James has a conference that he needed to attend for his continuing education. This year, it was in Orlando. We decided that we’d all go and make a pseudo-vacation out of it. I admit that I was apprehensive. I was nervous that having two young girls in a small hotel room without the comforts of home might be worse than just staying home with them without James. I’m so glad I took the chance, because I had some precious moments with my sweet girls.
I’ve been working a lot this last year, and Ellie has definitely started to notice and comment on it which breaks my heart. I’m so glad I had several days mostly alone with my girls. We spent a lot of time at the pool and had a lot of fun. I posted on Facebook that we’re so blessed by how well our girls sleep in alternate environments. I was concerned that we didn’t have a suite and that the girls would have to nap in our open hotel room. They did fantastic. They went to sleep quite easily both at nap time and at bedtime and allowed me to just hang on my computer. We did have some issues with Emerson falling out of the bed on the second night (poor baby!!), but other than that, they slept just like they do at home. Yea!!
We decided to drive through the night on both ends. Call me crazy (ha!), but I was also nervous about this. The girls again did great. We made a bed in the back for whichever adult wasn’t driving, and we tilted the girls’ chairs back as much as possible. They both slept really great on the way there. They were up for about an hour when James and I switched, but it wasn’t bad at all. They weren’t even that whiny – crazy, right?!
We arrived pretty early on Thursday, but the hotel was nice enough to let us check in early. We spent some time at the pool and then took a nice long nap – all of us. We then learned that our friends the Drydens were also in Orlando. How fun to get to meet up with them at their hotel for dinner/dessert. My camera was on the wrong setting, so ignore the blurriness. Here’s proof we saw them, though:
That’s the kids looking at the little alligators at the Gaylord. Ellie also treated Amy to some amazing princess stories. Perhaps too many, but Amy was sweet enough to listen attentively anyway. :)
Here’s another photo we took on the way out:
On Friday, James was at his conference all day. I took the girls to the pool and we spent a fun 3 hours there. They’re both swimming like fish since their swim lessons, and I’m so proud of them. I was so busy making sure no one drowned that I didn’t take photos at the pool either. Here’s how nice it was, though:
Ellie is getting old enough and outgoing enough that she even makes friends. She met a couple of sweet girls and played with them a lot. It was fun to watch her be so social and interact.
There was a banquet on Friday night, so James and I got a very expensive Kids Night Out sitter who came to our hotel room and took the kids out to get ice cream downstairs while we went to the banquet. We took advantage of the 4 hour minimum and came back and changed and headed out to the hot tub after dinner. It was a nice date night, and I loved getting some QT with my Buddy.
Saturday, I took the kids on the nature trail at the back of the hotel. It was basically stroller off-roading, but it was good exercise for me. We then spent another several hours at the pool. James was able to skip his late afternoon session, so we headed over to Universal Studios’ CityWalk to have dinner at Margaritaville. It was fun, and the girls got some princess hats as their souvenirs:
Sunday was our hardest day since we were planning to leave after James got done at 5:30. Check-out was at noon, though, so I had to pack up the car on my own with the girls that morning. We still went and spent another several hours at the pool, and I was completely nerdy and we all took showers at the outdoor kiddie pool shower. Ghetto – I know. We couldn’t drive 18 hours without showers, though, right?! We showered in our suits and then went to the rest room to change. We grabbed some ice cream, and then we went to a mall to burn the rest of our time until James was done.
I’ll be honest and say that the few hours at the mall were not fun. We had lots of whininess and a few mommy mistakes, but we survived and were super glad to go get James and grab some dinner and get on the road again. Our return trip was again successful – both girls did great again. (Can I just say that I LOVE our DVD player?!) We made it home around noon and the girls are now in bed for the night and the last load of laundry is going. I’m so glad we got to go, and it was a great time to be reminded that I’m super blessed by a fantastic husband and two precious little girls.