Thursday, April 24, 2014
Our Epic Florida Trip: Day 12- Grammy & Bubba Arrive
When we originally planned this trip we had something really exciting planned for this day. We were going to swim with the manatees!! We found this great place about an hour and a half outside Orlando that does really reasonable boat tours where you get to be in the water and swim with the manatees. We heard about this through friends a number of years ago and knew we had to do it. Sadly it's still on our "bucket list." When I originally looked it up the website said that there is no age limit. Obviously I knew that Liam wasn't going to go in the water...I just figured that Joe and I would take turns staying with him on the boat. But when I went to book the reservation (after we were in Florida) I learned that they require children to be at least two just to get on the boat. This would have been nice information to put on their website. Oh well. Joe and the kids were so excited about it though that after mulling it over a bit I decided to bite the bullet and let them go without me (and the baby). But by the time we got back around to booking the trip they were already full for this morning...they also said that because of a warm weather snap there hadn't been many manatees around (so maybe we saved ourselves some time and money and effort in the end). It was disappointing, but I have a feeling between work and family that we will end up back in Florida some day and this will give us something to look forward to!:)
So, suddenly we ended up with a pretty wide open day...which was really pretty nice. Joe took the kids to the pool, Liam got in a good nap and we even found time to hit up the Lego Store in Downtown Disney. Now, I don't know if it's because it was St. Patrick's Day (and they have a big Irish restaurant/bar there) or because it was rainy out (and people go shopping when it's raining instead of to the theme parks) but Downtown Disney (and especially the Lego Store) was totally nutso. Honestly I didn't think we would find a parking spot...ever. But after a while we did and then fought the crowds to check out the cool Lego creations. It was so crowded inside the store that this was the best I could do...
And then the kids each got to fill a small bucket with Legos they picked out themselves from a giant wall of Lego bins (this was one of the very few things we promised them)! We made it home and spent the rest of the afternoon playing Legos until my parents arrived.
The Lego store was fun, but nothing trumped the long awaited arrival of Grammy and Bubba!! And almost as soon as they arrived we were off and running with a fun dinner at the Whispering Canyon Lodge in Disney's Wilderness Resort. It was a tasty BBQ meal complete with bottomless strawberry milkshakes (maybe not as amazing as I had expected, but fun none-the-less).
And after dinner we got to wander around the resort. I have to say that Disney really has a way of making things special and over the top and this resort was a lot of fun. It is made to resemble Yellowstone National Park...complete with a fake Old Faithful, other water features, a boardwalk, and even the hotel is designed after the Old Faithful Inn. This is pretty impressive as long as you don't compare it with the real deal...I've spent three summers living in Yellowstone and one actually living in the Old Faithful Inn and even Disney can't compare to the real thing!:) But it was still lots of fun to wander around. And it also made us really want to take our kids to Yellowstone! Not a bad first day officially on vacation with Grammy and Bubba! P.S. They were throwing coins into a water fountain here, but beyond that I'm not actually sure what was
going on here!