Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Florida trip, part 2 (Miami)

We arrived in Miami late Saturday night. On Sunday, the kids and I were able to catch at least the 2nd and 3rd hours of church with my parents (my kids surprisingly, but gratefully, slept in), and my parents were so happy to show off their very adorable grandchildren. :) We then had lunch with my grandparents (mis abuelitos) and hung out with them for a while. Then we had dinner and spent some time at a beautiful local park (Tropical Park???), where Brooklyn got to try out casting her fishing pole for the first time in real water. She's pretty good, too (thanks to that Fisher blood).
La casa de mis abuelos (my grandparents' home).

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On Monday, after spending some more time with mis abuelos, we headed out to an awesome lagoon in Coral Gables. It was the ideal beach experience, in my opinion. The pics and videos say it all:

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Grandma having fun with Josh & Brooklyn

The whole lagoon
Fishin' with Grandpa.

Did I mention how much Josh loves his Grandma?

On Tuesday, we went to Chuckie Cheese for lunch, where even mi abuelo got his game on. Then my dad, Brooklyn and I went to see a 3D movie (Brooklyn's first 3D movie), Rio.
Josh had loads of fun, as always.

And so did Abuelo. :)

Brookie's prizes.

Rio, in 3D - she wore the glasses most of the time, too.

On Wednesday, it was the Miami Zoo!
Flamingos

Brooklyn fell in love with this little baby elephant.
She really wanted to take it home with us.

After driving all the way to Miami with two kiddos,
I knew I could take on anything... even this croc!

This pic was a "must-do".

Some of our favorite animals we saw:
This tiger had just finished eating,
but I think he was still hungry... he kept eyeing all
the kiddos in front of his habitat.

Some silly monkeys. 
Or, as Brooklyn describes them... "They are silly like Daddy."

I loved the way this bear was sitting.

No fear of snakes here!

A lazy lion - Not even Josh's squeals
bothered this guy.

A camel. Brooklyn asked, "Is he grumpy?"
FYI - she has a book that says
 the camel was too grumpy.

The favorite exhibit: FEEDING THE GIRAFFES

Lots of giraffes to feed here.

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Brookie reading the map and telling us
 which way to go next.

Playing in the Zoo's fountains
 after a long hot day.

Josh's favorite place to hang out while at the zoo.

Need I say anything???


On Thursday, we had lunch with mis abuelos and then took in some more beach time... this time at a beach next to a lighthouse where the snorkeling was good. We also had the privilege of watching a couple change their lives forever right there on the beach.
Eating out at one of many awesome Cuban restaurants.

Brooklyn running from the waves.
Apparently this beach isn't usually this
dirty (lined with kelp, etc.),
 but it just happened to be during our trip.

But, that didn't stop any of us from having fun.
We enjoyed some awesome snorkeling
(wish I had bought a water camera for that).

The wedding that took place right behind us.


Friday, I said goodbye to my loving and oh-so-sweet grandparents, which was very sad for me, and my mom drove back to Orlando with me and my kiddos (my dad came later after finishing up some bishop errands - did I mention that my dad is a bishop again?). That night, since it was storming, we opted to do something indoors (duh) and we went to the biggest McDonalds in the world. That was a total blast, too.
Josh was pretty comfy sitting there.

Brooklyn's new princess crown Grandma bought her.
She LOVES it!

Josh made himself his own "crown". What a silly boy!

Josh trying to walk around
himself - he's almost walking!

Brooklyn showing off her leaping skills.

Josh LOVED this ride, especially with Brooklyn.
 I wish I had a better pic of his face.

Playing games at Mickie D's.

What a fun end to a fantastic trip!!

The next morning, we said our goodbyes, and I headed home with my littles (Josh now facing forward in his carseat), and my parents headed to the temple and then back to Miami. We made pretty good time and arrived home to a very excited Matt. He really missed his kids... and sort of missed me. ;)
I only wished this was the scene the entire trip home. Sadly, it was not.

We had such a fun trip and the kids were so great for me.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Florida trip, part 1 (Orlando)

The kiddos and I took a trip to Florida last week to see my parents and my grandparents (mis abuelitos). Matt didn't get to come with us, as he is trying to save his vacation days for a trip to Texas this summer. So, you guessed it, I drove from SC to FL with two kiddos ALL BY MYSELF! And the kids were AWESOME! I stopped for lunch and then once or twice to console the inconsolable, but we made pretty good time both ways. We actually met my parents in Orlando first, spent a few days there, and then drove on to Miami where we spent a week before coming back Orlando for another day and then back home. In Orlando, we opted not to go to any parks ($$$), but there was so much fun to be had elsewhere, anyways.

We started with dinner at Rainforest Cafe in Downtown Disney, but not before some exploring in and around the restaurant:


Checking out the gator in front of restaurant.

Christmas store next door - Brooklyn LOVES Christmas stuff.


Mickey fountains.


We rode a carousel, too.

 
Thunderstorm inside the restaurant
startled Josh a little.

It also startled Brooklyn.

Joshua LOVES his Grandma!

 
VOLCANO!

 
Checkin' out all the fish - they seemed
to be checking out Josh, too.

 

 
On our way out, Brooklyn  HAD to take a picture with the princesses.


The next day, we took to the air, water and rails:

That's right, we went up there... way up there!

Brooklyn was a little nervous, but Josh was grabbing at the railing and netting.

Riding the Ferry around Downtown Disney

Riding the little train ride in Downtown Disney with Brooklyn (up front) and Josh.

Then we walked around and checked out all the famous stores there:


The Toy Store!!
We HAD to take a picture with "Big Buzz"! :)


... and Potato Head.


Spent lots of time here.
Then, Grandma and Grandpa got Brooklyn
her own Potato Head to take home.
Thanks Grandma & Grandpa!

Playing in the Mickey Fountains, again.
This time, she got a little more wet. :)

After a change of clothes, we discovered how much Brooklyn LOVES legos at the Legos Store.

 
And, before we left for the day, we HAD to take another picture with the princesses (in the day time this time).
 We finished the day eating pizza at our Hotel's pool.

The next day, my parents went to the temple and Brooklyn, Josh and I went on an excursion via bus, monorail, ferry boat and then by foot. We took in lots of sights and even ate lunch at a fancy Disney Resort.
On the Disney Bus (her first ride on a bus)


Riding the Monorail.

Got a great view of the Princess Castle while riding the monorail.
 
Met some little girls dressed up like princesses
and traveled via Ferry Boat with them.


One of the gorgeous Disney Resort Hotels (their lobby).
Brooklyn really liked the waterfalls and all the flowers.
 After our excursion, we met up with my parents and left Orlando for Miami. Needless to say, my kiddos were pretty tired and both fell asleep as soon as I started the car. We really enjoyed Orlando!