Orlando!.. is that you? (final stop on our roadtrip)

Hi there!! Im home, back in Hawaii! What a great vacation!! 26 days and about 4,500 miles of driving. To put that many miles into perspective, its like driving round trip from my house in mililani to Kahala Mall and back 100 times! (its like 1/3 of a years worth of driving to my old job for me). anyway. The last part of our roadtrip was to drive down from my dads house in georgia to orlando florida! We stayed in florida for 7 days, sunday to the next sunday. Orlando was a blast of course, disneyworld, universal studios, and busch gardens (in tampa.) We wore ourselves out with theme parks! we checked into our hotel on sunday night, Monday= universal studios; tuesday= magic kingdom; wednesday= universal islands of adventure; thursday= busch gardens; friday= disney mgm studios; saturday= animal kingdom; and sunday 3 theme parks in one day!= epcot, then mgm studios, then back to magic kingdom!! what a crazy day, then after all 3 theme parks on sunday, we drove to the airport back in atlanta at 1am in the morning to catch our flight at 11am on monday. Now that im back, people ask "would you do it again?!".. the answer is "of course i'd do it again!!", so who's coming with us next time?! haha. well heres the rest of the pictures from our last stop. We spent our last day at my dads house with family. My aunt val and her husband philip came by with 2 of my cousins kids. it was the first time ive met my cousin Amy's kids. My brother Drew also stopped by.

Bella got to know another one of her cousins. "the last supper"... consisted of BBQ burgers and hot dogs. Yum! why does home cooked food always taste better than normal? we also spent the day looking at my dad's old photo albums. pretty awesome to see all the stuff my dad was into when he was my age. After the family get together, it was back on the road again... back on the I-20. We went to go to Byron, georgia to pick up the rest of the family at Sams' aunty Kims new house. My dad came along for the 2 1/2 hour drive to say 'hi' to sam's family.

cockpit view!! captain and co-captain.

pretty nice view on the way.... My dad took the first shift of driving.. then it was my turn.. oh, and this is what it looks like when you set your camera on 'timer' and place it on the dashboard, then your dad speeds up to pass a car going 80 mph... caught my camera just in time! so we made it to Aunty Kim's house in Byron. Its a beauty!! heres the property in the back.. they have a lot of pets inside the house.. its very cozy. So we left Aunty Kim's on Sunday morning for the 5 1/2 hour drive down to orlando. I forgot you had to pay tolls!! (and no, they do not except "tales of adventure" as payment to pass through the toll) houses are pretty cheap in florida too.. but i dont know how much you can trust a handwritten sign. this my friends, is the best "fork in the road" you'll ever come across. its very easy to pick the right path. Our 1 bedroom suite in Kissimme, complete with mini kitchen. it was perfect for us.

so here we go, the first day (monday) we hit up Universal studios. It was awesome. Our other relatives, Brenda and jonalynn met up with us at the theme parks.

Universal has a squirrel infestation. they kept bella entertained. we did the "Mummy" ride first.. the best thing about going to theme parks on the weekdays, was that we never experienced any long lines. the wait was only 5 minutes for this one! "no photography"... well, i showed them!! One of the biggest suprises for me was that they got rid of the "back to the future" ride! that was the best universal studios ride for me, back in the day. Good news! is that they replaced it with the new "simpsons" ride! a very colorful ride they even have a 'kwik-E-mart' gift shop and a "Squishee" stand right outside the ride. I got me a DUFF (not beer unfortunetely, it was an energy drink) we caught the 'animal show' to kill some time. it gave me a chance to enjoy my Duff. best part of the show was the orangutan. the dog from "men in black" woody woodpeckers toon-ville. love triangle One of the best all-around rides of all time. "E.T."... this was the longest wait (only 20 minutes, yay) you remember the 'speak and spell' from the movie? a good thing about theme parks is that they have a "baby swap". Its where you can go into a room and exchange your whiney cry baby kid for a new one. Good thing for us, we kept Bella. Bella got herself a cute souvenier This is your typical 'theme park lunch'. its either pizza or burgers.. and only $8 a plate! what a deal, ha. ridin' smooth simpsons hanging around. i have no idea who that kid is. the "tornado" experience Sams friend/co-worker, stacy lives in florida now, so she joined us for some theme park action. some late night gift shop good times. the next day, tuesday, we went for the big deal. The MAGIC KINGDOM!! the magic kingdom is the iconic disney theme park. complete with Cinderella's castle, pirates of the carribean, space mountain and Mickey's house!!

Bella has been to 'disneyland' in Cali, but this was her 1st visit to 'disneyworld'! Pinocchio was hanging out in front... I wore my awesome Jonathan knight NKOTB shirt (so i could embarrass my family) check this out!! I found these Vinyl toys in the shops. its called "Vinylmation". its a 3" series of blind-boxed Mickey's designed by different artists. Pretty much like dunny's, but with mickey and exclusive to disney theme parks only!! so awesome, you know we had to get a few. here's what a case looks like. they even had 9" versions, and D.I.Y. versions (do it yourself) then off to the 'buzz lightyear' ride. the castle with Mr. Walt disney and Mickey in front. Inside Minnie mouse's house! Here's the inside of Mickey's house! Donald duck is terrible at ping pong. (just like chad mcguire) We finally met mickey and Minnie mouse!! Mickey held "steven the bat" for me. (yes, thats an official shaka sign from me) bella got her face painted she was going for "sleeping beauty" Pooh and the crew walked by... it was not our lucky day to become king . Bella got some "Mouse ears" Pirates of the carribean!!.. and yes, they have updated the ride with Capt. Jack sparrow. the "haunted mansion" "its a small world" Then we topped the night off with the light parade!! cinderella's carriage. minnie ends the parade. after we saw the light parade, we hurried over to the Castle to see the final fireworks show. I gotta say, this had to be the best fireworks show i have ever seen. Maybe because the castle was in the foreground, but it was amazing. a big crowd gathered. shabam! the finale... "Main st." at night. since it was crowded to get back on the monorail to get back to the parking lot, we decided to take the ferry boat back. the boat is pretty sweet. it gives you a great view of the magic kingdom on the way out. space mountain in the distance. the castle at a final glance. the next day, wednesday, we went to Disney's MGM studios park. MGM has some good shows and rides.. 'the hollywood tower of terror' and the new 'aerosmith' rollercoaster. the 'beauty and the beast' musical. another thing that caught me by suprise, was that they dont have a 'indiana jones' ride at Disneyworld. Im pretty sure they still had one at disneyland, but i guess not in florida.They must of replaced it with this Indiana Jones "stunt show".. check the vid!

bella got another souvenier 'Honey i shrunk the kids" playground. hey, how'd we get back in San fran? or... now we're in new york?!

Here's some video of the 'extreme stunt show' at the MGM stadium

..and 'the little mermaid' musical... (the best disney show in my opinion) our screen shot from the 'hollywood tower of terror' ride. best ride at MGM studios!!! at night we caught the "Fantasmic" light/water/fireworks show... it was awesome of course.

here's a video clip of Fantasmic

..and some lazer on water action..

the next day, thursday, we drove 1 hour down to Tampa so we could hit Busch Gardens theme park. Busch gardens has great rides and a lot of animals!

a cool playground for Bell's This was the best ride of the trip!! "sheikra" at busch gardens... a straight up thrill right thats only purpose is to give you "the willy's" and "the butterflies" in your tummy. check these videos of the "Sheikra" rollercoaster!!

random monkey a theme park would not be complete without getting a funnel cake! getting wet on the Raft ride.. more bella rides. more animals.. "kangaroo jack" hiding behind the fence. we did a jeep safari, where bronson got to be the navigator. Most of the animals are well taken care of. Except for these poor tigers who got hung. Friday, started off as a bad weather day. so before we hit the theme park, we waited for the rain to pass in 'the mall at millenia' here's the rain

heres the mall at millenia

another Urban outfitters. so after the rain stopped, we went to the 2nd park of Universal studios. "Islands of adventure". it was good, there was the "Hulk" ride, dr. suess land, and some good coaster rides.

Here's the "hulk" ride

here's Universal studios answer to disneys' splash mountain ride

here's the view of the park in the distance.

i think these pictures are out of order... but anyways... this is the "finding Nemo" musical/show. It was at epcot. On Saturday...we went to Disney's newest park.. "animal kingdom". it has a good animal safari, a new roller coaster (mt. everest), and a dino land! Mickey's safari parade! the safari... (very comparable to the one at busch gardens) the lion king show!! it was pretty good. dont know what this samoan firedancer was doing in the show, but it was entertaining. Jesus showed up! More pictures with the disney characters!! some 'animal kingdom' scenery hard to see, but theres a baby Joey in this kangaroo's pouch. Sunday morning, our last full day on our trip. We went to Epcot center first. Epcot is cool, they have the 'finding nemo' show and aquarium, and some nice scenery. some local hawaiians. and just in case you've always wanted to see a video of a manatee eating lettuce

theres a sea turtle in here. we let Bella be our guide... she led us to the butterfly garden. the best ride at epcot is the 'test track'... you make pretend youre a 'crash test dummy'. bella got to make her own paper... epcot is very 'science' themed. I didnt snap this picture in time... but, the last day we were in florida, the day we were exhausted, the day we walked around 3 theme parks in one day.... IT WAS 93 DEGREES!! hot, hot, hot!! then we drove to atlanta to catch our plane.... the tempurature was down to 48 degrees!! pretty crazy weather in the mainland. thats the end!!! back to the real world . Hope you guys had fun following our trip. We will definetely be planning another road trip for next year.. probably upper west USA, then through canada or something. but for now, its good to be back home.