Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Florida Getaway-Day One

Almost over two years ago, my best friend, Nicki,  and her family moved to Florida. I was pretty sad, I'm not going to lie. She and I had spent so much time together since I moved here almost six years ago and life was going to be different without her around. Plus, I was really close to not just her, but her son, Jonah, as well. Her husband, Dan was alright, too :) For the past two years, we've texted, chatted on AIM Instant Messenger (we just recently found out that we're like the ONLY two people who still use that service), video chatted, and called each other. She actually came down to visit for a few days last September with Jonah when she was still pregnant with her second son, Micah. We didn't get to spend that much time together though, because she had about 30 families she had to visit between three different cities. Sometime around March, I began planning a trip for Eli and I to visit her family in Florida. I had originally intended to go after school was out in May, but the river flood crisis put a halt to those plans. I bumped our trip back to July and started counting down the days until we left. 

Departure day finally arrived and last Thursday, Eli and I made the trip to the airport for us to begin our vacation to Florida to visit the Glenn family. We were both very excited! Eli had never ridden on an airplane before, so he was extremely excited about being able to do that. I was a little nervous about getting all our stuff, plus us, through security and to our gate, but everything went like clockwork. The people at the airport were so helpful and before I knew it we were by our gate watching for planes out the windows. 

Eli watching the airplanes.
Nice bed head, huh? 

Eli and I got to the airport really early just because I'm always a nervous wreck about flying. It doesn't have anything to do with flying on the actual airplane though. I'm just always worried about checking our bags and going through security. I'm scared that somethings going to happen and we're going to miss our flight. Thankfully, nothing like that happened! We breezed through security because there was hardly anyone in line and we made it to our gate with about an hour to spare. We spent most of our time watching the airport personnel load baggage onto airplanes, but Eli also managed to work some energy off by pushing the stroller around.

Since we were flying, Eli got a piece of gum so he could chew it while the airplane took off. This isn't the first time he's had gum though. He gets it now and then and does really well with it. I'm a HUGE gum chewer myself, so it's no wonder his habit had already started. He rarely swallows it, if ever, and we ALWAYS chew sugar free gum. We don't want any cavities!

We flew Southwest and everything about that particular airline was wonderful. Their prices were better than any other airline's, bags were free, and once you were on the plane there was an open seating policy. I loved that! Eli and I sat near the front of the plane just because I knew it'd be easier getting off once we landed in Florida.

Eli was great during the flight. He watched us take off and never seemed scared or nervous. He loved looking out the window at all the clouds and named lots of other things he could see once we were in the sky.

Once we got the go ahead from the pilot, we pulled out Eli's DVD player that Mrs. Kristin let him borrow (HUGE thanks for that!) and he settled back to watch Cars.

He kept demanding that the shades on the windows be down, so I had to sneak the next couple of pictures of the clouds and then put the shades back down really quickly. One of my favorite things about flying is getting to see all the puffy, white clouds around us.

After a two hour flight, we landed in sunny Florida. Nicki, Jonah, and Micah were all waiting for us. The boys, Jonah and Eli, immediately started talking to each other and I knew that it was going to be a very fun trip for all of us. We were all hungry so we headed to Chick-fil-A for some lunch. The boys managed to eat most of their chicken nuggets before making their way to the play place to play. Nicki and I went in to watch them have fun sliding and climbing. Unfortunately, we didn't get to stay very long because another child in there forget to let her Mommy know she needed to use the potty and decided to go while she was playing. Yeah, it was everywhere. Nicki and I didn't want to make anyone feel uncomfortable, but we also didn't want our kids putting their hands or feet into it, so we made a speedy and, hopefully, inconspicuous exit.

Eli needed to take a little nap by this point, so Nicki drove us around Orlando while he napped. We made our way over to Downtown Disney while he was sleeping and right before we parked, Eli woke up. It was perfect! We got the boys out and spent the rest of the afternoon walking through the stores in Downtown Disney.

Our first stop was the World of Disney where Eli found his favorite Disney character, Buzz Lightyear, flying above his head. He was enamored after that and loved walking around naming all the characters he saw.

Jonah found cowboy hats for them just like Woody's from Toy Story. Jonah LOVED his but Eli wasn't fully convinced.

Jonah immediately went to the Star Wars area (his favorite thing right now) and found Yoda.

"Like him he does, I think."

Meanwhile, Eli had found the light up toys that spin around and was trying to make a decision about which one he wanted to buy. Zue-Zue had given him some spending money and this was going to be his first purchase. He settled on a Lightning McQueen light-up toy, but later decided that he wanted Buzz Lightyear instead. Thankfully, the people at World of Disney were happy to let him trade.

I think I had just as much fun at World of Disney as the boys did. I loved seeing all the decorations in the store. I can't even begin to imagine how much fun Disney World will be one day. Hopefully, it won't be too long before we're making that trip!

While we were walking around, one of the employees tried to give Eli a Mickey Mouse sticker. He was much more interested in spinning his Cars light up toy though to worry about a little sticker. I didn't want her to feel bad though so I took it because I knew he'd want it later.

I found this really cool Mickey Mouse hat that reminded me of Bob Marley, but Jonah didn't seem to care for it. Nicki and I got a really good laugh from his face though. You can tell that he HATES it!

Jonah DEFINITELY preferred his Sheriff Woody's hat. He wore it around the entire store while we were there.

We left World of Disney and went to the Lego Store. Eli spotted two of his favorite buddies while we were outside and we had to take a picture with them. They were made entirely out of the Lego's!

We ventured over to the T-Rex restaurant so Eli and Jonah could look at the dinosaurs. T-Rex is kind of like a Rainforest Cafe, but it's dinosaur themed instead. Eli and Jonah loved looking at the dinosaurs, especially the Tyrannosaurus Rex!

Micah was just a perfect baby and stayed in his stroller and didn't make a peep. He is one of the best babies I have ever been around! He eats when he should, sleeps a lot, and is happy the majority of the time he is awake. What more can you ask for?

We came to a fountain and I thought it would be fun for the boys to throw some money into the fountain. Eli was more than willing to throw a penny into the fountain, but Jonah was not sure at all. In fact, when I handed him the penny and told him to throw it in the fountain, he said "Why?" I explained to him that some people like to throw money in fountains and make wishes. He seemed to accept that answer, but he was still stressed about throwing money away in the fountain even if it was only just a penny. I'm just hoping his wish comes true or else he's going to hate me for making him throw that penny in the fountain!

We walked inside T-Rex and we walked around so I could take a few pictures of the inside. It was so neat on the inside! If we do go back there to eat though, I'm not going to waste any money on food for Eli because there is NO WAY he'll eat when he has all this to look at around him.

Is this not the sweetest picture of these two boys?

Right outside of the store, they have a little dinosaur digging station where you can go and pretend like you're digging up dinosaur bones. Eli and Jonah loved using their brushes to find the dinosaur bones.

We went back outside to look at the Lego sea monster and then went into the Lego Store because Jonah was looking for a Star Wars set that he didn't have yet.

Jonah didn't find the Star Wars set that he wanted, but we DID find two of Eli's favorite Disney characters, Buzz and Woody! He was in such awe to see Buzz and Woody. I can't wait until we go to Disney World and he gets to meet the real Buzz and Woody. He's going to be so happy!

We went to one more store and found another Buzz Lightyear. We had to take a picture with him, too!

Mr. Potato Head was there, too, but Eli just wanted to touch his mustache.

We hadn't been in Florida and we'd already hit the ground running. Nicki and I had two very tired little boys at the end of our shopping trip in Downtown Disney. They were so sweet to each other when they were walking to the car.

We drove home, ate some pizza, and then the boys got in the tub. They were going to need lots of rest because the next day we were going to the beach! Our first day in Florida was great and we couldn't wait to see what fun the rest of our trip would bring!

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