To say that is has been a busy time since we returned from New Zealand would certainly be an understatement. Actually the busy times started before we even left NZ. Despite Cathleen's best efforts and all the time she put into getting us ready for the US to NZ trip, I managed to wait until the last minute as usual. The few things that I was responsible for literally were completed as we were throwing bags into the cab that was bringing us to the airport. Even with the last minute packing, we manage to get all of our stuff onto the plane and 24+ hours later we were heading to Cathleen's parents house in Norcross, GA (Friday 1am). By Friday evening, Cathleen was off to New York to spend some much needed family time with her sisters. I spent the weekend getting Lilly adjusted to a new timezone and getting her to see as much of both my and Cathleen's family as possible. Cathleen flew back into Atlanta Sunday night just in enough time to pack for our much awaited Disney trip. At this point the only thing that seemed to be holding us down were the colds that we all managed to catch since arriving in the US.
Despite lack of sleep, a new time zone, and flu-like symptoms all around, the car was packed up by Monday at 11 pm. Cathleen, Lilly, and I were on the road to Disney by 6 am Tuesday morning. All I can say is that it could not have been a better Sherman Disney Day. Well I guess that's not all I can say. We arrived in Disney's Coronado Springs Resort at 1:45 (with a 1 hour nap for Lilly along the way) and checked into one of the best rooms in the resort. We had a 1st level room with a kingsized bed, with a divider for Lilly's "room", looking out onto the lake, in short walking distance to both the bus stop and 2 pools. We immediately put Lilly into her bathing suit and went to the pool. She was so excited that before we had been in the pool 20 minutes we had to head back to the room for a diaper change. We gave Lilly a bath and then headed to Hollywood Studios. Lilly was decked out in her High School Musical t-shirt and as soon as we arrived at our destination we went straight for the High School Musical 3 street parade. The 4:30 parade was just finishing, but it certainly didn't keep Lilly from dancing her heart out. We immediately went to the American Idol Experience. In this version of the show, 3 contestants that have passed auditions sing for the audience vote. Lilly voted for her favorite and of course he won. We then went back outside to see the 5:30 parade for High School Musical 3. After a bunch more Lilly dancing we headed over to the Ticket and Transportation Center.
As luck would have it, the front car for the Monorail opened up and we road in style to the Grand Floridian. We spent some time in the air conditioning and let Lilly dance to some classic Disney tunes from the piano player that plays near the check-in in the resort. This gave us a chance to change Lilly into her Cinderella dress. As Lilly's Cinderella's Castle dinner was not until 8:25 we had some time to kill. By 6:30 we were walking around Magic Kingdom and Lilly put her head down on the stroller and decided that it was time to take a short cat-nap. Cathleen went with Lilly shopping as I went on a quick ride. By 7:30, Lilly was up and refreshed. We were off to It's A Small World not soon after her little head popped up from her nap. You've never seen a happier kid. We checked into dinner at 8:20 and took a family picture with Cinderella. Lilly could not get enough of this princess and even tried to cut back in line and get some more quality time with her.
Soon there after, we headed upstairs for Lilly's royal dinner. We were seated right next to the window in direct view of the carousel. Our waiter was hilarious and kept all three of us laughing. As we are celebrating Lilly's 3rd birthday all week, Lilly received a royal birthday dinner. The dinner started with the presentation of a magic wand followed shortly by a small cake with a candle. We all sang happpy birthday. The Fairy Godmother and 2 Mice came out from the back at about the same time to help with the song. I don't know if Lilly was more excited about blowing out her candle or taking pictures with her Disney friends. The food was excellent and by the time Lilly's birthday ice cream arrived (she did eat pasta and bread for dinner as well) the evening Magic Kindgom fireworks were about to start. It was an amazing scene watching Lilly enjoy an incredible fireworks display from the comfortable seats in the castle. By this time it was 10:30 and Lilly was not done yet.
Lilly could not stop pointing at the carousel from the dinner table, so we went there first. We then went to the Pooh ride and didn't even have to wait as we had picked up Fast passes earlier in the evening. Afterwards since the park was a bit slow, we headed over to Mickey's Toon Town Fair and put Lilly on her first rollercoaster: Goofy's Barnstormer. Lilly was just tall enough and to be honest it seemed a bit fast for her. But in true Lilly style, at the end she was clapping and had a grin ear to ear. We asked her if she liked it and she said yes. We asked her if she wanted to go on the ride again and she said NO. We then headed to Tomorrowland (on our way out of the park) and went on a Buzz Lightyear ride. As we were really trying to head out of the park we ran into the Spectromagic Parade. We stopped for the majority of it so that Lilly could wave at Mickey, Minnie, and the rest. It was 11 PM and Lilly was going strong. However, as any good parents we felt that it was time to head home. By 11:30 we were on the bus and Lilly quickly curled up in Cathleen's arms and went fast to sleep. While she may have been out late, she was smiling until the time she closed her eyes. It could not have been a better Sherman Disney Day. Who knows what the rest of the week will hold. I guess that its time to go to sleep and find out......(to be continued).