Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Happy New Year - Florida Adventures

Bart and girls at Animal Kingdom - It rained - A lot. We were very wet! But kept moving on and enjoyed Epcot that evening as well.
The rocket garden at Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral. Awesome place - highly recommend it. Is it too late to become an astronaut?
In the foreground you can see Rachel & Kendra learning the cheer dance with everyone else - they loved it! High School Musical is the cult hit for their generation (they are on the early end but at least Mom & Dad can enjoy watching it too).
Ready for a day at Magic Kingdom. We had beautiful weather and stayed until the end of day fireworks - we were a bit tired. But the girls are now old enough to do it all: the long day, no strollers, no temper tantrums at not getting souvenirs until the end - it was great!
Proof indeed that I am not afraid of snakes! At least not the poisonous ones. I was the lucky winner of the coin toss at Gatorland and ended up with the "head" instead of the "tail" of this python. It's an 8 footer, very heavy and very strong if you've never held one (had a friend in college who worked at a reptile store so I've actually done this before). And as you can see by my grip, this one didn't really feel like holding still at the moment. More pic's of Gatorland another day.

One might wonder why we would vacation in Florida when we live in Switzerland?! It was nice to feel a little at home (USA) for part of the holidays. We went to a familiar place with familiar language & food. We ate choc. donuts & honey nut cheerios, drank a lot of root beer, watched the Weather Channel & ESPN (there were no British commercials on TV but we were driven crazy by ads for the season premiere of 24!), had seafood & steak for dinner and did a little bargain shopping to boot (so glad we did not get pulled at customs!!). Things we do not have in our Swiss home.

We actually started out in Minneapolis to visit with Bart's parents and family. Rachel got really sick Christmas evening (we were due to leave the next morning) and we ended up sending Bart & Kendra to MN as planned the 26th and Rachel & I followed the 28th when she was able to travel. So she & I made it in time to cross the border into IA so Bart & I could renew our US Driv. Lic.'s thru 2012 (necessary trip!), get to the Mall of America as promised where Rachel got her ears pierced, rode rides and then headed to the Olson Family Holiday Party at Phil & Joanne's for a fun time (might I add that Rachel slept during the whole party: everyone got to see her though, she slept on the bed where all the coats were being laid) - all on the 29th. And then headed to the airport the 30th for Florida. Fortunately, we had quite a bit of down time in FL and spaced out our sightseeing so that we could relax, Rachel could continue to recover and mommy could do a little shopping.

So we had a great Christmas ('til about 8pm anyway) and a wonderful New Year! I think God has really shown us that patience is a good and necessary thing. It seems that every trip we have made in the last 6 months has come with some hiccup - terrorists, several illnesses, delays, weather, etc... And there have been many challenges for family members in the past 6 months where we are not present to help. A reminder that we cannot control all things and must look at the blessings we have. Bart & Kendra got to spend some precious alone time as did Rachel & I (we also agree that it is actually easier to travel just 2 at a time! hmmm - may work great for bargain trips in the future) because of the change in plans. And Bart got to visit with his aunt & uncle in Wisc. which would have changed if he had stayed back with us. It brings to mind Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose,." Paul was addressing the victory that men have in Christ - how he knows our weaknesses and intercedes for us that we may be glorified in the sight of God. A good verse to have on hand to keep challenges and trying circumstances from getting one discouraged. Not everything is a life or death trial or terribly dramatic - but all the small things add up to dealing with the big things.
Love you all!

1 comment:

Mom E said...

Loved the pics, at first glance I thought Bart had been in the Sunday School Program with the girls...looked like an angel outfit to me! Glad you had a good time.