Thursday, December 31, 2009

Before the New Year comes....

.....I really just need to wrap this year up by posting about our Florida trip. We have been home for over a week and it has been hanging over my head. I won't do it it justice, but oh well...

A couple of weeks ago (on the 18th) I surprised Chad by telling him we were leaving for Florida that afternoon. I had planned and packed everything and we took off for the Sunshine State in the rain. It rained the whole way there -didn't let up for one minute, which I felt really bad about because Chad hates driving in bad weather. "Happy Birthday Chad - let's drive in nonstop rain for six hours!!!" We stayed the night in Jacksonville and then drove to Daytona Beach the next day, where we stayed at a condo that we had gotten through Chad's grandma's timeshare exchange. It was across from the street from the beach and it felt soooo good to unthaw a little.

Ollie loved to chase birds.....

And eat sand.

The boys built a great sandcastle that first day.

After church on Sunday (where all three boys embarassed us in sacrament meeting. It was really bad folks), we walked around Main Street in Daytona. It's weird but I really like my van in this picture.

On Monday (the 21st - 30 days before Chad's 30th - get it?) we went to The Magic Kingdom.

We used RideMax again for Disney World (*and let me just state real quick that I LOVED it. It was super crowded there but our longest wait for 20 minutes and we did everything we wanted and some rides multiple times*), and one of the main suggestions is being there early early early. We were! Here is Colin showing off his mad hula-hooping skills before the gates opened. Several people managed to get in the gates before us, but by the time we got to Cinderella's castle, no one was in front of us! I love jogging down Main Street with all the workers waving their Mickey hands at you.

We paused for just one picture before hurrying along - notice I didn't even stop long enough to turn Ollie's stroller around!

Ollie and Gabe on the first ride of the day - Dumbo.

Gabe's absolute favorite ride - Tomorrowland Speedway. He was so excited on this one that he spontaneously burst out singing "Oh My Darlin' Clementine." It was priceless. He had been so tense up until this point on the trip - he HATES being out of his comfort zone - that we were worried he wouldn't even enjoy DisneyWorld. This was the second ride we went on and I was so glad to see that smile come out!

We talked Colin into going on Splash Mountain for his first time. Despite my careful watching, I didn't get a picture of them on the big drop, but Colin said "it wasn't too bad." He did decline going again later with me though :o)

The steamboat at sunset - always a good way to unwind a little and let the boys take it easy - although Oliver didn't allow us to sit still. He still hadn't taken any sort of nap at this point and was just wild whenever he got out of his stroller.

Oliver finally fell asleep at around 6:30 and took about an hour "nap." He was up in time to go on the Haunted Mansion with us - which is the ride Gabe claims was his favorite. I was sitting next to him and I would claim differently.

We watched the fireworks right in front of Dumbo - it was perfect, we had a clear view of everything without a crowd.

Riding the carousel one last time before leaving.

I really loved being there with all the Christmas lights up. I couldn't take my eyes off Cinderella's castle at night, and as we were walking down Main Street to leave (towards that big Christmas tree) it was "snowing." Perfect way to end the day.

Spent the next two days chillin' on the beach. I wish it had been about 15 degrees warmer (which would be have been Florida's average December weather), but it still beat the cold weather back in Charlotte!

Colin insisted on boogie-boarding again, despite the cold. I couldn't believe that kid!

Got home at around 11:30 on Christmas Eve Eve to a home that was 55 degrees inside. When can we go back?


Jamie said...

That looks like so much fun! You took really good pictures! I do have to say though my favorite one is the one of Chad and the boys during the fireworks. I love all the different expressions! :)

Ashley said...

Nice trip! Your van is really little looking! If you think it was hard to go back to Charlotte after being in Florida imagine what it will be like for us to go back to Missouri after California! Ahhh! I think we need to go to Disneyworld with you and experience it right! I wish we could have used Ridemax properly.

Rae's favorite ride was Splash Mountain - we went twice.

Crystal Escobar said...

Oh how fun!!! What great pictuers!!! I want to plan a surprise trip someday. that would be so much fun!

Olivia Carter said...

Oh man! That looks like a BLAST! I love ALL the pics from Disneyland. LOVE THEM!

Em said...

love that pic of you and your husband. so cute.

Kari said...

Did you use a tripod for the nighttime castle pic? It's perfect! Looks like you guys had a spiffy time!

Oh, and the only thing better than footage of Chad getting his jeans soaked was the sound of your glee. Loved it.

Katie said...

Kari - no tripod, but it was about the 15th pic of it I tried, and I think Chad was a little impatient as I stopped yet again on our way out, braced my elbows, and snapped it. I was happy with it!

Audra said...

I love Disney! We are not going this year with the kids. I will miss it! Such a great family place to go!