Hi Baby Sweeties!
The month of October was SLAMMED with amazing adventures. It took me forever to organize our billions of photos. We stuck to our family traditions this month of yearly family photo session, visits to the Fall Festival at Biwater Farms, decorating for Halloween, and all kinds of other fun stuff. But obviously most exciting this month was our family vacation to Panama City Beach and Disney World!!! I cannot even adequately put into words how amazing our trip was. This trip was supposed to have been back in April, but I was too sick after my surgery so we had to postpone. We decided to make the drive- and you guys actually did shockingly well on it. We bought some DVD players for the car, and also some books on tape. While I knew you guys would like the movies, it really surprised me that you loved listening to the books on tape as well. We drove straight through to our condo in Panama City Beach, getting there really late at night. And of course, it was AWESOME! We were all really excited to get there, and had a hard time going back to sleep, and then you guys woke up super early (early enough to see the sun rise). You both were so excited to see the ocean the next morning. We loved hanging on our porch and hearing the ocean. Last year when we went to the beach, Emme- you wouldn’t touch your feet in the sand. This year you both took off running across the sand to get to the ocean as fast as possible. You LOVED it this year. Everything about it. Especially playing in the ocean. Our condo had some boogie boards for us to use, and while I thought you guys were too little, Daddy said he’d teach you guys how. And WOW, did you guys love it. I was wrong (don’t tell anyone), you both absolutely rocked the boogie boarding. It was pure joy watching you play in those waves. Daddy would run you guys out to a big wave and set you up, then push you into proper position. You wanted to do it over and over and over again. Daddy definitely got his workout running in and out of those waves with you two. Every day we did something awesome. We went on the Pirate Ship again this year, and you loved dressing up as pirates, having water gun fights, and sword fights. We saw dolphins from the pirate ship, heard stories, found treasure, and you even got to take some of the pirate treasure home with you. This year we decide to rent a pontoon for ourselves and take the boat out across the ocean over to Shell Island- an uninhabited island known for it’s cool shells that wash up on the shore. Oh man, this was so incredibly fun. We spent the day set up on a beach where no one else was around, we flew kites, built sandcastles, had a picnic lunch and enjoyed life. On one side of the island there were not big waves so you guys could play in ankle deep water for 30 feet. You loved splashing around, while Daddy and I loved sitting in our chairs, sipping our drinks, watching you guys play. When we got bored of that side of the island, we took a walk to the other side of the island where the awesome shells were. It was so gorgeous. We had an amazing time searching for shells. Lucas and Daddy teamed up, and Emme and I were a team. Lucas, you were SO pumped finding the good shells, and Emme, you were super pumped finding each and every shell ever known even if it was broken hahaha. We had a blast. In fact, we had so much fun, later in the week we decided to rent the boat again and do it all over. We saw dolphins and a shark, and so much beauty. An absolutely awesome experience.
Next up on our family vacation was the trip over to WALT DISNEY WORLD. You guys could hardly contain your excitement. I had bought you little car toys, and split them up for the drive. Everything was Disney themed. You loved your little surprises that I kept pulling out of my bag to ensure the drive went smoothly. We stayed in The Grand Floridian hotel, it is gorgeous. I remember staying there as a child, and never dreamed we could stay there with our own kids one day. Disney ran a special that made booking the Grand Floridian only a couple hundred dollars more than the resort where we were originally booked, so it was a no brainer to switch our reservation over to this amazing resort. Our room had a balcony that overlooked the Seven Seas Lagoon. You both even had new suitcases to commerate the trip, Lucas with Mickey, and Emme with Minnie (of course). For our first day into the park, we all had matching shirts on. You guys couldn’t BELIEVE it when you saw the castle, just like in the movies! That first day was a half day, but we made sure to hit as many rides as we possibly could. That night we bought tickets to the Dessert Party that gave us priority seating for the fireworks show. Oh my god, the fireworks show. I have never seen two children more excited in my life. People around us would turn and smile at your enthusiasm. Lucas- you would shout out each character that you saw projected onto the castle. You both would ooooh and aaaaaaah at everything. It truly was magical. You guys also loved the parades, waving at each character to come by. One night we went to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party (we all dressed up as Jack the Pumpkin King). We had put you guys down for a late nap, and then powered through to the late night festivities at the Halloween party. You got to trick or treat around Disney, and you LOVED the Boo To You Parade, even getting to get up and dance in it for awhile. One of my (and Daddy’s) favorite memories ever was from this night. At 11pm at night, waaaaaay past your bedtime, we were at a dance party thrown by Mike & Sully from Monsters Inc in Magic Kingdom. You guys were jumping and dancing, and having the time of your lives. It was amazing, truly amazing. Daddy and I both got tears in our eyes watching you guys. We hit each and every park Disney had to offer, we shut the parks at night, seeing each and every firework show. I cannot even explain this trip. This was the trip of dreams. You met every character, and every princess I can think of. Emme, you would squeal in delight and jump up and down before running to hug and kiss your favorite character. Lucas, you were SO excited to hug and take pictures with everyone too. You truly believed they were real. I would pay 20x what we paid just to see you guys experience this again. We even got to meet up with my college roommate, Amber, and her husband Jeff, and their daughter, Charlie, and new baby boy, Jack. You guys had a great time playing with them in Animal Kingdom and Epcot. Daddy and I used to fly down to Amber every year for Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival when we were younger. Now, we revisited it, both of us with two kids in tow. It certainly made for a different food & wine experience, but awesome nonetheless. In Epcot, the Japan pavilion has a place where you can pick out oysters from tanks, then watch them shucked, and a pearl harvested from the inside. Emme, you were asleep in your stroller, so Lucas, you went with me to get pearls for you and your sister. You loved picking out the oysters, and you got the rare blueish silver one for your necklace, and another rare silver colored one for Emme’s necklace. They hit a big gong and made a production when finding your pearls, and cleaning them. You got a shark necklace to put the pearl in, and Emme got a Minnie Mouse one to put hers in. Lucas, you especially love wearing your shark necklace around. It’s a very special keepsake. Oh! Speaking of keepsakes, we also brought along to Disney a bunch of quarters and pennies and wherever we saw a squashed penny machine, we would get one. You guys loved collecting all the pennies we saw throughout the resort. Man, every day we would do fun stuff, each memory seemed even more special than the last. You guys got all kinds of souvenirs (that I promised myself we wouldn’t buy- fail! haha!) But you LOVED, and I mean LOOOOOOOOVED each and every minute of it. The drive home wasn’t too terrible, except Emme, you painted yourself with chocolate from a granola bar on the drive. Up your arms and legs, hands and face. If I could insert an eye-rolling face here, I would. Hahaha. We got home late the night of the 30th, to make sure you guys would be able to attend your school’s halloween party the next day.
To round out October, we celebrated Halloween! This year, Emme you chose to be Tinkerbell, and Lucas, you chose to be a StormTrooper. You guys loved running up to people’s doors and saying trick or treat! You tried to inhale the candy, while you were walking, hahaha. We even went to our neighbors house who makes a walk-through haunted house every year. This is the first year you guys have been brave enough to go through. This year’s theme was Indiana Jones, which was really cool because we had just seen the Indiana Jone’s Stunt Spectacular at Disney a couple of days earlier. We finished up the night over at Lyric and Piper’s house, and you loved getting to hang out with your friends.
Wow. What an October. Is it time for our next vacation yet?? I’m ready!