When Bob and I came to Orlando on our honeymoon we took the bus all over and it always stopped for seemingly extremely long periods of time at the Florida Mall. Since we were staying very close to the mall, we headed there first on Tuesday morning and actually went inside this time. We got a power inverter so we could plug the little laptop into the car for longer kid video viewing on our drives. We also stopped at the Disney Store and bought some Eastery toys on clearance. Jaide got a kitty in a basket and Kiree got a Pooh Bear in an egg and a Mater cup. Unfortunately, this didn't have quite the effect I wanted it to have on the kids further asking for souvenirs at Disney. Oh well.
Another thing we often passed by in the bus way back in '02 was this upside down building. It is actually a science museum called Wonderworks and it looks like the white house fell upside down on top of it. We went there after the mall. Kiree really liked it even though she was very whiny near the end of our visit. "it cracked," she likes to say about the upsidedown building. Jaide and Bob went on a simulator ride which had a long line to get on it. The girls talked about the upside down house for a long time afterward. Jaide told me at some point that we did so much fun stuff and then we just kept doing stuff that was more and more fun. Kiree played the piano on the floor at the request of some random senior citizens. I think Kiree was crabby mostly because she needed a nap, but there was too much excitement. We went back to the hotel to go swimming in the pool. Kiree didn't want to take a nap when there was pool goin' a going on. So we all went down to the pool. Kiree wasn't much for actual getting in the water, but liked the poolside scene. Eventually I got her to lie down on a lounge chair wrapped up in most of our beach towels and take a nap al fresco. I don't know why I didn't get a picture of it. Bob and Jaide ended up going to the grocery store while I hung out poolside with napster and Bob brought me down the camera before they left.
file picture of Kiree napping
When Kiree woke up, we went back to the room, got changed, and had dinner when Bob and Jaide got back.
In our original plan, we were going to head back towards home on Wednesday after two days at Disney. We were going to stop at Myrtle Beach since it is basically on the way home, to break up the drive and have some fun beach-going time. We waited and waited for some reason to make hotwire reservations for those nights (we were going to stay two nights) and then one Saturday night we did. Unfortunately the next Sunday we found out Adam wouldn't be able to get us into Disney until Friday and Saturday of that week- doh!. We thought about going up to Myrtle Beach and then coming back down, but as it got closer eight hours driving both ways didn't seem like a sane plan. So we had to find a place to stay less far away than Myrtle Beach. We decided to just stay in Orlando for the next few days since it was really the cheapest place to stay. We found a different hotel on hotwire closer to Disney for the same price as where we were staying. No free breakfast there (Bob loves the free breakfast, but honestly, they're not always that great) but it was actually a really great place for us. It was a bigger room, which was nice, and it had a lot of fun amenities.
Wednesday morning we checked out of our hotel and headed to the Gulf of Mexico. We went by Tampa Bay and found a beach to visit. The beach we ended up at was Gulfport Beach. We tried to find one called Treasure Island, but somehow missed it. The girls loved the soft sand at this much smaller beach and Jaide had fun with a friend she met there. That's Jaide and her little friend in the water, not Kiree The water was very calm and shallow. It was also pretty full of seaweed and some dead things. We collected shells at this beach too (and some random piece of something with rows of flat teeth). That particular bag of shells stunk up the trunk of the car the rest of our trip.
Wednesday night after we checked into our new hotel, we went to Giordano's for pizza.
New hotel=more pads of paper to fill up with drawings. Giordano's was just across the street (we get deep dish pizza there every time we visit Chicago, they aren't in very many areas). The girls got balloon animals while we waited for the food and we also looked for things starting with each letter in the alphabet.
Thursday we were going to go to this cool looking state park you could go tubing in, but we decided to just stick around the hotel and enjoy what was there. We had a relaxing and fun time playing the hotel's mini golf course. Kiree developed her own special golf technique (cheating). The kids played with other kids in one of the playgrounds for a while (and Kiree went down a big slide all by herself for the first time!) Then we visited each of the three big pools and the two kiddie pools. They were heated too which was really nice (that's Bob's favorite kind of pool). We neglected to get pictures at the pool or of the cool little lizards we saw running across the sidewalks. Later Bob stayed in the room with Kiree for nap time and Jaide and I walked to some nearby souvenir shops (I wanted to find some small things for my primary class and of course Jaide wanted something too).
Next up: Disney!
Here's the video of Kiree's "golf technique" If I had just let it go a few more seconds I would have caught the happy little "i did it!" Kiree proclaimed at the end.