Totally Worth It.

This past weekend we ended a week-long celebration of Bean’s birthday at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  Now, the animal kingdom isn’t really my cup of tea.  I’m more along the lines of the thrill seeker type.  Actually ANY other park would have suited me better.  Magic Kingdom has a few pretty good rides, Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM) has a great roller coaster and the Tower of Terror, you can drink around the world at Epcot, Seaworld has two great roller coasters and they give you two free beers, and Universal Studios has the best rides around.  For the men out there, these are the parks that you want to focus on when visiting.

The problem for me is that Katie hates thrill rides.  She gets nervous watching them fly down a 100′ drop and turn into a barrel roll and twist and turn as fast as they can.  So…  because of that and because the little man is a little too little to get on those rides we ended up going to the Animal Kingdom.  However we had a great time and they have one coaster, so I was happy.  Mount Everest is nothing crazy, but you sit in a train car and zip around a few corners.  The ride got pretty exciting when half-way through it came to a stop and went backwards down a different track in the dark.  That part was great.  They also have one of the typical water rides in a big round raft that 8 other people sit in.  It’s not the best one I’ve ever seen, but its great for a hot afternoon in Orlando.

What I loved most about the park was their attention to detail.  Of course all of the parks have details so amazing that you sometimes can’t tell if its real or fake, and I love seeing all of that stuff.  Given my background in scenery, I always appreciate the work that goes into it all.  This was my favorite:

They paved the road on the safari to look like mud with tire tracks.  Yes…  That is a paved road with fake tracks… That is freaking brilliant.  And it looked amazing.

Bean Man was a trooper that day.  I mean, I was dead at the end of the day but that little guy just kept on crusin!  He loved every minute of it.  I have to admit, at first I was against the whole let’s spend $80 a person to go to the park for a day for Bean’s first birthday.  To me it was going to be a total waste of money we don’t really have right now.  He was only turning one, which means he wasn’t going to remember the day, so why waste the money??  But I will tell you, and just keep this between you and me, Kate was absolutely right on this one.  After seeing his eyes light up at the shows and the characters, it was 1000% worth every penny.  Bean Man won’t tell you, but I can tell you that it was probably the best day of his little life.  He had so much fun!

I learned a valuable lesson in parenting this past weekend.  When kids are little, even though they don’t know any better, it is still SO important to value those times together and make those days just as important as if they were 5 or 10 or 15.  Sure they aren’t going to remember the day years later, but that’s why you take pictures and videos.  Your kids deserve the best that you can give them whether that’s a blow up swimming pool in the backyard or a day at the parks.  As long as your spending time with them and celebrating their big day, they will think its the best thing ever.

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13 Thoughts to “Totally Worth It.”

  1. What do you mean, “They paved the road on the safari to look like mud with tire tracks.” ?

    Are you trying to tell me that that wasn’t authentic mud? I mean, of course I realized that but I didn’t think anyone else did.

    And yes – always take pictures of evidence that you are a good parent. You’ll need them later when they think you’re an uncaring beast.

  2. What?? No comments yet?? (I’ll hit “post” and there will be 25…whatever, lol). What a great post and what a great realization you’ve come to. My main motto for parenting, and now life in general, is “Start as you mean to go on”. Good job!! Y’all are doing a terrific job!

  3. Isn’t the Animal Kingdom just freaking amazing? I mean, I was blown away at the details and the animals and just everything, even though I hadn’t been very excited about visiting beforehand.

    And though Bean won’t remember this birthday, he’ll grow up being a secure, happy little boy because of the love you two shower him with everyday.

    Or at least I once read something like that in a manual of some sort. I mean, I don’t have kids, I don’t actually know.

    But it sounds right.

  4. Sarah H.

    Excellent post 🙂 Great pics of Bean Man too!

  5. I love the last part of your post and Bean falling in love with Minnie is just priceless..

  6. Beanie's Nana

    I feel really stupid. I thought the mud and tire tracks were REAL. Was I the only one that day that didn’t get it?

  7. Rachel

    I read your blog everyday, keep up the good work! That last picture of Bean is the cutest thing ever!! x

  8. Oh so true Chris. I think about those very things every day with Q-Tip. Farm Boy says…she won’t remember…but I feel that having those pictures so she will see and know that we gave her everything we could and loved her so much from day one…is priceless!

    Loved the post!


  9. I clicked “man cave” just because I was curious (normally, I just read your wife’s posts). I’m glad I did. It was important for me read this post because I’m always the first one to say (about the kids) “They’re too young, they won’t remember, let’s not spend so much money or so much effort on this.” Reading your post and seeing that photo of Bean’s face really hit a nerve. And what you said about giving the best to your kids, and taking the photos so they know…you’re so right on the mark. Thank you for posting this. It made me realize just how important the young years are, even though they may not remember everything.

    Oh, and the tire tracks. Unbelievable.

  10. The hubby and I were at Animal Kingdom in Feb and we both noticed the “muddy tire tracks.” I thought the whole safari adventure was the best part of the park.

  11. Because I am a big dork, I have to ask you: Were the tracks pressed into the pavement–like using a stamp–or was the surface just painted to give the illusion of tracks? This scenic artist is dying to know!

  12. THAT FACE!!! in the last photo. Your “bean” exudes all that is good about baby boys (mine are 15 and 24). Thanks for sharing that precious moment!

  13. I see what you mean – look at the expression on that little face! So glad that he had a good birthday (and that mom and dad had fun too)! Hope you got tons of pictures to capture the moment!

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