Jan 28, 2010

DisneyWatch 2010: Day 5

More things I've learned since we've been here:

- Teenage lifeguards can be very friendly and are at times more helpful than (I assume) higher-paid cast members.
- The teenage lifeguards wear white lace-up shoes, white socks and red canvas shorts. I have a hard time believing that they're going in after my kid in those clothes, but whatever you say, Disney.
- You can go all the way to Disney and spend thousands of your parents' dollars, and your kids will say that their Very Favorite Things about Disney are the hotdogs and the pool. OH YES THEY WILL.

Our fourth day on Disney property was deliciously free-form. This is the one tip I'd pass on without a qualm to Disney Virgins with Small Children: designate a day in the middle of your stay as a "mid-week break."

We arrived on Friday evening and were in the parks from EARLY to LATE on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We'd been going strong for so long that by Monday night, we were beat.

So on Tuesday, by design, other than our dinner reservations, we had a "free day" to hang out at the resort, wash some clothes, let the boys play around in the pool, give Jake his first nap in four days (Glory, glory, hallelujah) and basically give our minds and bodies some rest from our frantic pace.

If you are here for a week (say, Saturday to Saturday) and plan to visit the four main Disney parks, the two Saturdays are travel days, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday can be Major Park Days, Wednesday is your mid-week break, and Thursday and Friday you're in a major park you haven't visited and then one you wanted to go to again (or Sea World, Typhoon Lagoon, etc.)

On our mid-week break, we decided to run over to Downtown Disney to see what was what. It's only a couple of miles from our hotel, and it had a number of quick-service meal options on the Disney Dining Plan.

It's full of nice shops, fun places to eat and The World's Largest Disney Store.

We didn't have as much time to amble around as I would have liked, because the boys really wanted to get back to the pool. YOU KNOW, THE HIGHLIGHT OF DISNEY.

We did eat lunch there, though, at a place named Earl of Sandwich. We lucked into it, just noticing that it had a nice blend of things that would enable everyone in our large group to find something they liked. AND I HAD THE BEST SANDWICH I'VE EVER EATEN IN MY ENTIRE LIFE THERE. I will never be the same. It was THAT good.

I ordered the All-American, which is turkey, lettuce, tomato and Ranch dressing with cranberries. NEVER HAD THAT BEFORE. It was all-out fabulous. Geez, my mouth is watering right now. Hope that doesn't try the keyboard on Grayson's laptop, or we'll be without Internet again.

Jake really enjoyed his grilled cheese and then his double-decker brownie sandwich for dessert.

Mr. Independent handled it on his own.

As we departed Earl's, we were walking past a face-painting booth when Nicholas decided that he simply MUST have his face painted like a tiger. The big boys each had $40 to spend for the entire week on whatever they wanted, and he wanted to pay $15 to have his face painted ... 20 minutes before he was going to jump in a pool.

We couldn't talk him out of it, so instead we just enjoyed the process.

The artist had a relatively small arsenal for painting, but she used what she had to great effect.

Nick loved every minute of it.

He couldn't see what was happening, but he had a vision.

Half way there ...

She did the detail work pretty quickly.

Including fangs.

And Nick gave me a big ROOOOOAAAARRR when she finished.

He was SO EXCITED to look like a tiger!

When Nick hopped down from the chair, Jakey immediately tried to climb in. He wanted his face painted, too.

I asked the artist if she could do Mickey Mouse ears for him. She said YES, AND CAN I PLEASE SEE THAT DIMPLE AGAIN?

Of course, once she got halfway finished, Jake decided he'd had enough ... so we had to hold him still for about 10 seconds.

And just LOOK at the expression on his face when he saw the final result!

Glitter and all.

From there, we continued down the boardwalk. There's a large LEGO store there with several LEGO bins outside. It was such a beautiful day, the kids played there while I picked up a shirt for a friend in the nearby World's Largest Disney Store.

Nothing, not even being vertically challenged, can keep Jakey from reaching his goals.

They were surrounded by all manner of LEGO masterpieces. A T-Rex:

A Transformer:

A great white shark:

A vacationing family:

A dragon:

It was a sight to behold, really.

After we got our fill of LEGOs, we returned to the hotel for Pool Time. The boys are completely taken with our resort's pool.

The pool itself isn't much to look at, but it has this:

And they just think that's grand.

They must've come down that slide 60 times each over the three hours we were there.

I'd made reservations for Tuesday night's supper just like any other night, but it was a little later (7:10) to allow Jake to get a good nap and be awake for a little while before we headed out. Before we left the condo, I asked the boys if we could get a picture of them with their new mouse ears on:

Check another item off of the scrapbook list! Next, we headed to O'hana, one of the restaurants at the Polynesian hotel near Magic Kingdom. We were serenaded all evening by a lovely singer with a ukulele.

Our waitstaff brought us a literal TON of food! It was insane, the portions. We had bread, salad, chicken wings, pork pockets, noodles and broccoli, shrimp, steak, pineapple-coconut bread pudding ... a feast.

Nick especially loved the noodles.

He was slightly messy with them, but you know. Vacation and all that.

Jake was THRILLED when the kids' dessert was vanilla ice cream. Another dessert he could handle all by himself!

Here's a shot of them cooking over the open flame. At this point, looking behind me into the kitchen was making me feel sick. We'd had so much food that the THOUGHT of food was making me ill.

Finally, on our way out we got a picture in front of the Lilo & Stitch surfboard.

Tuesday afforded us a chance to catch our breath, to recharge ... we needed it. Being at Disney is wonderful, but it's also quite a change of pace from home. Tired feet, tired mind, tired blogger. ;) It's a demanding vacation in many ways, but one that I would recommend for anyone who can find a way to get here.

Now I'm off to dream of tomorrow's adventures at Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom ... the two parks we're re-visiting before we leave.


Rachel said...

Oh I hope Jakey is feeling better this morning.

Kim said...

Sorry to hear about Jake! At least it happened on a day you were going to go to places a second time, so you're not missing as much. Hopefully a day of rest will be all he'll need. WDW is exhausting, isn't it? We were only gone for 5 days, one a complete travel day, but oh the tiredness! And there were no VRD or whatever cute thing you called them! Hope your dinner tonight is fun! Kim

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