Tag Archives: vacation

Family Fun at Lion Country Safari in Florida

19 Apr

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I’m not being paid to write this post.  I felt compelled to share our experience at this amazing place.  We’ve been traveling to Florida for the past several years and basically hitting the same fun spots each time.  But it was while I was chatting with a friend a few weeks back that she told me about this Lion Country Safari….a safari in Florida you ask!? YES!  I don’t know about you, but I won’t be traveling to Africa anytime soon so this is about as close as I’ll get to a real live safari and wow it did not fail to completely wow me.

We headed there on a day when the weather was a bit iffy. You pay a fee per person in your car (you can also rent one there) and we found a coupon on the website.  You are provided with a CD to play as you travel through the safari.  The instructions are to keep windows up at all times.

And wow.  I’ll let my pictures do some of the talking.

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Other than the lions behind the fence all the animals roam freely; those zebras were right in front of the car blocking our path!

A total highlight for me were the giraffes….my favorite animal….they were everywhere and so gorgeous…

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The safari took us about 45 minutes and by the point the kids were done and ready to hit the amusement and water parks!

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There are rides and fun stuff for the kids but also different things like paddle boats that you could take out for a ride.

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And for an additional fee of 5 dollars per ride the kids each rode a camel :)

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is it me or is the camel smiling in this shot?!

is it me or is the camel smiling in this shot?!

My daughter’s highlight of the trip was her chance to feed a giraffe.  I think this is one of the coolest shots I have ever taken.

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I you tell I’d much rather the kids spend time in a place like this than that other place in Florida with all the mice & princesses!

Have you ever been here?

 

 

Feeling Refreshed After A Week in Florida

18 Apr

Yesterday we returned home from our trip to Boca Raton.  We’ve been fortunate to be going there almost annually the past several years around spring break to visit with my in-laws and catch some great sun.  This is their backyard…I mean can you just die?!

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And the beach is usually empty just like that…….we typically have the ocean all to ourselves, just like we like it :)

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When we weren’t at the beach we were in the pool…….or I should really say, the kids and their dad were in the pool, while I lounged and occasionally sat up and took photos!

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The only problem is that I don’t take enough photos!!! :)

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We did a few other fun things which I will detail in another post.

Today is about unpacking…the unfun part about vacations!

 

 

 

 

Winding Down…

29 Dec

I don’t know about you guys but the holidays have wiped me out! I’m so tired, and the kids are sort of draining me driving me really crazy during this long break from school. The day after Christmas the little one requested we spend the day going shopping for toys…can you imagine?!  Every year I tell myself I’m going to try to cut down on the excess but my husband has a large family so the kids end up getting a lot of gifts.  They are so fortunate…but I want them to appreciate what they have and receive and it’s tough instilling that when there’s so much coming at them.

Last night I watched my twins eating dinner in their new pjs (Santa always brings pjs) and I couldn’t get over the cuteness.

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We still have a week to go before school resumes here and we are just taking it easy and hanging out.

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(Ice cream is always great…even when it’s rainy and freezing out like tonight!)

If you, like us, aren’t vacating, how are you occupying the kids during the school break?

Breezy Beach Walking

14 Apr

(Picture heavy post ahead!)

Have I ever mentioned how much I love the beach?

Have you ever done a visualization or meditation exercise where you picture yourself in a most peaceful place?  The beach is that place for me.  I love the ocean. I love the beach.  Before children I spent every summer weekend indulging in my peaceful place.

Now, I focus on relishing in our Florida vacations where we stay right on the beach.  We spend most of the day outside but every night after dinner I suggest a beach walk (especially a good thing to do after all the dining out and big meals).

climbing the rocks is a highlight of our walks

The scenery is amazing and I can’t get enough photos!

The beach is usually empty and ripe for shell searching.

It’s these walks that are my most cherished part of our vacation.

What are your simple, favorite vacation pleasures?

Hey We Were In Florida

13 Apr

We just got back from our annual trip to Florida…no not Disney but good old Boca Raton.

The kids were great on the plane, what a difference from past years.  They were so excited to arrive and indulged me by posing in this little set up in the airport while their dad was stuck grabbing our fifty bags.

My in-laws have an amazing, spacious ocean front condo that they reside in for half the year.  The view is so amazing that you don’t even need to leave the apartment to have your breath taken away.


But we really didn’t spend tons of time inside.  We had all sorts of plans to go here and there and see this and that.  Instead we spent 10 days frolicking in the pool and the gorgeous ocean.

The kids loved spending Easter in sunny Florida.  There were lots of other children visiting and one of our local friends (down in Florida at the same time) came out to see us one day too!

Is it even necessary for me to express how depressed I am being back home!!?

And, I haven’t kick-boxed in 2 weeks…I know I am going to be ravaged with pain when I get back to it this weekend!

Summer Vacation is Not a Vacation!

29 Jun

I love summer. I love the sun. So when I state that I’ve been at our town pool for the last 5 days you might think I live a life of leisure.

Wrong!!!!

Because I’ve been at the pool with one five-year old who wants to swim in the “big pool”, one five-year old who wants to be on the water slide, and one four-year old who can’t understand why she just can’t take off those bikini bottoms that won’t stay up!

 

Well, I did get to go get a manicure when my husband came home from work tonight, and you can see the color I chose!  (Okay just want to make sure you are seeing the name of the color:  NEED A VACATION)

How are you enjoying summer!?

Successful Travel With the Kids

23 Apr

We just completed our annual family vacation.  Last year I lamented about traveling with the kids and how it felt more like torture than vacation.  Sometimes I feel like I’m too negative so I am delighted to report that this year things were significantly smoother and my husband and I actually got a bit of relaxation.  I’ll tell you why.

First, the kids are older!  I’ve noticed that five seems to be a magical age in terms of maturity.  The twins are more receptive to bribes can be reasoned with to keep it together in planes and restaurants so it’s easier to manage the little one when and if she freaks out.  I have two 5 year olds and one almost 4-year-old now!!! Aside from hitting the bathroom every five minutes, and wiping noses constantly, I relish in the quietish moments I can snatch not dealing with things like bottles, pull ups, cups, diapers, extra clothes, etc.

But there’s still a lot to lug around with three little bodies, so it’s worthwhile to us to travel with the greatest double stroller ever (and don’t you doubt for a second that I didn’t research them all :)), our Double Baby Jogger City Series.  Yes it’s a  double stroller, but as you know, when you are a parent you become very resourceful so this stroller actually houses all 3 kids.

You know people clear out-of-the-way when they see us coming!  Once we check our bags we are good to go.  We get to the gate and let the kids roam.  It’s surprisingly no problem checking the stroller in right as we are boarding.

Though I have already stocked every provision imaginable, getting a 6 dollar bag of candy at the airport store seems to be the necessary incentive they need to be enthusiastic about being good on the plane.  And they are!

Some tricks that helped:

  • They each carried a backpack that held their special blankets, coloring books, crayons and snacks.
  • Their backpacks were stocked with a wrapped gift only to be opened once we were airborne.  I wrapped them just to draw out the whole experience.  The game of anticipation was fun for them.
  • They each had their own bags of snacks.
  • Prior to boarding I medicated them with decongestants and Tylenol as noses were running!
  • The twins had ear pain on the way there so on the way back I made sure they were all chewing gum or eating when we descended.

What are your tips for air travel with children?

Still Recovering From Vacation

3 Jun

I continue to be very interested in hearing tips on managing vacations with young kids…not that I am planning on going anywhere that requires travel ever again with this brood!

We did  a lot of fun things and really entertained them well all day long. 

First there was this incredible pool.

My MIL got the kids floaties which were fabulous.  They took to the pool better than ever before and you could see how liberating it was for them to “swim”  My husband and I were even able to not be in the pool while they swam which was a first ever.  Of course it was literally like 94 degrees everyday so we were in almost as much as the kids.

Luckily the place was pretty empty.  In the past, the elderly residents would shudder when they saw us approach!

Which reminds me of  the looks we got when we boarded the plane (we chose to board very last).  Each row we passed elicited sighs of relief from those passengers that considered themselves lucky not be seated next to us!

When we got tired of the pool it was just a short walk to the incredible beach.

We searched for shells, built sand castles and swam in the waves.

The water was awesome and brought back fond memories of my childhood beach excursions. 

We did some other things I want to mention for any of you that might be visiting the Boca Raton, FL area with kids.  (Because it took us a couple of visits to figure out good kid things in the area!)

The kids were so excited for our return to Gumbo Limbo.  They vividly remember our visit last year and were begging to go the moment we arrived in Florida.  While they loved looking at the sea life,

 

surprisingly the biggest thrill was climbing a 38 foot observation tower, which they each climbed not once, but twice (at their insistence)! 

Doing this in 94 degree weather was some feat but for sure something they will remember.

We were so lucky to stumble upon Sugar Sand Park.  Not only does it have a great science like playground but there’s also a carousel and children’s museum right in it!  If we lived in Florida we would be visiting weekly.  We were only sorry we didn’t find it earlier in the week.

So actually the vacation was pretty nice.  It was just that darn sleep thing.  Although they were tired, they insisted on bothering each other, jumping on their beds, etc, instead of passing out.  My babysitter seems to thinks that the fact that they are so close together in age, really like triplets, that they have developmental struggles and extra aggression which they let out (constantly!) on each other.  She’s so nice because she pretty much is telling me it’s not from terrible parenting!  I also have to remind myself that twins are not double work (not the greatest choice of words but I can’t think of a better one right now) but more like quadruple.

But I’m also really tired now, and that ‘s when I beat myself up the most, so things will probably look better in the morning.  Taking it easy this weekend (except for the usual birthday party—they are every weekend these days).  Hope you have a good one!

Okay Seriously, How Do You Vacation with Kids?

2 Jun

Most of my friends take 2 or 3 vacations a year, jetting off to Disney or wherever with their kids.  When they come back they look great and rave about the fun times.

Well we are not big vacationers, and we moved earlier this year so it’s been busy, but a few weeks ago we decided to go for it and travel to Florida for sun and beach at my in-laws lovely place.  We figured it would be great, just veg at the pool or beach (right outside the building) all day and wipe the kids out so they get that good ocean sleep.

We were gone a week, and this is basically the face I saw x3 every day.

I mean we truly had the most amazing sunny weather, a beautiful pool and lovely mostly private beach, but these kids found something to bitch and complain about every minute.  My in laws went out of their way to make everything comfy and wonderful for us and in return they were bombarded by whining and tantrums and noise starting at 5:30 a.m and going until 10 p.m.

We watched the sunrise almost everyday.

And this one was amazing.

That was our view…so beautiful.

My husband and I are deliriously exhausted from our vacation.  I know my in-laws think we are the worst parents ever as the kids were completely out of control.  The problem was that all 3 of them shared a room and they just kept each other up all night which resulted in them being sleep deprived which led to biting and tantrums and such.

How do families all stay together in one room at a hotel or something and get any sleep?

Nonetheless, I did get some great pictures (I’ll post some later) and I know we made good memories for the kids. 

The beach happens to be my favorite place in the world so I was deeply appreciative to snatch some quiet moments to myself outside.

I just wonder what we are doing wrong, or maybe I just need to remind myself that traveling with a 4-year-old, 4-year-old and 3-year-old is no easy task for anyone!

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