Disney Dream {May 2019}

In April, we decided to take advantage of a last minute deal on a 3 night cruise on the Disney Dream in departing in May. It had been just over two years since we last sailed on the Disney Dream. You can read about that experience here and here

Since we knew what to expect, we did a couple things differently this time around. We booked the earliest boarding time possible which was awesome, but we did wait a little bit longer in the terminal this time. 

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As soon as we arrived on the ship, we headed to eat lunch and explore. 

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Our room was a bit smaller than last time and it really made is realize how spoiled we were last time. Overall, it wasn’t bad. The kids had bunk beds and there was a divider between the king bed and bunk beds so we could at least watch TV after they went to bed. 

The kids were excited to get checked into kids camp and we were excited for drinks after dinner on the first night!

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This time around, I booked the Frozen experience and the Princess gathering for the kids to meet all the princesses while we were on the ship. It was such an easy process with very minimal wait times since we booked it in advance. I highly recommend it!

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Our first day was a port stop at Nassau. We didn’t get off the ship so it was a great pool day! As an added bonus, Kenley lost a tooth while standing in line for water slide! Greg and I also did the mixology class again where we got to make a variety of drinks and learned about mixing them. 

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We came fully prepared for Pirate Night again this time. We even brought back our light up cups that we purchased two years ago. 

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Between dinner and the fireworks show, the kids went to kids camp to do some fun pirate activities while Greg and I went to the PINK champagne bar for a drink. It’s one of my favorite spots on the ship!

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The next morning, we docked at Castaway Cay! This island does not disappoint. With exception of a short rainstorm, the weather was gorgeous. The kids tried out kids camp on the island for the first time and really enjoyed it. It worked out that they were in camp while it was raining so we didn’t have to entertain them under an umbrella. 

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Crosby even took a nap, which should have been a warning about what was to come… 

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After Castaway Cay, we ate at Animator’s Palace for our last night. It’s still our favorite restaurant! Since we were docking the next morning, we planned for the kids to go to school, so we didn’t stay up too late on our last night on the ship. 

Unfortunately, Crosby woke up sick on Monday morning, so he walked off the ship carrying the bucket we use for sand toys and didn’t get to go to school. I felt so bad for the poor guy. 

We had such a great time, but the 3 night cruise is so short! We felt like it was such a big difference from the 4 night cruise we did over spring break. We didn’t see any of the shows in the evenings which was something I wish we would have done. I felt like our time was fully booked and there was still more we could have done! The extra day at sea does allow for a lot more activities and more relaxation during the cruise. I would love to check out the other DCL ships and possibly leave from a different port the next time. However, I don’t think we’ll ever beat the convenience of Port Canaveral. We were home and Kenley was at school by 8:30am on Monday morning!

We’re already looking forward to sailing again!

Indiana {March 2019}

To kick off spring break, we headed up to Indiana for a long weekend. The weekend was full of family, friends, and celebrations before heading back home.

We were so thankful to see so many family members in such a short time, most of which made the trip to visit us.

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On Saint Patrick’s Day, we ran the Shamrock Beer Run 5k in downtown Indy. It was our first beer run and probably our coldest run to date. It was freezing! Thankfully the beer stops helped us warm up. Downtown Indianapolis was absolutely beautiful on the brisk day.

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We ended the day celebrating Grandma Sue’s 80th birthday! We had a lovely dinner with family to celebrate our special lady.

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We also got to visit with several old friends and meet new little friends while we were there! Again, we were so thankful that everyone made room for us during their busy weekends.

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One major highlight of the long weekend was the snow! Yes…in March…during spring break…the kids saw snow for the first time! They loved playing outside as the big snowflakes fell to the ground. It didn’t last long, but it was memorable.

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We made one more quick stop to visit the birthday girl before heading to the airport. 

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We had a great, long weekend which was action packed. Needless to say, it took a bit for all of us to recover.

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Christmas in Chicago {2018}

We started our Christmas break with a lovely Christmas service at church on Friday night.

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Saturday morning came early and we hopped on a plane to head to Chicago!

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Michael and Rachel showed us around the city while the kids headed back to the house to bake cookies and see Arie.

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We stopped at Macy’s to get warm and check out the Christmas tree and beautiful decorations.

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Afterwards, we hopped on over to the Christkindlmarket which was packed the moment it opened. I got a cute mug full of warm goodness, then we headed out.

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Our next stops included Garrett Popcorn, Ballast Point to taste some beers, and Au Cheval for the best burger in the entire city.

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Finally, we met up with the kids at Forge Brewery!

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The next two days, we had a wonderful visit with family.

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We were hopeful for more snow, but she was thrilled to at least see this much.

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Christmas morning was full of coffee and opening presents before we packed our bags to hit the road.

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Our first stop was in Lafayette for a short, but sweet, visit with the cousins.

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After one more stop in Indy, we were on the road. 14 hours later, we arrived in warm Orlando to continue our Christmas break!

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We had such a wonderful time in Chicago and we already can’t wait to plan our next visit. To say that Michael and Rachel were amazing hosts would be an understatement. We had such a very, merry Christmas!

Mexico // October 2017

We arrived home from Chicago on Monday and were back at the airport on Friday to leave for Mexico! To say we had a busy October would be an understatement. We were off to Cancun to celebrate Maggi & Greg’s wedding.

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The flight to Cancun was quick and easy! As soon as we arrived at the resort, we started seeing family and friends. The kids wasted no time getting their suits on and heading to the beach.

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The welcome reception was Friday night in the main bar of the resort. It was so good to see a lot of friends and family who we hadn’t seen in a long time. We had an Asian dinner at Lemongrass before heading to bed to get ready for the wedding on Saturday.

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The kids were up early each morning so we had an early breakfast before the wedding festivities began on Saturday. I have so many pictures from Saturday, so I will share those in a separate post. Greg and the kids played at the pool and beach while I was with the bride-to-be before the wedding ceremony.

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The entire wedding day was so much fun. We woke up on Sunday and it was my birthday! Greg and the kids ordered me cake for breakfast, which was awesome.

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We spent the entire day at the beach and the pool while the kids enjoyed some time at the kids camp. Michael and I went out on the stand up paddle boards which is all I wanted to do all day. It was so much fun.

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Kenley got her hair braided and the kids jumped on the trampoline as part of kids camp. The camp was such a great feature of the resort, the kids were begging to go while we were happy to have some time to ourselves.

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After such a relaxing day, we headed out for a birthday dinner with more dessert!

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We headed back to Orlando on Monday kicking and screaming (mostly me). We could have used another day on vacation but the real world called us back. We said our goodbyes and hopped on the shuttle to head to the airport.

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We had such an amazing time in Mexico celebrating Maggi & Greg. The entire wedding weekend was absolutely perfect and being able to celebrate my birthday on the beach in Mexico was an added bonus!

Chicago // October 2017

It’s been a whirlwind the last eleven days and I have a lot to catch up on! Two weekends ago, we headed up to Chicago for a long weekend away and for me to run the Chicago Marathon! We had an amazing, action-packed weekend filled with family, friends, and running.

From the moment we stepped on the plane, there was such amazing energy the whole weekend. Our flight attendants had all the runners stand up and there was about 20 runners on our plane alone. Jaime and I were on the same flight so we each enjoyed a complimentary Bloody Mary on the way. The kids were in heaven too.

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The weather was gloomy on Friday but it didn’t slow us down. My parents arrived at our hotel about the same time that we did, so we headed out for lunch and shopping.

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We headed to the American Girl store and the Lego store for the kids to pick out some early birthday presents. Julie came home with us and Kenley just loves her. Afterwards, Greg and I headed to Portillo’s for dinner then Bar Louie for drinks and baseball.

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Saturday morning, we were up early to head to the race expo. The expo was insane and I think I could have spent the entire day there. We picked up our race bibs, did some shopping, took a lot of pictures, got beers, and met Bart Yasso. All in all, it was a successful morning!

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After the expo, we headed to the Taco Joint for tacos and beer before heading back to the hotel to shower. About 20 minutes before Greg and I were out the door, Mary Beth and Mandy showed up to surprise me! Mary Beth and I had planned on meeting during the weekend, but I had no idea that Mandy was coming in from Kansas City! It was such a fun surprise!

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The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) pre-race dinner was on Saturday afternoon at Grant Park. It was good to see all of the other RMHC runners both from Orlando and all of the United States.

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It was a gorgeous, but rainy evening in the city. After the RMHC dinner, Greg and I met up with MB and Mandy again before it was time for me to call it a night.

Meanwhile, the kids had an amazing Saturday at Michael and Rachel’s house. They had a birthday party, made a cake, built forts, and made race signs (which I saw the next day!).

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Sunday was race day which will have an entire post dedicated to it!

We headed to Niketown on Monday morning to get our finishers gear and get our medal engraved. The medal engraving didn’t happen due to the two hour wait, but we did some shopping so the trip was worth it. Afterwards, we took the kids to Maggie Daley Park which was absolutely amazing. I highly recommend it and we will definitely be back the next time we’re in Chicago!

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We had such a great trip to Chicago! It was great to be back in the Midwest. The entire city was so welcoming of all the runners and really made the weekend so memorable. A huge thank you to my parents, Michael, and Rachel for watching the kids while Greg and I did all of the pre-race festivities.

Indiana {August 2017}

The kids and I headed up to Indiana this past weekend. We had an action packed four days in my home state. Brace yourself, there are a lot of pictures!

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We arrived on Saturday just in time to help set up for Maggi and Greg’s wedding shower! I am so thankful that we were able to be there to celebrate the happy couple. The theme was a fiesta in honor of their destination wedding. Everything about the shower was absolutely perfect. Abbi did such a great job with all of the little details that made the day so great. It was so good to see a lot of friends and family in one place too!

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On Sunday, we got to see my grandparents, aunt, and uncle for lunch and fun around the fire. The kids got to spend some quality time with Arie and took turns taking her for walks. I think poor Arie was ready to be home after the long weekend.

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We had a great lunch at BRU Burger on Monday, then headed to the Indianapolis Zoo. It had been so long since I had been there. The weather was absolutely perfect, and we drove by Victory Field so the kids could see where mommy and daddy met!

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For dinner, we had a little pizza party with Celeste, Reese, Meghann, and Harper. It was so good to catch up with the girls, though it was short due to bedtimes for the littles.

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The kids played at the park on Tuesday, we did a little back to school shoe shopping (what my mom and I do best!), and had lunch before heading to the airport.

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I can’t believe how fast four days flew by! We had such a great time, but we were happy to get home to daddy too.

Disney Dream Part II // March 2017

I’m back for the continuation of our spring break cruise aboard the Disney Dream. On day three, we docked at Castaway Cay! We had breakfast then headed off the ship to explore Disney’s private island.

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The tram from the ship to different spots on the island, but we opted to walk. I wish I would have grabbed the Ergo before heading off the ship because it wasn’t long before the kids were “so tired” of walking. Luckily, we passed by a row of strollers and wagons which ended up being free to use!

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The entire morning was spent playing in the sand and in the water. The water was a little chilly at first, but not too bad. We had lunch at the BBQ buffet on the island. Greg took Crosby back to the ship for a nap while we bummed around for a little bit longer. On our way back to the ship, we stopped into the shops and Kenley got her hair braided!

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Once we were back on the ship, it was time to get ready for pirate night! Based on everything I read about pirate night, it was a big deal so we were prepared for a full night of festivities. At dinner, the kids got a light up cup which I put to good use the rest of the night.

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After dinner, the kids went to camp and the adults got to explore. We checked out the pirate party that was happening on the pool deck, then we headed to the show of the night, JUNKK. It was really good and I think the kids would have liked it, but they were having a lot of fun getting their face painted in camp.

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We had a couple of hours between the end of the show and the start of fireworks at 10:30pm! We weren’t sure what we were going to do or if we should even be staying up that late, but we decided that it was vacation, so we were going to do it. In our free time, we saw some of our favorite characters in their pirate gear!

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This was the first time of the trip meeting Mickey and Minnie and I was happy we crossed it off our list that night. I didn’t feel like we had to make a point to see them on our last day. By the end of our character visits, we were rushing up to see the fireworks. After being so worried about all of our free time, we almost missed the fireworks show! We headed to the back of the ship and didn’t see any of the show leading up to the fireworks, but it was still really cool!

We headed right to bed after the fireworks show and were up early the next day for our day at sea! We didn’t have much planned for our last day, so the kids went to camp in the morning and the adults went to the adults only area of the ship. We had our fair share of ice cream cones, did some shopping, and continued to explore the ship.

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My parents met us at dinner after winning at trivia. Our last night of dinner was in the Animator’s Palate, which was our favorite restaurant. We were lucky enough to sit by the interactive screen and the kids got to talk to Crush from Finding Nemo. It was really neat!

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After dinner, the kids went back to camp for the last time and we headed to the pub to watch some March Madness basketball. The waves were crazy so we were swaying all over the place. After a couple of drinks, we got the kids and headed to the show, Disney’s Believe. I won’t share much about the show other than it was amazing! Everyone sat so nice and just loved it.

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The next morning, we headed back to Animator’s Palate for a very early breakfast and disembarked the ship. We were back home in Orlando by 8:30am and everyone was ready for a nap.

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While there were certainly rocky moments and a couple attitude problems during the week, we had such a great time. We’re already looking forward to our next Disney cruise.