Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring Break Part 2 (Catching Up)

I know, I am a slacker. I have been extremely overwhelmed and busy the past couple weeks and so my little bloggy blog has suffered. One more day and I would have been interrogated on the terms of neglect. So here I am finally adding one of the many posts I have jumbled in my head for my faithful readers (p.s. i love you guys).

So the last few days of Spring Break were spent trying to fast forward the days. I mean I love my kids, but momma needs a vacation, that's all I'm saying. Moms like me, who stay at home and whose sole job consists of being a balanced partner, raising children, actively participating in that parenting role (because just "being" a parent is not where the work is), and maintaining all its scheduling and spontaneity deserves paid leave on a biannual basis...for reals! Lately, I have felt like packing a bag and heading to a bed and breakfast somewhere in Amsterdam. But, enough about my woes...when I have to really vent, you'll know!

Thursday of the "Break" the kids and I headed to the zoo and the German Mall. I am officially courting the mall like it's my new boyfriend. The shiny floors, the stair-less escalators, the Present Store, H&M, the jumping water's enough to make you wanna be thankful for Icelandic ash and the fact that we were trapped here.

Back to the zoo. The kids had a blast.

I think we stared at the baboons for about 30 min even though the smell was worse than George's socks post an all night softball tourney. They were fascinating. The booty picking, the baby carrying, the multiple humping incidents, the brawls between siblings, the old ass elder who just pushed everyone out of his stoney circle...the list goes on. Saige had to drag me and the boys away.

(you have no idea what was going on there...naughty business)

The only thing that was weird was that they had wild animals roaming around while we were walking. Like the deer...or pigs...or ponies...or weird looking birds (I am not a fan of random birds, they are way too unpredictable for me...and their beaks are straight-up weapons...I can't). Teage and JD had fun racing to cage after cage all day,

while Saige and her friend acted like they were on a photo shoot for a magazine that could be titled "Girl Meets Dirty Farm Animals"...wait, that just sounds all wrong. Maybe "National Saige-o-graphic". That's better. But seriously, how many pictures of the side of your face can one person take?? I have enough uploaded on my computer to make one of those mosaic portraits Ive always wanted (hmmmm......note to self).

After the zoo, we went to the mall. The one place I was trying to zone in on was the TK Maxx. Let me break it down....T -(abcdefghij) K -Maxx. Americans can apparently only handle up to J. You gotta roll to Europe to gain that extra's a privilege, I know it. Seriously, what gives on the weird name change, TJ Maxx? Do the Ks outrank the Js in the German alpha? All I know is it looked just like a TJ Maxx inside (the wannabe label-whore loving clothes section, the random chaotic toy area, mismatched home decor, and useless electronics) what comes first?...the J or the K? I must inquire about this later in the future. I am losing sleep over it.

To wrap up the weekend, we went to Gartenshau Park for their 10th Anniversary celebration to see the tulips and the dino statues.

We encountered some German ladies dressed up in modern ball gowns and others in old century wear. I had no idea why this was occurring, but it was fun to watch them prance around with their digital cameras and beer steins :o)

The park is a boy's slice of, dinosaur creatures, creeks, waterfall, playgrounds, and a labyrinth. Saige was unamused, until we hit the bratwurst stand. She was a trooper though and really made the most out of it with her brothers.

Gotta love a well manicured park.

Once Spring Break finally came to a close I found myself thinking, I didn't want them to go back to school. We had a always!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Break...Part 1 (Holiday Park)

The week has seriously dragged on. Spring Break that is...

I don't know if it was because George didn't take leave (hmmmm, how'd he finagle that anyhow?)

Or maybe that our Disney trip thwarted high expectations for us meaning anything after paled in comparison?

Ooooh, maybe it was that fact that every night I didn't go to bed until at least 2am catching up those "snarky" housewives of NY?

Long winded or not, I am a Spring Break planning junkie and I love planning activities to keep these chil'ren of mine busy. Otherwise, they would be happy with just sitting around...bothering me.

So we used one of the days this week to head to Holiday Park and meet up with my geographical counterpart...Farrah and her lil chil'ren, Lennon :o)

Holiday Park was completely desolate. Which I liked. We practically had the whole park to ourselves....which also meant I didn't really have to have my Teage goggles on as I do in any normal crowd. Plus, it made for some quality girl talk in between rides.

Holiday Park can only be described as a broke man's Disneyworld. It's very mom and pop....which again, I like. The mascot was Holly the parrot along with his sidekick Dolly the ..."Squirrel". (I am using the Dug voice from UP when I say squirrel, I don't think I will ever be able to say the word normal again)

There were several rides, some the Lighthouse Tower that no one dared step up to, except JD. He wanted to go on (he had never done the one at Disney and rightfully so)...who wants to drop from the sky like that surrounded by a casing of steel, really? He went up alone...well, he sat with three other girls and I'm sure flashed them his million dollar smile :o) As soon as he went in, I started to panic. I thought this could go really good, or this could end in disaster. He doesn't do anxiety well, so until he came off, I could only picture him making it all the way to the top and then saying "Nevermind, I wanna get down".

JD is on the far left

But he didn't...he just screamed his head off as they dropped (all...the...way...down). What a trooper. He walked towards me at the exit screaming..."I SURVIVED!!"

Teage decided early on that he would be Lennon's personal caregiver. He was really sweet with almost made me want another...PSYCHE, I'm crazy but not insane. However, he really took to Lennon...and it was adorable.

(I didn't mention it then, but I LOVE the cherry blossom diaper bag, don't you?)

I could tell Saige was starting to wonder when we were leaving this I threw her in some photo ops (which always grabs her attention).

She did have fun on a few rides with JD...

OK, so this next part of the story is something I was debating putting out there...but, I gotta keep it real.

Almost as soon as we arrived to the park...I was clicking away on my camera when suddenly I heard my son utter these words...

"Mom look, it's an angry dwarf (insert tween chuckle)"

I snapped my head over to him so fast...I knew I had given myself whiplash. Then, I spot-checked the surroundings and saw a little person whizzing away on a razor scooter. You know...a little person. Farrah and I cut our eyes to one another and I almost fell out. WTH? So I calmly called JD over and asked "Why did you say that?", he replied, "WHAT?" My parenting skills instantly became put on front street. It went something like this...

"You know he's not angry right?"

"I'm sorry"

"And do you know he is not to be called a dwarf, he is a little person?"

"Sorry MOM, but he's just like from Bedtime Stories"


"Would you yell out, WOW that guy has brown skin?"

"Well, No"

"So you shouldn't say things about how a person's mean. AND, it might hurt someone's feelings. I don't think you would like it if someone said something about how you looked, would you?"

"No, I said I'm sorry"

"Oh and again...Bedtime Stories is a MOVIE...not real life"

"I know Mom"

Now, I must say to you that Mr. Scooter worked at the park. He was most likely a guide or assistant to the mascots, because he followed them throughout the park all day. Later on, we ran into him again and my son walked right up to him and said "Hi", with a warm smile ear to ear, ended with a glance my way for approval. Good start I guess. Mr Scooter ended up being in the parade later and he totally posed for my camera...there is nothing angry about this guy...just sayin'.

What a fun day...and I enjoyed spending it with Farrah and Lennon, too. Here are some other pics.

Next up, the Zoo and Gartenshau Park...stay tuned.

Thanks for looking,

Monday, April 12, 2010

Around the World..Disney

*click to enlarge pics*

We successfully managed to visit the last stop on our Worldwide Disney adventure this past weekend (ok so we haven't been to Hong Kong Disney yet, but I'm gonna guess the one in Tokyo is just as comparable). Disneyland Paris was fabulous. We did, however, take the Express that means we will be back with an extended visit later. This time it was a one day, one park, feet wet kinda deal.

They have two parks, Disneyland (aka Magic Kingdom) and Walt Disney Studios (aka DisneyMGM). They also have Disney Village (like Downtown Disney). We chose the classic of the two and pushed forward. Of course everything was written and spoken in French (Thyme would have enjoyed that), but since we were in was also subtitled in English for all those Londoners :o) BONUS! So that was a nice change. I think I said Danke (thanks in German) like 15 times to the French and they would stare me down and reply Merci...MY BAD. Anyway, some of the staple rides were there...Space Mountain 2, Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan, Dumbo, Le Carousel, Buzz Lightyear, It's a Small World, etc. There were some odd interpretations here and there though...

Haunted Mansion was referred to as Phantom Manor

and Cinderella's Castle was replaced with Sleeping Beauty's Castle.

But what I was really excited about was the Mad Hatter Teacup ride. The excitement quickly turned into despair...Mad Hatter was on hiatus. That effer didn't even leave a note. So there I was, reminiscing my days as a young child growing up in Disney"World" territory, never once spinning myself in a cup o'blivion. My chance was once again thwarted by that schizo day I'll make it down that rabbit hole.

The new additions...they had the Indiana Jones Temple of Peril roller coaster. JD thought he should be able to climb the temple...we almost let him, but the line was moving too fast. He settled for an Indy hat that his big sis bought him instead...he rocks it pretty well.

Teage had a BLAST to say the least. I caught many moments of him just staring in awe at the Happiest Place on Earth.

We spotted a few characters as well...even though Teage wanted NOTHING to do with Capt Hook. "I don't like him...he's too mad", he said.

Oh, and Ratatouille is HUGE there...being French and all. They have rat hats, statues, shirts...all about it.

The weather was perfect, the park was hoppin', and the food was great. What a great beginning to our jam packed Spring Break. Check out the rest of our pics...

P.S. You simply cannot leave France without a croissant or some creme I had both, and I wanted to slap my was SO GOOD!

P.S.S. I'm gonna say it, the French ARE rude. They lived up to the hype on several occasions. One in particular in trying to push my Teagie out of the way to let their kid jump ahead on the slide line....I think I saw Saige's head spin and she almost took some lady out :o) (What they didn't realize was that the Isla's don't back down!)

P.S.S.S. Nothing says Europe like being able to buy Pez AND a lighter at the same Disney stand LOL

Bon Voyage and Merci,