florida vacation | part 2 - trip to ocala

The flight to Orlando went fairly smoothly. We left at 1:00pm to head to the airport, checked in and got to the terminal. We only switched planes once in Denver and then went straight across to Orlando.  Both kiddos enjoyed being on the plane. Sadee played quietly doing different activities and Cam mostly walked across all of our laps for 5+ hours. Needless to say, we survived. Our flight We arrived in Orlando late Saturday night (or rather early Sunday morning) and we immediately snuck into bed once we got to our condo.

Luckily for us, the next day we decided to not plan any big activities, but opted to drive about 1 hours North to Ocala (where AJ's family lives). Even more luckily for us, his aunt was in charge of putting together their Stake's Christmas Program which happened to be that Sunday night. We slept in a little and then hopped in our stunning white rental van and spent the day with family. I was sooooo excited to see where his grandparents and cousins lived. There is something about seeing someone's home for the first time that is extra special. It's fun to see where people you love spend their time.

They live by this big lake that is surrounded by beaches and big trees. Big green trees that don't exist here. The lake and beaches are surrounded by large horse farms and there are green pastures as far as the eye can see. When they have visited us in Utah, his grandparents always tell me stories about fire ants, giant spiders, crocodiles and frogs in the toilet. Naturally, I asked them a million questions about these things. They showed the kids and I how to avoid stepping on fire ants and told me I didn't have to worry about frogs in the toilet. We also spoke about the sounds crocdiles makes and tried to find a Banana Spider (without luck).

After walking down to the lake and some naps and playing with cousins, we ate Lasagna together as a family and drove 30 minutes to their church building. Being together with other LDS church members is so wonderful, especially when you're thousands of miles away from home. They sang many Christmas songs and shared a lot of sweet stories about the spirit of Christmas. It was the perfect little kick-off to the holidays.

We said our good-byes and drove back to Orlando. On our way back, we stopped at Shake Shack to give it a try. I had never tried it before, so it was perfect since it was right on the way back to our condo. Everyone got hamburgers and I totally wished I would have got a regular hamburger instead of one with chilis. But, the burger was cooked to perfection and the cheese fries... heaven!

Our favorite part about day 2 was visiting family. Sadee will still tell you that her favorite part of the whole trip was playing with her cousins. She talks about them all the time and asks if we can go over the mountains to see them again. If only it was that easy! I would also recommend driving out to the "country" of Florida to see more than just city and stopping by Shake Shack, if you haven't ever tried it before.

Thank for letting come visit! I'm still dreaming of the lush green and warm weather.

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