Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Home Again...

We are home!! I can't beleive what we accomplished in 32 days. The last leg of our trip was everything family and Disney. Brad and his mother (Mimi) joined us in Vero Beach for some well-deserved R&R. Just enough rest to get us ready for Disney World. 

We celebrated Bradley's 10th Birthday at Disney World. His only wish was to ride the Rocking Rollercoaster for the first time. I rode with him and cannot give you a review since my eyes were closed shut the entire time. I really dislike going upside down.

Our weeks of mild tempatures really did not prepare us for the heat and humity. There are much better months to head to Disney - November and February are our favorites! We spent an afternoon at DisneyQuest, which is a five-story gaming center for kids. It was a blast and a bonus to be out of the heat. Tip - go there at 11:30 am when the rest of Disney World is at the parks. You will be one of a few guests and will not have to deal with the night crowds of Downtown Disney.

We even got to ride the new Snow White Mining Train in Magic Kingdom!! Another tip - rest during the day and go to the parks after 7pm. While the majority of the Park is gearing up for the nighttime parades, shows and fireworks, you can pack in a ton of rides with wait times usually less than 10 minutes. What is the best time to ride the new rides, Space Mountain or anything else with long wait times such as Peter Pan? 11:30pm!! Everyone is leaving and the Park seems to not change the wait times. Example: Mining Train said it was a 45 minute wait. We got on the rollercoaster in 15 minutes and was able to ride twice before the park closed at midnight.

After a great week of family vacation, Brad gave me a true gift! (Yet another reason he is the original Mr. Awesome.) He flew back to Houston with Eliza which meant for the last days of our trip and long drive home I did not have to take care of a 2 year old!! The kids were thrilled because that also meant they could stop watching Barbie in the car!!

We headed to Legoland - a much anticipated location that we have always talked about visiting. Lego City and some of the other parts did not disappoint but honestly the time to take your kids is between the ages of 4-6 years old. We missed the window a bit and it wasn't too impressive after 4 days at Disney. 

The kids were overly impressed with the Holiday Inn Express in Winter Haven. (For all the fabulous places we stayed the past four weeks this place won them over.) The hotel gives each child - under the age of 12 -  a Lego package when they check-in and there is a TV at each booth in the restaurant. The kids got to build Legos and watch TV during dinner which is not normal in our household.

Our last destination was one of my favorites and a first for us. We stopped in Sandestin! The sand and water on the beach is pristine and a wonderful place to celebrate the end of our journey. The entire resort had so much to offer and definitely made it on the Hancock list of future vacation destinations. It was very special for me to actually be able to play with my older children without worrying about a very active two-year old. Sandestin was the cherry on top for the end of our adventure.

The ride home was uneventful with everyone watching movies that Eliza could not watch and only a handful of sibling fights. (And our last dozen hot donuts from Krispy Kreme,)

A great trip always ends with you ready to come home. Our house was full of love and ready to welcome us along with endless hugs from Eliza. It feels so good! The pets all survived though my garden (and waistline) were not as fortunate. This past month was truly a blessing and something we will never forget.

Next Summer? Robert has declared we have to take a summer off and can pick up this adventure in 2016! We will see what happens, but for now we have a lifetime of memories.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!
India, Adair, Bradley, Robert, and Eliza

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