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A Florida Vacation with the Grandkids

Author: Elaine W.
Date of Trip: September 2006

This was the “all-American grandparents visit the grandkids vacation” and we had a ball! We had cancelled a cruise out of Fort Lauderdale, but had non refundable airline tickets, so flew into Fort Lauderdale. We made plans for this trip in March 2006.

We had online message board friends in the Fort Lauderdale area that we’d met several times before, so we made arrangements to see them the evening we arrived. We made reservations at a hotel in Plantation, Florida. We arrived at the hotel, and had no room. The desk clerk told us that all the rooms had been booked before March of 2006, and they could not help it. We wondered allowed why we were given a reservation confirmation by this national upscale chain if that were so, but we moved on. In all of our years of traveling, and my husband is a very frequent business traveler with elite status at this chain, this had never happened before. We were not going to let it ruin our vacation. We had a lovely evening with our friends.

The next morning, we set out via rental car for Jacksonville, where our daughter and her family live. It was a nice drive, and we enjoyed seeing the landscape of Florida. We live in the Nevada Desert, so it was a treat to see all of the green. We arrived to great excitement in the evening. It was so much fun to see the family. We went and picked up the four year old twins at their day care and the six year old at his school. “Nana, Nana!” That was ME they were talking about. You’ve never seen a prouder grandmother.

The next day we drove to the beach, where we could drive right on the sand up to the water. This was a fantastic treat for me as I have mobility issues and could not walk across a beach. It was so enjoyable to wade with bare feet in the warm Atlantic. We had not taken bathing suits as this was merely a stop on our ride. After fishing one of the kids out (!), we headed inland and to a restaurant that didn’t mind soggy kids. We ended up back at the kids’ house. Our daughter, who has become a “motorcycle mama” since we last saw her, and her husband went for a ride while we had our dream come true and babysat!

Sunday was just for fitting in with their household schedule and relaxing before the main event. WALT DISNEY WORLD! We were all up by 5:30am on Monday and out of the house by 7:00 for the fairly short drive to Orlando. After stopping at every rest area and seeing every rest room, we made it to the Magic Kingdom around 11:00 am. We peeled the kids out of the cars and headed in.

We stayed at a hotel near the parks and that was fun! They even had a children’s check in, which is something we’d never seen before. We spent three days there and enjoyed every minute. After the three days, we had to leave to head home. It was so hard to leave them. We drove back to Fort Lauderdale through clouds of “love bugs”, and returned home again with a cold apiece and spent the next three days trying to stay awake. It was so special; I recommend it highly.

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