At the end of January, we enjoyed a relaxing trip to Anna Maria Island, Florida, with my family. My parents rented a house a block away from the beach, and we were just an hour and a half drive from Disney World, so it was perfect! The girls were excited for the plane ride, and it went really well. We were lucky to get a newer plane with free entertainment on each seat, so the girls were able to choose their own movies to watch.
We soaked up as much sun and warmth as possible while in Florida! Even though the weather was cooler by Florida standards, it felt amazing to us! The girls loved digging in the sand at the beach and looking for shells. I loved sitting in the sun and reading at the beach during naptime. The house had a backyard pool, and if the sun was in the right spot, it (sort of) felt good enough to go for a swim--we did that twice.
On one of the cooler days, we went on a tour of a fruit farm. Along the tour, they also had a little mini petting zoo/rehab facility for animals, so the girls were able to pet and see some interesting animals. We all loved the fruit and fresh-squeezed juice/lemonade samples in the store inside! We also had a yummy lunch there.
Early Tuesday morning, Dave, Abby, Norah, and I got up and drove to Orlando. We spent the day at the Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, we didn't discover until lunch time (and after waiting in line for 2 hours to see Anna and Elsa) that Greg had hooked us up with unlimited Fast Passes...meaning we could have Fast Passed the 2-hour Anna/Elsa line... Oh, well! Once we figured that out, it was a game changer--we could just walk on to any ride or to any character. We were able to do and see so much! Another bonus that day was that after the fireworks, they announced that they'd be keeping the park open an extra hour. It was a long and busy day, but we all had so much fun. Abby even went on a few roller coasters...her least favorite being Space Mountain, which was her first ride of the day, too...she was not a fan! She did go on the Seven Dwarfs mine ride twice, though!
We spent the night at the All-Star Music Resort, where they had put us in a suite, even though we had paid for a regular room...another bonus! It was a quick night, though, and we were up and ready for Hollywood Studios on Wednesday. We enjoyed all of the shows and multiple rides on Toy Story Mania that day.
When we got back to Anna Maria Island, my brother, Greg and aunt/uncle had arrived. We enjoyed the next several days with them, spending more time at the beach (where we saw our first dolphin, just swimming along the shore), visiting a few shops, and donuts at the cute little donut shop in town where you choose your toppings. We took an excursion on a boat with my dad and sister, where we chased after several dolphins and stopped at a a few sandbars to find starfish and other sea creatures. We were able to bring back some starfish, sand dollars, and some really neat shells that we found.
The week went fast, but we packed a lot in and were still able to relax and enjoy the nice weather. We are so thankful for this wonderful trip!