Wednesday, May 17, 2017

work and play in orlando! (october 2016)

Just a couple of days after Kevin's big exciting over-the hill b-day, we flew off to Orlando for a week of sun, fun, relaxation, and some innovative instruction (for K at least) at the Gartner Symposium ITXPO. 

It was nice to get away together!

And enjoy some cool Gartner events, like a private evening at Universal Orlando.

Where we were welcomed by all kinds of delicious food at a pre-opening party.

Scored some seriously reduced wait times at the Harry Potter World (and other rides/attractions).

And, just before the evening was finished, got a glimpse of some of our kids', and our own, favorite childhood figures.

While Kevin was enjoying his conference during the day, I got to do one of my absolute favorite things in the world!! Read outside by the pool in the warm sunshine. Okay, I did exercise and work a bit as well, but being poolside was definitely the best part!!

We were lucky enough to have an amazing mom-replacement at home with the kids while we were away. None other than the fantastic Aunt Heidi!! As a serious bonus, she came as a package deal with this very huggable little cutie. 

Our kids were in auntie and baby heaven. 

And we were so grateful to know that they were having a ton of fun and being so well cared for.

One day after K's sessions were over, we headed to Universal Studios again to see some more of the attractions in the daylight. It was a beautiful day, and there were some fun sights to greet us right from the entrance. 

It was so warm out when we arrived that our first couple of choices were water rides (hence my wet clothes).  After that we couldn't help but get a second glance at the very impressive wizarding world.

So many fun things to see and do! We did discover that we both get completely motion sick, so after a few simulation rides, decided to stick to alternative attractions and performances for the remainder of the day. The Jurassic Park dinosaur (that we just happened to stumble upon) ended up being one of our favorite activities. 

Before we knew it the day was over, and it was again time to enjoy the warm Orlando evening. 

On the day we were to fly home, we had some extra time (our flight wasn't until the evening) so milked our vacation for every last drop and ventured over for a partial day at Hollywood Studios.

The storm troopers were pretty cool!

As was the Indiana Jones show! Beauty and the Beast was pretty impressive as well.

We really enjoyed our meal at the unique Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater Restaurant.

Sadly, the line for Star Tours kept getting delayed, so for the sake of time we had to skip out on that one, but Kevin did have lots of other Star Wars features to transform him back to his 7-year-old self (Think 1983, Return of the Jedi). 

As vacations always go, our trip seemed to be over before it began. We were pretty excited to get back to our kiddos though!! One had even had her b-day while we were away. Luckily her church youth group (below right, "heart attack":) and of course Aunt Heidi made sure to spoil her while we were away!! 

Oh, and don't mind Kevin with his vacation-mode beard. It came off the day after our return;). Pretty handsome though, isn't he??;)

Great times!!

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