Today my grandparents celebrated 65 years of marriage!! Isn't that just AWESOME? Pap-Pap is almost 92 and Grandma is 86 years old. We visited with them yesterday and I snapped these adorable pictures. Theirs is a story of unconditional love, sacrifice and commitment. Couples today could learn a lot from these two. I know I have.
Okay, I'm done talking about Disney. You get the idea ... we had a WONDERFUL trip!! And if you want to see more, head over to my Facebook page. I shared a lot of pictures there and I think it's just time to move on.
Let's talk some gardening, shall we? I never thought we'd even plant a garden given our aversion to most vegetables. (Disclaimer: the kids have always eaten their vegetables) But Mason's school had a plant sale and that inspired me to get started. So Chris and I cleared a small area behind the house back in mid-May and in went the plants.
And we had all this less than a month later ...
Our first harvest. Don't laugh ... it was an exciting day!
When we got back from Disney ...
So it's mid-July and we've picked just about all of our strawberries, at least five jalapenos and more zucchini than I can count. Every day I go out and find another one. I swear those suckers must grow overnight! Tomatoes are there but not ripe yet. And the pumpkins? Oh, the pumpkins! We already have five green ones and probably ten more on the way.
Now before you give us too much credit, we only planted things that we could make into something else (zucchini bread, jalapenos for nachos, tomatoes for salsa). You'll never catch us eating a raw veggie out of the garden. Unless we miraculously grow Pop-Tarts. And I'm still working on that.
I can't believe we almost skipped Animal Kingdom! Everyone told me it was like a big zoo and since we have the #1 zoo in the country in our town, I thought ... why bother? Soooo glad I didn't listen to myself. Animal Kingdom was our second favorite park, right behind Magic Kingdom.
We started the day on a safari. Since it was extra magic hours, we were in the first group. They say morning is the best time to go since it's cool and the animals are out. And boy were they right! We were just feet from baby giraffes, elephants, zebras, etc.
We also waited until Animal Kingdom to get the kids' faces painted. They saw it in every park, but it was always so hot so we waited until a cool morning to get it done. Mason chose some Mike Tyson-type thing. Emma picked sparkly and colorful. $27 well spent ... they both loved it!
One of our favorite meals was also at Animal Kingdom. We ate at Donald's Safari Breakfast. I'm not usually a breakfast person, but this buffet was AWESOME! We didn't have another big meal all day. Yums.
Our day at Epcot was filled with so many cool experiences. But you won't see a lot of pictures because it was also the day I was sick as a dog!! The kids were none the wiser ... I sucked it up and put on a brave face (see brave face below). But I didn't the camera out much.
There were some great rides (Test Track = AWESOME, AWESOME!!) but we had the most fun exploring the countries. Ate our lunch in Germany and I swear it was the best pretzel I've ever had!
The American Experience was pretty cool too. Emma was called up to recite The Pledge of Allegiance in front of the crowd.
Later in the day we ate at Teppan Edo in Japan. Japanese food and the Sawyers don't usually go hand-in-hand, but hey, when in Rome ... or Japan in this case. We had a great time and our chef Kumi was a big hit with the kids.
We loved Epcot and even considered going back on our bonus day. But then we discovered what was waiting for us next ...
Our third day was spent at Hollywood Studios. We had high hopes for this place and thought we'd like it so much that we would spend our bonus day there. Not the case. In fact, we finished pretty early and opted to spend the rest of our day at the hotel pool.
Don't get me wrong though, we had a great time - starting with our lunch at the Sci Fi Diner. This place is so neat!
Long after our food digested, Mason and I hit Tower of Terror. There aren't many rides in this park so Tower of Terror is a big deal. Chris had no interest in going and Emma was just a little too small. I freakin' loved it and so did Mas. We were literally lifted out of our seats and screamed our heads off! Well, we still have heads so that's not entirely true.
But most of our day was spent going to shows. We all LOVED the Voyage of the Little Mermaid Show and wished it was longer. Emma and I liked Beauty and the Beast (the boys didn't like that it was a musical). But the family fave was the action-packed stunt show.
Our second day was spent at the Magic Kingdom and for the first hour - it seemed we had the place all to ourselves! I had scheduled Emma's appointment at the Bippity Boppity Boutique for 9:00 so we were able to enter the park early.
On this day, we had to split up. Emma and I went to the boutique while Chris and Mason hit the rides. The boutique is no place for boys. Unless they're into makeup and dressing like a princess. But that's a whole other issue.
Emma LOVED it there. Her Fairy Godmother-in-training took great care of her: painting her nails, doing her hair and makeup and adding the perfect accessories. Worth every penny.
And after the makeover, we went to lunch at Cinderella's Royal Table. Again, worth every penny. Hard for me to say considering it was $90 for just the two of us. But she loved it and and I loved spending that girl time together. We met all the princesses. I posted all those pictures on Facebook.
This was also the day we got to meet Mickey Mouse. The line was pretty crazy but hey, it's Mickey Mouse. We got a double bonus when Minnie showed up right before went in. I'm glad we did it - we didn't see Mickey in the park any other time.
We did another parade, rode a few more rides and ended our day at Chef Mickey at the Contemporary. GREAT food! It was buffet-style so that was a big bonus for Chris. He loves him some buffets.
And best of all, Mason got to meet his favorite character: Donald Duck. Donald was so much fun and definitely didn't disappoint. Later that night, Mason wrote his pen pal Brooklyn about his trip. On the postcard I saw where he wrote "Can you believe I met Donald Duck?" So cute.
So a week after we got back from Canada, we took our big trip to Florida and Walt Disney World. It. Was. Awesome! We stayed seven days, hit all four parks and ate at some of the coolest restaurants. I've already posted most of the pictures on Facebook, but wanted to document a few here too.
Our first day was spent at the Magic Kingdom. Everything about it was magical, including the moment Emma met her favorite princess, Ariel. She had been waiting years for this. And, as luck would have it, we were last in line to meet her so Emma had extra time to spend with her new fish friend.
I was worried that Mason may be a little old for Magic Kingdom. Not a chance! He loved all of the rides: Splash Mountain, Space Mountain and the Speedway were his favorites.
And a big hit with all of us: It's a Small World. It was exactly like I remembered! I liked the nostalgia of it, Mason liked the different cultures, Emma liked the music and Chris liked the fact that it was air-conditioned. It was the first thing we did when we got to the park. And we did it again the next day.
We crammed in so much more that first day and capped off our night with the Electric Parade and the most spectacular fireworks show our kids have ever seen!
This poor blog has been so neglected lately. But I have a good excuse - we haven't been here! We went from Canada to Florida, and next we're headed to Dayton and North Carolina for baseball. All within a month! I've got plenty of pictures to share, but since my calendar says it's Canada Day I guess I'll start there.
We went up to visit the Daniels family. They used to be our neighbors, then moved to Wisconsin and now they're in Guelph, Ontario. They can keep moving farther away ... but we'll still find them. We're like an STD. (For the record, I've never had one, but I've heard they're stubborn. Lisa, is that true?)
One of our first stops on this trip was Niagara Falls.
Don't jump Emma! I'd want to get away from Lisa too, but it's not worth it.
Mason, Liam, Emma and Brandon
Only in Canada ...
Helping me make cinnamon rolls
Zlatka, Lisa and me. Z is, without question, one of the funniest people I've ever met! On this night she treated us to her version of "Country Roads" ... done with her Slovakian accent. Genius.
Chris and Will. This is the last picture I'll share because from here things got ugly. Real ugly.