Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Disney Trip 2014 - Day 5: Hollywood Studios, Part 1

This was the day we had all been waiting for.  Star Wars day!  My side of the family has been obsessed with Star Wars ever since it came out in 1979.  I was not even born yet, but I was a fan.  When I was little, my brother, sister and I used to have Star Wars night, where we would gather every blanket and pillow in the house, pile them in the center of the family room, then build a humongous fort of couch cushions and comforters and the even "scratchy" blankets you did not want to lay on.  Those became the roof of the fort.  The only openings were a small opening in the back to enter/exit to get more snacks or to make a run for the little Jedi's room and a large opening in the front towards the TV.  We would then watch all 3 original Star Wars movies in a row.  Typically my brother could stay up the longest and finish them.  I don't think I even saw the whole "Return of the Jedi" until I was 10 because it was always on so late and I never made it.  My parents loved Star Wars night too because we would try to strip their bed of all pillows and blankets as well.  Why have 1 blanket when you could have 15?  3 to lay on and 12 to pile on top of yourself.  It was like the trash compactor scene in Episode 4, A New Hope.  We would lay under a ton of blankets, then put a box fan in their with us because we got too hot.  It made sense at the time.  My mom also loved the next day clean-up when we would whine and complain about tearing down our "Echo Rebel Base."  I wanted to keep it up forever or at least till I saw my first AT-AT on Hoth, who you knew was going for our shield generator, if only you could hold them off long enough with snowspeeders and tow cables until the transports got away. 

Needless to say, my family was big into Star Wars and we passed this on to our children.  Well at least I have tried.  My brother, Uncle Mike's kids were singing and playing the Star Wars theme song and the cantina song on the piano when they were about 4.  My sister, Aunt Lynn's kids can literally answer any Star Wars trivia question about Star Wars known to man, giving even the palest 40 year old living in his mom's basement surviving on Mountain Dew and broken dreams fan-boy a run for his money.  And then there are my kids.  I have tried and tried to indoctrinate them with Star Wars and get them excited and interested.  You can imagine my joy when they would light saber battle and Zachary would refer to himself as "Star Wars guy" and "force" on you while he swung his "light saver."  Saver with a "v" not "b."  Darth Vader's red light saver was apparently cherry-flavored.  I bet Lynn's kids didn't know that.  We even tried to watch Episode 4 with the boys for the first time before this Disney trip to get them excited about Hollywood Studios.  Now I had envisioned this moment with my children ever since they were born.  We would gather together as a family, pop popcorn, snuggle under blankets, and I would watch as their eyes filled with imagination and wonder as life took on new meaning as if brighter somehow, like Christmas morning with a room over-flowing with presents, and they would come to me with joy in their hearts thanking me for this new life experience because their eyes have been opened to a beauty they never knew existed and how they will never be the same.  We made it 30 minutes into the movie and turned it off because they all lost interest.  Nate watched 5 minutes then found staring at his hand more interesting.  Drew made it 15 minutes until Nate's hand became more intriguing.  And Zachary made it 25 minutes, then wanted to wrestle with his brothers to see Nate's amazing hand in action.  I held out 5 more minutes after that, while my dreams died. 

But this was Star Wars day at Disney.  Hollywood Studios has the Star Tours ride and Jedi training.  They also have the Toy Story ride which is very popular and lines form quickly.  So we got there early but were about 50 people back in line...all 18 of us in a 6'x6' square with 3 strollers.  One big happy, smooshed family.

Luckily there was an open area to our right where the boys could run and play catch with their new Stitch stuffed animals.  Drew became immediately infatuated with the character Stitch while we were there and used his own money to buy a stuffed animal.  He had never seen or heard of Stitch before then but suddenly it became his favorite thing in the world.  And Nate, who can do nothing besides what he sees his brothers doing, had to get a matching Stitch stuffed animal.  Disney does not offer any buy 1 get 1 free deals.  Imagine that.

While standing in line, we found out from an employee that if we wanted to do the Jedi training, we needed to go there first because it fills up quickly.  So as the gate opened we ran to the building to sign up.  And as close to the front as we were, we were still about 100 kids back in the line.  It was unbelievable.  As we made it through the line, we were able to sign up all 10 boys for the 12:30 show out of the 15 spots available.  The hostess told us to please show up because our family is basically the entire show.  We were so excited!

From there we ran to Toy Story Mania and even though it was 10 minutes after the park opened, there was already a 60 minute wait.  The wait was not that bad because the boys paired up and enjoyed picking which cousin they would sit with.

On the way to Toy Story Mania on the floor of Andy's bedroom.

Will and Zachary paired up.  Drew and Josh paired up.

Mike and I took our 2 youngest; Me and Wes; Nate and Mike.

Ready for 3-D carnival action.

Everything went awesome in the Toy Story ride.  No complaints.  Nobody fell out.  No one lost $300 sunglasses.  I ended up scoring the most points with 150,000.  It was a great start to the day. I somehow knew it wouldn't last. 

The whole crew on the backlot.  (the background buildings are a mural.)

The boys had an awesome time meeting Phineas and Ferb, getting their autographs and taking their pictures.  They were the only characters we were willing to wait in line for.  I was surprised my boys hugged them and not punched them in the crotch.  Because that was what I was expecting.

Drew was fascinated how they could sign with those huge fingers.

Nate was apprehensive to say the least.

Where's Perry?

From there we went to Muppet Vision 3-D and then to Star Tours.  Drew was picked out to be the rebel spy and threw a hissy fit when everyone kept calling him that afterward.  I think he noticed everyone was enjoying themselves too much so decided to put an end to that, in his own way.  This kind of wore on Lindsey and I's nerves because it led into more complaining about nothing.  Typically this signifies that they are getting hungry, or better yet..hangry.  You know how a baby cries when they are hungry or need to poop?  It does not change when they are 6.  They are just more vocal about it but still can not tell you directly.  They end up complaining about everything else.  You must pick up on their "signs."  So it was time to get them a snack but it was also about time for Jedi training.  And if you show up late, your spot goes to the next person on the waiting list.  The other problem that morning was Lindsey did not get her morning caffeine.  She had run out of Spark and did not have time to get a coffee in between rides so like a baby needing a bottle, she too began to whine and sob.  Only her "signs" come out as anger and frustration at me.  I would rather change a poopy diaper.  We had 10 minutes until we had to be at Jedi Training and using my trusty iPhone app, I was trying to locate a snack stand.  Well, if you remember from Epcot, she gets super annoyed at me and my app, and storms off to find the boys a snack.  Only, I sent her in the wrong direction and I found the pretzel stand before she did.  I am lucky Disney did not have a Divorce Kiosk that day.  I don't think divorce was covered under our meal plan but the pretzel was.  We ended up meeting back together at the Jedi training in time and with enough extra pretzels to share with all the cousins.

Eating pretzels and watching cartoons as they wait for Jedi training to start.  Disney has waiting down to a science.

Still waiting.
We had finally arrived at Jedi Training.  All 10 boys ready to face the "Dark Side."  Or as I sometimes like to call it the "Nate side."  Stay tuned.

I wonder if Disney has a suggestion box?...the divorce kiosk,
The Joyful and Tired Dad

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Disney Trip 2014 - Day 4: Animal Kingdom, Part 2

We finished lunch in DinoLand at the Animal Kingdom and met up with the rest of the cousins at the Boneyard.  It is basically a large play area with dinosaur bones to crawl around.  The boys needed to exercise their muscles and get their body's moving, while I needed to sit down.  You see all morning, I had been pushing a stroller with 2-3 kids at a time, carrying a backpack with 20 lbs of their stuff, or carrying one of them at all times.  So ironically, they now needed exercise! 

The Boneyard

Everything was going great.  The boys were having fun running around with their cousins, exploring, laughing, climbing and getting their energy out and I was able to sit and recover mine.  Then I noticed Drew's hair was wet.  And not only that but his entire shirt and pants.  This was not a water flume ride.  This was a simple play area for kids to play and climb but my child was able to find the one spot in the whole area that had dripping water down a wall.  It was not hot or humid this day.  It was February in Florida after all.  But still, at the entire huge play area amongst hundreds of kids, mine was the one who found the water and then led other kids to get wet too.  Your welcome parents.

Like the old saying goes "You can lead a child to water...
but you can't make him drink...because he will stick his head in it."

Drying out after finding the water.

Wes and Nate comparing who was more wet.  Thanks Drew.

After the Boneyard, we decided to take off for Downtown Disney.  But on the way to the bus, one of us was still a little sleepy.  Can you guess who?

If I am taking the picture, and its not one of them....

Who needs a pillow?

This was a consistent theme this day:  Nate looking for somewhere to lay his head.

We rode the bus to Downtown Disney and the boys were besides themselves excited about getting their own custom built lightsabers so we went there first. 

It was a cool setup.  You get to choose 4-5 parts of the handle and your own blade color.  You also choose a single or double bladed lightsaber.  Zachary wanted the double-blade which was fine but once Nate saw this, he needed to be exactly like his older brother and wanted a double too.  The only problem was the double lightsaber from end to end was probably 6 feet in length, which is 2.5 feet taller than Nate himself.  I managed to get this picture of Nate with the double before I convinced him that real Jedi's use a single blade, so he changed his mind.

Nate was only able to hold it above his head and was knocking over everything in reach.

Nate also got this Goofy pillow pet that he refused to put down, even while holding the lightsaber.  You can see him holding it in the picture above.  He looked just like Pre-school Darth Maul, except without the horns but with all the bad attitude and overflowing with evil from the Dark Side.

"A Jedi must feel the Force flowing through him...and through his goofy pillow pet."
-Obi Wan Kenobi

The coolest part of putting together their lightsabers was the Disney employee who worked there was able to help them make decisions about which parts to use, change parts out if needed and complete a fully functional lightsaber for the boys...and he was completely blind!  It was amazing to watch him put them together.  Just by using the Force!

From there we walked next to Rain Forest CafĂ© while Lindsey looked in ye Ol' Christmas shoppe.  I wanted to get pictures of the boys looking scared in front of the animatronic alligator.  This is what I got.

Good "scared" face...

...Ok "scared" face...

...I said "scared" face, not "aneurysm" face

We next went to the huge Lego store and the boys were able to create cars and race them down this track they had outside the store.  Outside and inside they had huge creations made of legos. 

Nate holding his Goofy again.

The day was getting longer and longer and Nate never got to finish his nap.  So again he looked for a place to hang his head.

From Downtown Disney we took a bus to Fort Wilderness for dinner.  On the bus, I sat with Drew and he tried to sleep holding his new Bolt stuffed animal while I tried to pretend I was blind to recover the money I just blew on souvenirs.

You can't see it but in front of me I have an empty guitar case with loose change.  No guitar just the case.

We took a bus to Fort Wilderness and once there, took another bus to get to the restaurant.  Outside the restaurant they had hoola hoops set up for the kids to play with.  Everyone was having a lot of fun.  And if everyone is having fun, that is usually someone's cue.  And on cue, Drew leans into Nate's spinning hula hoop, gets hit in the eye, and loses his mind.  I ran over to him because the way her screamed was like someone shot out his eye, surgically re-attached it, then shot it out again.  Nothing happened to his eye or face.  There was not even a mark, but because of the long day and fatigue of Disney, the drama was heightened and exploited.  When your kid has a melt down like that in front of other people, it takes everything in you to go to them, comfort and calm them down when all you want to do is look around for their real parents and stand in judgement with everyone else because you do not want to claim that. 

"Whose children are those?"

He eventually settled down and we had an amazing buffet at the Trails End restaurant.  Afterward, Drew needed to go to the bathroom, so I went with him cause it was my turn.  I wish that I hadn't.  Well, if you remember the "poop finger" incident from the day before, Drew has another "messy poop."  This one was so bad, I had to wet toilet paper to get him cleaned up.  Only the wet, dirty toilet paper got stuck in his butt crack and as I was retrieving a dry piece to pull it out, it did drop out...into my open hand.  And all the while Drew was cracking up and laughing.  I tried to give him a high five but he was too smart for that. 

We returned to our resort after dinner and has an awesome time night-swimming with all the cousins.  And once again, whose cue was it when everyone was having fun?  Drew ended up coughing on some water, so hard that he threw up in the pool.  Bye bye buffet.  He was OK and the rest of us stayed away from that part of the pool except Uncle Mike who swam right through it without knowing it.  (Until now.  Sorry Uncle Mike, we didn't tell you at the time or even after.)

Uncle Mike, I hope you took a shower after the pool that night,
The Joyful and Tired Dad

Monday, March 10, 2014

Disney Trip 2014 - Day 4: Animal Kingdom, Part 1

Animal Kingdom day.  A planned half day.  A rest day?  It should have been.  Quick tip for people planning a Disney trip: plan a rest day by day 3 in the parks.  Or at least a half day in the park with the second half saved for the pool or naps and dinner at your resort.  By this time, we were pretty exhausted  from 2 full days of parks, traveling to different restaurants each dinner, constant bussing all over Disney and 3 full days of "Drew complaints."  But of course with a Disney package deal, they wont let you have a rest day.  If you are paying to stay on Disney property then you are going to a park everyday you stay at the resort.  That's how they "get you."  Because no one wants to take a "rest day" when you are already paying for a "park day."  So we figured Animal Kingdom had the least we wanted to do and see so we planned a half day here with an afternoon at Downtown Disney.  Ever since the first night when the cousins got their lightsabers, my kids could not wait to get their own.  They really felt like they were missing out with all the innocent strangers they could be wacking with their lightsabers when I am not looking.  Its part of the Disney experience; for them and innocent bystanders.  And why should I deny those people the bruises and apologies my kids so graciously want to dole out. 

So we left for the Animal Kingdom with all 18 people in tow.  I do wonder what everyone on those buses must have thought when 8 adults and 10 boys got on their bus.  It could not have been good.  Probably what Zachary said at the airport, "Oh No.  Not more people."  Of course our boys are quiet, timid boys that never cause a ruckus or upset the gentle balance of peaceful morning.

The guy's expression on the left says it all.
We started our day at the ride "Dinosaur" with our family and the Haman's (my sister's family.)  We were the first ones in line and rushed through the queue.  I knew that it could be kind of scary but I was thinking "Disney scary" like the Haunted Mansion.  It was more "Marilyn Manson scary."  Or "Jurassic Park scary."  You rode in a small car, over extreme bumps and turns shaking you back and forth, in complete darkness.  And the only light that would come on was when they shoved a dinosaur's mouth in your face including spraying spit and wind with ear-piercing roars and dinosaur screams.  Needless to say, Zachary did not like it.  Its hard to stay positive after a ride you get shaken up by too.  "Wasn't that great kids?  Those silly dinosaurs almost ate us.  That was so funny.  Now, lets never do that again and just hold each other for the next hour.  Who wants to open us in prayer?"  Well that ride ruined Zachary for most of the rest of the trip for the "extreme" rides.  Pretty awesome.  Dinosaur the ride was in the "Dinosaur" part of Animal Kingdom which was set up like a carnival.  But instead of a cool midway with excitement and bells and whistles, it was more like a derelict old amusement park that was shut down 25 years ago for budget cut reasons and was now being investigated by old Scooby and the gang.  There were midway games but they charged $4 for each try at a game to win a $2 stuffed animal.  And of course my kids wanted to do every one.  We did not let them play any games and left Dinosaur land with highly frightened, angry children.  It was a great start to the day!

From here we went to "Its Tough to be a Bug" which is inside the huge tree at Animal Kingdom.  On the way in our huge carvings of different animals that my kids loved to pose in front of.

Nate loves all the pictures...or not.
Nate: "OK I'll give you one smile because you did an impression of a monkey to get me to smile."

"Your impression wasn't that great."

Before this ride I compared it to "Mickey's Philharmagic" at the Magic Kingdom where it is an interactive theater where they may spray water at you or wind and its in 3-D.  It was different.  The beginning is cute and they pull those little tricks like blowing wind in your face and such.  Then it turns dark.  Like a Disney Imagineer was sick of cutesy princesses and wanted to see how far he could push it before he got caught.  Let me tell you, he went pretty dark.  Half way through the "bad" bug takes over and proceeds to attack the audience with acid, stink bug smell, wasp stings in your low back and a huge animatronic cockroach that threatens every person in there....all in complete darkness.  It ends well and my kids hung in there but again it was not "Disney scary."  And at the end, they tell you to stay seated so the maggots, cockroaches, and beetles can exit while they raise little parts of your seat to simulate the bugs walking under your bottom.  This was my favorite part because my brother-in-law, who has been pretty quiet, actually yelled out in the middle of the theater. 

At this point we hooked up with the rest of our group and went to the Kilamanjaro Safaris.  This was the highlight of the day.  It was awesome.  The wild beasts were so close and ready to pose for pictures.  And we got great pictures of the animals too. 

(Grandpa looking in the wrong direction)


The animals were all on display and easy to see.  With each part of the safari, we saw exactly what they were advertising was in this area.  It was all very convenient.  A little too convenient.  When you go to a zoo, you pay top dollar to see the exotic animals but rarely see the full animal who is hiding or tucked under a bush.  You consider yourself lucky if you get to see a back left hoof or right butt cheek.  "I see it Mommy."  "No, that's another rock."  But at Disney, all the animals are on full display like they are cemented in place like George Washington at the Hall of Presidents.  I wouldn't put it past Disney to have 20% real animals and 80% "animal-tronic" animals. 

I think one of the birds was real.  The rest faked cause none of them moved.

This was easy to fake cause all it did was move the tongue in and out.  Can you see it?

This was real or a very complex robot.  2 baby elephants were wrestling with each other.  Very cute.  A little too cute if you ask me.  Only at Disney would you see baby elephants wrestling.  More like baby elephant robots!

Now you can't tell me all those alligators were real.  One of them had a "Made in China" tag on the tail.  And you get the exact one in the safari gift shop.

And come on Disney.  You might as well put Mickey ears on him.  Those horns don't even look real.

On the safari, Nate was sitting with Uncle Mike.  He was happy cause it wasn't me.  Well he ended up falling asleep half way through the safari. 

And when he woke up, you must have thought Uncle Mike was holding a rabid, giant male adult grizzly bear who was just coming our of hibernation.  Lindsey and I were talking so gentle to him and walking on egg shells around him because if you don't, he has the temper of a giant, angry grizzly bear.  Waking up, Nate is very much like the Incredible Hulk.  You don't want to get him angry.

"You won't like me when I'm angry!"

He was able to wake up gently and the crisis was averted.  We finished the safari which made the Animal Kingdom totally worth it.  We had a fast pass for Expedition Everest which was our next stop.  Now Zachary still afraid from the morning's Dinosaur encounter, refused to go on this ride but Drew wanted to ride it to prove himself to his cousins who had already ridden in 3 times.  So I took him on it and it was great. I was so proud of him for being a "big guy" to ride it, and I was able to enjoy an extreme ride too.  Afterward, everyone was congratulated him so much, he wanted to do it again.  So this time Lindsey went on it with him.  The only problem was that she forgot she was wearing her $300 prescription sunglasses on her head.  And as far as I know, they are now a permanent fixture on Disney's Expedition Everest.  I asked about Lost and Found, and they told me to try back tomorrow at the front desk.  So we just had to wait till then. 

After Everest we split up and headed for lunch back in Dino Land.  While we were waiting in line for our food, I experienced one of my favorite Disney moments.  The woman behind me must have been from New Jersey.  She had a thick Jersey accent and larger than life personality.  The Disney cast member who was taking orders always asks, before giving your total, if you would like to donate a dollar to the Wild Life Conservation Fund.  Its Animal Kingdom, so I get it.  Well apparently this lady did not.  When she was asked, this was her response in a thick Jersey accent, "Are you kidding me?  I have spent thousands of dollars on this Disney vacation.  Where do you get off asking me for another dollar?  Disney's got millions of dollars from these other poor saps.  Why don't you ask Disney for some money for your Wild Life Fund?"  A very valid point, but one that you think in your head and not out loud for everyone to hear in the Restaurantosaurus dining establishment at Disney World.  I couldn't at the time but later, I was dying.  The cast member very politely educated her on what Disney does do for conservation and the lady understood and apologized.  But still hilarious and I was glad I was there for that magical experience. 

Its tough to get hand-outs at Disney.  Probably why you don't see Salvation Army bell ringers at the park exits,
The Joyful and Tired Dad

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Disney Trip 2014 - Day 3: Epcot, Part 2

This was a day we planned to stay all day and skip the naps in the afternoon.  I don't know if that was the wisest decision but there was so much to do.  After lunch in Germany and apologies in Japan as the hanger subsided, we moved on to Spaceship Earth which is the inside the giant golf ball at Epcot.  Before we did this ride we all stopped by the bathroom.  This was one of my favorite times at Disney because of this 5 minute bathroom break.  I went into the bathroom with all 3 boys and Nate and Zachary had no trouble and left to be with Grandma and Grandpa outside.  Well apparently Drew had to go number 2 and these were all his direct quotes during the next 5 minutes.  "Daddy, I need your help.  Its too messy."  I go in to help him wipe to which he replies, "Daddy look.  I got a poop finger" which he did because of a wiping mishap.  "Its under the nail."  He then matter-of-factly states, "I am going to wash my poop finger extra."  Well I should hope so, it is going to need it.  And as I am pulling up his pants, he yells "Daddy you scratched my wiener!"  The zipper scraped him but he was sure to announce it in a crowded bathroom after the conversation about his poop finger which I tried avoiding like the plague as he kept trying to use that hand to balance himself by holding onto me. 

After a thorough hand and nail washing and Spaceship Earth, we played some interactive games in the building below the ride.  Zachary and Drew had fun playing this electricity game using a shuffle board like stick to push around images on the floor.  When it was Nate's turn, he could not do it correctly leading to a temper tantrum with lots of frustration, yelling and this. 

In the middle of a crowded attraction, on a floor teeming with multiple Walt Disneases like Snow White and the Seven Warts or Cinder-rubella.

Zachary got the hang of it.
So I tried to help him understand...
But never got it. (as you can see by his face.)

We next went to Captain EO, a throw back to 1983 with Michael Jackson in the starring role.  I know they brought this ride back as a tribute after his death but its been long enough.  Time to update that ride, Disney.  With this track record, I am looking forward to Disney's newest attraction: "The Life size Whack-a-Mole featuring the band Wham! starring George Michael as the tight-pants giant mallet.  Or a Little Red Riding Hood inspired ride featuring Duran Duran's "Hungry like a Wolf." 

Outside Captain EO were the "jumping fountains."  Really cool to look at but do my children just "look" at something?  Of course not.  They must get in there and play in them.  Leading the way for other children to want to play and to get in trouble with their parents.  But do we stop our little trouble makers?  We probably should have but pick your battles right?

It wasn't like they were easily accessible.  The boys really had to stretch to do something they were not supposed to do.

I love this series of pictures.  Note the dad pulling one of his kids away while our two are going to catch the "jumping fountain."

He gets one and as he is grabbing the second, Drew is able to block the stream effectively spraying everyone including the upset dad holding his camera.

He leads him away as our kids celebrate the drenching.

And Drew then attempts to spray them some more as they get disciplined in the background. (All the while, I am taking pictures and not stopping this series of events because I can not stop laughing.)

We next went to Innoventions for some more interactive games.  I also found it hilarious that my parents tried playing some of the video games and would not let their grandkids have a turn.  When I asked how they were, my mom replied, "I think I gave Wall-E a seizure."

Grandma and Grandpa hogging the video games.

It was now time for dinner so we traveled by Monorail to the Polynesian for one of our most anticipated dinner reservations. 

On the monorail.

Our dinner was at a restaurant called Ohana.  It was Hawaiian themed but Brazilian steakhouse style of food.  They would bring everyone appetizers of chicken wings and pork potstickers as well as sides like lo mein noodles, steamed vegetables, pineapple bread.  But they would have waiters walking around with skewers of meat like pork, steak, chicken, and shrimp who would stop by your table always offering more and more meat.  It was all you can eat or as I like to put it - all you can shove into your stomach until you feel sick.  And then came desert: a bananas foster bread pudding.  All the kids loved the noodles and even our kids who hate protein actually ate the meat.

Nate shoving the noodles in.

An example of the meat skewers or as I like to call them: heavenly angel sticks of meat.
Well with 18 people eating together, everyone finishes at different times.  And 100% of the time, kids finish first.  And by the end of dinner, Ben my 11 year old nephew had had enough of all the attention our kids were paying him.  He went to his mom and dad and basically begged them to sit with them cause he could not take anymore of Drew and Nate.  What was funny was while he was having this conversation, Drew was right next to him pulling his shirt and holding his hand.  Next thing to happen was Nate decided he had enough of sitting on his chair, enough of standing, enough walking away while being yelled at, so he decided to go underground.  He went under the table and never came up for air.  I could have given him "Lilo and Stitches."  (You see what I did there?  Its a Polynesian Disney movie.  Get it?)  And Drew found it hilarious to take all the warm towels (yes they give you warm towels to clean you hands) and use them as weapons and juggling items while dropping them on the table in the food, his cousins, and on the floor in front of passing waiters with large sharp skewers of meat in their hands.

He is the only one smiling about his new toys.  Nate in the background is just happy to be with Uncle Mike.

Nate loved sitting next to Uncle Mike and tell him 4 year old toddler stories.

After we finished dinner, with full bellies and sore throats from yelling, we returned to the resort for some night swimming.  They all loved going down the slide at night as well as floating on their backs in the hot tub. 

Still going after a long day but still ready to play.

Inspired by Disney, my best "Little Mermaid" impression.

The beautiful pool at night at Port Orleans with the boys.

Floating in the hot tub.
I love Nate's ears in his goggles.

Once we got back to our room, a moment happened that I never thought would happen and I did not know how to react.  Nate walked into the room, changed into his pajamas, climbed into his bed and asked to turn out the lights cause he was going to bed.  There was no arguing, telling them to get back into bed, telling them to stop jumping on each other's beds, and no idle threats to get into bed or else.  It was peaceful.  Exhausted, we all went to bed happy.  Thank you Disney World. 

Well almost.  Right before we fell asleep, Drew tells me in a whiny voice "I can't stop wiggling!" 

Guess who was sharing a bed with him that night,
The Joyful and Tired Dad