The Excellent Adventures of Kim and Kev

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Extreme Couponing

Last week I got $171.68 worth of groceries.

For $81.77.

I saved $89.91.

More than I spent.


And now you know where I have been the past two weeks. Couponing trumped blogging.

And I am FINALLY ready to tell my tale of having fun and saving money.

It all started when I was born. ( and yes, I'm going to take you back that far. It is necessary)

I was born with a coupon in my mouth. Instead of a silver spoon.

I was born in to a family of money savers. Thrifty. Penny Pinching. Practical folks.

My Mom was a pro at stretching a dollar. Which ensured that all eight of us lived a VERY comfortable life. Full of adventure and fun.

We went on amazing trips. We saw amazing sights. We practically grew up in Walt Disney World.

And thankfully her savings helped me to get my bow legs repaired and my buck teeth fixed.

Otherwise I would probably not be blogging right now as I would be an attraction at the circus.

Anyway, my point is this: I rebelled. It's what I do best.

I did not like saving money. I loved name brand things. I HATED coupons.

And so, I spent my teenage/early adult/older adult/and current OLD adult life spending money "like it grew on trees"

And then we bought our dream home. So, I calmed down a little. And I switched from Publix to Food Lion.

Every once in a while.

And I depended on Kev to figure it all out. To plan for our future.

And Kev would say:

" You know... there are these things called coupons. And they save money"

or " There is a website you can go to that will help you save money on groceries"

or " I will help you clip coupons if you are interested"

or " Please stop blowing our retirement fund"

And I would turn up the volume on the song playing in my head. And nod at him with glazed over eyes.

And would hope that he would never bring it up again.

But then one fine Spring evening, I had dinner with Kelly and Sarah. And they suddenly made it so cool to clip coupons and save money.

Like really the coolest.thing.ever.

So, I went to the website they told me about - And I registered for a class.

And my life will never be the same again. EVER.

Because I learned SO much in that class. It was worth every single second that I spent there that evening. And the $10.00 I paid to attend has paid for itself 100 times over.

For instance: Last week I received the following for FREEEEEE!

2 gallons of milk, 2 pints of blueberries, 4 boxes of ziploc freezer bags, 2 bottles of Aveeno shampoo, 2 bottles of Aveeno conditioner, 2 boxes of tea, 2 boxes of reflux medication and 2 Dijourno pizzas.

Just in ONE week.

And now to answer a couple of your questions... because I'm sure you are wondering..

1. Was it difficult to hand over coupons to the cashier? Yes. I was SO nervous and anxious the first time I went in to Publix. I think I was shaking. And I only bought ONE item. Because for some reason I was afraid they wouldn't take my coupon. But they did. And were so friendly about it. I called Kev the minute I walked out and told him how much I had just saved us. And he said "FINALLY!"

2. Doesn't it take a lot of time to "coupon"? Yes. I would say I spent about 6-8 hours getting ready for last week's purchases. But.... a. I'm treating it like a part-time job. and b. once I get every thing figured out and I'm in a routine, it will not take as much time.

3. But you LOVE to cook. Does couponing ruin your all time favorite hobby? Not at the moment. Because instead of making a grocery list around what I want to cook, I make the list around what the best deals are ( tip from Kelly). I'm still getting to shop at Publix which has the best quality meats and vegetables. I also have a VERY well stocked pantry with lots of spices and "accessories" for sprucing up my meals. And it is summer. I don't cook as much in the summer because I would rather be swimming. Or eating ice cream.

4. Aren't you loyal to certain brands? Well, yes. Kind of. I thought we would have a harder time of it than we have. We are usually VERY specific on what type of bread, meat, yogurt, pizza, etc. that we eat. But for the sake of savings, we have tried some other brands and have liked every thing so far. Except for eggs. I have an issue with eggs and I need them to be as organic as possible. I am willing to meet half way, though. And use Eggland's Best. It is the least I can do.

5. Do you always wear a swimsuit when you are swimming alone in your secluded back yard? I'll never tell. Just don't show up unannounced. It's best for the both of us.

6. Will you ever pay full price again? NO WAY!! Unless Kev demands some thing that is not on a deal. I have been taught to plan ahead - so, I stock up when the price is right and hopefully we won't have to splurge on any thing - because we won't run out.

7. What's for dinner tonight? 2 1/2 lbs of London Broil that I have been cooking in the crock pot all day with onions and gravy and mushrooms and egg noodles and rolls. All for $7.50. And it will last us for three meals. Thankyouverymuch.

8. Will this post ever end? Yes. In just a minute.

Mom - I know this post makes you soooo happy.
Kelly - I can't wait to see you again so we can trade stories and ideas. Thanks so much for all the info.
Rebecca - I crossed over to the dark side. My curiosity always seems to do that to me.
Kevin - I really want a red Kitchen Aid mixer and a super duper Canon SLR camera with a cool lens. Oh.. and a miniature pony with pink bows in her hair.
Melissa - I hope you will still be my friend.

So, that's about it folks. I'm officially a couponer. And I'm proud of it. And am looking forward to all the cool shoes I can buy with my savings.

The End.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Eat Mor Chikin

At least that is what the cows say.

The cows that work at Chick-Fil-A.

Does any one else think that cows working at a fast food joint is weird?

Except for Chick-Fil-A is not a fast food joint in my book. The book that says fine dining is a place that:

1. Has Diet Dr. Pepper ( it is harder to find than you think).

2. Has free refills on Diet Dr. Pepper.

3. Is fast, courteous, efficient, and delicious.

4. Has a FULL BLOWN scrumptious menu. A menu that I have eaten and loved every single thing off of. ( at most places - I usually only like one thing on the menu and that is the ONLY thing I ever order ie: McDonalds chicken nuggets, Sonic burger with mayo, Bojangles cajun fillet biscuit, and Taco Bell. Except for I can and usually eat every thing off of their menu at one time. Their portions are small - you know. I can't help it.)

( But I can help how long my sentence "in parenthesis" statement ends up being. I just choose not to)

5. Am I really typing all the reasons I love Chick-Fil-A. I sound like some kind of fast food junkie. And that might be grounds for rehab.

6. They give you sunflower seeds for your salad.

7. They say "my pleasure" when you thank them for your food. Try saying that without smiling. It's impossible.

8. CHICK-FIL-A SAUCE. Enough said.

9. Some body needs to call 911. I've taken this too far.

Moving on....

On Monday, June 7th, Chick-fil-a launched it's NEW SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH.

That is what I call an event. And events should be treated with respect. With the right clothing, the right attitude, and the perfect amount of enthusiasm in conversation that a proper Southern girl is allowed.

Except... I ain't proper.

So, we went all out. We being ME and CHELSEA G. My friend from work.

We had been anticipating this sandwich for a long time. So, we chose ( I forced her with threatening texts) to dress in black and white ( like cows) to commemorate this incredible day.

Now I LOVE me some spicy foods. Just LOVE them! And I go out of my way to try things that may or may not burn the lining of my stomach. So, when I saw this....

I knew I was about to get a party in my mouth. And my belly.

I was frenzied with excitement.

Thank goodness that Chick-fil-A is right around the corner from my store. I don't think I could have walked any farther with the spicy sandwich in my hand without losing my composure and lady like appearance.

( My heart is beating so fast just thinking about it)

Back at the office...

And yes, this lunch required THREE chick-fil-a sauces. You have to dip your sandwich as well as your fries. It's a rule.
Chelsea chose Ranch for her dipping pleasure. And said it was just as good.
Taking the FIRST bite....

And she gives it a thumbs up...

And then falls madly in love with it....

And then the moment we have ALL been waiting for.....

And OH.MY.WORD! Did I ever love this sandwich! It was every thing I had been anticipating and more. And it was so hard to eat it because I was giggling with delight the entire time.
It's the little things that bring me such pleasure.
Except for spanx and spicy foods are not really the best of friends when you have a little something called reflux.
Oh.. and keep in mind that SOME people ( Kev) get tired of hearing about the sandwich over and over and over and over and may or may not have mentioned something about "sticking it in a place where the sun don't shine".
If you hide the spicy chicken sandwich in the shade... I will still find it.
So, the moral of this story is:
1. Go to Chick-Fil-A.
2. Don't wear spanx if you want to live a happy life.
3. Make sure you get enough dipping sauce to counteract the spiciness.
4. Having fun is ALWAYS #1 on my "to-do" list.
5. Don't talk about the sandwich in front of Kev.
6. Eat Mor Chikin.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Falling In Love All Over Again

I grew up here. In Orlando. At Walt Disney World. And I couldn't be more thankful to my parents for giving me the opportunity.

I mean... the memories are endless. From the meeting of Dale for the very first time as a three year old to taking a behind the scenes tour in the present day.... I have loved every minute of it. It has entertained. It has fed my imagination. It has taught lessons. It has made me feel happy and special. It has given me a place to forget about my every day trials and relax.

I cannot imagine visiting today for the very first time. I would be so overwhelmed. I have had the luxury of going for 35 years ( yikes) and have grown right along with it. I have experienced it as a child... and then re-experienced it as an adult. And let me just tell you this... adults have way more fun. This place is not just for kids!

So, because of my love for this place, I have been wanting to take a behind the scenes tour for years. I enjoy knowing how things work. I enjoy knowing secrets. And I enjoy experiencing new things.

Bethany and I had been talking about it ever since she started working there. And we finally made the reservations. To take the tour on our last day of Girl's Weekend.

And OH MY WORD. I'm so glad we did!

It started bright and early at 8am. The park was empty except for the 20 something people in our group and a handful of others going to eat breakfast in the castle. ( no, I haven't done that yet and yes, it is on my "list")

We started at the front. At the train station.....

And literally walked the entire park. Inside and out. Up and down. Did you know that the Magic Kingdom is actually the SECOND floor of the park. The first floor is a series of tunnels and offices and break rooms and storage and people driving around on motorized carts.

Every single inch of this place is filled with extraordinary details. Details that I have NEVER noticed in all my many years visiting.

Details that made me fall in love with the park ALL OVER AGAIN.

Our amazing tour guide even took us on three rides. And pointed out cool facts about each one. He told us the history of the rides. What they look like from behind the scenes. And any other interesting pieces of information that he thought we would like to know.

And we wanted to know EVERYTHING.

We even had a lunch break. At the Harbor House. Which just happens to be my favorite place to eat in the park.

We had pre chosen our lunches that morning. And when we arrived, every thing was all set up for us with name cards and seating arrangements by family.

I was absolutely on CLOUD NINE during the entire experience. My mouth was literally sore from smiling so much.

And then our guide told us the sweetest story at the end. A story that involves the two statues. One being right when you walk in - Roy ( Walt's brother) and Minnie. And the other being directly in front of the castle - Walt with Mickey.

The story filled me with emotions. And tears. And then I started to panic thinking... "am I supposed to be crying right now?" But one look at my Mom and Bethany... and I knew that we were related. Because we all had the same feeling.

Our weekend ended with one last treat... Dole Whips. Bethany just got the delicious pineapple ice cream but I made mine a float with Sprite. ( our tour guide suggested that and it did not disappoint). Mom got a Mickey ears ice cream bar. And apparently so did her phone.
Note to self: don't sit next to Mom when she is eating that treat. And don't let her borrow my phone.
And then we had time for one last ride. Bethany and Mom went to ride It's A Small World. Dad and I finished the day up old school style. Meaning the same way we did when I was about six years old... by riding Space Mountain.
I hadn't ridden it since it had been re-done. It's renovation caused a lot of screams. From my Dad of course.
There is something about riding a roller coaster ( no matter how tame) IN.THE.PITCH.BLACK.DARK. that totally freaks me out. I actually had a little anxiety. And I laugh in the face of roller coasters. Mostly.
And then it was time to say our good byes. Even though I was only there for 3 days... 2 of which I was driving for 7 hours... it was the most fulfilling and action packed trip.

And the memories we made are endless. All bazillion of them. And the laughs... well, we laughed more than what is humanly possible. And we lived to tell about it.
And I'm counting the minutes until I'm able to return.

Every one should be able to enjoy such an incredible GIRL'S WEEKEND. It's good for the soul.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Les Chefs De France

Close your eyes.

Well, just close one eye - so you can still read this. I don't want you to miss out on a single word of this post.

With your closed eye, I want you to imagine the most incredibly, delicious, scrumptious meal that you have EVER had.

With your open eye, I want you to read about mine. Because if the meal that I'm about to describe does not blow your skirt up or make you hungry or make you want to go to Epcot or make you want to speak French.

Then I'm sorry to say that we can no longer be friends.

I've got standards, folks.

You see, it all started in the 8th grade. Yes, I'm going to take you WAY back to my youth. You might want to hold on tight to your hat and glasses.

So, I'm 12. And awkward. And weird. And I'm trying to choose classes for my eighth grade year. And every one that I know is taking Spanish. Because it is easy. And it gets you a credit towards your high school language.

But my Mom doesn't believe in easy. So, she insisted I take French. Because it was the language of love and all. And at 12, they were already worried about someone wanting to marry me.

Remember - I wore a head gear. With rubber bands.

The problem is that the "language of love" doesn't work if you meet and fall in love with someone that speaks "low country spanish with a touch of Red Bank". My words were lost on him. Words like... soup du jour, baguette, croissant, and les poissons.

And actually the "Les Poissons" came from me watching Beauty and the Beast - which I must add is the FIRST date Kev ever asked me out on. So, maybe the French classes worked. ??

( Edited to add that I was just informed my facts were incorrect in that last sentence and "Les Poissons was from Little Mermaid and NOT Beauty and The Beast - which thoroughly embarrasses me especially when I claim to be such a major Disney lover. I blame it on my failing mind. However, I will not change the statement because it helps tell my story. I never promised that every thing that I write on these posts is true - even though every thing that I've written so far is. wink. wink. )

I'm starting to confuse myself.

The point I think that I'm trying to make is that after two years of French lessons..... I retained just about nothing. Except for some times I don't shave my pits. But really that is not because I'm trying to be French - but more because I'm lazy.

( On a side note... a random piece of information I must share... is that my French lessons did come in handy ONCE. When my family was on a camping trip in Quebec. And I was able to read a sign that said "libre maize" and knew that we could have all the corn we wanted. Our family motto is: If something is free even if it is foreign - take as much as you can. Or something like that - I get our family mottos confused sometimes.)

So, fast forward many years.....

We are going to Disney World for 10 days. Kev and I are ready to try a nice restaurant every night. I am researching and researching.... and say "no way" to France. All I could think of is snails and heavy sauces. Heavy sauces are fine - just not in humid Orlando heat. Snails on the other hand require a monetary bribe. Like a dollar. And Kev said he wasn't spending any more money than he had to.

We returned home from that trip with full bellies and smiles and ignorance. Ignorance to the amazing meal that we missed.

But there is no point in dwelling in the past.

So, we are finally to present day ( actually last month) and Bethany chose France as her birthday dinner. She had eaten there before and LOVED it. I had watched Julie and Julia and LOVED it. And had become obsessed with Julia Child. And had officially decided that I liked French food.

You can only imagine my excitement. I mean.. it was pretty much all I thought about all day. And between our ginormous breakfast and our 8pm supper reservations. I only had a coffee.

And that, my friends, means A LOT. Because I usually eat like every 2 hours. And if I'm not eating, I'm thinking about it. So, I'm officially starved at this point and ready to take on the menu.

Our waiter was a ball of French cuteness. So polite and friendly. And cute. Have I mentioned that? He was my second choice for a take home souvenir. My first choice was popcorn from the Magic Kingdom.

We ALL chose the three course meal. Except for Bethany who chose a pasta dish and macaroni and cheese made with gruyere. DE-LISH.

The meal started with fresh baguettes. They were placed on the table in a paper bag thingie and we were allowed to rip off as much as we wanted. I love being in a very nice restaurant and still be able to use my cave man style eating techniques. It makes me feel at home.

Then the three courses began. And let me just tell you that I probably only said about three words during the entire meal. And they were "yum, yum, yum". I was fixated on savoring every single bite.

I soaked every single bit of French food goodness in to my body. It caused me to grow a pencil thin mustache. ( I may or may not have already had that - but let's just give credit to the atmosphere and the food and not my German heritage)

The Soupe a L'oignon gratinee. French onion soup topped with Gruyere cheese....

Rich and oniony and cheesy. I could have jumped in the bowl and snorkeled. And I HATE to snorkel. So, that just tells you how amazing it was.

Check out the cheesiness...

( And I wasn't necessarily talking about the soup)
Then we received course #2. Plat de Cote de Boeuf au Cabernet avec pates. Beef short ribs braised in Cabernet with pearl onions and mushrooms.
I have never had beef short ribs in my life. The meat was succulent and fell right off the bone. Except for there was no bone. But that is what you are supposed to say when you eat meat that is so tender that it cuts with a fork. It was like a pat of butter. The sauce was PERFECTION. Savory and rich and flavorful.
If I had only met this short rib before I met Kev. My last name would probably be Rib. I was so in love with this dish. And I vowed to make it at home. It will grant me another 10 years with Kev for sure.
I was speechless at this point. And satisfied. And thrilled. And then the dessert came out.

Profiteroles au Chocolat. Puff Choux with Vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.
Basically it was a chocolate cake. But a chocolate cake like NO OTHER. And for the record... I am not a fan of chocolate cake. I can take it or leave it. But prefer to leave it over so many other delicious flavors. But this cake - took the cake. My taste buds rejoiced. My heart starting fluttering. My eyes rolled back in the back of my head. So far that I missed the first five minutes of the fire works.
And no, the fireworks were not in my head. But in my face. We had the pleasure of sitting by a wall of windows and were able to enjoy the incredible fire works display and laser show while we were eating dessert.
It was like the most fantastical way to end such a fantastical meal.
I'm telling you now. That if you never take my advice on another thing - please take it on this. Go to France in Epcot. Eat at Le Chefs de France. Order this meal. And enjoy yourself.
You will thank me. And your family will thank me. Because you will have never been happier and more content.
I still wake up in the night crying out for beef short ribs and gruyere cheese onion soup. The only thing that keeps me sane is knowing that I will be going back one day.
And the fact that Kev tells me if I don't shut up and go back to sleep he will put me in a crazy home.
Up Next: Our last day ( boo hoo) and a behind the scenes tour.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Flower and Garden Festival

So, we climbed in to our horse drawn carriage... the one that my Dad so gracefully climbed in to (on a previous post).... and rode off in to the sunset.

Except for the carriage had no horses. And I wanted to watch my Dad climb back down. ( He is SUCH a good sport by the way... will do any thing we want for a picture. Just like Kev. It must be something about us Switzer girls)

And just as a side note to the story... for all of you that are wondering where my Dad was during our spa treatment.... he was picking up Becky from the airport. Bethany's best friend from college. She was so sweet to fly in for the birthday celebration. So, Dad lolligagged around town until she arrived and then they met up with us.

And we headed to Epcot.

To the Flower and Garden Festival. My favorite! This year was a wilderness and camping theme.....

Bethany took me to it last year for the first time. And I fell in love. It is so creative and so beautiful. And so amazing.

And makes us want to pose like every single flower/bush figure for a picture.

Yes, that's me. Posing like a giraffe? With my cheeks (on my face) blown out like a chimp. And I guess that my fingers are making ears... and not martian radio transmitters. I can barely tell the flower giraffe apart from me. We are almost identical.

And then there is this one....

From The Lion King. My Dad is Rafiki holding Bethany ( Simba) up to introduce her to the world.
I have hundreds ( well, maybe not that much) of pictures of us "posing" like the bushes. We stopped at almost every single one. And my "morning mirror chant" worked. I played along with every picture. In public. And pretended that every person staring at me was naked.
Eww. That would have been gross.
We paused during our flower tour to meet Mickey and friends...
And I faced my fears and rode on a Segway....

You can't tell by the picture - but I am shaking SO bad. I have the balance of a manatee and I just knew I would flip over the top. Also, my mouth is open because I am singing the Hallelujah Chorus because my session is complete.
I had texted Kev right before I got on and said " Getting on a Segway... Goodbye forever"
It was fun. But not something I want to have to ride around on in the future. I would rather walk. Or ride a Big Wheel.
Then we went to the land of Fairies....
There were a million precious things to take pictures of in this area. And I did. But for the sake of making this post semi-short... I am just showing you this one. Because I loved it. And I want Kev to recreate this in our back yard. It was so peaceful.
Here is a recreation of the American Gothic painting...

And my Dad finding a recreation of himself....

Leather vest and all.

We saw an amazing performance by Chubby Checker. The real Chubby Checker. All 70 years of himself. Performing in all denim in the humid Orlando heat. I was impressed. And loved every second of it.

A Moroccan belly dancer...

Oh.. and then there is me again. Posing with Beast. Actually I'm holding his hand. And it looks so real...

In the United Kingdom for a performance from the Beatles...

I can't even begin to tell you how much fun we were having. There was no rush to ride rides. No rush to get to places at a certain time. It was just a laid back day - where we could thoroughly enjoy every thing that Epcot has to offer.
I highly recommend it.

Look how happy we are!! GIRL'S WEEKEND ROCKS!
Up Next... Dinner in France. Oooh La la!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Grand Floridian Spa

This is how we spent the rest of the morning.....

In style. In our crisp white robes. Being treated like princesses. And I will never be the same.

It all started with our arrival to the club. Just a short walk from the main hotel where we stuffed ourselves with breakfast foods. ( Mmmmm. Waffles)

Now, I have only been to a spa one other time. About five years ago. I won a $150 gift certificate. And I used it to get a pedicure, manicure, facial, and a wax. I won't go in to detail where I got the wax.... but let's just say that I walked with a limp for a week.

So, other than that... with the exception of a couple of "quickie" pedicures in walk-in nail joints.... I pretty much keep up with myself. Clearly this does NOT work for me as my feet were in DESPERATE need of some TLC.

My issue is this: I have trouble accepting help from others. Meaning I don't like people waiting on me or doing things for me. It makes me feel awkward. And some times unworthy. And I realize I'm probably not making much sense right now.... but that is just how I am. Kev gets it. If you ever meet him... ask him to explain.

It probably has a little to do with working in the service industry for as long as I have.
And a lot to do with the fact that I'm insanely crazy.

Anyway, my point is this. Some times I just need to relax and enjoy myself. And so I did.

This place was SO relaxing and soothing. And the perfect way to unwind.

We made some hot tea. Put on our swim suits. And chilled out in the whirlpool area until our appointments began....

Mom and Bethany had scheduled massages. I, again, have an issue with laying naked on a table while some one touches my parts.

Unless it is Bret Michaels. Of course.

So, I chose to listen to the soothing music. Drank several more cups of tea. And read magazines. It was PERFECT. And made me feel like one of the Desperate Housewives of the OC.

After Mom and Bethany returned all disheveled with googly eyes... we went to our pedicures together.

As this picture shows... I am EXTREMELY ticklish. Bethany is too but did not behave as obnoxiously as me. For once. So, I not only had to apologize for the state of my feet... but for my constant squirming, squealing, and digging of my fingers in to the seat.

Then we were wrapped in aluminum foil and warm towels.

It made me crave burritos.

We had our legs scrubbed. Lotioned. And massaged.

The ladies were incredible. And so friendly. And funny.

And I believe I drank two more cups of tea while this was being done.

If I could have a constant I.V. of caffeine running through my veins... I would. And the people around me would be thankful.

It was finally time to get our toes painted. I usually go with a French manicure or something neutral. BUT IT WAS GIRL'S WEEKEND! And so I went with Watermelon. As did Bethany. My Mom went with Macks... which was a beautiful deep red.

The results...

Full of happiness. Relaxation. Giggles. Smiles. And ready for our next adventure...

We bid the AMAZING Grand Floridian Spa adieu. ( that is "goodbye" in Sound of Music speak)

And headed to The Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot.

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Birthday Surprise!

This is a glimpse in to Bethany's birthday party. The night before. Tiara. PINK cake. Princess decorations.

It is every LITTLE girl's dream.

Even if you are turning twenty -somethin'.

You see, my Mom planned every single detail. Down to the second. And made sure that every thing was going to be TOO MUCH FUN.

And she was very successful.

I was just along for the ride. And as for my Dad... I'm not sure if he even knew where we were half the time. He lives in a world of giggles. And is always up for anything. He is a perfect companion.

So, after a good night's sleep.... we headed to a SURPRISE birthday breakfast. A surprise that I managed to keep for MONTHS. That is huge for me. HUGE. I was so proud of myself. And then my parents managed to spill the beans on the surprise in a matter of seconds before we went to bed.

I guess it was still a surprise in the end. As Bethany had wondered for months on where we were going.

We arrived at the Grand Floridian Hotel. Exquisite and classy and a little out of my league. But pretending is part of the Disney imagination. So I crossed my legs. Sat up straight. And put a napkin in my lap.

I know manners. I just don't like to use them.

Here is a pic of us in the hotel lobby. Waiting for the OFFICIAL announcement of our breakfast location.....

We were eating breakfast with Mary Poppins and Alice. At 1900 Park Fare.

Bethany had been wanting to dine there for quite a while. It is so girly and special and amazing. And the perfect place for a princess to eat her breakfast.
( And I have NO CLUE on why Bethany posed like that for the picture. It is the over-the-shoulder birthday surprise pose?? )
I was SO thrilled to be eating there. #1 Because I love food. #2 Because I LOVE breakfast food. #3 Because I had always wanted to eat there #4 Because I love trying new things.
I had also spent 30 minutes talking to myself in front of the mirror. It was important for me to do this as it set the tone for the day.
" I will not worry about my reputation"
" I will act silly and crazy and fun in front of strangers"
" I will have my picture taken with characters even if it makes me feel a little creeped out"
" I will watch my caffeine intake so to not become a monster half way through the day"
It worked, folks. I'm here as living proof.
This is how excited we were to be eating at 1900 Park Fare.....

This is not my plate of food.....

Except for that it really was.
This place was a buffet. But not just any ordinary buffet. An upscale... create your own omelet and it will be hand made by a chef... and LOBSTER for breakfast... and fresh salmon... buffet. It was incredible. And delicious.
And we all chose to eat off of the children's plates. Because they were in the shape of Mickey's head.
But then I was introduced to these delights.....
And I will never love another waffle as much as I loved these. I would actually probably choose these waffles over cheese. If I was given the choice. Which I probably never will be. So, I don't have to worry about it.
I probably ate seventy billion of these waffles. And then made out with a couple because my belly was too full.
Bethany decided to not follow Kev's rules of what is acceptable for a healthy meal. And she put chocolate chips on her yogurt.

She is wild. And crazy. And can do whatever she wants because it is her birthday.
And then we shared a bowl of strawberry soup (not pictured) and it was heaven in a spoon. And I want it served to me in place of chicken noodle soup the next time I am sick.
My Dad couldn't handle the fact that we were posing with our food. And taking random shots of each other. So, he decided to take charge of the situation. And he basically sat like this for FIVE minutes waiting for one of us to realize that he wanted some attention.
I am used to this kind of behavior. ( Remember straw sticking out of his ear at the rehearsal dinner?) And I just kept averting my eyes as to not embarrass him. It is hard to tell some times if he does things like this on purpose. Or if he is crazy.
Either way... he is awesome.
Finally, Bethany realized that Dad wanted a picture of himself with a SAUSAGE sticking out of his mouth.
If you have never visited CRAZY TOWN... then you probably don't want to go out with us in public. This is your fair and final warning.
And then our friends started to arrive.....
All wishing Bethany a VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY....

And then Alice got ahold of my Dad. Because she thought he was Santa Claus. She practically sat in his lap and requested a list of things that she needed this year. Including cuddling.

Yep. It pretty much made his day. Even though he could only communicate with a VERY loud laugh. And red face.
The birthday girl got her cupcake....

And then I HAD to get my picture with Tigger. Because we matched and all....

I can barely pose with a character. Bethany, on the other hand, will kiss them....

She is kind of a "character floozy" so to speak. I've never seen some one love characters more than she does.
After our amazing breakfast... we went outside to find this....

I will leave this pic to your imagination. Just know that my Dad is a handful and we can't take him any where without something embarrassing happening.
Or maybe I should say that about us....

As we attempted to pose "sexy" on this old car. What were we thinking? It looks painful. Unflattering. And the least sexy thing I have ever seen. I don't even want to get in to the fact that I'm sure I thought I looked hot. Or that people were standing around watching us. Or the time it took for us to get in to this pose.
Let's just say I won't quit my day job.
Up Next... THE SPA.