Saturday, October 31, 2009


Grace and Zachary had a fun time trick-or-treating this year since Don and Rebecca were here. We decided instead of one of us staying home and handing out candy, that we would all go and take the kids around the neighborhood. We started at our next door neighbors, the O'Day's and went from there. We were surprised that there weren't more kids out this year. It was actually kind of quiet but they had fun going from house to house to see what goodies they might get. About the time their pumpkins were almost full, they got tired and we headed home.

Grace and Zach with Annette O'Day

We ran into Zach's friend, Ellie, and her mom right before heading home.

This was the last house we went to and it was decorated so cool! Check out the upstairs windows.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trunk or Treat

Tonight was Trunk or Treat at Johnson Primary School. There were about 30 cars that decorated their trunks or the back of their SUV's or Trucks and the kids all walked around and went "trunk or treating". There were so many kids and cute costumes and some great decorations. Grace and Zachary had fun seeing all of their friends in costume and they got a head start on getting some candy.

Grace with another pirate, my friend, Stacy

Zach and Ethan

Carly and Grace

Erin Smith and Zachary

This was definitely the best decorated car. Karen and Jennie really went all out!
Zachary and Andrew

Grace, Ava and Reminy

Zachary, Zachary, Ethan and Alex

My good friends, Greg and Renee Miles and Jason and Gia Ellis
Gia, Jill and Renee

Crazy Girls!

Alex and Zach

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The kids were so excited to see Don and Rebecca when they got home from school today. They wasted no time in showing them how they could now ride their bikes with no training wheels and the next thing I knew, they had Rebecca jumping on the trampoline. They had a blast with her. We tried to get Don to jump but he didn't think that was such a good idea.

Don celebrated his 73rd birthday today. We took him out to dinner for Sushi at Asian Fusion and it was Rebecca's first time to try sushi. She thought it was okay but didn't quite enjoy it as much as the rest of us. When we got home, we surprised Don with a birthday cake .

After we sang Happy Birthday, Grace continued with what they do at school by saying, "Are you 1, are you 2, are you 3.........." You get the picture. The birthday person is supposed to stop them when you get to their age. Needless to say, it took her awhile to get to 73.

Dave's Dad and Rebecca Come to Visit

Don and Rebecca flew in today and we went out to the Air Station for them to see Dave. We went to his office and then he took us over and showed them the C-12.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sea World

Today was our 6th and final day in Orlando. It began innocently enough with all four of us sleeping in. As he has done almost every morning, Dave went to get breakfast which in and of itself is a challenging adventure. As we were located on the extreme edge of the Pop Century complex, it was about a 5 minute walk to get to the main dining hall and about a 10 minute walk to get back because Dave would be loaded down like a pack mule with our food and coffee. And without fail, Dave would always manage to spill coffee and burn his hand on the expedition back (and I always made him drink from the cup that he spilled).

Today as Dave passed the smoking section filled with young mothers smoking beside their young children and joined the multitudes of over fed Americans, a frown set upon his brow. He entered three different lines to get the various requests of the family (of course no one can agree to the same thing), and then juggled over to get drinks and side items before finally making it to the register. The man at the register was named Eduardo, or as Dave now calls him, the Disney Dining Plan Nazi (aka Seinfeld's Soup Nazi). "Sir, you cannot get these four items. Your card says 2 adults and 2 children." I don't know if any of you have ever used the Disney Dining Plan but no one ever stops you for counter service food. Not to mention that Dave has been doing this every morning of our vacation and we had 7 counter service meals remaining. And oh by the way, this is the last day after dealing with 2 kids in the parks, standing in 20 minute food lines and dealing with sleep deprivation. And did I mention that between our trip in December and this trip, we have put thousands in Mickey's pocket? So, to say Dave was perturbed would be an understatement.

Eduardo could see a scene was brewing and quickly the manager was called out. The manager could see that Dave was perturbed and willing to make an ugly scene. She quickly alleviated the situation and allowed him to use the credits for all four meals. (Did it really have to be that hard?)

A flustered, yet satisfied Dave (a small defeat of the capitalistic mouse) exited the dining hall, passed the cancer stick wielding mothers and made it back to the room with tray and bags in hand. And yes, spilled coffee. Only to hurry up and eat so we could get out by check-out time.

Once we got loaded and checked out, we went to Sea World. Our first stop was Turtle Point. All of the turtles there had been rescued. We saw a Hawks Bill and a couple of Loggerheads. One of the Loggerheads had been hit by a boat and had a huge hole in her shell that will never heal over. Because her backbone is right under her shell, she is now paralyzed in the lower half of her body. Next we went to Stingray Lagoon. Some of the stingrays were huge! Zachary loved this and tried to touch as many as he could. Grace touched one but did not like the slimy feel.

Hawks Bill

This is the one that had been hit by the boat. You can see that a chunk of her shell is missing.

Stingray Lagoon

You can tell by the look on Grace's face, she did not like the feel of the stingrays.

Zachary got splashed by a big one!
After touching the stingrays, Zachary said, "Mom, let's go to another petting zoo" so we headed over to Dolphin Cove. There were several dolphins swimming and playing with balls but we couldn't stay there long because we wanted to see Blue Horizons, a show at the Whale and Dolphin Theater. It was really good but Zach was mad because he wanted to sit in a section where you got wet. After the dolphin show, we went to see the Penguins at Penguin Encounter then Sea Lions and Harbor Seals at Pacific Point Preserve. They were fun to watch and very noisy today for some reason! We got to see Sand Tiger Sharks, Nurse Sharks and Thrashers at the Shark Encounter. At the Wild Arctic exhibit, we saw Beluga Whales, Polar Bears and Walruses. And the walruses were HUGE! We just couldn't get over how big they were.

Trying to touch the dolphins

Waiting for the dolphin show to start

Penguin Exhibit

Zachary is on the Frog Team at school and Grace is on the Turtle Team so every time we saw a turtle or a frog, they wanted us to take a picture of it.

After hurrying through the Wild Aortic, it was time for the Shamu show, Believe, at Shamu Stadium. Dave led us down into the "soaker section". Grace and I sat down towards the top edge of the section but because Zachary wanted to get wet, he and Dave sat further down. And did they get wet! I dare say, they got SOAKED!!! They got soaked by Shamu, the enormous (you could tell he was well-fed) limped fin whale! It was a great show with beautiful animals. After the show was over and we were making our way back to the front of the park, Zach got all pouty and mad. We didn't understand what was wrong with him because he got wet just like he wanted. I finally found out what was wrong with him - he was sad because he didn't want to leave and get this......he didn't think he would get that wet in the soaker section! So, all that time he wanted to get wet and then when he did get wet, he didn't want to get THAT wet! Unbelievable!

This was when Shamu first came out and he went around to each section splashing and soaking!

This was when Zachary and Dave got soaked!

We made one more stop at the Dolphin Nursery before leaving and going to Downtown Disney. We had 3 counter service meals and 2 snacks left over on our dining plan so we went to The Earl of Sandwich for "linner" and then dessert and coffee at Ghirardelli Soda Fountain. Mmmmm mmmmm good!

Then it was time for us to leave. As we drove out of Downtown Disney and then Orlando, we said goodbye to both and headed home for Dave and I to recuperate from our vacation!