January 31, 2015

Happy Birthday Ahsoka!

My daughter is thrilled and very excited to add "Jedi Training Academy" to her must do list for our next trip to Disney's Hollywood Studios. So I couldn't resist getting my youngling her very own Ahsoka hoodie for her birthday.

Happy Birthday, little padawan.

I'm so glad that Ashley Eckstein (who, incidentally also voices the character Ahsoka in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series) features all the cute and girly clothes a little girly Star Wars fan might want.
So I tweeted this photo of Kylee on her birthday.

Add caption
Ashley, being an awesome human being, tweeted back to with her a Happy Birthday.
I told Kylee.


WHATTTTT!?!
She wants to know when she'll be old enough for her own twitter feed so that "I can be friends with Ahsoka too.
The #DisneySide is strong with this one.
Thank you again, for making her birthday super special!


January 30, 2015

A New Ship | Little Paper Cabana

As we went forth from Rizzo's room to solve who stole the Muppet Show, we were glad to discover that there are different villains and clues, so if you see someone else solve the mystery, you can still enjoy the thrill of the game.

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Our view for most of the afternoon.
After solving the caper and staying tuned for the grand finale, we headed back to our room, our free drinks, the view and some quality time reading my Kindle.
On a trip back in to grab some bottled waters, I noticed that the concierge left us a present.

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Little Paper Cabana
A perfect little replica of our cabana!

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A map of the locations of the new family beach cabanas?
How helpful.
Ben and I headed off to the Cove Café, since we had neglected to visit it so far. It was oddly empty for mid-afternoon. After poking back into the clubs to retrieve our kiddos for the concierge reception, we popped back into the lounge.

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I can see my room from here!
With fruity beverages (and a non-dairy hot cocoa with Mickey head sprinkles) we headed up to the sun deck. Our concierge hosts mingled to check on us and hand out buttons.



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Tracy assured us that they had cancelled Kylee's Stingray meet and greet (we decided to forgo that for more time in our cabana, the stingrays will have to wait to meet Kylee until our next trip) and that that was all squared away.

Our family really quacks me up!

After visiting for a bit with our buds, we were pleased to meet our new best friend! He really quacks us up. We all hung around and watched a bit of Lion King in our suite, then it was time to head down to dinner.


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Perusing her menu
Kylee and Chris ate considerably better when we forgot about the kid's menu, so we let Chris order off the adult menu. As for Kylee, she decided to "have some of mom's" since that had been working out so well on this vacation.


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Never say no to indian food on a cruise ship. The chefs don't mess around. This is the good stuff.
Kylee dug into this delectable curry. Ben thought that the naan bread was a bit odd. He's traveled to India for work several times, so I'm inclined to believe him. Still, it was yummy and warm and perfectly sopped up extra bits of the spicy, sweet stew.

Chris wanted to return to the club immediately, sensing that with the next day being a port day, his opportunities to beat his personal best at Lego Pirates of the Caribbean were dwindling.

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Kylee wanted to visit her towel animal before heading to the theatre for the evening.
On seeing her comfy cozy bed, Kylee decided she wanted to change into her pajamas and slippers. She still wanted to go to believe, mind you. Just in rather more casual dress than normal.


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Oh, the drama.
Kylee loved Believe "best of all" the Disney shows. I loved that Genie came back for the show. He brings a certain humor and pizzazz to any scene. Kylee, too tired to walk back to the room, dozed on Ben's shoulder while I doubled back to Oceaneer's Lab for Christopher.

He wasn't thrilled to be picked up, but all thoughts of complaining soon disappeared. As we walked to the forward elevators on deck five, Peter Pan leapt around the corner of the hallway, weaving between other guests and yelling for his shadow. He stopped, whirled into a crouch next to Chris asking if he'd seen his shadow. Chris said no and off Peter, nearly literally, flew.

Five seconds of pure, unadulterated unscripted magic that I wouldn't trade for anything.
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This is Part 17 of an Ongoing Trip Report "A New Ship."
Additional sections will be found on the
Trip Reports page after they are posted!

January 29, 2015

Magic-al Texas Thanksgiving | A Throwback Thursday Trip Tour!

Have you ever wondered what it's like to take your kids on their very first cruise?
Have you ever wondered if they'd like a Disney Cruise?
Hop aboard and enjoy a throwback trip report in it's entirety!
 
Travel the Western Caribbean on the Disney Magic with two new cruisers!
 
Episode II: Magic-al Texas Thanksgiving with the Mouse
Disney Magic
November 17, 2012
Seven Night Western Caribbean
  1. And We're Off!
  2. And The Eating Begins
  3. Confession Time
  4. Princesses and Palo
  5. Naps, Formal Wear and the Disney Point
  6. Have a Little Character
  7. Go For the Ears
  8. Casual Evening
  9. Silence Before the Stingrays
  10. Tenders and Iguanas and Stingrays, Oh My!
  11. All Good Pirates Take Naps
  12. Is it Fall Back and Spring Forward or the Other Way Around?
  13. Innie Belly Buttons and Other Oddities
  14. It's Like EPCOT
  15. Cozumel Looks Very Nice From Onboard
  16. Thanksgiving!
  17. My Little Penguins
  18. Having a Food Moment
  19. Why Did They Have to Play the Goodbye Song?
To answer the obvious question, Episode I, aka our first cruise (in which the kids are left ashore in the tender care of their grandparents) is not yet finished and is not linked yet!

For other trip reports, check out the Trip Reports tab at the top of the page!

January 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday | Pinteresting, Very Pinteresting...

Welcome Wordless Wednesday Blog Hoppers!
Today we're sharing one of our favorite Pinterest pin pictures.
I love this photo from my first ever cruise! The fact is, there are not just Ten Things to Know Before Your First Disney Cruise or even  Ten MORE Things to Know Before Your First Cruise but I just kept going and came up with:

Another 10 Things to Know Before Your First Disney Cruise
 
All I can say is it's a good thing I have a Disney Blog or I think my husband might get very overwhelmed by my #DisneySide.
For more awesome Adventure in the Great Wide Somewherehomeschool, Disney Travelinspirational and crafty pins I don't actually intend to get around to, feel free to follow me on Pinterest !

Thank you to Focused on the Magic for hosting!
 
Focused on the Magic

January 26, 2015

The FitBit and The Fantasy | Fitness Apps Onboard the Disney Cruise Line

 Welcome to the next stop on the Blogorail. Today we are discussing one of my favorite ways to make staying in shape more fun. Namely, the app. Like the saying goes, there's an app for that!

I love using a FitBit in my daily life because it makes keeping track of how many steps I've gotten in super easy and it's fun to compete and see who can get in the most steps in a day. I wanted to keep track of my cruise to the eastern Caribbean last November partially to keep the good habit going and partially because I was curious.


St. Thomas and St. John
Touring St. John

Lots of people tell me they're surprised I love cruising. Isn't that just for lazing around in hammocks or on deck chairs drinking fruity beverages? Aren't you always running around like a crazy person? Wouldn't just laying around all day drive you crazy?

Um, yeah.

If I actually lazed around all day. There is plenty of time for that of course, but first I need to go explore a bit!


The thing is, from the afternoon you board the Fantasy and happily step onto the ship, there is more to see than can ever be seen more and more to do than can ever be done. (Uh oh, she's gone to Lion King mode.)

Literally.

Even if you never wake up in time for Sunrise Stretch and you ignore the whole "take the stairs" advice, you stand a pretty good chance of walking quite a bit. The thing is, when you're heading out to stroll around a tropical island it just doesn't seem like much work.


IMG_2764
The walls of the Castillo de San Felipe in Puerto Rico
I went aboard the ship and as usual turned off cellular data roaming and put my iPhone into airplane mode to avoid unwanted fees. This also prevented my FitBit from syncing. Therefore I needed to check on it every evening or so to check if I should charge it.
Interestingly enough, despite normally syncing via Bluetooth, the FitBit did not want to sync without regular Wi-Fi. It synced fine once we were on St. Thomas (which is in my cellular network, but depends on your carrier) but even when I was using the ship's Wi-Fi it never wanted to sync up.
Not to worry!
Even without syncing on sea days, all that data stores itself away in your FitBit.

So what kind of mileage did my cruise yield?

Disembark
Hmmmm. It looks like I did pretty much hang out on a lounger on Tuesday.
To put the above mileage into perspective:

Saturday we boarded the ship. (All this mileage is walking around the port or on the ship exploring.
Sunday and Monday were sea days. I ran on the first one and did not run on the second.
Tuesday we toured St. Thomas. Then I spent the afternoon taking a good long rest in a lounger.
Wednesday we walked all over Puerto Rico. After I ran a bit that morning.
Thursday was another sea day. No running. Just meandering about the ship.
Friday we were ensconced in a cabana in Castaway Cay most of the day. Except for the 5K.

I did not walk up more than a few flights of stairs at any point during the week, although I did walk downstairs because it seemed lazy to me to ride the elevator down. (I'm strange like that). So I did use the elevators. Our stateroom was on the twelfth deck. Many activities and restaurants were on the third deck. So walking up nine flights of stairs all of the time just wasn't going to happen.

As always with a FitBit, be sure to pack your charger!


Thank you for joining the Blogorail this month. We will be back in next month with all new loops and themes. Keep checking in with our blogs in between loops to keep up to date with newest posts, photos and stories. If you are looking for more magic, you can make your way over to The Blogorail website to see all our members and their blogs, as well as all our previous loops.
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Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:


1st Stop - Sparks of Magic - Nike+ Running
2nd Stop - The Disney Point - MyFitnessPal
3rd Stop - Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere - FitBit

A New Ship | Something About Apples

On fetching our cereal boxes and fruit from the lounge, Julia mentioned that they happened to recently complete the cabanas at the end of the family beach if we happened to be interested.

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The Lounge Hallway
Intrigued, I let her know I'd check with Ben and get back to her.
We ate breakfast.
Thought it over.
Looked at the bill for the cruise so far (it had been delivered either the night before or early that morning and was still well within our budget) and decided to go for it.

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Kylee takes Jazz.
Not that you can tell or anything.
Since we had gone back a time zone, (back to eastern from Atlantic) we were up very early. After wandering around the ship, we decided to drop off the last of the Fish Extender gifts. Ben joined us for handing out gifts, usually he sits out and we both remarked how the halls jagged to the right and left as you walked up the passenger decks. At the Art of Animation tour, the cast member had explained this was to avoid the endless hallway effect. We just felt it made it difficult to tell how far down a deck you had travelled and how much was left.


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Because Moped!
After a brief stop in La Piazza to play with the moped we queued with our tickets for the Gingerbread House construction.

IMG_2867
It's up!
It hasn't fallen over yet!
Quick take a picture!
Another of the "free but limited tickets" events, this one took us back into Animator's Palate. The gingerbread is made fresh onboard and smells amazing! After very little in the way of instructions (other than everything is edible) off we went on the construction and decoration.

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Do you want to build a snowman?
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There *may* have been some snacking involved.

Despite having massive amounts of space in which to display our gingerbread house in our stateroom, as you may've noticed in the above photo, Chris had already begun disassembling/snacking on the gingerbread house while Ben was distracted by the frosting.
(Chimney first, of course.)
Chris had enjoyed the gingerbread house immensely, but because of the previous two port days, was feeling rather low on Oceaneer's Lab...so he went back to get a refill.

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There never needs to be a reason to make crafts.
Kylee hung out to make some lovely door hangers while she was waiting for our appointed audience with the princesses. Then we went to the main atrium.


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Yay! Ariel!
After fifteen minutes of waiting, Kylee took a minute to warm up to Cinderella, but she was eager to meet Ariel. On our previous couple of cruises, Ariel kept swimming around in the ocean with Flounder, so Triton's youngest was on my princesses must meet list.

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Unlike Kylee, I am not scared of Cinderella, she let Ben and I eat in her castle on our honeymoon and everything.
And K and Tiana go way back, naturally.


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K still talks about dancing with Tiana on her first cruise back when she was three.
Kylee eagerly told Jasmine how much she liked seeing her in Aladdin.

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Kylee especially loved the magic carpet in the musical.
She asked her where Aladdin was. Apparently he was busy. Something about apples.
Then, worn out from her royal engagements, Kylee wanted to head back to the comfort of the Oceaneer's Lab and all the crafts.

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#Team RizzoTheRat
I wanted to finish out the Muppet Midship Detective Agency, to Ben's amusement, so we took a good picture of Pepe's door (trust me, having the details off of this door, keeps you from needing to double back later.)
And headed off to seek the dastardly villain who stole the Muppet Show.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This is Part 16 of an Ongoing Trip Report "A New Ship."
Additional sections will be found on the
Trip Reports page after they are posted!
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