Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Break = Orlando Florida!!

We had such a FUN and WARM spring break - much better than the snow pictures in my previous post. It couldn't have been more perfect. We left on Monday, March 9th - and drove to Orlando - about 7 1/2 hour drive. With our new van, the girls were entertained most of the way with the DVD player - it was so great. Shawn was able to do homework and the few short times when a movie wasn't playing, I got to enjoy listening to the iPod.

We got to Orlando around 5:00pm and my parents flew in at 6:07. We had just enough time to drop our stuff off at the condo, freshen up and go pick up Grandma and Grandpa at the Orlando Airport. It was so fun to see them - it had been 8 months!! Andie and I walked in while my parents were waiting for their bags. She was shy at first, but took about 10 seconds to warm up to them!

We got back to the condo, ordered pizza - the girls were being silly and LOVING grandma and grandpa!

The next morning we set our for a week of pure fun. We bought 5 day park hopper tickets and visited all of the Disney parks. The weather was around 85-87 degrees the whole time - there were lots of crowds - but the lines were never more than 20-30 minutes. We saw lots of shows, the girls LOVED each moment and seeing all of their favorite characters!! We couldn't have had a more perfect time!

Here we are watching one of MANY 3D shows. Andie and Ali loved playing with the glasses. Don't we look great!

Andie got to meet Mickey and Minnie! I was out watching Ali who was asleep in the stroller. Shawn, Grandma and Grandpa said she had a GREAT reaction. A little timid at first, not sure what to think - and then big smiles and excitement as she realized who they were!

Shawn, Andie and I riding Dumbo. Andie could go on so many rides - it was great. She loved them all!

Here we are eating! The double stroller was perfect! It reclined when they took naps, a great changing table for diaper changes and a perfect high chair. So much better than the hard plastic ones you could rent from the park!

Here's mom and dad enjoying dinner while studying Russian. We learned together the days of the week, how to count to 10 and getting acquainted. I am so impressed with both of them and their diligence in studying! They will be GREAT mission President and a FUN mission mom! I am so jealous!

Shawn and I were off enjoying Splash Mountains while grandma and grandpa went and took the girls to see Goofy! Andie loves to look at the pictures and names everyone - it's great!

Country Bear Jamboree! My grandpa LOVED going to this show - so in memory of Grandpa Nicholls - we couldn't miss it!

We ended day one watching the firework show over the castle. It was so fun!

Shawn and Andie were watching the colored lights change the castle from green, to pink, to purple, to blue.

Day 2 - Disney's Hollywood Studios - Don't they look excited?

Ali and I were part of the pink team today! Each day we tried to coordinate outfits with everyone so we could find each other in a crowd!

My Mom, Ali and I - waiting for the play to start

Shawn and Andie

Disney Playhouse - Live on Stage! This was the ONE and ONLY thing Andie wanted to do twice. We saw all of her favorite characters from her morning cartoons. Handy Manny fixed the bubble machine so everyone could play with bubbles!

Little Einsteins

My Friends, Tigger and Pooh

and of course, Mickey Mouse Club House

It was Minnie's Birthday and they let streamers fall all over - Ali loved playing with them!

Here we all are with Frozone, from The Incredibles. What can I say, no one was in his line, we felt bad!

Here we are waiting in line for Toy Story Mania. By 11:00am, all fast passes were gone for this ride, it is bran new. So, we waited in line for about 45 minutes - well worth the wait!

Shawn and Ali on Toy Story Mania. He did pretty good get just over 60,000 points. It is a 4D target game ride. I don't know how to explain it - like all the carnival games/duck hunt that you try to hit the targets and you get points for different targets. My dad got 104,000 points.

Here is Gaston in Beauty and the Beast - the camera died - and I never remembered to take mine - So, thanks to my mom and dad, we have pictures to share!

Andie and I ready for Muppet 3D Vision - don't worry, it was lame. Oh well, we loved all the other 3D shows.

Day 3 - Animal Kingdom!

The Tree of Life - really, that's what they call it.

We headed straight back to ride on a Kilimanjaro Safari. It was so cool. We saw so many animals, the major ones featured below. It was great. Here is Mom and Andie enjoying the ride

Shawn and Ali

Don't mess with these Rhino!

Giraffe's - this one was out by himself - it was cool.

This little guy was running for the water - well, I don't know how little he really is.

Lot's of pink flamingos - they were pretty!

We were in an Ostrich parade - we had to wait for these two to get out of the road!

The Lion was ABSOLUTELY amazing! We saw him get up, stretch and walk over to his MRS. to wake her was way cool. So, I am only selecting a few pictures - we took 271 - so you are only getting a handful!

Speaking of Lions, here we are waiting for the "Festival of the Lion King!" It was an awesome show!

Here are some of the dancers and you can see Timon in the background.

Here we are standing on the back side of the tree of life. If you look closely, there are carvings of all sorts of animals in the tree trunk. It was really cool.

Ali trying to get Andie's treats from her. Many times she would win!! It was so funny, usually the words heard were, "Ali - be nice to Andie"..."Ali, let go, that's Andie's"..."Ali, don't bug Andie". She definitely will give Andie a run for her money!

Shawn and I are on the Expedition Everest ride in Animal Kingdom. It was so cool. It took you up in the mountain, then you started riding BACKWARDS!!! Then a steep fall forward again. It was SO fun!

Andie and I rode on the TriceraTop Spin twice in a row - because you could just walk right in. It is much like Dumbo - but riding a dinosaur rather than an elephant. Who knew either of them could fly?

All I have to say, is Ali was ALWAYS eating. She would scream at the top of her lungs if she didn't get a bite - it wouldn't matter how much she had already had. Here they are enjoying some ice cream. Yes - she is not even 1 year old yet - but what can you do?

Day 4 Epcot - it was fun, but not really kid friendly. Neat to see different things from all around the world, but day 4 and the girls needing to be in the stroller the WHOLE time because there were no rides, made for a long day.

Mom and Mary Poppins. This is how we took most Character Pictures. Who wants to wait in line?

As we were waiting to talk to "Crush the Turtle" from finding Nemo - Ali enjoyed the sting rays in the lobby - she thought they were so cool

Snow White and Dopey - Andie's all time favorite Disney Princess and Dwarf - really, for a while she would watch this movie EVERYDAY!

Shawn, Mom, Dad and the girls posing in front of the many Flowers forming "Disney" (Mickey Mouse's Head) as Andie would say.

Our last day, they had a show right in front of the castle that all of the character's were in as well as Snow White, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan and Wendy, Captain Hook and Smee - it was great! Andie loved seeing ALL of them!

Andie and I driving on the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. She loved it. I would stop the car and then "gas it" and she would just giggle. At the end as we were waiting in line to unload she would say, "Oh No! Mom, Car Stuck!" It was so funny.

My mom and I on the Haunted Mansion Ride....It was scary!! haha

Thanks again Mom and Dad, Shawn, Andie and Ali for such a great vacation! It was so fun to be together and study Russian too! Yes - President and Sister Pratt never took much of a break. They were even tutoring over the phone from 10pm to midnight every night! Also, Shawn was working on his Thesis every night till 1:30 in the morning - but he turned it in, it was signed by the Dean and is being printed! HALLELUJAH!!!!!!!!! We are done! What a great way to end a wonderful vacation!


Mower Family said...

What a fun and memorable trip!

Ashley and Spencer Bunn said...

i love that place, did you know that Paul Broderick helped make the tree of life?

Sarah said...

Looks like you guys did lots of great stuff. We can't wait to take our kids to Disneyland hopefully sooner than later.

Delynn said...

I am so jealous! It looked so much fun!

Kelly said...

Wow, it looks like you totally did things right! You sound like you had a great time, and didn't get burnt out, either! And yay for so much productivity on a wonderful and fun vacation -- good job, Shawn!

Natalie said...

What a vacation! How fun to be able to spend such fun quality time with your parents. Looks awesome.

Breanne said...

That is so fun!!! I hope to someday be able to go to WDW. For now I have to settle for DLR (which I love, so it's not really settling!)

Josh and Jenna said...

My favorite traveling moments are from Florida. I am so glad that you got to go, and even more glad that you got to share the time with your parents!

Lauren said...

That trip looks like so much fun! I bet it was a much needed break for you guys. Maybe we should take one of those...

Southern Belle said...

I loved all the pictures. Looks like so much fun!!

Your lesson was great!

Katie Jo said...

So so jealous of your little trip... it looks like you had SO much fun. I agree with you on Epcot.. it is boring, I'm not sure why they put so much hype into it, I hated it both times I went! HAHAHA I guess it can be interesting, but I'd rather go on rides and see actual Disney stuff if I'm paying to be at Disneyworld! Glad you had fun!

Davis Family said...

How funny! We have the same background on our blogs! Looks like you had the best trip ever. Your parents are going to Russia huh? That's awesome. Good luck to them!!Feel free to check out our blog sometime. It's not as fun as yours, but anyway...

Brandon, Emily & Sydney Wilson said...

okay.....that was the best blog post I've ever seen!!! I'm in so need of a vacation, it's not even funny. And I think Orlando Florida would will be the next place on my list by seeing the great pics of you guys there. So fun to have your parents there!

Pratt Family said...

Great trip indeed. Thanks for sharing it all. I agree with everyone else, it definitely makes you want to go on a vacation right now. You all sure look like you had a wonderful time, even on little sleep.

Brooke said...

It looks like you guys had a blast! I would love to take the kids there someday :)