February 2006

Florida — Feb. 21
Our first full day in Orlando, we did a lot of relaxing. We went swimming at the hotel pool and spent some time in the hot tub, and took a trip to Downtown Disney. The girls loved the Disney stores there (including the largest Disney store in the world, and the girls' absolute favorite – Once Upon a Toy – home to every Disney toy imaginable… and then some!) and had fun eating at the Rainforest Cafe… once Emma realized the the gorilla sitting in the tree next to us wasn't real. :-)


Jen's future's so bright, she's gotta wear… well, you know. :-)


Emma said she looked like a rock star here. :-) Bono, eat your heart out!


The girls thought they were pretty cool in the new shades


The girls loved going swimming. Emma said it was her favorite thing about vacation!


Troy and the girls chill out in the hot tub


One of our first stops at Downtown Disney was the Lego Imagination Center


The littlest Cinderellas at Downtown Disney


The girls in front of Once Upon a Toy toy store, quite possibly the coolest toy store in the world!


The girls loved this cool My Little Pony display. You got to take a box, and fill it with a pony, and all the accessories you could fit in the box. The entire display was filled with choices, from Mickey Mouse ears and a lemonade cart to a Disney princess jacket and Mickey Mouse ice cream pop for your pony, and more!


The decisions were limitless, but the girls each decided to get a princess doll at Once Upon a Toy. Emma chose Princess Jasmine. Jenna knew right away what she wanted. As soon as she saw the display, she started yelling, "Air-e-o! Air-e-o!" for her Princess Ariel.


Emma liked playing in the playhouse at the Lego Imagination Center. Here she is out on the balcony.


What pajamas did the girls wear after visiting Downtown Disney? Their matching Disney Princess pajamas, of course… that they got on their Valentines' Day Florida trip treasure hunt.


Who's sillier, the girls or their dad? :-)


Feb. 22 – Beach bound
On Wednesday, we went to Daytona Beach. Lucky for us, our visit was just a few days after the Daytona 500, and right before the big Bike Week event and spring break. We spent a great afternoon walking on the beach and dipping our feet in the ocean, then stopped by the world's largest Harley dealer on the way back. For dinner, we ate at Fish Bones, which was right by our hotel, which has amazing food!


This "wave" knocked Jenna over. She was a lot more cautious about walking in the water after that. :-)


Emma collected "treasures" on the beach and got some neat shells, and even some of the super soft white sand from the beach.


Troy and Jen on the beach


Our little beach bunnies


We ate lunch at a restaurant on the Daytona pier, which was one of Emma's favorite things about the vacation. We got to watch some parasailers, surfers… and lots of birds.


Jen LOVED watching the birds… especially when Troy started feeding them french fries and we got swarmed.


The girls loved watching everything that was going on at the beach and in the ocean


Jen watches a parasailer


Troy and Jenna finishing up lunch at the Daytona pier restaurant


Feb. 23 – A fruity day
On Thursday, we went to a citrus grove to pick some fruit. None of us had ever seen oranges growing on trees, so that was pretty cool, and the people working there were very, very nice. But everyone's favorite was the freshly squeezed orange juice we bought. It was gone in about five minutes!


The girls had a good time visiting the citrus grove and picking fruit


Emma picking her first orange


Em's first orange


Jen loved picking fruit, too.


Jenna was running with one of her "treasures"


The girls thought riding in the wagon through the groves was fun, too. We picked two different kinds of oranges, tangarines, ruby red grapefuit and kumquats while we were there; they also had other types of citurs, too.


All of us in one of the groves


Don't ask me why, but there were a bunch of chickens – and a mallard duck – under this grapefruit tree. This was the only tree they were under, too, out of thousands. They let us walk right up to them.


Feb. 24 – Homeward bound
We headed home on Friday.


Jenna had a great time playing with Troy's cap. She loves hats!


We took the girls to the world's largest McDonald's Play Place to burn off some steam before sitting on an airplane for three hours. :-)


Emma thought it was pretty funny that there was a "Lake Emma Road" on the way to the airport.


Our airplane


Sure, she might look sweet and happy here, but a few minutes into our flight, Jenna turned into "that kid," the naughty kid who's on every flight. She wouldn't sit in her car seat, and cried, kicked the person's seat in front of her (hard), threw food, threw her sippie cup and threw toys when we made her sit there. That continued the whole flight, unless she didn't have to be in her seat. (Which is why she was happy in these photos, because she was with Troy.) And, just when we thought it couldn't get worse, after we landed, she laid down on the floor of the jetway and had a tantrum. So people trying to get off the plane had to walk over her. She threw and even bigger fit when we made her get in her stroller to wheel her to baggage claim, and was screaming so loudly that everyone in the entire airport, I think, was staring at us. One guy even came up to her and said, "It's not THAT BAD to be in Des Moines." …It sure was good to be home. :-)


Valentine's Day
The girls were really excited about Valentine's Day, because of their parties at school. What they didn't know was that they would get an extra special surprise when they got up that morning.


The girls had a special Valentine's Day treasure hunt waiting for them when they got up… with an even more special "treasure at the end."


All three "kids" got involved with the hunt. (Okay, Joe was just checking it out because this is the cupboard where we keep his dog food and rawhide treats.) The "treasure" at the end of the hunt was that the girls found out we'd all be going to Florida in six days!


The girls looked really cute, so I wanted to get a photo of them together. Jen, like usual, had other ideas.


Emma "Britney Spears" Maifeld


Em was all smiles that morning


Jen started getting into a better mood


What made Jenna most happy of all??? That she got to wear the shoes she picked out… her "ruby slippers." :-)


Pretty as a Princess
The girls's school had "Disney Day" in early February. Emma and her friends didn't miss the opportunity to dress up like their favorite princesses.


The pretty princesses


The princesses get silly


Princess Emma with the crown that she made


Emma and her class

Back to 2006

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