Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Ultimate Field Trip

We our back from what I call The Ultimate Field Trip-nearly three weeks on vacation in Florida!  We drove from our most northern state to the most southern with three kids in an overflowing Yukon! I went armed for the drive with snacks and a few gifts for each child and lots of audio books from our local library.  The drive was wonderful and it was so much fun to see our country from top to bottom.  We drove through or by some of the biggest New England cities, then through the farmlands of Pennsylvania, the Shenandoah Valley, and the Blue Ridge mountains all the way to the Sunshine state.

The first leg of our trip was spent with Josh's family, celebrating his grandfather's 90th birthday.  His parents and sister's family were there too! We stayed at his aunt and uncle's house and got to visit a few state parks in their area.

It was sunny and tropical, almost like we were in a rainforest those first few days.

Josh's cousin has a horse farm and we each got to ride on of her beautiful Arabians.  They said Brown-Eyed-Girl was a natural.

Most of the great-grandkids were able to surround Great-Grampy as he blew out a candle celebrating 90 years.

We got to see the wonderful manatees that flock to the warm waters of Florida at Homossassa Springs State Park. We got a real taste of the Florida wildlife here.

The second leg of our trip was spent in Orlando.  It was our first trip to Disney World.  We spent one day at the Animal Kingdom, one at Epcot, and three at the Magic Kingdom.

Petite loved the rides that were not enclosed.  Dumbo, Aladdin's Magic Carpets, and the Triceratops at the Animal Kingdom were her favorite.

The Magic Kingdom was so beautifully decorated for fall.  Main Street and Cinderella's castle were my favorite sites.

We rented a vacation home for a week, complete with its own pool- fabulous! We would definitely do this again. It was so wonderful having space and being able to make our meals.  I loved that the coffee mugs were oversize so it felt just like home.

When we saw Cinderella's castle, the excitement mounted as we rode the ferry to the Magic Kingdom.  It truly does make you feel like a kid again.

At Epcot, Mister did the Pick-a-Pearl exhibit in Japan. He had been anticipating this for some time!  He chose and oyster and in it was a 7mm pearl.

We made a side trip to Legoland to fulfill Mister's dream.  We were probably one of only a hundred families visiting that day so there were no lines!  That is my kind of trip.

There were so many things made of Legos here!  The pumpkin and otters were only a few of them.  The Mini Village was just amazing, with world landmarks like the capitol building, Eiffel Tower, Las Vegas attractions, and so much more made entirely of Legos. The details were amazing.

The third leg of our trip was spent in Fernandina Beach visiting our best friends who moved here in June.  Now, a trip to the beach is MY favorite kind of vacation. The kids had soooo much fun in the water.

Josh caught nine fish and even this young hammerhead shark! We had a delicious fish fry that night for dinner.

Mister really took to boogie-boarding. He would spend his life in the water if he could.

On the way home we stopped in Hershey, Pennsylvania for the night.  We made a quick trip to Hershey's Chocolate World to see how they make chocolate and pick up a few goodies.

We had so much fun with our friends. The whole trip was full of wonderful moments, we just can't decide on our favorites. We feel so blessed that we were able to take this trip and do so much.  We're back home now, with the woodstove going and packing up all the warm-weather clothes we wore in Florida.  Reality resumes soon but we're thankful for the memories we made.