Thursday, July 31, 2014

Florida Part 5

Beach day!

We drove a few hours to this lovely beach on the gulf side near Treasure Island. The older kiddos had a great time playing in the water and sand. You could walk out really far as it wasn't very deep. It was amazing to be reminded how calm the waves are and how the water is so warm. Definitely not the Pacific. Dave did some snorkeling, although he said there wasn't much to see. I hung out under in more normal spot, under the umbrella. Laureli did not enjoy the sand and refused to touch it. Dawn happily obliged by trading off with me and carrying her around. We enjoyed pina coladas from the local restaurant. Virgin ones for the kiddos. Claire thought we said "smushies", combing smoothy and slushy. We called them that the rest of the week. Love that kid, she cracks me up!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Florida Part 4

Next up Animal Kingdom. As the week went on I took less and less photos. I only have a few from our ride through the "African savanna". It was neat to see the animals so close. Our tour guide drove through the park, stopping briefly to describe the animals or point out where they were. It was also neat to hear what Disney has done both in the park and in Africa to help sustain the wildlife area for these animals. 

sleeping rhino

my zoo :)

wading hippo

I really like this old tree!

baby giraffe

giraffe way up close

our tour guide


white flamingos


Here we also enjoyed several rides. Claire had a good time on Kali River Rapids (I would say it was her favorite of the week!), but was less impressed with Dinosaur as it was a bit scary for her. Expedition Everest had my stomach a little queasy and that was even after I closed my eyes half way through. I'm just not made for roller coasters. A walking tour through "Asia" where we saw tigers, gibbons, bats and a ton of birds, although no pictures to share. :( A train ride to rest our sore feet and to get out of the heat for a little while, a petting zoo for the older kiddos and a few more shows rounded out our fun day. 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Florida Part 3

Not too many pictures from Universal Studios. Dawn and I had figured out the "Fast Pass" system and planned out the night before what attractions we would do. It worked really well and we were able to see and do lots of things. 

Dave and Laureli waiting in line for Toy Story while we signed up for the Jedi training (He had a lady take this for him. Its too bad its blurry, it looks like it would have been really cute).
Unfortunately the kiddos didn't get a chance to do the Jedi training as it was cancelled due to a thunderstorm. :(
Waiting in line

Face painting!

$35 and one rain storm later. All washed away
Waiting for the Beauty and the Beast Show

4 is the perfect age for Disney! 

All tuckered out
from another fun day!

Dawn and Laureli reading a book before bed

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Florida Part 2

We went to Gatorland while we were in Orlando. A local tourist spot that is a 110-acre theme park and wildlife preserve which opened in 1949. We had some major thunderstorms rolling in all day long. It was interesting to watch the alligators and check out the preserve. 

100's of alligators sun bathing

albino alligator

birds were everywhere

loved their colors

love this!

alligator wrestling 

mesmerized by the show

getting the alligator to "jump" out of the water