Chocolate Queen Elsa and a missing balloon

If you are a Florida native, like me, you have been to Disney too many times to count. It started with your family; then there were church youth group trips, and field trips and birthday parties and even Grad night.  As they add parks and rides and exhibits, you return to catch up with an old friend.  You have kids and take them and the cycle continues.  However, taking your grandchildren is the best (sorry girls).  By now, you know so much more than you knew then.  You have patience, you don’t care what they look like by 10:00am, you don’t mind giving them junk and you can send all the Disney memorabilia right back home with them.  You get the pleasure of seeing their eyes light up as they take it all in, which is priceless!

This week I had the pleasure of taking my five year old granddaughter who was visiting from New Orleans for her 2nd time.  Although she says she remembers the first time, I think what she may actually remember are the photos from a book that I made for her.


Her first trip to Disney

On the way up there, she asked a few questions.  What are reservations?  What did I mean by Disney grounds?  Why would we take a shuttle to Magic Kingdom if we were staying at Disney?  Wouldn’t we already be there?  Are any of the rides scary?  Soon enough, we were there, and checked in at the Disney Swan.  As my friend and I discussed how best to carry the least amount of stuff in and still have what we needed, our grandchildren inspected the room.

The first afternoon was spent at Epcot on a search for all the character topiaries, which was enjoyed by all.  I think FL broke records that day (and the next) for hot temperatures, and I’m certain that Disney was at mass capacity both days as well.  We kept our cool with our pricey Mickey decorated fans (displayed in tubs filled with ice) that mist cool water on wilting guests.  I am pretty sure that many guests enjoyed the mist from the fans of our grandchildren.  They weren’t at all selfish with their mist!


Day two we began the day by paying way too much for cereal and fruit, but the little minions were happy.  My friend watched the kiddos once we entered the park so that I could scramble for hair ties that actually kept my granddaughters curls somewhat subdued.  I also happened upon a crown and she was dressed in her Elsa costume, so I had to.  Minutes later….well about 30 minutes later, we were visiting with Tinkerbell and her assistant was telling Queen Elsa to please just “let it go” (if you have never watched Frozen, this will not make sense).

As we trod slowly up Main Street, there was a nice young lady selling balloons.  Thanks!  We had to have one of course.  What Nana could say no to those brown eyes?  My friend bought two and gave one to another little girl on the street and this made me tear up.  So sweet!!


The balloon love lasted for perhaps 5 minutes and then I heard the familiar, “Nana, can you hold this for me?”  Sure, no problem.  I will just tie it to the stroller.  I won’t complain about the March winds we were having in April and am forever grateful for the brief respite from the heat they afforded; however, the balloon took on a life of its own and pelted me in the face many times.  I tied differently, I held, and I apologized when it hit someone near me.  My friend had one also and she had the same problem.  We were forever trying to keep them from wrapping around things or from hitting all the people around us.  The only thing there were good for, was making it easier to find our strollers after the ever so organized people at Disney moved them for us time and time again to keep their lines straight in the stroller parking areas.

We continued meeting characters and watching our little characters enjoy themselves, went on our Fast pass rides and found ourselves stuck in a honey pot on “Winnie the Pooh”.  The kind maintenance folks led us out of the ride on foot and gave us a fast pass for another ride.

We met a nice lady (my friend’s friend) named Jen and her beautiful children and they introduced us to the “kitchen sink” ice cream at Main Street Ice Cream Parlor.   After Queen Elsa sat on the sidewalk (not really behavior befitting a queen) and enjoyed hers immensely, she was a chocolate coated mess.  Queen Elsa had to disrobe and change into a cute little owl dress for the rest of the day.

We stayed for the fireworks which began at 9pm and as I held the queen, she put her little arms around me and said, “I love you nana” and gave me the longest kiss on the cheek ever.  My back was screaming, “Put the little 38.9 pounder down!” and I did, but not until I kissed her back and reassured her that she could see it all from the stroller.

A while later we were on the shuttle on our way back to our hotel (Yes, finally!!) she fell asleep in my arms.  My eyes welled up because I knew the following day I would deliver her back to her mommy.

I’m not going to lie; I was beyond exhausted as we made our way up to the room.  Nana was glad the queen was asleep and I was ready to tuck her right into bed with no dinner, no brushed teeth.  We got everyone and everything into the room and I got her all tucked in.  She rose up out of the bed like Snow White after the kiss and said “Where is my balloon?”  My friend and I looked at each other and laughed.  Somehow, I had finally been able to untangle myself from that thing and let it soar into the darkened sky without even noticing.  Of course, she would notice!  Thankfully she was too sleepy to get too upset and since she was awake, I shuttled her off to brush the teeth and changed the subject.

That bed felt so good as I lay there after showering off the cotton candy, sweat and glitter.  I was tired, sunburned, with an aching back and sore feet.  I was glad the day had come to a close.  I knew though, if the little dark haired beauty snoring quietly beside me asked me to do it again, I would…in a heartbeat.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes (take two)

Okay, I just had to share one more “Three” photo from the Weekly Challenge when I ran across this one.  This is my one and only grandchild, enjoying cake on her 2nd birthday.  She had to have the three Disney princesses on the plate.  She loves cake and didn’t appear to even notice that I was snapping away!

Weekly Photo Challenge:  Threes (take two)

THREE princesses from my birthday cake!

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