The day Emma and I arrived home from our Nashville trip with my mom, Dan picked us up and we headed straight downtown to the Hyatt to spend the night. I had been given vouchers by my company, and we needed to use them before Thanksgiving weekend. We always have fun spending time downtown!
Emma is showing Elmo how pretty the lights are outside our hotel room window
Ready to order room service!
She didn't sleep well in her pack n' play, which meant that she ended up sharing (a.k.a., completely taking over) our king-sized bed.
We still woke up ready to play, though.
The view's not too shabby in the daytime, either!
We went out for a big breakfast and it was one of the first successful restaurant experiences we've had since Emma started walking. "Success" being defined as: 1) She sat in her high chair, 2) she actually ate something, 3) she didn't whine to get up until we were finished eating our meals. Sitting still and eating are not her favorite things to do right now, so we enjoyed it!
We took a swim in the hot tub, which was set at about 85 degrees. Dan thinks that should be the universal temperature for all swimming pools.
It was Veteran's Day, so we walked to a good spot to watch the Veteran's Day Parade along the downtown harbor.
We've had great times at amusement parks recently, too. Sea World is just two miles away from our house, and we love going for an hour or two at a time. It's one of the most fun ways to get outdoors!
There is an entire section of Sea World that is perfect for toddlers, called Bay of Play. It has Sesame Street-themed rides, games, and activities. But Emma could happily spend all her time playing with the giant rubber duckies at the store they planted just outside Bay of Play. It's the simple things.
When we finally drag her away from the duckies, she has a great time on the rides! She and her friend, Jemma, are waiting to ride the Flying Elmo ride.
Riding Abby Cadabby's Tea Cups. She has no idea that you can spin the wheel to make the ride go faster because that would make Mommy and Daddy sick. She is going to feel ripped off when she figures it out.
Sea World has a Christmas play area with snow! We think it's exciting and we take Emma there and say, "LOOK!! IT'S SNOW!!" and we show her how to walk like a penguin on it and play with it. She touches it once to confirm that it is still wet and cold and slippery, and she is ready to leave the area within 9 seconds. Oh well, maybe next year.
In keeping with our family tradition, we planned a short getaway during Thanksgiving weekend. We spent two days at Universal Studios Hollywood, since we have passes that are good until the end of 2014. Getting away to do something fun and active for the weekend is way better than stuffing ourselves with turkey and watching football on TV, in my humble opinion.
She loved the minions, which were everywhere you looked in the park. Too bad she is too young to ride the new "Despicable Me" ride, because it is awesome!
Universal Studios doesn't have much for little kids, but they do have a couple of fun playgrounds.
And they have props from movies that you can play on.
While she was napping, Dan and I took turns riding several big kid rides.
Another nap during the Studio Tour. Unfortunately, Emma does not have The Parents Of The Year, and we took her on the ride knowing there was a scary part. At one point, the tram stops in a studio with a 360 degree, 3-D IMAX movie with King Kong fighting dinosaurs. It is dark, overwhelmingly loud, and your tram shakes as if you're in an earthquake the entire time. It was obviously terrifying to Emma, although it only lasted about 3 minutes. She fell asleep immediately afterwards from exhaustion, poor thing!
But when she woke up, she got to hug Curious George! Clearly King Kong did not frighten her away from all abnormally large monkeys. Heh!
She loves Dora the Explorer and kissed life-sized Dora right on the nose.
Since we spent Wednesday and Thursday (Thanksgiving Day) at Universal Studios, we still had a 3-day weekend at home afterwards. It was the best of both worlds.
Dan's birthday falls right after Thanksgiving, so we had a lunch and movie date to celebrate. I love this man!
Emma gave him a cute card and some NY Islanders-colored balloons to play with.
And the sweetest song ever
Dan's birthday kicks off Christmastime at our house, so Emma decorated our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree. Bring on the holidays!