Monday, May 1, 2017

Date 171 - It's Showtime!

Date: Sunday, April 30, 2017
Type: Out On The Town
Cost: $$
Planned By: Dani

We have been slacking on the date night department due to preparing for Baby Neubauer's arrival (and also we're lazy)!

This date was an all day affair. We started out with maternity photos at Squire's Castle at the North Chagrin Reservation. We take hikes at this metropark all the time and can't wait to bring baby with us.

When we found out that baby is a boy I started thinking of ideas for the maternity shoot. Here is a little explanation and back story on our theme. Adam and I participated in many plays together since we met - we actually met as Betsy and John Ross in a summer drama class. In 8th grade Adam and I starred in the production of The Little Prince at our middle school together. Adam was the aviator and I was the prince - it was a last minute gig for me - I was originally the music director but was asked to take over this part a couple weeks before opening night. Adam and I shared the stage for a lot of the play and he did a great job covering all of my mistakes, I think we worked well together!
I was so excited to combine our past and future together in a shoot for such a big event in our lives! Here are some of my favorites!
After our shoot we went downtown to see Something Rotten at Playhouse Square. Staying with the theater theme we made a point to get to one more production before becoming parents. Something Rotten was very funny and had so many musical and Shakespeare references mixed in. We caught a lot of them but I'm excited to listen to the soundtrack and find them all.
Who knows when we'll be back to the theater, but this was such a fun and memorable day in our lives and pregnancy journey. Only 7 more weeks until our little prince arrives!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Date 170 - A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes!

Date: December 11th-15th, 2016
Type: Travel
Cost: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Planned By: Both

First, off if you didn't see our big announcement on Facebook here you go:

The trip was not planned as a Babymoon. It was booked and all planned before we even found out I was pregnant. It just worked out pretty well in terms of the dates and making an adorable Disney announcement.

Adam and I were traveling to Florida for our good friend's wedding in St. Pete Beach. We decided to extend the vacation a couple days and go to Disney World. We had just been to Disney in March 2015 so this trip was a bit more relaxing and I took WAY less photos. If you want an in depth trip report with tons of photos go check out the other post HERE.

Since we were only going to be there for four nights we opted for a moderate resort, Port Orleans Riverside. We also rented a car this time mostly because we had to drive over to St. Pete for the wedding. I will probably never do Disney without a car again unless we are staying at Pop Century or Art of Animation which have one stop and a dedicated bus. Port Orleans has 4-5 stops throughout the resort which causes a lot of wasted time and frustration. The car made it so much easier for all the parks except Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom requires taking a ferry or monorail from the parking lot so it is inconvenient.

Port Orleans Riverside is a nice resort. The rooms had two queen beds and a double sink. There were many pools, and it being a December trip they were usually pretty empty. They had playgrounds, movie nights, carriage rides and a fishing deck. I could definitely see why it was a moderate priced resort compared to Pop Century.

Day 1:
We took a swim in one of the huge quiet pools. We were the only ones at it so it was really nice and calm. We took the Sassagoula river boat to Disney Springs (formerly known as Downtown Disney) from our resort. It was nice haven't a different mode of transportation. We had dinner at Paradiso 37. It was a little expensive for the quality of the food but I was starving so it was fine. We watched the Drone Christmas show over the lake which was pretty neat. Some of the time we had no idea what the pictures were supposed to be but that's ok it was fun and the music was good. We ran over to the Art of Disney store and made Baby Neubauer's first Disney hat! We walked through the Christmas Tree Trail. The trail had many different trees decorated by movie. There were some creative designs. Then we took the Polynesian bus over to the Polynesian Resort. We went to Trader Sam's Grog Grotto for a drink (well, Adam got a drink). The entertainment in this secret-ish bar was very funny. Next, we made our way out to the Polynesian Beach to watch Holiday Wishes. Since we didn't go to the parks this day we still wanted to see one of the fireworks shows. Wishes from the beach was a great perspective. You can easily see Cinderella's castle and the fireworks look beautiful from a distance. Someday I will bring my tripod to Disney World and get some better photos but that thing gets heavy. After Wishes we went back to the resort for the night.
Day 2:
We got up early and went to Animal Kingdom at 8AM. They had extra magic hours so we took advantage of there being very few people there at that time. Adam rode the safari while I took some photos. He then went over to Everest and rode that while I tried to get some photos of him. There isn't much a pregnant lady can do in Animal Kingdom so we walked around and went on the small rides. Next, we went over to Magic Kingdom. We rode a bunch of rides but it was pretty crowded so not as many as we would have liked. We had dinner at Tony's Town Square. The setting is inspired by Lady and the Tramp. It was a cute Italian place. We went back to the resort and rested for a little while before going over to Epcot for night activities. We mostly went there to see IllumiNations! Which never disappoints. It's an amazing show!

Day 3:
We started our day at Hollywood Studios. Adam rode Tower of Terror and Rockin' Roller Coaster while I took some photos. Then we had a fast pass for Toy Story Mania which is definitely one of the more fun pregnant-safe rides. For the rest of the morning we rode the other small rides - Great Movie Ride, Muppets 3D, etc. We went back to the resort for a nap and pool time. We had dinner at the dining hall in our resort and it was good. We spent a little extra money to attend Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party! We got to Magic Kingdom a little before the party started and noticed a drop in crowds which was great. They also don't allow fast passes during the party which helped the lines a lot. We made our rounds getting the free cookies and drinks while riding some rides we missed the day before. Magic Kingdom doesn't have as many restrictions while your pregnant so I was able to ride most rides. We watched the Mickey's Most Merriest Christmas show then watched the Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas Parade. Both were really great and had a lot of holiday spirit but the most exciting thing happened to us during the parade... A cast member came up to us and gave us free ice cream to share!! I was so excited I had a hard time paying attention to the rest of the parade. After the parade we rode a few more rides before watching the Totally Tomorrowland Christmas show. This show was cute with dancing, fireworks and a decent back story of trying to find Santa. The other main event of the party was the Holiday Wishes fireworks show. We watched from Tomorrowland. The music and fireworks really have a way of making you feel the joy of the holiday season. We walked around a little more checking out the "snow" and Christmas decorations then went back to the resort.

Day 4;
We got up early and went to Epcot. We walked really fast to World Showcase to get in line for the new Frozen Ever After ride. This ride used to be the Norway Maelstrom ride. We still had a 20-25 minute wait but it was much better than the crazy wait times that ride gets normally. The ride was really well done and definitely worth the short wait we had. Disney has really done a lot with Frozen that some people get irritated with but I think this ride was a good choice on their part. We walked around World Showcase and rode the rest of the Epcot rides. It was not crowded so we had very short waits for everything else. Epcot does a nice job decorating for Christmas so it was nice seeing the different countries decorated and the rest of the park. After Epcot we went back to the resort. In the afternoon we went to Hollywood Studios. We had an early dinner at the 50s Prime Time cafe. The dinner portions are outrageous. I got the fried chicken and I swear they gave me a whole chicken. The cast members act as if they are in the 50s and family members which can be pretty funny. Even though we were there before 4PM it was really busy so we didn't get as much attention from our server. It was still fun and I would go again. We went to the Frozen Sing-A-Long to waste some time. We weren't too excited for it but we were happily surprised at how funny it was. I mean it was hilarious. I had tears of laughter - the two Arendelle historians did such a great job making it an adult friendly show. After the sing-a-long we found spots to watch the Jingle Bell Jingle Bam show. This show was also better than I was anticipating. The fireworks, story and visuals were all really well done. A lot of people see this as a replacement to the Osborne Family Lights (which we saw back in 2008 when we went to Disney with Adam's parents). The Osborne Family Lights were great, but this show was also good and probably a bit more kid friendly. Since this was our last night at Disney we also went over to Magic Kingdom. We really wanted to see the normal non-holiday Wishes. I'm glad they do both because I have developed some nostalgia of the regular Wishes soundtrack and I really enjoyed hearing it. As we left Magic Kingdom we knew we probably wouldn't be returning for a while and that next time Baby Neubauer will be in tow. It will be much more difficult with a child than just two adults, but I'm excited for the adventure - but not too soon. Disney is exhausting.

The rest of the week we were in St. Pete Beach for Alicia and Alfonso's wedding. It was a beautiful location. We had an amazing time on the boat cruise for the rehearsal dinner and the next day at the wedding. The weather could not have been more perfect! They're favors were caricatures which were really cool and a great keepsake. We were also introduced to the Hora Loca during the last hour of the reception where things get a little crazy with hats, glow sticks, guitars and all kinds of fun stuff. The wedding was a blast and it was so nice seeing everyone!! Our flight the next day got cancelled so we had an extra night in Florida which would have been way better if we hadn't spent most of the day in the airport. We did get out the next day which we were thankful for! It was a great Florida vacation in the middle of December. We were not excited to go back to the snow and cold but at least it was time for Christmas!