Well, we are back. We left the fabulous 80 degree weather and are back in good ol' Iowa. Aaron, Ella and I enjoyed a too short four day trip down to Walt Disney World, courtesy of Wells Fargo (Aaron won the trip as part of his Hero Award for excellent customer service) ,while Aidan had an awesome time with Grandma & Grandpa Van Sickel and Aunt Carrie. I was worried that Aidan would have a hard time since it was his first time away from both Aaron and myself, but all reports were that he had an excellent time and he is welcome to come back to G & G's anytime. He splashed in puddles, climbed to the top of snow drifts, educated them on some of his favorite movies, and made a coconut tree out of the ABC letters on the fridge (this makes sense if you have ever read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - one of his favorites right now). I am so glad he had such a good time and they all got along so well.
Ella was an excellent little traveler. We learned that a cute baby is a sure way to get lots of attention from all kinds of people. A few ladies even took her picture in the airport on the way back they thought she was so cute. Which, of course, I totally agree with. She only fussed a little bit as we were landing in Orlando and then a little bit right before we took off from Cincinnati on our way home, otherwise the flights could not have been better with her. Such a good girl!
On Saturday we arrived and just hung out at our hotel, the Grand Floridian. On Sunday we went to the Magic Kingdom and met up with Grandma and Grandpa Friedel who were down there for a convention themselves. It was so nice to see friendly faces down there and selfishly was so nice to have them take turns with us going on rides so someone could watch Ella. Sunday night there was a Wells Fargo event at Hollywood Studios and we had hired a babysitter for that night. We were very nervous about leaving her with someone we didn't know, but we were both required to be at the event, so we had no choice. We had scheduled her to be there about 30 minutes before we had to leave so we could hang out a little bit and make sure she and Ella were okay. But she called at the time she was supposed to be there and said she was running 5 minutes late because she was stuck behind an accident. Okay. 15 minutes later a call comes from the main office of the babysitting agency and says she was in a car accident herself and would not be able to make it. (She was okay, her car was not apparently). They offered to send someone else, but I sent Aaron down to see if it was possible for me to join the party a little later as I would need to find a way to get from the hotel to Hollywood Studios. The Wells Fargo people said they would have a bus for me so I called the agency back and they said they would have someone there in 45 minutes, which they did. So I quickly went over instructions with her because now I am already an hour late and still have to ride in a bus 20 minutes to Hollywood Studios. I run over to where this huge and very nice motor coach is waiting just for me. Then I had my own Disney escort through the back lots of Hollywood Studios to where I finally join the party and find Aaron. We had a delicious buffet and then got to ride the Aerosmith Rockin' Roller Coaster (AWESOME!!!) like 3-4 times and the Tower of Terror. These were open only to our group for about an hour. It was so fun! I was definitely glad I had made it. Then they shot off fireworks for us and took us back to the resort. And little Miss Ella was sound asleep, as she had been for all but 45 minutes while we were gone. The woman that watched Ella was so nice. We also got quite the deal because of the inconvenience they gave us 2 hours free and waived the transportation fee. So though we had been nervous, it ended up being just fine and we had a great time ourselves. Everyone from Wells Fargo, Kids Nite Out and the event planners were so nice and helpful to get it all figured out that night.
Monday we went back to Hollywood Studios so Aaron could ride the Star Tours ride (Star Wars flight simulator). We found a t-shirt we wanted to get Aidan, but sadly did not come in his size. On the front it said "Judge me by my size do you?" and on the back it had Yoda with Mickey ears on standing by one of those signs "You must be this tall to ride". So funny! Then we went over to Animal Kingdom and met up with G & G Friedel again. We went on the safari attraction and had lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. We rode on the roller coaster, Expedition Everest, several times. It was a good one. That night there was a formal banquet for the Wells Fargo honorees. G & G Friedel were able to watch Ella that night for us. Then Tuesday we headed back home, with some delays, lots of standing in line, and rerouting us through Cincinnati because of some bad weather in Atlanta, but we finally made it home around 11:30 p.m.
If you have gotten this far, congratulations. But I will now end the saga of our trip to Disney World. This is also my last post as a 20 something, as tomorrow I join the 30 year old crowd. I want to thank my brother for giving me a countdown of how many hours I had left a few times today. Thanks Chris! ;)
Ella's first plane ride
By Cinderella's Castle
Just hanging out in her stroller