Wednesday, October 24, 2012

{Florida Vacation: 2012}

At the beginning of October the three of us, along with my parents, flew to Florida and spent eight glorious days visiting with my step-sister, Theresa, her husband Matt and two wonderful kids, Matthew and Taylor. (and yes, that does check #2 off of my 30 by 30!) It was one of those vacations where so many great memories were made and quality time was spent with people you love. You see, I hadn't seen my sister in 12 years and therefore, had never met my niece and nephew. So in addition to a restful vacation, it was also a long-overdue reunion!

We took in the beach, spent two days at Disney (both Epcot and of course, Magic Kingdom!), shopped at Downtown Disney, ate delicious home cooked meals, hung out in the pool and did a lot of catching up. Plus, the three of us got to spend Sunday afternoon with my dear friend and college roommate, Rebecca, who we haven't seen in 3 years!! Like I said, this was such a special trip, beyond just a lovely vacation!

We spread out the two days at Disney so we could rest up and not feel so overwhelmed. Epcot was our first park and wouldn't you know, we went during the International Food & Wine Festival! As it is, Epcot offers an amazing showcase of eleven countries, where you can feast on cuisine of that region, as well as shops and local experiences you might find there. Some of my favorites include: Germany, France and Morocco (although, they are all phenomenal!) But the festival made it feel as if you were getting a dining experience from all around the world! We had a wonderful day and Claire did fantastic for her first day at an amusement park!

The girls! (Chris sadly couldn't join us at Epcot because of work)

Looking across the beautiful lagoon, beginning our "trip around the world" :)

In China we met Mulan! Claire was quite smitten!
And somewhere around Morocco Jasmine and Aladdin made an appearance!

Hello, lovely!

On Saturday, which was also my parents 22nd anniversary, we introduced Claire to the happiest place on Earth!! I realize that many people have strong opinions as to when you should take kids to Disneyland/World, but I will say that it was such a magical experience for all of us! We got to experience Pirates of the Caribbean, It's a Small World, the Teacups, the carousel, the Main Street Parade and Fireworks with our little one, and all without a single complaint from her :) So whether or not she remembers this trip (which she will likely not!), the special memories for us will always be treasured. So maybe her remembering it doesn't matter because we all had an amazing time! Plus, she'll always have the pictures ;)

Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!
The entire park was completely decorated for Fall, so wonderful!

Mom & I having a Dole Whip, our favorite treat in Hawaii!!
Dad, Mom, Theresa & Taylor
My Sweeties!
Claire loved her first carousel ride!
Happy girl!!
Gorgeous sunset just before the parade

Grandma, Grandpa & the little Princess
Getting ready for the Main Street Electrical Parade!

And finally, some shots from a relaxing and beautiful day at the beach!

Taking her afternoon nap on Mama-melt my heart!
Sweet girl loves the water!

Our last night, shopping at Downtown Disney!

What an awesome week! Now, when can we go back?!?


Lisa Culkin said...

Looks like SO MUCH FUN!!! I want to go right now! Beautiful pics and beautiful family :)

Missy said...

looks like an awesome trip!!! i'd love to go to epcot and try all that food! also, the dole whip is THE BOMB, i agree!! :) we just had it when we went to disney out here recently!!!

i love claire's little polka dot outfit (@ disney!)!!!!

Brendan Kenny said...

My family and I went all around the Orlando area last year. This year we booked a treasure island vacation rental in St. Petersburg, FL. We are thrilled to explore the area and watch our children have the time of their lives. It should be a very exciting experience.

Lovemommyof2 said...

How did I MISS this post?!!! I saw the one Love the pics, love the time we had reconnecting and LOVE YOU!

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