Family, Fun and Florida

On Monday a few weeks ago I called my sister-in-law and asked if they minded if we could stay with them for a quick trip to Florida we were hoping to take.  Of course she said no problem.  When I told her we wanted to leave the next day I thought she’d change her mind. But she just laughed.  So the next afternoon after work we drove a little over half way, then woke up on Wednesday and got to her house by about noon.

It was a great trip.  We spent an hour or two at the beach, which David LOVED.

Pa even joined us, in jeans.  He hates the beach, but he still came out to visit with us.


We swam.


And swam…

We bowled, had a 4th of July party with Leslee and Rich’s neighbors.

We played pool.  A lot.

David practiced his pitching….

Nice form, huh?  Maybe we have a pitcher in our future.

We spent our few days in Florida hanging out with family, canning stuff, going shopping (mainly for jars and veggies – more on that later), doing Zumba (well just the older girls) and watching movies.

We had a fabulous time….I love my family.

cousins

Last weekend we met Brad’s brother and his family right outside of Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. We camped at Jellystone in Cave City. A fun time was had by all.

We went to Mammoth Cave. We played games in the lodge. We swam in the pool and went down the massive water slide a bunch. And we canoed down a river 8 miles. I have no pictures of the canoe trip – but just imagine us floating down a river (they said it was a Class 1 river which means no rapids and it moves at 0 miles an hour)….it took us about 3.5 hours and was sooo slow. But it was a lot of fun. It was first canoe trip as an adult. We’ll definitely be doing that again.
Here are some of my favorite pictures of the weekend of David and two of his cousins, Savannah and Olivia. David and Olivia are only 11 months apart and they adore each other. I have a picture of David kissing Olivia on the cheek, but since they are cousins I guess that’s not okay, so that picture won’t get posted. 🙂
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Spring Break 2011

Since this is David’s first year of public school – this is also our first official spring break.
Our week started by spending a few days in Mobile.
While in Mobile we visited Gulf Shores, Dauphin Island, took the ferry, played in the Gulf of Mexico, toured the U.S.S. Alabama and a submarine, ate ate Felix’s Fish Camp (amazing).
Then we went to New Orleans for a few days.
While there we went to the Audubon Zoo, the IMAX theatre, the Aquarium, the Insectarium (stupid)….which are all part of the Audubon Institutes. We also went to an NBA game (New Orleans Hornets vs. Denver Nuggets), walked Bourbon Street during the day, tried to avoid it during the night, went to Bourbon House (amazing upscale seafood restaurant and had some of their amazing Frozen Bourbon Milk Punch – sounds gross, I know, but it’s delicious), rode the trolly, rode a city bus with millions of school children that just got out of school and swam on the top of a building.
It was a great start to our week.
I had to go to work Thursday and Friday, while David and Brad hung out together….then Friday night we ended up coming to Logan’s Landing RV Park for the weekend to round out spring break. I love this place….it’s really nice. Unfortunately the pool isn’t open yet and Logan Martin lake is still to cold for swimming. We’ve gone on several walks and took a 2 hour nap today (HEAVEN!).
It’s back to reality Monday. But I’m sooo thankful for this special first spring break with my little family.
{pictures to follow once we get home}

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!

My favorites

I’ve posted below some of my very favorite pictures from our trip out west…..

I’m not sure what this tree/plant is, but it’s beautiful. I’m pretty sure I took this in Aspen, CO. Anyone know what it’s called?
On the train ride from Silverton, CO to Durango, CO.
This is one of the faces that David makes when putting on chapstick. He would do it and exaggerate his facial expressions to get us to laugh. It’s funny stuff.
Ready to go down the Alpine Slide. I love this picture of my two boys.
Just after we soared above the Grand Canyon in that helicopter.
At the Grand Canyon.


We took this out of the side of the train. I’m not exactly sure what it is about this picture that I love, maybe the blue sky and the rocks.

Colorado Rockies.

On our Lime Creek forest road detour (4×4 required) we came across this amazing lake in the middle of a mountain. There were lily pads everywhere. It was beautiful.

And this is my VERY FAVORITE picture. Precious, huh?

Durango to Aspen

On Tuesday, we left Durango and drove to Apsen. Our tour guide on the Jeep Tour told us about a forest road called Lime Creek that was between Durango and Silverton (which luckily was the direction we had to go). We found the route and took it.

A-MAZE-ING.
This is probably one of my favorite parts of our entire trip and it didn’t cost a penny.
We drove a while before we came to this lake in the middle of the mountains. There were hundreds of lily pads. Right as I was thinking this would be a great place to camp we noticed a camper on the side of the road. Way cool.
At times the road got steep and narrow. See? Oh, and that’s our fabulous rental truck. 4×4. Thankfully – since we needed it a time or two on this forest road.
Once we made it through the mountain pass we came to this awesome river. There were primitive camping spots literally 20 feet from the river. We walked out to it and threw a bunch of rocks. We always have a contest to see who can throw their rocks the farthest. I’m pretty sure I’ve never won that contest.
If we lived in this part of Colorado I’m pretty sure we’d spend every possible minute driving down roads like this and finding places to camp. This may be my favorite picture of the whole trip (of course except the ultra cute ones of David).
I wanna go back…..

Durango/Silverton


We stayed in Durango for 2 days. We did two really fun things while in the Durango/Silverton area:

1) Took a Jeep Tour through Silverton and to a ghost town in the Rockies and back

2) Rode the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (these pictures will come later)
The Jeep Tour was really cool…we rode on this:
We aren’t really sure what it’s called, but it’s from Austria and was used in some war. Which war? I have not a clue.
The mountains, snow, waterfalls, trees, houses and rivers were stunning. This is another favorite part of our trip for me.