Thursday, June 28, 2007

Our Orlando Trip!

Our trip was AMAZING! This is most definitely the absolute best trip we have ever taken. We all had so much fun and wish that we cold have stayed a few more days... Becca took over 2,500 pictures! No, that isn't a typo! She had purchased a new digital camera before we left and a 2 GB disc that would hold tons of pictures. Each day, she took over 500 pictures and would return to the hotel and download them to her laptop. The hard part is going to be sorting through them all to decide which ones to print! lol!

First of all a HUGE thank you to Make A Wish for making Becca's dream come true. Her wish was to swim with the dolphins. When she asked for this wish, we thought that we'd get one or two days at the ocean and she'd just swim along beside the dolphins. But MAW sent us first to Discovery Cove in Orlando. This place is amazing! We all 4 got to swim with and feed our own personal dolphin, Tyler, and do some tricks with him.

Here are some pictures of Discovery Cove where we went on our first day. Just click on each picture and it will open in a window full size so you can see the detail... some of them won't work for some reason, but most of them do.

This place is an all inclusive resort where you have a half hour personal swim with the dolphins, then the rest of the day is yours to snorkel with the stingrays and thousands of exotic fish in the coral reefs, or just take a relaxing float along their Tropical River that goes the whole way around the area. All food was included for the day, including snacks and beverages, and it was delicious!

The gorgeous pools.

This was another group having their personal swim. The dolphins were waving bye bye!

Here's Jilli with Tyler and a great one of our whole family!

The next day, we went to Sea World. We had the VIP tour, which meant for 7 hours, we had a personal tour guide, Sarah. We got to move to the head of the line at Kraken, Journey to Atlantis and Wild Arctic rides, and had reserved seats at the Shamu and dolphin shows. We got to feed dolphins, sea lions and stingrays and enjoyed an up-close encounter with a penguin!

Our lunch was ring side seating behind the Shamu show where we got to be right beside the three whale pools while they were awaiting to go out and put on their show! The trainers came out while we were eating and had them do a couple tricks for us and brought them right up to the side of the pool for us to get pictures! We could have reached out and touched them! That's how close they were!!!

Our tour guide Sarah was wonderful and gave us tons of interesting facts about all the animals. It was an unforgettable experience!

More Vacation!

Becca caught so many action shots of the whales and dolphins, it was unbelievable! She was snapping non stop through the show and just kept saying, "Oh wow! Oh wow! I got it!" Her pictures are fantastic.

The first picture shows 4 dolphins jumping at the same time. The second is one jumping high into the air! The last is one of the underwater shots Becca got.

I love these Whale shots! They are just gorgeous! The middle one amazed me that she got it! He jumped straight up and right back down again so quickly that I thought for sure she missed it! But it turned out fantastic!

Our next day was at Disney's Animal Kingdom. After two full days of non stop fun from morning to night, we were a bit tired when we arrived at Animal Kingdom. We went on a Safari and saw tons of wild animals. Here are just two of the animals we saw.

I took these two shots of the Tree of Life in the middle of the park and a beautiful waterfall.

Our last day was spent outside of Tampa visiting some of my relatives. My cousin Rob, who lives in Tallahassee, came down with his wife Lee Ann to stay with their daughter Lisa and grandchildren, Hannah and Matthew. Hannah is a very, very special 4 year old little girl. She was diagnosed a year ago with a rare, inoperable brain tumor. You can read about her struggle on her website at Help Hannah. We have been praying non stop for her since she was diagnosed and were thrilled to finally get to meet her.

We had a wonderful day with them at the beach, on the boardwalk and then had a picnic back at their house.

Here's Hannah collecting shells, and Matthew being just adorable! He's such a sweetie!

Here's Lee Ann and my cousin Rob standing, then their daughter Lisa, her nephew Dalton and Hannah. Matthew was sleeping in the stroller.

It was a perfect ending to a perfect vacation!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Leaving for vacation!

We're sitting in a Pittsburgh hotel room, ready to catch our flight to Orlando first thing tomorrow morning! We are so excited!!!

We'll arrive Thursday afternoon and probably check out downtown Disney in the evening then get a good night's sleep so that we're all ready for Discovery Cove on Friday! This is Becca's Make A Wish trip, and her wish was to swim with dolphins. To say the girls are a little excited is a bit of an understatement! lol!

On a sad note, we had planned to visit with my cousin Rob and his family on Monday with our free day, but that may change. We were to meet his granddaughter Hannah and her brother Matthew at the beach on Monday morning, but just found out that Hannah has a doctor's appointment Monday. She was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor one year ago, and they just received news that her tumor is growing.... so we may not get to see them, depending on the doctor's appointment. Please keep Hannah and her family in your prayers...

Also, please keep us in your prayers as we travel this week and see so many wonderful sights. Pray for Becca's health, her headaches and stomach problems, and for good weather... We've got her laptop with us and hope to make a few posts and share a few pictures. Check back often!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Father's Day

We had a very nice Father's Day yesterday. Frank wanted to go to our camp in Clearfield County for the day, so we packed up and headed there first thing in the morning. We ate lunch at camp, then headed over to Parker Dam State Park to splash in the water, then rented paddle boats for a while. Dinner was pizza pie irons over the fire.... yumm!!!!

We had a very enjoyable, relaxing day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

In our yard tonight....

Take a look at what showed up in our yard this evening. There were actually 3 baby raccoons, but the head and tail of the two on the left make it look like one.

Aren't they just adorable! They went round and around in our yard, looking for something to eat, then they slowly wandered back into the woods where they came from...

I love living in the country!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

BBQ Rules

I just had to share this, since I'm sure many of you have husband's who BBQ at home too! lol!

We are about to enter the summer and BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity, as it's the only type of cooking a 'real' man will do, probably because there is an element of danger involved.

When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:


(1) The woman buys the food.

(2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.

(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensil and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - beer in hand.

Here comes the important part:


More routine....

(5) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.

(6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he deals with the situation.

Important again:


More routine....

(8) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.

(9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:

(10) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.

(11) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off." And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women....

Monday, June 11, 2007

Hard week for me...

We had a beautiful weekend.... Saturday was great at the campground with Frank's whole family there. His Mom and Dad, sister Beth, and her son Denton, and brother David, and his wife Cathy, and kids, Cole and Blake, came for dinner. Then his sister's daughter Breanna and her boyfriend came after she got off work. So we had the whole gang there to sit around the fire and chat. It's been several months since we've all been able to get together, so it was very nice...

We headed back home on Sunday and my whole family came over in the afternoon for a cookout. My brother Ray and his wife Lisa swam in our pool with Jillian and my nephew Kenny. Becca is recovering from strep throat and a sinus infection, so she didn't swim.

Then, Becca headed to Quebec first thing this morning until Saturday... *sniff, sniff*... It's going to be a long week with her gone. Frank left for Harrisburg and won't be back till Thursday night, so it's just me and Jillian this week. She's got a Girl Scout picnic tonight and I have a meeting while she's there, but Tuesday night, I plan to let her have her choice of where she wants to go for dinner. She's looking forward to some mommy/Jillian time and so am I.

Please keep Becca in your prayers as she's out of the country with her French class! I know she'll be fine, but I can't help but worry....

Thursday, June 7, 2007

We're going camping!

I love camping. I really do. It's my time to actually get to relax a bit and not have to worry about the phone or the computer or anything else except eating! lol!

We're heading north tomorrow after work to our family camper that we share with Frank's family. Friday's weather is a little questionable, possible thunderstorms in the evening, but Saturday and Sunday look great! Mid 70's with only a 10% chance of rain! Woo Hoo!!!!

Frank's whole family is coming down Saturday for a cookout and to celebrate Becca's and Frank's birthdays next week. It will be so nice to see them all.... haven't been able to go up to visit since February, which is way too long....

We head back home early on Sunday so that I can wash all Becca's clothes and get her packed... she heads to Quebec for 5 days with her French class on Monday morning at 5 a.m.! I still can't believe she'll be gone for her 17th birthday *cry*.... It's the first birthday she hasn't been with me... I know, I know, suck it up mom! lol!


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Dream Vacations...

With our Florida vacation coming up so soon, a friend and I were talking about going on a dream vacation. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Well, for me, the answer was pretty easy.... I would absolutely love to go to Hawaii!!! That is one place I have always wanted to go! But I've always thought that it would be way too expensive for us...

Well.... I've been doing some checking! I found a great site called Hawaiian Beach Rentals.  They offer thousands of choices for Hawaii vacation rentals, vacation homes, villas, condos, hotels, resorts, cottages, apartments and bed and breakfasts on Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. You can click on links for each island and find pictures and prices for the vacation homes, condos and hotels.

I found some great condo rental rates in Kauai! I was amazed at their prices! They have a villa rental that sleeps four for only $186 a night!!! It has it's own pool and is only 3 blocks from the beach! There are pictures of each condo with quite a few views of the inside and outside.

They also offer vacation packages that can include airfare and car rental, which we would definitely need ;)

So, now I have to do some serious planning and start saving some money! Hawaii. . . now THAT would be a real dream vacation!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Vacation coming up!

It's hard to believe but our Florida trip is coming up very, very quickly! We're taking this trip for Becca's Make A Wish... she was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer in November 2006. Her wish was to swim with dolphins, so they are sending us to Discovery Cove in Orlando! The girls have never flown before, so they are very, very excited!

We got our final plans last week, and besides Discovery Cove, they are sending us to Sea World and Adventure Island! It's going to be an amazing trip and we can hardly wait! I'm sure I'll be posting lots of pictures when we come back! Until then, watch the ticker to see how many days until we leave!!!