This post is long and contains a LOT of photos! You have been warned.
A few months ago, we went on a school field trip to the Orlando Science Center. For the end of the year trip, the kids' school opted for Sea World! We were so excited!
When we arrived, we signed in and met up with both of their teachers. My kids are incredibly lucky to have two amazing teachers. And meeting them in person is priceless.
As we were getting ready to walk into the Park, Riley said, "Ok Mom, let's go see some mammals and fish!"
After the sign in, we were told to go to Shamu Stadium for an educational presentation. A few other schools were hosting field trips at Sea World that day as well, so we were asked to sit in Section C or D. Riley wanted to sit in the splash zone. He was really hoping to get soaked.
As you know by now, Stu and I celebrated our anniversary without the kids. But we definitely behaved like children. It's hard to be a serious grown up when you are riding roller coasters all weekend.
In case you are thinking of following in our footsteps, I've laid out some basic descriptions of the roller coasters we rode. Here, you'll find my opinion and experiences also. Of course, I saved the best for last. I hope this helps.
As you know, Rea is homeschooled. She is a part-time student at Florida Virtual School. And I supplement the rest of her life with educational goodness... At least I try.
Buddy still attends the brick and mortar elementary school down the road. But that will change soon enough. We have plans to pull him out (more on that in a much later post).
Anyway, Rea's school planned a state-wide field trip. These field trips took place in six different cities across the state. We opted for the Orlando one, since Rea's teacher would be there. So, the kids and I got up early on Friday morning and drove to the Orlando Science Center.
As promised, here is the second installment of our trip to Zoo Miami.
I cannot say enough good things about this zoo. The animal enclosures are designed to give the viewing public fairly close access to the animals. This was definitely a unique expeirence.
Rea's birthday is right after Christmas. We like to do something special for her, to celebrate her big days. This year, we went to the Zoo Miami with great friends. It was INCREDIBLE! What a place!
Let me start by saying, if you can, plan two days for this zoo. We walked the nearly the whole park (there were a few spots we skipped) in only one day. Stu checked his phone as we were leaving, it said we walked 8 miles. It was exhausting, and it felt rushed sometimes.
I'd also suggest renting the family bikes. We sprang for the monorail tickets ($4/day/person, for all-day use)... it was a waste. I'd have been happier on the bikes, I think. The monorail was air conditioned, so that was nice.
I like Chilis as much as the next person. And the Ale House is ok. But if I have to eat at either one, I'm going to scream. And don't even get me started on the crap food we have had at Outback lately.
I suppose we are in the worst food rut ever. My kids are obsessed with the three restaurants mentioned above. And because of that, we frequent those establishments. Momma needs a break.
Our kids go to karate several times each week. They study Mixed Martial Arts at their dojo. And I absolutely LOVE it. I love that my kids are learning to defend themselves against different attacks. I love watching them learn and practice.
Stu was a police officer, so defense is something he takes seriously. He wants the kids to be prepared for anything. It's important to me too, but for reasons I don't want to discuss now.
The kids view karate as "fun." They both like going. They love their instructors. They like learning. They both love that they can see the progress they make when they work hard. And yes, they know they are learning to fight. Yes, they know these moves can be used to fight off an attacker. It doesn't scare them. It doesn't bother them. I don't know if it's because they were Law Enforcement kids for so long (the idea of "bad guys" is very real in a LEO house) or if it just the blunt way Stu and I deal with that stuff. The reason doesn't matter.
Even though I spend a lot of time at the dojo, when I hear the term "self defense" I think "guns."
The plan for this past Saturday morning had been for me to take the kids to karate. Stu and my family (sisters, their spouses and my dad) were going to go to the gun range. But Rea wanted to go to the range too... and honestly, so did I. So the kids and I crashed their outing.
The kids were awesome. All things considered. It was hot and loud in the range. It was our first time (me and the kids) to a gun range. It took a few minutes to get our bearings. The kids had wide eyes. I thought Buddy might start crying right off the bat. But they just sat back against the wall and waited and watched.
Rea was excited to try. She shot off a few rounds with Stu. Then Buddy wanted to. He was not going to let his big sister show him up.
We had a great time. Both kids liked Aunt Steph's rifle. And Rea said we really need to go there more often... like at least once a year.
Thinking about going? Check out their website.
Palm Beach Shooting Center
We live where you vacation. Here, you'll find some things we locals enjoy.