We did not visit any of the Disney attractions on this trip. Instead, we purchased a package that gave us unlimited entries during our stay to Seaworld, Aquatica (Seaworld's waterpark) and Busch Gardens. I had expected our visits to the parks would be short-ish, as the kids would wear out and we'd need to return home, but as it turned out both kids had amazing lasting power, especially Chloe -- on the days we were out she made do with short naps in the Ergo, and sometimes also in the car on the way to or from our destination.
Jeff talked me into going on my very first adult-sized roller coaster on this trip, complete with an upside-down loop. I was pretty apprehensive, but I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, and will probably try some others in future. He did also talk onto another ride a few days later that was actually far more terrifying. The photo that the ride automatically snaps was hilarious ... Jeff is laughing his head off, enjoying the ride and right next to him my expression is absolutely horrified ... you'd think someone was torturing me to death! I think our only regret from the trip is that we didn't pay the $20
Other highlights of the trip included:
- Touching the sting rays at SeaWorld
- My dad's eyes sparkling as he played with my girls
- Walking through the nature reserve at Circle B Bar Ranch and seeing many birds really close up, as well as two small alligators.
- My Mom's whoops of laughter as she rode down the kiddy water slide with Maya
- The soft coo of delight Chloe made on the Merry go Round every time her horse started it's downward motion
- Maya's delight at rescuing a lizard that was caught between the screen and the windowpane of her bedroom window (this was her favourite part of the trip)
We enjoyed Orlando, and will likely return again in future, but we did notice that beyond the theme park attractions (of which there are many) and the outlet malls, there was not a lot else to do. Another time we'd consider splitting our stay between a week in Orlando to visit theme parks, and a week in another part of Florida, maybe on the ocean, or close to some historic attractions such as the fort in St. Augustine.
Before we'd even landed back in Ottawa (where, alas, we arrived to an icy winter snowstorm) Maya was already scheming ways to convince us to return next winter. I have to admit, I may not need much convincing.
A few photos from our trip ...
|Chloe and Maya playing at the "beach" at Aquatica|
|Grandpa and Chloe|
|Maya and Daddy pausing in their search for |
alligators at Circle B Bar Ranch Preserve
|Jeff and Maya visited the Space Centre at Cape Canaveral|
|Grandma pointing out alligator footprints to Maya|
|Mommy and Chloe watch the dolphins at SeaWorld|