That's right, like it says in the title, we are at home. Put another trip on the shelf. One that was fill wonderful surprises and unforgetful memories. However, let's jump back for a bit.
When we last left, we were off to Cape May Cafe for supper and then to Epcot for the end of the evening and the end of the trip.
Cape May was awesome as always. As you can see, we are fans of Cape May (we eat there every trip and this time we ate there twice). I think the thing that keeps bringing us back to Cape May is definitely the quality. I am not a muscle and clam person but mom and Beckie sure are. They LOVE the clams and muscles here because they are cooked really well. Plus, they can have as much of it as they wish. I think another reason we eat here is because the food prepared really well and there is lots to choose from. Plus, the desserts are unbeliveable. If you have not tried thier Oreo Bon Bons, I suggest you make an ADR ASAP. They have a oreo cookie base and then they pile on an oreo cookie mouse and then dust it with powerdered chocolate. YUMMY!
The last reason I think we really enjoy it here is that it is a place where we can have our seafood (shrimp, clams, etc.) but dad can have an abundance of other stuff (ribs, carved meats, etc). Dad is allergic to shellfish and he still love to eat here because there is so much other stuff to choose from. Plus, we really enjoy the service that we get here! The wait staff is really nice and they always keep our iced teas filled up (that's a big thing for us!).
After the feast, we headed over to Epcot to catch the Ventures. We only stayed for a few songs as we really wanted to give Chloe one more last ride with Donald in Mexico. Plus, we also wanted to try and get over to The Seas for one more ride with Nemo before it closed at nine. Well, thankfully we made it to both and we watched Chloe smile all the way. She still points out Donald everytime she sees him like we don't see him. "There he is! There he is!" It's very cute. Again, it was the same with Nemo, she pointed out Nemo and Crush every chance she got.
However, all good things must come to an end, and after we left The Seas, we realised that it was time for the inevitable; the vacation was drawing to and end. It was fitting that we ended the evening by catching the finale to Illuminations, hearing "We Go On" playing as the night came alive with the fireworks. Is it just me, or does that song put a lump in everyones throat?
We then drew out the walk back to the Swan, soaking up every single step as we walked through Canada, the UK, out the international gateway, and around the Boardwalk. Of course, because it was the last night and we had to treat ourselves one more time (even though we were still full from Cape May) and went in to get a treat from the Boardwalk Bakery. Then we headed back to the room and began the dreaded "Fit-Everything-Into-The-Suitcases" task. Not the most fun thing in the world but I did have a few "oh I bought that?" moments as I went through the Disney bags.
I am please to announce that everything did into suitcases. I even was able to deflate Chloe's two balloons that she got over the course of the trip and hopefully I will be able to get them inflated again for her birthday (WHICH IS COMING UP THIS WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22ND!! 2 YEARS OLD!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHLOE!! UNCLE BRETT LOVES YOU!!).
After the packing up, it was get into bed and just relax by watching the "Disney Must Dos" one more time before turning out the lights.
Well, of course, the morning did come, and it is just the complete opposite feeling of waking up in WDW for the first day of the vacation (we all know it's true). So, lazily, and without much motivation, we got ready and then headed down for breakfast at the Garden Grove. To be honest, it was very good and tasty. Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale, were there so Chloe was happy and entertained. However, you just can't shake that "it's almost time to leave for the aiport" blues.
We then headed up to the room and collected the bags, headed down to the van, and began our trek to the aiport (with a short stop at DTD).
The plane ride was uneventful and I am now sitting in my chair, after a day of teacher, trying to relax. The suitcases are slowly getting unpacked but I don't want to unpack completely yet because that truly means the trip is really over.
Final thoughts? Ok, this is always a tough one to write. Last year it was Chloe and Kevin's first trip, so there was lots to say. Personally, this was my 25th trip down to WDW. For me, I think this trip was more about enjoying Disney the way we like to. After 25 trips, we definitely don't do the rushing around from attraction to attraction trying to get it all in. This trip, however, Now, there have been times when I have read or heard "why would you take a little child to WDW? They are hard to handle, they get fussy, and they won't remember a single thing." After reflecting on this trip, I guess I have to say, "who cares!" Yeah, they do get fussy sometimes. Yeah, they are not going to remember the experience. But, for us, we get to see that experience on their faces. So I guess my final thoughts will specifically centre on Chloe.
Chloe was amazing! We weren't sure what to expect from her this time. Last year, she was a baby. She could not walk, she fell asleep all the time, and we had to stop every so often to feed and change her. This year the worries were, would she be scared of the characters? Would she have a meltdown somewhere in the park? Would she put up a fight when she got super tired? To all of these questions, the answer was, for most part "no". She loved the characters! She ate when she wanted to! She told us when she needed to go to the potty (most of the time). She fell asleep in her stroller when it hit her. Finally, YES, she did have a few meltdowns here and there, but they were handled and we moved on.
I think for us, just watching her experiences as she was in the park, with the characters, at the swimming pool, make the trip just that much more special for us. We laughed when she figured out how to jump into the pool. We all watched in amazement when she saw her "best friend" Mickey Mouse show up at anytime in parades, at the Disney Studios dance party, and at the character meals. We chuckled everytime she would realise that we were leaving the hotel room to go somewhere and she would yell "let's go buddies" and usher us out the door.
For me though, I think the big thing was actually watching her notice things that I take for granted all the time we are there are WDW. There were times when she would stop and just sniff the flowers when they were around. She would marvel at the topiaries (especially the butterfly one at the Beach Club) and point and squeel at them. She would stop and want to look at any fountain any chance she could get. Every single firework that went off she had to point at and shriek. Every time she saw a monorail on the track, she would have to point it out to us. Her favorite rides, this trip, was Nemo and the Mexican boat ride with Donald Duck (2 rides that I don't think any of us would wait 20 minutes in line to see), and at every 3D attraction, she would reach out and try to grab what was in front of her.
To wrap this up, I learned from Chloe this trip. I realised that I need to stop every so often and marvel at the small things that I take for granted at WDW. The topiaries, the rides that aren't thrill rides, those fireworks that are going off, reaching out and trying to touch those 3D images, and last but not leat, stopping to smell the flowers and just slow down and take it all in. This is a vacation, after all. So the next time you are down in WDW, take that five minutes to stop, find some flowers, a bench, sit down, and enjoy the moment; even if it is only for a moment (that FP will still be good when you get there!)
Well, that's it for this trip. Thank you so much for all of your responses over the passed few days. It has been our pleasure to "bring you along" on the trip with us. Whether you were at home, at the office, or wherever, I hope you at least had a bit of a mini vacation through the reports. Again, it's easy to wite these types of trip reports because of a place like Intercot. It is an amazing site and we really appreciate all of the hard work that everyone does here on the boards to make this such a family friendly place on the web to come and discuss all things WDW related!
For the last time, have an awesome Disney day!
Until next year!