Month: July 2015

Our Vacation Part 3 – The Final Installment

We are home and had a day to recover.  Last week was a whirlwind of adventures and went faster then expected.  Some of them not planned.

Friday we planned on visiting my husband’s family.  They live about 3 hours from my parents, so we planned a pit stop about half way between the two.  After doing a quick google search we narrowed down to either Christmas town or  Gatorland as both were about the halfway point and not to far off the path we plotted.  We chose Gatorland thinking it would be a small park like a nature preserve type experience and just enough to walk around and stretch our legs, maybe grab a quick bite to eat.  We should have researched more!

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G wrestling a gator . . . at least a fake one.
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Uhhh That is probably not the best place to take a break!
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Daddy wants me to do what???
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I should sit here?

Gatorland apparently is a huge attraction in the area and not what we expected at all!  They had a spot where you could have a picture taken with a baby alligator.  Since my husband has a picture of him holding an alligator as a child he wanted our son to have one too


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Like this?
Aww baby alligator!
Aww baby alligator!
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Ummm not sure about this snake . . .
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Ok but hurry!
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Not much between us and them.

After we got the pictures out of the way, we went for a walk.

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The Crane’s do not seem to mind.
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They are sneaky though.
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And brazen.

Gator land turned out to be more of an adventure then we expected.  What was suppose to be a 10-15 min break turned into an hour and a half exploration!  We did not even see or do everything they had to offer!

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Our daughter did not seem to mind!

Of course my daughter and I took a selfie while the boys explored one of the observation towers.  There was also a water park/ splash pad section and a children’s play ground we did not get to explore despite my son begging for us to go.  We did stop at the gift shop and bought some super cute outfits for the kids and toy gators for my son.

Once we got back on the road we were already late getting to our destination.  We did have a great visit with my husband’s family.  Unfortunately I was so busy meeting and catching up I did not get any pictures!

As we left later then expected we did not stop back at Gatorland on the way home like we thought we might.

On Saturday we spent the morning at the beach.  This time in the ocean instead of the cove.

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What is this stuff?

At first our daughter was not sure what to make of the sand.  She quickly decided it was fun!

This is fun!
This is fun!
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Nana and Pop Pop
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My boys in the water.
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He is a big boy now! All by himself.
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Playing in the waves.
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Catch me Daddy!
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No you catch me!
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Playing in the sand.
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My husband taking my daughter out, her first ocean experience.
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She doesn’t seem to mind!

As you can see my family loves the beach!  And yes, we stayed longer then expected.


After the kids and my husband had a brief nap we went to the river near by my parents home.  They had a Christmas in July celebration.  It was mostly vendors selling their wares, but there was a playground and splash pad and my son had fun.  Before we left we took a brief walk along the river where of course my son had to pose!

I 'd rather eat Momma's bracelets
I ‘d rather eat Momma’s bracelets

My daughter on the other hand was not impressed!

Sunday was a chill day as it was the day before we were scheduled to leave.  We started packing and played in my parents spa/pool.

Later that afternoon my Sister, her boyfriend and my Aunt and Uncle came to visit.  It was great to see everyone before we left.

Once again, I did not take any pictures.  My Aunt did, hoping to get copies!

Overall a great visit and one we will do again once we can!

My son and husband on the train to the terminal in Orlando Airport.
My son and husband on the train to the terminal in Orlando Airport.

Our Vacation – Part 2

As promised, the next installment of our unexpected vacation has arrived!  It’s amazing to think our time here is almost over.  When we talked about 8 days I was wondering how we are going to fill the time, I should not have!

Wednesday was another relax day.  In the morning we spent time around the house.  My husband took our son for a nature walk and to the pool while my daughter and I took a walk up to the store for some supplies.  It’s amazing how much my son eats and doesn’t eat at the same time!

During nap time my oldest sister, Cheryl, who also lives in Florida, arrived.  We went to the beach.  Just as we arrived it started to rain!  It was not a hard rain and the cove we went to was not crowded so we stayed.  I am so glad we did!  Despite the rain, ants, no-see-ums it was an amazing experience.  There was not one but two manatees!  I was holding baby girl so no pictures nor did I get super close.  Some of the people who were there did have the experience of the manatees rubbing up against them!  Some of the people said this was a first, wild manatees!

Thursday was the BIG day, we went to Disney!  Once we go there, guess what happened . . . .IT RAINED!  Not all day thankfully.

It was sunny skies on our drive to the park, as we got closer the clouds got darker. Just over the park it was raining and started just as we parked the car.  We did not let it deter us!  The day had it’s challenges, in the end my Mom and son had fun, that is what it was all about!

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Magic Kingdom
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So exited G needed Jazz hands to show it!
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Two thumbs up for the parade!
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Who’s Goofy? We are!
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Which castle is this? We were going to eat here but could not remember the name to make reservations.

Since dinner at the castle did not work and after another downpour while we were on Ariel’s Under the Sea adventure we made our way to downtown Disney and dinner at the T-Rex Restaurant.  Late of course!  Our Reservation was at 3 PM, we finally made it there by 4 PM.   We called ahead and said we were running late, thankfully they still honored our reservation as both my boys (son and husband) had a blast!

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Waiting fr our table. T-Rex standing guard.
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My boys figuring out if they want to explore or eat!
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Nana and Pop Pop
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My daughter more impressed with my bracelets
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Giant squid. Tentacles and eyes moved!
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Here Fishy Fishy Fishy!
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Over the table next to us!
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The cave changed colors. Not sure what the Triceratops felt about it.
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Or the “bump heads” as my son calls them.
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Thanking Pop Pop for a great day!
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There is a what behind me?
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Is that a . . . .
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Awww baby triceratops!

We are on a real vacation – Part 1

With all the changes in our world we have not considered taking a real vacation this year.  Between the birth our daughter and my loosing my job the finances just were not there, or so we thought.

This year my Mom turned 70. My sisters and I were at a loss to give her to make this year special.  Last year on her birthday was when things fell apart between my Mom and brother resulting in us be locked out of his and m nephews world.  I do not know all the details and will not go into them, but do know my mom lives for her kids and grand-kids.  Not seeing her oldest grandsons has been devastating this last year.

As a result my two sisters and I pooled together the funds for my husband, two kids and I to fly down to Florida for 8 days!

My Sisters! Donna (Left), Me (center), Cheryl (Right)
My Sisters! Donna (Left), Me (center), Cheryl (Right) and Gavin (front – picture crashing!)

I am so grateful for my family!  Unfortunately my sister Donna was not able to get the time off from work to join us.

The first few days were spent catching up with my Mom.  We came in early on Sunday and spent the day at home.  Monday my Mom and husband took the kids to the beach in the morning so I could study (nerds are cool and school waits for no one!) The afternoon was spent at a local swimming pool with splash area for the kids.

Tuesday we changed it up and became tourists!  Our daughter stayed home with Nana and Pop pop and we took our son to Universal Studios Adventure Island.  He loves dinosaurs and that is where the Jurassic Park section is located.  He is only 3 so we knew our options where limited.

We did not get to many pictures in this part of the park as my son was always on the move!  Here is some of what we did get to see!

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Water Cannons!
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Watch out! G cooling off after riding the pteranodon flyer!
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OH NO T-Rex!
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Awww nice T-Rex!
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Lunch Selfie
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Allosaurus! Run Away!!!!


It wasn’t all dinos at Universal.  Before we left we did a quick stop to Diagon Alley for wands and Butter Beer.  I also got a distant look at Hogwarts.

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We have arrived!
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Hog warts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Hoggy Hogwarts!
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Butter beer!
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Actually we all got some!
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Our wands! Funny how the 3 year old got the biggest one and my husband has the smallest one!
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The two worlds we wanted and did visit. Dinos and magic, perfect together!


We did not get to visit everything we wanted, bu will be back another time.  Our next vacation installment . . . DISNEY!!!!!