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
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
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,
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
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
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
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.
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. :-)
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
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