Saturday, April 23, 2011

Florida Vacation - We arrived!

Despite Mother Natures and the Government's attempts to cancel our Family Fun Florida Vacation, we were able to leave on Friday - THANK GOD!

I have never been so stressed out over a vacation in my entire life! Between the Governments possible shut down to the flippin' tornado and everything in between, it was all Jon and I could do to get our van packed up and get the heck out of dodge!

We left J-hell around 1pm and made a pit stop in Lumberton, NC to hand our pooch, Lizzie off to her 'other' owner (Erin) to doggie sit while we enjoyed our vacay. After that, it was a mad dash to make it to Kings Bay, GA where we had reservations for the night.
Little did we realize that by leaving at such a late time, we wouldn't be pulling into the Navy Lodge until well after 9:30pm. By that point, we were just happy to be out of the car! But I do have to say, it was nice being on a Navy Base again. Even if it was just to sleep for the night. Especially a Sub Base. Kinda like returning home considering that Jon was a Nuke on a sub for, oh...12 years or so.

Our lovely lodging for the night....

What had greeted us right outside the Main Gate....

The next morning we were up and out there ASAP! We had some Florida sun we were VERY much looking forward to. The plan was to get to our hotel and then just lounge around the rest of the day.

We start rolling into Orlando around Noon. One of the first things we see is the very tips of Hogswart. (Those of you who are Harry Potter fans will know what I'm talking about). Jon and I had considered nixing the whole going to Islands of Adventure (IOA) since the tickets we got for Disney were 4-day park-hoppers. We only had 4 days all together to spend visiting parks. But we changed our minds when we realized that out of everything the kids talked about looking foward to doing, it was visiting 'Harry Potter' that they talked about most. So, when they saw the tips of the castle, that pretty much sealed the deal.

Our first stop was to visit the Military Lodging called Shades of Green on Disney property. We had already purchased our tickets for Disney but we still needed to get our IOA tickets. For my military friends, if you've never visited SoG, you really should. I can't vouch for the actual rooms themselves, but the grounds and the inside of the resort are beautiful. We were directed to the Customer Service area where they sold tickets and had to take a number to be seen. But the waiting rooms were AWESOME! They had pool tables, xboxs, Wii's, playstations, desktops and a little mini bar (closed, poohy!) to keep you and the kiddies occupied while we were waiting. And then of course, there was this rodent hanging around....

Check out Mickey all decked out in his Patriotic gear....
We purchased our IoA tickets (ouch!) and decided it was time to try and find our resort. Now, we weren't staying on Disney property. I initially had book us at SoG, but my friend Kristy told me about this website that rents Vacation Homes that she used the last time her and her family visited Orlando. So I took a look see and there were 100's of places to stay! I just narrowed it down to the number of bedrooms, price and location and booked it! We ended up staying in this awesome resort with 3 bedrooms that each had their own bathrooms, a kitchen, living/dining room, a Master Bedroom that led out to the patio that overlooked a HUGE pool with a tiki bar! And it was only maybe 10 mins from Disney properties. SCORE!

We finally get to the condo, unpack and Jon gets the kids all into their suits and the rest of the house unpacked while I run up the street to Walmart to pick up a few supplies. Jon and I thought ahead and brought down a cooler full of food and snacks to help offset the cost of eating out so much but we still needed to get things like milk, bread and such.

By the time I got back and into my suit the kids were DYING to hit the pool. I'm dying to hit up the Tiki Bar, so off we go!
 View from our bedroom window...

Out the back patio....

Another shot....

 Jack on the patio, anxiously waiting to get to the pool...

 At the pool! Yay!


Pool House (it had towels, bathrooms and pool toys)...




Enjoying drink #1...

And now it's on to drink #2...


No, Cassie isn't drinking the real thing. We got her a virgin Pina Colada...




The rest of the evening was spent hanging out here, playing in the water with the kids, drinking fruity tropical drinks, and just letting the sun warm our bodies. When we were thoroughly water logged, we headed upstairs and had some PB&J's, showered and got ourselves ready for our first day at the parks! It was an EXCELLENT first day of vacation!


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2 comments:

  1. Your resort looked AWESOME!!!!!

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  2. Your condo looks awesome! So glad you guys had a good time. Of all the times we have been to disney, we have never been to Shades of Green. WE'll have to check it out sometime.

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