Josh gets two weeks of vacation a year. The first week we took a cruise to the Bahamas in May. I absolutely love cruising and the ocean, so I had a wonderful time. We all did, but it was definitely a challenge doing all that with a 9 month old. We decided to do something a little simpler (and cheaper!) for Josh's last week of vacation. We'd been talking about camping since Brennen was a tiny baby, but I always thought it'd be too difficult. He is now a full blow toddler and he loves the outdoors, so now seemed like as good a time as any. Since we had a few tickets to Disney, we decided to stick with the Disney theme and check out Disney's campground. The week of vacation turned out to be full of RAIN! We spend the first few days relaxing at home and finally it cleared up a bit, so we decided to at least go to Magic Kingdom!! I'd taken Brennen on my Birthday back in August and we both had a really great time, so I was really excited for Josh to see Brennen experience the MAGIC! This was also Josh's very first time to Disney World! The weather was overcast and in the 80's, but somehow seemed almost as warm as when I'd taken Brennen by myself in the August. That didn't discourage us though. We hit the ground running (well, walking briskly at least) and managed to cover most of the park before Brennen even started getting tired. Josh pointed out to me that I'm a little pushy when it come to walking through crowds. Nothing annoys me more than people who stop in the middle of a crowd to take a picture, or talk on the phone, or look at the map, etc. So I certainly did not want to be one of those people. I walk with purpose. Brennen's favorite ride was definitely the GO KARTS! He loves to steer steering wheels. We decided this was his favorite ride because it was the only he cried after. I personally really enjoyed, Buzz Lightyear, It's a Small World, and the Pirates of the Caribbean. We ate lunch and shortly thereafter Brennen dozed off in his stroller. We found a shady spot and relaxed. After an hour, we decided to wake him up and hit a few more rides before heading home.
So this was our day in a nutshell. We have lived in Florida for over three years now and it's never really felt like home. Of course, no where ever really feels like home to me. I moved so much growing up that it's kind of natural for me to not grow too connected to a place. However, after spending this second trip to Disney World in only a few months I realized how lucky we are to live so close to this stuff. It moved Florida up a notch in my book.
The next day we got the opportunity to meet up with some friends at Sea World. I absolutely love marine life and was very excited to go! I'd been there as a little girl, but didn't remember much. This would be Josh and Brennen's first time. We decided that if we were going to make the hour long drive back to Orlando that we'd might as well brave the drizzly weather and spend a night at Disney's campground as we'd originally planned. So we packed up again and headed to Orlando.
The campground is great. I expected it to feel very commercial and not very wilderness-y, but I was wrong. We set up camp and explored a bit. The place in enormous. So enormous that you have to take shuttle buses from one end to the other! There were so much huge and elaborately decorate RV's and camp sites. It was very festive and up until this point I hadn't felt very festive. Then we headed to Sea World. Before entering the gates to Disney I always felt like I was about to burst with excitement and Sea World was no exception. Brennen had even tuned into my excitement and although he had no idea what to expect he knew it was going to be something amazing. I really hoped he wasn't disappointed and luckily he enjoyed it as much as I did. We dealt with a little rain, but they had a covered sandbox to play in while we waited for it to pass. Afterwards, we decided to see a show. I had no idea what to expect. It was a show with actors in an auditorium and no animals. We sat down and Brennen promptly fell asleep in my arms. The show began and I was amazed! It was the closest thing to what I imagine a Cirque Du Soleil show to be like. Amazing acrobatics and people twisting themselves up in this long "sheets" hanging from the ceiling. Surprisingly, Brennen slept through the entire extremely LOUD show. The highlight of the day was by far "The Shamu Show". It was the very last thing we did and well worth the wait. I was worried that Brennen would not be able to sit through it, but he was in awe. He clapped at the appropriate times and was wide-eyed the entire time. He kept saying, "WOW!" after the whales did tricks. It was great to watch him. Yet, another point for Florida in my book!
We were definitely all tired and ready for the rest and relaxation after our second day at a tourist packed theme park. We headed back to our campsite and on to the campfire sing-a-long that made me want to camp at Disney so badly. The sing-a-long was great, except for the fact that Brennen wanted nothing to do with it! Ha! We decided to head to one of the many restaurants in the campground (Yes! MANY restaurants) and get some dinner. Now, Josh will probably divorce me if I don't mention this. Josh IS THE GRILL MASTER! No one grills a steak or any kind of dead animal quite as well as my husband. It should probably have been illegal for us to camp and not grill, but due to the fact that it was rainy and we weren't sure how Brennen was going to do, we (I) decided it'd probably be best to skip grilling dinner at least this one time. So, on to the restaurant we go. It was in a cute row of shops and other places to eat. There were horse drawn carriages riding around. I guess you would call it "Pioneer" themed. I'm probably way off. We stuffed ourselves and headed back to our tent, but not before checking out some of the ridiculous light displays that OTHER CAMPERS put up. It was amazing! Again, Brennen with his "WOW!". It was adorable. He was thoroughly impressed.
Luckily, Brennen slept well in the tent. We decided that if all went well we'd like to make an annual camping trip a tradition! I know as Brennen gets older he will enjoy it more and more.
In order to keep this from being the longest blog ever I'll get to the point now. Our "staycation" was great. We didn't spend a whole lot of money. We got to experience new things as a family and got a new outlook on the state we live in. Our time together is precious. With Josh's hectic work schedule, and the overall exhaustion and stress that comes with the daily life of a wife and stay at home Mom, it was so nice just spend time together. I can't wait to do it again!