9 Years Strong

We celebrated our 9th anniversary over the weekend. Nine years!    
You can read a little bit more about our story here 

Since we re did the master bedroom earlier this year we have been thinking about what to put over our bed.. it's quite an odd space and I know what you're thinking.. what does this have to do with our anniversary.. don't worry I have a point.

We decided to put up a picture of us for every year we've been married..  and we'll continue hopefully till there is no walls left.. 

We snuck away from the kids for a bit and celebrated with a nice dinner and an even nicer slice of chocolate cake :)

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Friday Photography

Looking Up - Inside the Vatican Museum standing at the center of the majestic and ornate spiral staircase designed by Giuseppe Momo, looking up.
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The Magic of Disney

We had been meaning to go on a family vacation for a while now.. M's sister lives in Houston with her husband and two kids.. there is our family and M's parents. So imagine us.. 6 adults and 4 kids between the ages of 2 and 6 all getting off our respective early morning flights and heading straight to the parks.. Our minivan overflowing with suitcases and strollers!

We were travelling with Disney virgins.. we who have spent all of one day in Magic Kingdom less than two years ago were the Disney experts?! Our trip consisted of three days.. a day per park.. and I know that's a bit hectic but with all the kids I don't think we could have handled any more than three magical days.

Our first park of choice was Epcot. There we all are.. embracing the magic. 

Mission Space was a bit too much for my sister in law to handle.. :( Test drive was fun especially with D being able to design a car.. Soarin was without a doubt the highlight of the park. I was the only one who had ever been on it before.. so I had talked it up and thank god it did not disappoint! We did skip Frozen.. the lines were two hours long, no fast pass available and thankfully none of our kids were die hard Frozen fans.

We had a disappointingly expected meal at the Electric Umbrella.. stopped at Boulangerie Patisserie for a sweet snack.. we ordered four pastries.. took zero pictures and devoured every sinful bite.. yum! And had pretty good taco's at Cantina de San Angel.

It is unfortunate that the days are so short this time of year.. we couldn't really enjoy all the countries in the dark. The kids were also very tired since we had all taken early morning flights into Orlando..

As last time we decided to stay off property. It made more sense to us considering the age of our children and the length of our stay. We had no intention of going back to our room mid day nor was our trip long enough to enjoy all that the resorts had to offer. We stayed at the Marriott Fairfield, they had a good complimentary breakfast in the morning and it worked out perfectly. 

Our second day as we hit The Magic Kingdom.. yay!

My sister in law made the kids these adorable Disney tees.. you can just feel their excitement can't you? Not! They were not a fan of the picture taking.. and H was simply to busy planning his next move.

We started with the Astro Orbiter which I really love, the view is amazing at all times of the day. D's favorite was Buzz Lightyear because he got to shoot things and racked up a crazy high score! H was in awe of It's a Small World, he waved at all the little people thinking they were real. This was the first time we got to ride Space Mountain and I was impressed with what a pro D was. We also always love to stop by and check out Mickey Philharmagic.. what I love more than watching the show is watching the kids reach out and try to grab things. 

Day three was spent at Animal Kingdom. We had a little hiccup after breakfast, D ate some raisins that were sitting dangerously close to the pecans and boom! Swollen eyes, sneezing worse than he has ever had it. Two doses of allergy meds later he was still no better. While everyone else headed to the first ride we made our way to first aid. While his situation did improve throughout the day his eyes did stay a little swollen until the next morning.. :(

We enjoyed Expedition Everest and Kali River Rapids.. the Safari was okay.. we didn't see as many animals as we had expected but it was easier to meet characters since the lines weren't as long. The park didn't particularly hold our interest for the whole day and so before it was even dark we headed to Disney Springs.

We had reservations at T-Rex and we explored Disney Springs till then. The LEGO store is always such fun.

Now lets talk about dinner.. T-Rex Cafe is a dinosaur themed restaurant similar to the Rainforest Cafe. The decor was very cool though is did scare the kiddo's a bit. I had made reservations a month in advance yet we had to wait over half an hour to get seated!!  The food if you can call it that was blah.. so blah that we could barely eat it. My brother in law and I had ordered the same pasta dish and we doused our food with salt and pepper failing to make it edible. The other's ordered burgers which were slightly better. We don't like to complain but as I just couldn't help it.. when she asked me how I liked it I just couldn't hold my tongue.. She asked me if she could bring me something else but I had just lost my appetite. It was however very nice of them to remove my brother law and my order off the bill.. they didn't have to do that and we very much appreciated that.

We made a stop at Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop to cleanse our palette before heading back to the hotel. Divine! 

The next morning before heading to the airport we treated ourselves to some non hotel breakfast.. Keke's had a great breakfast.. the perfect way to end the trip.

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Disney Bound

This time of year is usually a bit all over the place with the holidays, end of year wrapping things up etc.. and we thought we'd squeeze in a Disney trip for some family bonding. We are being joined by my sister in law and their two kids and my in laws..

Off to revel in the magic of Disney.. 

this is from the last time we were in Disney

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The Week of D

The second week of November is when our teachers have their convention, it also happened to be Election Week and the week of Ventran's Day. So D found himself with a week off of school! H in daycare meant no days off for him and that's the way we liked it. This way D and I got the chance to make up on some of our alone time, which we now don't get much of, even if it was just a few hours.

We baked! 

These marshmallow cupcakes were very good. I used store bought cake mix.. used only half and still ended up with 12 cupcakes! While I followed the recipe to the T.. the marshmallows didn't melt like they was supposed to and roasted instead.. 

We played board games and worked on a puzzle. 210 itty bitty pieces.

Friday M took the day off and we headed to the Camden Adventure Aquarium. The last time we were at the aquarium D was a year and a half.

here's a D throwback and more from that trip here

and there was a mermaid in the tank swimming with the sharks!!

 afterwards we went to Collingswood to visit The Arctic Freeze Creamery.. home of the rolled ice cream!

We capped off the week of fun with Trolls on Saturday and impromptu game of bowling with friends on Sunday.


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Friday Photography

Lighthouse - The surprisingly arid, cactus covered terrain of Aruba. The iconic California Lighthouse in the background.

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Saying Goodbye to Copenhagen

We spent our last day and a half in Copenhagen.. we started our fourth morning with breakfast in Cafe Europa. This was my favorite breakfast of our trip.  

After our bellies were full we headed towards Church of Our Savior, a baroque church most famous for its helix spire with an external winding staircase that can be climbed to the top, offering extensive views over central Copenhagen. All I can say is wow!

It had been a chilly morning, by the time we were half way up the spiral it had gotten windy and started to drizzle.. it was exhilarating, also a little scary.. had to really hold on to D, I was afraid we'd fly away. H had to be carried all the way up, the stairs were irregular so M was exhausted by the time we got to the top. But so worth it. 

After the church we walked through Christiania, a self proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of less than 1000 residents. It is famous for it's hippie culture and cannabis. No photography. 

We were getting hungry and perfect because we were headed towards Copenhagen's famous food market Papiroen aka Paper Islands.

We had really good taco's and a creme brulee donut! Sorry we were too hungry and the place was so full we barely got a spot to sit.. no pictures. It had started to rain outside and we were trying to contemplate if and how we were to proceed with our evening plans.

Firstly, let me just say yay Uber. So much easier to use then trying to figure our the local taxi system etc. A second yay to mother nature.. the rain calmed down and we were able to continue with our afternoon plans. We were very excited to visit Tivoli, the second oldest operating amusement park in the world. Interestingly enough the oldest amusement park in the world is also in Denmark!

There was nothing old about Tivoli. What I found interesting was how smack dab right in the middle of the city it was.. the rides had something for everyone.

Loved this little alley, reminded my of something right of Harry Potter. Denmark's very own Diagon Alley? 

Look at those happy faces! 

The next morning we busied ourselves in packing and then walked around and visited Nyhavn one last time before saying goodbye

I'm glad we stayed for 5 days instead of rushing through it. It would have left us much more tired and when travelling with kids you have to plan a looser schedule.. you never know what will happen. With more days we were able to really enjoy the city and some parts of the country. 

We are back home now, already thinking where next?       

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