Saturday, September 28, 2013

September 2013 Super Vacation Part 6: Good Surprises Abound!

More often than not, true surprises (unexpected things) in life tend to be not so great. 

Surprise! You have a cavity.

Surprise! The stock market tanked.

Surprise! Your company is laying off 4,000 people.

You get the gist.

So whenever possible, I like to plan surprises that are pretty much guaranteed to be good. It's my way of trying to bring a little balance to our world.

With that philosophy in mind, Scott and I made plans to stay in Orlando for the week after our cruise but we didn't tell the kids about it until the night before we disembarked! 

Eliza Grace, who is always asking "What are we doing next?!" was thrilled. 

Will's reaction fell much more in line with his homebody personality.  At first he was a little upset.
"But I want to play with my toys."

"But I want to see my friends."  
"But I just want to go home."

However, once we shared some of the things we'd planned to do in Orlando, he jumped on the excited bandwagon.
So we said our goodbyes to the Disney Fantasy (sniff, sniff), made the one minute stop through customs, got in our car and headed to Orlando for the week!

I'll just gloss over the SURPRISE we got when we realized we left one bag at the cruise terminal and say only this: it is for things like this you should stay in Orlando for a while after your cruise AND it was the Disney Cruise Line who called us to tell us we left it behind, then couriered it to our hotel free of charge!  So it ended with a nice SURPRISE!

We spent the next couple of days getting our land legs back, hanging out at Downtown Disney, SeaWorld/Aquatica/Discovery Cove and the Wyndham Bonnet Creek resort pools.

Panoramic view of the resort.
Leave it to EG to find a frog in the pool.
Posing in front of an iceberg in new Antarctica ride.
Eliza Grace and I conquered Manta!
She was very proud of herself, as was I of myself!
 Braving the splash zone at the Dolphin show.
Ready to hit the slides and wave pools in Aquatica, the SeaWorld water park.
One of the most fun things we did all week was spend a day at Discovery Cove.
We got to have a nice visit with dolphins Jenny and Capricorn, who took us each for a little ride while the sun was still shining bright.
If we couldn't find Eliza Grace in the water somewhere, we knew she would likely be in the Aviary feeding the birds.  The Aviary was awesome.
Some live action from the Aviary:

Will, who further fell in love with snorkeling, spent a lot of his time in the Grand Reef amongst the multitude of stingrays and tropical fish.

Here's a peek at our time in the water. Warning: my underwater video skills have improved only marginally.

As you can see from that last part, about halfway through our day the storms rolled in and stayed until we left at 5:30 that evening.  Of course, the rain didn't deter us and we had a wonderful time.

One would think that all of these fun activities would be enough, but Scott and I had a few more fun surprises in store for the kiddies.

Next up (and finally the last post from our vacation!): MNSSHP & so much fun with friends from home.

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