Trip Report 2012: Day 3

Hey-oh! Left ya hanging, didn’t I? But aren’t you just so excited to read about Day 3?

Uh-huh. Thought so.

Day 3, according to the itinerary, was a (bum-buda-BUM!) pool day! Whoop! That just means that it was one of the least planned days we had. We had a couple non-negotiables, but for the most part, it was do-whatcha-feel-like kind of a day.

We started out by sleeping until we woke up, which is going to be awesome in about 15 years when we have to drag our kids out of bed, but for now that means we didn’t set our phone alarms. We just let our human alarms do the inevitable. So hello 7:00am, at least we were in WDW!

We still played by the same NMR rules, but just took it a little slower. Jack got to eat his morning oatmeal out on the balcony. Oh how we came to looooove that balcony!Good morning, Wilderness Lodge!After we took our time getting ready and bummed around the resort a bit, we headed over to the Polynesian for our 9:30 reservation at the Kona Cafe. We met up with my folks in the lobby……where Jack found lots of joy in lining up the kiddie stools near check-in. We were more than a little early for our reservation, so Tim went ahead and asked if we could check-in. They said they could make no promises and handed him a pager. He seriously didn’t get a chance to walk over to tell us the news when the pager went off. Nice.Aaand in case you didn’t notice the hair in the above picture, this was the day that I decided to never wear my hair down in the Florida humidity. Ever. Again. It only got bigger from there…much bigger. And frizzy.

As for the food {if you even care, after that enthralling hair anecdote} well I had the pancakes with bacon, while Tim and Jack shared the Big Kahuna. My dad had the same {Big Kahuna! Man’s breakfast! Roar!}, my mom had the Tonga Toast, and Hannah got the pancakes, just like her big sis…at least I think she did.

{Tonga Toast: Banana-stuffed french toast, covered in cinnamon sugar. Comes with a strawberry compote and side of bacon, sausage, or ham.}

Overall our breakfast was…meh. We really do love Kona and usually end up recommending it to people over Ohana. However, this time we had a pretty terrible waitress. She was absent most of the meal, we had to ask other wait staff for refills and extra napkins, and it took forever for us to get the bill. And sitting at a table with a 2-year-old who has already cleaned his plate, with nothing to do but wait for the bill is no fun. Who can blame him? Even I was bored! Ah well, at least the food was tasty. I just love breakfast foods!

After giving our over-stuffed stomachs a stretch and a pat, we all headed back to the Wilderness Lodge, changed into our suits {the swimming kind, not the fancy kind} and went for a dip.Jack even decided he wanted to go down the slide! I was really nervous about that one. They don’t allow more than one person down the slide at a time, so sitting in mine or Tim’s lap was out of the question. I don’t know if you’ve ever been down that slide, but although it’s not super high, it’s pretty fast, and a person of not much weight can really get thrown on those banks in the turns. I saw a few 7-year-olds come down looking wild-eyed and shaking their heads no on an offer to go again, so I figured Jack would be toast. Tonga Toast. Or drowned. But he wanted to go, so Grandaddy took him to the top. Tim and I waited at the bottom. I kept shrilling yelling up at my dad, “Tell him to sit up! Tell him to sit up!” {Advice given last minute from the on-duty life-guard. “They tend to spin and flip if they lay down.” he said. Oh okay, great!}

I guess the light turned green, signaling the previous slider had swam out of the danger zone, because my dad stooped down behind the rocks and then popped back up giving a thumbs up. Tim held his hands out in front, like a catcher at the plate, and I stared down the last 5ft of the slide expecting the worse.

Good thing, because what I quickly saw looked bad. Feet. All I saw were feet. Maybe a hand flailing. All up in the air like kites caught in a wind tunnel. Tim caught hold of something and pulled Jack up out of the water. His eyes looked like he’d seen the Holy Ghost on the way down, then seeing Tim’s smiling face, he broke out in a squealing laugh.

Shaow! He made it out alive, praise Jesus!

Jack kept saying, “Das fuuun,” but he refused to go back for a second go…to which I was relieved. We opted for lunch at Roaring Fork next, instead. Chicken nuggets and flatbread pizzas all around.
Cole took the liberty of letting us know that it was time for a nap, so after lunch we put the boys down and my mom, sister, and I sat out on our balcony painting our toenails while the men stayed at the pool bar to watch some football.

After the boys woke up from their nap, I insisted on us renting a surrey. And when I insist on something, people usually give in to avoid seeing passive aggressive dramatics ooze out of me. That’s bad. I know. I need to work on that one. However, in my defense, afterward everyone agreed that renting that surrey was the most fun thing we’ve done in Disney in years. You see, us Disney goers can get stuck in a rut of doing things that we like, and we know we will like, over and over and over again. Knowing that we go often, people always ask us why we keep going if we’ve done everything…”doesn’t that get old?” To which I always tell them that we are nowhere near having done everything WDW has to offer! Tim and I have recently made a pact to do something new and different every trip. This surrey ride was my making sure we did that!

We had a BLAST! The rental was $22 for half an hour, but ohmigoodness, we’d do it again and again. The lady said the path was a little under two miles. It was secluded and quiet and beautiful. We spent the first 15 minutes laughing and singing The Happy Wanderer and Country Roads at the top of our lungs.

Then I spotted a deer, well a doe to be exact.

“Brake!” I yelled. We stopped and stared for a good few minutes. So gorgeous. One of those beautiful moments that makes you get all goose-bumpy. Jack was entranced, and as we peddled on Tim and I told him how God made the world and God made that deer and God made him and, “Isn’t God so cool?! He made everything! All that we see was His idea!”

“Mommy, I wanna see baby deer!” Jack chirped up.

“Well, I don’t know, bug. I can’t make a baby deer come by. You’re going to have to ask God for that one.”

We peddled along in silence for only a minute or two and about 50ft ahead another doe stepped right onto the bike path. Nobody had to holler stop because we all saw it and Tim yanked back on the hand brake. We all stared and “Awww”-ed, and as the doe disappeared into the brush on the left, a baby deer followed her, stopping shortly to stretch it’s neck and give a curious gaze our way.

“A baby deer!” Several of us gasped. For the next few minutes we all yabbed over each other to Jack, “See, Jack? God heard your prayer! God sent that baby deer just for you! Did you see that baby deer, Jack? You just asked for a baby deer!” I think my mom even teared up a bit. We peddled on, slowing briefly by the place where the deer crossed to watch them glance back at us and then trot off deeper into the woods. It was amazing. And such a testament to the faith by which my family holds to so unswervingly. God is real. He’s a big God, but He’s a God with such abundant love for his children that He answers even the 2-year-old simple prayer of, “I wanna see baby deer!” That’s how much God loves us, folks. And by us, I mean you. Maybe some call it coincidence. I call it divine. Maybe divine coincidence. Orchestrated by a magnanimous Creator.

Upon returning our beloved red surrey, Jack asked to now take a ride on the blue one. Although we had to say no, we vowed to do it again. It just might be a new Elrod must-do. I would like to rent one at the Boardwalk someday. By this time, it was what us southern folk call suppertime, so we headed back to the Roaring Fork {we kind of like that place} for some more barbeque sandwiches…and maybe an ice cream sandwich or two.The plan was then to boat over to the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds for Mickey’s Campfire Sing-Along. We were all prepared. Remember; we even brought enough s’mores for whoever wanted some’more! {No, that wasn’t a typing error, that was me trying to be clever. Did it work?}

Well, things don’t always turn out just like you planned. First off, by the time we got to the campgrounds, Cole was getting a little grouchy, as it was approaching his bedtime. Secondly, we had made the not-so-wise decision to leave the stroller behind. Third of all, upon arriving to the boat dock, we realized that the Meadow {where the sing-along takes place} was a mile away from where our flip-flopped feet were standing!

ARGH! Who planned this? Who thought this was a good idea?! All eyes landed on me.


Oh well. Just saving one of those new experiences for next time.

Jack played on the play ground. We wandered around a gift shop. My sister coveted a $50 River Country Vinylmation. Then we caught a boat back home, our big box ‘o s’mores in the crook of our arm. We ended up eating them in our room on our bed. The boys thought it was just as fun.
Cole even tasted his first ever graham cracker. We stretched the 9-month-old eating rules for vacation.He loved it. I mean, look at him!Okay, he was really just blinking, but I thought it was hilarious. He looks drunk. Sugar drunk.

You see, us Elrods know how to make a little magic out of the everyday. In Disney, it’s even easier.

I think making bedtime s’mores may be a tradition we start up even at home, because there is nothing better than cuddling up with the ones you love most with some chocolate, graham crackers, and some regrettably un-roasted marshmallows.

Mmm-mmm good.

With love, Malorie

2 thoughts on “Trip Report 2012: Day 3

  1. Mal, truly all of your posts are so fun and informational to read, but this one cracked me up! You know just how to pull us right into the moment, whether it be good, bad or a moment divinely delivered. I can’t wait to get there (27 days!) with Ryan to experience some of that Disney magic that will stay with us for a life time.
    Hugs and smooches to you all.
    Aunt V.

  2. Pingback: Trip Report 2012: Day 7 « Elrods Go Disney

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