As I mentioned in my last post, on Sunday night we packed up and drove to Orlando to spend the second week of our vacation with the Blacks. Together with the majority of the "Good" family, we rented a large house near Disney and had a wonderful relaxing week (Ryan and Tara~ you were missed). Most of the time was simply spent hanging out, drinking coffee and catching up. It was awesome! The other great thing about this week was that I got to spend time with family that I really only met at our wedding. As you know, that's not usually the easiest time to spend quality time so this vacation allowed me to get better acquainted with aunts and uncles and cousins. I loved it!
Grandma and Uncle Terry
After a shopping day in the Western Store :)
Aunt Tina, Parker and Allie made a gingerbread man Nativity.
It was super cute and they had a great time!
Parker became my little buddy this week and I loved every minute of it! :0
Sisterly bonding... we were quite hyper and singing to the top of our lungs.
In Robert's words, "you two were off the chain!" :)
Even though Christmas was over, we were still celebrating our Christmas so we decided me needed a tree. We colored felt ornaments and hung them on a palm tree :)
We always love being together over Christmas because, not only do we get to celebrate Christmas (duh), but we also get to celebrate Shalah's birthday! :) So here are a few shots from her party :)
Robert~ So typical...
Happy Birthday Shalah! We love you! So glad we got to celebrate with you this year :)
After the Birthday festivities were over, we had our last Christmas for the year :) With so many people, we opted for a fun game of __________(insert the name you are familiar with: "Dirty Santa", White Elephant, etc...). There were a few presents that got passed around quite a bit and poor Aunt Karen couldn't seem to hold on to any of her presents! :)
Christmas #5: Good Family
Wednesday was Park day and boy was it fun! We started the morning out with breakfast at IHOP followed by a full day in Epcot (my absolute favorite of the Disney parks)
I was thrilled at the prospect of meeting my friend Hannah's (whom I met here in Korea) parents who live in Orlando! We scheduled a meeting at IHOP...only problem was, there were 4 IHOPs on the same road and we game them the wrong one...epic fail. We ate our breakfast, they ate their breakfast and luckily were able to get connected at the last minute! :) Despite all the craziness, it was a pleasure meeting them both! Hannah has been such an amazing friend this year in Korea and it was special meeting her parents :)
Epcot time!!! The place was packed, but honestly it was the only park that we could have enjoyed since its not really a ride park. They said on the news that parks were closing that day and turning people away because they were just too full! Can you imagine the let down that would have been for some people!?
We all did the first ride together and then split up until lunch.
I love this little ride and all the cool plant stuff :)
Yes, that is a real lemon, folks!
A great Street version of Charles Dicken's "Christmas Carol"
These guys were hysterical!
For lunch, we ate in Morocco... it was fun to try everything and see how everyone reacted to the food. It went over better with some than others :)
Robert decided that the best way to show his love and appreciation to his Uncle Myron
was to get his name tattooed on his arm with Henna. You can be the judge of that :)
Austin has all kinds of musical connections and he has participated in this Christmas event in the past and was very excited for us to enjoy it. It was beautiful! A huge choir sang Christmas carols and a famous deaf actress (who I don't know) signed the Christmas story from Luke 2. It was beautiful. I enjoyed it but I would have enjoyed infinitely more had I not been frostbit....
or at least that's how cold I felt. :)
Next was the best fireworks show I have ever seen! I always love Epcot's fireworks but this year they did even more and it was amazing!
It would be an understatement to say that everyone had an amazing day! Disney claims to be the happiest place on earth and it could have been, had two vendors not been sold out of hot chocolate on the coldest night in Florida!! I mean, really?! Other than that, it was a magical day in Disney...
Thursday was a relaxing day... some went fishing, some went to Downtown Disney and others just hung around the house.
Enjoying some cuddles from Allie and Parker :)
I love Downtown Disney! It's one of my absolute favorite Orlando spots.
This time was no different. It was so exciting to see what had changed and what new things were there!
The Lego displays are my favorites
Parker loved the Princesses :)
You can't go to Disney and not get a momento :) Mine was my favorite character, Tink :)
While it was a bit stressful on my poor husband, we managed to get 22 people in a Korean restaurant off the beaten path of Orlando so they could experience a little bit of our cuisine. :) The place was authentic and we ordered some of our favorites like kimchi jigae, bulgogi, and all the endless sides. It was delicious and everyone was surprised that it wasn't all that bad :)
My parents drove up to be a part of the dinner and to see us off early the next morning. It was also great to have Kerilyn with us since she was also catching a morning flight out of Orlando :)
Due to the "off the beaten path-ness", JP and Jolie unfortunately didn't get to enjoy the entire meal with us but we were psyched to see them anyways! And we FINALLY got to meet precious litte Eva!
After dinner, we returned to the house to enjoy dessert and coffee and some genuinely good fellowship
"Aunt Kei needs to feed me more often!" :)
JP and Jolie were at her family's during our whole trip so we were so glad they were able to stop through Orlando on their way home the night before we left! :)
Parker loved the baby :) She rode home with me in my parent's car
and was so excited that the baby would be at the house :)
There is way too much coolness going on here :)
"been there, done that, have the mouse ears.."
Thanks for coming and seeing us! We loved spending time with you
(even though it was shorter than we would have liked)
After the house settled down, Robert and I stayed up all night. Brantley was determined to stay up with us. He made it til about 1:00 I think, before drifting off. Grandma said her goodbyes and then was heard sniffling for the next 15 minutes from the other room...goodbyes can be tough.
At 3:45 we packed the car and headed to pick up my parents from their hotel.
The airport was near so the ride didn't take too long.
Memories of almost a year ago came to mind but the feelings were a little different. A year ago we had packed and sold most of our possessions in a matter of weeks, moved in with my parents and said goodbyes to family and friends. We were heading to a place we knew nothing about. We were excited but also a bit nervous. I remember the ride to the airport was rather quiet and I held my mom's hand the entire time. There were no tears on the ride there, but as soon as we stepped on the curb and the hugs began, I was forced to look into my mom's eyes and the tears came. I held to my mom and dad for as long as I could and then let go... the very thing I was raised to do, but dreaded when I had to do it. I remember getting through security and arriving at our gate. I took my pillow, hid my face, and sobbed. I was a big girl now, going away to a far away land and it was heart wrenching. Now that I have left you with a complete sob story, allow me to fast forward 10 months to our next parting...
Having settled in Korea, with friends and connections, we were really excited to get back. Being in Florida was an absolute blast, but returning as a visitor just isn't the same... We were ready to get back to our lives. Saying goodbye still wasn't fun but there were less tears this time around... perhaps that had to do with the lack of sleep. The tears that did come were actually from laughter, which is the best kind in my opinion. I was so exhausted from the fun week and staying up all night that when I hugged my mom to say "Goodbye", I accidentally said "Well, Goodnight mom." We both started laughing and it made the parting not so somber :)
I hope these last few posts have given you a small glimpse of just what an amazing time we had with our friends and family on our visit to Florida. We already miss you all and can't wait till we see you again. We are back in our routine and finishing up our first week back home here in Korea.
We had a really great trip back and already there are huge changes that are about to take place in our lives...more on that later!