this photo you can see GRAPES in a bowl... yay... nutrition!

I almost cried a little when ordering these Xbox pants for Nick... they are an adult small in MENS. They are still a little long so I felt better. :)

I will blog later about sweet Nick, I wrote a book about Leslie and her day of birth and I will do the same for Nick when I am not packing, cleaning, and pulling my hair out while getting ready for vacation. :)