So Sorry, SeaWorld!

I owe Sea World an apology. In 2004, during our Make-A-Wish trip, we spent a morning there, and it was just not on par with Disney for their disability support. We experienced a long, frustrating time, fighting crowds and long lines with a wheelchair and seeing staff just shrug their shoulders over and over because there was no policy or training in place for them to know how to help us to help Nathan experience things. (As a special-needs mom, I must give a shout out to Disney because I have never seen a staff more well-trained about how to help families navigate their park and experiences!!) After that, I swore I would never go back.

Well, I am eating those words as I sit here typing. After weighing the pros and cons of Sea World vs. Universal with a toddler, Sea World won. And we had a great day! The temps here were 96 with a heat index over 105, but SW seemed much cooler than Epcot because of all the shade trees over the walkways. We fed the dolphins again, which was the highlight of our last trip, but we found so much more to do. The shark tank was amazing and the sea lions were hilarious! Carissa thoroughly enjoyed the Elmo Rocks show-she (and we!) got to see all of our beloved Sesame Street characters, from Cookie Monster to Bert & Ernie.

I humbly apologize to you, Sea World! Thanks for the great day!

Streams in our desert

We spent yesterday at the poolS! Yes, I said pools-PLURAL! We had intended to go to an area church we wanted to visit, but didn't make it, since we all woke up at 11:45 am!!! I have never slept that late without waking up at all in my entire life. Normally our nurse comes in each day at 6 am, so my bladder is conditioned to wake me at that time. Well, even it slept in! So we ate lunch, explored the resort and headed to the pool. It was the most relaxing Sunday we have had in quite a while!

Today we headed out for our first day at Disney. First up, Epcot. Big props to KT, friend of Moriah's brother Daniel, who works at Disney and got us in for free! Not only that, she served as our personal tour guide and photographer. Carissa was all ready to see Nemo in the Living Seas ride, but KT noticed that the line to meet characters was really short so we went there first. It was truly magical seeing Carissa meet Mickey & Minnie in person. At first she was hesitant, but by the end of the line, after we had seen all of the characters, she would hardly let go after hugging each one! (Mommy was quite relieved that she wasn't screaming like many of the other toddlers!) And we got plenty of autographs:

After that it was on to Nemo and Talking with Crush. They were as amazing as we had expected! And, since we are not fish (who are "friends, NOT FOOD!") Bruce the shark obligingly ate us for a photo op:

Then we headed over to Germany in the World Showcase, where Chris obligingly ate a bratwurst with sauerkraut!

We left around 2 pm, once the heat was really getting miserable, but we are heading back tonight for some of the Magic Kingdom once it's cooler.

Well, we are finally in Florida, and this is the first time so far that I really feel like we are on sabbatical. We had a fantastic flight down yesterday with only two hours of airtime to get here (versus the 16 hour drive!!!), during which our adorable toddler slept the entire time!

During our trip to Seattle last week, I kept seeing things and having random thoughts and thinking, "I have to blog about that!" But then when we got home I couldn't remember a one of them! (I know, I know, many of you are not surprised at that!) I do still hope to write about all that we experienced during that week here in MomMusings, but I have made a resolution that I will blog in little increments during this trip so that it won't escape me. And this way, you all get to come along with us!

So, that said, I have to share that our villa is B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!! We are staying at Cypress Harbour in Orlando. We have a two bedroom villa with a direct view of the pool and lake. I took some pictures so you guys could settle right in with us:

Our view from the patio:

Miss Sunshine State:

We're off in a bit to explore the resort. It has a boat ride across the lake, an activity center and three different pool areas! Tomorrow we hit Disney, and I can't wait to see it through Carissa's eyes!

Caring for the Pastor's Wife

Wow! My cyber-friend Julie over at the accidental pastor's wife posted a link to this amazing blog post by Pastor Erik over at his Bright Wings blog about how to care for the pastor's wife. I am especially glad someone has spoken up on the point of praying for her and fighting for her. The blog post speaks for itself. Enjoy!

World's Most Beautiful Women's Restroom View

After years of visiting many a woman's restroom I have found it. Dirty ones, smelly ones, ones you wouldn't make your hamster use-each time you have to go it seems to get more dingy and disgusting, am I right ladies? Well, that's just not the way they do things down in this little spot of heaven on earth that we discovered during our all-too-brief time in Gig Harbor, Washington.

We stopped for lunch at a fantastic place called the Tides Tavern. It sits right on the waterfront, and also happens to have the best fish and chips you've ever wrapped your lips around. During our meal, I begrudgingly got up from the amazing view to run to the ladies room, when "Surprise! Surprise!" (to quote Gomer Pyle) THIS is what I found:I wanted to sit there all day! As you can see, they even provided a comfy window seat, which you can see but probably not believe in the right hand side of the picture, from which to soak in this magnificent view. Instead of flickering fluorescent lighting and the sound of flushing toilets, there was a flood of natural light and the sound of the seagulls outside. It just goes to show you that you never know what you'll find behind each ladies room swinging door!

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