After spending a few days in Disney, we packed up and drove a couple of hours where my family lives. Our primary reason for visiting Florida was to see family, so that's exactly what we did. We went to my grandparent's house to hang out and that was a blast. I remember having really great times with my grandparents when I was younger, so it's important for me that my kids get to know them and have memories with them as well.
On Sunday we had a family barbeque celebrating my cousin Stephanie graduating high school. I was bummed we couldn't time it so we could have seen her walk across the stage, but I'm glad we got to hang out. She's the most like me, personality wise, so we get along great. But my two younger cousins, who are around Olivia's age, came over too and Jackson tried hard to impress the girls.
Once at Madeira Beach, the kids were getting hungry so we decided to get a parking pass and then walk over to John's Pass. Matt went and checked on the dolphin boat tours because Jackson wanted to really go on one, and as it turns out- there was one leaving in a few minutes with room. So we decided to buy a few snacks and a water and get on the boat.
We left right before dinner time and we were all exhausted. You don't realize living up north, how much non stop sun and swimming can really suck all your energy right out. In fact, both kids fell asleep in the car before we were even out of the parking lot. :)
Also- I've gotten lots of emails about Disney and my experience. First of all, it was not a complete bust. I'm glad we went, I'm glad my kids had a fantastic time, and I have some really get pictures and memories to put into a book for them (I'm only 3 vacations behind in scrapbooking...yikes). Did I know you could get free cups of water at service counters? No. Because I saw nobody with them. Did I have to buy that much water? Well yes- it was 105 and both kids and I have to be hydrated throughout the day otherwise we get sick. So I'd spend $1000 on water if it kept both kids from getting sick. I get that you pay a lot of money for the experience. I totally get that. But once you get into the park, they shouldn't nickel and dime you the entire day. Paying almost $100 for a family of four to basically have hotdogs and burgers is a bit ridiculous. I will say though, that the next time we go we'll likely stay at a Disney resort and do the dining plan. It makes so much more sense and after getting to know how it works better after talking to people once I'm there, I recommend it. I also recommend going for 3 days because you get better deals on ticket prices. We were only going to have 2 days and if we were able to stretch out the vacation for another day or two, we would have gone to 3 parks. The next time we go the kids will be older and bigger, and we'll be able to do Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. The vacation fund is empty so we're slowly putting money into that. Hopefully next time we can take a full two week vacation and see family AND do Disney.
Tomorrow- I'll talk about our last full day, we went to Weeki Wachee Springs and saw mermaids. :)