The Disney Hiatus

Sophie – all 4 lbs, 2 ounces of her, holding my finger

With the birth of Sophie on June 19th, 2001, our trips to Walt Disney World went on hiatus for a few years.  I know that some people have brought their children to the parks when they are babies, but Cindy and I made the decision early on that we wouldn’t do that.  When you couple that with the fact that Sophie was seven weeks early, it made the decision a no brainer.

However, make no mistake, I knew that we would be introducing Sophie to the Disney Experience as soon as we could.  One of the things we bought for her — even before she was born — was the DVD of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  It came with a great set of lithographs from the movie that we got at the Disney Store, and they are on her wall to this day!


So, for the first few years of Sophie’s life, her exposure to Disney was through movies and books (she also has two really great Disney Books).  However, the day came when our friend Leigh Ann and her family invited us to spend the week with them at their timeshare at Orange Lakes.  That was a great trip, and we ended up spending three days at the parks.  We went to the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom.  We were fortunate enough that we were able to eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table (with the girls all decked out in their Cinderella dresses), Princess Storybook Dining at Akerhus, and we also ate at one of the best quick service restaurants in all of Disney:  Flame Tree Barbeque.

We had such a great time going to the parks with our friends.  It was a great week, and one that we will never forget.  In fact, even though Sophie was just four years old, she remembers that even though it was five years ago, and looks forward to the next time that we are able to go to Disney with her best friend Riley again.

Editor’s Note:  This post is being re-posted so that all of you can see the wonderful bundle of joy that is my daughter Sophie.  In this picture she is about 3 days old.  Thanks for indulging me!

World Showcase: Italy Pavilion

Our blog tour of World Showcase continues.  If you remember, our last stop was in the Germany Pavilion, so next on our list is Italy.  The Italy Pavilion at Epcot is home to some really great things to see, from the acting and singing troupes, to the incredible buildings, and the great restaurants!  Did you know that the architecture and building designs are based on the city of Venice?

When in Italy, take the time to investigate some of the great shopping that is available to you, and if you are of a mind, make a dining reservation at Via Napoli or Tutto Italia Ristorante!  While this country doesn’t have an attraction, it is one of those things that you can do when you are of a mind to take the road less traveled method of exploring Epcot.  One of my goals for our next trip with regard to Italy is to take some more compelling pictures of this oft-overlooked country.