So, on to the trip.
Until a week and a half ago, I'd never really been on a bonafide trip. Our honeymoon even was driving from New Brunswick to Newfoundland, and we had a blast, but this was the first time we have gotten on a plane to go somewhere OTHER than home to visit family. And I really didn't get excited until I hit the airport and got all giggly with the customs agent, who was a complete doll.
We didn't get into Orlando until almost 1 a.m., picked up our rental car, drove to the resort and by the time we got up to our apartment and put kids to bed, etc., it was 3:30 before we got to sleep and we were up bright and early (before 7) in the a.m. But that was FINE. We were READY. LOL I had coffee on the balcony in SHORTS, looking over the palms. I had never seen palm trees before.
On Sunday we hit the Magic Kingdom and had a blast. All the kids went on Splash Mountain, including the big kids. Then the younger ones stuck to carousels, Magic Carpets, Dumbo, etc. My brother in law Pat, my husband, my 10 yr old niece and I then did Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain roller coasters and had a ball. After the Spectromagic parade, we watched the fireworks. I didn't realize it's all choreographed to a story...and at the end, both my sister in law and I were wet around the lashes. LOL.
Our next trip out was Seaworld and it was my favorite day. It was less "amusement parkish" and very personal. We started out patting the stingrays, which are like slimy velvet and so very cool to watch. Then we went to the Shamu show. I was so touched. It is amazing to see these huge animals be so gentle. I didn't realize the show would be so much interaction between trainers and animals right in the water. When they play the song "Believe" and they "dance" together it hits you square in the heart.
After some lunch we saw sharks, penguins, puffins, manatees...and we did the Journey to Atlantis ride. My niece totally turned me into a giant kid and convinced me to sit in the very front. OMG. We hit the bottom and I was soaked. Then I didn't realize there's a second part to the ride, we got THERE and a big wave came up over and crashed on my feet. I was so wet I had to change my shorts because you could see RIGHT THROUGH THEM. We darn near busted a gut. Then we hit the dolphin show which in my opinion was even better than Shamu. At the end, when there are dancers, dolphins, birds and flag wavers, I was overwhelmed and admittedly cried again. We also fed the dolphins and touched them which was beyond cool. After going to the "dolphin nursery" they closed the park and we went back to the resort.
Another day we went to Typhoon Lagoon water park. The wave pool generates 6 ft waves and sounds like a giant toilet flushing when it starts. I'd hear it and get all excited. LOL But the best part of the day was the Crush'n Gusher. It's a "watercoaster". You sit in a double tube that looks like a peanut (and there are 2 and 3 person ones) and away you go, up and down and through the water until you come out screaming at the bottom. My 8 yr old went with her uncle and I went with my neice, then we went back for Dad. The 3-person line was much faster, and after we came down he had this big grin on his face. There was no one waiting so he asked the lady, "Can we go again?" LOL He was a giant kid - I think we did it 7 or 8 times, the three of us all together (and OMG you go MUCH faster with three!).
We spent an afternoon shopping at Downtown Disney and I haven't even touched on the resort. We stayed at Bonnet Creek, about 5 min from Magic Kingdom. On the "off" days we played beach volleyball, swam in the 2 pools, tubed the Lazy River, lounged in the hot tubs, played ping pong...and generally laughed our asses off. I laughed so much.
It was truly a trip of a lifetime..and the good news is we might even go back in 2009 for Christmas...how cool would that be?