October 15, 2014

Leapin' lizards.

After our wonderful (and long) day at Disney...we took a down day.  Ken had to go to his conference and we decided to hang out.

And eat bananas on the porch.

Well, actually, we didn't really know what to do with ourselves.  I did think we would need some down time after travelling and a whole day at Disney.  I did think the baby could use a good nap.  I didn't think we would survive a whole day in a condo. (Insert the whole I-was-gonna-plan-from-my-phone-thing).
What I didn't know was that there were zillions of lizards around the condo complex, and probably all of Florida.  What entertains a bunch of homeschoolers better than lizards?  Nothing, nothing better.
While there were zillions....they were fast little stinkers.  The younger kids had to learn the art of not rushing a lizard spotting all at once.

Never fear, we persevered.  And captured lizards.  And showed them to our baby sister who screamed.  Got bit a couple of times.  Shared with younger siblings who couldn't catch them themselves.  Lots of good, good fun.
Then, to top it all off, we took them back to the condo to play with on the balcony.  It was amazing to see them jump from the 4th floor balcony and land on a bush!  I just expected them to run down the wall.
Jacob decided to use this wildflower for his head.
It makes me think of the trees in The Lorax.
In addition to lots of lizards, the complex we stayed at had a great pool and lots of walking trails.  So, though dad was working long days, we had lots to do.

Caroline decided this was the moment of her life that yes, yes she could swim  ALL BY HERSELF.  (no, she can't).  But, YES SHE (thinks) CAN!  So, that was challenging.  I'm pretty sure right after these pics, she took a dive off the steps when I turned my head to see what the others were up to.  

So, the very big very shallow baby pool became my favorite spot.  Elizabeth decided fancy pool do's are the wave of the future.  Get it?  Wave?  Ha, ha ...ha.   ha.  (Personally, I think it looks like something Queen Amidala would wear).

The very interesting and lots of fun part about hanging out at the pool was the opportunity to meet people from other countries.  Who knew?  Most of them were here on holiday from Scotland.  Staying for several weeks and visiting all the parks.  I guess Orlando is a big hot spot because of all the attractions, the weather is great (well, at least compared to Scotland this time of year), and they think that everyone is just so friendly!  There were some other kids that the language barrier made it impossible to know where they were from.  I think it is pretty cool to be sitting at the pool surrounded by people from all over the world!

Pretty much the next two days looked like that.  The unfortunate thing was that it rained.  Every day.  As Patrick said, "I thought Florida is called the Sunshine State!  They should rename it the Rainy State!"  

 It didn't rain ALL the time.  However, when it rained--it poured.  Where you thought no puddle could exist, you were soaked to the ankles.

On Wednesday, we decided to venture out to the zoo.  I mean, I wanted my kids to have a great time in Orlando, even if dad had to work.  Sure, sure the forecast said rain.  All the indoor venues we checked out seemed to be closed on Wednesday (whats up with that?).  The zoo gave discounts for members at other zoos.  Good all around!
There are alligators behind the glass.  You can't see them.  You can't see Peter either.  He was busy standing next to me and screaming.  I'm pretty sure he screamed through the first half of the zoo.  The boys wanted to do the zip lines (which did look awesome) but we were wavering on the price tag and worries of impending rain.
Peter finally got sorted out and we started down this beautiful path on the back side of the zoo. 
 And Patrick took our picture with a dinosaur.  Doesn't everyone look thrilled?
 And then... just as we were admiring the rhinos....alas.  Rain.  Downpour.  Nathan took an expedition with our only umbrella to see the otters.  While the rest of us cowered under a shelter.
 At least this Lesser Spot-nosed Guenon tried his best to entertain us.  I had never even heard of a Guenon.  Especially not a lesser one.
Oh, look, we're so lucky.  Nathan had his ipod in his pocket.  Goodie goodie!  Those poor boys have something to do.

A couple more photos, in case you haven't had enough...
Celebrating a baptismal birthday (Elizabeth), the feast of St. Therese, and a name day (my SIL Theresa) all in one shabang at Friendly's.  Ice cream, please!

The other end of the table...enjoying their treats.
Enjoying a home cooked meal--a bonus of renting a condo vs. a hotel.  Much easier to eat cheaply.

On the left:  In 2009, Elizabeth, just turned two.  On the right:  Elizabeth, 7, and Carrie, 20 months.
Waaay back in 2009 we went to Orlando.  We didn't go to Disney.  But we did go to Downtown Disney one afternoon and walked around and it was so much fun.  The Lego store was a big hit with the boys (it is much more than just a store) and Elizabeth had her picture taken with a princess.  We thought we would try it one evening for something to do and it was a big mistake.  Crazy crowded.  Crazy loud.  Couldn't navigate much with a double stroller and a bunch of kids.  We did manage to go to the Lego store and the two little boys picked out two little lego sets.  And we snapped this picture with Aurora again.  Caroline wasn't thrilled about this big plastic girl.  Or the zillion people swirling around.  So my advice--definately hit Downtown Disney in the afternoon.  Much more fun.

That pretty much sums up our three days while dad was working.  In a billion zillion words or more.  And only half as many pictures.  But, sure, you want to see more, don't you?

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