Friday, November 18, 2011

Anticipation Part II Month of November- Blog 3: Letters from Mom & Mimi

Dear Minnie-Ellie (get it- play on words as you are so teeny and we are headed to Disney TOMORROW!),

This week, we have turned anticipation into sheer excitement!!!  Your Mimi and I decided to share our best Disney memories with you but we agreed not to share last year (even though those memories with you would go in our Hall of Fame) because we are going to recount our 2010 trip next week to give you a play-by-play of your 1st trip in Disney.

So because Disney is more of an experience than a vacation, I have multiple memories spanning from multiple trips.  When I was 7, we took our first Disney trip as a family and even though I don’t remember much from that, I have two distinct memories… the first, wearing Paul Bunyan hats from Frontier Land with my brother (that I don’t think they sell anymore!) but coming from inner-city Philadelphia and not seeing much wildlife, we thought they were the coolest!  

And, I remember my Pop riding Space Mountain with me for the first time and thinking this is the best and fastest roller-coaster ever (and I still think that although it does have some competition with Splash Mountain and Aerosmith’s Rock-n-Roller Coaster)!  I remember the many trips to Disney that we took because Poppy’s company held their yearly conferences there.  

Your Daddy had never been to Disney when we started dating so of course it was an experience I had to share with him!  So the two of us went for his 21st birthday and actually had a romantic time!  
We even had dinner at the Eiffel Tower in Epcot’s France overlooking the fireworks display.

And then Ellie, we went to Disney when I was about 20 weeks pregnant with you.  And even though I couldn’t go on many rides, I had the best time… you see, Poppy bought so many baby Disney clothes and toys, your wardrobe was set for a year (we weren’t a hundred percent sure you were a girl so most of the clothes were neutral reds and greens except for the Princess dress and tiara your Mimi bought for you!).  

The funniest night of that trip was when Poppy was picked to go onstage in front of the huge audience at the Hoop-Dee-Doo Revue as a ballerina!!!  

Your Poppy and Mimi truly love Disney and they have such a history with Disney as they went there on their honeymoon!  Yes, that’s how much your grandparents adore that place!  Obviously, they’ve passed that feeling down to me and hopefully to you too Ellie! 

My favorite Walt Disney quote (and I bet your Poppy would agree) is definitely one to live by Ellie, “If you can dream it, you can do it. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse.”

And I do have tell you about a really fun event that happened this week too- we celebrated my friend Shiloh and the soon-to-be arrival of her baby boy with a shower… he’s due in January and will be another good friend of yours Ellie so I hope you will be nice to him and show him the ropes ;)

I love you Ellie Mouse!  It’s time to get excited!!!


And now from your Mimi…

Hi Ellie!

I couldn’t agree with your mom more!  First, I love her play on words calling you “Minnie” as you truly are!  And secondly, the anticipation of our upcoming Disney trip is just about to “peek!”   Today I have officially started singing “M – I – C, – see you real soon… K – E – Y, - why?  Because we love you! M – O – U – S – E!!!!” at every opportunity!  I have been singing this simple little verse over and over in my head, as I don’t carry a tune out loud very well!  Well actually it is also because Poppy says that what I think I know to believe are the words to a song, he says I actually “don’t” and make up my own words, as I don’t have a clue to what the real song words are!  Humph!  I think Poppy thinks he is the Alex Trebek of Jeopardy when it comes to “Correct Lyrics” for $500!

Anyway, your mommy and I thought this would be a fun week to share a memory from a past Disney Trip!  For me this is a bit difficult as I have dozens of stories from over the years, as Disney World is one of my favorite places to vacation!  But the one I keep going back to Ellie is my very first time… Mickey meets Mickey!  

I think it was April of 1977… Aunt Phyllis’ Toy Company held their sales convention at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and she was so wonderful to invite me along with her family to attend.  I have been hooked ever since!  Since the Magic Kingdom was only a stone’s throw from the hotel, we spent quite a bit of time there!  Space Mountain was probably the coolest and fastest roller-coaster ride of that time… (However now I am thinking it is more like Aerosmith’s Rock-n-Roller Coaster!)  My cousins Joey, Linda, Missy, Johnny and I would go off on our own and explore the variety of attractions at the park as it was (and still is) an amazingly friendly, clean and safe place!  I remember one ride called Twenty Leagues Under The Sea that is no longer there.  At the time I thought it was an awesome ride because you had to climb into a submarine that was partially submerged in water.  I remember it gave you the feeling that you were deep underneath the sea as it circled the tank while you focused on the fake fish outside the sub’s windows.  Now looking back, it was kind of a corny ride Ellie… Fun, but corny!  When we were hanging out at the hotel, we spent a lot of time at the pool and also driving the little motorboats around the lagoon!  There was always something to entertain us!  In fact, Aunt Phyllis’ company sponsored a private party character breakfast for everyone.  All the Disney characters made an appearance and one in particular took a liking to me Ellie.  

I am not sure if I was more embarrassed or more mortified, but I can tell you one thing for sure… my cheeks were definitely beet red from the attention!  This trip to Disney was absolutely one of my favorite experiences! 

Another one would be Poppy’s and my honeymoon trip.  Yes… we chose to honeymoon in Disney World!  And yes, we also stayed at the Contemporary Resort!  Poppy loves Disney as much as I do Ellie if not more!  I remember back then that when we walked to the Magic Kingdom from the hotel, we would pass Topiary trees in the shapes of Disney Characters!   One that strongly stands out in my mind was a 12-foot tree shaped to look like Mary Poppins holding an umbrella!  They are long gone now, but not their memories!  Poppy and I also loved the Haunted House, especially at the end of the ride when a “ghost” joined us in our carriage!  How Walt Disney created these elaborate, detailed and complex attractions is mind-boggling.  In my eyes, he was a genius!  Our honeymoon stay also had a romantic side to it too.  One-night Poppy reserved dinner reservations for us at a restaurant called “Top of the World” which was exactly that.  It sat on the very top floor of the Contemporary Hotel overlooking the beautiful grounds of Disney.  Every seat in the restaurant could enjoy a romantic sunset as well as the fireworks displayed over the castle in the Magic Kingdom!  I remember that night I wore a turquoise evening gown and your Poppy wore a dark suit.  He was so handsome that he took my breath away that night Ellie, just like he still does today!  I remember too that the evening’s dinner entertainment was Bobbie Darin crooning his love songs to us.  That night couldn’t have been more perfect!  Today they have changed the restaurant dramatically and now call it the California Grill.  Don’t get me wrong; the atmosphere, the d├ęcor, the food and views of the fireworks display are still the best, but for me it is lacking that “step back in time nostalgia!”  And guess what?... 25 years later, Poppy surprised me and took me back to Disney World as an anniversary present!  

And yes we stayed at the Contempory Resort! (I think you could say that that hotel is our favorite!)  When we got there, he mentioned to the reservationist at the front desk that it was a special anniversary, and to our surprise they accommodated us with an upgraded room on an upper floor in the main tower with a direct view of the Magic Kingdom!  It was awesome Ellie to relax on our balcony, watch the spectacular fireworks burst in an array of vibrant colors and “be in the moment” of Walt Disney’s ‘dream’!  And one more thing… One of your Poppy’s and my all time favorite spots in Disney is Main Street located in the Magic Kingdom!  I remember 33 years ago Main Street had a Houdini Magic Shop that sold every kind of magic trick imaginable!  Poppy and I were always fascinated and frequented this shop quite a bit!  Main Street also had a movie theater that showed very old movies (I think from the 1930’s) all day long.  That was a pretty cool place to walk into also!   But those shops no longer exist … they have since been replaced with more up-to-date shopping stores. (The kind Poppy loves to buy from!)  (The kind You Little Princess make out in spades with gifts!)  Oh Ellie I could go on and on and on, but then this would no longer be a blog but rather an “unofficial” and quite lengthy Disney Guide Book of informative as well as nonsensical information seen through the eyes of The Russell’s!  With us Ellie Disney is NEVER dull!  Prayerfully you will learn this fact many times through the coming years!

OK… it is now officially the Disney Countdown.  7… 6… 5… 4… 3… 2… 1!  Sing with me El! 
“Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me?
M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E!
Hey there, Hi there, Ho there, you’re as welcome as can be.
M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E!
Mickey Mouse (Donald Duck), Mickey Mouse (Donald Duck)!
Forever let us hold his banner high, high, HIGH, HIGH!
Come along and sing the song and join the jamboree!
M-I-C, K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E!

Love you CinderEllie!
See you soon!

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