I knew it was time to go home.
But really, we had a great time at Disney.
In an elaborate dinosaur-themed restaurant at Downtown Disney, I turned 28 and got the very best birthday present I could have imagined: Harper fell asleep in my arms (y'all...this just does not happen) and I got to hold her like a baby for 30 minutes.
Lowlight: Harper got the pants scared off of her in a ride at Hollywood Studios. I'm still not sure B and I are back in the circle of trust. The best part? The brochure warned us that it might frighten small children. Epic parenting fail. We did not commemorate this with a photo. Honestly, I don't even know why I'm telling it now. Except maybe to say this...
After she had napped off the horror of the scary ride and after Brandon drank that Miller Lite, he convinced her to go on a different ride by calling it a 'gondola.' He's not the type of guy who says 'gondola,' either, which I think was the highlight of the trip. Him. In a deeply persuasive conversation with our 2-year-old about a 'gondola.'
We stayed in a hotel that reminded me so much of being on Bald Head Island. Had it not been for an extremely merciful military discount, we could have purchased Bald Head Island for the price of 4 days in this hotel. The front desk was extremely attentive to Harper's every need.
The fountain drinks with ice in each park were spectacular. Seriously. It was perfect ice. I am in total withdrawal.
The food? Meh. Just before we left, I hastily threw together a bag of lightweight, non-perishable items to eat in our hotel room - because I am the child of Billy Butler - and I'm guessing that bag saved us at least $200.
We randomly happened upon Boyz II Men performing at Epcot - to both of our disappointment, we just missed them rocking the house to Motown Philly, but wheeled Harper up right as they were cranking out End of the Road. Y'all, there were some really really excited late twentyandthirtysomethings spilling $8 beer - but you wouldn't know it from the picture. It's b/c we were in the thick of the ruckus. And the Boyz' microphones were jewel-encrusted. Harper loved their groove beyond measure, which shocked us, b/c she's more of a disco-era girl when it comes to unexpected arms-in-the-air stroller boogying.
In other famous person-spotting news, I thought Burt Reynolds was in a pontoon boat next to us at one point, but it was just Brandon telling me that our hotel had boat rentals..
In general, it's impossible for a toddler to fully catch up on sleep each night, so Disney kinda turns them into glassy-eyed zombies who fall down a lot. True story: After we got off of It's a Small World in the Magic Kingdom, a 4-year-old girl in a Snow White princess dress tripped over her little brother's stroller and she sprawled out on the pavement in a huge, stiff royal blue and yellow polyester heap and was so tired she just lie there for a few seconds, to which her mom said, "Dammit, I think you just broke the iPhone! Get up!" ...the most magical place on Earth, indeed.
Just to get through, you have to ply them with sugar, or this happens:
Even if they take a three and a half hour nap in the middle of the day:
For example, Harper ate an entire Mickey Mouse ice cream bar by herself. I do not think she dropped a single bite, which is impressive, because sometimes she still misses her mouth with a spoon.
We won the battle of memorabilia, unless you count all of those $5 drinks where I really just wanted the ice - we came home with a mouse ears ball cap and a spinny, light-up Tinkerbell toy that Brandon is taking to work after Harp tires of it to mesmerize horrified children into doing his eye exam bidding.
Overall, the biggest hit with Harper was the Animal Kingdom.
She almost lost her marbles when this giraffe ambled up to stick his nose in our safari jeep:
She liked the petting zoo, but didn't actually do any petting. Fine. By. Me. Those goats had no space bubble:
She enjoyed trains of all sorts.
She really liked the characters and wasn't shy at all. She had brief chats with Jiminy Cricket and Chip & Dale. To Jiminy, she said, "Come on! Wets go pway!"
Enjoyed a conspicuously Dumbo-like dinosaur ride:
Loved the jumpy water fountain at Epcot:
And by our last night there, Brandon and Harper, loopy from sleep deprivation, took to taking self portraits..
And then we got on a plane and went home. And maybe one day, when she's 28 and has children of her own, I'll share with her the story of the plane ride home. So she won't completely lose hope in her parenting abilities and continue to procreate. Apparently, the stress literally crossed my eyes..which particularly disturbs my husband, but I laugh every time I see it..with my one good eye.