Well, I’m now 36. How did that happen? I understand so much better now the phrase that used to make me roll my eyes at older people, “But I don’t feel that old!” It’s true. I wouldn’t say I feel 20, nor would I ever want to be 20 again. There was a lot that was great about it; but there was a lot that wasn’t so great about that phase of life.
These are the good years; I’m sure of it. I just wish they wouldn’t go so dang fast.
Speaking of fast, before I knew it, my birthday weekend has come and gone. I certainly got my fair share of enjoyment out of it, at least.
The fun started on Saturday night when we went to Ravenous Pig with our friends. It was a good excuse to get dressed up, and since Ty of the fashion blog Ty Style Me told me on Thursday night at our Lady Bloggers meetup that I should wear my new boots with dresses, too, I took her advice right away!
E was not impressed. Her first reaction was, “Oh, Mommy, you look fancy,” followed a beat later by, “But that dress would look better with sleeves.”
At least I appear to be spot on with my color selection. My friend Jeannie and I both showed up wearing orange. Any time orange is a hot color is a good time for me (Go ‘Cuse!).
I took no pictures of my dinner, other than this beauty of the amazing gin and jam drink.
Just know that a lot of really amazing food was consumed, and I enjoyed every single bite.
When we got home from dinner, we discovered our two 4-year-olds had a fascinating way of enjoying storytime with their babysitter.
On Sunday, my actual birthday, we slept in a bit and E. woke me with a birthday card. Interestingly, she decided to give me money for my birthday.
Random, but sweet.
Somewhere, there’s a Diet Dr. Pepper with my name on it.
Then, we decided to take advantage of my two favorite parts of January in Florida — PERFECT weather and no crowds at Disney!
On your next birthday, I highly recommend walking around all day with a button on. I can’t tell you how many times I heard throughout the day, “Happy birthday, Jackie!” That’s just good old fun. Of course, E wanted in on the fun, too.
As soon as we walked in, we were greeted with the arrival of some unusual characters part of this year’s Limited Time Magic Promotions. The week was dubbed Long Lost Friends Week and it highlighted some costumes from the ’70s, such as the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf; Scrooge McDuck; Ludwig Von Drake; the Robin Hood crew; Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and Geppetto and Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar.
I really wanted a picture with the Three Little Pigs. They just feel so quintessentially old school Disney, but their line was always way too long. We made due.
And since E. is such a character hugger, we had to keep waiting for her to make her rounds before we could take the pic.
After we got that out of the way, we enjoyed our relatively crowd-free day at Magic Kingdom. One of our priorities was to FINALLY eat at the new Be Our Guest restaurant in the New Fantasyland.
There are definitely a lot of amazing design features, including snoring suits of armor; falling snow outside the windows in the main ballroom; a dark and gloomy Beast’s West Wing, complete with the magic rose and mirror; a life-size dancing Belle and Beast and fun little touches everywhere.
We arrived at about 10:30 and only had to wait about 10 or 15 minutes to place our order on the touch-screens. The way they track you via your magic rose to bring lunch to you, no matter which of the three rooms you choose, is pretty awesome. Our food arrived within a minute of us sitting down.
Since we’d had such a big meal the night before, DadJovi and I stuck with salads. He got the quinoa salad and I got the tuna nicoise salad, which had a perfectly poached egg on top and some delicious champagne vinaigrette. The roasted golden beets in DadJovi’s quinoa salad were also pretty great.
Clearly the lighting was terrible, but you get the idea. They were great.
After our early lunch, we leisurely walked around. We found some old friends.
These lovely ladies are one of my favorite character meet-and-greets. For starters, they’re so D-List that they don’t even warrant their own official Disney photographer (at least not that I’ve ever seen). And secondly, they think I’m hilarious.
When we needed a break, we decided to hit the People Mover. DadJovi had an ulterior motive — he is DESPERATELY trying to
bribe convince E. to ride Space Mountain now that she’s tall enough. It’s not working, but the People Mover came as close as we’ve come since it goes right through Space Mountain. We think one of her friends must have told her it’s scary; it makes no sense that she won’t go on it. She rides Thunder Mountain, the Haunted Mansion and Mission: Space, all three of which are faster and more intense than Space Mountain.
And for those of you who think E always smiles in photos, here’s just a glimpse of what it sometimes takes to get a keeper.
Given the light crowds, we even got into the line for one of E’s favorite rides, the Jungle Cruise. 15 minute line FTW!
It’s all due to her all-consuming obsession with elephants right now. She practically squealed when we got to the elephant bathing area, even though she’s been on the ride about 50 times.
We left by mid-afternoon. But on our way out, there was time for a refueling stop at the Polynesian.
That, my friends, is my new poison. It’s called a Skinny Coconut Mojito and it contains: Skinnygirl Coconut Vodka, coconut water, mint, fresh lime juice and agave nectar. MUST.RECREATE.AT.HOME.ASAP. So good and refreshing, without being so sickeningly sweet like most mojitos.
While I enjoyed my view, E. enjoyed frolicking in the sand and made new friends.
DadJovi told me his parents used to always stop there on their way out of Magic Kingdom for a drink before heading home and I now understand why. It’s like an instant vacation, even if it only lasted for 20 minutes. I was so relaxed that I didn’t even cringe when I heard E yell, “Look, Mommy, I’m making sand angels!”
And just when I thought there couldn’t be any more fun, DadJovi stopped at Whole Foods to get stuff to make for dinner and that night, my cousin-in-law Jen snuck onto our lawn and left me a birthday surprise — a front yard full of pinwheels!
That’s worth getting up for the morning after your birthday.
And now, we have two weeks to prepare for E’s 5th birthday. Seriously, time. SLOW DOWN!
Were you afraid of roller coasters as a kid? What are the most fun birthday surprise decorations you’ve ever received? I need some fun ideas for E’s birthday!
That drink sounds amazing!! Once you perfect the recipe you should post it. 🙂 I love the tissue paper balls by Martha Stewart, they look like big poof balls and they are super easy to make…but they look so fun and fancy! When in doubt, check out Pinterest. 🙂
Oh, that’s a good idea. Why didn’t I think to check Pinterest. Duh! I’ll definitely look up those Martha tissue poof balls! Thanks for the idea!
And I will keep everyone posted when I finally get around to trying to concoct my own skinny mojito!
That looks like an absolutely wonderful birthday weekend!
I’m totally jealous of your Disney outing – I’ve been begging my husband to go for weeks now…but the party pooper has been sick for FOUR WEEKS and a day in the parks would likely kill him at this point. So our next scheduled trip over there is when all of the crowd-less days are gone – the weekend of the Princess half and the Daytona 500. Wish me luck. I still need to check out New Fantasy Land and I just might add a stop at the Polynesian to our “we have to do this while we’re there” list.
Ugh, I’ve had this lingering cold, too, which is why we haven’t been going too often lately. But it’s just so great to go when the crowds are smaller. I haven’t checked EasyWDW but perhaps it won’t be too bad that weekend. I know it gets packed for President’s Day but you might be OK.
I like, not love, the New Fantasyland. And even if you don’t eat there, I think you can pop into Be Our Guest just to check it out. By the time we were leaving lunch at about 11:15 the line to get in was already 45 minutes long (at least). The Storytime With Belle is awesome but since it opened, I’ve never seen the line be shorter than 60 minutes so we’ve only done it that one time during our passholder preview event. But it’s all fun to walk around, especially Gaston’s Tavern!
And yes, add the Polynesian to that list. I can’t believe I’d never been back to the beach area. It’s great and you can even see the Castle and Space Mountain from that beach. It’d be a good spot to watch fireworks!
A belated Happy Birthday to you! I think you’re inspiring me to head to Disney for my own birthday in two weeks? Are you free February 8? Otherwise it might just be a solo trip! 🙂
Oooooh, maybe! That’s E’s birthday weekend, too. We’re going to Hoop Dee Doo Revue on Saturday but a trip out there on Friday might in order to celebrate you both. I’ll let you know asap!
My first roller coaster was the Big Bad Wolf at Bush Gardens Williamsburg when I was 13. It scared me so much that I didn’t ride another roller coaster until I was 18. I then did a 180 and became addicted to them. My favorite is Superman at Six Flags Georgia which is a flying coaster like Manta her at Sea World.
It wasn’t my birthday but my favorite one so far is the Pirate room at Caribbean Beach for lil man’s birthday last year. I think I liked the room more than he did. 🙂
Have you seen that someecard that was going around recently that said something like, “I’m 30 but I feel like I’m 20. Until I hang out with 20 year olds and then I feel like I’m 30.” That’s exactly how I feel (well, if I was 30 and not 34, but same thing.)
Yes, that is EXACTLY how I feel! That sums it up exactly.
Happy birthday! Belated, that is. 35 is fast approaching me, and I feel as though it’s officially an “adult” age. That maybe I need to reconsider my Roxy and Billabong clothing and trade them in for more sophisticated name brands. Nevertheless, the boots and skit look great on you — keep it up, fashionista, you!
ha! Hardly a fashionista but I’ll take it. It’s funny you say that because I had the same thought the other day about my near-exclusive Old Navy wardrobe. I’m going back to my college at the end of the month for a big reunion and of course, I’m already stressing about clothes. I don’t know where to shop other than Old Navy but I feel it’s probably time to graduate some, you know? At least for SOME, if not all, occasions.
And yes, there is something very adult sounding about the mid-30s. I don’t like it!
i loved loved LOVED this post. i was never afraid of roller coasters. i always wanted to be more grown up than i was. i hated being too short for the coasters. we went to busch gardens all the time and one time i got in line for the python with my family. it was almost the end of the day. i was definitely NOT tall enough by at least an inch or so but i walked up to the height thing OBVIOUSLY on my tiptoes. the girl running the checks just looked at me and laughed and said “ohhh just go ahead” and i did. never looked back. my dad took me on roller coaster vacations to worlds of fun, king’s island, and cedar point in my tween years. GLORIOUS.
I was never afraid of them either. I grew up going to Busch Gardens, Disney and in my hometown, there’s an amusement park called Dorney Park with pretty decent roller coasters. Fun fact: my first job was at Dorney Park and I worked there every summer of high school!
You know what’s funny though — I’ve lived in Florida for nearly 10 years and I’ve STILL never been to the Busch Gardens here; only the one in Virginia.
Here’s what you can do when Daphne gets to that close-but-not-quite there height — cowboy boots. They got E. on Splash Mountain, Thunder Mountain and Star Tours when she was ALMOST there. Oh, and my cousins have used the old toilet paper under the heels in the shoes trick!!
I’ve heard of Cedar Point but not the other two places. Sounds like fun. The saddest part of getting older is that as much as I LOVE roller coasters, I get soooo sick on most of them now. I know. I’m ashamed of myself too.
Jocelyn | ScooterMarie says
Happy belated birthday, Jackie!! It sounds like you had a great celebration. That yard of pinwheels is awesome!
P.S. I triple love your new boots!
P.P.S. I almost barfed when I saw E making a sand angel. Hahaha! 🙂
I am kind of jealous you got to see all of those old characters!
And you looked stunning for the blogger meet up. I love those colors, and that outfit looks amazing on you!
LOVE the pinwheels! That’s amazing. Glad you liked the Beast’s castle ~ we’re going in October so I’m reading up on your blog! 🙂