It was stressful and I kept wondering if it was worth it to pull the kids out of school for three days, then take advantage of two days off to go to Florida for a week. I kept wondering if the stress of coordinating all the missed homework, the missed soccer games, taking tests early, arranging to take tests late, homework packets, missed tennis matches, angry high school soccer coaches, coordinating the dogs accommodations, etc. - could it possibly be worth all of this? The answer without hesitation is YES! The kids loved it. Ted & I loved it. We all relaxed. We played on the beach - a lot - went to theme parks for only two days of the 7 days we were there, and when I think back about our trip I will imagine this picture, because they really did get along like this. So, YES, it was worth it and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
Anymore it is harder and harder to take time to get away as a family. There are school obligations, sports obligations, work obligations, church obligations, and the list goes on and on. But I can unequivocally say that we needed this time as a family. We NEEDED to reconnect. We love traveling with friends and family, but we needed this time to ourselves to reconnect with our kids. I find myself being increasingly posessive of the time with my kids. I see only too well how quickly our oldest is growing up, and her eyes are on the future. So I intend to soak in every minute that I can with this great family of mine.
It was just gravy that we got to spend that time together in a place like this!
Finally....we have arrived and so did all our bags!
It wasn't fancy, but it was clean and we all had enough space to relax.
And this was the view from our balcony. GORGEOUS!
We spent several days at the beach. The kids loved body surfing, boogie boarding, and Tessa and Sam became expert sandcastle builders. The water was so warm that you NEVER got cold. In fact, it was almost too warm. The sand was so soft it was like powder beneath your feet. It was perfect.
After the beach we would get cleaned up and go out to dinner. Sometimes we just went straight from the beach to the showers to the pool. There were NO crowds and we just went wherever we felt like going. It was great.
Our first day at Universal Studios. The kids had a great time. Mostly we loved that it wasn't crowded.
The second day at Universal Studios: Islands of Adventure. This park has mostly rollercoasters and the rides that make you feel like you are on a rollercoaster but it is just via 3-D glasses.
After this rollercoaster we made our first purchase: Dramamine. It wasn't even for me or Ted! :)
Tessa LOVED the Jurassic Park ride. She wanted to ride it several times - which was no big deal since the longest we ever waited in line was a max of 10 minutes. It was AWESOME!!!
Harry Potter World was pretty amazing. The kids loved the Butter Beer. The Harry Potter ride was amazing, and the older kids loved the two dragon rollercoasters. Both Ted and I were happy at that point to sit it out and keep Tessa company!
Our last night there.
A great vacation - I am already looking forward to our next adventure!