We loved going to Gatorland while we were in Orlando. It was the perfect speed for William. He loved it and so did we. The rookery was really great. I love bird watching and there were lots of birds to see.
We just got back from a short but wonderful family vacation. About 6 months ago Hilton resorts called us and offered us great deal. We could stay in one of their Orlando resorts if we would agree to listen to a 2 hour sales pitch. Since Orlando is within driving distance and I’ve never been, I took them up on it. We left Thursday at about 3:30 and drove to Charleston, SC where we stayed the first night. Friday morning we took a short walking tour of the city, ate at the Swamp Fox restaurant, which was located inside the Francis Marion Hotel, and then left for Orlando at about 1:30 in the afternoon.
I’d never really been to Charleston and I loved it! It’s a wonderful place to visit and I hope we can go back. Not only is it full of history but it has all kinds of neat little shops and outdoor markets. The food at the Swamp Fox was some of the best I’ve had. To honor the spirit of ol’ Dixie I ordered ‘low country shrimp and grits’. It was delicious. Russ had crab cakes. William had grilled cheese. However, he did enjoy the fried green tomatoes with a goat cheese and pepper jelly garnish appetizer that we ordered. It’s too bad they don’t serve a child size portion of the regular menu. He loves eating all kinds of different foods and I hate that he has to get grilled cheese.
William did great on the 5 hour drive from Charleston to Orlando. The resort was pretty nice. We stayed in a one room studio with a small kitchenette. We really didn’t take advantage of much at the resort. I would have loved to swim at the pool but it was kind of cold. It didn’t get above 71’. But the weather was gorgeous, blue, blue skies, crisp air, wonderful.
Saturday we went to Gatorland. It’s an animal park that has lots of gators, snakes, and birds. It also has a petting zoo with some goats, and lamas and it has train. It was the perfect place to take William. He loved it and we did too. They have a rookery and it was the nesting season so the birds were really fun to watch.
Sunday we didn’t do a whole lot. We had to meet with the salesman, not a fun experience!! About 1 hour into it he asked me what I honestly thought. The whole time he kept telling us he wasn’t going to try and convince us of anything etc. So I told him I thought the resort was beautiful and that I’m sure people did come to feel pampered and luxurious etc., he had said that people buy these things because of the way it makes them feel, but, I said, that feeling was not really a big draw for me. (Not that I mind feeling pampered mind you, but to center every vacation around that is a bit much.) Beside that, I told him, I didn’t think they had resorts at the kind of places I wanted to go, namely historical places. Well, when I said that he started getting quite huffy and, among other things, asked me how, out of their 800 resorts I couldn’t possibly find one I would like to visit, and where was I going to stay when I went on vacation—a tent? So I told him I was not going to talk anymore and didn’t answer him. Russ said a few things and then the dear salesman got up and told us he was going to find someone to let us go early because we obviously were not interested. And that was the end of that. He didn’t even say good bye or nice to meet you or anything. I must admit I was a bit dismayed but at least we got to leave early.
William took a nap that afternoon and when he got up we went to a city park called Eola Park. It had a big lake which we walked around and William played on the slide for a while. We ate dinner at Carrabba’s, came back to our hotel, and put William down to bed.
Monday we got up and hit the road. We drove 10 hours and stopped 2 times for about 10 – 15 minutes each time and believe it or not William did wonderfully!! No fussing no crying, he either slept or talked nonstop saying every word or phrase he could. It was so fun to listen to him. I couldn’t believe how long he actually kept up the talking. We got home at about 7:30 Monday night. William went straight to bed and Russ followed soon after. As for me, I’m blogging.
William loves those hotdogs!
And Mommy loves dip-n-dots--so does William
William and Daddy on the train. It got stuck three times but we finally got off and wisked William back to the hotel for a much needed nap.
William enjoying his free dessert at Carrabba's. The waitress gave him a little glass of chocolate mouse because she said he was just too cute.
I think I may have mentioned it here before, William is a lover of routine. Bath time is one such example. Almost every night after dinner Russ takes him and puts him in the bath tub. William plays in the tub for awhile, and then I come in and wash him. His favorite towel to get dried with is his lion towel. If it happens to be in the wash he doesn’t seem to mind, but when he sees it hanging on the rack waiting for him he gets all excited and says, “Lion” with a big smile. After his bath, he gets dried off and even before he’s done he’ll say, “boo Daddy”. Booing is something he likes to and frequently does do. I’ll wrap him in his towel and he and I will sneak up on Daddy and say, “boo”, at which point Daddy jumps as if he has just been terribly startled and then takes William and gives him a big hug. If William is in the lion towel he’ll say, “lion” and then he will growl like a very fierce lion as I’m sure you can imagine.
We here in North Carolina, much like the rest of the country, seem to have gotten more cold weather than usually this year. We’ve had lots of gray cold days and, while I should be used to such weather being the native St. Louisan that I am, I have found myself longing for spring with lots of bright sunshine and clear blue skies. Yesterday, and I would like any blog readers I still have to note the use of the word yesterday, was had just such a day. William and I decided to go outside and enjoy bask in the beauty. I thought he would play on his little slide or explore around and I would weed. However, he seems to have taken an early liking to yard work and jumped right in. I dug weeds and he put them in the bucket and then dumped them in the brush. We had lots of fun and I can’t wait for more days like this one was.