We left Pittsburgh’s cold snow storm on Friday the 14th and arrived in Orlando with four very excited kids in toe. This trip was Kate’s first plane ride, and she loved taking care of her little sister on the flight. The flights were smooth, and it was pleasant to walk to our number in the garage for gold Hertz service and right in the SUV. Thanks to all my travel for work.
We bought our Marriott timeshare over a year ago at a new resort being built in Orlando, so this was the first time seeing our purchase. The resort is located right between the Ritz and JW Marriott, and we have full access privileges to both. A 2 bedroom lock-off so we can split the room and just use the one bedroom for two weeks if we choose. It turned out quite lovely, as expected with plenty of space for all. We have spent many fun years riding out the three night $250 deals with Marriott trying out the different resorts around the country and believe the program is ideal for larger families. We must have a full kitchen with four kids, and we love spreading out with the kids on one side and the parents on the other separated by the family space. Last year we stayed at the one in Myrtle Beach and loved it, but this one is more up to date with the great kitchen, stainless and flat screens everywhere. Once settled with the bags we headed out for dinner and then food shopping at target.
We then received the email that said the house just closed! How wonderful was that? It was great to sign the doc’s before we left Pittsburgh and for everything to just happen like magic while on vacation. Sharon at Achieve Realty was truly a pleasure to work with, and I would recommend her to anyone. So we officially don’t own a home, it is a bit of a free feeling. I like it.. for the moment. We just moved into our temporary home in Seven Fields (about a mile from our old house), and we are surprisingly pleased that we fit okay and it functions quite well. Carl and I are leaning towards pursuing the purchase of a home in Pine Township that is currently under construction and not on the market. We have met with the builder many times over the months and toured another house he recently finished. Just like every other house we have looked at, it has positives and negatives, but I like the location (central to everything) and bells and whistles inside. He is going to put in a lot of things we would love to have like a heated floor in the master bath, air cleaner/humidifiers in the HVAC system, a stone kitchen island, two story fireplace and stove and getting to pick all the finishes is right up my alley. He is finishing the lower walkout with a movie theater, third bedroom, and big game room with wet bar. We are keeping our fingers crossed to see a lot of progress when we get back and a draft sales agreement to review.
We woke up Saturday and headed to the Animal Kingdom. I waited with Remi, and they all rode Everest and said they loved it. We spent the day wandering around the park with super happy kids! Remi was so excited to enter DinoLand. They had little kids flying dinosaur ride, Tricera Top Spin that Remi loved then we got in line for DINOSAUR. Okay, to put it mildly, that ride scared the bagebers (how ever you spell the word) out of her. We felt so bad for her half way through the ride as she held on to her dad for dear life. I would say she won’t be studying dinos anytime soon. Remi’s fear of future rides (thank you dino) carried into day two as we entered Epcot.
Carl had apparently lost his license at the Animal Kingdom which the staff found, and we recovered in the morning. We rode the monorail to Epcot and hit a bunch of rides in no time at all. We learned how to get the fast pass and ran over to Soarin for the last fast pass hour of the day 7:57 to 8:57 pm. I enjoyed the calm of Epcot, the beautiful landscapes, and shops. The kids had a great time exploring the different countries and loved Test Track. The first three rides Remi was scared to death, and they seemed to frighten her even worse. I would have to say Michael Jackson’s Captain EO was the icing on the cake; the 3D movie had an evil scary lady who had Remi curled in a ball under Carly’s arm peeking out of his sleeve with one eye. She was done at that point and just loved wandering around and shopping. She picked an adorable charm bracelet and a bunch of charms. Matt, Kate, and Zane with Matt’s lead went for the collector’s pins. We learned that you could go up to any staff member and ask for a pin from their lanyard replacing it with one of your own. So the boys would wander in the girly stores just to search out the staff member with neat pins. Haha.
One of my favorite moments was the boys flirting with Sleeping Beauty. Zane and Matt were cracking up laughing. We ended our long day using our fast pass for Soarin, and Remi seemed to enjoy it. Back on the Monorail to our villa. Zane passed out first, wearing only his wizard hat and a pull-up, Remi decided she wanted to do midnight cleaning of the room and Kate and Matt curled up watching tv. Let a new magical day begin Click here for more photographs