Saturday, October 20, 2012

St. Augustine

Since we were already in FL, about 45 minutes from where I grew up, we spent our third day re-living some of my childhood memories in St. Augustine.  We used to go to St. Augustine at least a couple times a year, one time always being around my birthday.  I have so many great memories of this old Spanish city, and was excited especially to be able to show it to Ben, who loves all things Spanish.  It was especially neat to be back in St. Augustine after having lived in Spain as an adult.  So much of the city this time looked like so many parts of Spain that Ben and I visited when we were living there.

 On the boat on the way over to visit Fort Matanzas.

 Exploring Fort Matanzas with Reagan, who was convinced we were at some sort of pirate place.  She kept expecting Captain Hook to pop out at any moment.

 The majestic and enchanting St. Augustine.  Ben actually used the word "spectacular" to describe the city; that's a word I think I've heard him utter a total of three times since I've known him.

 We visited an old Catholic cemetery in St. Augustine, one I used to love exploring as a kid.  Reagan found this statue of "Jesus" and had to touch it.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Disney World and Reagan's Birthday!

For Reagan's 4th birthday, we took our little princess-loving girl to Disney World to meet some real princesses.  Reagan was so excited leading up to this trip that I had to make a calender on the wall for her, where every morning she could wake up and put a Disney sticker on to count down the days till we could finally go to "Cinderelly's Castle."

 Disney World really is the happiest place on earth!  You should have seen this little girl's face pressed against the railing on the boat on the way over to the Magic Kingdom.  She was glued to it.  This is her walking up to "Cinderelly's Castle" for the first time.  She said, "Dreams do come true!"  I love how she's dressed in her raggedy, garage sale Snow White dress.  She was so adorable, she wore that constricting dress proudly all day long.

 Ben's parents were able to join us at Disney World.  It was so great to get to see them one last time before they leave for a year-and-a-half on their Church mission to the West Indies.  Reagan was spoiled rotten with the attention of four doting adults on this trip.

 Reagan got to make about 15 wishes into Snow White's wishing well,  with pennies from Nana's purse.

 Reagan attempting to pull the magic sword out of the stone.  She actually DID pull it out the second day she tried, but we sadly have no photos of that.  A Disney photographer took some, but we were too cheap to pay $20 to buy one.

 Hands down, the best money we spent at Disney, and the best memory we have of this trip, is eating lunch IN "Cinderelly's Castle" with all the princesses.  Reservations for this lunch are the hardest ticket to get at Disney; Ben tried every single day for two months straight, multiple times a day, and was only able to get a reservation for two people.  When we got to Disney the first day, we walked up to the castle and begged them to add all five of us to the reservation and they did!  Again, dreams DO come true!  Look at Reagan above, enthralled with the mosaic artwork outside the castle detailing the whole Cinderella story.

 And look at Reagan's face in this pic, her first glimpse of a real-life princess.  There's just something so magical about princesses for girls.  Ben's mom and I were both feeling just like Reagan at this point!

 I love this photo, Reagan is just beyond delighted to see Snow White, dressed just like her!

 The meal included a decorate-your-own cupcake platter for Reagan, which she thought was the greatest thing ever.

 My little baby turning FOUR!  Where has the time gone?

 Look at that sweet face.

"It's a Small World" was Reagan's favorite ride.  This is her on the first day.  She wouldn't sit down in the boat she was so excited.  On the second day, we went back to this ride and road it FIVE times in a row.  It was Reagan's second favorite part of our trip (after the princess lunch).

 She met Tinkerbell at the end of day 1, but was so tired she was just like, "Who are you and can we go home?"  She'd gone to bed at 12:30am the night before and was dead tired by the time our first day was over.

 Our photo-op with Cinderella.  Reagan looks so tired in these pics, but she was so thrilled.

There's a new part of Disney World opening up soon, a new Fantasyland.  Our second day of Disney we just happened to be walking past the still-closed section when they opened it up randomly for a "dress rehearsal" for an hour, and then closed it again.  It was amazing that we got in!  The new area is spectacular, truly Disney.  We were some of the first people to ever ride the new Ariel attraction, which was incredible.  The dolls they had in that ride looked and moved just like real human beings.  I've never seen anything like it.  The "Belle" section of Fantasyland was amazing too.  I loved the Gaston tavern and fountain.  You really felt like you'd stepped into the movies in this new area.

1st Haircut

Reagan just turned four-- so we decided it was finally time for her very first ever haircut.  She has the most amazingly beautiful, Rapunzel hair, so it seemed a shame to cut it at all. I ended up just having them trim off a few inches so that it was evened out.  It still, after the cut, cascades in ringlets down her back.  I told her today that I loved her hair and asked her if I could have it, and she reached up and pulled it hard and said, "No, look, it's stuck."


August was a busy busy month.  We celebrated Ben's 35th birthday, went on an Alaskan cruise, and bought a house!

Our bi-yearly (my bday and then Ben's)  Benihana's family photo.  These free family photos they take are always better than the ones we pay someone to do.

 The weather on our cruise and in Alaska was amazing.  Sunny and cool, nothing like the blazing heat we left behind in Texas.

 We went on train ride that wrapped through the Alaskan mountains.  It was so incredibly beautiful, like nothing I've ever seen.  

 Ben got to go salmon fishing with Garrett and had the time of his life.

 I thought it was so amazing to see icebergs right off the side of the ship.

 My first real-life look at a glacier.

 My favorite day of the cruise was actually when we were in port in Victoria, Canada.  We went to Butchart Gardens, one of the most spectacularly beautiful places I've ever seen.  I want a garden just like this one day, wrapping all around my house.

 We went to tea time at the gardens.  Best tea time I've ever been to.

 And while Ben and I were away on our cruise, little Reagan had a nine-day sleepover at her friend Piper's house.  She also had the time of her life.

And finally, our new house!  We've been renting for the whole 2 1/2 years we've been here in Texas, so we are so excited to finally own again and be settled!  We move in Oct. 27th.