Disney Part 4: Meeting Sleeping Beauty

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I had planned to make Adelaide a dress for our Cinderella dinner and an Elena dress, since she’s her favorite princess.  But Adelaide surprised me by asking for an Aurora dress instead of Elena.  I asked her about 1,000 times if she was sure, and of course she was.

The day that we had planned to meet Aurora, Adelaide decided that she didn’t want to wear her Aurora dress all day.  She turned out to be the smartest one in our group.  It ended up raining unexpectedly for the entire day and Adelaide was the only one who had a change of clothes.  As soon as she put on her Aurora dress she started skipping and twirling and refusing to sit down.

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Seeing Adelaide meet Aurora was probably the sweetest thing ever.  She had also drawn a picture for Aurora and was very excited to give it to her.

Aurora asked Adelaide if her fairy godmothers had made her dress and Adelaide responded, “No, my mom did!” And then Aurora looked over at me and said “You made this?!”

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We also lucked out and got to meet Belle on our way out of the park.  We hadn’t planned her into our day, but because of the rain there was no wait at all to meet her.  We loved the recent Beauty and the Beast movie, so Adelaide was very excited to meet Belle!

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What better way to wrap up our trip to Disney than a picture of a princess and her daddy?

Until next time, Disney!

Disney Part Three: Epcot

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I hadn’t been to Epcot since I was a kid, and let’s just say this park quickly became my favorite of them all.  We started with the Finding Nemo ride and then headed over to  take our chances waiting on line to meet Anna and Elsa.  We were pleasantly surprised that we only had to wait about 15 minutes.  The line winds through rooms in Anna and Elsa’s summer house, and it was seriously the cutest!

Elsa told Adelaide that Olaf’s hugs really are warm and she’s been talking about it ever since.  I think Anna talked about how Sven always wants to eat Olaf’s carrot nose.

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After meeting the ladies from Frozen we headed to the Soarin’ ride, which I’d never heard of before and had no expectations.  It ended up being such a cool ride and our little daredevil LOVED it.  This kid seriously is a thrill seeker and the faster the ride, the better.

Then we got to meet Mickey, Goofy and Minnie.  Adelaide might be all into the princesses right now, but she still has a soft spot for Mickey and crew.

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And for a little throwback, here’s the first time Adelaide met Minnie two years ago.  Can you tell from my hair how humid it was!?

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Disney Part Two: Cinderella Dinner

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We booked our trip pretty last minute, so we were lucky to get reservations for dinner with Cinderella.  I wanted to make Adelaide a dress for the dinner, but also something that she could wear to run around and play.  I had made the bow in the center to be a hair bow, but Adelaide insisted that it go on the dress.  My little fashionista has quite the eye!

While we were waiting in the lobby before dinner we got to watch Cinderella and Prince Charming come down the stairs and dance for everyone.  Adelaide’s eyes lit up watching them!

Dinner was delicious (of course) and they even had a short buffet set up with kid friendly food so the kids could serve themselves.  Disney has thought of everything, haven’t they?

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Adelaide was pretty nervous leading up to the dinner because she knew the evil stepmother and stepsisters would be there, but they ended up being our favorite part of the dinner.  The stepsisters were hilarious and had us all cracking up!

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I’m already dreaming of the next time I’ll get to help myself to that delicious buffet!

Disney Part One: Magic Kingdom

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Last week we took a trip down to Orlando to visit some friends (who were the best hosts!!), with the added bonus that we got to take Adelaide to Disney World.  And ohmygosh, was it magical.  I’m not a Disney fanatic, but seeing your four year old star struck by her favorite princesses is enough to make a mama cry (which may or may not have happened)!

I had ordered this Disney fabric a few months ago, and finally had a reason to use it.  I made Adelaide this dress and, at her request, a Cinderella and Aurora dress as well (more photos to come).  I think it turned out pretty cute, if I do say so myself!

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Tiana was the first princess we met and helped get our star struck girl out of her shell with lots and lots of twirling!

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Can it get any cuter!?

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And then we got to Rapunzel… Adelaide LOVES Rapunzel and got so shy.  Look how sweet she is holding her dress.  This may have been the encounter that made me cry.  I mean, just look at them!

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Leaving Rapunzel’s castle and trying to get my crying in check.

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We waited the longest to meet Elena of Avalor.  The wait was an hour and Adelaide insisted that she wanted to wait, so we did.  And oh was it worth it!  Elena is Adelaide’s favorite princess and I’m so glad we waited. Adelaide loves her so much that she had an Elena themed birthday- I’ll get around to posting photos eventually!

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Tell me those photos aren’t the sweetest!

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We met Ariel at the end of the day and Adelaide was tired, but Ariel did such a great job of engaging Adelaide and asking her if she preferred seaweed salad or seaweed spaghetti, which Adelaide thought was hilarious.

We had gotten Adelaide an autograph book to tell her that we were going to Disney, and it ended up being the best souvenir.  We met so many princesses that we filled every page and then some.

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Gotta ride the teacups!

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Oh Disney, thank you for the magic and the memories for our sweet girl.

Happy Birthday, Adelaide!

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Adelaide, today you turn four.

FOUR!

I watched you on the monitor as you fell asleep last night and you were smiling from ear to ear while talking to yourself “I’m going to be older tomorrow! It’s my birthday!” and then giggling hysterically.

How did we get so lucky?

You are truly our joy.

You are hilarious.  You are compassionate and sensitive, smart and creative.  You can be easily bribed by a pack of fruit snacks and can spend hours coloring (and you do an amazing job of staying in the lines).

You spend the majority of your free time doing imaginative play.  You’re a mommy to your dolls and won’t let anyone tell you otherwise.  You can entertain yourself with Shopkins for what seems like an eternity.  (I mean, what are those things??)

You are a girly girl.  You refuse to wear anything but dresses.  We go to the fabric store and you pick out fabric for me to make you dresses.  The twirlier the better.

Your current favorite foods are peanut butter toast, meatballs and kielbasa.

You are a social butterfly.  You make friends easily and always make sure everyone is included.  Which reminds me: you can talk for hours.  I’ve never heard someone talk as much as you.  Once when Daddy asked you to be quiet for a minute in the car you responded, “But Daddy, this is what Mommy and I do!”

We are so lucky to be your parents.  You will do great things and we’re honored to get to lift you up along the way.

All our love xoxo

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Royal Caribbean “Independence”

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We had talked about going on a cruise for my birthday this year, but Jon’s crazy work schedule had been keeping us from actually booking one.  So in April we found cheap flights and a cruise that actually fit our schedule and booked ourselves on a last minute vacation.  Not to mention, we were desperate to get out of New York after a dreary spring.  We’ve taken one cruise with Adelaide, but it wasn’t terribly relaxing since she was too young for the kids programs, and at the time wasn’t potty trained.  Kids who aren’t potty trained are not allowed in pools on cruises, so we spent most of our time chasing around a one year old who couldn’t participate in any activities.

This cruise was a whole different ball game.  On Royal Caribbean, kids must be 3 and potty trained to go into the kids programs.  Check and check.

During the day she mostly stayed with us by the pool, going back to our room in the afternoon for a nap.  One day Jon and Adelaide even went ice skaing, which lasted about 3 minutes before Adelaide decided it looks easier on tv than in real life.

We had a 6pm dinner seating, and at 6:45pm the kids staff would pick the kids up from the dining room and take them to the kids programs.  Every night had a different theme, craft and activity and she LOVED it.

Not to mention Jon and I actually got to finish our dinner without the full circus act, and then got to see a show and have a drink before we picked her up at 10pm.

{Prepare yourself for a photo overload.}

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Adelaide has been straight up begging to go on another cruise. She’s been giving Jon her best puppy dog eyes in an valiant attempt.

Keep working on him, kid.  I certainly wouldn’t mind another vacation.

Sonoma

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Our plan after a week in San Francisco was to spend a long weekend in Sonoma.  We’d been to Napa when Adelaide was a few months old and were excited to see Sonoma.  Sometime late in our week I glanced at our flight reservations to realize our flight home was actually on Saturday, not Sunday like we’d thought.

We had to make our trip to Sonoma a little bit shorter than we’d hoped and stopped at one brewery and one winery before heading to Sausalito for the night.

Also, random side note: we chose to have a stopover on the way home in Minneapolis because we find the airport very family friendly.  One of the central terminals has a Chick Fil A right across from an amazing children’s play area.  Even if we only have a few minutes, we will stop there because it is such a win to let your toddler get some energy out halfway through your travels.

And all the parents said, “Amen”.

(I realize this sounds incredibly lame to all the childless people.)

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California, we love you so much.  Until next time, my friend.

Golden Gate

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In May we took Adelaide on her third trip to San Francisco.  While it’s one of our favorite cities, I think Adelaide and I won’t be back for a while.  Travel has increasingly become less about painting the town red and increasingly more about playgrounds and nap time.  We spent almost every day at the playground at Yerba Buena Gardens in the sandbox and on the slide.

She wouldn’t even eat the big Ghirardelli sundae I got for us to share.  I mean, what’s the point of going to San Francisco if it doesn’t involve a big brownie sundae??

Realizing that I didn’t travel cross country to go to playgrounds, I decided to cool it on the travel a bit.  We stopped by the Golden Gate Bridge one morning for more photos (see previous ones here and here ).  I love to see how she’s changed from trip to trip, and what better place than in front of one of the most famous bridges?

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the baloney bug Adelaide’s face just about sums up how she feels about family photos these days.

Actually, I think it pretty well sums toddler life in general.

 

 

New Zealand: Marlborough {Part 2}

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We did it!

Today wraps up our month in New Zealand.  Only five months later, but who’s counting?

We spent three days in Marlborough and our general plan was wake up, make breakfast, get a winery or two under our belts and head back to our cottage for nap (for Adelaide and for us).  After nap we’d head back out to one or two more vineyards before they closed around 4.

Not pictured: our daily stops at McDonald’s because of that damn spicy chicken crunch wrap.  Can stateside McDonald’s please catch up??

Some standouts vineyards were Cloudy Bay, Spy Valley (dumb name but actually had a pretty cool story behind it and the winery ended up being one of our favorites), Forrest (amazing rosé), Moa (brewery), Hunters and Allen Scott.

The pictures in this post were taken at Cloudy Bay and Hunters.  Wine tasting turns out to be a pretty awesome thing to do with a toddler because you can sip wine outdoors while your tot runs around and steals grapes.  The wineries in NZ were overwhelmingly child friendly, and many of them (if not all) had baskets of toys.  We’d been to Napa when Adelaide was a baby and so many wineries didn’t allow children, so it was nice to not have to worry about that.

Also, we noticed the wines in New Zealand were significantly cheaper.  Most bottles were in the $20 range, where as California wines seemed to be $60 and up.

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the baloney bugWe loved the parking spots at Hunters

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the baloney bugNot pictured: another three hour ferry ride back to Wellington, a one hour plane ride, a 13 hour plane ride and a six hour plane ride.

Home.

Sweet home.

New Zealand: Interislander Ferry and Marlborough

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Okay, okay.  One more post after today and our month in New Zealand will be wrapped up.

Jon and I have wanted to visit the famous Marlborough wine region since our first time in New Zealand eight years ago.  But time never permitted (or pregnancy), so we’d never gotten the chance.  We were determined to go on this trip, and it was basically heaven.  We took the Interislander Ferry between the North and South Islands, which we’d also never done before.  It was a beautiful and relaxing trip.  We tried to take a couple of photos on deck, but Adelaide wasn’t really feeling photogenic that afternoon.

From the ferry terminal we picked up our rental car, tried navigating a manual car on the wrong side of the road, and headed out to some vineyards.  It was seriously such a picturesque retreat for our little family of three.  So often our travel revolves around Jon’s work, so it was nice to have him all to ourselves.

We rented a cottage at the sweetest bed and breakfast, and ironically enough the cottage’s name was “Adelaide’s Barn“.  I can’t rave enough about this place.  If you ever find yourself in Marlborough (which I highly suggest), make sure you stay here.

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I love this little girl and my sweet little family so much.  It’s simultaneously maddening and amazing to travel with her and explore things through her eyes.

And the wine certainly helps.