If I was any sort of good travel blogger I would probably break this down into multiple posts focusing on different parts of my trip to provide tips and share my experience. This way I would actually have something to share between my travels.
Then again, if I was any kind of travel blogger at all I would have traveled more since our Wyoming trip seven months ago.
But, alas, I’m just a busy mom trying to take as many trips as possible on a limited budget so I’ll be brain dumping my latest adventure, and then you probably won’t hear from me until my next trip, which, fortunately, is only a few weeks away!
Last Thursday night The Husband and I packed the kids in a rental car and headed south.
Considering our personal vehicles consist of a 2000 Honda Civic and a 2004 Mazda wagon both with well over 150,000 miles, we thought it best to rent.
The (ugly — orange??) SUV you see pictured cost us all of $.13. Yes, that’s thirteen cents. I was able to use my Southwest points to cover the cost of a full size and when we went to pick it up they upgraded us to an SUV since they were all out of full size.
I was really hesitant to get a Southwest card and Rapid Rewards account but since I did I’ve been able to get two flights and this car. So it has already served me well. If you are interested in more info check this out. I’m not affiliated with them but if you use the link and sign up I’ll get even more bonus points!
Anyway, we made it into North Carolina that first night. Our goal was to leave late and miss the DC traffic, which we mostly did. We pulled off and stayed a cheap roadside hotel and settled in for the night.
The next morning we woke up ready to hit the road again. The kids already seemed to have a lot of pent-up energy — not a good sign.
But they kept themselves busy. Between books, iPads, and a deck of cards, they amused themselves during the 16-hour drive.
We stopped for lunch in South Carolina and, following my no fast food rule, I found a southern BBQ place just a mile off the highway. It was in a group of historical buildings loaded with tons of antiques.
We loved it, such a great spot to get out of the car and explore. The food was yummy (a buffet) and the rocking chairs were cool.
We headed back on the road and hit a crap-ton of traffic causing us to arrive in Fort Myers just a little after midnight.
My in-laws spend a few months every winter down in Florida so we decided to visit with them to celebrate Easter and Little Bean’s 5th birthday (the reason for our trip) before heading to Disney.
The kids got to play cards with Grandpa…
And hit the pool.
Someone’s been practicing holding his breath under water.
He was initially scared of the water as a baby but I took him to lessons and have been working on it with him for a few years now. In Wyoming he took his first jumps into the pool and now he’s on the way to being a pro like his big brother.
After two days with Grandma and Grandpa it was off to Disney!
Someone was ecstatic!
So was his brother 6 years earlier…
Our tradition has been to take the boys for their 5th birthday. By then they are tall enough to ride almost all the rides and old enough to start to understand and enjoy the parks making it “worth it” — to me anyway. All you guys who take babies and toddlers, more power to you. I’m not sure I’d survive!
As you may have noticed from the first pic, it was raining when we got there. So we checked in, unpacked and grabbed a bite to eat hoping the pool would reopen.
And we had a blast swimming the afternoon away.
We stayed at the French Quarter Port Orleans our favorite Disney resort – – then again, the only Disney resort we’ve ever stayed in. It’s not too big, has a decent sized pool with a fun slide, and a boat to Downtown Disney. The room is nothing to write home about but it meets our needs with two double beds and double sink.
After our afternoon at the pool we got dressed and headed to Downtown Disney (I think it’s called Disney Springs now) for dinner at T-Rex.
He’s even more into dinosaurs than his brother was at this age so he was in heaven.
We stayed out way too late and, as always, I get up way too early. The boys don’t seem to have that problem.
They all got up soon enough and off we went to hit the parks!
We decided to start with Animal Kingdom, by far my favorite of the Disney parks. We had a blast wondering around and decided on one more ride before heading back, Mount Everest. Unfortunately it started raining while we were in line and they had to close the ride due to lightning.
We stuck it out since we were under cover from the rain anyway and someone took the opportunity to take a quick nap.
He actually fell asleep on my lap and I wiggled out to stretch my legs.
Our patience paid off when they reopened the ride. We only had a short wait since most people bailed in the rain.
We headed back to the resort and come up with a game plan since it was raining pretty relentlessly. Originally we were thinking an evening at Hollywood Studios, but we changed our minds and hit Magic Kingdom.
We got there moments before the light show on the castle started. It was wonderful!
The kids loved the fireworks display and we camped out, just enjoying the show.
It ended up being a great night. We hit all the “mountains” — Splash, Thunder and Space — and the boys loved them all. They were my little troupers in the rain, still excited for the cheesy photo ops and such.
The next morning we hit Hollywood Studio to try and get a spot in the Jedi training but it was a madhouse. Honestly, the whole Star Wars craze is starting to get on my nerves. I’ve always been a fan but lately it just feels like they are shoving it down our throats.
That said, the boys couldn’t have been more excited to build their very own lightsabers.
We had to take the photo op!
The only other thing we did in Hollywood Studios was the Tower of Terror. We had a Fast Pass for it and just hopped right on.
We spent the rest of the afternoon lounging by the pool at the resort. The kids were having a blast and The Husband and I got a chance to chat while lying in the sun.
Dinner for our last night was in Epcot.
We had reservation at the Coral Reef restaurant and enjoyed dinner after doing a lap around “the countries.” It was nice just sitting back and watching the sharks, stingrays and sea turtles.
Even though it was late, we let the kids stay up and have one epic lightsaber battle outside our room. They were having way too much fun.
Overall the trip was fantastic. I was, however, disappointed by the Disney photographers this time around. Six years ago when we went I felt like they were everywhere and I got a lot of great family shots that I ended up printing and framing. This year it was hard to find them and when we did there was a line of people waiting. We did get one good family shot I will be framing. Hopefully it doesn’t print as dark.
The husband agreed to fly if we ever go again but honestly, I don’t really want to go again. There’s so many amazing places to see and we only have so much time and resources to travel to them. I think I’d rather take the kids someplace new but I’ll never say never. Maybe I’ll feel differently in another five years.