so - road trips have kind of become our summer thing. people think we're nuts for the drives we do. (last summer we drove to Anaheim, CA and pit stopped in the Grand Canyon) We love loading our family up and spending time in our SUV. My husband and I have a rule on our vacations - to be completely UNPLUGGED and present for each other and for our children. I love my "job", but being your own boss means i don't have anyone to delegate tasks to. it means that my phone goes off non-stop - personal messages, e-mails, business messages, and texts, and my to-do list is never ending - so honestly, taking 2-3 weeks where I can just focus on my tribe is kind of amazing.
since we did the west coast last year, we opted to tackle the other side of the country this trip. (we've made the drive before, but we ended up in Disney unintentionally - oops!). We have a bucket list of traveling and exploring all 50 states with our children, so we try to color up our pit stops.
we started our drive and drove 5 hours to Monroe, LA for the night - and then woke up the next day and drove another 6 hours to Gulf Shores, AL. We stayed in AL for 2 days and played in the beach, ate ice cream cones , and my kids got rad Shark Tooth Necklaces that they're still rockin' a month later.
We stayed in AL for 2 days and naturally the one day we allocated for the ocean - it rained but we had a great time regardless! We played in the sand - and swam in the rain. Our last night we had ice cream cones and my kids got rad shark tooth necklaces that they're still rockin' today.
after we checked out of Alabama we made the 7 hour drive to Orlando to reunite with our BFF Mickey Mouse.
We spent 8 days at Disney, and quite honestly this was the best vacation we've ever taken. (and we've been to Disney SEVERAL times). I don't really know what separated this trip from our other ones - but on our last night, we closed the park down and I legit cried tears of sadness that our vacation was over. I'm going to try to document the best I can, because honestly - this is one trip that I don't want to forget any detail.
So, my youngest - my baby has a personality bigger than Texas. I got asked SEVERAL times on our vacation if she had her own IG or youtube channel because people wanted to follow her shenanigans. When I was pregnant with her and found out I was having a girl (after having a boy) - I started daydreaming of all things pink. I dreamt of watching her marvel over Disney princesses, and would wonder which one would be her favorite.. well.. none of them are her favorite. she wants NOTHING to do with princesses or dresses. haha. So all of the big plans I had for frilly dresses for Disney went STRAIGHT out of the window. She had her own ideas about what costumes she was going to wear. Looking back though, although I was a little exasperated at first - i love them. i love her little personality, and i love that she beats to the rhythm of her own drum.
Our first day - she wore her Beast costume. We always spend our first and last day in Disney at Magic Kingdom. (well honestly - we spend majority of our trip in Magic Kingdom) We fast passed Enchanted Tales with Belle, she got to act out the part of the Beast. She roared, and even gave a little bow after dancing. It was so precious, and we also had dinner in the Beasts Castle. That night when we stepped off of Buzz - it was raining, and everyone huddled to find shelter while my tribe stood in the rain to watch the firework show. It was incredible, and i drenched my camera to get the shots of Braylen watching them. it. was. worth. it.
we also spent at Magic Kingdom. we started the day with an 8am reservation at Be Our Guest. Back in the day - you used to be able to schedule an early breakfast reservation before the park opened and would have basically an empty main street. I had all of these ideas of EPIC castle photos of my kids, except.. there's a new show and EVERYONE and their dog gets in early which means Main Street is NEVER empty. Regardless, I love the pics I got of my kids. Tht afternoon we did the Family Magic Tour (which was amazing), and we ended the day with Pirates and Pals. Peter Pan means a WHOLE heck of a lot to our little family. I cry almost every time we see him at Disney, and I can't really explain why. He's been my son's idol since Braylen was a toddler. Braylen has gone as Peter Pan for SIX halloweens- this year will be number seven. When Braylen stands next to him I can see him as a chubby faced toddler and as the boy that he's grown into all at the same time. We were blessed to meet the BEST Peter Pan. He was amazing. and duh, i cried. (we saw him twice at MK, the tour and his meet and greet), we also met a different Peter at the end of Pirates and Pals - Braylen met THAT Peter Pan 4 years earlier, which was pretty rad.
also. earlier i talked about Mila and her ideas about costumes. She was pretty excited to meet Tiana in her frog costume. ok not pretty excited, but really over the top excited.
epcot. this is my favorite park after magic kingdom. i LUURVV all of the food, and i love the characters here. We had breakfast at Chef Mickey's (we've eaten here EVERY trip, even the our 24 hour trip) and we had dinner at Teppan Edo.
okay. i hate doing this in 2 parts BUT, at the risk of making this a Harry Potter Novel i have to. ill have the second post up in a few days!