January 2018

Winter Break Wrap-Up

Right off the heals of Christmas, we had a chance to relax, unwind & enjoy some good old fashioned family fun. Liam was off of school the last two weeks, and I also was off of work for one of the weeks with him. Stephen was able to take a day off, as well, and we did some activities in the evening so it could be all three of us.

On Tuesday evening (the day after Christmas), we checked out Santa’s Winter Wonderland Village ….a holiday fair that comes around by our house each holiday season. It’s quickly becoming a tradition to go to it after the holiday. This year was Liam’s first time riding in the “The Force” . He really wanted to also do “The Himalaya” ride, but he’s not quite tall enough still. He & Stephen rode on the super tall Ferris Wheel …I watched. Haha! They also love the bumper cars & the maze house. Stephen got a really cool picture of the fair from the top of the Ferris Wheel!

The next day, we met up with the Bengel’s at the Science Center. We hadn’t been there since the beginning of the summer, so it was cool to play around there again for the afternoon. The Gingerbread Lane exhibit was still up, so we enjoyed looking at that….it smelled delish, too! It’s incredible that one artist baked AND decorated all that gingerbread.

The beginning of our cold front started really coming through on Friday, but we hiked over to Legoland to check out their Christmas Bricktacular decorations. It never really gets old seeing the amazing displays of LEGO creations.

For all the times we have been to the park, we never stopped to see the ski show. Today, we did & were so happy! It was super cute! Liam absolutely loved it πŸ™‚

It was fun to walk about Miniland & spot the added holiday decor / scenes πŸ˜‰

It was uber crowded there that day, but we still snuck in a few rides…..

We also took a relaxing walk through the old gardens area. Again, we’ve bypassed this in so many past trips…such a shame because it’s so beautiful & they are doing an awesome job of maintaining. The Banyan Tree was incredible!! Such a wonder that nature can create something like that! Liam loved the Southern Belle’s & it was fun to explain to him about how they used to walk around the old park. Not sure he really got that. LOL!

He spotted this statue of Jesus & had to find how the winding path lead to him. It honestly took us a second to figure it out from where we were. When we got up to it, he ran up to Him & just stood there….so I snapped this. I love how it turned out ❀

As part of our Legoland passes, we have admission to the Orlando Eye & surrounding attractions. Such a great deal! So, on New Year’s Eve, we made our way down to International Drive to check them all out.

The Orlando Eye is HUGE! It’s really neat & pretty to look at ….just the boys went up in it. I am way too afraid of heights to leave the ground that far. It takes about 25 minutes to go around in it. They enjoyed it & said the view was awesome. The weather that day was perfect for it, too! Liam told me, afterwards, that he was a little bit nervous while in it but not too bad.

Next, we walked around the SEA LIFE Aquarium. It turned out to be a larger facility than we expected it to be. There was quite a few 360 degree tanks that you could look at & it was neat! Liam was excited for the sharks!

Our last stop of the afternoon was Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Stephen had been to one of these years ago, but this was a 1st for little man & me. The figures were pretty life like….it was funny! We also got a kick out of seeing what celebrities & historical figures were featured. Liam had fun with trying to pose as each of them were πŸ™‚

Last week, it was back to work for Stephen & I but Liam had his 2nd week off of school. So, he spent the week having fun at winter camp with his old daycare. It was a school age camp so he was with other kiddos in elementary school. Many friends he knew from previous summer camps & breaks, so he was glad to hang out with them again. They did a few field trips during the week. The 1st one was bowling.

They also went to ICE! at Gaylord Palms. This year’s theme was Christmas Around the World. We didn’t make it there this year for our family trip, so I was happy he still got to go. He had a ball but said his face was freezing off….hahaha!!

It was a great few weeks vacation for us all & a much needed mental break. Love creating memories with this sweet, little family of mine!

Until next time, friends!

August 2017

Liam’s 6th Birthday Weekend ~ Part 1 ~ Animal Kingdom Lodge

For Liam’s 6th Birthday weekend, we packed our bags & had a staycation at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge.

This was honestly our 1st real vacation away from home as a family since Liam was born, so we were extra excited for this experience. We stayed in Jambo house, and our room was off of the Kudo Trail on the 2nd floor. This is the view of the massive lobby area when you 1st walk into the resort. It is gorgeous!!

The details that you see throughout the resort are incredible. The entire resort is themed after the Animal Kingdom theme park. You can tell, at every glance, that great care was taken to showcase the culture, wildlife & artwork of Africa.

As soon as we started exploring the grounds, we found the fire pit that is surrounded by rocking chairs. If it wasn’t 100 degrees outside, it would have been perfect….LOL!

I usually am not one to talk about food, but I would be a fool to not rave about all of the deliciousness we enjoyed throughout the entire weekend. We ate at some pretty cool dining experiences, and there’s definitely more to share in my next few posts.

First up –> Boma ….This is a buffet style restaurant with African-themed dishes, and all of the food was amazing. We ate there for breakfast on Sunday.

Their signature drink at breakfast is Jungle Juice. It’s a tasty mixture of orange, pineapple & mango juices. Liam didn’t quite care for it, but Stephen & I thought it was pretty yummy!

Mickey Waffles πŸ™‚

Now onto the grounds outside the resort …..there is a cute, shaded playground for the kiddos & it’s close by the pool.

Once we found the Uzima Pool area, we didn’t want to leave. This pool is amazing! It is SO big — 11,000 square feet & it has an awesome water slide.

Liam was thrilled for this slide! He went down it over & over again πŸ™‚

Cheese!

Our room was nothing short of incredible. It felt like we stepped into our own safari get away the moment we walked in & I’m sure that was the plan. We were fortunate to be able to have the savanna view room, and it did not disappoint.

When you stepped out onto the balcony, it was immediately overlooking one of the savanna’s. There were beautiful animals freely roaming around so close to you. It was awesome!

In total, there are over 30 species of wildlife out on the savanna here. We loved the Wildlife Field Guide that was in our room for helping to track & discover some friends we spotted.

This Giraffe guy, here, was one of our favs. He stayed close by our balcony a lot. ❀

Zebra friends….

Ankole Cattle….

White-Bearded Wildebeest….

Addax….

At one point, on Sunday afternoon, we looked out & saw a little heard of friends πŸ™‚ ….

We saw so may other amazing creatures during our stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge. So many birds, cranes, Ostriches, & Gazelles just to name a few. Even by walking through the resort, there are so many spots you can stop & observe the savanna’s or even catch little spots, like the Flamingo area that’s over by the pool. It was truly an experience we will never forget and one that we all LOVED!!

The Animal Kingdom Lodge was, hands-down, a magical Disney experience. It was a perfect way to ring in little man’s 6th birthday! We hope to someday return ❀

Until next time friends,

 

 

 

 

January 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Winter Break

Over the last few weeks, not only did we enjoy the Christmas & New Year holidays, but Liam & I also enjoyed some time off of school & work. I am fortunate to work for an amazing university that closes at the holidays so I pull little man out of daycare to hang out with me, too. We wish Daddy could pal aroundΒ with us, but he’s got an important job to do …and at least, we had the weekends & after work to play πŸ™‚

Liam had really enjoyed riding his new bike and getting used to this “big boy ride”. He was zooming around the sidewalk in no time.

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We hit up Sea World on Christmas weekend to check out their holiday decorations. Β The park really looked festive! We spent a lot of time this season checking out Christmas decorations and lights at various venues, and just driving through local neighborhoods. So fun!! I think we found a new tradition that we’ll continue in years to come. All of us thoroughly enjoyed it.

At the time, we thought this was going to be our last visit before our annual passes expired, as well as Liam’s Preschool Pass….BUT, the park JUST announced this week that the Preschool Pass is returning for 2016 so we may be going back again. It’s such a great deal πŸ™‚

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One of things we were most excited to see this visit was the holiday update to the Wild Artic ride — for Christmas, it becomes The Polar Express Experience! This is one of Liam’s most favorite Christmas movies, and he was over the moon to see this πŸ™‚ …it was such a cool ride! You really felt like you were on the train & in the movie.

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Watching Β a clip of the movie before we “boarded”….

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All smiles & ready to do it again….

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New Year’s week, my Orlando Mom’s Blog team gave us the awesome opportunity to hang out at the Science Center for the afternoon. We had let our annual passes lapse over the summer, so it had been almost 6 months since we last visited. It was so fun to see my team members from OMB, and we also hung out with Aunt Heather & cousin Sierra. Such a fun afternoon. I literally had to drag Liam out of there after FIVE hours! πŸ™‚ …this mama was wore out!

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We were thrilled to see the new additions to the Nature Works exhibit. The fish tanks are beautiful, and the kiddos loved picking up the different star fish and examining them. What a great experience for sensory learning!

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New Year’s Day, we took little dude to the local carnival. He had been asking & asking to go, so we caved. This same one comes around at the holidays each year, and honestly, it was surprising thatΒ Stephen & I had never been to it, ourselves, in the past. It was super fun!

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Can you tell that Liam is used to me taking pictures? πŸ™‚ …cheese!!

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quick selfie while little man was driving a tractor in the background…ha!

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these two….driving bumper cars!

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We met up with Aunt Heather & cousin, Sierra again…these kiddos love hanging out together. I can only imagine what this pic will look like in about 12 years from now…when they REALLY want to take the car for a drive together . Lord help us! πŸ™‚

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baby teacups!

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Seriously, this Ferris Wheel was GINORMOUS!! …My people rode it. I did NOT. I was freaking out while they rode it. Too big & too high for me. Liam loved it (of course!).

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It was a fun & restful break from work & school. I was able to get some things done around the house that I needed to, and Liam enjoyed playing with his new Christmas presents. I do think he missed his friends from school, though, and the structure/routine that he’s used to. I know after a while we did πŸ™‚ …haha!

Until next time, friends

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