Monday, July 7, 2014

Conquering Disney...or Something Like That

While it may seem we never leave our backyard, we did venture quite a distance from home to the most magical place on I hear ;)  

Our guy's sister and brother-in-law call Oregon home, and they made a cross-country flight to Florida for their summer vacation inviting us to come along for the week. These are a few of my favorite moments: 

We stayed just minutes from the Disney parks. It was beautiful. I think these girls would have been content to hang out at the pool all day, every day. 

My big girl always seems to have dinosaurs on the brain. One of her first observations when we arrived, "I like the trees in Florida! They look like they could be in Jurassic Park...couldn't you see a dino chomping down on that!" Yes, yes I could.

We took a couple of days to visit the beaches. This is where I should point out that I'm fair-skinned and freckled. The good Lord did not design me for Florida in the summertime. I put on more sunscreen this week than I have in my entire life. Hats and umbrellas were my constant companions. I'm sure I was a sight. Survival mode isn't pretty people ;)

I'm so thankful these girlies have their daddy's pretty skin. I married up ♥

 We're off to have breakfast with princesses! Can you just feel the excitement?!

The girls have different favorites from the week, but this was definitely one of mine. This was the closest I came to tears while I watched them. Wide eyes, big smiles, complete awe. Each princess came by our table to say hi, take a picture, and sign their hats. I would like to say that we are super awesome and prepared parents and planned the autographed hats, but really it was a frantic, spur of the moment choice because we showed up without autograph books. {I know} I think the hats are awesome, though. Clearly, that was a genius idea. 

This Ariel was the cutest. She carried on with our shy munchkin in the most adorable way. She was my favorite. 
{Dear Disney, give this girl a raise.}

By the end of most days, we looked like this. 
complete. exhaustion. and stained lips from random cold, sweet treats.

 I hung out of the van window like a crazy lady to get this picture and was more afraid of losing my phone than falling out. You know, whatever it takes.

This. The castle, the music, the energy, those smiles. Yes, there is a bit of magic here.

This guy. I'm so thankful to share these moments with him. At the end of another hot, sticky, exhausting day, I turned to him and said, "We conquered Disney!" He looked back at me and said, "I think Disney conquered us!"

The light parade and fireworks were two of my favorite things. I can't put into words how tired we were at the end of this day, but we were determined to hang on a little longer for this magic.

The dragon was my big girl's favorite, naturally.

I watched her as much as I watched the fireworks. Moving her hands to the music, eyes fixed on the of those moments you want to hold on to always.

On one of our non-Disney excursions, we headed to Clearwater, FL. Our plan was to just go to the beach and check out the gulf coast waters, but thanks to a quick text {thank you Jill!} we stopped by to meet a movie star living in the area.

Meeting Winter from the movie Dolphin Tale was the highlight of their week. Don't get me wrong, the princesses were nice, but Winter. {they now watch the movie daily} 

After the Clearwater Aquarium, Animal Kingdom ranks a very close second on their list of favorite days. Because dinosaurs. 

Yep, they're mine.

We enjoyed the Kilimanjaro Safari ride, twice!  

The Animal Kingdom was the last of the Disney parks we visited. It was a unanimous conclusion that we saved the best for last.

I asked the girls about their favorite moments from the week, and they made lists. 

The big girl's list: 
1. Winter the dolphin 2. Animal Kingdom 3. Magic Kingdom 4. spending time with my family 5. riding all the rides 

The munchkin's list: 
1. swimming in the swimming pool 2. seeing the alligators 3. seeing elephants 4. seeing giraffes 5. princess breakfast and seeing the hippo

I think they had a pretty great week!

A special thank you to the sister & brother-in-law for inviting us along on this grand adventure! ♥

I hope you're having a blessed and beautiful summer!


  1. Beautiful captures - such a lovely holiday ... I love the picture of your girls eating ice cream - and sitting in the car, smiling and awaiting the adventure! The blue skies and dolphins - wonderful!
    Blessings to your weekend, Amanda!

  2. it looks like you had a magical time... heehee cracking myself up. Seriously though, it does look blissful!! Lovely.