Ok I am finally posting my wonderful trip to Orlando Florida. For our 21st Anniversary Ted flew me out to Orlando where he is working and I was able to go First class(free cause we used some of his flight fund miles!), and no Kids!!! This was the first time I had ever flown first class and it was really nice. But I can tell you I almost felt guilty every time they would come by and ask me if I needed a drink or a snack or a pillow (they even brought me a warm wash rag to clean my hands after I had eaten...The flight attendant was handing them to everyone with tongs and so I thought it was some kind of fish or something like that so I politely declined, hee hee). I kept thinking of all the poor non first class people sitting in the rest of the plane, did they not deserve some of these amenities...?
All in all though It was a beautiful stress free vacation!
We were able to go to Disney World free thanks to a woman that Ted works with in Orlando (her husband works at Disney world full time) We did the hopper pass for one day. Between Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood studios... all in one day! Never try this with kids!? We were only able to hit 2-3 things in each kingdom.
The lady Ted works with also works in Disney World part time and she works in Epcot where they do "meet the characters" We got to hop right up in line with all the little kids to see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy and Donald! Goofy was actually kind of a flirt... I didn't quite know what to think of him :)
And of course we had to see the Orlando Temple, I think it was prettiest lit up at night.
One of my favorite things at Disney World was at the Animal kingdom.. It is the Tree of Life. (You know... Lion King?) It was huge and had all these animals carved into the trunk and everything! Pretty cool :)
Here we were able to visit a wildlife preserve on Merrit Island
That is where NASA is. We weren't able to watch a shuttle launch but we did see the launch pads and it looked like they had one with a tank set up with it like they were getting it ready to launch. We wanted to go on a wild life trail to see gators but there had been too much water so the trail was closed because the gators were able to get a little too close to the road! Scary!
However we still found this little bay area that had manatee watching and we actually saw quite a few manatees. We even saw a mama and baby manatee swimming together, of course that was right about the time we had put away the camera!
It was also really wonderful to just walk the beach with Ted in the evening! This beach was out in Tampa (less than an hour from Orlando). The scenery was beautiful and there was a warm breeze and the water in the ocean was warm, it was perfect!
I have really done a lot of reflecting since Ted has taken on this project in Florida. (So I'm warning you I'm going to get a little sentimental for a moment.) Spending time without him makes me appreciate my family more and it also helps me have a better perspective on what's important. Just recently a good friend of mine from high school was in an accident with her husband and 5 children. Unfortunately their 13 year old daughter did not survive the accident. My heart goes out to her and her family, no one should have to lose a child it's a pain I don't know if I could bear. But it's always amazing what you can survive. I do feel like I have learned a few lessons in life and recently I came across a quote by Pres. Howard W. Hunter that I think sums up what I have learned in my life over the past 6-8 months and it inspires me too. I have printed it out and hung it up in my kitchen to help me remember, he says...
"If our lives and our faith are centered on Jesus Christ and his restored gospel, nothing can ever go permanently wrong. On the other hand, if our lives are not centered on the Savior and his teachings, no other success can ever be permanently right."
This is a great gage of what's really important... I have decided that there is a lot in the world that isn't permanent, life is ever changing. Our job situation changes, economy changes, housing market changes, our interests change... but the important things really are permanent like our families, and our faith. Anyway, I will leave you with that thought and hope it inspires you too.