Last weekend, we took advantage of Grahams non-sleep schedule and went on an impromptu trip to Orlando.ย  We dropped Elliot off with my parents and headed on down the road. My sister-in-law was down from CT to run in the Disney Marathon on Saturday and Sunday so we decided to head over and spend some time with her. We timed the trip perfectly with Graham’s naptime, he slept on the way there and the way back so it worked out great.

When we arrived, we picked up my SIL from her hotel and headed to Disney Village. She had heard about the new T-Rex restaurant and we thought we’d give it a try since Graham loves dinosaurs. Or so we thought.

Every picture taken at the restaurant shows the terrified toddler holding onto me for dear life while keeping an eye on the dinosaurs to make sure they didn’t get too close.

We were seated in the back room along the wall. Next to us was a freaky lifelike dinosaur that moved and made noise every few minutes. Graham was not impressed and wailed every time the stupid dinosaur moved. If you look closely, you can see some random guy’s ass right behind us. Hopefully he didn’t fart on the back of my head but I’ll never know.

After dropping my SIL back at her hotel, we headed to ours. The Nickelodeon Hotel! We’ve heard such good things about the Nick hotel that we thought we’d give it a shot. It was, afterall, Graham’s first vacation and we were determined to show him a good time. His first item of business: a door handle. He spent a good twenty minutes opening and closing the door (a trick he hasn’t mastered yet on our oval doorknobs at home). This was quite an exciting event for him.

Next, we ventured to the toddler friendly HEATED pool. Graham was hesitant at first but then he got the hang of it.

He relaxed with Daddy, taking in the scenery.

That didn’t last long. Graham decided that he needed to be held that very instant and was very vocal with his “Momma, UP. Momma, UP!”.

The overnight was not so pleasant since Graham is still on his non-sleeping kick. We were all up and at em’ by 5AM and tried our best to keep the screeching to a minimum as to not disturb the neighbors.

When we ventured out for our morning walk, we found the Thinking Chair from Blues Clues! Graham was stoked, but not stoked enough to pose for a picture. How dare Mommy try to pick him up! We hung around the pool for most of the morning (once it warmed up a bit) and then headed home.

On the way home, we discussed the events of the trip and whether or not it was a success. For Graham, the highlights of the trip included pushing the elevator button (about ten thousand times) and opening and closing the bedroom door in the room (about twenty thousand times). He liked the pool alright, but we have a pool at home. We also have doors at home, as weird as that might be. Pushing an elevator button is hardly worth the fee we paid to stay in a hotel. We concluded that the trip was a huge waste of money just to let our toddler do things he could have done at home. Jamie and I decided that we aren’t going to take the kids on vacation again until they’re old enough to enjoy it. Maybe we can use the money we save to install an elevator in the house.

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  1. K

    Love it.

    Did the adults enjoy it at least? We haven’t tried any vacations that were trips to visit family yet. I think I’m just too lazy and cheap.

    Ks last blog post..Save the Sea Kittens?

  2. Michele

    Don’t blame Graham dinosaurs can be scary.

    How about dropping both kids off with your parents so you and Jamie can get away? That sounds like it would be money well spent. LOL

    Micheles last blog post..Time Saver Ideas

  3. Keely

    Yep, pretty sure your parents house has doorknobs. Try leaving them there and spending the hotel money on YOU ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Keelys last blog post..Friday Fill-Ins, you’ll have to make do with this until Sunday

  4. carrie

    You sat in the scary room!! My kids would not go in there.
    We sat up in the front between the big dino and the fire grill.
    Yep, once he is 4, he will begin to enjoy trips. before that, it is a waste of money, in my opinion.
    The thinking chair was awesome and the pool area.
    How did your SIL do?

    carries last blog post..Disneytopia

  5. DeeMarie

    When you install the elevator, I’m so coming down to ride it!! Only really cool people have elevators in their houses. Now, I won’t be so impressed with a doorknob.
    Lesson learned from you and SK (who I beat to commenting!!)- restaurants with big fake animals=fear in the hearts of toddlers.

    DeeMaries last blog post..What If…

  6. Michelle

    I like Keely’s idea ๐Ÿ˜‰
    As for the dinosaurs, I’ve learned with Peanut that some things are better in theory (or small form… like Santa).
    I think it was a great idea for all of you to get away. Sometimes you need to have a change of scenery. Or at least a different doorknob?

    Michelles last blog post..Healthy Eating and Active Living Resources

  7. Sprite's Keeper

    When I saw that T-Rex rest at the Village, John thought Sprite would get a kick out of it. I said a hell to the no and dragged them both to Planet Hollywood where she could at least point to the assorted characters in the room. Great pix, especially the action shot in the thinking chair!

    Sprite’s Keepers last blog post..Spin Cycle: What if the Spins are coming in?

  8. HeatherPride

    Well, you know I was in the same boat just two weeks ago! So typical! I love the pictures of Graham at the restaurant! When Logan was his age I took him to the Science Center here in St. Louis to show him the animatronic dino’s. He stood in front of them and his whole body shook. I felt so bad. I thought he’d be excited! Nice.

    HeatherPrides last blog post..What If, Ye Olde Internets?

  9. Cape Cod Gal

    Those pictures of Graham at the restaurant are priceless!

  10. GreenJello

    We just did camping trips and trips to see family when the kids were little.

    I didn’t take them to Disneyland until they were all old enough to go off on their own (with a two-way radio, of course). Much better vacationing with kids when they can entertain themselves. ๐Ÿ™‚

    GreenJellos last blog post..Almost Done!

  11. Sarah

    You’re kid is adorable! And yeah I am gonna have to agree with some of the people on here that the hotel would have probably been better put to use with you and your husband! At least I am assuming he can open the doors in your house! : )

    Long time stalker first time commenter. Love the blog.

  12. Sarhi

    Planning Disney trip w/ Monkey in May. You just confirmed the desire to stay at the Nick Hotel. Thanks. I must agree with Michele, Keely and anyone else who said next time make it a twosome trip.

  13. Amber

    I just can’t get past the envy I’m feeling because you live in Florida and I’m in the freezing tundra known as Utah. We’ve actually had a decent winter so far but still…lucky!

    What the heck are you gonna do about your non-sleeping child? He needs an intervention!

    Ambers last blog post..I Don’t Even Know What to Call This Post Because I Want to Use a Swear Word That Starts With "A"

  14. Heather

    Well, now you know what to do with Graham if gymboree closes again….take him to a hotel and ride the elevator for a few hours!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Heathers last blog post..Well, I gotta go change the light bulb. It isnโ€™t going to change itself you know!!!

  15. Kirst

    I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again I still think we need to do a bloggers unite in FL (Orlando Maybe?).

    Oooo we’ll have to check out the Dinasaur restaurant sounds cool. Although, Meggers gets a little nervous at the rainforest cafe so maybe not a good

    Kirsts last blog post..Her first Karate test!!!

  16. Lydia @ On The Verge

    But the cool part is, this will probably be one of the most memorable vacations ever.

    Lydia @ On The Verges last blog post..Which LOL CAT Are You?

  17. DeNae

    Hello! I came here from Amber’s blog, where you commented on taking flak for naming your daughter Elliot. I for one think it is dang near the cutest name EVER for a girl, and you have my full support for giving it to her. I felt that you should know that, in case you were, you know, having a bad name day and considering doing something rash, like changing it to Ashley. (And if that’s your name, then I mean “Tiffany”.)

    As for this post, you have learned one of the secrets of the universe, young Skywalker. For kids, vacation is going to the Chuck E Cheese across town instead of the one around the corner. Save your money for that trip you and the mister can finally take when the kids are old enough to look after themselves. This is right around your youngest’s 27th birthday.

    DeNaes last blog post..With All Thy Getting, Get Over Thyself

  18. Krystal

    Okay, now I really need to get my ass to Orlando. I am the only one from the Florida group that has not been to Orlando yet in the past 12 months – wait – Kirst, have you gone yet?

    Krystals last blog post..Spin Cycle: What If

  19. Krystal

    oh yeah, sorry it was such a waste but look at it this way – he did get his special Graham time away from his sister – sometimes that is all that counts to make the trip successful don’t you think?

    Krystals last blog post..Spin Cycle: What If

  20. Jonnny's Mommy

    Well, at least it was a change of scenery for the all-nighter. At least you can swim this time of year. Not so up here in the arctic north as I have started to call it.

    The kids is seriously cute. Look at those curls! Just want to kiss them! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Jonnny’s Mommys last blog post..Becoming grandparent softens ‘tough guy’

  21. MommyNamedApril

    we were there last weekend too! casey LOVED the sand ‘excavating’ area at the dino store/restaurant ๐Ÿ™‚

    MommyNamedAprils last blog post..Just In Case You Were Wondering…

  22. Captain Dumbass

    My son came in while I was at random butt guy’s photo. He wants to know why Graham has two heads.

    Captain Dumbasss last blog post..Untitled

  23. Ferd

    My 4 kids are all much older, ranging from 28 to 23. We took them on many awesome trips over the years. It is always amazing to me what they remember and what they don’t. random. Unpredictable.

    You just have to do what feels right for you, and don’t worry about what they’re getting out of it. I think all of these experiences help shape them in some way, whether they remember it or not.

  24. steenky bee

    I used to take Henners to Mervyns at the mall just so he could ride the escalator over and over. Meryns closed its doors January 1st. Maybe I should have shopped more while I was there.

    We’re taking the family on a staycation in a few weeks. We’re staying at a Days Inn, 20 minutes away from our house. It has a huge indoor swimming pool, an elevator and an arcade across the street. Henry will be in heaven. We took him to Disneyland last spring and all he wanted to do was swim in the hotel pool, visit IHOP and look out the hotel window into the parking lot. For 65 bucks, we can do all that 20 minutes away. We are classy like that.

    Oh, I may have commented on your comment at Cameron’s place. Still classy.

    steenky bees last blog post..Being Topical is Not One of My New Year’s Resolutions

  25. Jim

    I love the stiff-bodied “don’t pick me up” pose in the thinking chair. Classic.

    You should have had someone smell the back of your head. Just to be sure.

    Jims last blog post..Spin Cycle: What if?

  26. mrsbear

    I love the photos. And I’m so jealous of your T-Rex cafe trip, we’ve been dying to take Marcus. Looks like fun…sort of, if not sleeping and fielding tantrums can be perceived as a good time. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    mrsbears last blog post..So Thatโ€™s How It Is

  27. FoN

    I’m trying to feel sorry for you, but it’s not working. Anyone who can just jump in the car on a whim and go to Orlando right now will not get any sympathy from me. The 5th straight week of temps at -40 is really really starting to suck. Stratch that, it was actually -50 yesterday. Curse you and your Florida vacations. Sorry, hopefully I’ll be less bitchy in June.

    FoNs last blog post..Dirty Words and Lu Lu Lemon don’t mix

  28. cyndi

    Man, how can he be that dang cute while in full fear, sleep-deprived modes? Sorry it seemed like a bust, but he sounds just like Harry, who is a major lover of open/shut doors and elevators and all things hotel. We don’t get to travel with Dean anymore and I hadn’t realized how much they would miss it. They want to go to a hotel instead of presents OR a party for their birthday…go figure! I’m with Keely, too, you guys could use another great twosome weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

    cyndis last blog post..Basket ball Basket ball Basket Dribble – Game Nite 2

  29. Sammanthia

    Instead of an elevator you could always have a really big laundry chute installed. It would be a lot cheaper and WAY more fun!

    Sammanthias last blog post..Happy Birthday, Carterโ€ฆ

  30. Julie@Cool Mom Guide

    Shit, even our kids are similar. My oldest would have reacted the same way. He once told me he hates people in animal costumes because it’s “not natural” (yep, he’s 3-think my mom said it and he held onto it)

    I wanna sit in the thinking chair! no fair!

    Julie@Cool Mom Guides last blog post..Fitness Friday-Diet Tips

  31. phhhst

    What great pics. And great fun. You make me miss my kid being little.

    phhhsts last blog post..Friday Foto: Dive On In

  32. Lorie

    Isn’t that the truth! I hope you had some fun even if he only liked the door and the elevator!!

    Lories last blog post..Creative Book Storage

  33. Petra a.k.a. The Wise (Young) Mommy

    That’s toddelrs for you! My daughter can play with the most mundane things forever! It amazes me. And all the money we spend on toys!

  34. The Stiletto Mom

    Mamma UP! Oh how I miss that statement. Rest assured, we have all had the same vacation with tears and lack of cooperation in pictures. I miss it all so much, no matter how painful it was at the time!

    The Stiletto Moms last blog post..Best. Job. Ever.

  35. Kia (Good Enough Mama)

    It looks like everyone had a ROARING good time. Kinda. Even the farting Ass Man looks happy.

  36. Irish Gumbo

    Casey, I’m sorry I missed this one!

    We just had doors installed last week, and I haven’t been outside since! Door levers RAWK! I’m working on that elevator, buttons can be so fascinating..

    Irish Gumbos last blog post..Jacked Of All Trades

  37. Sandie

    While he can play with doorknobs at home, they are never as fun as doorknobs (or handles) in hotels or someone else’s house or the store or well, anywhere but home!

    Plus, nothing beats having your parents all to yourself for a weekend. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sandies last blog post..Hannah Montana Rocks!

  38. Kelly

    It feels like ages since i’ve had chance to catch up on my favorite blogs – despite not really having anything to do – how mad is that?

    Anyway, glad you had fun at Disney. You know it’s like 30 mins away from my house and I still haven’t seen yet!

    Kellys last blog post..Redneck Karaoke and shredded bullseye

  39. goodfather

    Loved the Blue’s Clue’s chair! Awesome.

    I took my older kids to Disney Land when they were young, and they spent three days in the Disney Land Resort pool. Mickey Mouse? No. Cinderalla? Later, Dad. ::sigh::

    goodfathers last blog post..How to land a passenger jet on water

  40. Cat

    The best part about staying in hotels is the hotely sex, which presumably you were unable to accomplish with your child in tow. I’m with you – save the money and buy an elevator!

    Cats last blog post..Completely Unrelated

  41. Cat

    Oh, and what kind of sick person goes to Disney World to run a marathon?

    Cats last blog post..Completely Unrelated

  42. Karen

    Awwwwwwwwwww! I want to take the little one (and his big brothers, of course) to Disney this Spring Break, but am not sure how he’ll react. Considering he ran from Santa every time he set eyes on him, it might not be a good idea to do it just yet! Great photos!

    Karens last blog post..Mama Mia, here I go again . . .

  43. Toni

    Door knobs and elevators! Maybe we could come up with a theme restaurant with those features!!!

    I am just hating that he is still having sleep issues!!!

    I love the picture of him and Jamie relaxing in the pool and Hunter has that same “pose” as Graham in the chair picture!!!

    Tonis last blog post..

  44. Katie

    That reminds me of the first time we took the kids to Rainforest Cafe. As soon as the thunder and lightening effects hit, and the gorillas started pounding their chests, my kids went apeshit and we had to leave. Ahh, vacation can be so relaxing.

    Katies last blog post..So much fun, I broke my brain.

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