vacation//orlando, FL

Rich was so excited about our vacation that he stayed up super late the night before.  On Thursday morning we woke up at 4:30 in the morning to drive to the airport with the boys.  About 5 years ago, we took Jacob, Ethan, Grace, and David to Disney and this year it was Caleb and Seth’s turn to go.

We got back home safe and sound last night at about 11pm.  I drove over to our friends’ house to retrieve Grace, Sarah, and David this morning.

Jacob and Ethan stayed at home to take care of things.

It feels good and right to be back with all seven children today.  David is watching drawing lesson videos on Youtube, Sarah is by my side talking to herself, Seth is playing with a hula hoop, Ethan’s outside, Jacob is upstairs with Grace and Emily…..

I have a ton of photos to share but today I thought I would simply post all my phone pictures.


After a whole day of travel on Thursday and a late night eating dinner with Rich’s team (more details on that later), by Saturday morning the boys hated the idea of another “sit down and wait forever” meal….so we happily went to McDonald’s for breakfast.


Here I am in Downtown Disney, enjoying a dark-chocolate-covered pineapple spear.  photo by Rich


Downtown Disney bakery….I thought the Olaf candy apples were adorable (10 dollars a piece).


At the hotel pool, watching the boys swim.


Seth, our little swimmer.  We forgot his life jacket but he was just fine.


Friday evening dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings, after a long day at Gatorland.


Downtown Disney was a short walk from our hotel so we went often; this was such a fun night with loud music playing…people milling about, dancing along, just such a upbeat, happy atmosphere.


It rained for a little while at Magic Kingdom so we bought big plastic ponchos.  I love how Seth is grinning at the phone, too.  photo by Caleb


SPLASH MOUNTAIN!!!!!  Rich’s favorite Disney ride.


While we were waiting for the Winnie the Pooh ride, the boys hung out in Eeyore’s Gloomy Place.


10pm Disney fireworks!!!   I always get sentimental.



pretty awesome selfie, right?


Oh my word.  I rode space mountain for the first time at about midnight….with our hotel room key we were able to stay after hours…I had no clue this ride was so crazy.  I was praying and thinking about Seth the entire way.  He loved it and when we got off he said, “Where WAS I?  I was bouncing the whole time!”  This ride is a roller coaster in the dark, I was scared that Seth would fly out of his seat.  Rich was afraid he would lose his sunglasses (clipped on his shirt).  Caleb was in the car in front of us.   Very fun ride!


I have a lot more Epcot pictures on my phone because my big camera ran out of batteries the moment we entered the park, LOL.

This is where people can sample ice cold sodas from different countries.  so interesting!  Their favorite was the dark red soda from Zimbabwe.


Such a PERFECT quote for our Seth.  He doesn’t know his left from his right, he doesn’t know how to tie his shoes, but his adventurous spirit never stops and inspires us to no end.  He went zip lining this weekend, and rode roller coasters with no fear.   Wait until you see the pictures of him hanging over the alligators in his zip line harness in Gatorland!



Rich came back from taking my camera back to the car and since the boys had no desire to visit the Epcot countries, he took them away to go on rides.  I was able to walk around by myself.  My favorite places were England, France, and most especially Norway.  My Great Grandfather came to America from Norway and over the past year I’ve gotten more and more fascinated by this beautiful country.  I read Kristen Lavransdatter twice (a huge pulizer prize novel, of the best quality literature, IMO) and several other Norweigan books…..most recently, the haunting Giants in the Earth, a saga of the prairie, by Ole Rolvaag, a story of Norweigan immigrants in America.  It contained the most beautiful treatment of mental illness I’ve ever read, but ended in such a way that I am still asking questions and coming to grips with the novel.  I do recommend it highly, however…both “Kristen” and “Giants” are excellent books.

I was greatly looking forward to Norway, but I had forgotten that the movie FROZEN was set in Norway so it was a let down for me personally that the movie and characters have made “Norway” in Epcot more of a destination than it was the last time I was there.

While I was there I ate lunch; and as I ate I started a Norway pinterest board on my phone.  🙂


traditional Norweigan baked goods; lafke (filled with cinnamon sugar and butter) and school bread.  Both were so delicious.  Of course I was starving by that time, too.




I went back to France for a cappuccino.


meanwhile, Rich was also having fun…he texted me this picture….


I watched a show on the sidewalk.


It was such a beautiful day.  I love the flower gardens at Epcot, and the cloudy blue sky was big and gorgeous.


the boys wanted to catch a lizard in the worst way


pickle christmas tree


thinking of my girlies, wishing they were with me


waiting in line for a ride


our little vikings.




YESTERDAY Rich took the boys to a water park while I stayed behind to lounge at the pool, shop, and nap.  We were all packed and ready to leave by 4:30, tired but happy!



After we landed in Hartford, the pilot let the boys sit in the chairs.  He only said, “NO don’t touch that one!” once.  🙂


6 thoughts on “vacation//orlando, FL

  1. Looks like an exciting adventure for the two boys and their parents! Can’t wait for more pix! 😉
    I remember doing Epcot alone back in the days when I went there when I was a nanny. The Mexican food was so yummy! Although I felt weird walking, eating, and sitting alone by myself back then. So many memories flood back.
    Love the kissing photo in front of the castle too!
    Glad your back home.

  2. What a special time you had. We did the same as you. Took our older ones to DisneyWorld, and later the 2 youngest. We’ve never been to Epcot. I’d like to go sometime. I’m glad you had a little time to walk around by yourself. That’s nice once in awhile, even though you wouldn’t want to do it all the time.

  3. What a fun time. You all did a lot! You look so happy and lovely in all the pics. We went to Disney and Epcot in July one year (won a trip with conf.) and took our older boys, it was so hot, I felt like I was wilted all the time. 🙂 The countries in Epcot were fun. Brave you on Space mountain. I love roller coasters, but remember Daniel’s first one, he screamed the whole time and I worried he would be scarred for life. As soon as we stopped he said, “can we go again?”

  4. How FuN!!! My girls were all excited over the olaf apples..then I told them the price. $10 a piece! Yikers. That’s one expensive apple.
    Great memories your boys will have. 🙂

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