Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Weekend Wear-abouts: Will's First Epcot Visit + Hurricane Matthew Update

We had our first taste of 'fall' here in central Florida on Monday, with the highs reaching the upper 70's! It coincided with a vacation day for John, so we decided to make our first visit with the babe to Epcot and sample some food and wine goodies from around the world(showcase). 

I assured John that it wouldn't be crowded- how could it be, the Monday after a hurricane weekend, and a Monday in October at that, when kids are back in school, etc? So you can imagine our surprise when we arrived around noon and it was PACKED! Turns out, it was Columbus Day weekend, and lots of kids had off school. My bad!

We made the best of it and were grateful for the constant breeze and overcast weather. Will was a trooper and slept most of the time in his stroller. 

We (unintentionally) timed it perfectly and ended up back by the American pavilion right as Will started to stir for his 2:30 feeding, so we went up into the Chase Lounge for air conditioning while he ate. 

We shared and sampled many dishes, but I only photographed a few. Hubby gets grumpy when he has to wait for me to snap a pic before he can dig in. This was a beef skewer from the Chew booth-- really yummy! 

Also, if you can't tell, most of these pics are from my Snapchat story. I need to get back in the habit of using my good cameras to take pictures; I miss it! At this point though, it's just one more thing to juggle along with baby. 

Speaking of grumpy, John was not too pleased when this woman stopped him to take a picture of his shirt-- he had just picked up our food from the Mexico booth and was ready to eat! She wanted to know where he had gotten it, so she followed him over to our table for details. 

If you want your OWN Electrical Water Pageant shirt, visit RetroWDW and check out their Redbubble shop. Will has a EWP pillow in his nursery, and will be sporting a Stol Port onesie during the Destination D- D23 weekend! 

We had a great visit and can't wait to take Will to the other parks. 

Thanks for reading! 

XO, Ashley

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Magic Kingdom's 45th Anniversary + Hurricane Matthew Update

We celebrated Magic Kingdom's 45th Anniversary this past Saturday despite crushing crowds, blistering heat and driving rain. Crazy Disney fans will do that, ya know?! Our goal was to experience all 15 Opening Day attractions, in no particular order. 

As I write this, Orlando is under a Hurricane Warning- a first that I can remember in a long, long time. I'm from the beachside (Melbourne) where we get them more frequently, but the fact that the storm might barrel in so strong, so close to us here this far inland, is kind of nerve wracking. 

My mom has come over from Melbourne to ride out the storm with us; prayers and well-wishes we all fare ok, everyone in the path of Hurricane Matthew.

Ok, back to the 45th.

Thomas, Michael, Angie, Tink and I made it to the Welcome Show with minutes to spare. Other than the 45th banner, there was no mention of the anniversary in the show, or anything special for that matter.

Once we entered the park, we beelined for the castle stage to post up a good spot. Thomas and I then went to the Emporium to check out the merch situation-- and found a line stretching from the front entrance of the Emporium (by the barber shop and fire station) back to the Hub grass. Insane!

We abandoned ship and met my friend Amanda, DixieDelights, in the Pandora line. She wanted to get the special charm for the 45th. After chatting for a bit, I got in the Starbucks line that snaked from Starbucks to Center Street. The theme of the day was LINES!

Anyway, we all got our coffees and headed back to the stage just in time for the show. There were 45 characters on stage, and George Kalogridis, the president of WDE, spoke, but the real show-stopper was when the 45th banner didn't unfurl all the way. We all laughed at what a good metaphor it was for WDW- tries hard, but always has a snafu. 

Leaving the Hub, we ran into Adam the Woo. Note my lovely muffin top post-pregnancy belly, yay! 

We went to Guest Services back in Tomorrowland to deal with some business, then rode the train with some Twitter friends. We followed that with a spin on Dumbo and then the Tomorrowland Speedway, where we happened upon some more Insta friends (hi Josh, @thesteele). Josh did a great job of driving us around the entire track without hitting the middle guardrail once!

Teacups rounded out the morning before we stopped for lunch at Casey's Corner, to try the special 45th Anniversary hotdog. Finally, we're getting something more along the lines of Disneyland, with specialty food items OTHER than cupcakes. To see what I mean, click to read this post about the Halloween food offerings at WDW and then read this post to see the abundance they get at Disneyland! Not fair!

The Dapper Dans were next on our list of Opening Day attractions. I've never had a photo op with them before, so that was fun.

From there, we headed to the Poly. Rumors were swirling that the Hitchhiking Ghost mugs were going to debut at Trader Sam's Grog Grotto that day, so we wanted to line up early.

Turns out, they didn't. Word on the street is that once social media got a whiff of the plan and blabbed it all over the place, plans were halted so as to fend off a frenzy. As it were, the mugs were released sans fanfare the following Tuesday, and Josh pulled through once again in securing me a spot in line so we could get a coveted mug. But that's another story. 

Speaking of another story, while the rest of my group was posted up in line at Trader Sam's, I scooted home to take care of some stuff. John had taken the baby to his parents for the weekend, and I forgot my house keys. Long story short, I was locked out and had to wait for a locksmith to come let me in. I returned a couple hours later, and we drowned our mug-less sorrows with a Lapu Lapu and bread pudding from Tambu Lounge.

We returned to MK just as a storm was rolling in. Perfect time to check Hall of Presidents off our list! 

The rain was really coming down when we emerged from HoP, and would continue to do so for the next few hours. Luckily, everything we had left to do was fairly close together, and mostly indoors. We scooted to Columbia Harbour House for a snack and to sit out some of the rain, then to the Haunted Mansion. From there, we took refuge in Memento Mori for half an hour; the rain was REALLY pouring then. 

When it let up a bit, we ran to "it's a small world". We waited in line for around half an hour before they made us all leave due to technical difficulties. Couple that with the fact that Jungle Cruise had been closed for a few hours due to lightening, and it looked like our goal of riding every Opening Day attraction was foiled. 

We rode the Carousel next, then made our way to Frontierland. The Shooting Arcade and Country Bear Jamboree followed. We then made it into the last showing of the Enchanted Tiki Room. On a whim we decided to check Jungle Cruise in the off chance it might be back open, and IT WAS! We walked on to our 'bote' and checked that one off the list. 

Swiss Family Tree House was down for refurbishment, so we had to skip that one by default. We ended the night by watching the Main Street Electrical Parade and snacking on popcorn and rice crispy treats. 

We were thisclose to leaving the park when we decided to check to see if 'small world' was back up... and it WAS! We made the long walk back to Fantasyland (following the end of the parade up Main Street and around the Hub) and checked the final attraction off the list!

We headed toward the exit,  climbed the stairs to the top of the train station, and watched the Kiss Goodnight. 

It was a magical day from rope drop to closing. The only thing missing was John, but he would have hated pretty much every second of it between the crowds, heat and rain. He's become quite Disneyfied, but it takes a strong Disnerd to withstand the kind of day that ended up being.

I'm fortunate to have spent a memorable day with fellow die-hard fans, and can't wait to see what the next five years and the 50th Anniversary have in store. 

Thanks for reading! 

XO, Ashley

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Disney Baby:Baby Suit is 1 Month Old

Baby Suit is one month old! Can you believe it? I can...

I know they say time flies, but I'll be perfectly honest-- it feels like it's been a month with Will in our lives, if not more. But not in a bad way. It just seems like he's always been a part of our family, our routine. But as anyone who has children will tell you, caring for a newborn is NO JOKE! Whew. 

In his first 30 days of life, Will has been to the pediatrician, a few Lactation Lunches (his first playgroup of sorts), an oral motor specialist and lactation specialists (more on that in a post all about breastfeeding- oy!), Disney Springs a handful of times, taken his first road trip to Melbourne (twice!), the grocery store, a handful of restaurants, and more! 

One place he hasn't been? The theme parks-- which is killing me. BUT the pediatrician recommended he wait until after his two-month vaccinations before we venture out to the parks. Which I guess I understand. Although it seems to me if we've been to Disney Springs and such, he'd be fine in the parks, especially if we're just cruising around with him in the stroller. I suppose it's due to the fact that there are SO many people in the theme parks, which increases his exposure to possible illnesses and such? Plus, it's been so hot that it would be uncomfortable for him anyway. 

But you'd better believe as soon as he gets his shots and we get the green light to visit the parks, we'll be there! Which do you think we'll go to first?

Observing his first Patriot's Day, 9/11.

Anyway, I'm proud to be Will's Mommy, and beyond blessed to call him my son. We've got a lovely little family, John, Will and I. Here's to the first month of our lifetime adventure, and to many more to come. 

--More Baby Suit Posts--

XO, Ashley

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Our First 'Date Night'- Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!

John and I had our first 'date night' since Will's birth, two weeks after he was born. And are you surprised that it was to Disney? I'm not!

P.S.- You can watch a bit of our fun here on Christine's vlog at about the 16 minute mark (she's pictured, below). 

I actually bought tickets to Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party back in July, with hopes that Will could accompany us. His due date was August 4th, and our party tickets were for September 2nd. Little did we know that he would hang tight in my tummy for two extra weeks. Since he was so new at the time of the party, he stayed home. That and our pediatrician recommended he stay out of the parks until after he receives his vaccines at his two-month check up. 

SO- Nana (my mom) to the rescue. She stayed home with Will while John and I met up with our Disfam to partake in the first MNSSHP of the season! 

Clockwise from top: Thomas, Angie, John (looking oh-so lovely), me, Christine, Mitch. 

We all met at The Wave in the Contemporary for a light bite and drinks, then walked over to MK. 

Haunted Mansion Kids tee / Jessica Simpson Maternity Jeans (yep, still wearing 'em. They suck my gut in!) / Rose Gold mouse ears by BibbidiBobbidiBrooke

Angie, Thomas and Mitch wanted to post up in the Hub and have a good spot for the Hocus Pocus stage show, Boo To You parade, and Hallowishes; John, Christine and I were more excited for candy and attractions. We split up (after all getting a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Main Street Starbucks, because BASIC!) and went two separate ways.

John, Christine and I loaded up our bags with candy in Tomorrowland and rode Buzz Lightyear and the Peoplemover. Then John and I went to Casey's for some dinner and to the Haunted Mansion, where Carlotta was mingling with the crowd in the queue. 

John and I then met up with our group in front of the Partners statue in the Hub to watch Hallowishes. 

I think after that we walked around Adventureland and hit up the other trick-or-treat stations before starting to head out. The sleepless nights had caught up with us, and we were ready to call it a night before 11:00. 

We stopped for a few Photopass shots before leaving. 

All in all, it was the perfect first date night, and while we had a wonderful time with our Disfam in the Most Magical Place on Earth, we couldn't wait to get home to our little boy. 

XO, Ashley

Monday, September 5, 2016

Introducing: William John Suit

Guess who's here (finally)?!

Mr. William John Suit!

If you follow me on social media, this is old news. But is it really official unless it's blogged about? I think not.

I'll write a post all about our birth story soon, but just wanted to pop in and share our birth announcement and newborn photos to introduce our new favorite person to the world. 

He's perfect (we're biased). 

Signing off my first official blog post as a Mommy!

XO, Will's Mom