The Magical Vacation

On Christmas morning, Brad surprised David and me with a trip to:
I totally cried when I opened the package showing us our tickets. I’m such a sap. David has been asking to go to Disney for quite some time and we’ve always told him we’ll go sometime soon. Little did I know it would be the day after Christmas!
So….we had less than a day to get packed. Normally I’d cringe at that idea, but Brad had done every load of laundry over the days leading up to Christmas (I was a little suspicious about that but he had already promised me we weren’t going out of town). Hmmmm….I should have known better.
We loaded up the camper on Christmas night and left around 9:30 a.m. on the 26th.
Oh, I forgot to mention that we had our first ever WHITE CHRISTMAS this year.

It was so beautiful on Christmas day – it didn’t snow a lot, but it was still white.

We were excited to have a white Christmas, however, with the snow and ice it made for a VERY challenging drive to Florida. The first 2 hours of the trip were terrible. We slid all over highway 280 and I was certain we were going to slide off into the woods. It doesn’t help that no one in Alabama knows how to drive in ice….just so you know you do NOT slow down while going up a hill covered in ice. And what made it even more challenging is that we were pulling our camper. I wanted to throw up and cry for the first two hours of our drive.
Once we finally made it through the ice (and boy, I was thankful) we stopped at McDonald’s with Pa for a break.

We arrived in Orlando at a super cute KOA campground around 7 p.m.
We had 5 days at the Disney parks and 1 day at Sea World. First day was Magic Kingdom (which was also Brad’s Birthday).

David’s first roller coaster was Thunder Mountain….and after riding it he was hooked.

Throughout our week in Orlando we did every single roller coaster that he was tall enough to ride.

He also loved the go-carts. It was actually pretty lame (to me) and they only went 7.5 mph, but David was able to steer the car, so for him, that was pretty awesome. This is my very favorite picture from the entire trip. I just love the look on his face.

At night we watched the best fireworks show. It was fabulous.

On our second day we went to Epcot. Brad wasn’t sure if Epcot would be worth going, but it actually had one of our favorite rides – The Test Track. Where you sit in a car and they take you through a series of tests (hill climb, bumpy roads, curve with no ABS and finally around the track at 60 mph).
We ate lunch in the Mexico part of Epcot where David tried on this super cute sombrero. It’s fitting, huh? The food was pretty authentic and it was the best meal we had all week.
We rode the Nemo ride and he actually asked me to take his picture with this little guy. Normally I have to beg him to let me take his picture. I love this picture.
I was excited to see that Epcot is the location of the Candlelight Processional (when I participated in high school it was at Disney)…and it was going on while we were there. So we sat through the show. It was cool and they actually sang the exact same songs (with the exception of ONE new song) that we sang 15 years ago. For my friends who sang with me – remember “Rejoice with Exceeding Great Joy” and “Shout for Joy”? Those were my two favorites from the show. Marlee Matlin was the guest emcee.
And this is what David thought about the music. Yes, he left drool on Brad’s jeans.


On our third day we went to Sea World and Pa came along for the day.
We saw the Shamu show. I know the reasons why the trainers can no longer swim with the killer whales and I certainly can respect that decision. It just makes for a really lame show.
The dolphin show was much better, since they could swim with the dolphins. David loved the dolphin show so much that the one toy he chose to buy the whole week was a dolphin stuffed animal. Out of all the parks he wanted a dolphin more than anything else. He’s named him Flipper.
Day 4 was Animal Kingdom and Pa went with us here too. We did every ride at this park, however, I made the mistake of riding the water ride first thing in the morning and I got soaked. My jeans were finally dry by the time we left that park late that evening. It didn’t help that it was cold out.
We talked Brad’s dad into riding the Dinosaur ride with us.
The “It’s Tough to Be a Bug” 3-D show was really cute. And this little guy was pretty cute in his 3-D glasses.
EXCEPT, at the end of the show they said something like “Ok, everyone sit still while we let all of the roaches and worms leave the theatre”….then you all of a sudden felt like there were roaches crawling on your back and under your butt. Not sure how they did this (maybe with tiny bursts of air in the back and bottom of the seat) but I freaked. If anyone knows me you’ll know I HATE HATE HATE roaches.
Day 5 was Hollywood Studios.
This park has my two favorite rides from the whole week:
Rockin’ Roller Coaster with Aerosmith (this was David’s first upside down roller coaster and he LOVED it)…
…and Toy Story Mania. This is a super cute 3-D ride where you shoot darts at the screen to collect points. We used a fast pass for this ride and by the afternoon the standby wait was 2.5 hours. Ridiculous.

David had no interest in having his picture taken with any of the Disney characters…however, when we saw the army guy from Toy Story he ran up to him and got his picture made.
At the end of our day at Hollywood Studios we went to the Fantasmic Firework and Water show…this was New Years Eve and people were blowing these annoying party noise makers like crazy. Including us.
On our 6th day, we circled back to Magic Kingdom…we decided on this park since it has the most to offer. It was a good choice.
Unfortunately, I got sick (with fever, chills, achyness, head cold, and sinus crap) on our last day, so after lunch I went back to the camper to rest while David and Brad stayed and played at the park. At least I didn’t get sick on days 1 – 5. They stayed until closing. They were able to utilize the fast passes so much that they could ride Thunder Mountain and Splash Mountain over and over again with only a 5 minute wait. And one time they even were able to stay on the boat three times in a row.
2010 was a busy year for us….and the way we ended it certainly did not disappoint. I’m so thankful to Brad for such a magical surprise he gave us for Christmas. It truly was the best.

Now we are onto 2011. Happy New Year!

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