Saturday, February 13, 2010

Vacation - Part One - Orlando

So our vacation was really a "staycation" in many ways because Parker was still in school. But we were able to take off for a small trip over last weekend. After we picked Parker up from school on Friday (the 5th) we went to Orlando. Daddy had booked us a great room near Downtown Disney that he found on When you book there you only know the rate and not the hotel name until you complete the transaction. We ended up at the Radisson and both of the queen size beds were Sleep Number beds.

After checking into the hotel, we headed over to do some shopping at Ikea. Then we went to Downtown Disney to have dinner at a place called T-Rex Cafe (think Rainforest Cafe with dinnosaurs). Since the boys love dinosaurs so much we thought that it would be lots of fun and it was! We sat on the edge of the ocean themed room, next door to a forest and behind us was an ice cave. About every 20 minutes there was a "meteor shower" and the lights would dim and red lights would flash and all the dinosaurs would roar!

After dinner, we walked around Downtown Disney and stopped in several of the stores including the one Parker wanted to visit- the Lego Store.

Then it was back to the hotel for some shut-eye. We got up on Saturday morning and by 8:15am we were all dressed, packed up, checked out and heading to Sea World. We were some of the first people to get to there and by 8:45 we had parked, gotten our tickets, gone through the security line, had our picture taken, and picked up the double stroller we had rented for the day. We ended up standing in line by the stroller rental place where they have an attendant with a rope keeping patrons back until 9:00am. In all our lives, we have never been at the park that early! Did you know that they play the national anthem through the loudspeakers to start off the day? After that they officially let us into the park where we headed out to meet the animals - sea turtles, stingrays, dolphins, manatees and alligators.

We hit the 10am Blue Horizons show at the Whale and Dolphin Theater. Wesley was fascinated by the big pool of water and he loved all the dolphins jumping and the people flying through the air and diving and the birds flying around. Not that his excitement showed on his face - but he sat completely STILL on Mommy's lap and stared at everything that happened with his mouth slightly open! From there it was all the way across the park to the 11am Believe show in Shamu Stadium. This was Parker's favorite show of the day - he loves Shamu! They've reworked this one since the last time we were there and they do a lot with technology on these four moving screens while the trainers are working with the whales. Afterwards it was back to the other side of the park again where we stopped in a the Pacific Point Reserve to see the sea lions and harbor seals before going to the 12:15pm show of Clyde and Seymour Take Pirate Island.

After the show we decided to get some lunch and went to Seaport Pizza. This is at the foot of part of the new roller coaster Manta, and we got to see it up close and personal while we were eating our lunch which definitely kept the boys entertained.

Then we headed off to catch the last show we wanted to see: the 1:45pm of Pets Ahoy in the
Seaport Theater, which is the show where they feature rescued cats and dogs and other animals. It was still very cute and the boys enjoyed it - especially since we were sitting on the aisle by where the one cat climbed down the wires from the back to the front of the theater. Next it was off to Journey to Atlantis. It's a water coaster inside a building with a big drop outside. In all the years of coming here to Sea World, neither Daddy or Mommy had ridden it. But Parker is now tall enough to ride and so Daddy went with Parker first and then Mommy went with Parker next. Wesley was so fascinated watching all the people come down that he didn't realize Daddy and Bubby had left until he saw them come down on the ride!

From Journey we went to see the Penguin Encounter and the Shark Encounter before getting an ice cream snack! As we ate our ice cream we headed back over to the Shamu underwater viewing area and the boys got up close and personal with the oldest Shamu at the park who weighs 12,000 pounds.

The last animal area for us to visit was Wild Artic. We had to do the walking side since Wesley isn't tall enough for the motion ride yet. But as soon as they turned off the lights and started the video, Wesley curled up and went to sleep on Mommy's lap and proceeded to sleep the entire time she carried him through the exhibit. The beluga whale part is closed but the polar bear and the walrus were both awake and very active. Wesley woke up when we tried to lay him down in the stroller but that was ok because our last stop was the kid's play area at Shamu's Happy Harbor. There is an enormous play area with all kinds of tubes and nets that Parker conquered with little problem while Wesley mostly did the slides. Then we hit the rides: the boys rode the carousel twice, then Parker rode the rollercoaster and the boys and Mommy hit the Flying Fiddler Crab. Afterwards Daddy took Parker back to the nets while Mommy and Wesley tried out Ocean Commotion.

By now it was 6:40pm and cold so we decided to head home. After turning in the stroller we got in the car and headed back to Ocala. Wesley was asleep before we got off International Drive and Parker was asleep just after we got onto the Turnpike! We were back in Ocala by 8:15, grabbed dinner from Taco Bell and headed home to eat. We woke the boys up to eat and Parker scarfed his food (and some other people's!) but Wesley was so crabby he couldn't eat. He ended up on the couch where he blissfully snoozed for another couple of hours. Mommy and Daddy tried to watch a show and fell asleep. We both woke up about 11pm, unpacked and put the boys to bed. Thankfully even with all the extra naps Wesley not only slept through the night but also slept in the next morning!

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