Disney & Florida – Christmas 2016

Chapter 1. Getting to the Airport with our Ridiculous Pile of luggage

So.. yeah. The theme of the day was pretty much…luggage. You may have seen my FB post Friday morning with the massive pile of suitcases in our living room. Here it is again, at the bus stop 🙂

I had been warning Brian for months that it was going to be like this, and I don’t think he believed me until he saw it. The 5 largest suitcases were filled with camping equipment – tents, air mattresses, pillows, bedding, headlamps, etc. Two more were filled with Christmas presents, because we would be going directly to Naples after our Disney vacation to celebrate Christmas with my family. Most of our clothes and miscellaneous items ended up in carry-ons because we maxed out our checked luggage limit of 8. And we each had a backpack, so 16 total pieces of luggage to pack, and keep track of.

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January 2016 – Florida Family Visit

Click here for full Photo Album

We had changed up our usual pattern, and instead of coming to Florida for Thanksgiving, we were spending New Years there instead. Brian had to leave work a little early so we could catch an afternoon flight to Tampa, on Dec. 30. Before we even left, I got notified that our flight was delayed 🙁 And by the time we got to the airport, it was delayed further.

We had dinner at the steakhouse restaurant in Concourse C. We’ve eaten here several times and it’s never very good, I don’t know why we keep coming back. It was the start of what would be a very rough night though, maybe some foreshadowing.

Finally we were on the plane, ended up being about and hour-and-a-half delayed. I was hoping the time change would not make our 1am arrival seem quite as miserable, but we were all feeling sleepy and exhausted when the plane finally landed.   Continue reading

Disney World & Florida – December 2014

Pre-trip details and Introductions:

(You probably know all of us by now, but some updates anyway!)


Me (Jaime) – former middle school teacher, currently stay-at-home-mom. It’s no secret that I’m a little Disney-obsessed! For a long time, I tried to be okay with the one-big-tripevery-few-years routine, but finally lost patience and decided to start making use of the fact that my whole family lives in Florida (and we fly down there at least twice/year to visit) So I declared that we would begin adding short Disney trips to our family visits! I have come to really love these “mini-trips”, and enjoy always having some sort of trip in the works.

Brian (DH) – software engineer at Adobe. It has actually been a tough year for him. He got a nasty case of pneumonia last spring, and is still not fully recovered. It doesn’t affect him too much now for normal daily activities, but he is very into active things like mountaineering, snow climbing, skiing, etc. And it has been a constant source of frustration and stress for him that he can’t do those things at the level he was a year ago. But he does seem to be making progress at least. He “likes” Disney, but doesn’t love it the way I do. And actually complains now that we “go too often”, though without fail, once we are there he is always loving it, and never wants to leave.

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Disney World & Florida – October 2014

Chapter 0. Pre-trip Tediousness

Just in case I get carried away and don’t explain well as I’m going…

The Cast: 

Me (Jaime) – stay-at-home mom and master Disney planner 🙂
Brian (DH) – didn’t come on this trip, but I think I mention him a time or two
Lily (DD, 11 yo) – recently started middle school, and deep in the throws of adolescence. Enough said, lol!
Owen (DS, 4yo) – impatient, active, often an emotional basket-case, and generally scared of everything

My Mom
My Dad

Cassie & Cam – usually refer to them as “the cousins” collectively, (my brothers kids, 14 and 12 years old), they live in Naples with the rest of my family and came to Orlando with my parents

The idea: 

We needed to get away somewhere for a long weekend while Brian was off canyoneering in Utah, (because it didn’t seem fair for us to stay home, ha!) and visiting my family in FL made the most sense. After all, I had a brand new niece to meet! And what good is a trip to FL if we can’t sneak in a little Disney first??

Our dates collided perfectly with MNSSHP, so that seemed like a good excuse to get in some park time. Usually in these mini-trips with my parents, we stick to DTD and the resorts, so I was a little nervous about how this would go.

They really wanted to bring the cousins along, and talked their parents into letting them miss a couple days of school for it. (Lily was missing 3, oops!) I figured she would enjoy having some buddies her own age along, especially since they were old enough to go park-storming on their own.

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Spring Break 2014

Day 1. Friday, March 21, 2014

Chapter1. Falling in Love with AKL, and the First of Many Meltdowns

Most of our traveling was uneventful, so just a quick recap. We got up, only a little earlier than normal (around 5am) and drove to Denver. We had to make one unplanned stop when we were only about 20 minutes away because Owen had to go potty and didn’t think he could wait. While we were stopped, I picked up some children’s Tylenol because I realized while packing that we were out, and I don’t like to travel without it, just in case.

We always park at an offsite lot a couple of miles from the airport. It’s cheaper and actually more convenient since they pick you up right your car, and drop you off right in front of the doors to the airport. Owen was being especially chatty on the shuttle bus ride, and in a cute 3-year old way. Telling everyone that “Mommy doesn’t let us go to Disney World every day”, and worrying that the bus was going to get in trouble for going too fast. I think he was quite the entertainment for the other passengers on board!

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Florida – Mothers Day 2013

Florida – Mother’s Day 2013

We made a quick trip down to Naples to see Jaime’s family for Mother’s Day. We had only been back from Disney World for a few weeks, but we hadn’t had time on that trip to visit, so here we were.

Nothing too exciting, just handing out with Grandma and Grandpa and a short trip to the beach, where we saw a very unusual sand formation, and the kids got to watch Dolphins jumping in the waves.


Funny FB post on the way home:
Left the airport for a little while since we have a very long layover, coming back through security Owen got stubborn and refused to stay with me. I had to drag him forcibly up to the counter, causing some concern for the security agent. Further suspicious was that he then refused to tell her his name or age. So she tried to talk to Lily instead, who suddenly had one of her “timid attacks”, and wouldn’t answer anything without nervously looking at me first. (Hard questions like, What’s your name, and where are you going?) She finally let us go, but I’m pretty sure she thought I was kidnapping both of them.


Florida / Legoland – Christmas 2012

Trip Photo Album

Chapter 1. Every Trip has to Start with this part…

Saturday 12/22/12, 3am. Dum Dum Da Dum Dum BEEP BEEP BEEEEEP… As I always say, the first sound of every vacation is an insanely early alarm clock. (And I actually set two different ones, just in case.) We were flying out of Denver at 7am, and with over an hours’ drive to the airport, plus the usual holiday lines at check-in and security awaiting us, there was no choice but to get up and out.

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Mini Disney Getaway & Family Visit – March 2012

Click here for the full photo-album
Chapter 1. Let’s Find Some Magic!!!

As many times as we’ve done this whole flying thing, you’d think we’d be experts at it. At the ripe old age of 18 Months, this will already be Owen’s 5th flying vacation (about 16 take-offs and landings). And Lily ( 8 years old) has done at least 5 or 6 times that many. It’s just the natural result of having family that lives across the country. And liking to travel, I admit.
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Thanksgiving in Florida – 2011

Thanksgiving was in Florida this year, per our designated rotation. Owen was a bit more of a seasoned traveller by now, but not necessarily a better one, ha! But we had some really fun things planned for the week, and were looking forward to catching up with the family and enjoying some sunshine. And of course the turkey. (well for the carnivores of the family, anyway!)

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Thanksgiving in Florida – 2009

For many years now, we’ve alternated going to Florida for Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year is a “Thanksgiving year”, so we were all set to head to the sunshine state for Turkey day. The days leading up to the trip were chaotic, and I wondered how in the world we would possibly be ready to go! But finally, everything was packed, all pets were properly distributed to their temporary care-givers, and we were set.

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Summer Visit to Florida – June 2009

We flew into Ft. Myers late on Thursday night, and were ready to hit the road on Friday morning! In the trip at this point was: Grandma, Grandpa, Ashley, Jaime, Lily, Cassie, and Cam. We drove north, stopping in Tampa for a tour of the Ringling Museum. We went through their house, and saw lots of circus memorabilia in the museum.

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Disney & Sea World – Christmas 2008

**Click here to Plan Your Own Visit to Sea World!! (http://seaworldparks.com)

Our Holiday Adventure

Chapter 1. Welcoming Winter.
Saturday (12/20/08) was a busy day. We had to finish laundry pack, buy some last minute gifts, go to the grocery store, Target, pick up the Ham, pick up the pie, take Nala to the PetsHotel, Woozle to John and Julia’s house, and somehow after all this we had to be ready for our planned dinner with Brian’s dad and present opening, as well as our solstice ceremony. And Brian was working at Marion House Soup Kitchen most of the day so Lily and I were on our own to get everything accomplished. They day got very cold in the afternoon – a blustery wind came in and it was very unpleasant to be outside! Appropriate that we should be welcoming winter tonight, I suppose.