Unforgettable family memories at the Magic Kingdom.

It was so exciting waiting impatiently at Palm Beach airport on Friday morning, but eventually the five of them came into view. Those first hugs are always the best. :)

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They’d been up since 4-30am, so were pretty tired, and Max had to go for a nap when we got home. When he woke up, it was time for birthday presents, and his card, which he absolutely loved. When he opened the card, it plays a very loud, “Who let the dogs out!” 8O Of course we’ve now heard it a gazillion times.

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One of his other presents from us was a little train, which, when we bought it, we didn’t realise takes three batteries. It races around, making the most raucous sound, with all the bells and whistles going off  at the same time, together with the sound of a train clacking along the railway tracks. The house has been quite noisy, to say the very least. :D We all went for an early dinner at the club, and he had balloons and a little cake with two candles, which he blew out with great gusto before anyone could get a photo. In this photo, he is looking somewhat suspiciously at the chef’s strawberry coulis and chocolate design on the plate.

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On Saturday morning, we were all up before dawn to drive the three hours to Disney. We left at 6-30, and had a Starbucks stop on the way. As we approached the Magic Kingdom, the traffic looked quite ominous. There were obviously many other families with the same idea.

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Out of the car, we were soon part of the heaving mass of humanity, but we soldiered on, and after paying the entrance fee of about $90 each, including almost the same for the kids, we were inside.

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Here’s a better and more magical view of the castle. :)

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If there’s one thing I’ll remember Disney for, it will be the hundreds and hundreds of strollers everywhere, many of them containing sleeping toddlers who were oblivious of where they were, and others sitting looking quite traumatised by all the people brushing past them. Our three did enjoy themselves though, and the girls especially loved their encounters with the Disney princes and princesses. Aurora and her prince were first up.

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Taylor really seemed to have a lot to say to Prince Charming, and Cinderella was very sweet to the girls.

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Rapunzel’s long hair was a big hit too, and Prince Flynn was most attentive.

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Of course Mickey and Minnie Mouse were very popular; after all wasn’t it they who started the whole Disney thing.

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We all had a go on the bumper cars, which seemed very tame to me, as no-one bumped mine at all. :(

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The Dumbo ride was fun, and I loved being right up in the air.

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It’s a while since I went on a merry-go-round, and hubby and I felt like big kids again. :)

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There was so much to see, and we all walked our legs off for about ten hours, with a stop for lunch. The kids were amazing, and even little Max did a fair amount of walking. The stores did quite well out of us too, as it’s hard to resist a few toys and souvenirs for the children. The weather had turned exceptionally cold and windy, and the shops were doing a roaring trade in long-sleeved T-shirts, jackets and blankets. There’s certainly plenty of merchandise to choose from, and it was sorely tempting.

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When we could walk no longer, and were all shivering with cold, we took the ferry back across to the car park.

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It had been a wonderful family outing. and unforgettable memories had been made. What a magical day. We got home well after midnight, but it was worth it.

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Everyone who is able to, should do it at least once in their lives. The Disney experience is for kids of all ages, from two to a hundred and two. :)

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Tonight we’re baby sitting whilst our son and his wife are out having dinner with friends in Fort Lauderdale. The children have been little angels and ate all their dinner before going  to bed without so much as a squeak. We were very lucky. :D Today has been really cold, but tomorrow the weather promises to be better, and hopefully they’ll be able to go swimming.

To see more ‘unforgettable’ posts for Jake’s theme this week, just click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wonderful wild animal sightings in Johannesburg. ;)

Hi again everybody. I was internet-less whilst away in Johannesburg, but I was having so much fun that I wouldn’t have had time to blog anyway. My Mom was so excited when we arrived on Thursday morning to pick her up for the journey, which was to last for over seven hours. Who would have guessed that anyone could be so happy, sitting in the back of our Jeep for all that time? She is such a positive person, and takes nothing for granted. She remarked on the wonderful cloud formations, the beauty of the countryside, the awesomeness of the rock formations, the prettiness of the Cosmos flowers at the side of the road, and even the good state of the roads. When we stopped for lunch, she laughed and joked all through the meal and seemed to thoroughly enjoy every mouthful, even though it wasn’t fancy at all. When I’m with my Mom, I also seem to see everything through rose-coloured spectacles.

Arriving at our daughter’s house, we were all enveloped in hugs and kisses. It was so great to see them again. Our two grandchildren seem so tall all of a sudden, and our grandson has acquired this amazingly deep voice since the last time we saw him. Mom was given a guided tour of their beautiful house, all the while exclaiming that she would surely get lost in it, and suggesting that someone tie a piece of string around her arm and secure the other end to her bedroom door so that she could find her way back there. Laughing The evening meal was really delicious and we sat around the table chatting and laughing for a long while. Of course, mom was the centre of attention and  loved every moment.

The following day, we all went to the Rhino and Lion Park, just outside Johannesburg, where we had a game viewing drive booked. Of course, ‘Great Gran’ was seated next to the young game ranger, and even from that seat, she entertained us all.

At one point, she exclaimed, “What’s that moving in the distance, over there?” We all looked of course, not wanting to miss seeing anything, and my daughter said, “Yes, I see it. It’s black.” The ranger smiled, and  said, “It’s a car, but I can’t tell what make it is.” I suggested it might be a Jaguar. More laughter ensued.

We didn’t see the wild dogs, but we did see the gruesome remnant of their last feast.

The white Lions were just sitting waiting for us, and the male posed very nicely, together with his two wives.


This Cheetah was lounging right at the side of the road, and hardly acknowledged our presence. A very cool cat indeed.

Here is GT, the King of the Brown Lions, and looking very superior indeed.

He is called “GT” because, according to our guide, he has popped many Goodyear tyres on the private vehicles of tourists. Our ranger explained that he can smell the urine of the owners’ pet dogs, who have used the tyres as a toilet, and so he attacks the tyres to mark his territory. That must be quite scary for the occupants when it happens.

Sadly, we were told that one of the other two male lions will become the dominant one before too long, but to achieve this, he will have to kill GT. Cry

We saw so many animals, too numerous to show you. These Blue Wildebeest which can weigh up to 250kg had set up a creche for their young, and take it in turns to look after and protect them, whilst the others go out hunting for food.

After our drive, we visited the animal creche, and chose to go into the ‘White Bengal Tiger’ enclosure. These beautiful and rare creatures have the most beautiful blue eyes. Their unusual white pigmentation is caused by a recessive gene. Our two grandchildren loved stroking their soft fur.

This one took a real fancy to our granddaughter’s long blonde hair and wanted to get as close as possible to her, for a hug. She had a couple of small scratches on her arm, and a goodly amount of tiger drool in her hair.

It was a really fantastic day; the ranger was so knowledgeable, and we were out with him for almost three hours, instead of the two which he was supposed to give us. Lots of really great memories were made that day, and I’m sure that as you’re reading this, my mom is regaling her friends with all the details.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you a bit more about our Easter weekend.. Have a great day everyone. Chat again soon.