The Petersens: Our Tales & Travels


disney world, 2015! | part 5/the finale!

have you noticed how wilted and red our cheeks are? that lovely sheen of sweat that is on us in every photo? can't you just feel the soupy, damp air? oh, florida! you are something else! 

well, this is it. the last of the days at disney world. friday morning we set out early for the magic kingdom- we sprinted to frontierland for big thunder mountain & splash mountain, where we got to ride a few times each before things got busy. actually, we split up, and within 2.5 hours, rode 17 rides! GO US! 
about the time it got busy we headed back to the hotel for our usual. this day however, once we made it to the pool, the havens opened and it started pouring!!! elle was playing some games with the poolside-cruise-director-people, and mike was making laps trying to consume as much free soda as he could. jude and i split our time between eating under the umbrella and jumping in the pool. we watched people scamper as the rain came down harder, and that next 10 minutes turned into one of those "greatest times ever;" we convinced mike to come out from the covering and jump in the pool, and before you know it we were all blinded by the rain, swimming in a downpour. the only quiet was when you ducked your head under water and heard stillness........

it was amazing. the whole experience was almost as hilarious as jude's horrified expression. he was utterly confused how he was getting so wet, and how the pool seemed dryer than the air. 


elle and i played more pool games with those entertainer people, as the rain subsided, and then we headed back to dry off.
we went to nana & papa's room for a mini birthday celebration for elle belle. my mom wasn't feeling well, so we just hung out, and my dad revealed the biggest "cake" ever. it's the biggest shame we had no way to take the thing home, because that rice crispy minnie would have fed us for the entire year!!!!!!! 
^^ bow.
my mom wasn't feeling well, so mike & i went with the kids back to epcot. still soggy from our earlier adventures, it was also the opening night of the food & wine festival... and it was packed!!! we went back to france where we saw this cool performer man, then we stuffed ourselves silly with more food from the boulangerie. at this point we had more free meals left than we imagined we would, so we started ramping up our eating quota, as to not waste any free-ness. ;)

side note: we ran into a woman who was on her 21st straight day at the park. WOW!!!!
then we tried to go on random rides with little-to-no waits (ha!)... elle cried the whole way through the journey into imagination because she remembered it ended with a loud noise. 

all i know is it was air conditioned. (and the noise wasn't as loud as she remembered, thank heavens.) 

also, jude stole mike's coke. dark that kid and soda. i hate soda. he, however, is mighty pleased.
and then! oh, this. this was so good.
we did what i swore we wouldn't do, and we waited to meet mickey. only because everyday jude would ask, "mit-tee? jude meet mit-tee now!?" 

waiting 30 minutes? we can do 30 minutes.

so we did. first, blinks. sorry, boys...
then goofy and minnie, too! minnie was the kids favorite because, as elle said, "mom! she gave me a real hug! like i could feel her mouse bones! she was so nice!!" :)
when we got out, it was raining. raaaaaaaaaaining. i loved it. mike covered himself in a poncho like a crazy tourist (i would expect nothing less), and the kids sat "criss-cross-apple-sauce" in the stroller (they say that full name overtime), as to try and hide from the water that was falling down. we did buy a stroller cover, but at this point i didn't dare open it- we were almost finished with the vacation! and i'm cheap so if we didn't use it, i would get my $25 back. deal with the water, people. this is why i wore my swimsuit and didn't bother getting re-ready! for times like this! singing in the rain!
a quick round on spaceship earth, then we hit the road.
a new day brought sunshine and our final hours at disney. we had all morning before we had to head to the airport, so we went back to the magic kingdom to play (same as the morning before- this time 12 rides in 2 hours which i didn't think was too bad); we also had fast passes for seven dwarfs mine train again that we wanted to use. OH! and we finally tried the rider swap... it worked like magic! take that, 120 minute wait!!
hi, mikey & elle!!
time to use up our last of the free snacks on mickey ice cream sandwiches. 
3 at once! the most we've ever done- it was cause for celebration and heartache. 
my parents met us for the last couple of rides of the day, then we all headed out. but not without one last family photo to capture the exhaustion and red faces:)
then jude passed out. 

we stopped at wolfgang puck once more to get food to-go, finishing our dining credits, and giving us dinner at the airport, and then we were off! we said our goodbyes to nana & papa, and boarded our plane for home...
we landed into reagan around 9:30 and the kids zonked in the stroller as we picked up our bags. we made our way home on the metro, then started the 1.5 mile walk in the dark back to our apartment. the weather was cool and crisp- i feel like it sealed in our sweaty-travel-ness from the day. super gross. what was super gross-er though was all the fun stuff we saw on the walk home. see, the walk is through the party-hood where the sororities are, and it was 11pm on a saturday night. we saw three men peeing on three separate occasions, and got more strange looks and teasing laughs from those silly, young, drunk college kids than ever before. saturday nights here are much different than saturday nights during my utah state university days- let's just say that;) 

mike and i enjoyed our little date as we walked, then we rolled the kids right into their bedroom via stroller and into bed. 

just like that, disney 2015 came to a close. 

see parts 1, 2, 3 & 4


disney world, 2015! | part 4

time for a rest day! 
(by "rest day" i just mean a no-park day. there was no rest for the weary [adults].)

we started out by heading to disney springs (aka: downtown disney) for breakfast at wolfgang puck. it's always been a staple of our trips to spend a bulk of time at downtown disney, but this whole revamp is leaving me a bit switzerland on what used to be a highlight of disney. it's a work in progress, so i shouldn't really have an opinion, but holy schmoly it's so busy over there these days!!! and the parking! don't ask my opinion on the parking (*angry eyes*)! wp's pizza is... well... not the same as it once was, but alas! that place is still the BEST deal with the free dining plan- 2 meals costs on average $60 there, and eating it for nothing is stupendous. plus their chocolate chip waffles are delightful! my new favorite dinner is their baby spinach and quinoa salad. you're welcome!

but back to the morning at hand...
i adore the way jude looks up to elle- it seriously makes my mommy heart about burst. 
then he punches her in the face and i am reminded he's a toddler. and a boy. and, well, sorry elle belle. :-/
c'mon bus, c'mon!
after breakfast it was time to share an ice cream cone at 10:30am. because it's vacation. and we're here, so why not. plus, no one turns down free ghiradelli, amiright??

oh! this was also the day we let the kids pick out their present. we've learned that all the "i want this!" -ing that happens on a trip can be solved somewhat easily by saying we're not buying a single thing until the end of the trip. we've done this the last 4 years, and we've left with exactly 1 souvenir/person each visit. yay! there's usually fights the days leading up to the "shopping day," but the ironic part is that nothing they choose is ever what they wanted in the days prior. jude picked a football (reminds me of this from last year!), and elle picked an anna doll. she also scored an elsa doll thanks to nana & papa for her birthday:)  

this method and starting to potty train at 18 months are the only 2 things i feel like i've done with enough conviction to brag as a parent. i swear by these two things. the rest of my parenting attempts are mediocre/lousy at best:)
back at the hotel for some afternoon swimming, a nap (lake laps), and more getting out of wiggles.
we decided to head back to the port orleans riverside (the hotel where we stayed last year) to ride the crazy bikes around. we made the trek over with the kids, arriving via boat at 5:05, only to learn the marina where you rent the bikes closes at 5:00.  *sigh.*

i must also add- the boats are gone! there are, like, no boats at disney anymore (ok, i'm sure they're somewhere, but not at any of the 4 spots we usually check). we used to always rent a boat! 
the next best thing to do was go back to our old building and recreate the joy that was playing in the fountains. jude knew exactly what to do- it was so funny watching his little mind connect the memories from last year!!!
then we played in the hammocks and mike challenged each of us to a game of tetherball. because he apparently was quite the tetherball champ back in elementary school. i was boiling hot so i threw off my dress (fear not, my swimsuit stayed on most days just for times like this), and went down the hotel water slide with all the random children. then i got out, pretended i knew what i was doing, put my dress back on and we left. :)  
4 editions down, 1 to go...

(see parts 123 & 5. )
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