Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Back from our first vacation with JB

Forgive the cut and paste - I just typed it all out for my friend and thought I'd save my wrists from doing it all over again. :)

The trip was good, but terribly exhausting. We went to Hilton Head first. I have always wanted to go to Savannah and the hotels were about half the price on Hilton Head (which is maybe an hour from Savannah - but not terribly far - just kind of winds around and you have to cross the river and some other major body of water to get there). Hilton Head was beautiful - but cold!!!!! We didn't get to swim, but we did get a chance to walk on the beach a couple of times. We've never seen the Atlantic before, and JB has never been to the ocean, of course, so it was fun.


The drive down was a little crazy. We hit rush hour traffic on a Friday in Atlanta. It took us two hours to get through - between holiday shopping and rush hour, it was a nightmare. Jack took that time to poop and be hungry, so he screamed for most of it. Then the check engine lights came on in the car!!!! We called the dealership back home and tried to figure out what it could be, and they speculated it could be a hundred things but that it was probably okay.

The next day they squeezed us in at the Toyota dealership, which was in a terrible neighborhood (oddly enough). We had to call the main Toyota corporate number to get our warranty faxed over, and then they ran the diagnostic (which we had to pay for - just to see what was wrong). It was a "random misfire" - they said probably caused by bad gas (we did stop at some little weird gas station and the pump wasn't working right). BUT - the kicker was - our front tires were bad!!!! We JUST had them checked and apparently we had a one inch groove that had worn in the left one, and a larger one in the other side where there was almost no tread. We ended up deciding just to rotate them to the back and they didn't balance them properly, so the car shook like mad the rest of the trip. (But, we were very happy that it wasn't a major engine problem!)

In Savannah, our main objective was to go to Paula Deen's restaurant, The Lady and Sons. (We're big Food Network fans - have been for our whole marriage. We still remember sitting on the floor of our first apartment, drooling over the food Emeril would make on his OOOOOLD show.) John got me an autographed cook book a while ago, signed by Paula and her boys (I have a big crush on her older boy and John gives me trouble about it). We were able to have some strings pulled for
us, and got a reservation.

So, we thought we'd head over to Savannah that morning and spend some time seeing the sights. Well, that was overly-ambitious with the kids and we ended up not eating lunch because it got too late. Then no one had taken naps, and it was just - insanity. We got an excellent parking spot in this tiny lot across the street, and sat there for a bit before lining up for the dinner bell. We found out Paula was in town - but she was the Head Marshall in the parade, and we wouldn't
get to see her at the restaurant at all - but we COULD have seen her in the parade (for free!). Oh well.

I did get to visit the Savannah Candy Kitchen, and we ate warm (just made) pralines, which were SO amazingly good. Oh, and we had divinity for the first time, too. Yum! We also drove around Forsyth Park - where the mansions all line the squares - and saw some gorgeous homes and the fountain/park where that movie was made (Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil or something like that - not enough coffee in me yet to remember).

The food was okay at the Lady and Sons. Honestly, nothing spectacular, but SERIOUSLY overpriced. They offered the kids chicken tenders, but they were appetizer plates (for $8.95) and drinks were another $2 - so we paid a huge price for the kids to pick breading off and not eat because they were too tired. Then Jack started freaking out, and not wanting to disturb the people around us, we decided to leave.

The next day we drove to Orlando. Our cabin was awesome - we couldn't have asked for a better place to stay. We were able to park right there on the parking pad in front of our door, the cabin was METICULOUSLY clean, and our housekeeping was awesome. There was a bedroom and a living room bed that pulled down from the wall, plus a full kitchen, so we got to spread out a bit and really enjoyed it. Plus, the whole thing smelled like cedar - and just woody and fresh.
It was a big change from the hotel in Hilton Head and really felt like vacation. We're not "campers" per se, but it was a great balance between hotel and camping (all the perks - but no creepy bugs!). :)

Our first day at Magic Kingdom we managed to only watch a parade. It took us about three days at the parks to figure out that Jack only wanted to be carried and hated the stroller. But once we figured all of that out, things went much better. By the end we were able to go on five whole rides that morning!

Skylar ended up getting sick on our anniversary, literally JUST after we checked into the restaurant we were eating dinner at. :( We leftand got carry out from another place, which was okay. The next day her birthday kind of sucked, too - a combination of them losing our cake order and serving us freezer burnt cake that said "congratulations" (even Piper spit it out!) and her still not feeling well. But, we went to MGM and were chosen as family of the day at the Playhouse Disney show, which was cool - and then during the parade we got Sky a huge birthday cake hat that everyone saw and all the
princesses said "Happy Birthday!" to her from the parade, so that kind of made up for it. :)

Our last night we ate at our favorite (awesome!) restaurant and it was amazing. It was on the dining plan as a "two credit" meal (meaning worth twice as much as the other restaurants) and our bill would have been $350 after gratuity!!!!! Thank goodness we didn't have to pay that out of pocket!! But, it was sooooo good. Really just a perfect finish to our trip. The kids were *excellent* the entire time, we ate for almost two hours, and my chocolate lava cake was TO DIE FOR! :) We even had other diners (especially adult couples without children) stopping by our table to tell us how well-behaved our children were, which was a welcome change from earlier restaurant experiences in the week. :)

We were up on the 15th floor and there are windows all around, then they dim the lights and pipe in the music from Wishes (the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom). It's always just breathtaking to see the fireworks from up there, and was the perfect "do over" for our anniversary. :)

Then, we drove home. Nothing terribly exciting - a LONG drive home, but the kids did much better on the return trip (a little toy and treat bribery goes a long way) :)

1 comment:

Vicki said...

Sounds like a lot of fun mixed with a little chaos! But what would you expect traveling with 5 little ones? LOL...
I'm so glad that the kids have some great memories of Disney. Ones that they will remember the rest of their lives. I'm can't wait to see all of your pictures and souvenirs! Tell the girls (& Jack ;o) that I said, "Hello!" OH! And John, of course!
Hope to see you soon. I expect that you will be planning a combo birthday party with Angie and Barb for the 'December' kids.

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