Monday, July 16, 2012

Makenzie Vaile.... Teenager #2

Here are the finished products of Makenzie's before and after pics.  We combined the occasion with her 13th birthday pictures.  Welcome to teenhood!!  I love you Mak!!  Renae Burt took them and did a fabulous job.  Here's her link, go check her out! 







Sunday, July 15, 2012

All Good Things Must Come to an End

Universal Day 4

Our last day in Orlando was spent in Islands of Adventure. This picture proves I really was there...  

We started the morning off racing to Ollivander's Wand Shoppe. We were up and in the hour long wait line by 8:15. Pretty good considering the night before wasn't an early night.  We met some nice people in line behind us, and she took a family pic of us with the Hogwarts castle behind us.  As you can see, my hair was up in a ponytail before we finished our first activity of the day.   Gotta love humidity.

Watching Madison in the wand shoppe pretty much made my day. Very intense and excited. She was a little bummed that she wasn't chosen for the demonstration. I'm pretty sure she would've had a stroke. Way too much excitement!

Madison spotted this guy as we were leaving the park.  We had to chase him down to get a picture.  I'm sure he thought we were all freaks. 

Yesterday as we were leaving the park, a lady offered us her family's Express Passes. They had decided to not go to parks the next day and she wanted them put to use. And put to use we did!!! We rode every ride in the park at least 2 and some 3-4 times each. It was never more than a 15 minute wait in the Express line. Thank you nice lady who gave them to us... After the wand shoppe, we jumped in line for the Dragon Challenge roller coaster

and the riding fury began. We rode rides ALL day. Fun fun fun!!! Here are some pics from the day. We definitely had a full one!

Mason with Fish lips...Nice.
The girls weren't so thrilled about Seuss Landing but they were good sports.  Mason enjoyed it more than he would admit.   He rode the big roller coasters, but still has a fear of them.  I think he liked the break.

 Seuss Train

One of our all time favorites-  The Grinch

Perfect standoff.   Love this pic!

The kids loved this ride.  It was the Disney Teacups on steroids.  They would have that thing spinning so fast that just watching it made me nauseous.  Mason would be laughing so hard he couldn't breathe.  Fun...

Woody Woodpecker.... Nice pic of Madison :-)

Poseidon's Fury 

 This was a show that filmed some special effects as you were riding the ride and then made a video of them.  They asked for volunteers and Stan was volunteered by his teenagers.  He was a good sport and was pretty funny.


This was my favorite ride. Dr. Doom's Fear Fall. It shoots you 200 ft straight up in the air and drops you almost all of that. LOVE it! The girls and I rode it 4 times!

 Of course we couldn't leave without a couple of Harry Potter tshirts. 

As parents, you know you did a good job of vacation planning when your kids are sad to leave and ask when they can come back.  We had a great time at Universal Studios!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Universal Studios- Day 3

We had another great day at Universal.  The day started very late.  We got home late last night, and didn't get in bed until after midnight.  So we had a sleep in morning.  I when I say sleep in, I mean I REALLY slept in.  I initially woke up early sometime before 7:00.  I got back in bed, and didn't wake up until TEN THIRTY!!! I can't remember the last time I slept that late.  It was raining at that point, so the kids watched a movie.  We didn't get to Universal until 2:00.  We went back to Universal because there were just a few things we didn't get done yesterday.  Some of the highlights of our day:
Despicable Me is the newest ride at Universal.  It opened this summer, and the lines were never under an hour wait.  So, we waited for 2 hours.  Very cute ride. 

Gru and my gang

There were HUNDREDS of these minions that came out with the other characters.  They ran around like crazies.  They'd come right up to you and start talking 90 miles an hour.  Very entertaining. 

EB from Hop

Go Diego Go!!
This was a favorite of my kids when they were babies.  A little sad that they are grown up.  However, if they were still babies, we wouldn't be able to do this....

This rollercoaster is one of the funnest ones I've ever experienced.  If you look at the left side, it takes you straight up laying on your back.... The spiral tracks aren't used in the ride... it's probably an emergency exit or something??  You get to choose music that plays in your headrest during the ride.  The first time I rode it, I chose..."I Will Survive.."  HA!  Very fun rollercoaster.  Nope babies couldn't do this!  So each stage of parenting has its perks.

Another difference in this rollercoaster is that you don't have the shoulder harnesses and it does go upside down.  The first time I rode, it freaked me out a little... I will admit.  Good memory making!
Mason dancing with a Minion.  After you exited the Despicable Me ride, you went through a little room where the minions were having a dance party.  This ride was done well! 

Makenzie showing a Minion a few moves.... including shimmying!


Thing 3
Mason not quite as thrilled to modeling the hats.  :-)

Blogger has been pretty slow in letting me upload pics.  We are actually on our way home.  We stopped in Birmingham.  We are getting ready to load up and come to ARKANSAS.  I will post more pics of Day 4 and the rest of the trip later.


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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Universal Studios~ Day 2

We got a late start to the parks today.  We got there around 10:30 this morning.  We decided to go to the main Universal Studios, and go back to Islands of Adventure/Wizarding World on Thursday before we leave on Friday morning.

Entering the park....

Makenzie balancing the globe on her finger.... such talent.:-)

Our first ride was The Mummy ride.  We rode it several times the last time we came- 6 years ago.  The girls loved it.  Mason... not so much.  But he was a real trooper today, and decided to face his fears and keep up with us.

This cute little Egyptian eye candy was waiting for us when we got off the ride.... 

Waiting in line for the Mummy

Again... proof that I really was on this trip:-)

Stan had to do a conference call for work today at 2:30, so he and Mason headed back to the condo at 1:15.  They got back to the park at 4:00, and while they were gone, the girls and I ate lunch and rode and rode and rode.....

YOLO....You Only Live Once

Mak's new shirt from Ft. Walton Beach

Even though I am not a fan of The Simpson's,  we had to go and explore this new part of the park... at least new since we've been there.  As much as I hate to admit it, it was pretty darn funny and was enjoyable.  When Stan got back from his work obligation, Madison talked him in to riding this.  It made him sick.  Sorry Stan :-(

Next stop... Bikini Bottom and Spongebob. 

Hugs for Patrick.   Mason got his picture with Spongebob, but it's on Stan's phone.  Hopefully, I can post it soon.  Mason was pretty excited!

Stan and I were probably more excited than he was about this one.  Scooby just isn't as popular anymore.  That's too bad!!

We rode a great rollercoaster today.  More about those later. 

 Another great day as a family!!

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