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Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Costume Party 2011

We hosted an awesome party on Saturday night with our good friends Katy Perry and Russell Brand.

When I say "host" I mean Mary and Mike did all the work and David and I just added our names to the invitations.

That's us - Joan from "Mad Men" and Indiana Jones.

Mary and Mike did the party up right.

I loved the tables and centerpieces!

These pumpkins are so cute!  I'm making some next year.

I loved how these two were kind of looking at each other :)

Mary even created parting treat bags.

Even Sox and Beans got in on the party!
And look at their awesome Boston Terrier pumpkin!

Everyone came in costume!
Here's a prom queen and a Knight.

Even Alton Brown showed up!

And a "lady" and his kitty cat
This lady really creeped David out :)

And Orchids and Onions (a feature in our local paper)

Sweet friends (and a creepy Russel Brand) 

And angel and kitty

An angel and devil

I dyed my hair red for the occasion and splurged to get an updo.
The ladies at the salon surprised me with awesome fake lashes (which also creeped David out).
But he liked the hair.

The hair was fantastic!  Thanks Leah!
At the salon pre-lashes

I did not take nearly enough photos of all of our guests, I was too busy enjoying the festivities.
So much fun to celebrate Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Exhibition Protocol Community of Tomorrow - Orland Part 3

Our first Disney experience!
We chose Epcot because it sounded like it was the kind of theme park we would really enjoy.
The boys have never wanted to go see the Castle or meet all the characters.
But Epcot is like a giant Children's Museum and that's right up our alley!

We enjoyed all the rides at Epcot.
I was really impressed with the first one we did inside the giant sphere - Spaceship Earth.
It was really cool!

We took the boat cruise in The Land attraction and saw neat greenhouses and fish farms.

In addition we went to the Innoventions buildings and did a Journey into Imagination with Figment.

Our favorite rides were:

Soarin'- "Feel the exhilarating rush of this free-flying hang gliding adventure"  Really great!
Mission:  SPACE - "Tap into your inner astronaut as you blast into space without leaving Earth"  Very well done.
Test Track - "Board a GM vehicle on the longest, fastest attraction in Disney history"  Fast and fun!

What I liked about Epcot was that all the rides were adventurous without being overly frightening.  We could all ride together and not miss out.

I don't purposefully make Brennan face the sun in all these photos!  Oops.
We're rocking our First Time Visit pins and all the stickers we got.

After all the rides we headed to the World Showcase for several snacks/mini-meals.

The boys in Canada.

Thomas in the U.K.

The U.K. again
(I'm reading Pride and Prejudice and The Rose and Crown is the inn that Elizabeth Bennett and her aunt/uncle are staying at when they visit Pemberley) <-- Austen geek

Two adorable little girls getting their photo taken/autograph with Alice in Wonderland.
The boys and I all thought this was Snow White or Sleeping Beauty.
David had no clue.
A 4 year old girl corrected us.
We're really not Disney experts.
I asked the boys if they wanted their photo with her (knowing the answer) and they said:
Thomas:  "I'm not waiting in that line.  There are 6 people waiting."
Brennan:  "I don't even know who she is or why someone would want their picture taken with her!"
Clearly the Disney experience is slightly lost on my crew.

From the U.K. looking across the Channel into France.





We had a delicious meal of bratwurst and sauerkraut in Germany.
Really delicious!

This was one of my favorite areas.
We really enjoyed the Maelstrom Viking boat voyage and the delicious Scandinavian desserts.



Mariachis were getting ready to play when we toured Mexico.
The boys have heard Mariachis when we lived in Mexico, but not this up close and personal.

The International Food and Wine festival was going on at Epcot while we were there and that made the World Showcase area really crowded.
But it was a beautiful day and we really enjoyed our visit to Epcot.
The rides were fantastic!
And now we can say we've been to Disney!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Orlando Fall Break Part 2

We had a great trip to Orlando for our Fall Break. 
I shared with you where we stayed yesterday, and today am sharing loads of photos from Harry Potter World.

We're a big Harry Potter family (as you probably already know) so when the Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened up in Orlando, I suddenly got more interested in a possible trip there.

As I said, we had not visited the theme parks in Orlando before, so as I started planning I realized WWHP is inside Universal Islands of Adventure.  Awesome. 
We spent a day there and had a great time.

So settle back with your cup of coffee for a world of photos.

We knew from various reports that Harry Potter World gets busy so we headed there straight away.

At the entrance to Hogsmeade and you can see Station 9 and 3/4

The buildings in Hogsmeade were so well done - very realistic!

Brennan's taking our visit with the Hogwarts Express conductor very seriously.

Honeydukes Sweets Shop.
Thomas got a chocolate frog and Brennan got a bottle of pumpkin juice.

Zonko's Joke Shop

With a sales person inside Zonko's

I lined up for a Butter Beer (psst. not really beer)

It was David's birthday!

Here is Howart's Castle!
We went on the ride there and it was fantastic - maybe my favorite ride on our trip.

After Harry Potter World we headed to Poseidon's Fury - a very cool attraction.

And, finally, Brennan got to visit Seuss Landing!
He is a huge Dr. Seuss fan.

We did all the rides and activities there.

Posing with Sam I Am.

They loved this playground area in Seuss Landing.

Then on to Toon Lagoon.
Thomas used to be a huge Fantastic 4 fan so had to get a photo.

Thomas and David did the Spider Man ride while Brennan and I walked all around.

They knew who Popeye was but had no idea about Sweet Pea or Olyve Oil, etc.

Thomas and I did one of the water rides and got absolutely soaked.

Then on to Jurassic Park which was really well done as well.

A really great day at Universal's Islands of Adventure!