Our Trip to Florida

We left Saturday morning around 11 am. Our car was pretty packed and I'm not quite sure how we're going to everything back in the car to come home. The kids popped in some movies and our drive was pretty uneventful that day. The weather was pretty clear until the evening when we hit some thunderstorms in Kentucky. Our GPS took decided to take us through the Carolinas instead of down 75, so we stopped just before midnight in northern South Carolina at a hotel for the night. The hotel was cheap but decent for $89 a night. And included free breakfast.

On Sunday we woke to some nice weather and I enjoyed the view of South Carolina. The highway we were on was very clean with rolling hills and green trees. We hit some more storms throughout the day, but made it to sunny/humid Florida. We pulled into our condo around 6 pm. It's a really nice 2 bedroom with full kitchen, living and dining room with a screened in balcony. The clubhouse has some games and there is a really nice pool and splash pad/slides. That night we ordered some pizza and relaxed from our drive.

Monday we planned to spend the day at the pool and relax. We got up to go swimming and walked out the door to rain. The rain stopped so we made our way down to the pool. We swam and went to the splash pad and rode the slide a few times. Apparently, it's love bug season here, so there are bugs everywhere. But they don't bite, which is good. After swimming for a bit, the rain came back and it started to storm so we went in and got cleaned up. We had to wait around for the rain to let up and headed to Walmart to get some groceries for the week. The Walmart we went to was really busy, actually probably the busiest store I've been to. After that, we came home ate lunch and waited for the weather to clear. That evening we went to Disney Springs, which is a free shopping and dining area. We picked up our Disney tickets and ate some dinner at the outdoor patio of the House of Blues, while the kids had fun feeding the birds around us. The kids played at the Lego store and Jonathan and Brodie made droid toys at the Star Wars store. Then they went on a quick kids train ride and after some tantrums on all of our parts, we decided to head back to the condo.

Tuesday we went to the Magic Kingdom. Briar wanted to take the boat over, so we parked and took the boat to the entrance. We started at Tomorrowland inside the park and rode the Toy Story ride, then watched the Carousel of Progress show that Walt designed for the Worlds Faire. Surprisingly, Briar loved it. We then took turns taking Brodie on Space Mountain. We headed over to Fantasyland and while in the Dumbo tent waiting to get on the ride, it started to storm so they closed the ride down. Luckily, while you wait to get on the ride, you're inside a building made to look like a circus tent with a large playing structure. So the kids played while we waited for the storm to lift. After the storm, we made our way to the Little Mermaid ride and then got some lunch. Briar took a long nap while we ate. We made our way around the park and Briar rode her first rollercoaster. She was pretty excited about it. She also loved It's a Small World and clapped through the whole thing. Brodie enjoyed the Haunted Mansion and the Pirate's ride. And we left after the fireworks. The congestion of the park is unreal. It was a fun day, but a little disappointed that we didn't see any characters out, other than the ugly step-sisters.

Wednesday, Jonathan's dad and his family came to visit us. We went swimming and Brodie had fun with Malina (12) and Destiny (13). They are Gary and Donna's adopted girls and Brodie kept teasing them calling them his grandmas. They had fun at the pool and slides. After swimming all day, we all went to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings. Then after dinner, they went home and our kids bugged us to go swimming again, so we rounded out the day at the pool and hot tub.

Thursday, Jonathan's dad met us at the condo and joined us at the Animal Kingdom. We started in Dinoland and rode a few rides. We got to meet Goofy and Briar got to meet Donald while Brodie and I were in line for a little rollercoaster. Briar wasn't happy because I wasn't there. We rode a scary indoor ride called Dinosaur. The boys got in a 75-minute line for Everest, the big coaster in the park. Briar and I walked around a trail where we got to see some tigers, water buffalo, and birds. We met back up and had walked a couple more trails to see some animals. Then we went on our safari ride through the open area where we saw giraffes, rhinos, hippos, lions, and flamingos. Briar fell asleep on the ride, so we decided to get some lunch. After lunch, we met Minnie and Mickey and then headed over to the Pandora world. We got to ride a fun boat ride with black lights and alien plants. Their grandpa got them Disney gift cards so they had fun spending the money. Brodie got a big dinosaur, an alien toy knife and spray water fan. Briar got a kittie stuffed animal and a Cinderella bubble wand. We had a snack and then headed back to the condo. When we got back, we made the kids relax for a bit and then headed to the pool for another night swim. The pool is nice because it's about 4 foot at it's deepest. Most of the pool is about 3-3.5 feet deep and Brodie has really been having fun practicing his swimming. After our swim, we all headed straight to bed.

Friday we took it easy. Around 2 pm we went and got lunch. Then headed into Orlando and visited a fancy mall. Went to an arcade and got some ice cream. After that we came back to the condo, Brodie and Jonathan went swimming and I took Briar to the playground. The playground was really cool. It had a big castle and a sandbox with a dragon in it. We finally got back and are packing up.

The weather has been really nice, in the 80s. Sometimes too hot in the sun, but it's also been a little breezy. Jonathan and I got burned a little and Briar has some major arm tan lines, even with a ton of sunscreen. We have been going from sun up to sun down most of the week which is why I haven't gotten back with most of you. Overall, Disney was fun but too busy for me. Almost so busy that it was hard to enjoy a lot of the time.

Tomorrow we're leaving by 10 am and I can't say I am happy to get back to Michigans weather, or work. But it will be nice to sleep in my own bed and get back to our usual schedule.

Lindsey Maples