Wait, What? Is This a Dream?

Three weeks after our trip, I now have a bit of a case of “Post-Disney-Itis.”

I guess it just occurred to me that it happened? And it’s over. And what if I wanted to do it again? I don’t know that I could, anytime soon. Too much planning and spending and more planning and more spending, only to most likely wind up there on a day that is an unbearable six out of ten, or more, on the scale of crowd control. And it did all happen, right? We were there – feet on the ground, head in the sky. Meeting Ariel, Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Aurora & more. Seeing that right there castle thingy.

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When I graduated college, my parents got a puppy. I think it was initially my suggestion to them, but they totally agreed with it and pursued it and even though he was a loveable pain-in-the-a**, we all loved to point fingers over whose idea it was to get him. Most people say it was mine, but I was 23 and I despised New Jersey (yes, I did. deal with it) and I wasn’t going to stick around to raise him. And I didn’t put a gun to their heads or blackmail them into getting him. He was rather adorable, see:

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And I had one foot on the ground, one foot out the door, head in the sky. If you think babies grow up too fast, try having a puppy. You blink and they grow three sizes too big for their beds and crates. And I knew that I wanted to be present. I knew I wanted to enjoy every freakin’ second of my time with Cody, because even back then, I knew that I’d blink and he’d turn into one of those sponge animal toys that you place in water, and he’d grow three sizes bigger. So you know what happened, right?

He grew fast and in the spin of job possibilities, apartment possibilities, two-boyfriends-at-once possibilities (oops), some of my memory concentration faded in the mix. All of a sudden I felt like a sobbing mom with empty nest syndrome. Where did my baby go? Did he know how much I loved him? Did I enjoy my time with him or was I too distracted? Why couldn’t I remember more?

And I could. And it’s not even really about time moving too fast for me. It doesn’t. It moves how it moves. I move. It moves.

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I grew three sizes bigger too. In headiness, maybe. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy it. It’s not that I wasn’t present. It was just that it was big on my head and heart, and many other things were fighting for attention at the same time too. And he got big fast.

I can’t deny that. Scarlet and Des get big fast too, especially lately.

Our lives got big pretty fast. Our Disney trip was booked pretty fast. The flight was pretty fast. The day there went very slowly, but it was just a day, after all. In a long series of days, made different by how it changed our lives, only in the ways that we fulfilled a little girl’s dreams. And revisited some of our own. We remembered. We grieved. We delighted. It was one day to do it all. We could have had two, but we did it in one. This is one post to explain it all. I could have written two, but I did it in one.

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When you wish upon a star, leave your baggage at the door. If you can’t, take some photos and write a blog post about it.


It starts.

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After you have taken three forms of transportation and gone through three levels of security, you burst in.

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Like a tornado, you veer left and right. You feel drunk. You feel giddy. Are you in a dream?

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What is real, and what isn’t? Why do Minnie Mouse ears cost $25? Why don’t you care about that?

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..because you don’t. Any money you spend in Disney World is just fake, funny money. Like Monopoly money!

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It was worth it.

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Does this face look familiar? Maybe if you knew me as a kid..

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I wish I could do Disney monorail portraits for a living, without actually having to live in Orlando. I rather like New England.

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Sometimes you need to rest and make funny faces, after it takes a ferry ride and a monorail to get to a special lunch.

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A VERY special lunch.

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These ladies know how to pose for the camera. Apparently after years of instructing people to do so, I have failed to learn a single thing when it’s pointed at me. Crap. Tilt the forehead and chin out, Tamara. You do have a nice chin, ya know.

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Des is a bit of a bewildered flirt, when it comes to real princesses.

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We were all sweaty and disheveled and not quite up to par with these lovely ladies. They were total pros, though. Speaking of pros, the silly part of me feels the need to tell you that I didn’t take these next three photos. They’re not quite in focus and all!

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Now I’m back. Hi.

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“Hey, girl..”

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And then, on our way back to the Magic Kingdom, we discovered the most wonderful mouse on earth.

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And his friends.

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Contrary to popular belief, Cassidy is not stoned in this photo (or any others). He’s high on good, clean fun, though!

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In Disney World, there’s always a professional when you need one:

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There’s also always a spectacle or show, or something else magnificent that you think you must have magically wandered into.

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Barf. (not my cup of tea)

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But, oh! The photos.

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The nights are spectacular.

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And it’s pretty nice to have someone to carry you home and tuck you neatly into bed, with Minnie Mouse ears still on your head!

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And I’d do it all again, and I imagine I will. The magic and wonder and possibility got through to him, sure, but what he remembers will be in his heart and less in his head.

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This sweet and spirited boy will soon know the tales of ice castles, spontaneous road trips, and moose. Many moose.

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I miss it. I miss it all. Generations and decades of wishing upon stars. I miss him. I miss them all. And with that I say, goodnight.

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  1. AH-mazing. You totally captured the magical-ness that is Disney in that photo of Scarlet with the ears, one of the first ones at the verrrry top. I always get a weird sadness after a vacation is over, makes me just want to freeze time a little bit and stay there! A few days of no responsibilities and no worries about $25 mouse ears? You can’t beat that!

    1. I know! The end of vacation should be a syndrome or something. Especially because I came back to zero degree snow and ice!
      I’ll take Mickey back.

  2. Beautiful, Tamara! I liked reading through your narrative. Where one vacation ends is where another begins (at least, the planning of one).

    And yes, I am also guilty of not keeping my chin up. I really don’t have a double chin, is what I want to say in those photos.

    1. haha! I know it. I have a very defined chin but the camera is on me and I forget it all! I don’t think I did the right thing in even ONE of these photos! Boo!
      Thank you for your beautiful comment.

  3. “I miss him”… that got me. Hard.

    When you wish upon a star…makes NO DIFFERENCE WHERE YOU ARE. He’s there… in the stars…loving you from afar.

    And of course, your photos and your beautiful words describe this dream come true- captured like only you can do.

    Lets lighten things up a bit, and say that if Cassidy was stoned, how COOL would Disney be? I could probably guess it would be a SWEET RIDE! πŸ˜‰

    1. What I love is that line could mean so many things, and you seemed to get it. My father. Both of my grandfathers. My son, who is right here with me, but will grow. And I think I really meant it first as my father and you got that instantly.
      Can you imagine being stoned at Disney World?? I can’t even! It already feels like an acid trip, and trust me, I have no idea what an acid trip actually feels like. The closest I can come to imagining is when I had nitrous oxide for oral surgery.

  4. That last sentence slayed me. I get it. My daughter just got her Learner’s Permit yesterday and she’ll start driving… What the heck happened? I do have a few magic Disney Pictures from about 11 years ago and I think I’ll go and dig those out now…

    1. As I was saying above to Chris, I love that you both seemed to “get” my last line, when I barely knew what I meant. Was I talking about my father? My two grandfathers? The fact that my son is here now but will one day be getting his learner’s permit and bowling me over with that?? All of the above.

  5. I don’t think I ever got to meet all the princesses like that, but I do remember meeting Mickey for sure. Your little girl looks so cute in her Alice in Wonderland outfit! πŸ™‚

    I miss it all too..I’m always one for nostalgia! Fortunately, with having babies I’l be able to relive it. Not the same as when I was a kid, but through their eyes…which will be even better.

    1. I agree, Tenns! It is kinda better and I thought NOTHING would be better than the dreaming I did as a kid. This weekend we want to take Scarlet to a real ice castle. It will blow her mind! It’s nice to know we can still find ways to do that, rather than the gigantic, energy and money spending act of planning and going on a big vacation!

  6. I’ll just let Neil Gaiman comment here:

    β€œPeople think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.”
    ― Neil Gaiman

  7. Oh saving, saving, saving Disney here I come. No teacups ride though, wouldn’t mind some Minnie mouse ears though. Stunning photos Tamara and pinned to my dream board.

  8. Wow, Tamara, I know Disney is a magical place, but you seriously made it even more so if that is even possible. So jealous and seriously we need to get their soon, because it looked absolutely perfect from start to finish!! πŸ™‚

    1. I hope you get there! And I will be dying of envy. Unless you do hire me to be your professional trip photographer, because people do need those!
      And if you’re already spending $25 on Minnie Mouse ears and about $200 on the princess breakfast for four, then you’ll find out that I’m pretty affordable!

      1. I would absolutely love to have you there and even though Kevin is a photographer by all rights himself, I will have to brainstorm ways to get you there if I can, because I just love and adore you to pieces. So, having you there would be the cherry on my cake!! πŸ™‚

        1. ha! Well he has to be in the photos, right?? Although I managed to get in mine too. Drat. I can be your nanny? haha. I’m such a dreamer. You go and have fun with your family!!

  9. Such great photos! I want to live in that castle, with some renovations, of course. The happiest place on earth. If only. I love Disney. I get the post Disney itis. Memories…

    1. And it was already having some renovations done that day!
      I wonder – what would you change about it? I think it needs a lot more bathrooms, hot tubs and grand ballroooms!

      1. So happy to hear about the renovations. πŸ˜‰ More bathrooms, hot tubes for sure, and can you ever really have too many grand ballrooms?. Must do something about all that walk-through traffic though, and outdoor privacy. I love being outside but with a more private feel. Other than that, I’m there.

        1. I hear you. It would be a big adjustment. I live on four acres of mostly woods right now. I could streak through the yard and no one would be the wiser, except for moose and bears.
          Being in a hot castle with thousands of sweaty tourists a day wouldn’t suit me. I’d have to set up some boundaries and guardsmen.

          1. Sounds better than the castle! I used to live on 5 acres. We had lots of wildlife visitors, though no bears or moose. Can I come see a moose? It’s on my bucket list! πŸ™‚ Guardsmen are a must at the castle.

            1. Please do!
              There have been some sightings here but not by me! Wah! My neighbor saw one. I’ve seen many moose in my life but never on my own property. Yet.

  10. The way you described Disney money is exactly what it is like there. I feel like they must pump something into the air to make you feel like parting with hundreds of dollars is just no big deal! πŸ˜‰ So glad you guys a chance to experience the magic, because it is magical, especially in the way that it makes you want to go back almost immediately after you leave. Like childbirth that way I guess! ;)-Ashley

    1. There is definitely something in the air, Ashley!
      I could only get them to admit that there are chemicals used to make the air smell even more like popcorn and cotton candy, etc. And then of course that makes you buy the real stuff, whose smell is not even nearly as strong as the chemicals.
      Childbirth. I actually totally love that comparison.

  11. Disney is seriously one of my favorite places. I can’t be in a bad mood there. You nailed it with, “Why don’t we care that Minnie Mouse ears are $25?” It does feel like a magical, wonderful dream when you are there. Now I really want to go back. Your pictures honestly leave me wanting more. I could look at them for hours. They are so good.

    1. Thank you so much!! It’s so hard to find a balance between only photographing or only enjoying. There’s not a whole lot of room for in between or both.
      So that’s why there aren’t a lot of photos on rides because I just wanted to ride them!

  12. The smiles of your children, your beautiful words, your deep and meaningful writings carry me through the sadness of missing those we have lost. All is bittersweet. And, yeah, he does look stoned!

  13. This made me so excited for our trip, and nostalgic for the first one when my children were small like yours. I can’t believe you had all that magic in one day – but in Disney World, anything is possible.

    1. It is, and I could have gone back for a second day! Of course, it took me days to recover from just one day there. I guess I’m still recovering! Can’t wait to live vicariously through you soon!

  14. Oh, beautiful!
    I love “what he remembers will be in his heart and less in his head.” Those heart memories are wonderful, aren’t they?
    It looks like a magical adventure, with wonder at every turn.

    1. I would love to live in the castle!
      The temps were great in the beginning of the trip. 65-70 and at least mostly sunny. The day at Disney was 79 degrees, full sun and a cool breeze. Perfection! The end of the trip was cool and rainy, but of course it was nothing to us New Englanders. We came back to like two feet of snow and ice!

    1. He will! And at least he will have all of these crazy photos to see one day. He’ll also see an album of photos of places in which he napped in his stroller. He does that a lot.

  15. The Minnie ears? Worth every damn penny. You need to blow up that shot of Scarlet and Cassidy, nose-to-nose and frame it. It’s beautiful and perfectly captures the daddy-daughter magic. You don’t need Disney or Minnie ears for that! It’s always there.

    Thanks for sharing your travels with us. This *almost* makes me want to take my girls. Almost. I think I’d still prefer the Grand Canyon. Or Maui.

    1. Thank you! I totally love that shot. They’re way too giddy and giggly and lovely for words.
      You’re making me laugh because our trip was mostly paid for..not by us. And my husband was talking about how it must take families ages to save up the $2,000 – $5,000 it costs to to cover all of it. And we realized that if we had that kind of money, wouldn’t we rather travel the world??
      Of course, kids and all. Their big opinions and hopes and dreams factor in too.

  16. You’re amazing. I love this post. There are so many things that I could say! I love the picture of Des holding Mickey’s hand. It’s the cutest. I also really love the monorail, and I remember being enchanted by it as a kid. It was such a cool idea to ride around in the air on a train. Clearly I’d never been on a plane before. That would have blown my mind.

    Do you know the song “Stop This Train” by John Mayer? I know that you have sophisticated musical taste, so you probably know zero songs by Johnny boy, BUT when I read the beginning of your post, that’s the song I thought of. Can I tell you my favorite part? He says, “Had a talk with my old man, said help me understand. He said turn 68, you’ll renegotiate. Don’t stop this train. Don’t for a minute change the place you’re in. Don’t think I couldn’t ever understand. I tried my hand. John, honestly, you’ll never stop this train.” I used to sing that song at the top of my lungs every day on the way to senior year of high school. Funny that I wanted to stop the train at 18, and now I want the train to go as fast as possible. At least to a point. Lots of love, friend.

    1. You flatter me so, but I don’t have sophisticated music taste at all! haha..Maybe on occasion, like when we go to Tanglewood every summer.
      I don’t actually know John Mayer at all, though, aside from the radio hits.
      What beautiful lyrics. Thank you for sharing these!
      Lots of love to you too, friend! Hope you’re keeping warm. 29 more days or so until spring!

  17. So beautiful. Every pic. every word. A perfect blend of word and image that makes me want to burst out into song!!

    I so wish we could make this dream come true for our kids. I still remember my Disney day – which was more about the rides then since I was a teenager. But still, magical!
    And to think that I actually interviewed with their Entertainment Department when I was in high school! (they used to contact high school drama departments back then, and someone who knew someone who knew someone who worked there saw me in a play) I could have been a Princess!!
    Yeah, I’m thinky Goofy too. πŸ™‚

    1. Please do it! Burst into song!!
      I would be curious to spend a whole day there without kids. I’d probably still go on some of the younger rides..
      And I was once asked if I wanted to study to be one of those plentiful Disney photographers!
      Ultimately, I couldn’t have handled it. I don’t really like crowds or heat, so….I live here.

      1. It’s a Small World Afterall, It’s a small world afterall, it’s a small world afterall….it’s a small, small world.
        Because surely you must miss THAT earworm, right? πŸ˜‰

  18. Awe, every time I look at these Disney pics and I see Scarlet and Cassidy, I shed a little tear for you – knowing that you didn’t have that memory…yours was a bit different. I think that was the “I miss him” at the end, and not referring to Mickey. There are so many times when I read your posts I wish I could just walk over and give you a big hug! Of course, it has to be a “virtual hug”, but here is a hug from me to you {{{{HUG}}}} OK. Your pics, amazingly awesome! I love your photography…you should be glad we are not neighbors…I would be bugging you with my camera all of the time πŸ™‚

    1. I am sad we’re not neighbors! I’d be begging up your door for chocolate huckleberry anything about right now.
      So {{{HUGS}}} right back to you! (man it was hard to find the right key to do that)
      I am heartened that everyone thought the “I miss him” meant something different. I think I really meant it as my father, but a lot of others can fill in the blanks.
      Thank you.
      (and I do miss Mickey right now)

  19. “Hey girl…” Seriously, seeing Des with those princesses was my favorite! (Probably because I have boys. Also, my best friend and I have a hobby of captioning funny pics of my kids with Hey Girl lines. I should have an instagram account just for that. Or twitter. Wonder if @babyheygirl is taken?)

    1. I don’t think I really was either, although it wasn’t as rampant in the 80’s and 90’s when I grew up. I do enjoy it because I know it’s a phase and right now it makes her so happy!

  20. Looking at your pictures, I was right back there myself. I love those pictures of Scarlet on the monorail. She is so “in the moment” and you’ve captured it beautifully!

    1. Thank you! That’s so it. I would love to be a photographer fly on the wall at Disney World. I’d have a blast. So would they. And I’d have the photos to prove it!

  21. Oh -I’m so happy you shared the dream in one incredible post!! Those pictures tell such beautiful story. The pictures on the monorail are awesome – I love the one where Scarlet is reaching up to kiss Cassidy on the check.
    And, my favorite of all the pictures are the ones with all 4 of y’all – I think it’s the first time I’ve seen all of you together like that!!

    1. And it only took a professional photographer! He was very generous to offer to take my camera and get us all in front of the castle. Made me so happy!
      And you totally described a photo that’s one of my favorite three or so!

  22. If anyone could capture The Magic Kingdom it’s YOU! Amazing. I loved every picture. I returned there with my family through these photos. How could it already be a year ago we were there? You’re so right about time and being present. Oh how I try!!! Thank God for pictures!

  23. Disney is a magical place! Especially when seen through the eyes of a child which your photos do beautifully. This Minnie ears were totally worth $25!

    1. They are! She randomly wears them all of the time lately – to the library. To friend’s houses. And they’re rather heavy too. They’re not made of cheap stuff.

    1. Wish I could be a Polar Express photographer too! Imagine the looks on those faces! (I clearly live in a fantasy world)
      These photos were SO much fun to upload yesterday.

  24. love your photos! omg that puppy is so freakin’ cute!! Husky correct? I had a light red haired one growing up, such a smart girl – miss her to death. Puppies definitely grow faster than kids lol especially dependent upon the breed, a great dane will shock you lol. OH Question: where in that Northern awesome area you live in can I find Atlantic Puffins? I want one but my boyfriend says no, either way I want to see them. lol πŸ™‚ Happy Hump Day love! -Iva

      1. The dog was an Alaskan Malamute, but he did look like a husky! Bigger and broader, mostly.
        I’ve never seen an Atlantic Puffin! I think their geography can range. Come here and see if you can find one! Maybe Maine, though.

        1. Awesome! What a cute breed πŸ™‚ Lol I saw them here at the Baltimore Aquarium – they are freakin’ awesome!! Yeah apparently they are allllll over maine so I sooo want to goo now πŸ™‚ Challenge Accepted.

            1. Yes by the coasts of Maine apparently that’s their nesting grounds and they go back every year. Sooooo yeah I wanna go and be surrounded by puffins!!! LET’S DO IT!!! Whoa that’s cool a REAL ice castle? Man that sounds hella cool!! Can’t wait to see those photos πŸ™‚

  25. There is so much to say in response to this that I don’t know if I will end up saying any of it.

    But the picture of sassy Scarlet pointing and sticking out her tongue? Oh boy did that move me.

    if I get to be reincarnated I want you and Cassidy to be my parents!

  26. It all does go by too fast. And puppies? Oy vey! I look at my 14 year old dog and wonder how it happened. Scarlet shows a lot of personality in these pictures, she is such a little princess! The best part about photos is that they capture a specific moment in time that will never be lived again, and therefore the moments never age. And as a photographer, you capture so many of those precious moments, even the ones that don’t seem precious until you look back years later. The whole bunch of you are beautiful!

    1. It’s all so precious – so true. I’m always going to be so happy I took all of these photos during these in-between monorail and walking moments, and not just on rides! Although the rides were so dark and I had Des on my lap for many, so those moments live on in memory only!

  27. This makes me miss Disney! But yes, I could do without the crowds. I’m surprised it was still crowded when you went. And all the extra money…blah! We also bought some Mickey ears, naturally. And we ate in the castle. Loved it and the food was tasty too.

    Love your photos!

    1. Amber, I can’t imagine that it’s ever not crowded. The day after we went was cold and rainy and a “1 out of 10” on the crowd control scale. I still think that would be intense for me. I’m so set in my “Living in the woods of New England” ways.

  28. What amazing pictures! You’ve captured the magic of the place, the princesses, and your kids. Your daughter must still be floating from it all. You all look so happy, and somehow the pictures look like the whole thing went by fast. Or maybe it is just that described it so well; how some time flies, how things grow too fast. Beautifully written and composed!

    1. It did go fast, but also slow!
      And what’s funny is that most of my photos are from the in-between moments. Waiting in lines and walking from ride to ride. The actual rides weren’t as exciting for me, mostly because they were dark and I had Des on my lap if I at all could take photos!

  29. I can think of 25 things I’ve spent $25 on that were much less-wise choices than mouse ears.

    The pictures just even feel like Florida, if you know what I mean. It’s a feel. I miss that.

    Ariel is my favorite, by the way.

    1. I think she was mine too. Not to tell Scarlet that it isn’t really Ariel, but she seemed to be the one I most felt like I’d be friends with in real life. She had a cool voice and you can just tell she sits down and cries to Futurama episodes after the makeup has been washed off.
      We got each other.

  30. It’s never occurred to me before how similarly we write, at times. I think we have a similar style, but that yours is punctuated by breathtaking photos that almost take away the words. Is this weird? Or more of a sisterwife thing?
    And dude. The mouse ears? TOTALLY worth it.

  31. These photos are magical, especially the ones of Scarlet on the monorail. Those are amazing. I was a little appalled at the price of the mouse ears but you’re right – it’s funny money in there. I also love that you have a disclaimer for Cassidy’s expression in the photos.

    1. haha! Well he looked a little toasted in some photos. We all felt toasted.
      I couldn’t believe the price tag. And she wanted them badly so I hadn’t thought to look before I got to the cash register!

  32. Your Disney visit looks so magical! and yes to the funny money. haha. It’s a paradox. Also – was your first picture hand held? holy moly, steady handoly!

  33. I think I told you before that I wish we had taken the kids when they were young, so the magic was there for them. We went when they were older thinking they’d remember it better, but no one wanted to do the same things and they wouldn’t pose with the characters because they were in a rush to go on every ride they could. It was far from magical for me. But there are so many magical moments in everyday life…I just want to grab on to them and hold on forever. Time just keeps passing by. Your post was the first thing I read this morning, but I never got to come back to it till tonight. But it has been with me all day. Beautiful…words, pictures…everything!

    1. Thank you for coming back to comment!
      It was a heavy one. Tomorrow’s Ask Away Friday will be nearly all nonsense, because I need it!
      We did Disney World at 19 and 21 and I don’t know that it was very fun for my mom. Maybe it was because we were more like peers and we’d do things almost as friends, rather than her trying to round us up constantly!

  34. Scarlet looks so shy in her photos with the characters, so cute! πŸ™‚ I love how you narrated the magic in Disneyworld. The castles! They’re amazing, it’s indeed like a dream come true when you get to see them. Scarlet is so cute with those mouse ears too, I can remember her Rapunzel hair! πŸ˜€

  35. Life really does go by SO QUICKLY! Lately I have been thinking about the past A LOT and I feel like this is just going to keep on happening as I get older. I miss the days when I didn’t have a care in the world – or of course, my WORRIES back then were what I was going to eat for dinner or if my barbie’s hair looked good. I adore my childhood and truly have to thank my parents for such wonderful experiences. Your kids will remember these experiences, I promise you. And they will cherish these moments when they get older. And the fact that you’re documenting these moments with so many photos will help SO MUCH! My mom kept photo albums GALORE – and it’s wonderful because now I know they aren’t lying when they tell me they took my siblings and I to Europe several times a year every year!

    1. Right, because Photoshop wasn’t out when we were kids (I think?) so they couldn’t totally make up vacations! Ok, now what kind of sick person would do that anyway?
      This is really the only way Des will know about all the crazy things we did when he was so little!
      And childhood was magical. Mine was in NJ so of course I imagine yours to be filled with mountains, moose and elk.

  36. Awe! Sometimes we just never want to let these things go. We’re afraid that those memories will fade into darkness and be no more. That we’ll look at the pictures and struggle to find the feeling again.But you’ll have other memories, other feelings that may top this one (although I imagine it would be fun). Relive it over and over.

  37. Vacations are like that. A lot of time planning and then in a blink of an eye, they’re done. It makes me so glad to have a camera and to see and remember the joy in our children’s eyes and the fun the family had. I love how excited your daughter was at those Minnie ears. What a great set of shots in the monorail (good lighting :). And how cute your pro photographer side came out when it came to yourself posing and also those out-of-focus shots. Those Disney Princesses sure know how to pose indeed!

    1. It was intimidating to me! I realize they do it day after day, all day long, but sheesh. I was making every mistake in the book when it was my turn to pose.
      And the saying I didn’t take the blurry photos was a bit obnoxious!! haha. My poor husband.
      The lighting in the monorail! I kinda want to live in there and take a job doing monorail portraits.

  38. I love how you described Des in the moment with his photo with the ladies lol. And Scarlet and her thoughts as a child….I just love the innocence and glimmer that she always has in her eyes as she explores and discovers the wonder of it all. Yay! we got a lot of pictures of you with them in this one! That was a nice treat, actually.

    1. Thank you!
      I do love the sparkles in her eyes. People try to recreate that in Photoshop, but I generally don’t have to because Scarlet always looks that way and I always face her to the light.

  39. The monorail pictures are exquisite. Something about the pink of the ears, her outfit, and the fabulous blue of the seats. How is it you don’t even look tired in these pictures – I would be exhausted running around that place all day with two kids.

    1. I was exhausted, and hot and sweaty. I look at those photos and see it, though, so thank you!! Cassidy also looks a bit worse for the wear.
      Thank you about the monorail pictures! I knew at the time they would be my favorites.

  40. I’m so teary from this for so many reasons. Your pictures are stunning as always, and more importantly, have captured this magic for you forever. My kids were the exact same age the first time we went to Disney, and that’s one of the reasons I’m almost sobbing! Yes, those Minnie Mouse ears were definitely worth it! Scarlet’s expressions are priceless and those monorail pictures!

    1. I think I can almost sob now, just thinking about seeing these photos ten years from now or so. When other things in life will be fun, but it won’t ever be the first time at Disney World ever again. Maybe for Des, though. He won’t remember this.
      Thank you so much! Hope you enjoyed your SITS Day!

  41. That was beautiful, Tamara – the photos, your stories, everything. I can tell you had a wonderful time. I miss Disney too. The last time we took our kids was in 2010, the summer before Little Bear was born. We went to Disney Land. I’ve been to both Disney World and Disney Land. And they are both equally spectacular. Have a great day!

  42. Wow thanks for all the up close and personals with all the characters. They have like one of the best jobs in America! Seriously magical photos Tamara.

    OAN – my issue with time and moving fast has become I struggle with me in reference to weddings. THey are so expensive and people keep telling me it’s a whirlwind and over before you can take a breathe good….and all the money down the drain. I know it’s a once in a lifetime thing, but maybe it’s because I feel I am getting too old for this stuff!

    1. So interesting. I got married at 27 and I thought there should be the whole big thing. Cassidy had to talk me down from inviting 1,000 people, to be honest.
      I wonder what I’d be like now. Probably very different because we have kids and are so poor!

  43. Ah DIsney is so magical isn’t it? Such beautiful photos!I love the ones with the four of you experiencing a wonderful family memory! Love to hear that you all had such a wonderful time. Family moments are truly the best! By the way, those Minny Mouse ears are totally worth $25 (not really, but like you said – $ doesn’t count at Disney!)

  44. Do you know that I have never, ever been to Disney? Ever? Either have my children? It’s not likely to happen now that they’re 10 & 15, and our budget is pretty much zilch but still, it feels like I let them down somehow? As always, I aspire to write like you when I grow up my friend! Your ability to story tell is rivaled by absolutely NO ONE!

    1. Ah, thank you! And for that, this comment is my new favorite of all time.
      It’s never in our budget and never would have been – this whole trip was a gift!

  45. Those Disney ears….totally worth it. Scarlet should be an honorary princess. However I agree, you don’t want to live in Orlando. BTW I think Cinderella kinda looks like Miley Cyrus πŸ™‚

    1. She kinda does! Something in the mouth.
      I totally wonder what their real lives are like. They were true professionals. Amazingly in character and kind and patient. I’d have been losing it by then..

  46. Ah, that castle! Every time a Disney movie starts, T reminds us that we’ve promised to take her there someday. Scarlet is just adorable in those Minnie ears! Those are the kinds of pictures that will really be cherished as she grows up. Who am I kidding…they’ll all be cherished, because they’re all gorgeous!

    1. Thank you!! We are trying to narrow one down for the woman who got us in the park for free. I’m thinking probably not one of just my daughter, even though they are my favorites.
      You promised T! You’ll get there!

  47. Oh, Tamara – What a beautiful documentation of your trip. Do you plan to turn these into a photo book? I bet Scarlet would love to have something to look through to remind her for this adventure. This post is such a great range of funny to sentimental …

  48. You should totally be a monorail photographer! You’d make a ton of money. LOL and those pictures of Scarlet turned out so sweet! πŸ™‚ I loved how you guys got to meet so many characters during your trip. So magical, and you captured it so beautifully as always.

    1. We could have met even MORE! The first person we met was Peter Pan and then Wendy. He said to Scarlet, “Hey! You look like my friend, Alice.”
      She was so happy!

  49. That photo of Scarlet, where she’s resting her face on her hands with her Mini Mouse ears–she looks so grown up. And the princesses–how do they all have such perfect teeth? Can you imagine wearing that much makeup every day? And that photo of the castle with the moon off to the side–wow!

    Disney is such an adventure. I can only imagine what it is like for your first time as a parent. Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

  50. looking at these pictures makes me long for so much: a child, a puppy, the magical memories to be had at disney…i want it all. i hope when the time comes i can soak it all in just like you’ve captured the spirit in your photos. and scarlet is so beautiful with her mouse ears!

  51. I agree with the money at Disney – why am I insanely wealthy upon entering those gates? Twenty-five dollars for ears sounds about right to me. Magical pictures of one of my favorite places on earth!!

  52. Wow! Seeing The Magical Kingdom through Des and Scarlet’s eyes, via your pictures, make me feel the magic! I wanna go now, right now! Your kids are adorable, Cassidy a champ for being the male model in your photos, and your talent for capturing emotion…PRICELESS!

  53. Your vivid descriptions of this fantastical dreamscape are so transportive. I love how you capture the whimsy and imagination of your subconscious world. Your writing beautifully conveys the magic and mystery of dreams. Lovely read!

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