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Friday, October 23, 2015

Jacob's "Junior Year Trip With a Parent"

Our third child and I just returned home from the second happiest place on earth - Walt Disney World! (The one in FLORIDA.  DisneyLAND is in California!) It's usually called the "Happiest Place on Earth", but most of the time my home is the happiest place.  Sometimes, it's not!! Ha ha!
So this was the year it was Jacob's turn to go on a trip with a parent. I went with the oldest, my husband went with the next oldest, I went this time, and for the youngest, my husband will go.  It began as a surprise gift for me from my husband, but we decided to make it a special "Junior Year" thing with the kids.
The main reason it is so special is that with two people, we can do what we can not do with six people.  With six people, we always rent a house because it's way cheaper than staying at a Disney Resort. But by staying on property in a Disney Resort, you get a lot of the perks and experiences that we can't get when staying in a house off property.
The pictures above are from "Be Our Guest" restaurant.  It's inside the Beast's Castle. The "Beauty and the Beast" beast.  He's with us in the top picture.  It was a DELICIOUS meal! Jacob says it's the very best steak he's ever eaten! And the picture above here is the "Grey Stuff"...just like in the movie!  It's delicious!  Jacob really liked it!
Christmas at WDW is just beautiful, but I loved the fall decorations! If they had been selling one of these wreaths, I might have brought one home!  (Not really because I'm sure it would have cost a small fortune and it absolutely wouldn't have fit in the suitcase!).
The fireworks and shows during "Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party" were especially fun. I'm not a huge fan of Halloween, so I wasn't sure I would like the party, but it was really fun! There were people dressed up - both old and young and in-between - and lots of stops to trick or treat.  There were special shows and parades just for that party, so it was pretty neat and not so scary.  :)
One highlight of our trip was on the safari. There are two baby giraffes on the safari now and one of them came up really close to our bus! I think he/she wanted to play!  Sooooooo cute!
One of Jacob's nicknames is "Donald". His siblings call him that or Duck or Duckling, so we had to get a picture of him with his namesake!  Donald Duck is his favorite Disney character! He was always my favorite, too!
The second best place we ate was O'hana.  That's another perk of only having two people...we could eat at all of the nice places every day. That's too expensive to do with six people!
Jacob really, really, really liked O'hana!  This was towards the end when we still had lots of food left and he was stuffed!
A special part of the trip was getting pictures with Jacob.  He didn't mind a bit and even suggested that we stop for pictures occasionally!  I laugh because with our daughter's and my trip, we do have some pictures, with my husband and next oldest, they sent me two picture, and Jacob and I have several hundreds of pictures!!  I'm thinking #4 and his dad will send two.  Ha ha!
As soon as most people get home from WDW, they miss it.  We've missed it all week, though walking 10-15 miles a day wore us out!!  My feet needed a rest (I only got 3 blisters this time compared to 14 last Christmas! YAY! Ha ha!).  But within a day, we both wanted to go back...and that made the rest of the family want to go back.
(Bathroom fast pass from Whispering Canyon restaurant.  Such a fun place to eat!)

This year has been odd for me. I've been to Florida four times.  That won't happen again unless one of our children decides to live there, then we'll be there often.  (I want them to be close, but if they do choose to live away, Florida is top on the list! :) ) 
Our housekeeper made this elephant and decorated it with the wand and sward they gave us when we checked in a Caribbean Beach Resort.  I didn't know it, but Jacob had written her a sweet note thanking her for all she was doing. That was very sweet of him! He wrote her another one after this.
I had to post one of these, even though it's really unflattering of me!  This is how I look in all of the scary ride pictures.  My children "pose" for the cameras!  This is on "Rock n Roll Roller Coaster" in which the "limo" goes from 0 to 60 in 2 seconds!  My heart beats fast just typing that!!!  But I'd get on right now if I could!
Sunday morning, we could have gotten a taxi and ridden to worship at the Main Gate congregation we enjoy every time we are at WDW, but we had worship together - just the two of us.  That's what we did with the older two, and really, it made it an intimate time with just the two of us at each trip.  Jacob wrote his own "sermon" and led us in song and prayer. I remembered the grape juice for communion, so didn't have to spend $16 for it like I did when Lauren and I went!  His lesson was GREAT. I'll share it next week.  

Special memories were made last week.  Jacob was so appreciative of this special trip just for him.  It was pretty neat seeing how much he enjoyed it.  He was even proud of these pictures where they had us hug :).  He likes hugs.  I'm thankful he does.

Yesterday I printed off one of our hugging pictures, put it in a Mickey frame I had gotten him without him knowing, and set it on his dresser. He was so proud of it and asked how I did it so quickly and how I got the frame.  He'll always remember this special one-on-one trip.  And so will I.
 
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