Thursday, February 17, 2011

More Disney

I thought I would be able to finish our trip in this post, but I have a few too many pictures that I want to post.  I do have plans to print my blog, so I don't want to leave too many pictures out.  My daughters are doing a good job of recapping the trip, if you would like some info for planning your own trips check out that link here.

Our first day at the parks found a few of us, actually all of us, except Jessica, Jackson, and poor Ben who fell asleep and was carried for much of the evening, enjoying the late night rides.

Here are Cooper and his dad on Dumbo.

 I have several pictures of our Monday morning entry to Magic Kingdom.  We had reservations at Cinderella's Royal Table for the girls before the park opened.  If you want to eat at CRT, you need to make your reservations EARLY ~ like 6 months early!!  I did this, and I was so hoping that it would be worth it.  If you have a little girl that likes Disney princesses ~ go for it!  We were not disappointed.

I think that one of my favorite things was entering the park before it opened.  I didn't know you could do that and it is wonderful.  I took several pictures of the castle because you just can't get these pictures on a normal day.  I just wish the sky was blue ~
 I don't think there are any people in this picture!

 Our pretty princess.
 Standing at the castle and looking back to the depot.  Usually PACKED with people.

 So much fun.
 This was Wednesday morning, another early entrance for a breakfast with characters at Tony's on Main Street.

We spent the day at Epcot on Tuesday morning.

These pictures are out of order ~ we are back to Wednesday morning now.  We got in early to go to our breakfast at Tony's and while we were waiting we shopped for hats.  Every one needs a pair of ears!!

What I want you to notice is that we are the only ones in the shop.  How fun is that??
After breakfast, we met a few characters.

The fairy godmother.

Peter Pan and Cooper.  I love how the characters take the time to really talk to the kids.  It was so special.

On Wednesday evening, we took Elizabeth to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.  {I have no idea how to spell that} Our little sweetie, looked so young and sweet sitting in that chair.

{you know when they slick their hair back and you just see that little face ~ you can so easily see the baby that used to be there 5 short years ago ~  kinda sad ~ but very thankful to be here to share these memories! }
She got a lot of attention and loved it.

Our pretty girl.

When she was finished, she posed in the throne.  What a fun experience!!

Some lessons learned: schedule something before the park opens, because it is so much fun to go in when there are few people around.  

Pack rain gear for sure.  We got dumped on on Monday and you need a poncho with a hood.  Umbrellas are good, but not as good as something with a hood.  I got one at Target, but you know they sell them at the parks too.  {those tend to be throw aways, and I brought mine home and I can save it for our next adventure.}

Bring your own umbrella stroller ~ even for kids as old as 5 or 6.  It's not even so much for the walking, as it is to keep track of your child in a crowd.  It would have been pretty scary at the parades and fireworks if we didn't have the strollers.  And the parks are very dark at night.  That's one thing I think they could improve on is a little more lighting at night.  They don't have to have big lights, even a little up lighting on the buildings would help. 

So there you have it, one more post left to finish up our trip.  It was so much fun ~  I think I had the best time of all of us!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

It's A Library!

 I feel like the title of this post should be "How I Spent My Icy Vacation."  This room is where I spent most of my time during the 3 days I never left the house Superbowl week.

I shared the before of this room here.  It is a very small room, with very little book shelf space, but we helped the situation with the addition of this bookcase.  It was kind of hard to find a bookcase that would work in this room.

First of all, I wanted it to be black.  The room is full of wood paneling and I'm not very fond of it but I wasn't going to change it.  I didn't want a wood toned  bookcase to add to the problem.  Black goes with everything in my house, so that's what I looked for, and I found this one.  It is the perfect size, not as massive as so many are, which was another criteria.

I hung 2 tole trays on existing nails, which is why they are so far apart.  I have a few more trays to add, once I get some more hangers, and then I will space them properly.   I really like the trays in here.  I may move those black and white plates and add a few trays on the other side of the window too.  We'll see.
We {I mean Bob and Laura} moved the love seat from our former home out of the garage where it has spent the last 3 years.  It is a cute love seat, but I just couldn't fit it in this house anywhere so I am hoping it will work out in here. {the black fringe does go on the bottom of the top cushions, I realized after posting that the cushions have that smooshed lived in look ~whoops!}
 I also moved the little tray coffee table in here ~ it had no home either.

This is the view sitting on the love seat.  The room has double doors and a pretty leaded window.  The view out those black windows is of our backyard and pool.

This bookcase is on the left of the fireplace.  I moved all of my fiction hardcover books to this case, and the black bookcase.  Yay ~ all together again!!
The doors underneath house my paperback fiction.  Most of that collection is at the cabin in Wisconsin, but I have a few new ones here and this will be just about the right amount of space.
This itty bitty bookcase holds fiction waiting to be read!  I am glad to have it in one spot so I can choose what to read next.  I LOVE to read!  These usually were in varioius piles all over my house. 

 One shelf holds my hardcover Christmas collection of grown up books, and the bottom shelf has books about books.  I have a few books that contain book lists and I love having them in one spot too.  In the cabinet underneath are travel guides and an empty shelf!  I love empty shelves!!

Please excuse the horrible lighting in this picture but I wanted to show the ceiling in this room.  {my camera stinks, a new one is on the list, I just don't know what I want}  It is a lovely coffered ceiling that used to have an ugly ceiling fan.  Bob recently hung this chandelier and what a difference.

  I included some close ups of my decorating books because I saw Penny of Comforts of Home showcase hers, and I thought it was a fun idea.  See Penny's here.  I do love to peek at peoples bookshelves.

So, there you have it, a little progress made in my library.  I am liking having the love seat in there, the grandchildren and I fit perfectly and I call it our storybook chair.  I keep a big basket of books on the floor for them to choose from.  I am going to be playing around with things on the walls but that's about it for now.

I am joining Kim for WOW US Wednesdays.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

We had our grandchildren over for lunch this weekend to celebrate Valentine's Day.  Jackson and Cooper spent a few nights here, their house was being painted.  Here they are watching a movie with grandpa with their balloons.  No holiday at our house is complete without balloons.
 Elizabeth and Ben spent the afternoon here.

 Our 4 Valentines.  How sweet are they???!!!  I want nothing else.

 But, my sweet husband brought these home, as he will be gone all week.  He knows I love flowers, but he doesn't usually surprise me with roses.  I love them ~ and him!!
Happy Valentine's Day to you all.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

More Disney ~ Our Hotel

I thought I would continue my Disney posts with a little bit about our hotel.  The only other time we have been to WDW we did not stay on the property.  I knew this time, it would make everything so much easier with the 10 of us to be right on the property.

Bob had a business trip to Orlando in August, and we checked out several hotels on the property at that time.  They were all quite nice, but my favorite was this one...for several reasons.

Our hotel, viewed from the boat launch at Magic Kingdom.  I'm not sure if you can pick it out, but that building in the foreground, kind of round, is a restaurant that was quite yummy.  Bob and I had a great dinner there one evening.  Bob had steak and lobster ~ nice!
 This is the only shot of our room, we had asked for a king, but this was still a lovely room.
 The mouse is every where.  Elizabeth and I had fun looking for the hidden Mickeys.
 This was the beautiful view from our room.  That is the Polynesian Resort in the background.  I enjoyed sitting at that table down below one evening watching the kids on the beach.
 Can you find the Mickeys in the wallpaper? {and Donalds etc} ~ and what a beautiful rose waiting for us in our room.
 This was our breakfast spot in our hotel.  Bob and I had a room in the main building.  The monorail connects to the 2nd floor of this building.  From our hotel the Magic Kingdom is the next stop.  About 2 minutes.  This is one of the reasons we liked this property.  We knew with the ages of our grands, we would spend a lot of time at MK and we loved the quick trip over.  The hotel was the first stop on the boat ride back, so you take the boat to and the boat from.  Worked great.

Our kids were in the next building over, and had breakfast every day in their place.  This was the one morning we got a little later start, so they came to our building for breakfast.  The breakfast was so great, pastries and cereal, yogurt and fresh fruit...and more.  It was so handy to have it ready in our hotel so we didn't have to find a restaurant for the 10 of us.
 This was the nightly boat show on the lake outside our hotel.  You can see the spire of Space Mountain on the left, and the building on the right is the Contemporary Hotel.  This was the view from our dock.

 The beautiful lobby.
 Piano player every afternoon, and a live band every evening.  Of course we weren't here much to enjoy it, but I think we managed to make it to 2 cocktail hours.
We loved staying at The Grand Floridian.  Who knows where we will stay next time, but I would love to stay here again.  We will see when the time comes.  There are so many lovely properties, you really can't go wrong.

We also did the Disney Dining Plan ~ another new thing for us.  It did work great, but we picked the 1 snack, 1 quick meal, 1 dining plan.  It would probably have worked better for our big group to have just the quick meals.  It was hard to make reservations for dining for 10 in advance.   We decided which parks we would visit in advance, but once you are there, plans I'm not quite sure if we got all of our meals ~ I think Disney made out on us!  {just a little though, we tried hard to eat up at the end!!}  {loved my mint chip ice cream on Main Street!!}

I know these posts aren't really of interest unless you are planning a Disney trip.  If you are, and want more of our trip, go to this post, where I have linked my daughters' in depth posts.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Iced In

You have probably heard that Texas has been having a few "weather issues" for the last few days.  The eyes of the world are on us, as we have lots of people in town for the big game on Sunday.

I have lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas and I have never been trapped in my house for 3 1/2 whole days.  {maybe I used to be braver?}

We have a lot of ice, and it has been cold!!  But today the sun came out and by afternoon I felt brave enough to go to Subway and get a sandwich and they were closed!!  I stopped in a Hobby Lobby instead, it just felt so good to be out of the house.

While I was house bound, I got caught up on some house projects that were badly needed.
But first I arranged these flowers that I bought on Monday, before the ice hit.
Green and yellow, one of my favorite color combos.

 With my little lemon plate, and my very favorite candle, it was just a little spot of sunshine, and a little bit of longing for spring.

 Trapp, orange vanilla, my hands down favorite.  It has a strong scent so if you don't care for that you won't like this candle, but I love it.
Hope your weather is warming up, where ever you are!

I'm off to put a warm robe on and curl up with my book and perhaps a glass of wine in my newly rearranged library.   I hope you all have a good evening too!