The Weekly Peanut, Issue 191
Soooo I don't know if you heard, but a hurricane was bearing down on us by the end of last week. Daphne's school closed Thursday and Friday. Hooray (?) for unexpected 4 day weekends, 2 of which are spent largely cooped up indoors with a 4 year old, in danger of losing electricity at any moment...
Ian and I lived in Orlando for the devastation 2004 Hurricane season. We spent over 2 weeks without power over the course of the season as one hurricane after another passed over us. We weren't going to be unprepared this time. We got cases of water. We got non-perishables. We got LED candles and tons of portable batteries for our phones and devices. We spent most of Thursday out of the house in anticipation of being cooped up. I let Daphne pick out an activity book at Barnes & Noble, and she caught story time while we were there.
Daphne, meanwhile, prepared for the Bowpocalypse.
I really wasn't sure how to explain hurricanes to Daphne, beyond them being big, windy, potentially dangerous storms during which we need to be prepared and stay inside. She kept asking to watch the Wizard of Oz to see the "magic tornado." Thursday night we put Daphne to bed in her room as normal. The storm began to pick up around 3 am, and we opted to bring her out to the living room (as her room would have been the most prone to wind damage and was the only part of the house potentially in the path of giant tree, we were taking no risks). D thought it was a slumber party and largely refused to sleep, as we stayed glued to our local coverage.
Needless to say, none of us got much sleep Thursday. The worst of the storm passed over us in the late morning Friday. In the end a last minute wobble kept the storm further off the coast than anticipated, and the worst we got were some gusty winds with the torrential rain. It looked like most of our neighborhood was well-prepared, as we didn't see much in the way of yard debris flying around either. During some of the peak wind gusts near the end, our power flickered a few times, but in the end Ian and I were astonished that we held on to our electricity and our home was intact. We honestly could not have asked for a better outcome, and looking at footage from Jacksonville and St. Augustine, we feel incredibly fortunate.
Our dear friends from the UK, Amy & Liv, had made it into town just before the hurricane, so we planned to finally unite with them on Saturday since we weren't dealing with catastrophic hurricane damage. The Magic Kingdom monorails were down, so we got to take a bus over (which is awesome and actually faster than the monorail or the ferry boat, true story).
We caught up with Amy, Liv, Amanda and Maddie at Town Square and the girls were just over the moon to finally have Livvy back. They also all got to wear their Cinderella Mice dresses together.
Our first order of business was to take all the girls on Pirates of the Caribbean together. Maddie likes to hide from the possible splash.
Caught up with Haley for a visit with the Country Bears.
Let the girls share some snacks.
Watched Daphne and Maddie fight over Liv while Liv and Maddie fought over Ian.
Took our little mice to Town Square to visit the Boss.
Daphne accidentally called Mickey "Minnie". Priceless.
Daphne got pissed when I wouldn't let her swing the giant crayon around in Pixie Hollow and abstained from pictures.
Took a trip to fairytale hall. Daphne somehow talked Rapunzel into hide and seek behind the curtains. Rapunzel was sweet and patient, bless her.
Got D reunited with her big sister. They took turns comparing how much the girls had grown since their last visit with Tiana. They had story time. D told the story of "Epcot and the Food and Wine."
Had some dancing interludes in Fantasyland
Rode Under the Sea, then took a break in the hub grass. The weather was beautiful and downright pleasant in the shade. The girls took turns being bench-pressed...
Having Friendship Faire interludes...
And playing a very silly game of Duck Duck Goose.
Grabbed lunch at Cosmic Ray's and rode Haunted Mansion. Chelsea came to watch Festival of Fantasy with us in Town Square. Daphne basically stole her fan. And acted like a diva with it.
Monorail was still down. Took a walk over to the Contemporary to grab some food (yay AP 20% holiday discount). Hung out at Contempo Café with Sara and Lauren. The Fab Four waved at the girls from their perches above the lobby. Then Minnie grabbed the girls for a quick hug and picture over at Chef Mickey's. (Thanks for the pics, Amy)
It was so fun. And funny. Such a nice, relaxing afternoon hanging out at the Contemporary.
Said our goodbyes and headed back toward home. Stopped by Lucky's Market on the way to pick up some stuff and they had big pumpkins 3/$10. WHAT?! Done.
Sunday we headed back to Sea World, this time to revisit the Halloween Spooktacular and finally check out the Sesame Street show. Daphne dressed up as one of her favorite monsters, Zoe. Zoe's ballerina costume is, hands down, one of Daphne's favorite outfits ever. And of course, it's thrown together from little pieces found on Amazon Prime. Oh well.
We arrived a little before Amanda and Maddie, so I asked D what she wanted to do first. "STING RAYS!" That's my girl. I could hang out with the sting rays all day.
She even loves watching the little baby sting rays in the nursery.
Went to check out the penguins. Tried to go on the ride and it broke down right as we were about to be loaded. Of course.
Took a lap of Trick or Treating at the Spooktacular. Bubbles everywhere = happy kid.
The girls got to meet a sloth up close.
And got lots of treats, of course. I confess to stealing most of the blue raspberry airheads. I have no shame.
Daphne wanted to pet the sharks this time, no hesitation.
Finally we went to see the Sesame Street Countdown to Halloween show (in the Pets Ahoy theater in the afternoons on Spooktacular weekends). It's. So. Cute. I was pretty die hard for Sesame Street as a kid, and some of these characters might be new to me but the minute I saw Tully my inner 4-year-old freaked out a little. It's very sweet and charming, and Daphne watched the whole show with the biggest grin on her face (often she watches shows with a scowl, like she thinks there will be a test at the end).
The girls were offered the opportunity to stay and meet the cast, and it was just so special and magical. Huge thanks to the management and cast at Sea World for making this happen. The girls got to meet and hug all the cast, then imagine my surprise when Zoe grabbed them each by the hand and marched them up on stage with her onto the set. Part of me flinched, just waiting for my kid to dive on/destroy the prop pumpkins, but they were both on their absolute best behavior.
Thank you, thank you, thank you Sea World and Sesame Street Countdown to Halloween!!!
By then we were all getting hungry to we went to that fajita place in Sea World. Ashley and her friend, Brian, joined us. Daphne, who'd really been showing her turdside for no reason I could see as I tried to get her to sit and eat, suddenly perked up at NEW PEOPLE to play with and finally scarfed down her chicken nuggets. Predictably, food brought about a much improved attitude, and we decided to take another lap through the Spooktacular with our friends. This time, D wanted to stop and chat with the characters, too.
Sea World's costumes are so cool for the Spooktacular. It was mid-afternoon by then, so we opted to be responsible people who go home in time to fix our broken front door knob (our Hurricane Matthew casualty). Hugs to Ashley and Maddie and we were on our way.
D was in full-blown post 4-day-weekend turd mode on Monday. Turd before school. Turd after school. Over all of it. Woke up Tuesday, back to being awesome and sweet. Kid, I'm totally ok will the occasional turd-mode if it only lasts a day rather than weeks at a time, ok?