When Brad and I went on our honeymoon to Carmel, California, we purchased our first Christmas Ornament – a beautiful picture of the lone cypress with the Pacific ocean behind it.  We decided to make it a tradition and have purchased ornaments from every place we’ve visited in the 18 years since.  Let’s just say it isn’t an impressive collection and leave it at that.

We’ve never been ones to travel much – just a church trip or two, a couple of family vacations and one overnight to a B & B in East Texas.  But THIS year is THE YEAR OF THE VACATION for us.

No, we have not won the lottery.  But we have – thanks to Brad’s ridiculous travel schedule – managed to accumulate a whole bunch of airline miles and hotel points.  So, almost on a whim, the kids and I traveled with Brad to Orlando last week.  We threw caution to the wind and just did it for once.  Man, was it fun.  The kids saw the beach – for the first time in their lives.  They had never even been to the Texas coast before.  We spent a whole day playing on Cocoa Island, then drove around to where we could see NASA in the distance.  Oh, and did I mention DISNEY???  Yeah, we did Disney – 3 days, in fact!  So much fun.

But you want to know what’s really funny?  Long before we knew Brad would be working in Orlando this year, we meticulously planned and thought about and reserved our (also free thanks to all the miles) tickets to San Diego this summer, where we will be visiting the famed and often discussed in our home LEGOLAND!!!  And the beach – again!

Oh, and we also have made plans to travel to the Texas coast with my family for a week to fish and swim with the cousins.  Did I mention that prior to this summer, my kids had never seen the ocean?  By the end of the summer, they will swim in the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico.  I just find that hugely entertaining.

Meanwhile, here are some of the best pictures we captured in Florida.  I may post a video (or 10) in a later post.  But tonight, I’m still recovering from jet lag (you know, it’s a whole hour later in Florida).

Gee.  I’ve got way more pictures than I have energy to post.  Someday I’ll try to write a little more about the trip but for now, I’ve got to get to bed.  Besides, it’s all pretty self-explanatory, right?  Dumbo.  Aladdin.  Castle.  Well, except for the 3-D glasses.  Those were for the PhilharMagic show.  That might have been our favorite part of the entire park.  We went twice – the boys for the love of the show, Brad and I for the pleasure of watching our boys all trying to catch the things that appeared to be flying all around them.  I’ve never seen Samuel look cuter than he did during that show.  He just could not figure it out.  He kept jumping up and grabbing into the air, then ripping off his glasses to see why he wasn’t catching anything.  So cute.

Of course, no trip to Disney would be complete without a visit to the First Aid station.  Nothing serious – just a skinned knee and hands when Peter tripped on the way into the park.  Poor Peter.  It really did hurt but they were super nice and took good care of us.  Well, anyway, more to come – stay tuned!