Wednesday, March 12, 2008

home again

We're home. Our flight was delayed last night, so it was almost midnight by the time we got home. Today I'm trying to unpack and start laundry and clean up the house. I have tons of pictures and I have no idea how I'll decide which ones to share so everyone doesn't have to watch a slideshow with 500 pictures in it.
I'll start at the beginning to give you a recap of our week. Tuesday the day before we left, we got almost a foot of snow at our house. We stayed that night at a hotel by the airport which meant we had to shovel the driveway before we could leave. Then it took us 2 hours to get from our house to the hotel, which should normally be about a 45 minutre drive. We had to get up wednesday morning at 3:45 to get everyone ready and to the airport on time since the hotel was full of people who were also taking the shuttle. We made it through security easily because the lady working there took pity on us with the 3 kids and all our crap and she let us jump to the front of the line. The kids all did well on the flight and were big helpers in carrying all their stuff through the airport and to the rental car. We rented an suv that was supposed to be similar to a chevy trailblazer. We got a toyota highlander, which was smaller, but we were still able to fit all the car seats in and all our luggage, so it was ok. Not great, but ok.
Then we drove to our resort. Sean went to check-in and they had us down for 2 two bedroom units. Thankfully I had printed our trip info so they changed it to 1 unit and we actually ended up with a 3 bedroom, which mean Megan got her own room. Then we hit the grocery store and Megan and I napped while Sean took Emma and Nathan swimming. We all crashed early that night since it was such a long day.
Thursday we went to Sea World. Emma rode her first big ride with dad, "Journey to Atlantis," and Nathan cried because he was too short to go. We saw every animal there and Nathan touhed the sting rays and tried to touch the dolphins. Emma wanted no part of touching anything. We saw the Shamu show "Believe" and it was awesome. I have some great pictures from that thanks to my awesome camera. We ended the day at Shamu's happy harbor, which is the kid area with a huge playground and some rides for smaller kids. As we were leaving it started raining and we all ended up soaked by the time we got to the car.
Friday we went to Aquatica since that was going to be the hottest day while we were in Florida. The park is amazing. I took some pictures, but they just don't do the park justice. There are 5 different kinds of slides for bigger kids/adults, several slides for smaller kids, a gigantic water play area for kids with slides, two wave pools, a lazy river, and a thing called "Roa's Rapids," which is like a really fast moving lazy river. You can't use tubes to float on in the rapids, but they have life jackets to wear so you can just float along instead of swimming the whole way. They had life jackets for every size person on racks all over the park, and the kids are required to wear life jackets if under a certain height. They also have towel and locker rentals. I suggest bringing in the bare minimum of things you need and put them in a locker beecause you will be moving from place to place a lot and who really wants to lug all their crap around all day. Aquatica also did not allow outside food for lunch into the park. They are supposed to be building a picnic area so you can, it just wasn't finished yet. Even though there was a tornado watch in the area it was a great day and we all had a good time.
Saturday was much cooler and we spent the day shopping and at downtown disney. The kids enjoyed the incredibly huge disney store they have there. The kids all got "first trip to Disney" pins, and Emma got a phone call from goofy. They also got to pick out something to buy from the store. Emma and Nathan both picked cup sets. Emma's is the disney princess collection, and Nathan's is "Finding Nemo". Megan got a small set of disney princess characters.
Sunday we went to Disney World. It was an amazing day. The excitement on the kids faces was definitely the best part of the trip. We got to see all the parades and the show in from of Cinderella's castle about dreams coming true. I have to admit I got a little teary-eyed a couple of times just watching the kids and seeing how in awthey were of everything. Nathan and dad rode the teacups and the big thunder mountain railroad. Nathan and I rode barnstormers ride in the kid area. We all rode the dumbo ride, the grand prix race cars, the jungle cruise ride, and it's a small world. I really think Emma was a litle freaked out by the ride at Sea World, so she was hesitant to ride anything at disney. We also went through the Swiss Family Robinson tree house and went over to Tom Sawyer's island. The kids got to meet Alice and the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland. It doesn't really sound like we did much but with all the walking and waiting in line the day went by waay to fast. Now I know why people have to go to Disney for more than one day. With all the lines and people it's impossible to fit everything into one. We ended the day with the spectro magic parade and the Wishes fireworks show. Emma and Nathan stayed awake the whole day, even on the ferry ride back to the car, but we didn't make it out of the parking lot before everyone was asleep.
Monday we slept in and then headed to clearwater beach. It was warm enough outside to enjoy playing at the beach for a couple of hours, but the water was waaaaay to cold to go swimming at all. The kids had a good time away playing in the sand and running around.
Tuesday we had to be out of the resort by 10am, so we packed up and headed back to downtown disney since we didn't get to see everything the first day we went. We ended up having lunch there that day and that ended up being Wetzel's Pretzels and Haagen Daas ice cream. What good parent I am, huh? All well, the kids had a good time. Then we drove down international drive to kill some more time. Finally it was time to head to the airport to drop off the car. We loaded up the car seats in the bag and loaded down everyone with all our stuff. Obviuosly we looked like we need lots of help because we got lots of offers on the way in, but we really did have everything under control. The plane arriving from New York was slightly delayed, and then once we got on the plane the outside lights stopped working, so they couldn't finish loading our bags. We ened up delayed almost an hour. Thankfully Nathan and Megan both fell asleep on the plane after about an hour, which made being delayed not so bad.
We mde it home with some really crabby kids, but everyone had a great trip. I definitely was not ready to come home at all. The kids were incredibly well behaved in Florida. Of course we had a couple of incidents, but I'm happy to report we were not that family with the kids throwing themselves on the ground and screaming about things. Emma and Nathan can't wait to go back, and honestly, neither can I.


  1. It sounds like you guys had SO much fun!!!! I am glad you made it out with that snow last week. Welcome back!

  2. I can't wait to see pictures! It sounds like you all had a great time!

    ~Auntie Laura