Central Florida: LEGO + Mermaids

Much of what happened in Florida is covered briefly in A Third of the Way! PT.2 which we posted back in April 2017.  For some more details on March 11th and 12th read on!

March 11, 2017

Today we visited LEGOland! The kids did not know where we were going today. It was very fun to surprise them. It was not a Disney surprise, but LEGO would do right? I mean they have a ton of the bricks at home. We enjoyed a great day of fun rides and new experiences as Hadley and Nolan rode their first roller coaster. It was a dinosaur themed ride named Coastersaurus. It was a wooden roller coaster that was bumpy, fast and fun! Nolan I think, with his screaming, just reduced the amount of frequencies I can hear. Pretty sure I need to get my hearing checked after riding with him. Felt so bad for the people around – such a loud and high pitched excited squeal from that little boy. When he was born he came out screaming and man oh man – he has a set of lungs!

The rides at LEGOLand were of near perfect size for the kids. Obviously designed for their age group. There was not much that they could not ride. The kids went on several other coasters; the flying school coaster and the dragon coaster – the one you see in the advertisements put out by LEGO regarding it’s theme parks.

There were several rides the kids could control, Junior Driving School and LEGO City Boating school, they had a blast! These were perfect rides for Nolan who loves to be in control. We also spent some time walking around viewing the LEGO builds that they have in the parks. Working with LEGO as a career, it was a personal highlight for me seeing how Master Builders can put together LEGO Bricks, creating miniature towns and even Darth Vader!

Later in the day – it was a warm day – Nolan, Hadley and I decided that it was be a fantastic idea to head over to The World of Chima water ride. It was basically a large boat, slowly drifting through the river. What made it awesome was that everyone on the boat had a water gun to shoot at targets, including spectators along the paths along the river. It was fun to shoot water at them – especially those that were not quite expecting it. They had wandered into the land and were trying to figure out why the ground was wet when all of a sudden we blasted them!

Overall it was very fun day full of rides, a picnic lunch, ice cream treats and then topped off with LEGO shopping! Cortney and I were impressed that the kids were able to make some reasonable LEGO purchases with the money they had saved. (Still to this day, Hadley uses her LEGO lunch pail. Nolan bought 2 LEGO sets that surprisingly made it through our trip. He didn’t bring many LEGO on our RV adventure, so he was careful with them; unlike at home, where within a couple of hours of building a set, it is all crashed and broken up – such imaginations.)

On the way home we stopped at a local Italian restaurant. We were spent after a long day, arriving at the park before it opened and closing it down that night. We were thirsty and hangry! (We have found looking back, that we closed a lot of places down during our Get Living Adventure. The kids love it! Most recently we closed down the Grand Canyon, catching one of the last shuttles back to the parking lot at the Visitor’s Center. We were 1 of the last 4 cars in the lot. This is living life fully.)

And then as if not tired after such a long day the kids got LEGO out and built before bed!

March 12, 2017

Today we had planned to visit the Kennedy Space Center on the east coast of Florida. However, we woke up exhausted from the previous day adventures! I think our plans were a bit ambitious. In addition to the the recent time change by traveling from central time zone to the eastern time zone; we sprung forward last night with daylight savings time. Man that messes with you!

When we woke and finally got out of bed, we inhaled coffee and roused the kids out of their beds, slowly. Feeling the stress from creating forward momentum, it became clear that making the trip to the Space Center would, sadly, have to wait for another day.

Instead, upon the recommendation of our new Floridian friends we had met at the Florida Caverns State Park we headed west to Weeki Wachee Springs State Park. It is a state park that has live mermaids! Seriously! We had to check it out! We had hopped online and found the mermaid show schedule, there was one that afternoon that we could catch.

Arriving about 30 minutes before the show, we entered the underwater theatre that is partially sunk into the natural springs, creating an underwater viewing area. The show was fun and choreographed to music while the mermaids swam to the beat. Hadley was in heaven watching real life mermaids. To her – they are real you know!

Another fun thing we go to do at the park was meet one of the mermaids named Brittany. Well Hadley got to meet her and talk to her and ask her questions. Her pressing question was, “How do mermaids go to the bathroom?!” Inquiring minds want to know!

Following the show, we strolled over to view a wildlife program. We learned about the reptiles of Florida. At the end of the program we had the opportunity to touch an alligator. Small, but still an alligator.

Another attraction the park offered was a place to swim in the crystal-clear spring waters of Weeki Wachee Springs at Buccaneer Bay. It included a large water slide. The water in the springs was too cold for our taste so we did not last long!

Following our adventures at Weeki Wachee we drove over to Hudson Beach, we were so close to the Gulf waters again. Enjoyed an outdoor meal at a local fish and chips restaurant. Then, because you know – we’re on vacation – found a local ice cream shop that was well rated online for their handmade ice cream. We found a gem where the local  residents were performing karaoke. Spent our time enjoying the ice cream and the entertainment – which included dancing! Many of the singers were older retired people – your stereotypical “retired person” who moved to Florida, gave up on laces and upgraded to velcro. It got us wondering if their kids knew what their parents were doing down in Florida on a Sunday night!

This post is part of our Live Like No One Else series, a retelling, through journal entries kept along the way, of all the sights and memories we made during our 2017 #getlivingadventure. We were so busy living the adventure we missed sharing many of the experiences with you. Just happy to have you along as we relive many of the great memories that we hope one day our kids will have to read and remember!


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