Posts Tagged ‘robert ellis’

ICE!

ICE Frost

The Ice village and slide are back at Gaylord National at National Harbor. The kids got a kick out of the new Jack Frost theme. The slides are always a hit. Be sure to grab some hot chocolate after before hopping on the carousel or decorating gingerbread cookies. Here’s more information on the exhibit which will be open through Christmas. You can get photos with Santa too.      ICE Frost

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Disney World in 3 Days

Adora can't wait

We surprised them with a 5 day countdown to Disney by making Mickey Mouse pancakes for dinner and presenting them mouse ears.

Many of you have told me about your plans to visit Disney and wanted to know about the trip. We had a great time, packing a whole lot into three days. After you get your tickets be sure to make your account online at “my disney experience” and download the app. This is gonna be your go-to place for all your reservations and activities. Your “memory maker” will be linked here too. Memory maker holds all the pics photographers in the parks take during your visit. I highly suggest it but also think you should take your own pics too because quality/shots may not always turn out like you expect.

If you have small kids, in my experience staying at one of the resorts with access to the monorail is a good bet. If you plan on taking Disney train, busses, boats expect it to take at least 45 minutes to get there. You always have the option to cab it to a park too- which is obviously faster.

The big thing to know off the bat is 180 days out from your visit you can begin booking events, restaurants etc. Disney Dining Buddy was recently DISNEY Cshut down and honestly it’s what I used to secure some hard to get reservations for this last trip. If you wanna really eat at Cinderella’s Castle or Be Our Guest I’m not kidding when I say you need try to book when that clock strikes 12 at your 180 day out mark.

This year we visited Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Downtown Disney. There is so much to do and it can be overwhelming. I’ll share our itinerary to give you an idea of what we got done in a day with a 4 and 2 year old.

Upon Arrival: Aloha Dinner Show at the Polynesian

This was a fun way to start our trip after arriving in Orlando in the afternoon. The dinner show started around 8pm and was interactive. Adora loved being able to take part in dancing on the stage. The fire dancer and performer was the best. I do think it could have been 15 to 20 minutes shorter. The kids got tired early and traditional dance wasn’t enough to keep them entertained until the very end. The island food was plentiful and satisfying and I’m a big fan of the family style meal presentation.

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During the show people are encouraged to get up and dance

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Pineapple Bread Pudding!

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Memory Maker photo with the fam!

Day 1: Animal Kingdom & Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party

We started the day back at the Polynesian for a character breakfast at Ohana. This was a chance to see Lilo, Stitch, Pluto and Mickey himself. The food and service was tasty! We headed to Animal Kingdom from there. The tree of life is something else. Definitely get your pic in front of it. It was cool seeing a walking tree on the way in. Our first stop was in DinoLand and the Boneyard. We took the DINOSAUR ride and I’m not sure who was more scared Adora or Robert! It was frightening but very cool. Definitely for a kid older than 5 since it appears you could be eaten by a T Rex at any moment. We toned it down with a milder Triceratop spin and then headed for the Kilamanjaro Safari ride. This is a must-do and definitely use your fast pass for this. We ate lunch on the go at the BBQ pit by DinoLand and then enjoyed the Festival of the Lion King indoors. Next time I hope to do Everest!

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At age 2, Bob is still warming up to the characters

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DINOSAUR: Scariest ride ever. Adora was horrified lol

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It’s a tree woman walking!

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The Kilimanjaro Safari rocks

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From there it was off to nap before heading to Magic Kingdom for Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party! They shut down the park for this.  Adora was Pinocchio and Bob was Jiminy Cricket. During the Halloween Parade Pinocchio spotted Adora and came over to give her a hug. I found it was a good time to go to the Town Square Theater and meet Tinkerbell and Mickey. There were no lines. This Mickey is cool because he speaks and interacts with the kiddos.

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Meet Tink and other characters in the Town Square Theater.

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Parade Tip: There’s good open space to view it near the Barber Shop in Town Square.

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At California Grill (The Contemporary) Bob’s outfit was a hit and he knew it. He worked the room like no other and stopped so people could snap photos of him. It was hilarious.

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Day 2: Magic Kingdom and Parents Night Out

We began the day at a character breakfast inside our resort. The kids met Alice, the Mad Hatter, Mary Poppins, Winnie and Tigger too. I find eating where you stay is a great time saver. We’re fans of buffets.. they speed things up.

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Comparing mary janes with Alice.

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Then it was back to Magic Kingdom for a morning filled with kid friendly rides. Aladdin’s magic carpet, Toy Story ride, Dumbo, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, It’s a Small world and Pirates of the Caribbean were age appropriate. Adora is 4 and really liked Thunder Mountain and so it’s a good roller coaster for starters.  My fave was the Jungle Cruise! The tour guides tell bad jokes the whole time and they really make you laugh. Next year.. we try Space Mountain! We had lunch at Cinderella’s Royal Table in the castle and met the princess herself. Ariel, Jasmine, Snow White and Aurora all made appearances at the lunch. Afterwards, we saw Elsa and Anna at Fairytale Hall . Adora was thrilled can’t you tell? :) We wrapped things up around 3pm with the Parade. It was perfect.

Let it Go: having some issues upon meeting the real Ice Queen. Bob was smitten with the princesses and Adora finally chilled out.

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Sign Here: Don’t forget to take your autograph books everywhere and have it opened when you meet the princesses and characters.

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disney mk1The resorts have an in-house babysitting service so we scheduled coverage so that we grown ups could go out to a nice dinner at Victoria and Albert’s. This is another place you have to schedule way ahead of time. There’s a 7 course or 10 course option. We did the 7 and it was more than enough. The food was wonderful quality and a nice twist on American cuisine. A+ for presentation and service. Guys wear a jacket.

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At the end of dinner they give you a rose. Robert brought it back for Adora and she lit up.

Day 3: Epcot, Downtown Disney & Hollywood Studios epcot1

On Day 3 we had breakfast scheduled at Akershu’s Royal Banquet Hall for the Princess character buffet but I canceled since we had already met a lot of royalty. The restaurant is a cool castle located at Epcot. It’s a bit of a walk but a good way to meet Belle and a lot of the princesses. We still headed to Epcot to do Spaceship Earth in the main dome. It’s a nice way to travel back in time and even though it’s in the dark it’s not scary for kids. Some other attractions to use your fast pass for would be Soarin’  (feel like you’re flying) and Mission Space.

From Epcot it was off to Downtown Disney where crews continue to do lots of construction. It’s actually has a new name too: Disney Springs. There we filled up at an animated lunch at the Rainforest Cafe and then Adora had her Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover. Getting reservations at the boutique in Cinderella’s castle is tough so this is a good alternative location. Adora decided she wanted to be Rapunzel. Check out her ombre hair lol.

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While they turn this into Disney Springs expect construction and extra time to park and walk.

Rainforest Cafe: It rains, storms inside while you're eating.

Rainforest Cafe: It rains, storms inside while you’re eating.

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Didn’t realize but you can do a Prince makeover too!

 

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downtown disney rapunzelNext up, Hollywood Studios to see Frozen: Sing Along Celebration.  The kids loved it when it started snowing in the theater- great effect! They also had a blast checking out the fake movie sets and playing in the Muppet fountain. We had Italian dinner at Mama’s Melrose Ristorante. The meatballs were huge. Next year we’ll try to make the Little Mermaid Show. hollywoodstudios

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Fake sets all over!

Last Night: Fireworks cruise

boatSo I was too late booking the Pirate cruise with Peter Pan and Hook but there were still pontoon cruises available that leave the Grand Floridian resort. The kids in their Wendy and Pirate pjs strapped on their life jackets and took a boat with us out onto Buena Vista lake. Our guide Paul was fantastic, giving us a lot of history on the resorts and different parks. At one point they park you so you can see the nightly light show (video below). Then they eventually get you a good view of the castle to watch the fireworks. The show is narrated by Jiminy Cricket and really is magical. Adora couldn’t stop talking about all the shooting stars she saw!fireworks4

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Both got their first trading pins!

Here’s the light show in action:

The End:

After a fun filled few days it was back to reality. We fueled up, headed out and in the words of the Mickey Mouse Club we’ll “See ya real soon!”.

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On the way to the airport Adora took this photo. She wanted to capture the sunrise.

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Headphones, movies and lollipops= flying life savers

Let the family vacation begin! 

We’re off to the beach and to celebrate one of the greatest days of the year— July  4th! 🎉🇺🇸🎉   

    
    
 

Peak Bloom!

Yes.. the traffic was worth seeing the blossoms before they’re gone!

Spring Photos 2015

Well it’s no secret Winter has done it’s best to keep a firm grip on the season. The good news is.. Spring is here. It is one of our family’s favorite seasons. There is so much good that happens this time of year and we are reminded that new beginnings are always possible. #rejoice

(Spring Photos by Gayle Tiller)

 

Freezing in April.. can you tell!

Spring it on! With Sugar

The snow is melting and there’s no turning back now. What better way to say “Spring come on!” than with spring cookies. With my little helper Adora we hosted a cookie decorating workshop at Wildfire at Tysons Galleria. Highlights of the event is seeing so many friends and meeting new people.. and also benefiting Food for Others. FFO helps provide food for those who can’t afford it living in Fairfax County. I love being able to teach my daughter about giving back while she is young and so impressionable. She really had fun and felt she was doing something good. Thanks to everyone who came out!

 

 

 

Happy New Year!

2015 is gonna be good.. we can feel it.

Home for the holidays

We saluted the US military this year with the Reston Town Center Holiday Parade! It was a grand celebration and Doug and I were so happy to be a part of it. The tree lighting was magical as always!

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WATCH RESTON HOLIDAY PARADE HIGHLIGHTS ON NBC4

 

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Love

Hope your day is filled with it.

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Throwing a “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Birthday Party

My daughter turned 3 and now that she’s in school and has girlfriends we decided to do an all girls party! A couple of my friends had done a Breakfast at Tiffany’s theme and thought it was so cute. With the help of event planning mom Katie Wells with Petite Social we came up with a fun and fabulous party just for the little ladies! Activities included digging for diamonds, balloon art, face painting and even a visit from Santa Claus! Party notes are at the end of the post.
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photo 5 photo 6 photo 7 photo 8 IMG_8172 IMG_8173 IMG_8181 IMG_8182 IMG_8185 IMG_8188 IMG_8203 IMG_7841 IMG_7872 bob adora bdayPARTY NOTES:
Event Styling – Katie Wells from Petite Social, http://www.petitesocial.com/
Event Photography – MoxieSox Photography, http://www.moxiesox.com/
Event Photography – Scen2bSeen, http://www.scene2bseen.com/Home
Party Printables – Pepper Avenue, https://www.etsy.com/shop/xxPepperAvenuexx
Face Painting, Balloon Art- Dee Vincey, http://www.deevinchey.com/
Cake, Cake Pops, Cookies – Fresh Bakes, http://www.fresh-bakes.com/
Catering- St Germaine Catering, http://www.saintgermaincatering.com/
If you have specific questions about props, decor, etc just leave a comment or message me on Facebook

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