Disney Cruise – Review

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We had a great time with our awesome friends and the weather was beautiful – mid-70s without a drop of rain! All of that combined made the trip a great time but we were highly disappointed in the Disney cruise experience. Minus the Pirate night and the live Toy Story show, the rest was pretty sub-par, especially compared with the Royal Caribbean experiences we’ve had before.

Some of the low-lights:

  • Waiters were rude and gave no special attention to Terak. I was looking forward to some interaction as I’ve heard that’s one of the perks of a Disney cruise  – kids who are entertained! He got a coloring sheet which we’d go over each evening but that was about it. Thankfully he enjoyed his dinners and the food did come very fast but other than that, we weren’t impressed.
  • Food was pretty bad. Two of the nights I didn’t even eat my dinner! I’m not that picking and I was definitely hungry.
  • Pools were small and overcrowded.
  • The buffet wasn’t open all the time so we had to settle for yucky pool food twice.
  • Ship rocked too much so I felt nauseous much of the time.
  • Someone drowned at Castaway Cay.
  • If you didn’t go to the evening show, there was very little that we found to do otherwise.

Some of the high-lights:

  • Beautiful weather
  • Castaway Cay was beautiful – a true island oasis
  • Stateroom was nice
  • Ship was very clean
  • Drink service was good
  • Key West was fun – rented a buggy to see the island
  • Lots of fun laughs with B&A
  • Pirate Night was very fun – felt like a big party

So… overall it was a fun time but I think I’m just done with cruises in general. I just want to fly somewhere and say on land for my vacation and explore that way. Cruises feel a little rushed. Not feeling well the day your in port? You miss is completely. Not very fun.

2014 Parents Fall Visit

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My parents decided to pay us a quick September fall visit this year since we have travel plans in October which is when they usually visit.

We kept our Friday normal so that T could go to preschool. My parents enjoyed seeing his school and watching him on the playground before we picked him up.

On Saturday, we spent the day at Marker-Miller apple orchard in Winchester. T played on the playset, we picked apples, ate some donuts, rode the wagon ride and headed out. We had a nice time and ended the evening at El Sol Azteca in Ashburn.

We hung around the house on Sunday as we needed to prep for the week and keep things fairly low-key.

2014 Parents Fall Visit (All Photos)

Hotel Lorien/Spa Day

Girl’s Spa Day/Night Out at the Hotel Lorien. We enjoyed a day at the spa with lunch at La Fromagerie followed by an evening out at RedRocks pizzeria, La Tasca and at Murphy’s Irish Pub.

Preschool, Lake Anne and Chalkfest

I’ve been trying to do a much better job documenting our life in addition to making sure we stay active and out of the house on the weekends. This week and weekend satisfied both goals.

The first big event of the week was T starting preschool. We had been talking about it for months so I think T was sick of discussing it and just wanted to get on with it! He did great at drop off and continued to have a great week. I’m very proud of him and am so very thankful he did so well last week.

With my new schedule, I have a couple of hours available on Friday afternoon’s to relax and rejuvenate. This Friday, I decided to check out Lake Anne, browse around the Reston Used Book store and chill at the Bean Bar in Leesburg. It was a great way to spend an afternoon and I look forward to many more of those afternoons in the future. It recharged me for the weekend.

On Saturday, we took a family outing to Reston to see Chalkfest. It was a local public arts project where artists, amateurs and families colored on the sidewalk with chalk. We had lunch at Vapiano’s and then wandered around the center looking at art. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more art but maybe next year more people will attend.

New Dresser/Gallery Wall for Terak’s Room

New Dresser/Gallery Wall for Terak

New Dresser/Gallery Wall for Terak's Room

We’ve been updating Terak’s room over the past couple of weeks and I finally had the chance to take some photos after we finalized the gallery wall today.

We started the update by converting his DaVinci crib from the baby bed to a toddler bed, getting a new mattress and updating the bedding. Once that was complete, it was time to get rid of the old changing table/dresser combo and get him a new dresser. I took the chance to scour craigslist and found a nice $100 Bassett dresser for sale, waiting to be painted! The dresser was in great condition, so I repainted it, drilled new holes for hardware, and viola, a new shiny red dresser. I am very pleased with how it turned out. I used Behr’s primer + paint and was pleased with how nicely the paint took.

The next update was adding a mirror above the dresser, which I grabbed from Target. Since we’re very nautical in his room, I found a cute porthole mirror that went along great with the rest of the room theme. We added that at the beginning of the week and then added some photos around the mirror just today. Progress and updates below.

New Dresser/Gallery Wall for Terak's Room

New Dresser/Gallery Wall for Terak's Room

New Dresser/Gallery Wall for Terak's Room

New Dresser/Gallery Wall for Terak's Room

2014 Visit to Cedar Point


My parents have been wanting to meet us a Cedar Point for a while now but Terak has been on the young side and we didn’t want to make the additional trip north with him. However, it worked out this fall as he is a little older and was ready for some of the rides. We drove the 7 hours on Thursday, visited the park Friday, hung around the campground on Saturday and drove back on Sunday. We had a nice time and Terak enjoyed himself thoroughly. He even rode his first rollercoaster!

View Cedar Point Photos

2014 Loudoun County Fair

I’ve been wanting to check out the Loudoun County Fair since we’ve moved to Virginia 14 years ago and especially since we moved to Leesburg a year ago, since the fair is in Loudoun County. The price to get in was steep ($15/pp) and usually the weather is a huge deterrent or we are vacationing in Michigan. This year, however, the weather was decent (82 degrees) enough that I didn’t keel over walking so we decided to check it out. Taking back roads, it only took us 15 minutes to get there/back. We arrived around 3:30 and enjoyed the fair experience until about 6. They had rides, fair food, 3 barns full of animals, a petting zoo, bouncy jumpers, tractors and annoying vendors. It was just the right size and the crowds were tame, plenty of room to roam.Terak enjoyed the petting zoo and was brave enough to go through the bouncy course with other kids. My little guy is growing up! He also wanted to ride his very first amusement park ride so he rode a bright and shiny red tractor. He loved it so much he rode a hummer vehicle ride next. We then toured the barn full of animals and ended our evening with overpriced, not very tasty fair food which is always a requirement! As we were leaving, we bought a 12 pack of mini donuts that were fresh from the deep fryer. Overall, a lovely fair experience.
2014 Loudoun County Fair

View all 2014 Loudoun County Fair Photos