Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Schwartz's vs "Ohana"

I have a strict no travel with a baby policy that was put into place, you guessed it, when Cody was a baby.  Just kidding, I didn't really like to travel when Sarah was a baby.  It's just too stressful for me.  So I did not want to drive 16 hours to Florida to visit my parents.  Thankfully my husband knows me well and really pushed for us to go because he knew I'd regret it if we didn't.

My parents are leaving at the end of July to serve a mission for 18 months in Bangkok, Thailand.  Thailand!  For 18 months!  That means, when they get back, Sarah will be 6 and half way through her first year of kindergarten.  Cody will be the age now that Sarah currently is.  And Charlie with be almost 2 so he'll be walking and if he trends like my other kids talking a lot.  Charlie will only know my parents via Facetime for the first 2 years of his life.  It bums me out a little to think about their mission in those terms.  

Thankfully, my kids are quite use to Facetiming with their grandparents.  We did it from time to time when they lived in AR.  But once they moved to Florida a weekly tradition of facetiming them just sort of happened.  So every Sunday before family movie time we call the folks for a little video chat.  The kids mostly use it to play show and tell but at least they are seeing and talking with my parents.  And since mission rules are different for couples then the young kids that serve, we will still get to do our weekly video chats.  

Anyway, I digressed there.  So Chris convinced me to brave the trip and we headed to Lakeland to spend a week with my parents before they left.  It was a nice relaxing visit.  We spent a lot of time just chatting and hanging out.  My parents have a new hobby and took up dominos with a group of people from church so they borrowed the set and taught Chris and I how to play Mexican train.  Then Chris taught us how to play Chicken foot (that game took 2 nights to finish!). 

And of course we played plenty of Oh Heck.  (No picture necessary.)

Mom read lots of books to the kids.  They were particularly fond of Dick and Jane and Vampires.

Mom gave me the run down of what to do if they die or something.  You know, standard things to worry about when you are traveling and living overseas for a year and a half.  She took me to the storage unit so I'd know where it was.  That was a little depressing seeing your parents lives packed up into a storage unit.  

So since Lakeland is only 45 minutes or so from Orlando we decided to take a day trip over and do some sight seeing and of course hit Disney with the grandparents.  Just a nice fun memory for my kids before they leave.  And here's my free Disney tip.  If you want to do something Disney-ish that doesn't involve going to the park, have a character brunch at one of the resorts.  Your kids get to meet characters.  The food is always great.  And you can ride the monorail for free and for fun. So that's what we did with my folks for one last fun outting with the Grandparents.  We went to the Polynesian Resort to have brunch at Ohana.  It was awesome!

Ohana was a family style buffet so the food comes to you and it was so yummy.  I'm normally not a juice drinker but whatever the juice was they served there I drank at least a gallon.  And the eggs were so fluffy and the potatoes had a little salty sweetness going on.  I seriously could have gained 10 pounds there.  To. Die. For. 

Plus, Cody got to see Mickey Mouse which was his big request.

Charlie was less than impressed with Mickey.

Lilo also stopped by the table.

And they met Stitch

We had a great breakfast.  Plus the resort is beautiful so after breakfast we walked around the gardens and looked at the different picture cut outs and tiki statues. 

The Polynesian Resort is on the monorail line, so after we were done exploring the grounds we hopped on the monorail and rode the loop.  Hey free scenic train ride, my kids loved it.

Then we went and walked around Downtown Disney for a bit to go to the big lego store.  Unfortunately there is a ton of construction going on at Downtown Disney while they rework and make it Disney Springs or something like that.  Not sure.  But the Lego store was amazing.

After downtown Disney we headed to the Orlando Temple to go to the Distribution Center.  Sarah went inside but Cody was passed out in the car so I stayed with him.

Busy morning wore Cody out.  Poor little dude.

Then we rounded out our day trip to Orlando with a trip to Costco.  We have a membership so we took the folks so they could buy 18 months of vitamins and razors and other things they'll need that cost more over in Thailand.  If their mission didn't seem imminent and real before, watching them buy a hoarder's amount of vitamin C and men's and women's daily vitamins definitely put how long they'll be gone into perspective.  

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