Saturday, July 2, 2011

All good trips must end!

Here are some random photos from the rest of our trip to Orlando this past week.

Helena posing with a princess statue at Downtown Disney

Jonathan and Helena by the pool

Universal Studios - Islands of Adventure

This was a new experience for us all because not even Sara or Jeff had been to Universal Studios in Orlando. It is divided up into two separate parks - the original Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. We chose to focus only on Islands of Adventure this time because it had more child-appropriate rides.

Surf's up!

Jonathan developing his Daddy's bad habits

How appropriate that Jeff and Jonathan landed in the "yellow" and blue fish

I couldn't snap the picture quick enough when Helena "pretended" to lick this large lollipop.

I don't recally the name of the ride this was in front of it; it just looked like a cool photo stop.

The rickshaw

The firetruck

Jonathan enjoying his jello at Bubba Gump's Shrimp Co.

Helena's feet grew during our trip

Helena posing with her "thing" doll

Our two little "things"

The Magic Kingdom

No trip to Orlando would be complete without a trip to the Magic Kingdom. Sadly, the Magic Kingdom is not air conditioned or domed to stop the rain. Fortunately, we were in the process of packing up our car to leave when torrential downpours struck...and it rained for the next two hours. Timing is everything, and so is being lucky!

A great picture of Sara and the kids in front of the castle

A decent picture of the whole family in front of the castle (it would have been nice if the teen-ager we asked to take the picture turned the camera to get the whole castle. Amateur!)

Nowadays, the Disney characters to not just roam the parks. Instead, they are set up at certain locations, and you have to stand online if you want to meet them. In 90 degree humid temperatures, who wants to stand on lines? We were fortunate to notice Princess Jasmine after we got off the Aladdin ride, so we jumped in to get a picture with her. It is humorous how much she sucked in her belly to look "slimmer" for this picture (I have another picture as evidence).

This is Dennis, our tour guide on the jungle boat ride. I thought he was humorous and original until we stopped near another boat and I saw the tour guide using the same jokes.

Jonathan during the jungle boat ride

During "Its a Small World" ride

Jonathan checking out the hula dancers

Sara and Helena on the Tea Cups

Helena insisted on going on this ride again. It would have been more enjoyable if a young child who could barely reach the gas was not driving in the car in front of us. Sara got a great shot of us puttering into the finish line.

Sea World

Helena loved Sea World when we went last year, and we were fortunate to have received tickets so that we were able to go again this year. We did not hit as many shows because of the heat, but Helena got to try various rides and new experiences while Jonathan napped for two hours.

As soon as we walked into Sea World, Helena immediately wanted to go see the Dolphins. For only $7, you get to go up close to them and feed them. In the spirit of trying something new, Helena agreed to go along with. This is a photograph she took of one of the fish we got to feed the dolphins.

Of course, Helena was unwilling to go close enough to the pool to look in and see the dolphins, but she did her best to get a photograph of Jeff feeding the dolphin as you can see his hand holding the fish and the dolphin's mouth open and waiting.

One of the many dolphins in the tank

I don't recall the name of this ride, but Sara graciously volunteered to join Helena on it.

This ride went up no more than 30 feet. At Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, they had a similar ride that was several stories high. Helena had no interest in going on that one!

Helena and Jeff on the Shamu rollercoast, which Helena declared her first rollercoaster ride. I consider that brave (hence why my fingers are crossed).

Great shot by Sara of Helena and Jeff during the ride (second car down from the top)

The boys staying hydrated before the Shamu show starts. It was extremely hot outside and even hotter inside the enclosed stadium

Helena during the Shamu show (see below for more on this picture)

I am not sure how much Sara's cell phone company is going to charge her for this one, but they posted something before the show that if you e-mailed a picture to a certain address, it would be posted at the end of the show. Helena is on the right side screen, left column, third from the top (green hat).

Traveling to Orlando!

We spent the past week in Orlando visiting the various theme parks. Our travel started off Monday with a 7:30 a.m. flight. Everybody else apparently had the same plan because the airport security lines were swamped at 6 a.m. We barely had enough time to catch a quick breakfast before we made our flight.

Helena and Jonathan barely looking awake on the flight to Orlando

How lucky are these kids that they have an iPad to entertain them on the flight? The plane even had DirectTV that you could pay for. We were lucky to get movies on flights 25 years ago!

While waiting to check into the hotel room, Sara took Jonathan for a walk so that he would nap. She noticed that there was an ice cream buffet, so Helena obviously joined her. Jonathan still napped. You snooze, you lose!