On May 22nd we departed MacDill Air Force Base and headed on I-4 towards Orlando. We checked into the Marriott Grande Vista Vacation Club around noon. We were delighted that they had a place for us to park our camper right on property for the two weeks we would be spending here. We unhooked and checked into the condo. We have a nice one bedroom, bath, kitchen, dining area, living room and an enclosed screened porch overlooking the golf course. The grounds are just beautiful and being on the golf course very quite at night. This resort is just beautiful with so many activities. Of course we did not get to enjoy much as we were at Sea World, Disney and Universal most days. If you ever want a place to just enjoy the resort this is the place. They have about 5 pools, lake with boats, laundry, grills, beach, store, ice cream parlor, restaurants, pizza hut, tennis courts, basketball court, clubhouse, golf course, golf institute, fitness center, spa, bar and all types of activities. Some of the activities are: water aerobics, culinary competition, golf clinic, fitness walks, lessons, sand art creations, yoga, build your own battery powered race car, teen mystery night, create your own soft animal etc. If you are bored here something is wrong with you.
We got everything into the condo and the skies opened up with down pouring rain. One thing I can say about Florida, when it rains it rains – thunder and lighting each time. Around 5 our daughter Susan, son-in-law Jerry and our darling granddaughters Emily, Julia and Makenzie arrived. It was great seeing them again and this will be a fun place to enjoy each other. Around 6 we walked over to the Copa Loca Bar and Grill on Marriott property. We sat outside looking at the pool which made our granddaughters drool over. Our dinner was pretty good – we then started walking back to the condo. The girls and I got as far as the ice cream parlor and that is what they wanted. I said let’s wait for mom and dad so we waited. Soon grandpa came along and he tried calling – no answer so he made the decision to buy ice cream. Good choice as it was wonderful. They all enjoyed it greatly. Back to the condo and off to bed around 11.
Saturday morning we were up early and we all headed for Sea World. Tim and I had never been before so we really enjoyed ourselves. A new ride called the Manta is the best of the sea and sky. It is a flying roller coaster and soars you headfirst. Jerry and I were the only ones to ride this and I must say I really did not enjoy it. I closed my eyes as I did not like being face down – much scarier than any roller coaster I have ever been on. This is a brand new ride that just opened in May here at Sea World. All of us did the show Believe which is a killer whale show. This was truly amazing to see these huge whales and the trainers working so closely together for a wonderful show. We enjoyed seeing all the fish and beautiful plant life underwater. We also enjoyed the roller coaster and the kiddy rides. I even enjoyed a ride on the merry-go-round on my own sea animal which the girls thought was pretty silly of grandmom. It started to pour but we were lucky to be under a covering and did not get to wet. One thing we did was buy a dinner plan and for $30 we were able to eat and drink all day. Pretty good deal and the food was not bad. All in all it was a wonderful day.
Sunday we headed to Animal Kingdom for the day. We did the Killimanjaro Safari, Wildlife Express Train, It is tough to be a bug, and the new Expedition Everest which is a roller coaster ride thru the Himalayas. The girls all had their faces painted and they all looked adorable. The cutest thing was watching Makenzie having hers done – they told her to close her eyes and she never opened them and held on to my hand the whole time. Disney is a fun place even as an adult but so much more enjoyable when you see it thru a child’s eyes. Again we got rained on. We got so wet that we had to go back to the condo before going to dinner and change our clothes (everything even underwear) and dry our hair. We went to Landry’s Seafood Restaurant and surely enjoyed this place. The food was outstanding and we enjoyed ourselves all day.
Monday was our little Julia’s 5th birthday so off to Magic Kingdom. She got to buy a pretty dress, have her hair done, makeup and looked just like a princess. We had fun that day doing all the rides – and then off to the Floridian Hotel for dinner with the characters. It was a wonderful day and we all enjoyed ourselves.
Tuesday we took the day off and went to the pool at the resort. The water was just beautiful and the girls really enjoyed the water. Makenzie had a ball – we went from pool to pool – even the baby pool with grandmom in tow. At night we went out to dinner and really enjoyed a down day.
Wednesday we went to MGM and again we got rained on. We got to see the American Idol Experience which the girls just loved. I must say they are good entertainers so I enjoyed it also. I finally did the Rock n’ Roll Coaster – my first time on this ride. It was wonderful. Another fun day – nothing could be better than watching young ones enjoy the parks.
Thursday we went back to Magic Kingdom and Tim decided to take the day off and just relax. I had a fun day doing all the rides with the kids. Sure got my exercise this week but all this restaurant food is killing my weight loss.
Friday we went to Epcot and again the rain followed. My favorite rides were Test Track and Soarin. We had a beautiful lunch at a nice restaurant in Italy. At the end of the day we said goodbye to the Shallo family as they headed home. This was a wonderful week and we were delighted to share it with them. Thanks guys for letting us tag along.
After our kids left we took it easy most of the following week. We did go back to Epcot one day and did the Test Track and Soarin again. Wow what rides but again it rained on us. Sick of the rain.
We did Universal Studios one day and really enjoyed that. Tim and I had never been before so everything was new. We really enjoyed Terminator 2, The Simpsons Ride and Revenge of the Mummy.
Another day we hit Islands of Adventure and decided we did not like that park. A lot of roller coasters that looked too scary for me and I love coasters. We did a few rides and left after 2 hours at the park. In some ways I think we were getting tired – two weeks of doing amusement parks is alittle much for old folks. Next time we will do only a few days so we enjoy it much more.
On the 4th of June Tim celebrated his 66th birthday. We went back to Landrys Restaurant and both had seafood dinners. I also ordered cheesecake for him to celebrate. Happy Birthday hon.
On June 5th we said goodbye to Marriott and Orlando and headed east. We stopped at Jacksonville Naval Base and decided to just sit and relax for a few days.
Until next time