A week ago today at 6 a.m. we boarded a flight down to Orlando, Florida for a family vacation. It was a long and crazy day of travel, including waiting several hours for a rental car because they were understaffed. After we finally got our car, we headed straight to our hotel with a stop at McDonald’s for the family to grab lunch since we hadn’t eaten since our flight left Denver at 6. When we got to the hotel, the family headed down to the pool and I took a nap – I was exhausted from a crazy last week at work and not sleeping very well. After some rest, we all got ready for a night of dinner and walking around Downtown Disney, where we ended up eating at House of Blues.
Sunday morning we got up early and were in Disney’s Magic Kingdom by 8:30 where we immediately got on Space Mountain and rode it twice. That ride unsettled my stomach and took me off of any rides with drops or crazy jerks for the rest of the trip – I just hate the way that my stomach feels on rides like those. As a family we were able to do every ride in the Magic Kingdom except for Peter Pan and the Seven Dwarves. It was a day of matching shirts with numbers on the back and enjoying Disney World. None of the characters were out and walking around though, which was different from our previous experiences at the park and kind of disappointing as it’s always fun to watch the characters interact with parkgoers. There were lots of little girls as princesses though – that was adorable and a fun game to find some of the older princesses. There were many girls dressed as Elsa, Anna, Belle and Tiana. We left the park before the parade and fireworks as we were all exhausted and hungry, so we went to the all you can eat buffet at our hotel where I had some great prime rib and tasty wings!
Monday we went to Universal where we spent most of the day exploring the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. We also went to the Simpson’s ortion of the park and Jurassic Park. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter was incredible and no detail was overlooked – one of the coolest things to me was how interactive the windows were for kids with wands. There were so many people walking around the park in wizarding robes, with wands and brooms and candies and all sorts of wizarding goods – it was crazy! I’m sure the people in robes were sweating like crazy and just seeing how many kids and families had so many of the souvenirs, I’m sure the Harry Potter parks bring in tons of money for Universal! Butterbeer was very sweet, but refreshing; having a frozen one kind of tasted like a frappacino from Starbucks. My stomach got a little upset from my turkey leg, so that was frustrating, but it was a really fun day in the park. That night we drove down to Cocoa Beach for a few days.
Tuesday we went airboating with a family friend and had the best time exploring the marsh and seeing tons of wildlife. It was beautiful and a great way to see non-tourist Florida and experience something new. It was also very relaxing and the rocking of the boat put me to sleep in the warm Florida sunshine and I had the best nap that rejuvenated me and made me feel so relaxed and less stressed, which I really needed. It was probably my favorite day of our trip – just such a unique day.
Wednesday was a beach day and it was so relaxing! It was overcast in the morning, so Rae and I took a stroll along the beach after sleeping in, while the rest of the family went to Patrick Air Force base to work out. After our walk, the sun finally came out and it felt so good! After lunch, we got some drinks to take with us down to the beach and watched a satellite launch – which was SO cool! It was a beautiful, perfect launch of a GPS satellite, which as the daughter of an Air Force space guy was just really cool! That night we found a cool tiki bar in Port Canaveral to eat at outside with some great reggae music.
Thursday was another beach day and the weather was just perfect all day long! That night we went back to Port Canaveral for dinner at an oyster bar that was probably my favorite meal all week! It was so good – oysters, mahi mahi, sirloin, mashed potatoes and fried gator.
Friday was another day in Universal with cooler weather – a crazy storm rolled in and unleashed rain on us right at the time we were needing to leave anyway. It was fun seeing all the characters walking around Universal Friday – the crew from Scooby Doo, Lucille Ball, Betty Boop, Marilyn Monroe, crazy tall Egyptian pharaohs on stilts, minions from Despicable Me, etc. It was also another great day of people watching! We flew out that night and finally got back to my parents house around midnight.
Saturday began with a 7 a.m. oil change and tire switch to my all seasons. The rest of the day was filled with packing and moving furniture for my brother’s college house from my house to my parent’s garage. Everything is packed and ready to be loaded into cars in two weeks when William and I come back to Colorado. The night ended with a family dinner and Glee watching party for the two-hour finale – it’s been our family show for the last six years so it was a good way to end the night.
Tomorrow I fly to Idaho not to visit, but to begin my life with my best friend and fiance. I can’t believe that this day is finally here – I am so incredibly excited and ready for this new chapter to begin. Colorado has been full of many changes for me over the last four years, but I am so ready for Idaho and all of these new beginnings – a job, a new state, becoming a wife to the best man in the world and changing my name. It is a lot of change, but they are all such happy changes that I don’t feel overwhelmed in the slightest. All of my anxiety is gone – I think it was just intense with finishing work and trying to get everything done by the end of day today, but now that it’s done the pressure is gone and I am just filled with joy and excitement and anticipation for all of the beauty and adventure that is to come.
This week has been very full and I am so grateful for its timing, but I am so ready for tomorrow, March 29 to be reunited with William and to drive to our home and begin life together.