Views from the Beach

I realized that I never reported back on my time at the beach a couple of weeks ago.  And based on recent events, I think we could all use a little light fun beach time, yes?  Ok then . . .

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This was what I was viewing as I began my drive to the beach to join my family, already in progress since that morning.  Don’t worry, I didn’t eat all of this stuff.  Just the Ruffles and about 2/3 of the M&Ms. 

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This was my view the next morning when my lovely husband, knowing how desperately I needed some relaxation time, told me to sleep in and then take a bath, while he took the kids to the pool.  And, if after that, you still have any doubt as to his wonderfulness, I present Exhibit B:  he went to the lobby of the hotel and bought me TWO large lattes (and a cupcake).  Per him, “I just didn’t think one would be enough!”  God love that man.

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This was the view from our hotel room balcony.  Note the fun kid’s pool and also the adult pool, with a swim up bar.  Yeah, now this was a vacation.

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Unfortunately, we only stayed at that lovely hotel for two days, and then we had to move all of our stuff about 100 streets up the highway to the condo we were renting for the week.  It was very hot that day.  And my A/C was broken.  I drove up and down that very long street and packed and unpacked my car about 6 times that day.  Not very relaxing or fun.  Where is my bathtub again?  Oh, that’s right . . . back at the hotel.  Bummer.

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As per the norm with us, the condo we rented had some interesting accoutrements.  There were two walls full of paintings going up to the top level, and a painting on almost every other wall of the house as well.  I found it interesting that the artist was able to capture exactly how I would look on the beach in a bikini without ever having seen me.  Now that’s talent!

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This was some sort of crazy, flying, magic mirror holding, green mermaid thing.  I see Nemo, I see Dory, I see Ariel . . .

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This was my actual view of the beach.  Not bad.  Ignore the bright white knees.  They got a touch less flourescent while I was there.

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Apparently, there was some sort of theme on the beach this year of which I was previously unaware . . . matching swimsuits!

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FIREWORKS!!  Because . . . yeah, do you really ever need a reason for fireworks?  Exactly.

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On the boardwalk, I found this little ditty.  Yeah, as if I’m not going to have to try the fried cheesecake!  I mean, have you met me?

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Apparently, this is what happens when you put hot gooey liquid batter inside a fried dough shell and then try to take a bite.  Cheesecake explosion!!  It was a delicious explosion, at least.

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Much better than the original meaning, for sure.  Gotta love a place that has a tip jar with a sense of humor.

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This was the start of our annual family shenanigans night out as we were approaching the bar.  There weren’t really all that many shenanigans this year to be honest, but as we were headed towards the bar, we did pass this sign, and thus late night shenanigans were planned . . .

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That’s right . . . we were gonna steal the “west.”  Last year ended with a letter theft on a neighboring sign that transformed it from “We make custom shirts” to “We make custom shit.”  Good times.  So, we would be altering yet another sign after achieving maximum drunkenness.  Or at least, that was the plan.  This was before everyone got tired of hanging out at the bar and paying ridiculous sums for alcohol, and instead decided to go back to our condo, grab some booze, and sit out on the beach under the full moon, and drink the rest of the night away.  It was a lovely plan.  And a lovely evening to be sitting on the beach with a cocktail in hand.  Only problem with that plan, in regards to the sign . . . there are way too many people milling about at midnight to vandalize a sign.  Oh well.  We’ll just have to envision the beauty this would have been.

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The entire time I was at the bar, I had the strange feeling that I was being watched.  Spooky . . . . .

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Mmmm, beer.  The hubs and I went out for dinner one night at this place called The Taphouse.  As you might imagine, it had a bajillionty beers on tap.  While we were waiting for our table to be ready, we sat at the bar and ordered a sampling of those beers.  These were mine, and they were delicious.  Oh, and if you think I’m kidding about the bajillionty? 

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Yeah, seriously.  So much goodness. 

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Remember how I said the hubs was wonderful?  Well, it’s not every man who will give you a plastic faux-jewel encrusted mustache shaped mood ring, now is it?  Almost as romantic as the day he proposed. 

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Just because it’s my kids, and they are adorable, and I love this picture of them waiting to get their ride wrist bands.  Don’t mind me.  Let’s just move along . . .

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How about a picture of my niece trying to drown her brother in the pool?  Much more exciting, right?  Ok, you’re welcome.

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BOOBS!!  You know, because when I think family friendly train ride around the amusement park, I think girl pirates with huge overflowing knockers and a half-clothed, panty showing, pirate girl tied up on the ground behind her.  Fun!

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Well, just to give equal time, I figured it would only be fair to show a penis on display as well.  So, here you go . . . look closely (I mean, if you’re into that kind of thing).  Are you wondering why I have a picture of a lifeguard’s shlong?  Well, it was a very rough day on the ocean, causing this lifeguard to be seen numerous times running up and down the beach to help people out in the water.  Finally, he figured it was time to address it, so he called everyone on the beach over to his chair, and he told us all about what to do if we got caught in a riptide.  At least, I think that’s what he was saying.  I was a wee bit distracted by his little friend poking his head out at me and waving hello.  So, while I may not know what to do if a riptide gets me, the one thing I do know is that this man has been circumcised.  Mazel Tov!

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Sadly, after many days of fun and festivities, we finally had to leave the beach (and the boobs and penises) behind.  This was our view as we headed out into the sunset.  Bye beach!  I miss you already.  Sniff.

I’m Going to Disney World!

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No, I didn’t just win the Super Bowl.  What do I look like . . . Joe Flacco?  I mean, yeah, maybe a little around the eyes.  But, that’s not what this is about!  Focus, people.  Back to the issue at hand . . .

This isn’t a post in the traditional sense.  What it is, is more of a cry for help.

My husband and I are planning a trip to Disney World at the end of March.  This will be our first trip as a family, the first time for our boys.  We already have the flights booked and the hotel reserved.  But other than that, we are still in the planning stage . . . including how we are going to tell the boys we are going.

I’ve been on YouTube.  I’ve seen the multitude of ways in which parents have surprised their children with news of their upcoming journey to the happiest place on earth.  In fact, just last week, a Facebook friend posted her own video of her and her husband telling her own boys they were going to Disney, that morning in fact.  That seems to be the most common trend in reveals.  The “we’re going to Disney . . . right now!” surprise.  We’re pretty sure we don’t want to wait until the day of to tell them.  We want them to have the chance to look forward to it and have some of that lovely anticipation, which I think is part of the joy of a great vacation.  But now we just have to figure out how to tell them.

Additionally, it has been many years since either the hubs or I have been to the magic kingdom.  I have a general idea of the things to do down there, but since the last time I visited, there are 2 new parks, I believe.  Quite a lot to see and do in just a short amount of time.  I’ve ordered the “planning video” from Disney, and looked online briefly for all the different activities there are to do, but to be honest, I’m a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing.

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See, I’m a planner.  I like to know what I’m getting into.  And while I don’t need each and every moment of my vacation planned to the second, I at least like to have a general idea of what we are doing on what days, with some room for change if necessary.  My hubs is actually the opposite.  His father used to be a drill sargeant about vacations, and would yell and scream if everyone in the family wasn’t where they were supposed to be at the exact time he dictated.  My hubs’ reaction to this is to now hate all things planned and scheduled.  He is a very “go with the flow” vacationer.  I try to respect that as much as possible, but still need some kind of structure.  So it is very give and take with how we plan these things.

Being a first timer (be gentle, please), I need your help.  I know many of you have taken your kids to Disney, so I would like some real world advice.  First . . . how did you tell your kids?  Was it prior to or the morning of?  Did you give gifts, make posters, do a scavenger hunt?  Any tips or advice would be very helpful.

Next . . . what are some suggestions of things that we must see and do while we are there?  Obviously, we are going to try to hit each of the major parks, probably one on each day, unless something else is happening.  Any suggestions on must sees or things we could skip this first visit?

And finally . . . any other tips and tricks that might be useful?  Such as:  did you get the food plan?  Was that a good idea?  Did you rent strollers?  My kids are 7 and 4, but I’ve been advised that a stroller is key, even at these ages.  Did you do any of the character meals?  Which ones and was it worth it?  And . . . anything else you might be able to share to help me make this a great vacation for my kids, but also make my life a bit easier with planning and execution of this massive endeavor.  Tips people.  I needs ’em.  I wants ’em.  I gots to have ’em.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, as always.  I love all y’all.  Thanks for being my peeps!

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