Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas Break

We've been meaning to blog about our Christmas break for some time now... Warning: only so much can be said in a blog about two weeks of fun, and then we cross into the book-writing territory. So here are the highlights:

It all started the end of finals week when Justin went home to GA without the rest of us (reason: bought flights at different times, it was over $100 less for him to go one day early). He got to GA and partied with the Houghtalings until the rest of us got there. Katie, Scott, and I flew out on Saturday morning, the day of Dad's 50th birthday. Our trip was dramatic and stressful, starting with a cab that didn't show to take us to the airport at 4:15am. We made all our flights, thank goodness, and arrived in perfect time to meet some of our favorite family friends at Carrabbas for a surprise birthday dinner for Dad.

Sunday morning we set out for Disney, 8 people in one Explorer. Lots of fun :) Got to Disney, checked into Old Key West, unpacked, and set out to ride the bus and the monorail around the Seven Seas Lagoon at Magic Kingdom and around Epcot, to preview the Disney magic. It was, of course, SO magical - mostly because we got to ride in the front of the monorail with the driver, who let Justin ring the horn!!! Very cool! That night our family reunion t-shirts were unveiled, the glory of which can not humanly be described. I had to include this picture of Scott sleeping because of the angle his head is at - unhuman and rediculously hilarious.

Monday: Epcot. We worked it hard and did most everything we wanted to do. Favorites: where do we start? Test Track, Soarin', the countries (given), The Land, Turtle Talk... The one thing we didn't like was the cold. Good thing mom had the foresight to make one of our shirts be long sleeved!
Tuesday: Magic Kingdom. For those of you west-coasters, Magic Kingdom and Disneyland are practically the same thing. It started warming up in the day (70's), and was SO nice. Highlights: Dad got to sing with his dream-retirement-job-quartet-singers, Laugh Floor (like Turtle Talk with Crush, but times 100 in size and funniness b/c it's with Monster's Inc. monsters), the mountains with brave Grammy, and especially the fireworks when Justin gave me an early Christmas present of the other Cinderella's slipper I've been missing since my parents gave me the first one when I turned 16. Yes, I cried. Yes, Justin's amazing and the best EVER.Wednesday: Disney's Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios) This park is dedicated to the big screen and so so much fun. Highlights: Tower of Terror, Rock N' Roller Coaster, Lights Motors Action Stunt Show, eating a Mickey Bar, the Pixar Parade, Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playset, the boys and Grammy being in the stunt show, and of course Fantasmic. It was in the 80's and so we were hot, baby!

Wednesday night was Christmas Eve, which means, of course, PAJAMAS!! Since we were at Disney, mom just had to go with the theme :)

Christmas Day was relaxing. We slept in, had Christmas breakfast, took family pictures, went shopping, had dinner, went swimming (because it was, of course, 80 degrees again)... Good Christmas! So my dad had a goal this year to lose 50 pounds by his birthday - "50 by 50." He TOTALLY reached it, and so decided to show off his new figure by stepping behind the light pole so everybody could have something to compare to. Way to go dad!

On Friday we went to the Animal Kingdom. Perfect park for the last day, when you've been running around like crazy people all week. Highlights: Lion King Show, Grammy riding the craziest ride ever (Expedition Everest), Claire taking a million pictures everywhere, Justin getting SOAKED on the water ride, and the safari.
We stopped at a hotel halfway back to GA and finally returned home on Saturday. WHAT an AMAZING trip!! A HUMONGOUS thanks goes out to my parents, without whom this trip would NOT be possible, who are the teachers and believers of Disney magic, and the most generous people I know. Yay for you!
And here are a few (ahem, a lot) more of my favorite pictures/memories!!!

Wedding Countdown

So, as can be expected we are both getting pretty excited for our wedding. I am hoping that knowing exactly how much time is left until the big day will help me see the time passing and feel like it is coming faster. So if you are wanting to know exactly how much time is left check out the widget on the right hand side. Get excited ya'll!!!