Thursday, October 23, 2008

Trip Overview

For my own records (you are welcome to read along) I am going to cover the highlights from our trip that I haven't yet written about. I have a terrible memory so I've got to get my thoughts down on paper or I am going to forget them!

On October 12th we left Phoenix and flew over to Orlando to make a two day stop over at Disney World. We hadn't ever been before and since the plane fare was the same with a two day layover we thought what the heck. I found a cheap hotel, but couldn't find a deal on Disney World tickets. Ouch were they a bit pricey, but we had a blast.

The first day we were able to hit two parks. We started out at Disney's Animal Kingdom which I thought had some really great features. Our favorite rides were the Safari (way cool) and the Everest Expedition a super duper fast roller coaster. Megan LOVES roller coasters so it was a blast to take her on all the scary rides especially this one.

I have to admit I was surprised with how hot it was still in Florida and I shouldn't have worn a shirt that needed an undershirt. I didn't repeat this mistake on day two.

Monday evening we scooted on over to Magic Kingdom for an after hours 'No So Scary Halloween Party.'

This worked out great because we were able to do a TON in one day, and Magic Kingdom wasn't very busy from 7-12pm so we were easily able to hit all the rides we wanted to multiple times. (We hit Space Mountain 3 times and Buzz Lightyear 4 or 5 times.) We also got our faces painted for FREE...something Megan had been dying to do all day long and had been willing to pay $15. She was so glad she waited for the Halloween Party and got it for FREE.

After 14 hours at the park we were tired, but had been having the time of our life!

Day two at Disney World we went to Disney's Hollywood Studios. It is similar to California Adventures. We had a great time hit lots of ride, but we didn't take our camera. Day two was all about hitting the rides. Some of the highlights were Megan getting selected to do the Jedi training by Star Tours, going on Tower of Terror two times in a row, experiencing 0 to 60 in 2.something seconds on the Rocking Roller Coaster, and just hanging out all day together. I felt so footloose and fancy free with only the two older life at the park was relaxed, kicked back, and easy.

On Wednesday we were scheduled to fly out to Puerto Rico, and of course we had a scare with a hurricane coming right by PR. Luckily it didn't hit PR and we were able to get there no problem. Scott's parents however we visiting some islands in their mission and got stranded for an extra day trying to get a flight back to PR. We actually ended up beating them home and hung out with Tenery the first night. She is awesome!! Jarom of course didn't wast a moment, and started searching for bugs right away.

The first thing he caught was a millipede and he was delighted. He also caught his first Coqui Frog and was thrilled. After that Jarom showed off his lean mean machine body to us all, and followed that up by raiding a package filled with candy that Emily had sent the family. He made sure we all knew that he could use the extra fat and calories so there was no need to limit his candy intake. What a hoot! That boy is to smart for his own britches.

Thursday morning Susan and Stan arrived and we were SO EXCITED to see them! It didn't take long before Megan was at Grandma's side helping her with whatever task she was doing. Here Megan is helping Grandma sort some of the missionaries mail. That girl is such a helper!

Later on Thursday we went over to El Morro and took a little tour of the Spanish's strong fort built in the 1500's I think. It was very impressive!

Friday we hung out at the beach all day long. We went over by where all the fancy hotels are, and ended up on The Ritz Carlton's beach. It was great! We sat in their comfy beach lounge chairs, rented boogie boards and surf boards...flew a kite, and basically had a blast. Unfortunately we didn't use enough sunscreen and we all ended up getting a bit burned. I guess that is the price you pay for hanging out on the beach all day!

Saturday we headed over to El Yunki (the rain forest) and did a little exploring. We all loved it and wished we could have had more time to spend there.

After the rain forest we headed over to Fajardi for a kayak ride in the Bio Bay. It was simply amazing! We paddled over to a bay and were able to experience first hand some tiny little creatures that use a type of luminescence as a defense mechanism. When you put your hand in the water it would glow. The wake of the kayak would glow, fish swimming in the water glowed, everything glowed. WOW! I'll never forget that. It was really dark and Megan got a little spooked, but as a whole everyone had a blast seeing something so unique!

Sunday we went to church nearby with Grandma, Grandpa, and Tenery. The entire 3 hours were in Spanish and boy did I wish I could understand more of what they were saying. I am determined to learn how to speak Spanish!! I would love to go back and visit again before their mission is over, but this time I'd like to make more of an effort to learn Spanish before we got!!! Sunday was also Jarom's birthday which I have already written about.

Monday we did a ton of exploring and finished the off with a horse ride on the beach, but I've already written all about that day previously. So I won't go into more detail than that.

Tuesday was our only full day with the Blackhursts who had arrived Monday evening. We decided it would be the perfect day to take the ferry to another island of PR Culebra...and this island was amazing!

The ferry left at 9am and we had to be there at 8am and it took about an hour to get there from Grandma's house so we ended up getting up around 5:30 and getting out the door by 6:30ish. It was an early early morning!

After arriving at Culebra we hopped on a shuttle bus that took us over to two of the most amazing beaches ever. First though we stopped and got some Pinchos a popular PR treat. Basically its meat on a stick. It was pretty tasty. Here we are all holding up our Pinchos. Cheers!

After changing into our swimsuits we started off on a 20 minute hike (and it was a hike) over to an amazing snorkeling and exploring beach.

It was an adventure to be sure! We all had a great time, but I think the boys had the best time of all hunting for treasures along the beach. Jarom found a bunch of sea crabs, shells, coral, sponges, etc... He was in heaven.

Grandpa even joined in the fun! What a great sport!!!!

Megan spent most of her time looking for shells and playing with Eliza in the water. She also really enjoyed going out with Scott and snorkling.

Denny and Scott went snorkeling all over the bay we were in. There was a coral reef along the bay, and it provided some great snorkeling spots. I had a blast checking out all the fish!!

After we were done at the snorkling beach we headed over to the most AMAZING INCREDIBLE fairytale beach. There were hardly any waves, the sand was like find powder, the water was almost tourquoise not to mention the perfect temperature. Talk about unreal.

Before we were ready to leave it came time for the shuttle bus to pick us up so we could take the last ferry back to PR. I hesitantly left the beach of paradise and headed back to the ferry. But I'd love to go back there someday. It was perfect!!

On the way home Jarom and Brigham had a great time hanging out on the ferry. They were so hyped up from a day at the beach that they could hardly keep themselves still the whole hour and half it took us to get back to the main island. What great little buddies.

{hanging out at Grandma's house}

The kids loved hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa again. One morning they helped Grandma make pancakes and were so excited to be big helpers.

Grandma gave Megan a big coloring book to draw in. It had both Spanish and English words in it and Megan had fun working on coloring it just so.

Its no surprise that the backyard was Jarom's favorite place at Grandma and Grandpa's house. We all got a good laugh when he decided to climb the bamboo tree. I just love his energy and exploring nature.

{Back to Reality}
I think I've now covered most of the highlights of the trip which is a huge relief! I have to admit it was bitter sweet to leave Puerto Rico on Wednesday the 22nd. I loved the strength and inspiration I felt when I was around Scott's parents. They are such wonderful people who I love and admire so much. Its been strange having them gone for so long, and seeing them again was comforting and exciting. However since we didn't take our whole crew it was so great to get home and see all the little kiddos again. They are such amazing children, but I have to admit after only having two kids for the last 10 days I was in a bit of shock trying to get back into the mode of a mom of 6. I am sure by Saturday I'll be back in full swing and ready to conqure the world. As of right now I am in survival mode trying to recover from the trip and figure out how to be a happy inspiring mom to all my little ones. Today I did okay, but I could have done much better.

I am so blessed to have such amazing children, and hope I can live up to the enormous responsibility I have to raise them right.

Here's to reality and figuring out how to cope again!!

1 comment:

katie said...

Looks and sounds like a BLAST of a trip. So glad you guys could go and take Jarom and Megan. They will never forget it.