Monday, February 6, 2012

One Year Ago....

One year ago today, we stepped on board, what is now affectionately called, "the Mickey Boat".  My parents have a wonderful perspective on retirement.  They want to enjoy their hard earned money.  And how do they like to enjoy it?  By spending time with their kids and grandkids.  Why save all of your money and then have it be willed to someone else later?  They are using their money to make MEMORIES with us.  Priceless!  I would much rather have spent time with them now than have an inheritance later! 

So as part of this plan, they have chosen to take all 12 of us on a fun, week long, vacation every other year.  In 2009, they surprised the kids with a trip to Disney World.  They went all out and we stayed in a cottage at the Wilderness Lodge just on the other side of the lake from The Magic Kingdom.  We had so much fun.  The kids were AMAZING, especially because they ranged in ages from 9 months to 7 years old.  That was 6 kids under the age of 7 and they all did SO well.  It really was the happiest place on earth.  It was the coldest February on record in Florida, but that meant the crowds were really small and we rode SO many rides.  The highlights of the Disney World Trip, in the kids own words: Noah (7)-Thunder Mountain, Mission to Mars and Test Track.  Josiah (5): Splash Mountain, meeting Tigger and the hotel water slide.  Makai (5): Meeting Donald Duck, Space Mountain and Test Track.  Tanner (3):  The BIG HILL (Splash Mountain) and Mickey.  Adah (almost 3):  Seeing Tinkerbell and the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique.  Jameson (9 months):  He loved it all.  He just smiled his way through the park!  You also should check out this video where Aunt Julie was making Jameson cry by making a funny face.

So then my parents had to figure out a way to top that trip!  And I think they did.  They booked a 7 day Mexican cruise on board the Disney Wonder.  Disney knows how to do it right!  If you are looking into a cruise, don't look anywhere else.  The service was amazing, the food was amazing, and the kids loved seeing all of the characters.  We didn't tell the kids where we were going.  We just showed up at the airport and when we got to the gate, they saw we were going to L.A.  They just thought we were going to hang out in L.A. for the week.  When we got into the airport shuttle the next morning, they had no clue where we were going (even though they saw the big Mickey ears on a HUGE boat go right past our hotel early that morning).  When we pulled into the dock and saw the GINORMOUS boat in front of us, they all started screaming.  It was so fun!  The next 7 days included eating, a pirate adventure, eating, the pool (or polo as JJ called it), eating, hanging out at the beach, eating, shows every night, eating, seeing several different movies (in 3D for free, including Gnomio and Juliet which wasn't even in theaters yet), eating and enjoying time together as a family!
The gluten free, dairy free, egg free special dessert the chef made for our high maintenance allergy people!

Pirate Adventure!

Run Josiah!

It's too bad he's not having any fun!


Napkin fun!

Jameson's favorite place on board.  In the Mickey pool.


Characters everywhere!

Has it really been a year already?  We still talk about the Mickey boat at least once or twice a week.  We all wish we were going back right about now.  There is already talk of our next trip.  Might be a trip to San Diego, LegoLand, Disneyland and the beach.  Any other ideas for fun, family places to go?  Come on 2013!

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