Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Yeah! We're back! We had a very fun time in Orlando. Because of Edward's hard work, he qualified for the American Family Insurance All-American Convention. He is 5 for 5 in qualifying for these trips, and we really appreciate all he does to get us there! Usually both of the evening functions/dinners are for the agent and spouse only, but because this year's destination was so kid-friendly, they also invited children. They had a fun carnival-themed evening - carnival games, limbo, balloon animals and swords, dancing, plate spinning, etc.
(I made the girls' cute little Minnie polka-dotted pillowcase dresses just for this event! I was happy with how they turned out, and they were super easy and quick to make!)

They had some fantastic face painters. Elizabeth was a lovely butterfly girl, Ross was a beast, Drew wanted a small Spiderman, and my biggest boy, Edward, even wanted to get in on the fun.

Mallory had the "Grip of Death" on me when her dad tried to talk to her for the first hour we were there. She wouldn't go any where near him for the first part of the night.

Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure

We had a really great time at Universal Studios & Islands of Adventure. The day we went to Islands of Adventure, the weather was great... for Orlando. It was still really hot and humid, but it was very cloudy & overcast. Yeah! The next day at Universal, was H.O.T., but we couldn't believe how uncrowded the park was! We were able to do everything we wanted and leave by 2:00 p.m. for an afternoon of swimming. We dragged Drew on a few rides, but he still isn't a ride kind of guy thanks to his Daddy. Mal, on the other hand, LOVED every ride she got to take part in. Ross decided to try to brave a few rides this time that he didn't try two years ago, and he was pretty happy he did. He especially loved the Mummy. He even said, "I really wish I would have ridden this last time." I said, "Ross. I tried to tell you you could do it last time, but you got mad that I tried to talk you into it."

Edward feeds Mallory to a T-Rex

This is the cute little Curious George play area. While I fed Mallory, I sent Edward over with the other three. I knew there was a water area, so I told them not to get soaked. What did I see when I walked over there? Edward telling Elizabeth where to stand and Elizabeth getting a HUGE bucket of water (think water park bucket size) dumped on her. All of the kids were dripping. Edward said, "They're having fun." True, but they wouldn't be having fun later as their wet shorts rubbed there legs raw. Actually, they did dry pretty quickly.
My favorite ride was the brand new Simpson's ride. Hilarious! We weren't allowed to watch the show growing up, and we don't allow our kids to watch it either. That being said, I'd forgotten how funny the Simpson's are! Those one-liners! My favorite was when we were getting in the cars (2 rows of 4), and Homer's voice is heard saying, "Find a seat please. It doesn't matter where you sit. All seats are the same, except for the good ones."

Mallory's sweet, unsuspecting face before the Jaws ride started ;)


She was in my lap before we were finished!

Dear sunglasses,
my how I loved you! Your comfortable grasp on my head was a match made in heaven. Your classy style received many a compliment from others. Best of all, I love that you only cost me $3. You're not supposed to pick favorites, but you were mine.
I tucked you tightly into my shirt when we rode The Mummy, just as I had the last time. It was my fault for not holding onto you, but Ross and Elizabeth were on either side of me, and I had both arms sprawled in front of them, a mother protecting her young. In slow motion, I saw you float in front of my face in the darkness as we plummeted down the first hill. I tried to grab you, but my cat-like reflexes just weren't a match for The Mummy. I imagine you are at the bottom of a near black room, accompanied by other sunglasses, hats, and coins. I could take Elizabeth's advice and ride it again, hoping to have the coaster hit you and send you flying back into my lap. R.I.P.
Deepest Sympathy,

Ricco Suave

Edward never shaves while on vacation. I did guilt him into doing it, though, one night before our first party. He was teasing us that he was going to just leave a mustache. Elizabeth was horrified. I crack up every time I look at this photo!

Fun in the sun

This is a picture of where we stayed. This picture only shows about half of the resort! It was massive. The three black looking columns in the center were some of the elevators. They weren't the ones we took to get to our room, but we rode them anyway (four times in a row to be exact - they were that cool!). They (very rapidly) went up to the 27th floor, and since they were all glass, the view was quite awesome!
You can't even imagine how big this pool was. I don't think I've ever seen a bigger one.

Miscellaneous pictures of swimming and sand at the resort
They had the perfect sized baby pool for Drew & Mal! That's where the three of us spent our time while the other three braved the bigger (colder!) pool and water slide.

Mallory did not care for the texture of the sand! She cried when her feet touched it. We should have an interesting beach vacation next month!

NBA City

Edward's district manager treated all of his districts' qualifiers to a fun night at NBA City (think a basketball themed Chuck E. Cheese's for grown ups). He also treated all of the kids to unlimited games and a photo of them with an NBA star. Thanks, Richard!

Somehow I missed Drew taking part in the fun.

Ross dunked on Karl Malone & KG!
Elizabeth chose to dance with the Laker Girls. Charming.
Mallory hung with her pal Kobe for a while.

Welcome Back

This 18+ inch scratch was the first thing we saw when our shuttle bus deposited us at our van. Steam. Blew. From. My. Ears. We stayed at a hotel the night before we flew out which had a Park Sleep Fly option. Either someone keyed the van, or to me, it looks like someone propped a suitcase up against it and a zipper scratched it as it fell down. Either way, no note - nothing. With a scratch this size, someone had to know what they did. I'm not a confrontational person, but let me tell you, I've played out an imaginary scene in my mind many times of what I would say if I were to see the person. Arg!