animal kingdom - may 2015

We were both really excited to check out Animal Kingdom because there isn't really anything like it at Disneyland. I wish I had taken photos of the Lion King show (even though I don't think you're supposed to) because it was so fun and the singers were amazing!
Our favorite thing at Animal Kingdom was Kilimanjaro Safari. I wasn't quite sure what to expect because I thought we would be on this typical theme park ride through a glorified zoo. No. No. No.
You're put in this beefed up safari jeep (but for like...30 people) and then driven through this wildlife preserve. It's pretty crazy and super fun.
Prepare for one million photos:

The first time we went on the safari we went in the heat of the day. This meant that most of the animals would be out, but the lions (naturally) were lounging around digesting.

These deer are herbivores, but their horns were intimidating. So I felt brave being this close.

Hippo butt.  NBD.

The last time we went on the safari we didn't think we would see very many animals, but we ended up seeing the most. A rhino got real close. (This isn't a zoomed in picture.)

Jonathan made friends with a duck while we were eating lunch. And even I, the loud and proud bird hater, thought he was pretty cute. So we gave him some bread. Don't tell on us.

Tree of Life

As I'm writing this I'm realizing that those sunglasses are broken now and Jonathan's hair is down to his shoulders. #worstbloggerever

Cool river that runs through the entire park. That's the faux Everest mountain in the distance.

The plaque on this toad's aquarium said that they hardly move at all in a day. Came back after taking this picture and the little sucker had moved. I like to think that I inspired him to do something with his life.

This was the only full grown gorilla we really saw while we were there. There were whisperings about the stud of the group hanging around the part of the enclosure that you can see, but we never saw him. He was probably off smoking cigarettes and spray painting alleyways.
You can't see it really, but there was this adorable, awkward gorilla baby that is clinging to the mom in this picture and hiding from the paparazzi.
My favorite memory from seeing the gorillas is that somehow (or maybe on purpose) there were rabbits inside the gorilla area and the baby gorilla was LOSING. ITS. MIND. over the rabbits. It was the funniest thing to watch.
Also, gorilla's have an early bedtime. Like me.

Two different kind of giraffes and part of a lady's face. You're welcome.

Even though I really like elephants and was really excited to see them, I've watched one too many Bear Grylls' shows where he talks about how elephants are really dangerous and very territorial so I was kind of nervous that they would charge our bus. Luckily they had a pond that separated us from the elephants, but...um...have you guys seen an elephant? That "pond" you can see in the picture is basically a puddle to them.

Also, I think at this point during one of the rides, this woman kept standing up in the bus trying to get pictures and the driver stopped the bus and basically gave us this big lecture that if anyone stood up again that he wasn't going to slow down if we saw anymore animals. I felt thoroughly chastised and a little bit like I was on a school field trip.


I got this bow from the little girl's section of one of the gift shops.

Black Swan, anyone?

This guy posed for us. Look at those horns!


hollywood studios/magic kingdom - may 2015

In May 2015, Jonathan and I went to Walt Disney World for the first time.
We had been wanting to take a vacation, but whenever it came time to solidify plans, we always found a reason not to go, or save the money, etc. etc.
So I think it was one day in February when we finally bit the bullet and just booked our trip.

General disclaimer:  picture overload.
Other general disclaimer/desperate plea:  Take me back.

We took a red eye flight to Orlando and while it definitely maximized our time in the parks - I was SO TIRED our first day (I don't sleep well on planes), but we decided to check out Hollywood Studios first since it was closest to our hotel (we stayed at the Pop! Century Resort) in case we crashed half way through the day.

Here's one of the only pictures I took of our hotel (I don't know why I didn't take more):
A picture of food! Are you surprised. The sausage was gross, but the little waffles were cute.
Here are some of our photos from Hollywood Studios/Magic Kingdom:

I had never seen Country Bear Jamboree and it was really, really hot one of the days we were in the Magic Kingdom so we figured we'd give it a shot. I still laugh whenever I think about it. So many weird things. Especially the end of the show when the bear sings about blood and bones? It got a little dark.
Waiting in line for Big Thunder Mountain.
More of the line from Big Thunder Mountain.

This picture is terrible, but this was our bus ride from the airport. I'm a huge dork and really loved the way we booked our trip. Because we booked through Disney World everything was SUPER Disney-ed out. This bus played Disney cartoons and I loved it.
This was the first ride we went on:  Toy Story Midway Mania.

This is my mom's favorite ride so I had to send her a picture. It ended up being our favorite version of Tower of Terror. I also liked that the hotel was done in a Spanish style.

Gotta love that castle. This is the back side.
And here's the front!
The way the rides are set up in Florida is really fun. They obviously think about the rainy season so a lot more (if not all) of the line is inside. I also liked the Spanish style of Pirates as well. Even though I'm pretty partial to Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean, it was still fun to ride a classic.
This was right after we went on Splash Mountain. I really loved the Splash Mountain at Disney World because I could sit next to Jonathan and there was a lap bar. I'm kind of a wuss and still get scared at the old fashioned Splash Mountain in Disneyland where you sit single file and don't have anything holding you in!


epcot - may 2015

Here are our pictures from Epcot. We were both excited to see what the fuss was all about with Epcot. Growing up, I just thought that Epcot was the boring park for the adults. Well joke's on you, baby Natalie. Epcot is awesome and where we spent most of our time. Hungry? Go to Epcot. Want to just sit and watch something in a cool, dark place? Go to Epcot. Want to watch a bunch of animatronics move around while Judi Dench whispers in your ear? Go to Epcot.

Even though there are a million pictures below - I took a ton more (mostly of food). There were some places in the World Showcase that I forgot to even document because I was too busy looking at everything. The coolest gift shop was by far the gift shop in Japan. I had just finished reading Memoirs of a Geisha for the millionth time so I was obsessed with looking at the cool, vintage kimono they had.

The cool Magic Band system at Disney World is seriously the best. This cute bracelet we wore on our wrist was our room key, debit card and fast pass in one. One night, we left everything in our hotel, grabbed our Magic Bands and ran around Epcot riding rides and buying souvenirs and food like it was going out of style. It was really fun and such a big perk both of going to Disney World and staying at a resort on the Disney property.

This was right before the American showcase started. Jonathan fell asleep. I cried because America. No biggie.
FRUSHI! It was basically sweet rice wrapped in a froot roll up, but I got it twice and loved it.
Pretty curtain at the American showcase. Again. Tears. America. 
There is a boat that will take you back and forth between Epcot and Hollywood Studios. This was the first time we got to sit on the open bow of the boat. We were very happy. Also, we rode this boat daily like it was our JOB.
A bunny. Of course.
We were in Mexico on Cinco de Mayo. So obviously we tried on hats.
Sad sombrero man.
Clearly, I have no shame.
Nighttime. Beautiful glowing orb. Big whoop.
This is the only picture I have of Italy. We will have to go back and explore more. I just remember all of the gift shops were expensive perfume and very smelly.
Ignore the eclair - it wasn't that good, but the brioche?!?!?! OMG. I die. I had two. Bread makes you fat, brioche makes you obese.
Just Jonathan being adorable. He's basically the best person to travel with because he is always up for something new and he never gets tired. I however am always tired and whine a lot. Therefore, Jonathan is the patron saint of husbands.
This is what the car we designed looked like the second time through Test Track. The first time through we built this beautiful beast of a car and then lost every test to a bunch of high school punks. This car above won every race. Take that, suckers.
Oh, hello.
This picture will forever make me laugh. When we first went on Spaceship Earth (my favorite ride in Epcot), we didn't realize if it was actually taking our picture and if it was - "what it would be used for?" we wondered. Well just the coolest video of our futures where we ride in spaceships, of course! Once we figured this out, we proceeded to send every Spaceship Earth movie we created to our parents. We went on this ride like 6 times. Sorry, Mom and Dad.
This is us on the first ride we went on in Epcot - Living with the Land. The name sounds kind of cheesy, but the ride was really fun.
First Epcot snack. I don't even really like pretzels, but I had to try it.
We ate at this little outdoor cantina place in Mexico a couple of times and on Cinco de Mayo - it was PACKED. I went to go save a table and while I was waiting, this bird was wandering up to people looking for food. I'm terrified of birds and really wished at that moment that I had offered to wait for the food instead of saving a table. I took this picture to distract myself from my fear - and to show Jonathan later because I was brave.
A cute dude in Mexico.

The China pavilion.
The inside ceiling of the China pavilion.

Gift shop of China.
We were there during the Food and Garden festival so they had a bunch of topiaries shaped like the characters. Someone should really make a skirt like this.

Oh and then we went to the moon.