Gulf State Park 2019

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JKLMN on the road again!

JKLMN is on the road again! Today we left Hot Springs for one last summer adventure before school starts in 2 weeks. We are on our way to stay at Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores, Alabama. This is a trip we’ve been wanting to take for a while. We all love the beach but we’ve always stayed in condos. Johnny has been looking at and researching RV parks on the beach for several years and this one is at the top of his list.

We have not had a chance to go on a “family vacation” yet this summer since Johnny, Kira and Logan went on a mission trip to Croatia and Macy and Noah went to the beach with Nanny & Papa. So, we decided at the last minute to book a site and head to the Gulf. Here we go!!!

Sathurday, July 27, 2019

We left out a lot later today than we would normally leave for a road trip. Our normal schedule is to try to be on the road at daylight. However, this time we didn’t leave until around 2pm. Macy had a birthday party to go to. She has been talking about going to this friend’s party since May so there was no way we were going to mess that up with this last-minute trip we scheduled.

The week leading up to this trip has put several obstacles in our path, most notably that Johnny’s truck decided to have all it’s service engine lights come on. Thank goodness the dealership was able to quickly diagnose the problem and make the repair (and all under warranty, thank goodness). So, today when we went to leave and his truck wouldn’t start we were just a bit peeved. Thank goodness we quickly figured out that someone had left the key on all morning and it had just drained the battery so a quick jump start and we were back in action.

Today we traveled only around 4 hours, 250 miles. Travel was uneventful, other than Noah’s bladder seems to have shrunk over this past year. Potty breaks are not your friend when you travel with an RV. We are currently parked at Ameristar RV Park in Vicksburg, MS. We’ll be up early tomorrow ready to hit the road and get to the sand and waves.

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Ameristar RV Park in Vicksburg, MS

 

Sunday, July 28, 2019

What a day! We started it early this morning in Vicksburg, MS and ended it looking at the beautiful waters of the Gulf of Mexico in Gulf Shores, AL.

We packed up and were pulling out of our site in Vicksburg by 7:30 am. We are not ones to dilly dally. Once we are up, its time to load up and hit the road. Thankfully it was an easy day of travel, no issues at all.

Our fun started when we got to Mobile, AL. We told the kids we had a surprise for them. We have driven by the USS Alabama Battleship multiple times but we’ve never been able to stop. Today, we pulled on in. The boys were super excited, Macy not so much. It was definitely worth the stop. Johnny and I had not been since we were each teenagers so it was like new to us too. If you are ever in the area, it’s worth stopping. You can see as little or as much as you want. We just toured the battleship today as we only had about 2 hours to spend there. There is also an aviation museum, a submarine and multiple aircraft scattered on the lawns for viewing.

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USS Alabama Battleship

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Once we finished our tour of the battleship it was time to drive our final stretch into Gulf Shores. We spent the afternoon getting our camper & site set up, unloading the truck and then exploring the park. We even took a bike ride all the way to the Gulf State Park fishing pier and watched people fishing for sharks. We didn’t know it until we got here but its Shark Week!

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All setup and ready for the week!
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About to walk onto the Pier

We are now settled in for the night. The kids all crashed as soon as their heads hit the pillow. Tomorrow…BEACH DAY!

Monday, July 29, 2019

Today was Beach Day!

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One of the things we are discovering that we love about Gulf State Park is the variety of things to do. There are miles and miles of walking/biking trails, a Nature Center, Pool, sports courts & of course the beach. Today we decided we wanted to start our week at the beach. Included with our campground stay is free access to the beachfront here at the park. It was a beautiful day to soak up the sun. We spent almost 6 hours playing in the sand and waves, reading in our lounge chairs and Johnny & Logan got in a nap or two.

We left the beach around 4pm and headed back to camp to clean up and get ready for dinner. Tonight we chose to go out and enjoy one of Gulf Shores classics, The Hangout. It has a live band playing, lots of games going on for kids, a big playground and of course food. Noah made friends at the foosball table, Logan enjoyed listening to the band and Macy got a new hair wrap.

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We finished off the night checking out a couple of the dozens of souvenir shops. We have started a tradition of getting a sticker and a magnet for the camper from every place we visit. Of course, the kids had to pick up a few fun things too, including an alligator head that Noah insisted his daddy needed!!

Overall, it has been a fantastic day. Once again everyone is exhausted but they have all gone to sleep with a smile on their faces.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Johnny started out today with a 6.5-mile run. As he said on his Instagram post “Epic morning run! Saw plenty of rabbits, birds, swallowed about 1,000 mosquitoes, and even saw an alligator!!!” Yep, he saw an alligator but he definitely enjoyed his run. Gulf State Park offers some fantastic running and biking trails. There are so many to see, we haven’t even touched the surface of them. I was supposed to get up and go with him but I wasn’t feeling well (more on that later…).

 

Our first item on the agenda for the day (after JB’s run) was an interpretive beach walk with one of the park rangers from Alabama State Parks. It all started out ok but then it took an interesting turn really quickly. I had not been feeling well at all. I was up most of the night with some terrible heartburn. It just continued as the day started. I was popping antacids like crazy. I just figured it was the super spicy sauce I had eaten at dinner the night before. As we were walking along the beach I started feeling very achy, then very nauseous and light-headed. I remember handing the camera to Logan, then walking to Johnny and saying “I feel like I’m going to pass out”. Well, apparently I did pass out because the next thing I remember was waking up laying in the sand with Johnny holding my head. Needless to say, EMTs were called in and I had to be checked out. We figured out that I was actually dehydrated. I’ve never experienced true dehydration, it was awful. When I look back on the last few days I’ve realized that I was drinking maybe half of the amount of water that I normally drink. Then I’ve been outside in the sun and doing a lot of physical activity. It all just came to a head this morning. I didn’t let them take me to the hospital, instead, we came back to the camper and I started drinking what felt like gallons of Gatorade and water. After resting and a couple of naps I felt like myself again. I gave Johnny and the kids a pretty good scare, I never want that to happen again.

Tonight we grilled some burgers and chilled for a while at camp. Then we did some geocaching. Johnny even risked life and limb to find one. Geocaching is so much fun, it’s basically a treasure hunt on your phone. The kids were ready to give up on one but Johnny was determined to find it and he was successful!!

 

We finished our night hanging out at the pool. We all needed a good swim and they were doing a movie night. The kids got to float in the pool while watching Shark Tale. It was a nice, calm, relaxing evening.

 

 

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

We have had another fun day here in Gulf Shores. We started the day with a 6.61-mile bike ride around some trails here at our campground. I don’t want to sugar-coat this, taking 3 siblings on a 6-mile bike ride has its challenges. Noah has been begging to go on a “long bike ride” all week. He was so excited and ready to get moving.  It only took about a mile for him to decide it was hot, his legs and arms hurt and he wanted to stop for a drink about every 5 minutes. Johnny and I just took turns in the back of the pack with him. Not only did he want multiple water breaks but every time he saw something that caught his eye he wanted to stop and explore. It was hard to keep him moving. Macy and Logan on the other hand just wanted to fight with each other. We had already put Macy in a bad mood by making her wear a helmet for the ride. She was embarrassed and didn’t want anyone to see her face. Logan, of course, picked up on her mood and chose this time to start picking on her. From that point on the fight was on. There were times on the ride they were literally playing bumper cars with their bikes. Thankfully, by the end of the ride, they were tired of waiting on us trying to keep Noah moving so they teamed up with each other and started navigating the trail together by themselves. Overall it was a fun ride. Hopefully, before we leave we can do the other big loop around the lakes here.

We headed out to the beach around 11am, after our bike ride. I personally love the beach days. Sitting in a chair, listening to the waves crash on the shore is the most relaxing sound to me. We spent most of the day at the beach. Noah built the “Great Wall of China”, the rest of us read our books and relaxed.

This evening I made everyone get dressed up to head out for the dreaded beach pictures.  Picture day has never been anyone in my family’s favorite time, much less beach pictures when you are trying to capture the light at just the right time. I can say, though, that tonight was probably the best my family has ever acted during pictures. Everyone was ready to get in position when we said move, they smiled, laughed and even got along with each other. The end result was some amazing family pictures.

Tomorrow is our last full day here. We haven’t yet decided exactly how to spend the day but I’m sure we’ll make the most of it.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

We had a day packed with sun and fun today. We started our morning with a 9-mile bike ride. Yep, 6 miles was not enough yesterday so we had to go further today. This time we went the opposite way and did a loop around the big lake, then over to the fishing pier to check out the Shark Week activities. The kids did fantastic, only a few complaints but mostly just enjoyed the ride. We have now biked most of the trails here at Gulf State Park. There are a few smaller shoots off the big loops that we missed but we did all the major trails.

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Bike riding may have worn us out for a short time but after some rest and showers, we were ready to tackle the next part of our day. We headed out for a late lunch/early dinner at the FloraBama Ole River Grill. The food was fantastic (way better than The Hangout) and it was neat seeing a place that is such a major part of the culture at the Gulf Beaches.  Once we finished eating we drove on to Pensacola, FL to watch a Pensacola Blue Wahoos minor league baseball game. The team says they have the “Best View in Baseball” and I would have to agree. Their stadium sits right on the bay in Pensacola. It is a gorgeous view and you get a wonderful breeze coming off the water. We all had so much fun at the game. We love watching baseball and there is just something about the smallness of minor league games that I truly enjoy. Logan spent the evening asking questions about the hierarchy of making it from the minors to the majors. Macy spent the evening analyzing what plays she should make as a 3rd baseman during each at-bat. Noah was there for the snacks and souvenirs, LOL!

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We cheered the Blue Wahoos on to a win then made the hour-long drive back to our campground. Tomorrow we pack up and head back home.

Friday, August 2, 2019

Well, we are packed up and driving home. We were all sad to leave behind our carefree week of outdoor fun but the real world is calling and we have to go home. The kids start open houses and band practices next week and then school starts the week after. Here we go, back to the daily grind. I am so glad we had the chance to take this one last trip before our busy schedules keep us running again.

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Packed up and ready to make the drive home.

Spring Break 2019

Lake Ouachita State Park

JKLMN is spending Spring Break 2019 camping at Lake Ouachita State Park. We are literally within a 30-minute drive to home. Living in Hot Springs means we are only a short drive away from many, many fantastic camping spots. Actually, people drive here for a vacation from all the surrounding states. We are blessed to have this right here in our own backyard.

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We have not camped at Lake Ouachita State Park in at least 20 years. I actually believe the last time we camped here was when JB and I were just dating. We camp most often at the Core of Engineer parks on the other side of the lake, most often at Brady Mountain. The State Park campground here has recently been renovated and it is now one of the nicer ones on the lake. We thought it was about time we spent a week here.

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20+ years after our first camping trip together to Lake Ouachita State Park

Saturday, March 16, 2019

We have NO PLANS for the week. We want to fish, hike, bike, read, watch the fire…just relax in general. Today we managed to do all of this.

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My plan for the week, relax & read.

I started the day with a 3-mile run exploring the campground. It was a slow, cold run but I felt good after. The minute Logan woke up he went straight to the bank of the lake and started fishing. I don’t think we’ll see much of him this week, he’ll spend the entire week fishing.  About mid-morning we decided to take a ride on the boat to do a little fishing along some other banks. Fishing with JKLMN is always interesting We didn’t catch any fish but we did catch the boat, the fishing tackle bag, and a buoy.

 

Nanny and Papa joined us for the afternoon. Once they arrived we headed off for a hike. We hiked the 4 mile Caddo Bend Trail. It was definitely an adventure. The scenery is beautiful. I love hiking along the lake. Macy and Nanny spent the ENTIRE 4 miles complaining but they made it. Logan, Noah and their friend Cannon ran way ahead of us for most of the hike . They were having fun checking out dead trees, rocks and sticks. We were all exhausted when we finished but we made it!

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Johnny and Logan spent the evening out on the boat fishing. Macy, Noah and I spent the evening reading and watching the fire. I think we will all sleep well tonight.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY and Happy 12th Anniversary to my sister and her husband!!!!

Today has been a beautiful day. The weather so far has been fantastic, sunny, not too hot and not too cold…just right. My parents, sister and her 2 kids came up to visit us today. One thing that is great about vacationing close to home is that all our family can come to spend time with us.

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Look at these love birds!

We played a mean game of Uno (Memaw rigged it for our nephew Carter to win, LOL), then tried some fishing. Let me tell you, fishing with 4 kids under the age of 9 is an adventure. I’m not sure there was any real fishing going on. Johnny and Big Daddy spent most of their time untangling lines. Thank goodness the kids grew bored with fishing fairly quickly. We spent the rest of the afternoon grilling burgers and chilling by the campfire. Good food and family makes for a great afternoon.

Johnny, the kids and I finished the evening exploring the lake looking for the perfect island for the boys’ “Survival Challenge”. We’ll keep you posted on how that goes. Then we read by the campfire for a while before bed.

Monday, March 18, 2019

I feel like this morning was ages ago. We have done so much today. I finally managed to get my lazy bones out of the bed around 8am, by that time Johnny had already been up for a couple of hours and enjoyed watching the sunrise. We started the morning with a delicious breakfast of eggs and bacon. Let me just say, breakfast on the lake is always MUCH better than breakfast at home. There is something about cooking outside, drinking a cup of coffee and listening to the peaceful sounds of nature waking up.

We finished breakfast, cleaned up and then had to make a quick trip into town. We were running low on a few supplies (milk & firewood) so we decided to get that trip out of the way. A few stops later and we were back at camp ready for action.

Johnny and I started the afternoon with a little run. He kicks my booty every time, even though I run 2-3 times a week and he only runs a few times a month. Once we finished our runs it was time for some geocaching!

Geocaching is a real-life treasure hunt. There is an App you can use that tells you where all the cache’s are in your area and it gives you clues on how to find them. Macy started out not very happy about being forced out of the hammock and onto her bike but by the time we found the last cache, she was having a good time. We found 5 today in all. We’re hoping to find some more when we do another hike in the next day or so.

Tonight I am exhausted. We’ve had our dinner (grilled pork chops, YUM), relaxed by the fire and had our showers. I think now it’s time for reading in bed until I fall asleep with the book on my face.

Goodnight!

The rest of the week…

Well, here I am 4 months later finishing this blog. I guess we were having so much fun the remainder of the week, or I was just too tired, that I never finished writing about the week’s events. Here are some things I can remember.

  • We did more biking, hiking, and boat riding
  • The kids found large limbs to use to make walking sticks. Giving the kids an ax & machete to do their work was scary but they’ve got to learn to be independent.
  • The boys did their “Survival Challenge” on an island along with our friend Jason Vincent and his son Cannon. They had tons of fun and Noah is asking to do another one.
  • Macy and I threw the softball ALOT!
  • We all learned how to play dominoes.
  • The week was so much fun and a great break to reenergize us to finish the school year.

We already have reservations to do it again next Spring Break!

Christmas Break Mini-Vaca

 

Thursday, December 27, 2018, 5:30 pm

JKLMN is on the road again!! We made it through the last few days of school, which were full of tests, basketball, choir and band concerts. Then we made it through Christmas, which although is very enjoyable is also very stressful and busy. As we were finishing up our Christmas celebrations with family Johnny said, “Why not make a quick trip to Branson?”. Well, we couldn’t think of one good reason not to. The weather looked to be beautiful, Kira had 7 more days left of vacation, the kids had already had WAY too much screen time and Branson is only a short 5-hour drive away. So, why not???

We spent Wednesday cleaning up, washing clothes, putting away the Christmas decorations and packing the rig. It was supposed to storm overnight and into the morning today so we did not plan on leaving too early. Instead, we spent the morning relaxing, drinking coffee and taking care of those last minute chores you have to do before heading out of town.

We left this morning at around 9:30 and we were very grateful for an uneventful, beautiful drive to Branson. We even took off and drove up with NO RESERVATIONS! That in itself is unusual for us, we are normally “planners”. Of course, this whole trip was spontaneous so why not continue it. We had looked at some options and knew we’d have plenty to choose from. We are now parked at America’s Best Campground here in Branson, MO and so far it seems like a really nice place. (Even better since they are in their winter pricing at only $25/night!!)

No RV trip would be complete without at least one mishap though. We arrived, starting setting up and JB walked around the corner of the camper with a look on his face that told all of us something was wrong. Guess what we forgot….our electrical cord! UGH! Inconvenient, yes, trip-ruining, no thank goodness. We quickly got on the phone and found an RV parts store nearby and within 30 min we were back on track.

Tonight, once we got set up, we made a delicious dinner of spaghetti. That is another perk of RV life, you pull your kitchen with. Rather than spending $50+ on dinner for a family of 5, we were able to throw together a simple meal for under $15 for all of us.

We are now getting ready to go see “Samson” at the Sights and Sounds Theater. More updates to come….

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We’re all excited to see Samson!

“Samson” is an amazing show. We would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a good show to see in Branson. It was good enough that Noah’s reaction after it ended was “Can we come to see this every night???”.  We haven’t done anything else this evening. Honestly, it was almost a 3-hour show so that doesn’t leave a lot of time for exploring the town. We are all now happy to be back in our cozy camper and ready to settle in for a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow, Silver Dollar City!

Friday, December 28, 2018, 9:00 pm

SDC

What a day! We have had so much fun but it was COLD!!! We started the day by making a good breakfast of biscuits and gravy and with the kids riding bikes around the campground.  We then bundled up and made our way to Silver Dollar City. Again, it was COLD!!! I don’t think the temperature rose above 33 degrees today. That meant that none of the roller coasters were running. We didn’t let that spoil our fun though. There are plenty of things at SDC to keep you busy. The lights in the park during this time of year are beautiful. We also spent time shopping and watching shows. At the end of the night we had had such a great time that we went ahead and upgraded our tickets to season passes. As an RV Trip, this is a very easy pull for a long weekend so we plan on coming back this coming year.

Now, let me also tell you that even though we had a great time, don’t think that it was perfect. Having 3 kids means constant bickering amongst them which in turn leads to a pretty irritable mom and dad at times. If we heard “I want” or “that’s not fair” one more time one of us might have lost our minds. We also had to deal with a sullen teenager who has decided he doesn’t like pictures and who was disappointed in not getting to ride any roller coasters. That’s just life with kids though.

Again, RV trips are not complete without some hiccups. Tonight we came back to a very cold camper. Turns out our heater is having some kind of issue and is turning itself off before getting the camper warm. Thank goodness we do have 2 radiator heaters in here and they do a decent job of keeping the chill out. We may not be nice & cozy tonight but with a few layers of blankets, we should be just fine…maybe. It’s only going to get to 22 degrees tonight. Oh boy…..

 

Saturday, December 29, 2018, 9:42 pm

We survived the night! It actually wasn’t bad at all. The 2 radiator heaters have done a nice job of keeping the camper warm. We’ve had them going all day and it actually got a bit too warm in here by this evening. Our normal heater is still not working, that means a trip to the RV shop when we get back to town.

There is something to be said about a spur of the moment getaway. We are normally planners and have every moment of our time planned out. We have not done that on this trip. We got up this morning and just said: “So what do you want to do today?”. That led us to meeting up with some friends who had also came up on a quick vacation. Our kids hung out together for an hour or so and had a blast. Once we left their condo we drove to Table Rock State Park to check out a bike trail. We are so glad we brought our bikes with us. We spent a couple of hours riding the Table Rock Lake trail which took us around a part of the lake and let us see some of the beautiful scenery around the lake. Granted, Macy and Noah were not thrilled about the entire ride but they survived.

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The bike ride took up most of our afternoon. Once we finished it we found a place for a late lunch/early dinner. We needed a good place to fill our bellies and warm up our bodies after riding in below freezing temps for 2 hours.

We finished our night with a family game night here at the camper. We had a heated game of Uno, then Skippity, then Noah & Mom ended the night with Battleship.

Overall, we have had a fantastic day. Our original plan was to drive home tomorrow but now we’ve decided to stay one more day. We are going to go to Springfield tomorrow to visit Bass Pro Shop. For now, we are settling in for a good night’s sleep.

Sunday, December 30, 2018, 6:39 pm

Bass Pro

We finished out our mini-vaca with a trip to the Bass Pro Shops and the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, MO. If you are ever in the area it is definitely worth the trip. Of course, we’ve been visiting Bass Pro Shops for years and have seen it transform several times. This is by far my favorite transformation yet. We chose to not visit the Wildlife Museum and instead took our time in the Aquarium. The kids loved it. They got to see everything from bass to sharks to alligators to Black Bear. It is a little pricey to go in but you do get a lot for your money.  We also walked around the actual Outdoor Store where Logan found another knife to add to his growing knife collection.

We finished up in Springfield around 3:30 this afternoon. We decided to take it easy tonight and hang out at the campground. It is actually raining tonight so it was a good time to make a big pot of Taco Soup for supper and let everyone unwind before our trip home tomorrow.

Overall, this has been a fun and exciting, spur of the moment trip. Yes, we’ve had a few camper problems and yes the kids have done their fair share of fighting and whining but we wouldn’t trade it for anything. Tomorrow morning we get to go back home and get ready to go back to the “real world”.

ENJOY THE JOURNEY!

JKLMN take on Disney….Part 6

Saturday, May 27, 2017, 9:27 pm…Punkin Lakeside RV Park, Hammond, LA

Goodbye Walt Disney World!!! Sadly, today we had to say goodbye to Fort Wilderness and Walt Disney World. I can truly say that we have had a magical time while in Orlando.

As a first time Disney-goer here are some things I have learned:

  1. Do not try to do 7 days in a row in the parks. I know you want to try to fit it all in but 7 days in a row is hard, both on the parents and the kids. In our case I had us scheduled to go, go, go from the time we arrived until the time we left. Everyone in our party was begging for a break about mid-week. We finally took that break on Friday, the last day there. Staying at Fort Wilderness meant that we had a whole extra “park” to explore. There were pool parties, carriage rides, horse back riding, campfire sing-a-longs, outdoor movies, biking, beaches, playgrounds etc. Basically, staying at the Fort can be an event in itself. My kids were grateful for the chance to hang around and enjoy these things on their last day.
  2. We definitely got our money’s worth out of the dining plan. Remember, every meal in Disney is expensive, it is a theme park after all. It was great to be able to enjoy the dining experiences (and they were experiences) without worrying about how much it was going to cost. Honestly, my kids were so excited that we were eating out and I was letting them order something other than water to drink. 🙂
  3. Take advantage of your dining plan snacks. Honestly, you end up with more than you will ever be able to use so don’t hesitate to buy the ice cream or slushy when the kids ask for it. Also, remember that at the end of the trip you can go to the gift shop and load up on Disney themed snacks to give as souvenirs if you have snack credits left (and every quick service meal you don’t use can be converted over to 3 snacks).
  4. Florida is hot and humid, deal with it.
  5. Fast-passes are a MUST and you should be purposeful in how you schedule them. Schedule all of your fast-passes in the mornings if you plan on staying at the park all day. You can pre-schedule up to 3/day. Then once you use your last one you can schedule another one and so on. I read this a hundred times but still forgot and had ours spread out all day. This meant that we didn’t take full advantage of the system.
  6. Don’t expect your kids to be happy all the time. They are going to get tired, hungry, hot and on and on and on.
  7. The fireworks at Magic Kingdom (and Hollywood Studios for that matter) are a must see. Yes, you will have to fight huge crowds but it is worth it. The fireworks are mesmerizing.
  8. I know I’ve said it before but…schedule down time.
  9. Figure out the transportation system early on. I had read up on some of it before we arrived but honestly, I’m directionally challenged. Thankfully, my hubby is not and he quickly figured out the best ways for us to get to every location.
  10. I’m a mom, I like princesses. I have a daughter, she likes princesses. Our Disney planner (use one!) has 3 daughters, they like princesses. By the end of our trip, my husband was begging me not to take him and the boys to yet ANOTHER princess dinner or meet & greet. I say this to say, make sure you schedule things for your whole family. My boys would have enjoyed more “boy stuff”.
  11. Finally, like I briefly mentioned above, use a Disney travel planner. Ours came highly recommended from a lot of friends and she walked us through everything. She answered all of my silly questions, made our reservations, then made our dining reservations at 180 days out. She also made a few of our fast-pass reservations at the last minute because I had messed some up. Then, once we got to Orlando I kept texting her questions that she quickly answered for me. If you have a good Disney planner, your trip will go much more smoothly.

I’m sure I’ll remember more tips for a first-timer but for now, this is what has been on my mind.

As for travel, thankfully today has been an uneventful travel day. We were on the road for about 13 hours before we decided to stop. Unfortunately the RV park we have  ended up in seems a bit “shady” but it will work for a good nights sleep. We should be rolling into Hot Springs sometime tomorrow evening.

Good night all!

 

JKLMN take on Disney…Part 5

Thursday, May 25, 2017, 10:01 pm…Fort Wilderness Campground

Wow, what a busy last two days! We spent yesterday and today in the Magic Kingdom. There is so much to see and do there that it really does take 2-3 days to see/do it all. I can say that by the end of today, I feel like we have made the most of our trip. We even watched the fireworks show in Magic Kingdom again tonight. Let me say, I could probably watch that show every night and it would not get old.

Right now I have to do a “review” of Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom. The day I told my kids we were going to Disney, Logan immediately started begging me to get reservations at Be Our Guest. Somehow our travel agent came through and managed to snag us a table (thank you Jennifer!). It was FANTASTIC! The food was probably my favorite of all the meals we’ve had here (and that is hard to say because I haven’t had a bad meal yet) and the atmosphere is amazing. You truly feel like you are in a castle. The icing on the cake is that you get to meet the Beast. Be Our Guest is the only place in Disney where you can meet the Beast. The kids just loved it, and so did I. Then to end the night we got to have some of “The Grey Stuff”. If you don’t know what that is you need to brush up on your Disney movies and go watch Beauty and the Beat again. I can say it was delicious (just ask the dishes).  If anyone reading this is planning a Disney trip, put Be Our Guest at the top of your must do experiences.

The question now is, do we go to a park tomorrow or do we take the day off and play at the campground on our last day here. The kids are begging to swim and ride bikes all day. Honestly, I think that is a fantastic idea myself. Johnny is leaning towards one more day in Epcot, though he is tired himself and has to drive for two days straight Saturday and Sunday. I guess we’ll see where the wind blows us tomorrow, we are on vacation after all.

JKLMN take on Disney…Part 4

Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 11:18 pm…Fort Wilderness Campground

There is no tired like Disney tired.

What a busy last few days! We have hit 4 parks in 4 days plus we’ve made a trip to Disney Springs. Today it is all catching up to me. My feet hurt and I’m a bit grumpier than I’ve been all week. I’m hoping a good night’s rest will take care of that.

Let me tell you what is so magical about this place though. This is the only place in the world where you see parents trying to calm over-stimulated, overly-exhausted kids and yet they  still end the day saying they would do it all over again. (My oldest heard a parent telling a kid, “There is no crying in Disney!” LOL)

Do you know what makes it worth it? At the end of a long day, when everyone has reached their limit, you watch a fireworks show and your child turns to you with a HUGE smile on his face and says “This is the best vacation ever!”.

JKLMN take on Disney…Part 3

Sunday, May 20, 2017, 11:46 pm….Fort Wilderness Campground…Falling asleep

Wow, what a day! Nothing can prepare you for a day in the Magic Kingdom. I don’t care how much prep work you have done, how many blogs you have read or maps you have looked at. Walking into the Magic Kingdom immediately makes you feel like a child again and then is complete sensory overload the rest of the day.

We arrived at “rope drop” this morning. Of course, being rookies, we didn’t have a clue where anything was or where to go first. We basically wondered around in a circle for a while. We did meet several Princesses right away, which Macy loved (Noah & Logan not so much).

One of the highlights of the day was Enchanted Tales with Belle. It’s basically a little story that they pick kids from the audience to act out the story of Beauty and the Beast with Belle. Macy got picked to be the Beast. That meant she got to dance with Belle. The look on her face was priceless.

I was grateful when Johnny’s cousin Susie and her family (Jose & Kimberly) arrived at the park. They are Orlando residents and season pass holders. They jumped in as our personal tour guides which helped us navigate through the chaos.

A few more highlights of the day, riding the Monorail, Noah and Krue’s first roller coaster ride (Seven Dwarves Mine Train) and dinner tonight at O’hana which is located in the Polynesian Resort. The food was fabulous!

We chose to come back to the campground and do some swimming for the evening. The kids had been begging for hours to just go to the pool. I think they had just as much fun at the pool as they did in the park! I’ve got to remember, kids will be kids.

Now I am absolutely exhausted. I’m actually falling asleep as I type this. Goodnight.