Sunday, October 30, 2005

Halloween weekend of fun!

Madison was awarded her gold belt for Karate this Saturday at a graduation ceremony at the school. The ceremony was amazing, all of the students (from 5 to adulthood) who were moving up a belt, graduated on the same day. We got to see some amazing moves, kicks and fighting - it was really awesome!

After the graduation, Maddy got into her Halloween costume to go to a birthday costume party for one of her friends. The party was great with a bouncy castle and inflatable slide. Then we went to the pumpkin patch for our new family Halloween tradition which goes like this.... First we buy the pumpkin...
Then Michael takes out the insides and makes a Pumpkin Pie and bakes the seeds... Madison and I make a Jack o' Lantern... then we all camp out in the family room with blankets and tell scary stories.
This year Maddy told the story of the Pumpkin Castle. Clare's story was about the albino ghost horse, "Moonshine". Michael had the two scariest stories, one about a child who lost his finger when he stuck it out of the window of the school bus and the other about the 'Man with the Golden Arm'. Michael's stories involved George Lucas-style special effects (not) like ketchup and a fishing line that made a ghost appear in the kitchen. Madison thought the ghost was hilarious and spent the rest of the story shouting 'it's just a stinkin' shirt!' It was a blast...and Michael's pie was edible this year too.
Halloween itself was fun too. Maddy loved trick or treating in the neighborhood and it was as busy as ever. Happy Halloween to all of our family and friends!!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Our special day...

Madison's school was out on Friday so we decided to spend a special 'mommy-daughter' day together before I start my new job on Monday. Madison had not visited Universal Studios before so we got up nice and early, got Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast and headed off. Madsion was amazed when we arrived in the 'Downtown' area which is now in between Universal Studios and the Islands of Adventure. It is full of restaurants and stores and has really developed since we last visited for the July 4th fireworks a couple of years ago. Ticket prices were the scariest part of the day despite the fact that we are in Halloween Horror nights season ($60 for kids and $70 for adults with no Florida residents discount) although the two day passes and park hopper deals looked much better.

First stop (and most important to Maddy) was E.T. Although she was a little scared and covered her eyes in places, this was her favorite ride of the day. Afterwards, we visited the Curious George playground, the Ball factory, Woody Woodpecker rollercoaster and went to the Animal Planet stage show.

For lunch we went to a fantastic seafood restaurant and got to sit by a massive fishtank which Maddy loved. After lunch we sent to 'Earthquake' which was way too much for Maddy. She didn't like the fire and said it was way too bumpy. We did E.T. and Woody Woodpecker again before trying something else new. Once Maddy's courage was restored we went to Shrek 4D which was really cool. 'Fear Factor Live!' was really gross just like the real show. A woman from the audience had scorpions on her head and they had people eating bugs!
The weather was perfect (high 70s) and we hardly had to wait in line all day. Universal has changed quite a bit (Kongfrontation and Hitchcock are no longer there) but the new rides were excellent. There were several that were PG13 or had height restrictions so it we will be a whole new experience next time I'm sure!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Fort de Soto

The weather has finally calmed down a bit so we headed off to Fort de Soto today to try out Maddy's fishing rod from Poppop. We caught 3 fish and had a really great time!