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Children/Motherhood

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Children/Motherhood

Family Vacation in Florida

I seem to have been suffering from a post-vacation hangover because it has taken me over a week to feel like I'm caught up on life again! Rest assured, I'm alive and we are all doing great!

If you've been keeping up with me on instagram, you know that our family was lucky enough to have the opportunity for a week long vacation in Florida. Tolar had a work conference scheduled and we decided to head to Florida several days ahead of the conference to enjoy some time together. Of course we visited Disney - our family rarely goes to Florida without going to Disney, it is in our blood! It was great to have lots of time to visit with my Uncle while there. When Tolar's conference started, he was gone from about 8 a.m. until late at night for several days, leaving me and the kids to explore other parts of Orlando ourselves.

The Plane Ride

Family Florida Vacation plane ride
This was the first time all four of us have flown together. When Kendall was a baby, we flew with her numerous times because we lived in Washington, DC and lived farther away from a lot of our family than we do now. Of course, she doesn't remember all of those flights she took as a baby, so she was very excited for the trip. This was Knox's first time on a plane and this trip also included the first time I took a flight home with just the kids and no Tolar as backup. AH! 

I'll say this about the plane ride home: Do you remember the part in How The Grinch Stole Christmas, after he has stolen everything from the Who's? When his sleigh is packed full of stuff?!?! That is what I looked like at the airport! I had two large suitcases, a purse, a diaper bag, a car seat in a backpack (that was so heavy even if it was on my back) a baby in a stroller with a booster seat strapped to it and a five year old carrying her own backpack. I got a TON of stares, but I'm happy to report that some people did ask me if I needed help. I was able to manage it all and almost broke out in tears when another mom told me I was a Super Hero. The flight home was delayed, causing us to sit on the plane for over an hour and a half before take off...that part was rough but we all survived! And I am very proud of myself and my kids for handling it all!

Our Car for the week

Family Vacation Mazda 3 Florida
Family Vacation Mazda 3 car

Since we flew to Orlando, we needed a car to get around town. Luckily, Mazda let us borrow a brand new 2019 Mazda 3 during our stay. This car was PERFECT for me and the kids to zip around Orlando while Tolar was at his conference. It wasn't too big and had great visibility, making it easy for me to get where I needed to go. Tolar himself was a pro at fitting all of our stuff inside the car too! In the trunk he could fit (yes, I'm going to list everything off again) our three large suitcases, a full size stroller, the backpack for the car seat, Tolar's backpack and Kendall's backpack. And we were also able to fit both car seats in the back seat with plenty of leg room. There was also ample space up front, especially for Tolar who is 6' tall. Space in a car is important to him and the Mazda 3 had plenty!

The car was very roomy and had top of the line features. We both loved that their was a projection on the windshield in front of the driver that would display the speed the car was traveling and it also included navigation directions if you were using the car's navigation system. This definitely helped keep us from getting distracted by looking down at our phones to see the next direction. The Mazda 3 also included tons of safety features with the cruise control (it would slow down if we got too close to the car in front of us) and it had blind spot notifications in the mirrors.

Of course with Tolar being a Tech guy, we are all about connecting our phones via bluetooth whenever we are in a car. The technology in this car made it extremely easy to connect our phones, without having to troubleshoot at all. I especially liked that you could view what was on your phone on the screen of the car too. I'm just waiting on cars to have wifi installed next.

What We Did While Tolar Was At The Conference

Family Vacation Pool
Our hotel had three pools, so honestly my kids would have been just fine hanging out by the pool all day long! However, this mama needed a break, so we did explore around Orlando a bit.


Family Vacation Disney Springs
We headed to Disney Springs several times to do some shopping and look around. Must hit stores with littles: World of Disney, Goofy's Candy Company, Once Upon A Toy and The Lego Store.


Family Vacation Crayola Experience
Family Vacation Crayola Experience Fun
Family Vacation Crayola colors

While in Florida, we did have to deal with some rain, so my Uncle suggested we check out The Crayola Experience and I am so glad we went! You can spend the entire day here, there are so many activities and all of them are hands on for your kiddos. Several of our favorite activities included:
-star in our own coloring pages
-make art out of melted crayons
-create unique filters for photos
-name and wrap Crayola crayons to keep
-use our imagination with molding clay (this was the best consistency of clay I have ever used!)
-create an outfit and bring it to life in a fashion show
We had such a great time at The Crayola Experience and cannot wait to visit another city to go again and show Tolar all of the fun he missed.


Where We Ate

Family Vacation Disney Hollywood and Vine
When we were at Disney's Hollywood Studios we went to dinner at Hollywood & Vine and this was probably the highlight of our trip. Mickey and the gang all came around to say hi during dinner. It was so awesome to watch my sometimes shy daughter break out of her shell and hug every single character. Knox had quite the love affair with Minnie and was very happy to meet all of the characters. As far as food goes, my Uncle (he KNOWS Disney) says that this is one of the best buffets at Disney. There were so many choices!!! I highly recommend the salmon - so tasty.


Family Vacation TRex Cafe
Family Vacation TRex

At Disney Springs we stumbled upon the T-Rex Cafe and my dino loving little lady was on cloud nine. The restaurant was interactive and featured life sized dinosaurs all over the place. It was a lot of fun to walk around and see everything. There were even meteor showers that happened several times during our meal. This was such a neat place to visit; if you have a child that loves dinosaurs then you need to add this to your list.


Family Vacation Frozen Hot Cocoa
Also at Disney Springs we stopped in the Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop and tried the Frozen Hot Cocoa and it was INCREDIBLE. Probably one of the best things I've ever tasted.

Family Vacation Friends
Tolar's two best friends also happen to live in Orlando, so one night we got to visit with them and their beautiful wives (and extended family too!). They hosted us and fed us some amazing Italian food! I love going on vacation and still getting to see friends too!


And of course- DISNEY!

We took the kiddos to Disney's Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. We met tons of characters, got to go on a ton of rides (Star Tours was Kendall's favorite - she went on it three times), attended a Disney Junior dance party, marveled at the Magic Kingdom's fireworks and so much more. I won't bore you with lots of text about our trip. I'll let you enjoy the overload of pictures that are about to come!!!! And I have to give a huge shout out to my Uncle for taking us to Disney - he is always so good to us.

Family Vacation Disney Teacups
Family Vacation Disney Sites
Family Vacation Disney Castle
Family Vacation Disney
Family Vacation Disney
Family Vacation Disney
Family Vacation Disney
Family Vacation Disney
Family Vacation Mickey and Minnie

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