It's been so long since I promised to post pictures of our Disney trip (and so long since I've actually posted anything at all...), I thought I should remind you of a few vital facts so you can better appreciate the following photos.
1. My husband is frugal, bordering on tightwad-ish.
2. We are not the vacationing kind. Our family motto has always been, "We will rest when we get to heaven."
3. When the Previously Penny-Pinchy Daddy announced he was taking us to Disney for our Christmas present, we were excited, but cautious, knowing we would most likely be staying a 'goodly distance' from the actual Park (as in, still in the same state, and within a 1/2 day's driving distance but not close enough to actually see any Mouse billboards), most likely with a relative, and eating Spartan meals made up of food snuck in by way of our big fanny packs. (Give me a sec to stop grinning.....I'm getting a funny "visual" here due to the way I phrased that sentence fragment above.....I'm picturing the nine of us trooping around the Magic Kingdom-all with extra-large buttocks, with little packs of food attached to our behinds? OK, now erase that visual from your mind - and replace it with a snapshot of me with a small, tight posterior and a cool backpack vs. those 70-ish fanny packs. And while you're at it, go ahead and picture me with long, soft curls and a milky-white, flawless complexion :)
4. The Aforementioned Scrimpy Spouse shocked us all by announcing we would not only be staying on Official Disney Property, using Bonafide Disney Transportation, but we would also be eating Authentic Disney food (!!!)....and as if that wasn't enough to make me wonder if he was doing illegal drugs, he bought EACH OF US (the kind of Each of Us that means No One Has to split a meal, No One gets a spending limit, and Everyone can actually order a drink, by golly) -the pre-paid Meal Plan. (note to hubby's boss - who I'm sure reads this blog when he's not passing state laws....The pre-paid meal plan actually makes good financial sense - albeit NOT good nutritional sense....since you pay a per-person price ahead of time (never having to take out your wallet at the Park or do any mental math while looking at the menu.) So, no Mr. Boss, you are not paying my husband an excessive amount. In fact......Well, never mind. This is probably not the place for that observation.....).
5. This unimposing sounding Meal Plan consisted of any two meals a day, each of which consisted of an appetizer, an entree, a drink, and a dessert - plus two snacks. You know, pretty much just like we would have if we were still at home.
6. Everyone over 9 is an adult at Disney - even if the so-called adult still insists on holding their mother's hand everywhere they go, whining when they can't buy a build-your-own light saber, and even if they're male and still go into the ladies bathroom with their mom. So when we went to order our meals, our server brought meals for 7 adults (several who were under four feet tall) and 2 children. That turned out to be an insane amount of food.
If you'd like to read my previous post on How Our Family Came to Hate Food and Wince at the Sight of a Menu, it's included here.
Now for the long-awaited pictures - which you'll be very happy to know I pared down from 18 must-views, to a measly eight. That's to make up for my ongoing problem of inconciseness.
Here is our tour guide/financier/reformed miser and his assistant, mapping out places where we will eat - and then go on rides to work off the calories before we eat again. He took this job oh-so-seriously, so while the other Slacker Dads were leisurely waking up on the first day of their vacation, we were already on board the bus, maps in hand, heading for our first snack, er....ride.-
I bet you think this looks like a big entree for a little boy....But think again, friends - This is HIS APPETIZER. No joke. This was our first dinner on the meal plan - which is why he's still smiling. By the last day, Daniel (age 9) actually cried, and mumbled under his breath, "Not again", when we handed him his menu.
Pictured below is the World's Largest Weiner Schnitzel, accompanied by a half-dozen mashed potatoes, and something green. The glassy-eyed, previously fit and trim man squeezing lemon is Bo. At this point, we all still liked him and appreciated his generosity in allowing us to eat at places like Wolfgang Puck's and Planet Hollywood -places that make us belch now just hearing their names.
Normally when you order roasted chicken you don't expect to get the whole bird, but this one arrived sitting on a too-small bed of sour cream mashed potatoes. This is my 15yo, with a priceless expression. I wish I had a picture of her face after she finished eating the whole thing, (preceded by the eating of a big appetizer, and succeeded by the eating of a big dessert.) Unfortunately the lighting was too poor in the bathroom stall to get the "after" picture.
The smiles below are deceptive. It almost looks like we're just a happy Disney family excited about another fun day of roller coasters, animatronic shows, and meeting new friends in long lines - but actually ......We were just ecstatic that we were using our last meal ticket. Look closely and you can see our gourmet departure breakfast of mouse shaped pancakes covered in strawberries and whipped cream, eggs Benedict, and ginormous french toast slices. When we were done eating, we waddled to our van, unhooked our belts, and began our journey back home - where no one has asked for a snack or a second helping since.
I did happen to snap a few pictures of us when we weren't eating. I hope you enjoy seeing the results of what happens when a normally sensible, practical man decides to delight his wonderful children and well-deserving wife and take them on a fun, unexpected vacation to a just-for-the-heck-of-it, non educational getaway. Thanks, Honey! You're the Best.
P.S. While my modem was in the shop (for four whole email-deprived days), I thought of some practical things to post about (pretty much the opposite of what I've been blogging about), including a way to get a catch-up day in a house full of children, a neat idea for making a mud-room out of a small area, and a few reviews of books I've finished recently (since I had no modem.) And even though all I have to do today is sign a contract to sell our house, patiently wait while our realtor presents a contract on a house for us to buy, and go to HS band - I hope to get the first one posted later tonight.