Torgesen Family Times

{We are trying to enjoy and record the moments that make life special}
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Happy New Year!!!

We are spending New Years Eve at home with the kidlets and Grandma Sandy. What a great way to send off 2012 snd welcome 2013.

The carrots are for the reindeers

Merry Christmas!

Happy Everything

holiday card 2012

Disney World vacation



Let’s just get this on the table – so there is no mistaking… I’m not a Disney lover. 



Hello… Is this thing on?




There – I said it. 


But, I gave it the good ol’ college try and spent a 9 day vacation at Disney World in Orlando Florida.  I’m talking a good solid try.  Last year we went to Disneyland for one day and I was trying to say it was just the circumstances or that particular day that just wasn’t working out. 


But, unfortunately it wasn’t.  It’s just that I’m not a Disney type person, I guess.  I’m more of a Hawaii kind of person. 


I mean no bad feelings at all for Lance for planning this trip.  It was a great trip and he planned everything.  I’m just not a Disney person and if they want to go back – great.  I’ll be at the pool or the beach somewhere.  That’s all I’m saying!


It might have also been HOW we did Disney that was not my style – read the story and you be the judge…




Airplane flight #1 – Seattle to Denver.  Nice flight, kids loved it!  Easy.   One hour layover – fantastic!



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Fight #2 – Denver to Orlando.  Sara’s nap time.  The plane was hot so we took of Sara’s shirt.  She fell asleep and was just too cute!


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Alex loves his drawing right now.  He will look at another picture and deconstruct it and draw it in his journal.  Lots and lots of pictures were drawn on this flight, thank goodness. 


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We arrive in Orlando after a whole day of flying, etc.  It’s midnight (Orlando) time when we get to our hotel.  Kids are jumping around and excited. 



Day 1: Magic Kingdom


Off to the Magic Kingdom, after sleeping in of course!  The magic Kingdom was crowded (it was a Sunday).  We stayed all day this first day.  Stayed for parade and fireworks and everything.  Sara could only go on some rides.  Alex and Lance went on splash mountain and so Alex and I went after that (parent swap).  I got soaked!  

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Apparently I didn’t take any photos of Magic Kingdom that day.  Too busy fighting the crowds, carrying the backpack and/or carrying a kid around. 


Sara and I on the Magic Carpet Ride.

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We enjoyed the pool at the hotel and the kids thought it was a blast.  I can see how in the summer the pool is so refreshing.  We were enjoying the nice weather in the 70’s, but let’s just say that we enjoyed the hot tub really well too.

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Day 2 – Animal Kingdom. 


This was my favorite of all the parks.  I went 3 times! 


Even though we brought a stroller, the kids favorite way of traveling was below.  Sometimes I would do this for them too, but they are heavy little buggers (30-50 lbs)!  I had the backpack most of the time, and sometimes would carry one kid for a short while.  Turns out it doesn’t work so well to have a 2 1/2 year old in the stroller the whole time – doesn’t work that way. 


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Lance had arranged for a Character Lunch – where you eat a nice meal and the characters walk around and meet the kids and take pictures with them.  I actually liked this – it was expensive though.  The food in other parts of the park is crap – fried, salty, overpriced, nasty crap.  The food at the character meals was buffet style with nice variety and good, healthy options. 


Sara was NOT a fan of the characters (only 2 exceptions).  She was not having any of Donald Duck below at the beginning of our Character Lunch at the Tusker House in Animal World/Africa.  Alex loved it!


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Mickey was there!

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Daisy Duck was there!

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Exception #1 – Sara was intrigued enough by Daisy’s eyelashes that she go a tiny bit close.  But, not too close.

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Goofy was there!  (Sara said Goofy was too scary since he was too tall, ~6.5-7’ tall)

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Sara loved the fishes at the Animal Kingdom.  I loved that there were “attractions” that you could just walk around and look at. 


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One of our favorite things about Animal Kingdom was the Expedition Everest ride.  We did the parent swap again (Sara can’t go on it) and I knew it was a roller coaster, and there were probably parts that were in the dark – but I had NO idea that it goes backwards and in the dark.  I was pretty shocked to say the least.  But, it was a fun ride, especially with Alex since he LOVED it and was so enthusiastic about it.  I would make sure before we went that he would hold my hand, and every time – he did. 

DisneyWorld, part II


DisneyWorld, part I found here



I found my other camera’s pictures (my battery died half way through day 2) – and here are other pictures from Animal Kingdom, day 2.  The beloved Dinoland, Dinodig area.  Kids loved it!  Climbing, sliding, all sorts of fun!


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They would go down the slide, and run up the ramp to slide down again and repeat, repeat, repeat.  It was the only place that kids were actually allowed to play around that we could find in all of Disney World.



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To some extent, Animal kingdom is like Disney’s version of a zoo.  We even got to see hippos swimming underwater!


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And the beloved ride – Expedition Everest (in the background)!


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Day 3 – Epcot


There’s not much to say about Epcot.  Sara wanted to go on the monorail, but we didn’t.  Lance and Alex went on some rides, but there wasn’t that many.  We walked “around the world”, but this being day 3 of solid parks – I was tired and I think the kids were too.


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I did take Sara on the finding Nemo ride there, which she LOVED!   It was just these little clamshells that moved through some scenery with animation up on the walls, but Sara thought it was fantastic.  Why Disney thinks they need to through something scary into everything is beyond me though.  There was a scary eel at the end, that I just covered her eyes for a little bit (which she totally let me) and then it was done.  Then, it was like a mini-Aquarium Disney style at the end of the ride.  Sara’s favorite part of all of Epcot was right there.  She loved looking at the big tanks with fish.  She’s probably going to have an aquarium someday – I can tell.


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We were only half way around the world for this picture – but, can you tell we were pretty much done? 


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Day 4: Hollywood studios


I couldn’t take it anymore so I told Lance that I would not go the whole day.  We had a Character breakfast scheduled there, so we went in the morning, and came home by lunchtime-ish.  Sara took a nap, then we spent the afternoon by the pool/hot tub.


The fun part before the gates opened was trying on all the silly hats!


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And then we had the character breakfast with Secret Agent Oso (the panda)

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Sara was not letting him get any closer – she was not having Oso at all!


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And June from Little Einsteins (who Sara thought was Dora the Explorer, but that’s OK – we haven’t really watched the Little Einsteins) so she was even able to come close by and get a picture with her.

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Handy Manny


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And the COOLEST – Jake from Jake and the Neverland Pirates.  Alex is making his pirate face, or at least in the process of making it. 


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We were proud of Sara for telling us what she likes and what she doesn’t like.   She only liked June/Dora and nobody else.  But, she did look cute with some little Mickey ears from the breakfast table.


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We got fastpasses to the Toy Story ride and thankgoodness – the wait was over 60 minutes.   We didn’t wait at all.  Alex loved the 3-D glasses and I scored the high score for our car. 

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I don’t really have that many more pictures from the trip to share.  The lighting was atrocious and I guess we were too busy doing things to take many pictures. 


Day 5 I couldn’t go to a park – I just couldn’t.  I was Disney’ed out.  I stayed at the hotel with Sara and we swam in the pool/hot tub, did laundry and took a nice nap.  Lance and Alex went back to the Magic Kingdom and rode splash mountain 3 times in a row, among other things. 


Day 6 – I got my massage!  Yeah!    But, before that – I took Alex and we went to the Animal Kingdome and Lance and Sara went to the magic kingdom.  Alex and I went at our own pace and just played around.  We saw the Lion King show, the bugs life show, got to talk to lots of stations set up to show kids about animals (and Alex got a cool card to collect all the stamps from all the stations – we almost filled it up!).  I remember Lance making the comment (in a huff) that this was a family vacation, so why are we splitting up?  But, to tell you the truth – we needed some time apart.  The kids were fighting all the time when we were together, Lance was running here and there saying he needed to get this fast pass and go on this ride, and well, after 4 something days of that – I just couldn’t/wouldn’t do that anymore.  I loved my days alone with my kids and had a good time.  I also had a good time all together – it was just a different focus and pace. 


Day 7 – I think we went back to Animal Kingdom together as a family (my 3rd time!) and we did everything all again: Expedition Everest, and this time – Finding Nemo play/musical was open (on the weekend) and Sara LOVED it! 


We went to Downtown Disney a couple of nights for dinner, it was really close to our hotel.  It was only 15 minutes by ferry boat (cool!).  We saw Lego store and rode the carousel.  The hotel had a little playground which the kids liked. 


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Sara wanted to go with brother on the “spinning thing”, thought it was fun until he spun too fast, then not so fun and I had to tell Alex to slow it way down. 


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All in all a fun vacation – but next year?  Hawaii.