March 2013

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Today was the last day of our Spring Break Orlando Experience. We started-off bright and early through the gate to catch the monorail…

Disney Entrance

A precipitous drop in temperature made it pretty darn chilly as we entered Main Street USA. I was the only one that thought to bring a jacket, which means the first order of business is to find a store and buy something warm for the remainder of the crew!

Main Street USA

One of the highlights of the trip was the opportunity for the boys to join Jack Sparrow’s crew by joining the Pirates Guild! So, we spend about an hour in the stuffy room, as the boys were transformed into pirates…

Adam in Makeup Alex in Makeup

They looked great! Alex did very well, and was pretty excited when he climbed off the make-up chair to claim his pirate tools, which consisted of a sash and a sword. Adam was VERY upset that he couldn’t have one of the REAL swords that were mounted on the wall.


Adam was so upset, in fact, that he refused to pose for his pirate portrait. Not Davy Badbones, though! He was all about it!

Davy Badbones

One good thing about the LONG lines for some of the rides is the opportunity to snap a photo or two of the family…

Family Jody and Cin

Of course, the long lines and all the walking takes its toll on little legs…

Dad and Adam

The “old Standby”…no one comes to Disney to ride the Tea Cups, but it seems we always do! Well, not me.

Kam and the Boys Teacup Family

Right across from the Tea Cups is the Grand Prix Raceway! The boys loved this ride. I rode with Alex and he had a blast driving around the track!

Alex Races

Although we kept getting rear-ended by some lady driver! Hello, Kameran!

Kam and Jess Race

Well, it was a whirlwind three days, but we had a lot of fun…and made some great memories!

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Wherein Adam was looking forward to seeing “the sharks and the robots.”

Yes, “Robots.”

I’m not sure where he got the idea there were robots at Sea World, but I sure kept my eye out for them!

(there wasn’t any, by the way).

What they did have was a giant costumed Shamu mascot that presented itself for our first photo-op…

With the Shamu Mascot

Which put us on the path to our first event of the day. The boys didn’t quite know what to expect in the auditorium, but they really liked watching Shamu perform!

Watching Shamu Shamu Performs

Here’s Adam’s first encounter with his sharks outside of the “Shark Encounter.” Man look at that BIG MOUTH! (the shark has a big mouth, too!)

Kameran Jaws Alex Jaws Adam Jaws

AFter walking around f-o-r-e-v-e-r, we took a break. The kids had some ice cream, while Cindy and Jess had a soft drink.

I had a beer!

Alex really, really likes ice cream!

Alex Loves Ice Cream

The BEST big sister EVER!

The best big sister EVER!

Finally, dinner time rolled around. We had reservations at Sharks Underwater Grill. This is a restaurant surrounded by the shark encounter aquarium. This was IT for Adam! He could hardly concentrate on his lunch!

Adam eats with the sharks

After dinner, Jess took Kam to some “big kid” rides, while me and Cindy took the kids on the Carousel. I still remember how much Alex hated these in Pennsylvania, but he loves it now!

Alex on the carosel

Of course, no ride can even come close to matching the thrill-a-minute fun of rolling down a hillside!

Rolling down the hill

Soon, Jess and Kam returned and we collected the boys, still dizzy from their 100th roll down the hill, and headed back to the hotel.

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Jess and Kam came to visit for Spring Break. It’s always great to have them here and thought we’d make the visit even more special by spending a couple of days in Orlando at Sea World and the Magic Kingdom.

We took-off this morning and will head to the parks tomorrow. This afternoon we hit the Walt Disney World Village to hook-up with my brother, Dave, and his family, who are are their way back home.

At the T-Rex restaurant, the boys and their cousins got to play archaeologist by digging for fossils in the sand.

Digging-up Bones

Kam posed for pictures with her Mom and May-May.

Jess and Kam Kam and May May

Me and my brother talked about stuff.

Me and Dave

After “the dig”, we bid farewell to the South Florida Hanks’ and pay a visit to the Lego Store. The boys, Alex especially, is immediately drawn to the Hulk! Kameran is then compelled to pose in front of whoever this Lego person is.

Hulk Kam and Lego Person

While we were in the Lego Store, the rain started coming down HARD! So, we hung around for about a half-hour looking at Legos, playing with Legos, chasing after kids, telling kids to stop fighting, stop running, stop throwing Legos…

Then the rain let-up and we retired to our hotel for the evening.

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Heading home to Florida for Spring Break with the family. It started snowing before I left Virginia. By the time I reached the North Carolina state line, visibility was greatly diminished and progress had slowed to a crawl. So much so, that it took me almost 5 hours to get through the state! My truck was covered in snow and ice when I got to South Carolina, but by the time I crossed the Georgia line, it was clean!

What a whacky ride!

Driving in Snow

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It’s St Patty’s Day weekend, so what better way to celebrate than a visit to the fair (actually two fairs)…

First, it was the “Spring Fling” at their school! The day wouldn’t be complete without several hundred trips down the bouncy-slide! Although there were other activities, the boys didn’t spend much time doing anything else…

Adam Slides Alex Slides

The St Patty’s Day Fair was a little more traditional with car rides, cotton candy, and a carousel. Though once petrified by this whirling circle of bobbing-up-and-down-death, the boys really like riding it now!


And to top-off the day: ICE CREAM!

Alex and Adam and Ice Cream

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Out for a bit of fresh air and enjoying the site of the Main Street Bridge from the Jacksonville Landing…

MainStreet Bridge

Flat Tire