Friday, August 24, 2012

Orlando Vacation: Days 5, 6, 7 & 8

DAY 5: Shopping

We knew we wanted to save a few shopping days on the trip, so we started off at the Florida Mall on Thursday. Of all places, we spent most of our time in the Disney store! I got one of these Princess dolls to put back for LK's birthday and I think I'm going to start her the collection...


I know she can't play with them now, but maybe by the time she shows interest (a few years of birthdays and Christmases) she will have almost all of them. It'll also give the grandparents something specific they can get her. I think they're adorable! I got Rapunzel because it's the only movie she's ever seen. :)

She got a bigger (pink-dress) Minnie from Mama and Daddy as a "Disney souvenir" and her Granny got her a stuffed Pooh. We also went by the M&M store...

(I almost caved, but just couldn't pay $30 for 1/2 pound of pretty aqua M&M's when you can get a whole bag at Walmart for $4!)

 We ate at the Ruby Tuesday's in the mall and then drove to the "Ritzy" mall across town. 

(Can't keep her eyes open at lunch!)

I call this the "Ritzy" mall because it has stores like Tiffany's, Rolex, and Chanel -- places that we don't have near us (and my family can't afford) but we still enjoy browsing anyway like we have a million bucks in our back pocket. ;) 

They happened to have a Louis Vuitton and those of you who know me know I LOVE me some Louis Vuitton. Benjie got me my first one (a Speedy) about 7 years ago and I've been hooked on them and adding to my collection ever since. Every girl has their own "indulgence" (massages, manicures, shoes, jewelry, whatever...) and mine happens to be LV purses. Why? They're classic. They go with everything and every season. They're durable and last forever. The older they get the prettier they are (in my opinion). They never go out of style and they're something that can be passed down to the next generation (if taken care of). And now that I have a daughter, it makes me that much more excited that she will get them all one day -- or be forced to split them if she has a sister. ;) I am a pretty low-maintenance gal -- except when it comes to jeans and purses (ehhh, and maybe sunglasses?) and I only get either of these once, if not, every other year. For example: I rarely ever get my nails done professionally, the only thing I do to my hair is a $10 haircut twice a year (seriously!), and I buy a lot of my clothes from TJ Maxx and Target. Anyway I walked in and started browsing with no intentions and Benjie told me to pick one out (dream words!) since I've been carrying my Neverfull for about 3 years now.

After trying on about 20, I found one that I fell in love with and waited to get it hot stamped...


(I even use my boxes around our house... Good for filling up space!)

(Excuse the horrible picture.)

The Sales Associate thought that LK needed this little baby Speedy...

(Absolutely precious, but no I didn't even consider! She will get one when I die or she gets a job... or her Daddy buys her one behind my back.)

 (Old vs. new... I like them darker!)

I'll say that walking in trying on LV purses in a store is a whole lot funner than shopping online! :) Anyway we walked around the rest of this mall and left for supper. We browsed through restaurants in the GPS and ended up eating at a place called "Fish Bones". It was okay. I really didn't understand their "mandatory" Valet service but whatever... 

None of us were tired after dinner so we decided to drive over and walk the strip at Downtown Disney. I ended up getting LK a Christmas ornament (I'll explain this later) and Benj had to PULL me out of the Bakery. 

(LK's birthday)

(I think I need to do something like this for LK's room with cheap spray painted chandeliers!)

(Amazing what they do with some Legos.)

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DAY 6: Epcot Shopping, Part 2

We got up and dressed to go to Epcot on Friday but we got a late start, Benjie got caught up with business calls, and rain was on the way so we ended up shopping this day as well. My mom has never been to Ikea so we spent the earlier part of the afternoon shopping there. (I also wanted to pick up another set of the white curtains like I got for LK's nursery for our bedroom... And we tried to eat the cafeteria for lunch - not impressed!) We left there and then went back to Downtown Disney for an early supper. We walked right into T-Rex (we figured it'd be fun for LK) around 4:30 and were seated in the "ice cave". After we fed her supper, she laid like this looking up at the lights and eventually fell asleep...

 (No filter -- This is what it actually looked like in there...)
 

It was a very tricky environment to eat in! I could barely see my food! I did however get an AMAZING cotton candy martini that made the restaurant worthwhile. :) We walked around the rest of downtown Disney, got talked into signing up for a Disney Vacation Club meeting for Saturday morning, and then went back to the hotel and let LK swim for a little while. This was her first time in a real pool... She LOVED it! 

(Precious!)


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DAY 7: DVC Meeting, Shopping and Epcot


Like I said, on the day before, we kind of got talked into a Disney Vacation Club meeting. Benjie and I have considered some kind of Disney timeshare but we really didn't know all of the details. We had a meeting with a rep at 10am at Saratoga Springs Resort. They explained everything, showed us a few of the resort rooms (we LOVED the Animal Kingdom resort!) and even proposed an "incentive" offer "if you commit today". We don't let ourselves make any more spur-of-the-moment decisions so we said either way we'd talked about it over the weekend. The more research I did, I found out we could purchase a re-sale at about 1/2 the price instead of purchasing through Disney. It may be something that we do in the future, but we have a lot on our plate right now since we're looking to buy land soon and it's just not a smart move for us right now. In exchange for our time, we did get 4 "VIP" cards (1 per person) that had 3 fast passes each. Those were very valuable in Epcot. :)

When we got out of the meeting, it was POURING down rain. We decided to go to one of the outlet malls nearby. We shopped for about an hour and grabbed some pizza for lunch until the rain had cleared and then we headed on over to Epcot. 

Epcot was probably one of my favorite parks. We went on Saturday and it was the least crowded park of the whole week. As soon as we made it through the gate, we walked right up to Daisy and Stitch and got their autograph -- with no line!



I think she loved Stitch the most! 


Here's some pretty funny videos... She got so mad when they wouldn't pay her any attention. 



While Benj and Mama got Chip & Dale's signature, I walked over to get our Soarin' Fast Passes. The Fast Pass time was 9-10pm but these cards got us Fast Passes for immediate use. (I got us 8 since we'd have to take turns and ride in pairs.) Turns out they closed the machines about 2 minutes after I got our passes. Talk about good timing! We each rode a few times and gave the rest of the passes away. (I'm sure that made some person's day since the wait was 90 minutes.)

After Soarin', we walked around the front part of Epcot for a while...



(She looks like a little toddler here!)

(Poor child, I told everyone that since she sleeps with her sound machine, she probably thought it was bedtime when she heard this. And I promise I brush her hair.)

(Loved the fish)

Afterwards, we walked "around the world". I was hoping to catch some more characters, but the few we did see had super long lines. We tried our luck to see if we could get into Le Cellier for dinner, but we already knew we that wasn't going to happen. 



 
After 'walking around the world' we started to get hungry so we tried finding a restaurant to eat at inside the park. We tried Coral Reef and a few others but they were booked for the night. Instead, we rode a few more rides and left the park after the 9pm Fantasmic show. We stopped by IHOP on the way back to the hotel and I was so hungry it was the best waffle I've ever had. :)

We packed everything up that night and loaded the car Sunday morning. LK wasn't as content on the ride back home, but we ate Steak & Shake for lunch...

(Ride home)


(I'm always wearing my Nike shorts and I couldn't pass up these for LK :)

(Putting her new 'straw skills' to some good use on Daddy's shake!)

 ...and then we grabbed McAlisters for supper.

Like I said in my first post, it was probably one of my best vacations. I was with the 3 most important people in my life and we all love to joke and have a good time. A few more things...

LK had a few "firsts" on the trip. She learned how to "give shuggies" (my mom got the first one), she learned how to drink through a straw, and she waved for the first time to the lady in the ticket booth at Sea World. :)

If you read this post, you saw that I wanted an umbrella stroller organizer. I finally got one and it's the BEST THING EVER. I also got some stroller clips and they're great for attaching things rather than trying to fight them to stay on the handles. 




Well that's our trip! I already can't wait to go back! :)

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