Universal Orlando Resort – July 2016

Full Photo Album

Before the Vacation, and Getting There

We actually combined two trips into one. We flew from Denver into Ft. Myers on Sat, July 2 to spend a few days there with my family. We spent a few fun days lounging in Grandma and Grandpa’s pool, playing with the cousins, and Lily and Owen even organized a 4th of July party! But, more details about that trip in another post.

On Tuesday morning, it was time to make the drive to Orlando. We are not very good road-trippers, so I knew the 3 hour estimate on Google maps was highly optimistic. Especially since we would need to make a grocery and lunch stop on the way. We took the back roads instead of the interstate, and got to see the more natural, rural side of Florida along the way.

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New York, Washington DC, and Williamsburg – July 2014

Full Photo Album – Facebook

Full Photo Album – Smugmug

Day 1. 

The adventure started at the airport. Where Owen asked if “where we are going is on a different planet?” LOL! A guy sitting next to us couldn’t help but laugh. Although, Owen may have been on to something, Laguardia airport DID feel like another planet in many ways.

We were trying to be economical and take the city bus. But it took us a rather long time, with 6 suitcases in tow, to find it. And then the bus driver apparently decided that his shift was over when we were still over a mile from our hotel, and kicked everyone off! So we gave off and hailed a cab to get us the rest of the way.

We got check in at the Exclesior Hotel, and made it to our dinner reservation just in time. I had picked it because it was supposed to be kid friendly, and sure enough, Cars was playing in the booth.

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Disney World – April 2013

Disney World – April 2013
Full Photo Album

Prologue
So as you may have noticed, we have a tradition of taking one “BIG” vacation every year, in addition to our many smaller trips. We take turns picking the destination for this, though we’ve tended to rotate between beach, national parks, and Disney World. (Stay tuned for something very different next year though!) This year it was time to head back to Florida to see the Mouse!!

This would be our 3rd Disney World Vacation as a family, though we’ve snuck in a few mini-trips on visits to my family as well. And it would be Owen’s very first Disney World trip!

There was much debate and decision-making on when to go and where to stay, but we finally settled on late-April (hoping for warm but dry weather, and lower crowds than we were used to in the summer), and staying at the Yacht Club (thinking it would be convenient to be close to Epcot, and that the kids would love the Stormalong-the-Bay pool)

Much research and planning began, and slowly the countdown of months creeped into weeks, and then finally days. It was almost time to go to Disney World!!!
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Sequoia & Yosemite – May/June 2012

Pre-trip report.
Click here for the full photo album

This story actually begins in Montana, in Glacier National Park to be exact, even though it isn’t where we are going. But we went there several years ago, and Brian declared it his favorite place in the world. When he would tell people that, they would always say that he should go to Yosemite, and assured him he would fall even more in love there. He was skeptical, but intrigued, so it became the natural choice for our next National Park vacation.

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Jamaica – June 2011

Trip Report – Beaches Negril Resort, Negril Jamaica – June 2011

Prologue.

As we have done for several years, a summer vacation was chosen based on our rotating schedule. This year was my pick. A natural pattern seemed to be emerging – Brian picked a national park, Lily picked Disney World, and I picked some exotic beach-y location. So it had been, and my original plan was to continue this. However, with our financial situation having changed when Owen was born, I thought perhaps I should do something more reasonable, and spent several months planning a trip to southern California. We would go to Sea World, Universal, etc, and maybe even sneak in a Character meal at Disneyland. I had a tentative schedule made, hotel and car reservations made, and was considering buying our airplane tickets soon. And then realized that the Beaches Resorts in Jamaica had a nice sale going on.

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Disney World – June 2010

Trip Report. Disney World – June 2010

Prologue. Some Basic Information.

Two years ago, the 3 of us spent a week at Disney World – we stayed in the Polynesian Resort and had an absolutely wonderful time. We originally planned to return in 3 years, but due to various reasons, bumped up the trip to this year instead of next. As we were starting to plan for it last summer, we thought it would be fun to bring along Brian’s family too. So we booked 3 rooms at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, and again did the Deluxe Dining Plan. We have been planning for most of the last year, and can’t wait to get back to the Most Magical Place on Earth!
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Glacier National Park – July 2009

Trip Report: Glacier – Wateron – Yellowstone – Grand Teton National Parks (July 2009)

The Cast:
Main Characters –

Brian – this was his year to pick our vacation, so he is obviously very excited. Loves to hike, would hike all day every day if we let him! Is hoping we don’t get attacked by a bear.Jaime – loves vacation, and any sort of adventure. Did all the planning for the trip. Is hoping no one falls off a cliff.Lily – 5 years old, loves vacation, loves adventure, loves being with her family, loves everything. Is just hoping we don’t get lost. Continue reading

Disney World – June 2008

Disney World – June 2008 Trip Report
Chapter 1 – The Magic Begins                         (Day 1 – Sunday)
The alarm went off at 3:30am. Now we had all gotten to bed reasonably early the night before, but everyone knows that getting to bed and getting to sleep are two totally different things! Especially the night before a big vacation. But soon our excitement overcame the exhaustion and we got up and ready to go.

Yellowstone & Grand Teton- July 2006

Having gotten the travel bug last year in Hawaii, we were anxious to take our first real vacation as a family – bringing Lily along this time! She was 2 (going on about 12), and could be difficult at times, but also loved adventure and was excited to see the geysers! Since I initially made this trip report as a Powerpoint Slideshow, I’m going to do something different and just post the slides instead of typing everything out again 🙂

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Hawaii – June 2005

Wow! What an adventure we had in Kauai! It all starts at our hotel, the Hanalei Bay Resort in Princeville, which is on the North Shore of Kauai. The lagoon pool was always a favorite, especially with its two waterfalls. The scenery around the hotel was some of the best on the island – a beautiful combination of mountains, jungle, and beach. Lily had stayed home with the grandparents, so Brian and I were in for a week of serious adventuring!

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