Epcot is - strangely and arguably - the family favorite. Now, some would say no to this, but collectively it gets the most play when we're talking about favorites. Tom, for sure, hands down, says this was his favorite day and favorite park, and it was his first time to WDW, so I guess that says something.
What's crazy to remember is that Catcher was really just walking for about a week at this point, so going to the bus stop every morning was a very exciting time for him - and his parents - because he suddenly wanted to walk like a grown man everyday when he was down there. Also he and Beckett loved, LOVED, watching those buses come everyday.
Catcher making friends on the bus...everyday.
Ashley and mason got there before everyone else did, super early, and did a lot - a lot - in that short period of time before we arrived.
Because of this, we don't have photos with them at the entrance that morning, so we'll have to do...
Catcher was already ready for a nap when we arrived and not a fan of the sun in any of these photos.
Biting his father's shoulder off...
Beckett was very happy on the other hand...
Riley and Mackey: always looking like they are married/mom and dad in their wedding photos.
Since Catcher wasn't exactly cooperative, Tom tortured Beckett for a little while. Luckily these two love playing together.
While Beckett played, Cacher got a facial, accidentally, as Grandma rubbed him with sunscreen (Sunscreen is something we were very concerned about the whole week BTW.)
From here we went and met with Ashley and Mason at the Finding Nemo ride and saw the underwater exhibits afterwards.
After the facial from earlier, Catcher was a goner. Always on Grandaddy. Always.
So obviously with a nap in order, it was time for Spaceship Earth. Our family gets way too much enjoyment out of this ride inside the Epcot ball.
Then it was off to the NEW (and maybe only a little improved) Test Track. We love this ride, so it was cool, and kind of difficult, to see the changes. It's a lot more Tron now, and before it was a lot more crash test dummy commercials. I like crash test dummies.
Still we had a great time and Tom loved it. Of course he'd never done it before so it was a new experience for him altogether .
We rode it several times because single rider is sometimes the best invention ever. Even better than FastPass.
Once this was over, it was time for, drum roll please, eating our way through every country. We do this every single year and it might be the reason that Epcot is our favorite. Usually we go during the Food and Wine festival but this year the cut off was one week before we got there. Doesn't matter, we still ate, and ate, and ate.
We started our fare in China.
No pictures of the food, but we ate a lot of pot stickers basically.
Next, it was the Germany pavilion.
Oh yes, this is the favorite of all pavilions at Epcot I think. Mostly, for Ashley and me, it has to do with a love of Liz Lemon and NSYNC. The Tina Fey connection is obvious from all of the 30 Rock jokes about her affinity for speaking german and her german roots. The NSYNC thing is because when we were tweens we first saw NSYNC performing on Disney Channel and sitting in the Germany pavilion. We have no shared that seat with them every trip to Disney World. It's a teeny bopper tradition.
I love kitsch.
Jordan pulls of German like....like.... I don't know even know...
In Germany we got Frankfurters...
Nudel Gratin (amazing)
Apple Strudel (for Tom, because everyone has to listen to Tom speak for an hour like a chubby german boy.)
Then we just decided to take the beautiful day in.
Mom went and got some german chocolate. This was pretty stellar. And made us full enough that, insane though it may seem, there wasn't much a of food stop in the next pavilion...
We love the Italy pavilion , and we've been known to grab a canoli or two, but this time, we were stuffed like little german boys. Wasn't happening. Had to pace ourselves for what was to come.
Next we had a nice recess from the eating at the America Pavillion, or as we call it, "A salute to all nations, but mostly America." (Reference, anyone?)
Mason liking a quote by putting his head with it.
The Voices of Liberty singers were off the chain. Seriously. Although, I do have a hard time not picturing Andy Bernard from The Office and his acapella group, Here Comes Treble, any time I see or hear an acapella group now. Sigh.
It was really beautiful though and the American Adventure movie was really cool, too. We especially love the part where Mark Twain and Ben Franklin do the weirdest 'not hand shake' ever.
Then it was Japan. Oh man, I love Sushi. Number one pregnancy craving. I ate a lot of it here. That's basically all there is to say about Japan.
Now it was time to have a lot of fun in Morocco.
I was writing a big paragraph about this one, but it's better to just say: here's Beckett in a fez hat...
Catcher was a little less fez a little more Dr. Evil
Riley getting into it.
Morocco is so fun, and one of my favorite pavilions. The boys had a blast in here. Plus, Aladdin and Jasmine were there.
And then it was time for the pièce de résistance...
We ate like Marie Antoinette here. It was - spoken in my best french - 'ridicule.'
He is also, 'ridicule.'
After France, and watching our favorite movie, Impressions De France , which Catcher loved. Ahem, that is he loved running around the theater the whole time.
Now it must be, it has to be, time for Dad and Tom's favorite:
That's not because they really love the english, although they might, but because the Fish and Chips here are basically better than we've had anywhere else, maybe even including England. Maybe.
Mary Poppins was there and tried to tell us how to discipline our kids. What a...
And then there was--- CANADA!
Oh but there's nothing there besides a weird Martin Short movie, nothing to eat, and no one trying to make it more interesting. Story of your life, eh Canada?
After this, the family decided to branch off and do their own thing for a while. Most of the family went and rode Soarin', others wanted to do Mission Space (others that are crazy), while Ashley decided she wanted to take Beckett on her own to the Mexico pavilion and a few other places.
We decided to take Catcher to the Character Spot which is basically a meet and greet area where you wait in a minimal line, and then it's like shooting fish in a barrel when it comes to hitting your top characters.
While in line, we spoke with a nice couple from Canada who offered to let Catcher wear their son's Donald Mickey ears while we got our picture taken with Minnie. We told them that it was sweet but not necessary, but they insisted, and there you go. Adorable. I guess Canada is alright after all. Maybe.
While were doing that, Ashley took Beckett to ride the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros at the Mexico Pavilion. He loved it. I'm trying to get the video to post, but it won't, so maybe we'll try FB or IG for that.
When we were done with our character stuff and still had a few moments, we decided to take Catcher (ahem, Tom) to the Club Cool to try different coke products from around the globe. And since we're bad parents, Catcher imbibed.
Problem is, we thought he'd HATE it, but he loved it and now became a soda vampire. That's cookies, chocolate, and now soda. Someone call CPS.
Now as the fireworks went off, and the ball looked all pretty lit up all purply and bluish, we met back up and basically ambled around for a while, near the ball.
During this time, Tom would not be deterred from finishing of this day of eating with his favorite treat of all...
He seriously went out of his way every single day of Disney to find at least one of these Mickey Rice Crispies, and Catcher was so grateful. Ask me what I was?
Maybe it was the day of eating the way we did, but Beckett was wired on the bus ride home and so happy. Catcher must have been in a sugar coma.
Even with such a full day, most of the family went down to the pool at our resort that night and went nuts. Riley and I got hit on by two drunk, bearded, Canadian gentlemen, who were gratefully too drunk to follow through by asking our numbers, and realized it too late. Forget the nice thing I said about Canada earlier. Poor follow-through Canada. Poor indeed. But then, I've known that for a while.
We were comatose after that and it was fitting, because tomorrow we'd get up and...
Do it all again.