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Our 2011 Family Vacation

on June 13, 2011

I can still smell the salt of the ocean and feel the warm Florida breeze on my sunkissed skin if I close my eyes and concentrate hard enough.  This may well have been our best vacation ever.  It was so great, that I attempted to talk Josh into buying a year round condo on the beach.  For some reason that didn’t work out for me. 

Our vacation started with a two day long drive.  Grammy and I spent time quizzing Bailey on all of the statistics for the states we would be driving through.  Every time we crossed a state line Bailey would excitedly wave goodbye to one and hello to the next.  He was impressed with the tall buildings in the big city of Atlanta.  And by the time we stopped at a hotel to rest that first night the pool was calling his name (while the American Idol finale called mine)! 

We departed early the next morning and by afternoon had arrived at The Fountains resort in Orlando, Florida.   The online pictures of the resort were impressive and the real deal did not dissapoint us!  After checking in at the front desk we changed into our swimming attire and headed straight for one of the several pool areas.  We chose Wakoola Springs since it was a large winding pool with one area have a zero entry and spray park for little kids.  However, Bailey high-tailed it right passed the pool with his eyes set on the two winding water slides.  Daddy climbed the stairs to slide with him, but soon found out that he was one inch short of the riding limitations.  Mommy tried to fluff his hair and put his water shoes on him to make up the difference, but it just wasn’t meant to be this year. Bailey happily said, “That’s okay, Mom.  There’s always next year!”  I guess that means we’ll be going back.  So, we spent the rest of the night swimming and doing flips in the pool before we ate at Benihana’s.  Josh and I quickly decided that we prefer Gengi’s food, though we did have some great fun!

The next day Grammy, Bailey and I picked up the treasure map the resort gave us and started an adventure.  We spent some time walking over bridges, near fire pits on the beach areas and by the clubhouse looking for Gems to complete the treasure hunt.  Along the way we were able to feed some turtles, baby ducklings and other birds.  Bailey thought that was “AWESOME”!  Once he found all of the gems and completed the word puzzle on the treasure map, Bailey was able to turn his treasure map in at the kid’s area desk in the clubhouse in exchange for some prizes.  That was pretty cool!  Later in the day, the Orlando Bird Man came through the pool area with his rescued birds.  Bailey, Josh and I were able to get our picture taken holding some of them.  We listened to some live music by the pool and had some drinks from the H2O drink hut.  That night we had dinner at the Midieval Times dinner theater.  It was so fun to see Bailey cheering for his knight while we all ate our feast with our fingers!  After dinner, Bailey was able to meet our knight and get a picture with him.

Over all we had a great time at the Fountains.  Our rooms were beautiful.  The staff was helpful, polite and prompt.  There were so many amenities that we weren’t able to enjoy them all.  The following morning we checked out, packed our luggage and got on the road.  Destination…. Disney’s Magic Kingdom!  This was Bailey’s second time at this park.  The first item on his agenda was attempting to pull the sword out of the stone.  He is bigger and stronger this year!  But alas… the sword remains in the stone.  He even had Mom and Dad try to help.  I guess we should have worked out a little harder because we were no help!  The day was full of fun riding rides, eating food and watching shows.  Bailey’s favorite ride was Splash Mountain.  We rode it twice (along with a few others).  It was a very fun (yet long) day!  It was close to 9pm when we left.  We went to McDonald’s for a late dinner.  Grammy and Mommy tried to keep Bailey awake the whole way.  But he was so tired and grouchy that I ended up going back out to the car with him while the others ate.  Once they were done we were on our way to Daytona Beach!  If only I hadn’t left my purse in the Orlando McDonald’s.  Having to turn around and get it was no fun!  But eventually, we made it to Tropic Shores.  And we still had a week of vacation to go!

When Bailey woke up the next morning he came running into our room.  He was so excited to see our new condo and had to show me his room (the fold out couch in the living room).  I have never seen anyone so excited to be sleeping in a fold away couch, but he thought it was cool that his bed was hidden in the couch.  He and I headed on to the balcony to check out the ocean and beach.  Before long Grammy woke up and we were off for the pool!  We spent the week poolside, on the beach building castles, playing volleyball, dodging  jellyfish and searching for shells, crabs and other interesting things and boogey boarding in the ocean.  It only rained one day.  We used that as an opportunity to do some shopping at the Harley store and a few other places.  We also went to the Marine Science Center where we able to touch the stingrays and see all kinds of creatures from the water.  After that, we drove to the Ponce de Inlet Lighthouse.  Grammy and Papa didn’t climb the 203 steps to the top.  But we were able to wave to them once I was able to pull my white knuckled hands from the railing and step out onto the balcony.  The view was amazing from the top of the lighthouse.  But what goes up must come down.  Especially when I’m afraid of heights! 

Each of us chose a place for dinner during our week in Daytona.  Bailey chose the Cruisin Cafe.  He had remembered eating there during our last family vacation with Grammy, Papa, Dusty, Megan, Rob and Lacy.  He even remembered which car we had sat in.  He chose a different one this time and declared that next time we will sit in Dale Earnhardt’s car.  Papa chose to eat at Inlet Harbor.  Bailey was able to play on the ship in the front of the restaurant while he waited for his food.  An older couple danced while a one man band played music for the diners eating on the outdoor deck looking over the marina.   Josh chose to eat at The North Turn.  We sat on the outdoor deck here as well, although this one was on the beach.  Bailey, Grammy and I took a walk on the beach after we were done eating.  Grammy and Papa watched Bailey one night so that Josh and I could have a date night.  We went to Aunt Catfish’s for dinner.  It was awesome!  We had a few drinks and walked down the pier while waiting for our table.  The food and service was wonderful!  Once we were done eating we sat on the outdoor deck and listened to a young musician.  Josh even danced with me! 

We were so blessed to have such a long and mostly stress free vacation full of fun!  I can’t wait for the next one!  I posted a few pictures for everyone to see!

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One response to “Our 2011 Family Vacation

  1. Lacy says:

    Glad you guys had such a great time! Love the pics!

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