Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pictures from April 8-12, 09, last half of our Orlando Vacation

Okay folks, strap on your seat belts, you're in for a picture blitz that beats out any other so far!!

Wednesday, April 8th
Philip's conference ended at noon, so we used the rest of the day for a trip to visit Grandma Taylor in Tampa

SO excited to go to Disney tomorrow!!

Cute three generation picture
(We stopped at Babies R Us on the way to spend some gift money the kids had been given, since we don't have one close to home)

Uncle Dave and Riah

Trying out the back seat of Uncle Dave's motorcycle

Trying out "the trunk" for size

Now there's a cool dude!

I'm gonna have one of these when I grow up...

Full motorcycle!

Grandma kisses

Cool Grandma and her grandkids on the Harley

Riah meeting Grandma Taylor

I love how she's holding her hand!

Four generations

This is a cool "Generation of Hands" picture idea someone told us about!

...and with Moriah's hand

Grandma and Riah

Nice group picture

Daddy and Riah

Us with our little princess

Self portrait

Philip and his Uncle Hank (both doctors) chatting
(Their positions struck me funny)

Keenan licking the beaters after helping Aunt Marie make whipped cream (for the Delicious homemade apple pies she made, pictured in the background)

Wednesday - Disney with the kids

We spent the first half of the day at Animal Kingdom, then went home, had lunch and let the kids take naps, and then went to the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon.

On the tram ride in from the parking lot
The boys being silly while waiting in line

Riding the train to Rafiki's Planet Watch

In the Petting Zoo area

Moriah getting a break from the stroller

Philip and Keenan with a bird handler

Kilmanjaro Safari

Moriah fast asleep - like she goes on safari every day!

Gators lying in the sun

A truck like the one we were riding in

A huge termite mound
(Their saliva keeps it all stuck together and it bakes in the sun until it becomes rock hard!)

She did wake up, and the motion made her puke all over herself!

The boys spotting a giraffe

I love the elephant's reflection in the water

Riah and I with some (wildebeest?) in the background

A huge rhino

I love Animal Kingdom!

A funny gorilla (not on the safari)

Family picture

No, we didn't buy these...

How cute is she?

Magic Kingdom

Taking the train for a ride to the other side of the park

I think Moriah enjoyed the view

Keenan had So much fun playing with all the Mr. Potato Heads and accessories!

Philip and Keenan on a ride while I fed Riah (at the totally awesome Baby Center, where they have a special room just for nursing moms!)

View of the castle as they went by

Our "castle picture"

Riah trying out her new teething ring, and Keenan peeking under the sun shade

Keenan climbing while we waited to meet up with Mom, Jeff and Isaac

Moriah out of the stroller, getting some fresh air

Mom, Isaac and Jeff across from us in one of the rides at Tomorrowland

The four of us - Moriah was sleeping that's why her hat was over her face

Keenan really liked the race car track when we went by, so Philip decided to go on it with him...

It was already getting dark, so pictures didn't turn out very well
Keenan is driving!!

Exiting the raceway

All four drivers

A very sleepy, cranky Riah calmed down when Daddy snuggled her

Keenan's seat for the nighttime parade in front of Cinderella's Castle

The only picture that sort of turned out

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh Ride

Our fast pass tickets were for 9 pm, so Keenan was pretty tired and overwhelmed by this point
(See how his shirt matches the ride?)

Tigger and Pooh

Piglet and friends at a party

We rode in a Hunny pot

We didn't actually get pictures with any of the characters (not even Mickey), since the lines were so long, and our kids just aren't into waiting...

Friday, Philip and I got a whole "Date Day" at Disney by ourselves!

First stop, Epcot

Philip in front of "Mission Space"

This was an Awesome ride - the most technologically advanced ever produced by Disney!!
It's actually pretty intense (if you choose the Orange Team), and has a centrifuge that produces G Forces and everything!

Here are some of the warnings for the ride:

Guests with health considerations are strongly advised AGAINST riding the original (high intensity) Mission: SPACE ride -- in fact there are numerous warning signs posted at many locations before you enter and all along the queue.

One of the warning signs reads: "For safety you should be in good health, and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness or other conditions that can be aggravated by this adventure."

Another sign states, "CAUTION! You may experience motion sickness on this adventure! Mission:SPACE is a realistic and intense simulation of space flight. It is unlike anything that you have ever experienced."

The attraction can leave you feeling disoriented, woozy and even, as some riders report, with a headache for the rest of the day. There are air sickness bags available in the capsules. (I thought I was going to need one of these at one point!) =)

You are given multiple chances to change your mind about riding Mission: SPACE and are asked repeatedly if you're sure you want to continue. Just before you step into the seating area, the cast member asks you to give a "thumbs up" sign, if you're still ready to go.

In our opinion... Definitely a "Must Do" if you go to Epcot!!

I think Epcot is the Prettiest of the parks, they have soo many gorgeous flowers!

A Monarch in the butterfly garden

Pretty Minnie

A fun shot of the "Golf Ball"

More amazing landscaping talent

A very fun 3D show with "mice" a "dog sneeze" and a huge "snake"!

Everybody looks cool in 3D glasses =)

Us on the "Living with the Land" boat ride

These next few pictures probably won't interest some of you, but it was actually really cool, floating on the river through the huge greenhouses they have, and seeing all the cool stuff they are able to grow (in very unique ways!)
(I actually thought of you,John K. as we were going through, this seemed like something you would be interested in...)


I forget what this fruit is called

The boat we were in

Baby gators

Brussel sprout "trees" and cabbage

Bhut Jolokia - the world's hottest pepper!

Sweet potatoes

Hydroponic lettuce - almost identical to the way it was grown where I used to work!

Cherry tomato tree

Mmm... hydroponic strawberries

Airoponics - these plants periodically rotate through an area where water and nutrients are sprayed onto the roots as they go by

Hanging brussel sprouts

On to one of The coolest things at Epcot... (Rob, this is totally up your alley)

For lack of a better way to describe it, I just borrowed the description from the Disney website:

"Step into the world of automotive testing as your 6-seat vehicle undergoes the safety and quality tests that General Motors performs on every prototype it manufactures.

As you begin this 5-minute, nearly one-mile auto escapade, strap yourself in, ascend steep terrain that's 3 stories high, then let loose downhill, blasting across a bumpy road and roaring through 50-degree banked curves and hair-pin turns that test suspension and brakes at speeds up to 60 miles per hour!

Zoom into the environmental chamber to endure the extreme heat and cold tests—at temperatures that are 100 degrees apart! Then, see if your vehicle will withstand corrosion when robots mist water upon it. Finally, face the challenge of avoiding a crash barrier… in the nick of time!"

Not ours, but one of the test cars

Strapped in and ready for our wild ride!
(I honestly thought, several times during the ride, that we should have had more than a seat belt holding us in!)

Our next car purchase =)
(You know, to match the silver Honda Civic and Odyssey)

Me and the flowers again... I just thought these "bushes" were soo pretty!

Take the bus over to Hollywood Studios

Beauty and the Beast

Be Our Guest

Meeting the Beast

After he's transformed back into a man

Dancing and "Happily Ever After"

At Hollywood Studios in front of the Sorcerer's Hat

Another highlight of the day

Waiting (with 5,000 other people) for the show to start

The black car is following the red car over the jump (notice he went backwards!)
We found out later, after seeing this car drive around backwards at high speeds for several minutes, that the driver is actually in the trunk, facing out the back of the car!) LOL!

Gotta love smoking tires...

Another cool stunt car (They originally made us believe it was remote controlled!)

Notice the black car chasing the red car out of the building

A second later..


Between Epcot and Hollywood Studios, we ended up having "Fast Pass" tickets for three rides at once!

An extremely refreshing frozen raspberry lemonade on a HOT day!

Awesome stunt show
This guy (to the right of the burning Jeep), really is one of Harrison Ford's stunt men!

Pretty cool stuff

Can there really ever be too many explosions in a stunt show? =)

On to the "Tower of Terror"

This ride takes you up in an eerie "service elevator" in a broken down hotel, and then it all goes black and you are suddenly free falling down a dark elevator shaft... and then yanked back up several floors, and then dropped and then you stop....and drop again and then come back up and then free fall again, until you are totally freaked out and you can't scream any more... so awesome!!

Back to Epcot

Epcot World Showcase

This part of the park features eleven countries (USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan, China, Norway, Italy, Germany, France, United Kingdom, Morocco). Each section has recognizable buildings from that particular country, authentic restaurants, shopping etc...) The cast members actually come from these countries, so that makes it even more real!
A brief stop in Canada =)

A quick glimpse of what's going on back at the condo...

Reading Keenan's Bible before his nap

Uncle Isaac with Moriah

Snuggling and reading with Grandma before bed
(He has recently decided he wants the person who's reading to wear his hat while they read!) =)

Dinner in Morocco

Philip had made reservations for dinner, but left the location a surprise. I was excited when I found out it was Morocco, since we'd never eaten Moroccan food before! (Well, I'd had couscous, but not like this..)

The restaurant

The lighting wasn't great for pictures, but this gives you an idea of what the restaurant looked like inside

We were starving by this point, so fortunately our food (Lamb and Beef Couscous) came really Fast!!

Artsy architecture

Philip and a camel at one of the shops

Following dinner, we snagged a great spot beside the lake to watch "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth", a fireworks and laser light show that tells the story and progression of mankind.... probably the best I've ever seen.
Philip got some great shots...

This fireball was probably 1,000 feet away and we could feel the heat from it!!

One of the twenty torches around the lake
(Each one represents a hundred years in the advancement of technology)

Pretty lamp post

One last picture of the two of us before heading home

Mom (with help from Isaac, and then Jeff after he got off work), did a Fantastic job with the kids, and it sounded like they had a great day! They all stayed overnight and spent part of the next day with us.


Chef Jeff made us breakfast the next morning
(I had brought waffle mix and forgotten the waffle maker, but he made some excellent pancakes from the mix instead!)

Philip actually consented to this picture of Keenan with his Ohio State loving Grandpa

Hanging out at the pool - the first chance Philip had got all week...

The boys playing

Going after the ball

Me and Riah (in her cute new sun hat)

Mom caught this shot of Philip and I mesmerized with our sleeping baby girl

Keenan showing off his surfing skills

With Grandma

Modelling the "Bunny Teeth" candy from our Easter baskets...

Very attractive

I think they look better on him

Philip zoned out on the couch, but Moriah is very attentive!

Sunday (Easter) - drive home

At some point during the seven hour drive, Keenan said, "Look, Mama!" and when I turned around, I saw that he had put Bunny's ears between his toes! =) (What a loyal friend Bunny is... he goes through so much)

Moriah was getting a little fussy, but decided she was a big fan of this lambie toy I hung in front of her! =)

Phew! This post has been in the works for several days... and my closest count tells me there's about 137 pictures here!


Jessica said...

Well done! I feel like I was there with you. :) How do you go through two days of Disney parks and not look sweaty and sticky and gross in the pictures?!? You guys all looked so good! Love and miss you! Jessica

The Woodford's said...

Loved all the pic's, Joia! Looks like you had a fabulous time - that's great! Love to you all!

auntmary said...

Awesome pictures!! I love the sequence and how "they tell a story". Your presentation is very artistic. Must've taken you hours to sort thru all your pix & "publish" them. The generational ones are supurb - what keepsakes! Great grandma looks wonderful and so happy. I'm thrilled for you to be able to take this memorable trip including Disney, Epcot, etc. Thanks for sharing.
Luv 'n hugs

Joia said...

Jessica, we Were sticky and gross, you just can't tell in the pictures! =)

Mom W. said...

Just got lookin' at your pictures this morning Joia, good job, good subject matter. The 4 generation one and one other one for some reason don't show up for me. Maybe later...

What a busy, fun week, back to reality, good thing Keenan wasn't sick last week... OXOXO

Mom W. again said...

"Living with the Land' and the Four generation one still don't show up for me for some reason.

Is the unknown fruit by any chance called bread fruit???

I love the flowers, that would probably be my favorite thing there like at Niagara Falls.

denise said...

love all the pictures! looks like you guys had a ton of fun. not too sure about the Ohio State one... :) I got a kick out of Keenan needing everyone to wear his hat while they read! Isn't it funny what kids pick up and you will consent to? You guys all look soooo great!!! I felt like I was there :)

Uncle Dave said...

Hey, Keenan and Mo!

That wasn't just Grandma Taylor. That was Great Grandma Taylor!


Uncle Dave