Florida 2010

It's hard to believe, just one week ago we were in sunny Florida (sunny maybe, warm...not so much).  It definitely was great to get away and spend time with the girls.  It was good to reconnect with our children while not having to think about work, laundry, dishes, errands, and the daily routines of life. 

We decided to drive the trip this year.  We've always flown in the past, but between trying to save a few pennies and not wanting to carry 3 car seats into the airport, we figured it best to drive.  Plus this way we could visit my Grandma and Aunts in Georgia.  It has been nearly 2 years since I saw them last, and I thought it was high time for a visit.  I was still a bit nervous about this long trek with an 8 month old though.  I knew the girls would do fairly well, but we had just gotten Andrew to sleep through the night not more than a month ago, and I wasn't sure if this would mess up our beloved schedule.  Fortunately, to our surprise he did great.  Not only was he a great traveler, he pretty much kept to his same routine during our whole weeks stay in Florida.  He was a bit fussy on the way back home, although so were the girls.  I think they just knew we would be getting back to the reality of winter for 8 more weeks.

Once we arrived in Georgia, we were able to peel off our jackets and feel the warmth of the air.  I just love not having to take the time to layer up before you go outside.  Of course little did we know that the next few days were going to be the warmest days of our stay, but at least we experienced warmer temperatures for a short time.  Although it still amazes me that we saw ice instead of water running down the mountains in Tennessee.  It just shows you what a cold winter it's been all over, because in all my travels as a child I never saw ice on those mountains.

It was so nice to see my Aunts and Grandma too.  The girls quickly warmed up to relatives they hardly knew.  Of course it helped that my aunt had a little Shiatzu dog that they loved chasing around.  By the end of our stay they were ready to trade in our large dog for hers.  We stayed up and talked for awhile after the kids girls had gone to sleep.  It was definitely nice to catch up and chat for awhile.  And they were kind enough to stock us up with sandwiches for the next day's drive to Florida.

Finally we reached Kissimmee.  We unpacked, while the girls jumped from couch to couch in our new home for the week.  They were so giddy with excitement that they seemed to bounce off the walls.  The hubs parents were nice enough to rent two condo units for our whole extended family, and because we had the largest family, we had a whole unit to ourselves (which meant we even had our own bedroom)!

We spent the next few days simply swimming.  Although both girls were a little leary to swim at first (remember their ongoing fear of water), they quickly grew fond of the water.  Kyra had digressed from her swim lessons from last year a bit, but generally did very well.  Katie however had been petrified from swim lessons last year and would bearly get in the water to begin.  Then once we grabbed coaxed her gently into the water, she clung to us with enough vigor to leave nail imprints into our skin.  She was deathly afraid of us letting go.  I wasn't sure we would ever get her to relax until good friends of ours showed how much their son loved to go in the pool with the confidence of his life jacket.  Fortunately, the following day Katie let us put the life jacket on her, and I simply let her go.  Once she realized she was floating on her own, she didn't want us to touch her.  All week long she said, "No momma, let go.  I want to do it my own self."  By the third day she was even jumping in the pool with no one catching her.  It was fun to watch her grin from ear to ear.  She loved the pool.  I know the life jacket may give her a false sense of security, but at least we are making some progress.  She even said she was open to the idea of swim lessons once again.

Our final big adventure of the week was going to Magic Kingdom.  We had debated whether or not we should go, since we only had one day to pack it all in, but threw caution to the wind and decided to go for it.  We are very glad we did.  My sister in-law kindly offered to take Andrew for the day, so we could focus on spending time with the girls.  And after the packed day we had, we were glad we were sans Andrew that day.  We truly packed in everything we could that day.  I think the first time we stopped for a break was close to 5:30 pm.  I worried about tiring our girls out by doing too much, but at the same time wanted to make sure we did and saw everything we wanted to for that day.  I wasn't disappointed, except for the weather (which started out with 46 degrees!).  But even the colder temps didn't slow us down that much.  We started the day off by meeting Arial.  She was the only princess we met, but fortunately the girls aren't really in to having their picture taken with characters so that worked out okay (more time to do rides).  We went on almost all the rides too.  I wasn't sure how they would do on many of them (since their are a few with elements of pitch black...a little scary for Katie), but they did fine.  A few of the rides Katie told us at the end that she never ever wanted to go on that ride again, but at least she didn't cry.  The parades were fantastic too.  The girls were glued to music and dancing.  But perhaps the best was the light show at the end.  Tinker Bell flew from Cinderella's Castle, and the girls were facinated by that. 

When I asked the girls what the favorite part of their day was, they both mentioned the Jungle Cruise, exploration on the Swiss Family Robinson tree house, and watching the Bear Jamboree.  Although, I'm sure Katie would say her favorite part of the trip was just swimming.  I'm hoping they aren't too young to remember this fun filled day.  Fortunately we have many pictures to mark the occasion.  Yes, it was another memorable vacation, and I'm thankful that we were blessed enough to have been able to go.  




Rebecca said...

Yeah!!! Vacation blog!!! Great post and fun photo collages - did you pull that off with Photoshop?? :)

BTW, the blog looks great! You're getting there!!

Kris said...

Love the pictures and hearing how the trip went! I'm so glad everything went well for you guys...looks like you brought the sun back with you!

Christy said...

love the pics -- they are getting so big! Sounds like you guys had a great trip!!