Monday, October 23, 2017

Walt Disney World Family Vacation: Epcot + Melbourne Beach

Day 3 Park: Epcot
We chose 3 parks for our Disney vacation: Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios and Epcot. We opted out of Animal Kingdom because we were under the impression it was more of a glorified zoo. I'm sure there are plenty of people who have gone there and loved it, we chose to do Epcot instead because... FOOD. We did have a blabber mouth lady in line behind us at Magic Kingdom tell us the boys would be bored at Epcot because there was nothing there to do for children. But our boys liked it. So we win.
 It just so happened we were there during their annual Food & Wine Festival, so we didn't realize what we had gotten ourselves into.
The place got crowded quickly with people wearing shirts that had Mickey with a beer in his hand. Mice drink water. So those shirts are dumb.
The side of the park where all the food is located is set up to emanate different countries and I did find it fascinating. The staff members who work at these locations are all from the country they represent.
The grounds are huge, so we spent a lot of time walking on this day.
We had enough time for Jason to purchase a chocolate croissant in France before our first FastPass ride.
They had an area where kids could sit and color in the little shop where Jason bought his croissant. I was quite relieved by this because the shop had tons of glass replicas of the eiffel tower and tea sets and I began to think it was a conspiracy, knowing that children would pick them up and break them and poor families like us would have to pay.
TestTrack was our first FastPass ride. I'm sure Chevrolet is as happy to represent at Disney as Coca-Cola is.
Before you ride, you can create a concept car that will be "tested" on the track.
We got stuck for about 10 minutes at the end of the actual ride. We just sat there and couldn't move. But apparently it happens so often that they didn't even bother to offer us a free FastPass. So I'm writing a letter to Chevrolet sharing my concern for the welfare of children and their fun in hopes they will comp me a few free Disney Park tickets. Or maybe a Corvette Grand Sport. Whatevs.
After this we went on the prowl for food. It was our last day at Disney, so we had to use up all of our quick service meals and snack credits.
We ate lunch at Liberty Inn. While Jason and Dawson were getting our food, Evan and I snagged a table because the eating area was filling up. When we sat down, Evan said,  "mommy, you look like a superstar today". So I took a selfie of me at that moment. You're welcome.
After lunch we were back on the movea to find more food and snacks. We call that second lunch and third lunch.
Jason found a lobster roll at Hops & Barley.
Ladies, I've got a fine man. Just felt the need to say it.
We stopped in Germany to get me a pretzel, and the pretzels there didn't count toward snack credits! I contacted the German authorities and they said guten tag.
The only other food I had my heart set on was a taco from Mexico and baklava from Greece and I got both. There was a bone in my taco though and I spit it out in the middle of the street while we were walking because I was so shocked by it. I was wearing my Broncos shirt though...people wearing Broncos shirts get away with everything.
 We walked through this little path that had a miniature train traveling through it.

You can get these little "passport" books that have stickers in them with the names of the little stands and shops where you get snacks and food. Then you put the sticker on the appropriate place in the book to show that you got something there. I thought it would be a great idea to give one of these books to Evan to keep him busy while we walked forever looking for food. It worked.
 At some point along the way Dawson decided to do a jump and I was the greatest mom to capture it on camera.
 Just look at Norway everybody. I mean who doesn't want a grass roof now?!
 It was getting super hot out and I found a stand for shaved ice. Jason and I got into a bit of an argument because I told him to get one blue raspberry for Dawson and one strawberry for me. So he got one blue raspberry for Dawson and one Tiger's Blood for himself thinking I said Dawson and I were going to share the blue raspberry. But he's sort of a selective listener.
Eventually we had to make our way out of this side of the park to catch our second FastPass ride which was Mission to Mars.
This was a simulator ride and you stare at a screen while the ride moves you up and down and around. I was totally good with that until the very end. Jason had to grab a barf bag but managed to make it out unscathed. I typically don't get queasy on rides like that, but there's a wee tiny slight bit of a chance I'd had too much food before I got on it. Teeny chance. Minuscule.
At some point among all our walking and eating, I saw a sign declaring that it was a station to meet Belle. The Beauty and the Beast Belle! So I promptly got in line. I mean, I'm basically Belle, and this chic is my stand-in. I was officially the last person in line because they had to close the line since she had lunch reservations with Mrs. Potts. I used this to my advantage and decided right then and there that I was going to make her listen to me sing the first half of "Little Town" from the original motion picture for her so that she could see that I'm spot on, and also let her know that I have the movie memorized. All before getting our official picture taken. Brilliant.
Jason told me that Dawson was mortified that I sang for Belle and he was so embarrassed he had to walk away from us. Well. HE embarrasses ME when he goes to church with holes in his shorts. So. Even!
I can SO totally do that little hand pose she's got going on, by the way. Just sayin.
I thought you'd all want to see the back side of the round ball thing. You're welcome.
Our final FastPass was for the Finding Nemo ride. The ride was slow and it was air conditioned in there so I was good. Singing to Belle wore me out.
We rode one last ride. I forget the name of it but you sit in a boat and it takes you through the area where Epcot grows some of the herbs and fruit that is used in some of the food sold at the stands. It's all about sustainability and such. 
At the end of this ride, we were done. It was 3 pm and even though Jason secured another FastPass for us, the majority vote was to go back to the resort and spend the rest of the day swimming. We had already walked 6 miles by this point and it was hot out. Since this was our last day at Disney, we wanted to make the most of it. The boys were happy, I was happy. So that's how we ended our stay at Disney.

Days 4-7 were spent at Melbourne Beach which is about an hour and half from Orlando.
We stayed at the Double Tree hotel because Jason had hotel points that we were able to use to stay for free. Yay. We had never been to this beach before.
I always love the view from the entry to the ocean:
Beach Time!
 I'm pretty sure I should live somewhere tropical. I told Jason we can get me a home in the tropics and he can get his cabin in Alaska and we can visit each other.
Jason got the call that our room was ready, so we went to go check it out.
The view from our balcony:
That's the cool thing about going to Florida in October... you pretty much have the beach to yourself.
Evan is too much awesome and reads magazines on the balcony.
I love the sound of the ocean.
There's this huge window at the entrance to the hallway that led to our hotel room and I was quite enamored with the view.
 The boys spent way more time in the pool than in the ocean though, and I was fine with that due to sharks and other deadly ocean life.
 The boys wanted to show me how they jump in. If you scroll down really fast, it's like a stop motion film.
Dawson is a goof ball.
Jason and I relaxed poolside.
It was alarming when I remembered that we actually had to pay for food here.
Speaking of food, I was really wanting doughnuts for some reason. So on the first morning when we got up, we set out looking for some. The Krispy Kreme that was 7 miles from us was closed! So I wrote Krispy Kreme and told them I was concerned for the welfare of all beach people and their love of doughnuts. Maybe that will earn me a life time of Hot Now. Eventually Jason found a suitable replacement and I had a salted chocolate espresso glazed doughnut. Yum.
My friend Stephanie's parents live only about 25 minutes from Melbourne Beach, and it just so happened that Stephanie and her family were on vacation with them during the time we were also vacationing in Florida. So that evening we had dinner with them -and no one thought to get a picture! Boo Hiss. But her parents invited us over to their house after we had to check out of our hotel on the day we had to head to the airport. So we got pictures then:
The boys got to go fishing in the pond near their house so they were happy.
It was finally time to bring our awesome Disney vacation to a conclusion. I could cry just thinking about it. We decided we hope to go back in 2019 when Star Wars Galaxy's Edge is completed. I'll probably go dressed as Rey.
Evan was completely exhausted by the time we got to the airport and when we stopped for dinner near our gate, he was out.
He slept while we waited for the plane.
And the whole way home.
I'm still waiting to catch up on sleep from vacation. Hopefully by 2019.