Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 9 in Florida - Change of plans :)

We had one more day's tickets for one of the Disney parks; we had seen all 4 and just had to decide which one to return to for another day; couldn't really agree on which park we wanted to go to and to be honest the kids seemed just a little bit less than enthusiastic about any of them.

SO we chucked the park idea. If it was going to be a chore, why do it? We considered a water park but of course, that meant more people and more lines and more expensive food and cost. Rather than deal with those people again, we chose to go for a drive. To the beach. We looked into lots of beaches but ended up with the inevitable Daytona Beach :)

Even the drive there was fun. There was no line ups and crowds and even the traffic through Orlando was light and flowing. It was kind of a relief to be doing something so free! :) Orlando is a neat city at least seen that way from the highway through it. :)

Eventually we got to Daytona, and passed the Speedway. I wondered if Scott ever had any Nascar interests; apparently not so much. Seeing the race track from the road was kinda neat but enough. I just cant imagine getting excited about watching cars go round and round and it the anticipation of accidents and explosions? to each their own...

It was as easy as pie to find the beach; all things lead there. :) Just keep going straight :)
There was no doubt when we were getting closer to the ocean.
But we were still surprised when we got there and there was opportunity to drive right down onto the beach :)

Parking on the beach was awesome :) instead of someone having to sit with all the stuff we lugged onto the beach from the car, we could just lock it all in and go for walks on the beach all together! :) And we sat right near it when we wanted...and moved down to the water when we wanted......big bonus!

Even our sullen pre teen was unable to hide her smile when we were let loose on that soft white sand. It was warmish and sunny part of the time lol

4 pretty painted feet; we all seem to have the same shaped feet! Funny that. My poor kids...

We went for a walk (which we could do with our stuff all locked in the van :)) up the boardwalk and onto the street. We went to a few stores and Annika almost lost her mind when we found a box full of baby turtles (live ones) for sale. It took a lot to convince her we could not take it on the air plane.

We walked down the street and back up to the beach and through the water back :)

then into bathing suits and for a dip. Because of the waves and currents underneath we didnt let the kids go very far into the water but they had fun going in the surf for ages.

We collected tonnes of shells looking for ones with holes in them ;) For some necklaces we could make. :) Holly offered to wash my handfull of them and came back crying as a wave had washed them all out of her hands ;) so we collected some more and when she washed them this time, they all stayed put :):)

I was amazed (and im not sure why, after seeing all the birds in Florida being so awesome) to see these Pelicans keep flying over. We saw like a dozen at once at one point :) I thought this was pretty cool!

And tonnes of seagulls, every time the kids saw them they chanted Mine, Mine, Mine :) We saw a lot of Nemo this week! lol

After trying for ages we got some lady to take a photo of us all together! It was harder than I would have expected :):)

WE cleaned up a little in these water fountains :) The soft sand was really sticky even when dry and got into every little thing in our car. :) But the girls liked a few minutes in the clean water before we headed back to the van and the house :)

We spotted this Krispy Kreme from across 3 lanes of traffic and went through a lot of turning and butting into traffic to get there. We went around a block through a less attractive area of town and the kids got an eyefull :)
The donuts were totally worth it tho :) Yum. Wish I had been able to take some home LOL

Annika worked hard and on the way home from Daytona Beach she lost her second tooth! :) she wanted to lose it in Florida so bad! That made it a special tooth loss LOL and she did it! The tooth fairy did find her in Florida, thank goodness!

After getting home from being at the beach all day we went to Red Lobster for supper (Taylor's choice) and then the kids had a last swim in the dark with the pool lights. They are going to miss that pool.

Tried for an early night as we were heading off early in the morning for home. Didnt sleep much; hate leaving Florida and ending vacations!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 8 in Florida - Finishing Seaworld

We had 2 days at Seaworld so during the first day we didnt really try to see everything :) We knew we could finish up another day :) Its kind of a repeat of our first day there, without the Dolphins and with the Shamu show instead :)

We visited the Stingrays again and Holly was very brave and fed one. Taylor wouldnt even keep holding onto the fish LOL

I could not get over the birds in Florida...not just hanging around the parks waiting for a free meal, but everywhere! Cranes and herons, big ones, little ones. They were everywhere! And these things called Ibis....everywhere! Really cool!

we went through a few things a little more slowly, like the dolphins underwater viewing area - they were not being fed this time so we were able to see them swimming and playing. Dolphin Cove was nice; wavey and the dolphins were so incredibly playful that at times I was actually wondering if they were hurting each other with their exuberance.

We got over to the Dolphin Nursery where there were mothers with babies and some pregnant dolphins as well :) they were really sweet to watch. It was nice to see them although again we had to shuffle on quite quickly. :)
Can you spot us?

Annika went with Nanny and Grampy to Shamu's Happy Harbour while Taylor and I went on the Kracken again; Holly and Scott watched. And took photos :):)Taylor loves the Kracken; we didnt feel like standing in line for the Manta again.

We walked the long way around to get to Shamu to meet the Grands with Annika for the Shamu show :) We saw the Aquarium at Journey to Atlantis.

We saw the Budweiser horses. At least 2 of them. LOL Nice stable.

We went on the Wild Arctic adventure ; we took the kids on the Helicopter ride to the Arctic while Nanny and Grampy walked the tour. The Helicopter ride was simulated flying very much like the Star Wars one but very rough.

The artic was fun; we saw Belugas and Walruses, a sleeping polar bear.

Then we went to the Believe show; the Shamu show. This is the same show where in February there was a trainer killed :( this certainly has changed the show since last year when the grands saw it.

There were no trainers in the water and no one was diving off noses :( I am sad about the loss from the show and sadder about the loss of the trainer :( that whale...doing what whales do...has a bad rep for whale reasons. Anyway the show was still awesome and amazing those whales were so big!

we spent a little bit of time in the underwater whale viewing area which was really crowded; in here were some playful juvenile whales :) They were fun to watch and loved to zoom by the window :)
Right after the Shamu show Holly wasnt feeling well :( she was quite uncomfortable with a sore belly and head. It passed after awhile but for some time she was quite unwilling to do anything and just cried quietly :( when we were going to take her home, she started to feel better. First Annika then Holly, who next?

After Believe Annika wanted to go on Journey to Atlantis again :) she really loved that ride and mentions it as one of her favs :)

We walked towards the entrance by this time, I got waylayed for a while by the Dolphin Cove watching them playing, hung there for a bit wasting some time LOL

Petted some more stingrays, watched the Very active flamingos for awhile, kind of finishing off where we started :):):)

By far the best park we visited LOL at least for me. The kids may feel different. Or not.