Sunday, June 21, 2015

Epic Vacation, Day 10 - Epcot

I know it's hard to believe, that I'm still blogging about The Trip.  But it was Epic, after all.   And we did so much, it's taking me a while to go through all 1300 pictures!  Well, Monday was our Epcot day.  It opened at 9, and we actually got there in time for Opening!

The boys love riding the monorail.  
But Chris had the best seat in the house when the monorail blew by Epcot.  It had been so long since I had taken the monorail to Epcot, I had completely forgot it tootled through Future World.  Until Poof!  Chris yells, there's the Ball!  And he started yelling, I want to ride the Golf Ball!  

We had a beautiful sunny day, perfect for enjoying Epcot.  
That's my happy shot right there. 

And as per his request, since we were there at open, we went straight to the 'golf ball', and rode it first thing.  I'm pretty sure this has become our Epcot tradition.  The last few times we've come, we go straight to Spaceship Earth.  Chris didn't even want to stop for pictures.  He wouldn't let us, he was terrified that the line we be too long.  It was like 5 minutes long, we basically moseyed right on, so Whew!  I barely had enough time to get this happy sweet boy picture as we went on.  

As were headed from Spaceship Earth to our Fastpasses at 9:30 at Soarin', we bumped into this fella. :)  Too fun to bump into friends in Disney!  This is our friend Dan, he and his Dad were trying to squeeze in a quick ride on Soarin' too, before all his family got up.  Smart idea! 

"And we will rule all over This Land, and we will call it....This Land."
Eric and I couldn't help but quote Serenity when we entered the Land to go ride Soarin'. 

We decided to do Rider Swap with Soarin' since Jacob could not ride it, but Sam and Christopher could.  So Daddy took the first shift with Jake while I took the big boys on the ride.  And while we blew past the standby line, the kids were fine.  But when the line stopped for the Fastpass folks, even with it, we stood for almost half an hour, then they started to get scared.   Christopher especially.  Even though he'd ridden it before, he didn't really remember what it was like.  And he started in, with "I'm afraid of heights."  Oh brother.  Anyway, if he went ignored, he'd have probably freaked out, so we discussed the ride rather thoroughly.   I'm sorry to anyone around us, who was Not Surprised, as I gave all the things away.  But they knew exactly what to expect, and when they went on the ride, they loved it.  Sam especially!   He kept trying to peek over the edge to see all of it.  That was so great.  And as we were leaving, Chris stopped at every Cast Member to yell, "THAT WAS AWESOME!!!"  He enjoyed it.  But what the most for me, as Chris was hollering at a guy, an elder gentleman pulled me aside, patted my shoulder and told me, "You're a Good Mom."  That was the Best Thing Anyone could say to me that day, or this week, month, year.  In that moment I felt I was doing something right.  That was the most magical of all. 

After Soarin', Christopher decided he wanted to do that Land ride.  And it's my favorite, so who am I to argue with that.  

My favorite part of the Land ride is the gardens.  
No idea why, says the girl who used to work at Cargill and Dow AgroSciences. 

The stuff they grow is so neat, and it does my heart so much good to see that good food, and know it's being served up right upstairs at the restaurant in the Land.   So, we had a snack there, and moved on.

From the Land to the Sea.  
We had Fastpasses for Nemo's ride and Turtle Talk with Crush. 
But first we had to start

Our sweet little fishies with Marlin. 

We Found Nemo! 

Jacob fell in love with Nemo and all the stuff because of the Animal Kingdom show.  I am so excited we packed the movie, we'll have to watch it on the way home.   

They have a beautiful aquarium exhibit in the Seas. 
We haven't hung around in the last couple years, but we had a little time, so why not. 
We discovered Manatees!  They tie for my favorite mammal, with the nartwhal, which I haven't seen yet, but manatees are amazing.  Maybe I love them so much because I'm built like one? I don't know.  They are so chill, mellow, and just happy to much on their lettuce all day.   The boys thought they were really cool, and they got up very close to this little one snacking in the corner.  

We stopped by Bruce's playhouse.  It was kind of neat to get a picture of the boys being almost eating by a shark.  Daddy even got in there a little bit too. ;) 

After all our time in Land and Sea, we needed a bit of lunch.  
We stopped for cheeseburgers at the Electric Umbrella.  The kids were getting hot and tired, and we had to decide, a. push into World Showcase, or b. go home and nap and come back later.  After our lunch and family meeting, we all decided to just plow through. We made reservations for an early dinner at Marrakess for 4:45, and figured we'd head around the world.  If Jake could nap a little, we thought we might avoid the crowds there.  It's not like we'd be drinking around the world, but we thought we might snack around the world.  

Our first stop was Canada.  And the boys sat down and colored Duffy Bear and Perry passport sticks.  

Well, some of us colored.  
Jacob fell asleep just as we got there.  That was fine, he needed a nice nap.  
We signed up for an Agent P adventure in the UK. 

From Canada, we circled around to the UK.  
The boys had their first Perry Adventure there, and Jake and I did a bit of chocolate and tea shopping, while the big boys had their adventure.  Then I found Mary Poppins.  I immediately hopped in line, and didn't care if the kids got there or not.  As it turned out, they did.  
And as they were moseying to line up next to her, she told them to "Spit Spot". 
My heart dissolved. 

Also, we discovered that in the back of the UK, we could also meet Pooh and Tigger in Christopher Robin's room. We got to be the second to last family of the day for this special treat, listening to folks get huffy about being turned away.   It ended being the only time we saw Tigger and Pooh this trip. 
So I'm very Thankful we did it.  Jake woke up in time to meet them, but he wasn't really awake, and not in a very festive mood.  

We got our UK stamps and popped around to have another adventure in France.  
Belle and Aurora's lines were shut down.  I had fully intended to go on a run for sweets in France, I always try, at least I made it back there, close enough to get the stamps, but then we noticed the time, and had to head next door to Morocco. Plus it looked like it was going to start raining.  

We got 2 drops of rain, I'm pretty sure the humidity was 99%, practically raining, without actually raining.  So we didn't need to take cover, but we did stop by the fountain in Morocco for pics. No time to wait in line for Aladdin and Jasmine.  Frankly that was ok, I was more interested in the air conditioning and sitting down in our restaurant.   But the A/C was broken.  

Reservations at 4:45, Baby!  
NO ONE was there.  It was fabulous.  

I tell you who was there, at 5, the Belly Dancer begins her show.  
And since my kids were interested, she came over and asked them if they wanted to dance. 
They did.   They had the floor to themselves.   And they Danced!  And they had a wonderful time. 

My sweet boys learn to dance like they do in Morocco.  
They got such a kick out of it.  It was like a special treat for them.  She came out again later, when it had gotten a bit more crowded, and grabbed a bunch of people, and had a circle going, but the boys didn't want to be a part of that.  I was ok with that, we'd already gotten our magic, we don't mind sharing. Oh, and if you've never eaten at this restaurant, you should. I had some couscous that was Amazing with roast vegetables and chicken, and some layered baklava type stuff.  I don't even know what all it was, but it was Awesome.  

We ate well.  And we were stuffed, and tired.  And when we came out of Morocco, we decided to head back up to the front, maybe hit Mexico before we hit the road.  As we progressed, we noticed a crowd increase, it was like 6, and an increase in drunk 20-somethings.  Yeah, I was totally ok with leaving.   

But Jacob was showing interest in characters, so I thought MAYBE, the last character that we passed, Donald Duck in Mexico.  He didn't leave until 6:30, so we got in his line and hoped we'd get to see him.  He took a break just as we got to the front of his line.   

My boys may have been a little happy to see him.  
The Joy was infectious.   

And we went inside after meeting Donald, and rode the Gran Fiesta Tour, the Three Caballeros ride through Mexico.  Eric calls it Mexican Small World.  True.  Still it's a great ride.  And for us, it was a great note to end our Epcot day.  It was becoming clear, we were all physically exhausted.   

We headed for the monorail, and as it approached, THIS was our view from the station.  
The ball at sunset, with the flag and the monorail, yeah, we were picking a perfect time to leave. 

We were pretty tired after pushing through with no nap, so it was great to go home, take a nice quick evening swim, and call it a night.