Thursday, July 2, 2009


Our trip to Florida was full of fun, family, record-breaking heat and did I mention FUN? From the time we got on the plane to the time we landed back in Utah we were continually on the move. After meeting up with Mike and his family in Orlando for dinner at yummy Giardanno's we made the two hour drive to Gainesville. Early the next morning my niece, Aubree, was baptized by my brother. She is the first grandchild to be baptized and I am grateful we were able to be there to participate.
Tracy and Everett had never been to a baptism and were engulfed by the amazing spirit present. The rest of the weekend they played "baptism" with their stuffed animals. It was pretty funny but it also provided an opportunity to discuss baptism with them.
This is the closest we've gotten to a family picture since my wedding. The only ones not pictured are my sister and her family. I never thought we were that close as a family but getting together made me appreciate the time we were able to share. I know my mom would be happy to see us all gathered. She was always the "glue".
Mike, Miles, Me and my Father. Where did Mike get that height?

Father's Day was Sunday and before we left SLC, the kids made crowns for all of the Dad's. I made them wear them all through dinner.
We spent the rest of the weekend swimming, playing and even went panning for alligator teeth. While there I found an AWESOME spider so if you get squeamish don't enlarge the pictures above. It was seriously HUGE and so cool. Everett shares my love of the creepy crawlies and I had to physically restrain him to prevent him from touching it. We did find several teeth but rather than gator teeth I think they are shark teeth. Either way they are unique souvenirs.
Sunday we made the journey back to Orlando. Monday we spent the day at Disney's Hollywood Studios in RECORD BREAKING HEAT! I love heat and humidity but even I was roasting! Poor Summy was so hot we stripped her down to her diaper for most of the day. One of our favorite attractions here is the Extreme Stunt Show. Trace was only two last time we saw it yet he remembers minute details and couldn't wait to see it again. He was also THRILLED to see Mater and Lightning McQueen.
Some of our most fun moments occurred while hanging out at the condo. The kids were all drawn to Uncle Mike.
Abbie and Trace are just a month apart and sooooo alike. They have great times together and have more energy than the rest of us combined.
Tuesday, Mike, Melody, Lisa, Abbie and Aubree joined us at the Animal Kindgdom where it was another hot and sunny day. I still say it is better than shoveling snow and being cold, but that is just me. The boys loved the safari because it was like "off-roading with animals". Tracy's favorite animal was the Land Rover. That boy and his autos.
Wednesday we took a break from the parks and spent the day at Daytona Beach. It was the BEST beach! The water was warm. You heard it right folks. I, the girl who thinks Lake Powell and the Caribbean are cold, thought the water was warm. The water was shallow a long way out so the kids splashed around and swam all day. Another nice surprise was that the water wasn't overly salty. We were in the water all day and our eyes weren't burning! I am sad to say the Atlantic took hold of my favorite sunglasses but it was worth it. I love beaches and Daytona is my new favorite. If you are ever in Florida, check it out. Unless, of course, it is Spring Break and in that case I would probably avoid it. Unless of course you like loud, obnoxious, scantily clad drunk college kids. At least that is how MTV portrays it.
It was Summy's first time meeting the ocean and she LOVED it! She is such a water baby. Her name is incredibly fitting. She loved the sun, the sand, the waves ALL OF IT! Unfortunately we got waaaay too much vitamin D that day. Even though we thought we had been good about sunscreen we were all a little red the next day.
We couldn't pass through Daytona without taking a picture in front of the speedway.
Thursday it was back to the parks for a little Epcot action. GM had a showroom at the end of the Test Track ride and I think Trace enjoyed it more than the actual ride. He was really sweet about buckling Everett in first and then going to the driver's side where he was all too happy to be the "driver".

Friday and Saturday it was on to Magic Kingdom. The temperature had fallen a bit and we were ready.
We were laughing hysterically when we noticed Summer's leg just chillin' on Tracy. We set Ev loose in "Ariel's Grotto" where he ran, splashed and laughed his little heart out. At one moment he started leaning against one of the speakers. I thought he was tired so I asked him if he wanted to sit in the stroller. His reply was, "No, I'm listening to mine music." Just like Daddy.
Tracy is never impressed by costumed characters so I was SHOCKED to see his enthusiasm when we came across the different characters. Maybe it was the magic of Disney. He was sorely disappointed he never got a chance to meet Daisy Duck, but I think Minnie made up for it. Always the little ladies man. Everett LOVES stuffed animals and couldn't wait to give all of the characters big hugs.

I am proud to say we totally stuck it to the mouse and didn't buy a SINGLE meal at the parks. We packed lunches and dinners and I am sure we saved hundreds of dollars. Not just that, but we didn't have to wait in lines and we felt better because we were eating healthy. We bought a few treats, of course, but other than that we ate out of a bag or back at the condo. I will say, however, I am a little sick of sandwiches.

Everett was all about the Mickey ears. Tracy was NOT. By the end of the week we were all pooped. It was even more wonderful than we imagined and I am grateful we had the opportunity to spend time with our family.


Alicia said...

How fun! Geez... you guys had a lot of fun. And how cool to be with your family too.

Jen said...

You guys got some great pictures! Isaac's not quite old enough to understand the part about standing next to Mickey for a picture, so I wasn't about to stand in those lines just for me . . . kinda wish I had at least one good character photo though!

Amber Burt said...

I'm glad that you survived the plane ride! I am jealous of your trip to Disney World, I would love to take our kids!

Kristen said...

Looks like sooo much fun Lees! Summer is so stinkin cute! You inspire me. Next year I think we'll take the kids to Disneyland. Not quite ambitious enough to do Disney World yet. Although, I know what you mean, Florida beaches are soo warm! They beat California beaches hands down!