Monday, May 15, 2017

Florida with the Novaks

Florida!  We have been looking forward to this trip.  We were so happy to make this trip happen in the middle of the school year and we coordinated with Bill's family, too!  We were able to be in FL for Dad's 70th birthday and for Mother's Day.  It was really special. But first we had to take a red-eye flight from LAX.  I was nervous about parking, shuttling, sleeping, Andrew, etc but we made it!  All three of the kids were great and even though we made it there with very little sleep, we made it.


After a day of resting we headed out to get ice cream which never disappoints.  It was cute to see Andrew and Grandma holding hands on the way there. 

We had two days there before Bill's family got there.  We went to an animal sancuary close by my parents house.  It was crazy to see these animals so up close and personal.  The stories about people owning them as pets were kind of insane.  It was kind of freaky to watch them feed the cats bloodsicles, yes, frozen blood as treats.  The big cats were beautiful and we loved watching the crazy lemurs jumping around.  A couple of the younger ones could fit through the fence and were free roaming.

We got to go meet up for dinner with Scott, Holly, Katie and Emma.  We got pizza in their cute little neighborhood and really enjoyed visiting with them.  They drove over on the golf cart with the 4 girls.  So fun!

We headed out to Orlando for a few days of fun.  Our first stop was the Holiday Inn Suites with the water park.  Eric was able to get us a deal through work and it was a fun place to play for the evening.


The next morning Bill's family came in on a red eye so we met them for breakfast and then headed to Universal Studios for 2 days. The hotel was beautiful. We loved the pool and it felt like we were in Hawaii.  Another cool thing about staying here was you could take a boat from the hotel to the entrance to the park.  Andrew especially loved this perk.  He loved riding the boat.  Dad hooked us up with express passes and a food plan so everyone was much happier with short lines and treats throughout the day. 

The first day we were at Islands of Adventure. We went on almost every ride.  The Hulk was first up and then Spiderman, which I really enjoyed.  We went on the water raft ride and thought, sure we would get a little wet but we got SOAKED.  It was really, really funny.  We were anxious to get over to Harry Potter World, Hogsmeade.  We tried butter beer, frozen and not frozen. We really loved how real the whole village felt.  It seemed like we really stepped into their world.


The second day we were at Universal Studios.  We loved Daigon Alley.  The rides were great and Leah and Ava were spoiled by Grandma and Papa and they got Harry Potter wands.  This sparked their interest in the books more though so that is a bonus.  In Simpsons land we really loved the big pink donuts and Eric loved the humor in The Simpson Ride.  The Jimmy Fallon ride through New York was cool and I liked the rider swap we were able to take advantage and our group was able to go on twice without waiting again.  We loved the big red roller coaster.  Kayla freaked out the first time she went on.  Bill bought the picture and the video, pretty funny.  I loved that you could chose the music.



On the third day, we checked out and then we met up with Tom and Maureen for lunch at the Chocolate Emporium in City Walk which was really fun.  So great to have a bunch of the family together there.  We celebrated Dad's birthday with over indulgent desserts.

Back at Grandma and Papa's house!  We celebrated Papa's 70th birthday with Bill and Scott's families and had a BBQ.  It was great to have the whole family together.  Unfortunately it was a rainy day so the kids missed out on the pool together but they always have fun playing no matter what.  After the party was over they got to go in for a little bit and there was a snake in the pool!  So freaky.

The next day was Mother's Day (see separate post) and we were ready to take off to home again.  It s always hard and sad to say goodbye to my parents and Grandma Ruth.  I am so happy about the time we were able to spend together and the memories we have made together.  Thanks to them for an amazing trip!  Until next time!

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