Earlier this month we took a break away from the cold and the snow to spend time in FL. It was *wonderful*. We started taking these trips down south 4 years ago and now I can’t fathom how we survived winters without this quick trip to the sunshine and warmth.
Normally we drive down- a trip that usually takes 2.5 days (we can sometimes do it in 2 but that is really, really pushing it). This time we decided to shake thing up a bit by driving down to northern VA and hopping on the Auto Train- a train that allowed us to bring our car with us. The train left NoVa at 4 pm and arrived in Sanford, FL (outside Orlando) at 9 am the next day.
I had no idea what to expect, but it really worked out well! We upgraded to roomettes- so we had “cabins” that held two chairs in it facing each other. At night, those two chairs formed a bed and a bunk folded down from the ceiling so each cabin slept two people (pictures of the setup not taken by me can be seen here). A full service dinner and a continental breakfast was included in our fare. We all dosed up on Dramamine, explored the train, did homework, read and played lots of Uno. The hardest time was from 6-7:30 when we had dinner as the excitement of the train had worn off and the kids were bored and hungry. After dinner we all went to bed and by the time we got up the next day, we were almost there.
We spent the first half of our trip in the Tampa area with my parents. Our days consisted of the pool, the beach, fishing and watching the sunset. Our most exciting day was Sunday when the Hubs and my father took Scorch to a Yankees game (basically heaven on earth for Scorch) and my mom, Bean and I went shopping. Tough life, but someone has to live it.
From there, we went to Disney! This year we splurged and stayed at the Animal Kingdom Resort. You guys, this place was amazing. Like, take-your-breath-away amazing. This was the lobby:
And this was the view from our hotel room:
Right outside our door were giraffes, zebras, wildebeests, antelopes, ostriches and a variety of other birds. It was the coolest thing!
We only had 3 days, so we picked our favorites and tried to hit them all at Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Magic Kingdom and the Animal Kingdom. We did the safari at Animal Kingdom:
Checked out the Flower and Garden Fest at Epcot:
And got awestruck at Cinderella’s castle:
And then we had to come home. I figured we must be doing pretty well as a family if we survived two 12-hour days in the car back to back and were still speaking to each other when we arrived. I tried not to grumble too much as I swapped out my flip flops for snow boots as we arrived home in the middle of a winter storm warning. Winter can’t last forever, right?!?