Saturday, August 11, 2012

Walt Disney World 2012-The Drive Down and our Arrival

We left for Disney on Sunday, the day after Lindsey and Ben got married.  Yea, I don't know what we were thinking, either.  But, that was our travel day, so after Matthew and I got home from Lindsey and Ben's gift opening/brunch, Lucas, Natalie, and Derrick were waiting with the CRV ready to go!
Natalie and her first palm tree :).
We started our journey off well.  Actually, the whole drive down on Sunday was great.  The kids watched movies, snacked, colored, played video games.  Life was good.  We made a few stops, but not too many.  We arrived at our Hampton Inn in Rock Hill, SC, late Sunday evening.

It was around 9:00. We had a room with two queen beds and a sleeper couch.  Well, drama ensued over the boys and who was going to sleep on the fold out couch, because heaven forbid they sleep together.  I ended up with Lucas, Derrick was back and forth between trying to sleep with Natalie on the sleeper sofa or with Matthew in the other bed.....and Derrick and I both ended up with crummy sleep!  Oh well...on with the journey, right?
Natalie and Matthew enjoying a treat before heading to Downtown Disney.
We arrived in Florida mid afternoon on Monday.  We had reservations at a Hampton Inn near Universal Studios.  Well, when we got there, something just didn't feel right about it.  But, we figured it was just because it was an older one and a lot of people were in and out because of it being so close to Universal.  We took a short swim and decided to go out to dinner.
Matthew and Lucas posing with the tree frog at the Rainforest Cafe.  Poor Lucas was so hungry, he was near tears.  That smile is for sure forced!
  We tossed different ideas back and forth, and finally decided to surprise the kids with dinner at the Rainforest Cafe at Downtown Disney.  I was soooo excited about this!  So, I called them to see what kind of wait they were experiencing, and the receptionist told me only about 5-10 minutes, but that could change at any time.  When we got there, it was a 20 minute wait.
Lucas entertaining himself with a tree frog umbrella.
 But, we didn't care.  Typically, this is a restaurant that you can't get into at Disney unless you have a reservation.
Natalie taking the snow leopard for a walk in the stroller.
To get a walk up table was fabulous!  So, while we waited, we walked around the gift shop area, and the boys and Derrick were in and out of Goofy's Candy Company, which is right across from Rainforest Cafe.
The decor in there was so fun!  You totally feel like your'e in a rainforest.  In fact, every 20 minutes there is a rainstorm.  So cool!  The kids loved looking at all the rainforest animals.
Matthew, Natalie and Lucas at Once Upon a Toy
After a good dinner, we did some walking around some of our favorite shops at DTD.  We hit the World of Disney, Once Upon a Toy {to scope out making your own light saber} and a few others.
Lucas, Me, Natalie, Matthew, and Derrick after dinner.  We're all looking much happier!

Derrick helping Natalie choose her first souvenir of the trip.  She ended up with a small stuffed Daisy Duck.

Matthew and Lucas scoping out how to Build Your Own Light Saber.  

Derrick helping Matthew and Lucas get their new pin lanyards set up.  These held pins they didn't want to trade, and they took their lanyards from last year into the parks with pins they didn't mind trading.
We headed back to the be greeted by a little Florida guest.  There was a lizard on the wall of our room. EEWWW!!!  So, after some analyzing....aka who's gonna call the front desk....we packed up and were out of there.  But, the problem was we didn't know where we were going.  So, we ended up driving around and calling some other hotels in the area.  NOT as easy as we thought it would be to find a room for the night.  Yea....we ended up at this super awesome resort called the Caribe Royal.  Would totally stay there again!  We had a one bedroom suite.  Lucas got the couch in the "living room", they brought in a pack and play for Natalie, Matthew got a queen bed, and Derrick and I got a queen.  It was beautiful, spacious, and we all slept waaaayyy better than the night in SC.

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