We have lived in Florida for 3 years, but I have not been to Disney since the last time my best friend Hannah and I went in 2003. Fortunately, for me, I was able to return last week with my family and with Hannah's family.
My best friend Hannah lives an ocean away in Tanzania, Africa. We have not seen one another in two years, so to say I was EXCITED is an understatement. She had never met my son and I had never met her daughter (which is the cutest little girl ever).
We haven't taken Bennett to Disney, because it is expensive; therefore, we wanted to wait till he was a little older and could remember his experience. Well, I am so glad Hannah had to be in Orlando for a conference and asked us to join her family at Disney, because Bennett LOVED it!!!!!!!!!!!!
At the end of every ride he would say, "More (making the more sign) ________ (fill in the blank with the name of the ride)." He asked to ride the train as soon as we entered the park, but was quickly distracted when he saw all of the Mickey ear balloons. We did eventually ride the train along with the Carousel, It's a Small World, Peter Pan, Country Bear Jamboree, Swiss Family Tree House, The Tea Cups, and Aladdin's Flying Carpet (only daddy rode the spinning rides with him). The adults also rode Space Mountain.
Each day several of the Disney characters perform a short show in front of the castle, so we decided to watch the first showing. I had no idea how excited Bennett would get. Zara was mezmerized, as was Bennett, but he didn't stop smiling for about 5 minutes. He kept saying, "Mickey, Donald, Goofy" over and over again. At one point he kept trying to walk up onstage to take Mickey a sticker.
I was also shocked that B actually fell asleep. He was having so much fun and was so engaged that he finally just passed out. He slept about an hour, so he missed the parade, but Zara was able to watch it, as she only slept about 40 minutes.
Zac is so wonderful with kids, so Bennett took up with him the minute we walked in the door on Friday night. He continued to enjoy hanging out with Zac throughout the weekend and has said his name several times since we have been home.
Sorry for Zac's silly face below, but I couldn't resist sharing Zara's sweet smile while riding the train.
I honestly can not write in words the influence Hannah has had on my life. There are some days where I just want so badly to sit and talk with her, but I am so proud and so thankful that she is thousands of miles away influence high school students for the LORD.
I should write a post solely about our friendship and all the ways she encourages me, makes me LAUGH, and challenges me. She is just one of those light hearted, easy to love people that everyone enjoys being around, yet she challenges you spiritually. We were able to sneak away Sunday morning for breakfast alone and WOW, I am forever grateful for that time. It was so refreshing to my soul. I love her very much and miss her every day.
|It's looks like the kids are yelling at each other, but really B is crying because he wants out of the stroller and Zara is wondering what the heck he is crying about.|
At the end of the day, I took a few quick photos of the West's in front of the castle only to minutes later realize this is the only family photo I had them take of us.
One of the highlights of my day (besides B's expression while watching the show) was how intrigued Bennett was when he met Mickey Mouse. Sam, Hannah, and Zac went to ride Space Mountain, so Cheryl (Hannah's mom) and I thought we would take the kids to see another show. Little did we know we were actually taking them to meet Mickey Mouse. Again, I wasn't sure how B would respond, but he walked right up to him and gave him five. Then, he turned around for a photo. He didn't smile, but he stood there continuing to look at Mickey eventually allowing Mickey to give him a kiss on the cheek.
Our Disney experience was definitely a success and I am so thankful we were able to share it with the West family. We will be taking Bennett back a few more times between now and the summer and are very much looking forward to it.
Submitting the above photo to shoot. edit. submit.