Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Anna Maria Island

July 12-19th Pyles' Family Beach Trip to Anna Maria Island. After 7 hours, we arrived!
 Every night Jack and Maggie had Lucky Charms.
 This little one is still terrified/hates the dry sand under her feet. However, she loves playing with the sand on her towel.
 First meal at Rod and Reel. 

 I love my mini me!

 It was nice to have some time just the four of us. I will say, vacations aren't what they used to be. It takes a lot of work to load up and get all four of us to the beach, set up the tent and chairs...all of this while Maggie is constantly asking to go in the ocean. (It makes me appreciate our trips to Ponte Vedra:) 
 Katie on her towel again.
These two...
 ...loved the water.
 The girls would eat their lunch on the beach everyday...
 ...while we ate Poppo's everyday.
 my little beach pumpkin 
 We buried daddy in the sand.
(not pictured, I buried Mags too)
 A plus to vacationing on Anna Maria Island...
 ...our dear friends SJ and Tim live nearby in Bradenton with their one year old, Campbell.
 Katie wasn't into pictures that evening. 
 We never used the table to eat at, but we did use it to play some games. 
 We walked to the ice cream parlor, DIPS, a few times. The best Birthday Cake ice cream I've ever had.
 Every morning, except Monday (because they are closed on Mondays), we had the Donut Shoppe. It was directly below us and Jack brought it upstairs for us to eat on the porch. 
 Brent and Nancy joined us on Wednesday. 
 This was my beach buddy.
 Thanks to B&N, we were able to grab dinner in Sarasota at Columbia with SJ and Tim.
 Again, donuts for breakfast. 
 Maggie "loving" on her sister...trying to comfort her as she faces her fear of standing in the sand.
 Brent and Mags
 The water is beautiful!
 love this guy!
 Katie finally got used to the wet sand and sat in this little "pool".
 The four of us.

 Snacking on the beach.
 back to her towel.

 Last night, we took B&N took Rod and Reel. I love this picture from Jack and Katie walking down the pier.

Monday, July 21, 2014


Last Tuesday, July 15th, we took the girls to Disney World. As we rode the Monorail and Maggie saw Cinderella's castle for the first time, the magic began:)

Our first stop...
 ...the Crystal Palace. After Tigger and Piglet came around, Maggie warmed to the idea of taking a picture with Pooh and Eeyore. We had a huge buffet breakfast and were able to meet the Hundred Acre Woods Characters without any lines. 
We then ventured more into the park and took the classic picture in front of the castle. As we headed to Fantasyland, we stopped in front of the castle where Mickey and Minnie were performing with most of the characters. The girls loved this.
 Once in Fantasyland, we headed to the Circus/Dumbo area. 
 The line was not too bad (15 min) and they have a great place for kids to play while you wait.
 Katie and I rode together.
 Jack and Mags are all the way across from us.
 In the same area, beside Dumbo, Goofy's Barnstormer is a roller coaster and Maggie wanted to ride with Jack. Katie and I sat out to watch.
 Not pictured: Under the Sea Journey (we fast passed this the first time). It's Aerial's ride. 
Then we headed to Prince Charming's wait at all.
 We thought we lost our stroller after this, but a little tip...there are stroller attendants that are constantly moving your stroller (in the same area) to keep the strollers contained in the stroller areas. Don't worry if you can't find your's, it's there, just keep looking. 
 We fast passed meeting Rapunzel (Mags thought it was Sleep Beauty)...
...and Cinderella.
 Our next stop was the Many of Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Once again, great things for the kids to do while waiting in the 20 min line. This is Pooh's house.
 Next Fast Pass was Tales with Belle. The best thing we did (even the little boys will like this)!
 It's an interactive "ride" where you meet Belle and act out her story. Every kid that wants to be involved gets to.
 This was a dream come true for Mags.
 We wanted to make the day fun for Maggie and let her do what she wanted to do. This meant waiting in the 1 1/2 hour line to meet Frozen princesses, Anna and Elsa.
 I will say, it's worth the wait. The characters really interact with them.
 Katie was a little hesitant, but Maggie thought it was the greatest thing. Also, we waited for a while, but it poured and stormed the whole time...right as we walked out the rain stopped. We were thankful to wait out the rain in the "castle".
 After Anna and Elsa, we asked Mags what she wanted to do...Tales with Belle again. We did wait about 45 minutes for this (Katie slept on Jack's shoulders through this line). While they were waiting, I discovered I could fast pass something else since we had used our three free ones. So I ran to the Fast Pass station and got a time for Under the Sea again.
 Maggie was Chip this time...Jack was even in the reenactment as a guard (see green shirt back left corner.)
 After Aerial's Under the Sea ride, Maggie wanted to do the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh again. I was able to Fast Pass this, but there was "a honey spill" and we had to go ride the Carousel again and then we waited about 15 min to ride It's a Small World before going back to ride in the Honey Pot.
 It was a great day. We didn't stay for the parade. We plan to go back in the Spring with Jack's whole family and we will get to do that then.
 We never left the Fantasyland area. We decided to just take it easy and do what the girls wanted to do, instead of rushing around trying to ride all the rides.  Magic Kingdom is huge. The Fantasyland area was enough to spend a whole day in (and there are five other areas).
 We would have loved to have gone and met the Toy Story characters and ridden the Magic Carpets, but we didn't want to push the girls and everyone seemed to enjoy the things we did do. 
 There are a lot of things you can buy, but we told Maggie she could get one thing. She choose these Mickey ears. 
 They change colors.
My Tip: Don't feel pressure to do EVERYTHING. If you have the money, buy the Fast Pass bracelet to get unlimited fast passes. If not, just use the three you are given ahead of time and reserve what your kids are most into. Let them choose some of the rides. Then ride the same the characters they are interested in. We loved our day at the Magic Kingdom.
Parking: It takes about thirty minutes to get from the tolls to the parking lot then onto the trolley to the Monorail or Ferry.