Week of a Million Smiles

Well, we’re back from vacation and what an amazing and wonderful time we all had.

To start off the vacation was Mom’s wedding. What a lovely couple Mom and Dad make! They are truly in love and so very sweet together. (Pictures taken by our “official” Wedding photographer Mike Matheson are available here.)

We spent a few days with Mom, Dad and family before heading to Orlando, where the Hinxmans arranged for us to stay at a borrowed apartment. They also are tireless park-attenders, and took us around Disney World and Sea World on a six-day sprint.

NaNi tells Cinderella a story about a ball she plans to attend.

What an amazing time, jammed packed and loads of fun. So much to share, too late now to do it, but you can check out the pics in the Picasa album. We have loads to share so check back in a day or two.

Picasa Web Album
Disney PhotoPass Album

Isaac and David pose with Stormtroopers at the last of MGM’s “Star Wars Weekends.”

9 Replies to “Week of a Million Smiles”

  1. How fun!

    I’m still kicking myself for cheaping out when I went to Orlando by going to “Bummer land” down the street from Disney.

    I had a week of a million frowns.

  2. Wonderful!! Disney AND Star Wars! You can’t get much better than that! Love, love, love the pics of Nani meeting the characters. Someone give me a grandDAUGHTER…please! I’ve had an eye on those dresses for years! Now they have wigs to go with them.

    Did you make it to Downtown Disney to see the Lego Displays?

  3. Hi BMT,

    Yes, we did make it to Downtown Disney…take a look at the pics again. We have several lego statue pictures there. They were absolutely amazing to see. Couldn’t believe the size of them.

  4. David and Isaac are lucky!!!!!! Im glad you guys had a good vacation.Good to hear about Grandma if I can still call her that.Nani is growin up.lol.

  5. We’d like to personally thank the anonymous benefactor who found and mailed to us our Disney autograph book! We hadn’t unpacked to the point at which we realized it was missing when it arrived in the mail.

  6. Ok…now I’ve got it figured out. I had clicked on the Disney shot [adorable!] and found only professional shots [unless Doug has become extraordinarily good with a camera! and lucky enough to find no interfering tourists!]

    Today I looked at the Picasa pictures. They were great! Did you “pat” the stingrays at Sea World? I couldn’t force myself to do it. Something about the texture… The family laughed at me. [part of the excitement of family vacations in this family ;)]

    You went to Disney’s Wild Kingdom, too? That is the BEST zoo I have ever been to! Nothing was overgrazed, nor were populations too large for their compound, as at Busch Gardens. We went on the ride through the large open area several times. It was interesting to have to stop and wait until a rhino decided to get off the road! Of course, that was when it first opened up. Things may have changed by now, but your pictures makes it appear to still be top notch.

    You found a “giant” Lego I hadn’t taken a picture of for you. It was too busy in the store when we were there and I couldn’t figure out how to back up enough to get the entire thing in, without getting the whole store in. You did well!

    The pictures that brought back the most memories for me were the ones of Nani sleeping…totally exhausted.

  7. This was our itinerary:

    • Friday, June 15 – travel to Beverly Hills, Florida
    • Saturday, June 16 – Mom’s wedding, swimming, dinner out with family
    • Sunday, June 17 – Church (Nichelle sang), beach
    • Monday, June 18 – Travel to Orlando, Magic Kingdom
    • Tuesday, June 19 – Animal Kingdom
    • Wednesday, June 20 – Morning at the pool; EPCOT
    • Thursday, June 21 – SeaWorld – 7 hour behind-the-scenes tour
    • Friday, June 22 – Disney MGM Studios “Star Wars Weekend”
    • Saturday, June 23 – Magic Kingdom (princesses), EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, Downtown Disney
    • Sunday, June 24 – Church (Nichelle sang), motorcyle riding (Nichelle), napping
    • Monday, June 24 – Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park
    • Tuesday, June 25 – Travel back to New Hampshire

    Note that we took almost 1,000 pictures; I’ll put the Lego pictures from Downtown Disney in a separate Picasa album, I think. I have quite a few more that aren’t in the picasa album yet.

    And, for the record, I have a few shots that rival the professionals.

    Animal Kingdom was wonderful, although we skipped the entire continent of Asia due to time. If you go on the Safari (highly, highly recommended), you want to go first thing in the morning. The animals sleep later in the day. We were particularly blessed, seeing animals that are often not out, such as the warthogs and the big gorilla. The most interesting one was perhaps the okapi, a relative of the giraffe. I loved the artificial termite mounds!

    At SeaWorld we splurged on the big tour (an extra $95 per ticket for adults, $85 for children), and fed and petted dolphins and sting rays, fed the sea lions, and petted a Magellan penguin. That also gave us preferred reserved seating for the shows, lunch next to one of the whale pools, a view of the filtration plant, and an educator tour guide all day.

    The kids fell asleep in seconds each day (for that matter, so did I); by the end of the week, it was hard for all of us to get up, but we “sucked the marrow out of life” to the best of our abilities.

    This is the trip that Nichelle had longed for while she was so ill; it was a blessing beyond what we imagined, especially receiving a borrowed apartment and expert park-visiting advice from our constant companions and tour guides, the Hinxmans.

    By the way, everyone who goes there tells me about the Lego stuff at Downtown Disney, but you’re the only one who’s actually given me pictures from it. Thanks!

  8. “preferred reserved seating for the shows” at Sea World…so… how WET did you get? ;)Being the observant Mom that I am, I sat as far back as the kids would let me. Pools of water on the seats are dead give-aways! 😉

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