Thursday, June 28, 2018

disney springs & aquatica

After our amazing day at Discovery Cove, we were excited to spend the following day with our friends in Orlando!
We went bowling and then walked downtown the cutest little square in Winter Garden
I think this was the summer rock craze!  This was the first we learned about it but we kept finding these cute rocks that people had painted and hidden around Winter Garden. 

So we hid them, and we kept a couple to bring back and hide in Iowa!
Meanwhile, back at home...
This was so cute- our neighbors and Kerigan's BFF took care of Belle while we were gone and my mom was at our house one day and so Avery came over and played.  She played games and hung out with my mom for about an hour!  I think since they both missed Kerigan it helped them feel closer to her!  Haha.  
And of course Belle missed us too, but was happy to have company!
That evening we cleaned up and headed to fulfill my Disney craving... Disney Springs!
Let me tell you how hard it was for me to be this close to Disneyworld and not go... Ha!  I was giddy inside!  I.LOVE.DISNEY.
Since we had just been to Disneyland the year before, and it would break our "Disney every other year" rule, we decided to do all the water things in Orlando this time (Sea World, Discovery Cove, etc).
So this somewhat satisfied Disney craving
We just took pictures by these and pretended they were real characters- haha!
I had serious nostalgia thinking of the first time we took this guy to Disney (he was 3) and he met Buzz. (Insert crying emoji here).
Kerigan had to take a picture with the Lego Friends girls!
And Winnie the "poop" as Andrew used to call him!
We ate at T-Rex Cafe, Andrew's favorite!

It was so fun to spend this evening with our Florida friends!

After dinner we walked around and the kids fought over who was going to push Emery in the stroller.
We saw this car that all of a sudden went splashing into the water!

The kids rode a couple of the little rides they have there

The only girls in the bunch... sweet little Tinkerbell!
Then the boys decided to beat the heat and play in the fountain!
Then warm up on the cement... doesn't that just scream typical childhood memories?  Ha!
A picture by his favorite character, Stitch!
Then we headed to Coca Cola world!  Carrie and I and our kids (minus Emery).  I love that after more than 30 years our friendship is still going strong!
And if you've read this blog for a while, you know Daddy always entertains us in the gift shops!  Ha!
Then we went to this famous cupcake place for dessert called Sprinkles!
You can order your cupcake from an ATM!  Ha!  We did it the old fashioned way though.  The kids got ice cream.  I loved Disney Springs!  Can't wait to go back!
The next day was our last full day and we spent it at Aquatica, which is Sea World's waterpark.
Back there where the dolphins are swimming is a waterslide that goes through the water so you can see the fish swimming!  So amazingly cool!
I hardly took any pictures this day.  I just wanted to enjoy the waterpark with my family!  I loved going on all the slides with them!
They had some fun in this kiddie area too

Then my little man and I braved Ray Rush!
Daddy stayed back with Kerigan because she didn't want to go.
We gave it 2 thumbs up!
We closed down the place!  There's the dolphin waterslide back there, see how it goes underwater?
I just snapped a few pictures on our way out.
This was the perfect end to a once in a lifetime vacation.  We made some memories we will never forget!
We had to carry on Kerigan's trophy so nothing happened to it!
We loved bringing home a National Champion!
Memories to last a lifetime...

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

discovery cove {orlando}

The next morning we woke up in sunny Orlando and headed out for one of the most special days we've ever had together as a family- Discovery Cove.  
We checked in and got settled and headed straight to breakfast.
Discovery Cove is like a private, cozy little resort nestled in the middle of busy Orlando.
They only sell a certain number of tickets per day, so there are literally no crowds.  It's amazing.  It is all inclusive so we could eat as many times and as many snacks throughout the day as we wanted.
After a delicious breakfast we got suited up and explored a little bit before we had to meet up for our dolphin experience.  We were cracking up at Craig's sunblock.  They have special wet suits and sunblock that they provide which is all safe for the animals.  The problem is it just doesn't rub in very well!  Ha!
These two were so excited about the day!
I don't even know where to begin to describe this experience.  I had wanted to swim with dolphins for as long as I can remember, so this was a dream come true to have my little family doing this all together.  These are memories you can't put a price tag on- and we will all remember forever.
All the recommendations say to book an early experience so that everyone's hair is still dry for the pictures!  That was good advice because by the afternoon we all looked like drenched rats!  Ha!
We all got a turn to swim with the dolphin!
This is a once in a lifetime experience right here...
The kids were so full of joy this entire time, I loved watching them.

This was a 30 minute experience in the water and we interacted with the dolphins, got to feed them, give them hand signals, etc.
This is probably my favorite picture of Andrew from the whole trip.  He just took it all in and loved every minute.
After our amazing time with the dolphins, we headed to the amazing lazy river and just soaked in the sun!
The water was heated perfectly, and the kids loved floating on the noodles!  The river changed depth every so often so it was good to have these!
We went under lots of waterfalls!  Luckily I researched and had a waterproof cover for my phone that worked perfectly all day!
Do you see the bird behind Andrew?  They had an aviary where you could exit the river and check out all kind of cool species of birds
So we got out and walked through it.  They gave you little cups of food to feed them- I love this picture of Andrew, he was beyond excited when this bird landed on his food cup!
I think she was imitating a bird here, but I'm not sure!  Ha!
Then it was back on the lazy river for more exploring!
Andrew spotted this totem rock in the water!
This happened to be Father's Day also- and this was the only picture I posted on social media all day with the hashtag #epicfathersday.  In fact I'm pretty sure this was as relaxed as Craig has ever been on Father's Day!  Ha!
We explored a cool cave!
Everything was just so awesome
The pictures do not do it justice.  Everywhere you turned was just more beauty, and more to explore.
We had fun getting splashed under the waterfalls!
Pure joy!
And then we took a quick break for a snooze in a hammock!
They have certain times where they bring out unique animals and Andrew was all over this armadillo!
Maybe not the most appropriate pose but look how cute he is!  Andrew was thrilled to get to hold him for a minute.
Then they brought out a kinkajou!  It was hiding in the lady's arms but Andrew just could not get enough of it.  He just loves animals, but especially unique ones that you don't get to see often.
They also brought out this little owl.  The kids were just loving all the animals.
Back in the water for a couple of pictures of this gorgeous waterfall and swim area
And let's just notice again how there are NO people in any of these pictures.  It seriously felt like we had the whole place to ourselves.  I think the fact that there were no crowds was one of my favorite parts... it was like our own private oasis!
We took a lunch break before heading back to the water!
This time we headed to a different section of the cove to snorkel!
Andrew took this- I thought he did a good job!  Once again, we reapplied the sunscreen!  Ha!  And Kerigan wasn't thrilled about being put down in this area with giant sting rays!
But Andrew wasted no time!
This was right up his alley
There were sting rays everywhere.  And they were HUGE!  They had a feeding time where they just swarmed around all the food and it was pretty awesome.  
I was having trouble capturing how massive these things were!
This girl was not having it.  So we hung out a little closer to shore.  See those dark shadows back there?  Those are the sting rays!
They gave snorkeling two thumbs up!
The kids played on the beach for a little while and this guy dug himself a huge hole.
After a little beach time, we walked back to the cave and waterfall area near the lazy river.  
We walked past the dolphins so she wanted a picture by this statue- she loved the dolphins the most and wanted to swim with them again!
Back in our favorite area!  The heated pools and lazy river!  And no, I promise we didn't rent the whole place out... there were other people there!  Just not many!  Ha!
These two have the sweetest relationship- she's wrapped around his finger and pretty much has been since birth.
You could swim up to this neat window and see otters swimming behind the glass!
The kids were fascinated and could have stayed here for hours.
We just couldn't get enough of this amazing day
It started to sprinkle and lightning right around closing time, so they made us get out of the water a little early but we only missed about 15 minutes of water time.  We had to drag ourselves out.  It was the most relaxing, amazing day any of us had ever experienced and we did not want it to end.

Related Posts with Thumbnails