We started the day with breakfast and a surprise visit from Mayor Clayton and his wife, Merry. Then off to horseback riding! Then we left the campus and went to Epcot. Since we have been to Disney before, we were very selective in our choices of rides and events. We tried to find the things that Ashleigh enjoys the most and that way, we could make the most of each day. The parks are so big, it's hard to do everything and still enjoy yourself. When we were here before, Alex and I had a picture made for the "Leave a Legacy" wall of fame. Our picture will be there for 20 years, so we made sure Ali and Ashleigh knew where it was so they can show their kids! We tried to get to Test Track (race car ride), but it was closed, so we opted for Planet Earth, the ride inside Epcot's big ball. It broke down midway, and we sat in the dark and stargazed for about 15 minutes. Alex splurged on 3 frozen chocolate covered bananas today. I did try to stop him, but he has his own stash of money. He says he was just getting his full serving of fruit.
Companies who sponsor lounges at the park allow GKTW kids access to these lounges in order to take a break and rest from the heat and all the walking. It was fun to take a peek at these "hidden" spaces that are usually reserved for employees of the sponsoring companies. Thank you Siemens and General Motors!
Ashleigh then ventured on to the Nemo ride and a cool interactive show with Crush the turtle. We decided to try a new ride called "Soarin'" and what a thrill! It simulates a hang gliding ride over several California cities. It's fun to hang in the air and swing your feet!
Off to Japan in the World Showcase. Alex was determined to find a Hibachi grill, much like Benihana. We found a great restaurant with hostesses dressed like Geishas, and we were seated with a family who flew in from Spain (near Barcelona). They were so sweet and they had 2 little boys about our girls ages. While we ate this delicious food, rain set in. We ended up sneaking around the covered porches to see what we could do until it let up. The girls made paper masks in the Tin Toy exhibit and then finally we headed out.
Back to test track (we kept trying because it is Ashleigh's favorite ride), and finally it opened! One cast member was so sweet. Upon seeing Ashleigh's GKTW button, he knelt down and asked her if she would like to ride again. We were given the privilege of riding a second time without having to get out and wait in line. This is one of the unique things that can happen with the GKTW button.
When we arrived back at the campus, we dropped the kids off at parent's night out. We have to stay on campus, but we have some time to ourselves (and here we are working!). We went back to the villa to drop off some papers, and found some gifts for the girls! About 5 dvd movies and 2 Astros ball caps (Go 'Stros)!