S: November 2013 - Florida & Bahamas
BC: FEDDEMA 2013
FC: FLORIDA & BAHAMAS | 2013
1: Florida & Bahamas 2013 | On November 2nd Ken, Jodie, Kaden, Kyan, Darren, Jeanette, Jordan, Tate, Jorja and Alix left from Edmonton for Orlando, Florida. We stayed one night in Cape Canaveral and then boarded the Disney Dream, where we had stops at Nassau and Castaway Cay, both in the Bahamas. After the 4 night cruise we spent 4 nights at the Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village and explored some parts of Disney World and Universal Studios. We were lucky to be at the opening night of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at the Magic Kingdom on November the 8th - it was magical watching Cinderella's castle light up with Christmas decorations! Harry Potter was a favorite for all - the rides, the drinks (Butter Beer!) and especially the atmosphere. It was a hot and humid vacation and everyone was happy to return home to the snow on November 11th.
2: Our layover in Newark, NJ - a view of the New York City skyline!
3: Finally in Florida - there were turtles and fish in the pond behind our hotel at Cape Canaveral.
8: Exploring the Disney Dream
15: And we're off! Pulling away at Cape Canaveral.
16: Monday, November 4 - Nassau, Bahamas
18: Harbor Cruise at Nassau
19: Very windy weather!
22: Oprah Winfrey's two houses!
33: Monday, November 4 We had a great time in Nassau - except for the wind! The dress code for supper was semi-formal and we had a great meal. After a little goofing around in the portholes and some Bingo, we called it a night.
36: Castaway Cay Bahamas
41: Tuesday, November 5 - Castaway Cay Disney's private island, Castaway Cay, was gorgeous. Our sea-doo and parasailing excursions were canceled but the kids had a great time snorkeling, playing in the ocean and sand. We toured around the island, watched some crab races, ate some lunch and then headed back to the boat. It was super hot but the wind cooled things down a bit. That night on the boat was the Pirates in the Caribbean Party - Ahoy Matey!
50: Wednesday, November 6 - At Sea We spent the day at sea exploring the huge boat and playing BINGO!! Jorja, Kyan & Alix did a scavenger hunt throughout the boat and in the evening we enjoyed the musical Believe, while Kenny, Darren & Tate went to the movie The Lone Ranger.
54: Thursday, November 7 We had an early breakfast with Emiel and Joao - they were great servers on this trip! We were off the Disney Dream by 8 am and on the road to Estero to see Matthew, Megan & Julia.
57: On our way to visit with the Spiller's we saw three gators, tons of cranes and several turtles in the wild - it was great! We got in some shopping at the outlet mall and hit Costco as well before heading to our resort - Animal Kingdom Lodge - Kidani Village. The view was amazing - and there were animals right outside of our rooms! It was a nice place to stay and had a great pool for us to cool down in.
60: Friday, November 8 Universal Studios We were at Universal at 9 am - ready to go for the day! We stayed until 3:30 and loved our first day on the Islands of Adventure. Harry Potter was spectacular - we rode on the three rides they had and we participated in a wand choosing ceremony. Most of us got soaked on a couple of water rides before we headed back to Animal Kingdom - we still had lot's to do in the evening at the Magic Kingdom and needed some rest!
86: The Magic Kingdom
91: Friday, November 8 Magic Kingdom We spent the evening of the 8th at the opening night of Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party. We only spent a few hours there but were able to enjoy several rides and the fireworks - only part of the parade. We we tired and headed home! On Saturday, November 9, we headed back to Universal Studios. We explored the other side of the park this time, and didn't get there until noon! We had a great time at Shrek, Transformers, The Simpsons, The Minion Ride, Disaster and many many more! Around 7:00 we left and went to Downtown Disney. It was packed there but we checked out the World of Disney Store, Lego Store, and Build A Dino. After fighting the crowds we ordered pizza and went back to our resort - we were beat and looked forward to a good nights sleep!
127: Sunday, November 10 - Animal Kingdom We started our day at Animal Kingdom park and the safari was the first thing on the agenda. It was fantastic - there were a lot of animals out and about and we were able to take great pictures. We then did a walking tour to see primates and other jungle animals. After walking around the park a bit and a few rides in Asia and Dinoland USA, we headed to the Saratoga Springs Hotel and Downtown Disney for a bite to eat and some shopping.
141: The rest of the afternoon was spent at our resort at the pool - the kids had a blast! After that Ken & Jodie headed to EPCOT and checked out the International Food and Wine Festival, and Darren, Jeanette & the kids were off to the Magic Kingdom to check out the rides. Kaden & Kyan stayed at the resort - Kaden sorted through her new Vinylmations and Kyan rested his feet!
143: Monday, November 11 - Going Home! We were able to sleep in a bit before heading to the airport. When we were there we got a picture of the kids with their 'ears' and did a bit more shopping. We had a layover in Newark again and sat down for a nice dinner before heading to Edmonton. This trip was very different from the others we have taken as a large group. Florida was very hot and humid, and most of us didn't like that. The cruise was excellent as usual, but not long enough, and the weather was the worst we've had on any of the cruises. Everyone loved Universal Studios - that was one of the highlights of the trip. We did not get to explore all four parks in Disney World but what we did manage to see was nice. A lot of people though! The transportation system is a plus but it takes forever to get anywhere - Disney World is huge! When we go next time we will try to get a resort a bit closer to the main parks, fit in some more rest and relaxation, and a little bit of golf!