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S: Florida - 2011

FC: Florida - 2011

1: Our trip to Paradise! Fort Myers Beach and Orlando Florida March 4 - 10, 2011

2: We flew out of the MSP International Airport on Friday (temperature 30 degrees) and landed at the Southwest International Airport 3 hours and 11 minutes later (temperature 80 degrees). | This was Brianna's first time on an airplane. She sat by the window and watched as we left the ground. We played some games, watched some TV, and looked at all the little homes and cars 34,000 feet below us..

3: Welcome to the Pink Shell Resort & Spa - Fort Myers Beach, Florida

4: This is our room at the resort | Isn't the view great!!!!

5: The Bay | The Gulf of Mexico | The Octopool | South towards town | Amazing pictures wherever you look! | As you can see, the views from the 9th floor were amazing!!

6: Checking out the Pink Shell | Fun Times!

7: The Butterfly Garden

8: Friday evening when we got to the Pink Shell Resort, Brianna got to see the ocean for the first time. We went for a walk along the beach and she enjoyed the white sand. | We had a beautiful sunset welcoming us to the warm and wonderful state of Florida.

9: She wrote her name in the sand | Satuday morning we went for a walk to the north point of Fort Myers Beach where there was a nice Park. We walked around the tip of the island and saw lots of fishing boats coming in from the ocean. Brianna found this leaf (which is huge) and ended up bringing it home with her. A very nice walk on a beautiful morning.

10: An afternoon at the beach! | We played frisbee, played in the sand, walked in the ocean, and just had a relaxing day.

11: Later that afternoon we went for a walk along the beach down to the pier. We had some ice cream and watched the dolphin play in the water.

12: Then we spent a little time at the park. This is one of Brianna's favorite past times!! | Then we walked back to the resort along the road.

13: Lots of tropical flowers and plants all over.

14: Are you ready to take a walk on the wild side? An air boat is just they way to do that.

15: On Sunday we drove through the mangroves on an air boat. It was FUN, FAST and LOUD. Captain Andy whipped us in and out of passages at top speed. He also showed us the raccoons that live in the mangroves, he showed us the sacrificial leaf on each one of the trees (The sacrificial leaf is the one that takes in all the salt water and turns yellow and dies so the rest of the tree survives). He explained that because of the time of year, the salt water had chased all the alligators farther inland. All in all, a very fun trip.

16: On our way back to the resort, Todd spotted this guy sunning himself along the side of the road. We stopped and took a couple of pictures, but did NOT get out of the car.

17: Next - off to Sanibel Island for some shell looking! | Coconuts -->

18: We spent Monday on the beach...and of course...we dug a hole. We dug until we hit water, and then it was time to rest.

19: As Brianna and I were resting in the room, Todd decided to go and check out the Shrimping Boats. He got to see up close what they do, and bought some shrimp back for us. They tasted just like lobster!!

20: Amazing Sunsets on the Western coast of Florida!!!

21: The Sun and the Moon | through the palm trees

22: So Tuesday morning we said Good-bye to the Pink Shell. We took a couple of last minute pictures of the area between the resort and the ocean, said See-Ya later to the ocean, and headed north to Orlando | It was a little more then a 3 hour drive, but there was lots to see. Lots and lots of citrus groves (oranges mostly) and big trucks hauling oranges all over. We used the GPS in my new phone and drove to our next Resort.

23: Tuesday evening we went for a walk around the resort. The grounds were beautiful...Lush and Tropical. | We took the water taxi over to City Walk and went out for dinner at the NASCAR Grill. Then we walked around City Walk which had tons of restaurants and shops.

24: On Wednesday we spent the day at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure. We had three main points of interest. 1. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter - where the world of magic comes to life. | 2. Dr. Suess - Where Dr. Suess' characters come out of their storybooks. | 3. Jurassic Park - where the world of dinosaurs collides with our world.

25: The first place we went was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. It was AMAZING, just like you were really there. | These are some of the shops in Hogsmeade. Zonko's joke shop and Honeydukes Sweets shop were open for business

26: Inside Honeydukes | The Wizarding World of Harry Potter | Fat Lady | Buckbeak | Dumbledore | Hog's Head | Hagrid's Hut | Hogsmeade | Three Broomsticks

27: Beauxbaton & Durmstrang | Dumbledore's office | Hogsmeade Shop | Hogwarts Express | Pensive | Talking Portraits | Inside Honeydukes | Owl Emporium | Harry, Ron & Hermione

28: Snack Time!! | We stopped at the Three Broomsticks and Hog's head Bar for a Butterbeer and a Trifle. Good stuff!! | Brianna and her trifle. She would not try the butterbeer | Hogshead Bar

29: The sights of Hogsmeade.

30: Next we went to Dr Suess. Brianna had a BLAST here. | Doesn't she look like a trouble maker!!

31: We met a few very special people that day. | Something Brianna will never forget

32: Brianna really enjoyed the rides in this area of the park. The merry go round is always a winner, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish Blue fish squirted them with water, which was funny, but her favorite one was The Cat in the Hat. It spun them in circles and showed clips from the book. There was one part where it looks like a piano is going to fall on them that kind of scared her, but she just held daddy's hand and went on the ride again and again.

33: Here we are in the Truffula Trees.

34: This is the play area for Dr Seuss. She was being chased around by water. It was a fun way to cool down. | The red machine made water squirt at people by pushing the lever. She loved it!!

35: Even mommy had to join in the action. We must have played here for over an hour!

36: Last but not least, Jurassic Park. They also had a play area that was so cool. There were caves, castles to climb on and paths to follow. | As we were playing, Brianna fell and scraped her knee. Todd went into the store for a band-aid and $5.00 later, he got one.

37: Go Brianna!! | Go Mommy!!

38: The resort really was beautiful. | Florida was warm, tropical, green, and relaxing but..........

39: Now it was time to go home.

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  • By: Meredith P.
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