Friday, January 31, 2014

Florida Part 2

The last two days have been cold and rainy. Well, cold for Florida's standards. Jason refuses to wear jeans while we are here so we stand out like the tourists we are while the natives walk around in pants and winter coats :) Not to mention our rental van that has California plates. All the drivers here are very aggressive so no one gives us a second glance on the road though.

Wednesday we took it easy. We went to Wonder Works which is basically a hands-on museum for all ages. There were definitely some cool exhibits. Certain aspects of it were neat, but it was really an over priced tourist trap we decided. Add cranky kids and a daddy who felt cooped up and we had to hit the road early. We grabbed some lunch and headed back to the hotel for naps.
Team work to make a wall of bubbles
Easton's fav, the giant Lite Bright
Once everyone had a nap we grabbed dinner before rounding out the night with a swim at the pool. So glad I made sure to book a hotel that had an indoor pool! Otherwise we might not have gotten in any swim time this week.
Guess we haven't been feeding Easton well enough though- this is the second bar of soap he has tried to eat!
Thursday proved to be another cold and rainy day. Lots of people recommended we hit Downtown Disney since we were skipping the whole Disney World experience this time around. While I was looking for things to do I found ads for DisneyQuest an 'indoor interactive theme park' for all ages. I thought this might be something fun for us to do so off we went.

The good news is it wasn't too busy, the bad news is it was cold and rainy out which means a lot of stuff that typically goes on along the boardwalk was not happening. We checked out a few shops, where Emma decided to spend her hard earned money. She ended up with a plush cat from Aristocats (no, it's not her fav movie, she just loves cats), Easton got a plush Lightening McQueen and Elissa got Piglet.
A family made of Legos outside the Lego store
Emma and princess Aurora
Without really asking any questions we the headed to DisneyQuest, forked over a decent chunk of change and went inside. Let's face it, everyone was cold and wet so we were also looking for shelter at this point. Turns out DisneyQuest is essentially five floors of arcade games. Admission gets you unlimited access to all the games for the day. While this may sound cool to most kids, ours are still a little young for it.

There were several virtual games and 3D rides, but our children were either too small or Emma had no faith in following her daddy on board after the earlier roller coaster incident. The forth floor had games primarily geared towards a younger crowd so we spent the majority of time there. Emma had fun, but Easton spent most of his time either running like a spaz from game to game or hogging the fire truck ride.
As you can see Jason is thrilled :P
After two days of crummy weather, we were hoping for sunshine Friday. The forecast was sunny and 78 when we went to bed. The next morning it had changed to mid-60s and 30% chance of rain all day. We had planned to take our trip to Busch Gardens and hit the road praying an hour drive south would make a difference.
I broke down and bought the kiddos hot chocolate at Starbucks in hopes to warm them up.
It did not. I planned poorly again because the entire family was decked out in shorts and t-shirts with only a hooded sweatshirt to fight off the cold rain. While this is still better weather than what was happening back home, it was definitely not ideal. This also meant Easton had to walk because I wanted to keep Elissa strapped in her car seat and ride in the stroller to offer premium protection for her.
Wet moppets
Nice and dry

Needless to say, if there was a puddle within ten feet of us my boy would find it and splash in it. He was soaked from head to town before lunch. One family stopped and asked us if we were from Canada due to our apparel. Not quite, but close!

Several of the animals were now where to be found due to the inclement weather, but we did see a few from the train that tours the park. We also took a gondola ride over the park where you could get a birds eye view of the animals as well. It even stopped raining for the last hour we were there so Jason was able to sneak in a few roller coasters before we left. No our ideal day, but we made the most of it.

They got along long enough to enjoy a ride together
Before we went back to the hotel we stopped to visit my grandparents who spend their winters in Florida. I'm so glad we were able to hook up with them before we headed home. I wish we had been able to spend more time with them, but grateful that we had a chance to see their new place and sit with them for a while.

Tomorrow is our last full day here before we pack up and head home. Not ready to go back yet! This is what it looks like at home:
Our driveway is in there some where....

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