Orlando New Years

It has been such a fun week! We caught our flight on Wednesday morning early and with layovers in Salt Lake City where we were joined by Sara and her family then a fast stop in Atlanta. Thank goodness our gate for the flight to Orlando was close. A layover of 30 minutes is just not enough in my mind. We did make it though!

After arriving in Orlando we grabbed something to eat as the kids were starving. Well to be honest I think we were all starving. Chuy’s was awesome! Delicious Tex-Mex food and I highly recommend them. I had the #3 combo. Yummy! Chuy’s Website We got to the Castle a bit before 7 pm and yes it is as cool as it sounds. Over 14,000 sq ft of fun including a heated pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, a Game Center, five full suites, secret passages and a theater that blew my mind. The screen was like 14′ wide. The guys were totally in geek mode exploring with the kids. Sara and I went to the store for groceries lol. We got back and joined everyone at the pool for some late night fun.

The bedroom wasn’t too bad either. Although I have never seen a bathroom that big, I swear our whole master suite at home would have fit in that bathroom. The bed was so comfortable.

Thursday we made a big breakfast and the guys took the older kids to Universal Studios. The younger kids watched a movie, Sara played the piano for awhile. She is very good. She played Claire de Lune one of my all time loved songs. Here is the link Claire de Lune We filled the afternoon with a long run and just talked and relaxed. We joined the park goers for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. The kids thought it was so cool! The Littles had never been. Tees and souvenirs for all plus plenty of fun till late at Universal Studios. When we got back to the Castle the guys wanted to watch a movie! I fell asleep but somehow ended up in bed so I guess all ended well.

Friday was a day at the Castle. Slept in, guilted Sara into running with me, played games, watched a double feature of Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 1 and 2 plus had a big BBQ and more pool time. Dinner was soooooo good. I ate so much but so worth it. Sara didn’t think coming into their room and dragging her out of bed was fair. No such rules had been called so yeah I did and I got away with it. 😇

Saturday we slept in then ate lunch before heading to Disney World. Spent the day at Hollywood Studios playing. We had dinner at House of Blues. Yeah we like music and burgers so it is always a favorite. After dinner and some shopping caught a few more attractions until late.

Today we were up early for church. I will admit it was pretty hard to get up but we made it…barely. We have six pianists in our group and the Castle has a beautiful baby grand and we had a piano concert after sacrament. Sara and the kids each prepared a number and WOW it was one of the highlights this week. I loved it! We made Philly Cheesesteaks and soup shots for lunch. It was fun and the soup shots were new. Never had done that but we had a bunch of shot glasses here so we made up something new! Tonight we are headed back to Disney World and will spend time in the Magic Kingdom. Frontierland has a big dance we plan on going to and I am sure will embarrass the kids lol. At midnight a huge fireworks show that I have heard is spectacular.

Tomorrow we plan to chill and watch College Football. Roll Tide! Fajitas, chicken wings, chips & salsa plus a chocolate fountain with strawberries, vanilla wafers, Oreos, bananas and cinnamon bears. I am really looking forward to tonight and tomorrow but always as a trip is coming to a close the excitement of returning to the Homestead grows. This road is a quiet one. We don’t get much traffic and when it snows it is pretty impossible to get anywhere without four wheel drive. This road is where my heart is. This is my home and the place everyone always comes back to. It is where my greatest Joy is. I am excited for 2018 and hope you find Joy in the coming year no matter where your road leads. Happy New Year!

Oahu 

We left Idaho Falls bright and early Monday.  Stops in SLC and LAX on the way to Honolulu.  Arrived there at 1:45 Paradise Time.  Picked up the Explorer and headed to our destination for 4 nights on the East Shores of Kailua Bay.  It was absolutely beautiful.  The beach was about as perfect as you can imagine.  We had 90 ft of beach behind the property plus beach to the north and beach to the south.  It was INCREDIBLE.  The sunrises were breathtaking as well.  I think almost every room had a view of the beach.  See pics below.

Monday night we were invited to a friends for a Memorial Day Feast.  It was fun meeting many of their close friends.  Very long day and when we finally did get to bed we were exhausted.  Tuesday we had a pretty chill morning.  Went to grab some groceries and enjoyed the pool and beach.  Sara and Mandy were getting in about 2 pm so we picked them up and went and had lunch at The Cheesecake Factory.  Tuesday night we had a pretty big dōTERRA class with 26 people.  Finally everyone left at about midnight.  Sara was so tired she was incoherent.  We were entering orders until about 2 am.  I was so happy for bed.  Wednesday I got up in time to see the sunrise and then went for a run.  So beautiful.  Took a nap after breakfast.  Sara and Mandy finally got up around 10.  Today was our day with the dolphins.  The kids were so excited and I just want to say this day was one of the best moments of our lives.  Jack and Chip were very talkative as usual and so much energy.  Kids and dolphins 🐬 are a perfect match.  Jack posed for this pic. 

Thursday we all got up for the sunrise.  Enjoyed the beach for awhile then up to the Polynesian Cultural Center for the afternoon.  Got some tees and souvenirs and didn’t have enough time to see it all.  We didn’t stay for dinner as Mandy, Sara and I had another dōTERRA class that evening.  Need to go back for sure.  Friday we didn’t go anywhere.  Enjoyed our last day here on Oahu on the beach.  After lunch we started to do the check out list and then were dropped off at the airport for our flight to Maui.  Hugs and goodbyes to my best friends.  They had an 8:45 flight later back to Utah.  Great way to go home by flying through the night.  I already miss them.  I’ll update Maui in a couple of days.  Honestly a lot of rest and relaxation is planned lol.  ❤️

Packing

Ok I have most everything packed and ready for our grand adventure.  I am the only one with two bags of luggage.  Rather proud of myself that I got it all in just two bags and only used a third of each of the two younger boys bags lol.  But I did it!  Three weeks away from home.  I don’t know what I’ll need, things come up.  I know I will use hiking boots, running shoes, heels, sandals, flip flops and house shoes.  We did pack lots of shorts and tees and swimsuits.  We are the people that buy tee shirts everywhere we go.  So between all the BYU apparel, Idaho, Park City, U2, Graceland Ninjaz, etc it will be very obvious we are tourists.  Definitely will nbe Reppin’ the Y.  We also have church clothes and jeans to.  I am sure we wlll be prepared for whatever circumstances find us.  I can’t wait.  Hawaii here we come!  

Summer Begins

This is going to be the best Summer yet.  School is officially over.  Spring event season wrapped up Thursday night.  Keith’s parents arrive this afternoon.  So now all there is to do is finish up a few things to ready the Homestead for 3 weeks without us.  Going to purge the fridge, give a key to the young lady that will come feed the cat, and finish packing.  The kids are excited.  The dog is excited.  Although I don’t think he realizes he isn’t going with us.  He will get his own grand adventure with grandma and grandpa.  He is a little spoiled, so I’m sure he will not be happy.  Hopefully he forgets in 3 weeks lol.  We have never been away for 3 weeks before.  We had considered 6 weeks but that just seemed way too hard.  With other Summer activities it was just a nightmare scheduling.  So remember it is Summer and go make some memories.  I am so excited!