Summer in November

Best decision ever.  This year, we postponed our summer vacation until November.  The kiddos were all broken up (ahem) about missing some school, but with less heat and crowds, we'd do it all over again. 

The kids always get excited when they see we're about to land, especially when there's water nearby the airport.

The kids always get excited when they see we're about to land, especially when there's water nearby the airport.

Breakfast overlooking the bay.  On our second morning, dolphins came swimming by, about 150 yards from the shore. 

Breakfast overlooking the bay.  On our second morning, dolphins came swimming by, about 150 yards from the shore. 

Caution: Bacon Thief

Caution: Bacon Thief

Hiking in to the pet-friendly beach on Honeymoon Island.

Hiking in to the pet-friendly beach on Honeymoon Island.

We were sad to miss our neighborhood's Halloween celebration, but Hercules, Cleopatra and Captain America discovered the wonders of Trunk or Treating and then canvased as many of the homes nearby our rental as they could.  Just like at home, there was one house giving our full-sized candy bars.  Yum. 

We were sad to miss our neighborhood's Halloween celebration, but Hercules, Cleopatra and Captain America discovered the wonders of Trunk or Treating and then canvased as many of the homes nearby our rental as they could.  Just like at home, there was one house giving our full-sized candy bars.  Yum. 

Clearwater Beach

Clearwater Beach

It's a joy to watch Joshua play in the sand and water. 

It's a joy to watch Joshua play in the sand and water. 

Morning of Day Five: Packing up to head to Orlando.

Morning of Day Five: Packing up to head to Orlando.

They can read signs!

They can read signs!

First stop. 

First stop. 

Of all of the shows and rides at the park...they wanted to hit the arcade after lunch. 

Of all of the shows and rides at the park...they wanted to hit the arcade after lunch. 

The Frozen Sing-A-Long Show was hilarious. 

The Frozen Sing-A-Long Show was hilarious. 

Waiting in line for Toy Story Mania.

Waiting in line for Toy Story Mania.

What an $18 face painting job looks like.

What an $18 face painting job looks like.

2015.11-149.jpg
Waiting for the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular to start.  This show was the crowd favorite, right next to the Fantasmic! show after dark.

Waiting for the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular to start.  This show was the crowd favorite, right next to the Fantasmic! show after dark.

About to hop on the Water Taxi to Epcot.

About to hop on the Water Taxi to Epcot.

Goofy the Park Navigator

Goofy the Park Navigator

Epcot: Showcasing the Technology of the Future

Epcot: Showcasing the Technology of the Future

Henry slept through an outstanding lunch at Tempan Edo. 

Henry slept through an outstanding lunch at Tempan Edo. 

Day Seven: Our first day at the Magic Kingdom

Day Seven: Our first day at the Magic Kingdom

Michael was chosen to play the part of The Beast in Enchanted Tales with Belle. 

Michael was chosen to play the part of The Beast in Enchanted Tales with Belle. 

"Pooh kissed me!"

"Pooh kissed me!"

Even the big kids had a little fun.

Even the big kids had a little fun.

Each evening, we walked over to Disney's Boardwalk for dinner and whatever entertainment was out and about that night.

Each evening, we walked over to Disney's Boardwalk for dinner and whatever entertainment was out and about that night.

We talked a big game about staying at one or more of the parks for fireworks, but we never had the energy to make it happen.  Thankfully Gigi and Poppa had a room overlooking the Illuminations show and didn't mind having a few visitors in jammies over to plaster their faces against the glass. 

We talked a big game about staying at one or more of the parks for fireworks, but we never had the energy to make it happen.  Thankfully Gigi and Poppa had a room overlooking the Illuminations show and didn't mind having a few visitors in jammies over to plaster their faces against the glass. 

We started a bad habit on vacation.  A very bad habit.  (Hint: That's not Henry's assigned bed.)

We started a bad habit on vacation.  A very bad habit.  (Hint: That's not Henry's assigned bed.)

Morning ferry ride back to Day Two (I mean Eight?) at the Magic Kingdom.

Morning ferry ride back to Day Two (I mean Eight?) at the Magic Kingdom.

Breakfast in The Beast's castle was a hit. 

Breakfast in The Beast's castle was a hit. 

Exiting The Haunted Mansion.

Exiting The Haunted Mansion.

Henry's beloved toy cap gun.  Which the TSA confiscated.  (Sad face.)

Henry's beloved toy cap gun.  Which the TSA confiscated.  (Sad face.)

Henry had the best view for the Main Street Parade.

Henry had the best view for the Main Street Parade.

Day Nine!  One last (half) day at the parks,.

Day Nine!  One last (half) day at the parks,.

Kilimanjaro Safari Ride

Kilimanjaro Safari Ride

My worst idea ever.  Filling time before the Lion King Show with a ride on the Kali River Rapids. We all got soaked; Henry and I looked like we jumped in a pool. 

My worst idea ever.  Filling time before the Lion King Show with a ride on the Kali River Rapids. We all got soaked; Henry and I looked like we jumped in a pool. 

Balou and Louie didn't seem to mind sopping wet hugs.

Balou and Louie didn't seem to mind sopping wet hugs.

One last chance to meet some characters and fill their autograph books at The Tusker House. 

One last chance to meet some characters and fill their autograph books at The Tusker House. 

Clearly, our lat stop was well-chosen.  At this point in the trip we were also breaking our 'no devices at the table' rule.

Clearly, our lat stop was well-chosen.  At this point in the trip we were also breaking our 'no devices at the table' rule.

After a quick change into dry clothes in the parking lot, we hit 18 toll booths on the way to MCO and all collapsed onto the airplane.  It was a blow-out marathon of a trip, but it was wonderful to spend so much quality time with family, making memories we'll dredge up at the dinner table for years to come.  

xoxo