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What a Week!

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We’re home.
And surprisingly, not that tired.
We had a full four days of family time……and loved the time away.
While we were gone, we just so happened to visit only the most enchanting castle in all of Florida.  
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And my little girl was crushed that she couldn’t go inside to find Cinderella in her room, getting ready for the day.  Bummer.  Lunch with Cinderella is booked like a year in advance and only costs thousands of dollars.  Or something.


She quickly forgot about the castle upon meeting Mary Poppins, and her sidekick Bert.  I could just kiss every disney character for making each child feel like they are the most important little soul they have ever met.  
We had just watched the Mary Poppins movie the day before our getaway, so it was fascinating to my little lady that Mary Poppins herself, was right there on our vacation…..talking to her.  Priceless.
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My little guy, putting one up for Bert.
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 And of course, a few classic rides were enjoyed by those three.  
Something about spinning around in circles makes me sick.  Eww.
And my word, you’ve never seen two happier kids to see that Mickey and Minnie were vacationing at the same time we were.  Good thing we caught up to them.  And Minnie, you couldn’t have made a girl happier by rubbing your sweet button nose against hers.  The giggles were uncontrollable.
And yes my friends, what would a day at this magical kingdom be without some Mickey/Minnie ears. (But I have to say, after paying a huge inflated price for these things……..I quickly decided I could make some that were a bit more sturdy……for a lot less.  I know.  I have a sickness.)
And we’ll be writing a letter to the park, apologizing to Walt Disney, for feeding the birds.  We didn’t see the “don’t feed the wildlife” signs until the next day.  But, what’s more fun than feeding huge cranes your crushed teddy graham crackers…  And chasing them around like they’re the perfect new friend.
But these huge cranes were definitely not afraid of humans.
We also enjoyed a scenic safari ride.  Complete with different habitats.  Very well done.  
There is a rhino behind my shoulder.  Can you see it?  Ha.
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And baby giraffe’s.
And gazelle’s that completely intrigued the little guy.
We also watched many shows, played in water, stood in short lines (this time of year is great), watched parades, waved at more characters, danced to music, rode on more rides, toured character’s homes, etc.  Oh, and we can’t forget about the loads of sunscreen that we used, the gallons of water that we drank, and the bags and bags of snacks that we ate.  It’s all part of the experience.
But what a great way to spend a couple of days with 2 little kids.  (And my husband and I were just as amazed by it all.  We’re first timers too, you know.)  And we’re just grateful for friends in the military that hooked us up with some great discounted tickets.  Thanks Kim and Tom!
After two days of magic, we decided to completely relax before our drive home.  So we did so down on St. Pete’s beach. (About 1 1/2 hours from Orlando.)
 The water was perfect.
The sand was soft and made great sandcastles.
And the shells were very available.
And we were worried about rain.  
But not a bit of storm in site.
It was the perfect way to unwind and finish off our getaway.  
And now we’re back…..ready for a routine again.  
But already missing our time away.  
Maybe next year.
Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Tiffany says:

    hey. we've got a disney trip planned. maybe next year we can go together!
    tiffany {Simply Modern Mom}

  2. Danette Mahana says:

    Ash it looks like a great vacation. Got to admit I'm a wee bit jealous, so next time make sure to invite me! :)

  3. Ashley says:

    Oh, and B….you're going in November? Hooray! As for a 2 year old. You know, my little guy (who's 2) did pretty well but definitely tired out more quickly than my almost 4 year old. We took a stroller and in the afternoons, let him ride around so that he'd fall asleep. Then we'd walk around, eat snacks, browse shops, talk to characters on streets, etc while he got a good hour nap in. And we brought lots of water bottles in the stroller basket because these guys got hot pretty quickly. Also, when they start winding down and getting cranky while in line or walking from one end of the park to the other……we had lots of little snack and treats to keep them happy. Then once we got to the destination, they were fine. Hmmmm…..let's see. I also think breaking up the sites really helps. So try not to do too many things in a row that wouldn't interest the 2 year old much. Keep throwing in the excitement! And, I guess that's it. He had a lot of fun and would get so excited to see his favorite characters and would call out to them. It was pretty cute and well worth the trip! :)

    Enjoy and have fun. The weather should be perfect in November! :)

  4. Ashley says:

    Awakened Heart – Hmmmm, the hair may be difficult to explain…..but her hair is just split in half and then little sections of hair are rubber banded off until the end section, which is just put into a ponytail….and then a little messy bun. Wow, does that make any sense? Haha! If not, email me…

    Also, I have never made a swimsuit but doesn't seem too difficult to at least try. You may want to google swimsuit tutorials to see what you can find.

    Good luck!

  5. Brittney says:

    Love your pics and sharing your trip, we're headed there next week for the first time!!! My 3 year old and I can hardly wait! :)You must have passed right by our home on your way too!

  6. the hatch batch says:

    Disney is so amazing. Glad you got to go and thanks for letting us in on it! =o)

  7. The Awakened Heart says:

    Hi, looks like a fun time was had by all. I have two questions for you. How do you do that thing with your daughters hair with the multiple bobbles and then the pigtails in the back (first lot of piccies in Disneyland) AND do you have a good pattern/tutorial for a swimsuit suitable for a 4 year old that doesn't have either a bikini top/triangular boob bit at the top or other horrible adult detail? Your little girls swimsuit is cute and I wondered if you had ever made one.

  8. B says:

    We are going to Disney World in November, our first time too! We live in Wisconsin, so I am excited that it won't be freezing down there! Any tips you can pass along for taking a 2 year old to Disney?

  9. Mary says:

    Disney World is a favorite of me and the hubby (before the twins came along).

    My friend and I also tried to book breakfast with the princesses but were told it was booked…so we went that morning, and let them know it was her daughter's 4th birthday (she had gotten a button from the front desk and was wearing her sleeping beauty dress) so they fit us in. It was great, even though it was crazy expensive. She got her picture taken with all the princesses, their signature in her book AND they all signed a birthday card for her. We all had a great time. And every employee that saw her would say, "Happy Birthday Princess Jayden." I love that place!

  10. Becky says:

    My grandparents lived on an island right off St Pete – you pretty much chose the best beach in Florida, in my opinion :p

  11. Kimberly says:

    Oh, I'm jealous! What a fun trip for your family.

  12. 3LittleByrds says:

    Looks like yall had a great time. Seeing your pictures make me miss Disney. We recently moved from Fla. (about 2 1/2 hrs. from Disney) to Texas and we're so use to going all the time that now we have to plan it. Disney is a magical place and even staying a week you never see it all.

  13. Roeckers says:

    Great photos!!
    I happy your vacation was enjoyed by all

  14. Christy, says:

    awesome vaca! The only prob is my oldest saw me looking at photos and now her wheels are turning to when we can go. My kids would love to go to Disney and the beach.

    One day…

  15. RaD says:

    I don't do spinny rides either, so when we went to Disneyland I simpy took pictures of my family on the rides. It looks like ya'll had sooo much fun!

  16. Aubrey says:

    Thanks for bringing back lots of good memories. My first "Magic" trip was as a 6 year old. We went again when I was 18. I can say it was just as enchanting then as when I was 6. Hopefully someday soon I'll get to take my husband and boys. What fun!

  17. Jennifer says:

    Your lil' vacation looked fantastic!
    And your kiddos are adorable

  18. Amanda Joy says:

    THis post made me even more excited for when we leave for Disneyland in two weeks. My son celebrates his 3rd birthday the week after, so he is excited for his birthday trip. My daughter will be the giddy 18 month old that refuses to leave:)

  19. Jennwith4 says:

    How fun! We live closer to Disneyland and frequented the park many times this summer. I love taking my kids and watching their excitement at all the fun stuff there.

  20. Anna says:

    ah the beach looks so fun! good to see you in some of the pics. :)

  21. Gypsy Heart says:

    A wonderful & fun filled experience! So happy you were able to do this.

  22. Laurie Anne says:

    Thank you for sharing such beautiful photos. Your family is beautiful and I enjoyed reading about your wonderful vacation. We have yet to take our kids to Disney…I hope they aren't getting too old for it now.

  23. Joseph's Grainery Recipes says:

    Looks like so much fun!

  24. Melissa says:

    Oh it looks like it was so much fun! We just got back from our Disneyland vacation last week too:) My daughter got to meet Cinderella at the Princess Fantasy Faire…and that 5 minutes was the best part of our trip. It's amazing to see such a magical place through your children's eyes:)

  25. Never A Plain Jane says:

    St. Pete's beach is just down the road from me. I'm a little sick thinking I could've maybe possibly met you and we could talk family and fun crafts while watching our kiddos chase waves! I'm so glad you enjoyed your time in the sunshine state. next time call, k?

  26. Becky says:

    Hi just found your blog. We are heading to Disneyworld in October -It looks like you had a wonderful time. My kids are totally pumped up about going and so am I!

  27. Theresa says:

    It looks like your family had a wonderful time. It's funny, because we are headed of to Disney for 8 days, starting Sunday morning. And then, you were in my neck of the woods. I live in St Pete, and am very happy that out weather behaved for you guys.:)
    p.s.-Did you see all the cute scrap booking stuff they sell at Disney too? It kind of pricey, but lots of fun.

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Hi, I'm Ashley

Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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