Good grief, we are slackers!  Sorry for the lack of posts.  The end of the year/beginning of the year has had us running around, and now only having one computer (remedying that soon, hopefully) just adds to the list of excuses.  So rather than going over everything that has happened, I’d like to just hit the highlights in the upcoming posts.  This post, in particular, shall be about our big family vacation in Florida over Thanksgiving.  Oh, and if you haven’t noticed, you can now sign up for e-mail updates so that you can receive an e-mail every time we post a new blog!  Sign up is over there on the left.

Ok, back to Florida.  For awhile my mom had wanted to see Disney World all decked out for the holidays, and she thought it would be cool to have Thanksgiving on the beach.  So we scheduled a big family vacation and spent the week in Orlando.  Several decorations were already up, but to our disappointment, many of the big festivities (like the parades) didn’t really kick off until after Thanksgiving.  So we just missed those.

My parents have a beautiful timeshare in Orlando, so we had great accommodations.  This was nice, because with six grown adults, you need lots of space to congregate.  We were so busy though, trying to cram everything into five days, that I didn’t get to enjoy the resort as much as I would’ve liked.

The first night, Mom, Jeff and I had to get our shopping in at Downtown Disney.  It’s the best place to get your must-have-Disney-stuff and the nice part is, you don’t have to lug it around a theme park all day.

One day we spent some time at Disney Quest, one of Dad and Ahron’s favorite virtual reality places.  At the end of the day, we had some fun trying on hats, and Jeff and Ahron got some laughs out of passersby as they stood in the windows as mannequins.

On another day, we spent time at Universal Studios, but unfortunately, for the most part, we only got to see one of the two islands.  The highlights included the comedy bit done by Monsters, Inc., where the characters actually interact with the audience.  Somehow I become one of those lucky audience members, and I had to “woogy woogy” my thoughts to a monster while holding my fingers up like antennas.  Ask my mom or Ahron to describe it to you; they just love telling that story.  We also saw Shrek in 4-D, but thought meeting Shrek, Fiona and Donkey was much more fun.  Donkey was a hoot and had us all doubling over in laughter . Ok, mostly me, but we all laughed. A. Lot.

We did get to spend Thanksgiving Day on the beach, and we also got to spend the day with our new found Australian friends, JAEL.  It was good to see them again, and we wish them all the best as they continue to pursue Christian music here in the States.

And on Friday we did the unthinkable, which was try to park hop at Disney World in one day.  We managed to hit the highlights of Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, and Epcot.  My favorite new rides (because everyone knows the classics are a given) were Expedition Everest and the Finding Nemo show, both at Animal Kingdom (pictured).  Jeff had not been since he was a wee little boy, and so I was excited to show him so much (me being the “seasoned traveler” to Disney World).  However, there was almost too much to see in just over 12 hours, and it was lots of running around rather than taking in the views.  Hopefully we’ll make it back there again.

This was the first big family vacation we had taken since Jeff and I got married, so it was great to be with the whole family for the week.  The weather cooperated for the most part, with a few rain showers here and there.  It did start pouring at the end of the day at Universal Studios, but thankfully it waited until just as we began our long trek back to the cars.  That was a laugh. The weather started to get a bit chilly on the beach, so Friday was cold (at least for my standards for Florida).  But it was a much needed getaway and a great time with family.  We’re already talking about another big family vacation for 2011… to IRELAND!