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Posts Tagged ‘grace’

Another year down. It went a lot like last year, with a little less dolly love. What did you do this year?

January 7. New dress.
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January 12. Meet Luciana!
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January 14. Taking Luciana home.
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January 21. Luciana settles in.
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January 24-28. Disney World (last trip before pass expires)
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January 31. Logan tries on girl clothes.
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February 11. Ready to travel.
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February 11. Practicing.
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February 16-20. New York!
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February 21. Snowy.
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March 10. My dad got a kitty.
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March 22. Lambs!
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March 25. Maryellen’s trailer.
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March 29. New Maplelea outfits.
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April 4. This is what 120 tablets of Albenza looks like.
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April 8. Cattle escape (they live two houses down–about a quarter mile!)
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May 12-13. Victoria.
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May 15. New Fluevogs.
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May 19. Half marathon.
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May 20. Orchestra concert.
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May 25-28. I missed Disney World, so I went without park tickets. Just hung out at the resorts.
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June 19. New neighbors.
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June 24. Shaw Island.
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July 1. Birthday in Disneyland (Paris!)
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July 1-8. Paris.
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July 27-29. Back to Victoria.
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August 2-9. England.
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August 5. Land’s End.
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August 8. Birling Gap.
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August 8. Canterbury Cathedral.
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August 10-12. Disneyland (not Paris)
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August 20. Air pollution, courtesy of California wildfires.
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August 24-25. House guest.
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August 26. Fluevogs.
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August 26. Lego Disney Castle.
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August 30. I ate my neighbors! They were delicious.
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August 31-September 3. Disney World, new annual pass.
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September 6-10. Yosemite.
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September 15. Fluevogs.
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October 5. Fluevogs.
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October 5-7. Salt Lake City.
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October 19-21. San Diego.
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October 24. Chili cook-off (I didn’t compete; I provided the prizes)
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October 29. Halloween Costumes.
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November 15-19. Disney World.
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November 26. Christmas Tree up.
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November 30-December 2. Vancouver.
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December 12-16. Disneyland.
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So, this post is 6 weeks late, but here’s a review of my 2017!

January 6: Meet Gabriela!
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January 13: Meeting Rick Steves
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January 27-28: Toronto
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February 3: Snowy Day Photo Shoot
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February 6: More Snowy Friends
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February 8-12: first trip to Disney World
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February 14: Jam Session
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February 17-19: volunteering at Girl Scout camp
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March 4: New Maplelea outfits
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March 14: Pi Day
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March 17: Puppy Love
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March 29: Sun! Maybe spring is coming!
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March 30-April 6: Peru
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April 6: my neighbors had babies!
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April 20: fun with kittens
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April 23: Tulip Festival
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April 28-30: Oregon
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May 3: Mismatched Shoes Day
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May 5-7: Salt Spring Island
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May 11: Book Signing
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May 12-14: Zion National Park
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May 26-29: second trip to Disney World (Flower and Garden Festival)
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May 31: clearance price on Lea’s Rainforest House
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June 9-19: Belgium and the Netherlands
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June 30-July 4: a Disney World birthday
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July 8: a little picnic
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July 14: Pho
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July 17: new dress! Flying Space Unicorns!
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July 19-23: Caroline goes to upstate New York (eventually I’ll write a post about it)
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July 25: weird stuff we sell at our store
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August 5: oooh, Grand Hotel
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August 11: Welcome Nanea!
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September 1-4: fourth trip to Disney World (Food and Wine Festival)
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September 19: I join the Sinfonia
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September 20: more weird stuff we sell at work
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September 28: Autumn is here
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September 29-October 1: Salt Lake City (that’s where I bought Z!)
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October 5: Z’s off to the doll hospital
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October 6: I got Tenney
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October 20-22: Chicago
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October 25: Z is back from the hospital
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October 27: a group photo
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October 31: Happy Halloween
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November 4: we did glass fusion for my sister’s birthday
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November 10-12: Olympic Peninsula
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November 13: power outage
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November 27: Christmas tree’s up!
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December 8-10: San Diego
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December 15-17: tree lighting in Leavenworth
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December 21: Last day to work before Christmas (I made all the snowflakes!)
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December 22: Four cheese spaghetti
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December 25: awesome Christmas gift
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December 29-31: New Years in Disney World
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Ever since I posted old vacation photos on Monday, I’ve been yearning for another vacation!  Too bad my boss is failing to approve any vacation requests.  So, let’s look back on the adventures that my dollies and I have been on over the last few years…

February 2013, Seattle with Leonie

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April 2013, Tulip Festival with Brianne

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April 2013, Oak Harbor with Saige, Elizabeth, and Mia

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May 2013, Disneyland with Mini Kit

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June 2013, Chicago with McKenna

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June 2013, Mackinac Island with Caroline

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July 2013, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia with Jenna

August 2013, the state fair with Brianne

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September 2013, Rieke came home with me from London

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October 2013, Albuquerque with Saige

November 2013, Disney World with Mini Dolls

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January 2014, New Orleans with Cecile

March 2014, Seattle with Henriette

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March 2014, Bellingham with Ruthie (and Valerie and the twins)

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April 2014, UW and a Mariners Game with Sonali

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April/May 2014 Maui with Kanani

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May 2014, pageant in Texas with Kit

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July 2014, Whistler with Taryn

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July 2014, Nauvoo, Illinois with Chrissa

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August 2014, the zoo with Jess

October 2014, Manitoba with Saila

December 2014, the ballet with Isabelle

January 2015, Sing-a-long Sound of Music with Kirsten

January/February 2015, Disney Cruise with Grace

Where to next?

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Final vacation report!

I got off the boat bright and early on Sunday, February 1.  I had a 12:00 flight to Orlando!  We’re going to Disney World!

The Miami airport was ridiculously crowded, but I got through when I needed to, and then was really surprised by a super full flight on a giant airplane for a 48 minute flight.  Flight was on time, but the shuttle to my hotel took longer than planned, so I got off at the Boardwalk Inn (not my hotel) and walked to Epcot, and was 8 minutes late for my lunch reservation.

Grace and I Bistro-ed it up at Chefs de France.  I had Pasta Gratin (that’s Disney-French for Mac and Cheese).  It was yummy.

After lunch we spent some time exploring fake Paris:

Then we checked into our hotel, just a short walk from fake Paris.  My first stay at a Disney Deluxe resort, welcome to the Yacht Club:

That’s our daybed–pretty awesome.

Cute Mickey lamp:

And cute painting of our hotel and the boardwalk area.  That girl in the middle looks like Samantha!

We didn’t spend too long at the hotel, we had a lot more Disney to see.  Next stop:

We rode Dinosaur! and Expedition Everest.  I wasn’t sure that Grace would like roller coasters, but she did just fine.

I didn’t get the schedule right to catch Festival of the Lion King, which is kind of why I went to Animal Kingdom at all this day, but it was just fine.  We went over to Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic instead.  It was fantastic as usual.  Then I grabbed a bus to Magic Kingdom, made it just in time for the Main Street Electrical Parade, and the fireworks were shortly after.  Here’s a photo of a Magic Kingdom evening, waiting for fireworks to start:

After the fireworks, it was back to the Yacht/Beach club for ice cream!  And serious ice cream.  I got a 3-scoop sundae with hot fudge and peanut butter.  It was as big as my head.  Then I went to bed.  I passed a TV in the lobby and jinxed the Super Bowl.  Sorry guys.

Next morning I had some amazing breakfast at the Captain’s Grille inside the Yacht Club, then checked my suitcase (awesome service offered at Disney hotels–I could check my suitcase for the airport hours ahead of time, and it met me at home in Seattle).

Back to Magic Kingdom!

I took one photo here at the castle and one on Main Street, USA:

But I had just 2.5 hours before my lunch reservation, and just 3.5 hours before I had to be back at my hotel, so I had to be very efficient.  I started at Peter Pan’s Flight.  One of the first riders of the day on a ride that gets long lines fast.  Then I went straight across to it’s a small world.

My favorite ride, probably because it has dollies:

Then I had time for Winnie the Pooh before my fastpass for the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.  The mine train is really cool, but not worth the 60+ minute lines.  Then I left Fantasyland for my next fastpass on Big Thunder Mountain, then I headed to Adventureland for Pirates of the Caribbean and the Tiki Room:

Then back toward Fantasyland.  I planned on the carousel, but caught the Celebrate a Dream Come True show instead.  Loved it: “Dreams Come True!  Dreams Come True!  Dreams Come True!”  Then I went to the Philharmagic show which I also love, then it was time for my last fastpass (Haunted Mansion) and lunch at Liberty Tree Tavern.  I did not have enough time for lunch.  So I had them bring dessert first, and took my lunch to go.  It still took longer than it should have, so I hustled to a bus back to my hotel, which I caught right away (good omen #1).  As soon as the bus pulled away from the stop, it started pouring rain (good omen #2).  And I caught the airport shuttle right on time, and it was all smooth sailing going home.  I even got a free business class upgrade.  It was niiiice.

So I’m back home and back to work now.  I’m ready to plan my next vacation, but I don’t know when that will be.  I miss Mickey Mouse.

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On our 3rd day of Disney cruising, we docked at the city of Nassau

I didn’t wanna go out too early, so I spent some time taking photos from the ship

Then I went ashore and took a little self-guided walking tour.  Here’s Queen Victoria outside the Parliament House:

and here’s another cute pink building:

The Queen’s Staircase, built in the 18th century by slaves:

I walked for a couple hours, but for various reasons Nassau did not leave a good impression on me.  I spent the afternoon napping and watching Disney movies, which was quite enjoyable.

This was Pirate night!  I wore a pirate costume, but to my surprise, my dollies don’t have a pirate costume, so I had to improvise.

You can see in this photo with Peter, our cruise director, that Grace is wearing an American Girl witch costume with Felicity’s tricorn hat.  Voila, pirate!

Tonight we met Pirate Mickey and Pirate Minnie:

And a couple more friends.  This one is named Anna:

And this monkey was a gift from the owner’s grandma, and the owner was probably in her 60s, so that’s a really old monkey!

After dinner (part of our table had abandoned us, so Grace got her own chair) was the Pirates In The Caribbean Party!

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Mickey FLEW in:

and then there were FIREWORKS!

After the party was a Pirate dessert buffet (because Pirate dinner is not enough)!

I’ve never seen a pirate carved out of watermelon, how ’bout you?

And with that we’ll say good night.  Tonight’s towel animal was a monkey:

Part 4 tomorrow!

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Vacation Report Day 2

I woke up after my first night aboard to this:

That’s Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island.  We arrived at about 8:30 in the morning and were called back aboard by 4:30.  That’s a whole lotta beach time.

I’m not capable of that many hours on the beach, so I had plans to walk all of the island’s trails in addition to beach time.  I was excited to hear about the Castaway Cay 5K, which had no charge to enter and gave out medals!  It’s available every day that there’s a boat at Castaway Cay.

I walked the “race” in my Salt Water Sandals with my dolly backpack.  I came in last.  But I still got my medal!

We showed off our race swag to Minnie:

Then we grabbed a tram over to the adult-only area.  (I’m glad Grace is considered an adult in this case).  I found a hammock and read some of my book:

Grace wanted to go for a swim, but I reminded her that the water was cold and she didn’t know how to swim and she’d probably go blind…

…so she was content to lounging on a beach chair

After a while it was finally lunch time!  This was probably the only time I was hungry on the whole cruise, as I had burnt off breakfast during the 5K.  I was excited for the barbecue, but again the food was painfully average.  We ate better at the dining hall in college.

After lunch we hiked the other trail:

The trail ended at a little beach:

By the time we were finished hiking, the adult beach on the north side of the island was all in the shade and was too cold, so I found a quiet-ish place at one of the family beaches:

And from this spot I finished reading my book, then wandered back to the boat, pausing for a bunch of photos:

Including these guys right outside the boat:

And then it was back on the boat.  By the time evening came, I was cold (70 degrees and breezy), so I took some hot tub time and then prepared for dinner.  Grace went to bed early.  She didn’t wanna repeat last night’s soda fiasco, and she was tired from all the hiking we did around the island.

Tonight’s towel animal stole my sunglasses!

The show this evening was Toy Story the Musical, which I really wanted to like because I love both Toy Story and musicals, but it was pretty lame.  I grabbed a photo with Daisy after the show:

And dinner tonight was at Triton’s, which was nicely decorated with a Little Mermaid theme.  The food was French-inspired, but again mediocre.

And that was day 2.  Let’s close with one more photo from the island:

Stay tuned for day 3!

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On Monday Grace and I returned from an amazing vacation.  Let’s start our report with a photo leaving home:

We started the evening in Seattle at the theatre:

Then caught a midnight flight to Miami!

Hello sunshine!

We went on a Disney Cruise.  It was my 2nd cruise ever, and I didn’t really like the first.  The second was a little better, but I think in general I prefer other types of vacations over cruises.  But if I decide to cruise again, I will probably choose Disney again.  Look how cute our boat is:

Since I arrived in Miami so early, I was one of the first groups onto the boat, but I still had to wait for about 2 hours to get on.  And then we of course had hours before our room was ready and hours before the ship set sail.  Here’s a nap photo:

And another Miami photo:

Before the boat left the dock, there was a sail away party!

If you didn’t have giant dancing cartoon characters, this would be really lame, but Mickey Mouse is a hero, so it was pretty great.

After the party, our room was finally ready.  I’m so glad I chipped in the extra dollars for a porthole, because it was pretty fantastic:

I don’t have any photos of the room as a whole, but it was pretty nice, especially compared to our rooms from the last cruise.  It had a queen size bed, a sofa bed, and a bunk bed.  So you could squeeze in 4 people if you wanted, but as a single I appreciated having a couch and a big bed.

I changed my clothes and did more exploring before dinner:

The first night’s show was my favorite.  It was called The Golden Mickeys and gave away fake awards to various beloved Disney moments.

And dinner the first night was at the Parrot Cay restaurant:

The food was extremely average.  Grace did not enjoy at all as she got soda spilled on her!  Good thing it was only Sprite and she cleaned up okay, but she skipped dinner for most of the other nights.

After dinner we returned to our turned-down room…

…and went to bed

Good night everyone.  I’ll continue the trip report tomorrow!

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Grace is here!  I bought her on Saturday, and we just got home today!

I took Kirsten with me to the store (my mom told me to bring Kirsten…I’ll tell you why in a different post), and we dressed alike:

I went to the store on a Saturday, which means I had a long wait for a bus.  I grabbed a photo of Kirsten at the beach while I was waiting:

We made it to the store eventually.  Here’s a blurry photo of Kirsten and cardboard Grace:

And here’s actual Grace!

We stayed the night at my mommy’s house.  Grace put on her coat:

And took her puppy out of its crate:

We spent the next night at my friend’s house, and her son (he’ll be 4 on Wednesday) wouldn’t stop rolling Grace’s suitcase around the house and helped me change her clothes twice.  It was adorable.

Grace and I are finally home today, so she got to meet her new family:

I think Grace is awesome.  I can’t wait to join her on a travel adventure or two.

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