Hello From Orlando!

Hi everyone!  If you follow me on Facebook (my profile) you already know that we are on vacation in Orlando this week.

We drove 15 hours from our home to Orlando on Monday night and arrived in Orlando Tuesday afternoon.  Tuesday night we just hung out and recooped from the looong drive.

Wednesday we got up and headed to Sea World!  Ace was rarin’ to go!

Ready To Go To Sea World

We were there when the park opened and had Breakfast With Elmo and Friends…

Breakfast With Elmo

While eating Ace got to meet all of Elmo’s friends.  He got a hug from Telly Monster…

Hug From Telly Monster

…and tickled by Bert…

Getting Tickled By Bert

…and his picture taken, on stage, with Elmo and Big Bird…

Picture Time With Elmo and Big Bird

After breakfast we pet the Sting Rays…

Sea World - Petting The Sting Rays

…and pet the dolphins…

Sea World - Petting The Dolphins

…and fed them too!

Sea World - Feeding The Dolphins

The Dolphin show was simply amazing with the acrobatics, high dives, and stunts with the Dolphins…

 Sea World - The Dolphin Show

It was so cool that Ace sported this face for much of the show…

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine - Funny Face

Overall the first full day in Orlando was a blast!!! 

We have two full weeks of vacation planned including…hanging out at the hotel resort, going to Gator Land, and driving up to Duck, North Carolina where we will rent a house for a week and spend some time at the ocean!

Gotta go…Ace is ready to go to the pool!  This kid is a fish!  :D


On A Whim…

Ever just do something on a whim?  Ever just get in the car and drive not knowing exactly where you will end up.  Momma and I used to do that a lot.  Just drive, grab a hotel for the night, maybe see some local attraction, and then drive home the next day.   Kind of nice to get away from the normal grind ever now and then…

We haven’t done that since Ace was born though.  It’s kinda hard to just hop in the car and go.  You gotta have a diaper bag, diapers, sippy cups, car seats, teddy bears, blankets, toys, extra clothes, and I’m probably forgetting something…I usually do.  :D

So, we kinda improvised…we decided at the last minute that we were going somewhere, but we had to know where we were going.  We can’t risk not being able to find a room, so we had to make a reservation.  We packed all of the stuff that Ace needs…see paragraph #2 (and by the way the thing that I forgot in the list was baby wipes…luckily we did remember them in real life though :) )

So we started planning about 8PM, left at 10PM, and got to the hotel at around Midnight.  We got up in the morning, enjoyed the continental breakfast (Holiday Inn Express has the best breakfast…gotta get the cinnamon rolls), and then we headed to Indian Lake.

We made it to the beach, but it was a bit too cold to go swimming, so we just let Ace play in the shallow waves.

It felt good to step outside the lines of normal daily life again.  It felt good to just go somewhere without thinking too much about how we were going to get there, what we were going to do, when we were going to leave, and how much it was going to cost.

No worries…  Kinda like being two years old again.  No wonder he is always in a good mood.  :D

Beach Bum

Giant Boy

Playing In The Sand

The Karate Kid Pose


Vacation to Iowa!

Vacation to Iowa was great! It was nice to get away from the daily grind for once. No rush hour traffic. No cell phone. No worries!

We left at about 3 AM on Thursday night.  It took us about 14 hours and two tanks of gas to get from Ohio to Storm Lake, IA. (Can you say “Empty wallet and pooped?”) Have you ever driven across the Midwest? It is sooo exciting!!! Here’s a picture I took through the rear view mirror with my camera phone to show you just how much fun we were all having… :lol:

Momma and Ace sleeping in the car on the way to Iowa

We stayed at a hotel in Storm Lake called King’s Pointe. We reserved a double queen suite with a crib and a lake view a few weeks before hand, but when we arrived we got a handicap double queen room with a parking lot view. :(

The handicap room would not work because it had no bath tub for Ace, and we really wanted the lake view with a balcony (the hotel was non-smoking and the balcony would be our smoking area :lol: )

After a bit of persistence they gave us the room we reserved and all was well.

Dad and Momma on the balcony at Kings Pointe in Storm Lake Iowa

The hotel had an indoor and outdoor water park! (I was so excited…I’m just like a little boy when it comes to this kinda stuff :lol: )

King’s Pointe Indoor Water Park Resort

The closest Ace has been to going swimming was splashing around in the bath tub, so I was very curious to how he would react to the swimming pool. After a few minutes of scared-shitless-ness accompanied by a white-knuckled-death-grip on Dad, Ace started to relax and enjoy himself!

We had so much fun being in the water with him that we really didn’t get out to take many pictures of his first time swimming! Here is one that I managed to snap of Ace and Momma lounging in the pool…

Momma and Ace In The Pool

Even though he thoroughly enjoyed the swimming pool, he was utterly amazed by the fountain…

Ace Staring At The Fountain

…or was it the Bud Light sign? :lol:

One reason we went to Iowa was to visit some old friends who’s daughter was graduating from high school. We went to the graduation, which was in a small non-air-conditioned (Can you say “Hot As Balls?”) gymnasium.

Ace has been self-propelled for a while now and really likes it that way. Ever since he has learned to move under his own power, he absolutely forbids to sit still. It was hot in the gymnasium… sweaty, and smelled like the locker room after football practice! So, I took off Ace’s restraints (joking!) and took him outside to play in the shade while Momma stayed inside to watch the graduation ceremony.

We get outside and there is no shade! So I’m chasing after Ace in the burning sunlight on concrete hot enough to fry an egg when I smell something a bit different than the sweaty smell I had become accustomed to in the gymnasium… You guessed it…I smelled a baby biscuit getting baked in Ace’s diaper!

Luckily I grabbed the diaper bag on the way outside, but there was no where to change him.  So, Ace and I head off on a two mile trek to the car where we enjoyed a fresh diaper, a drink, and 45 minutes worth of gas wasting air-conditioned heaven! :lol:

The drive back to Ohio was not so nice. Ace had some of his molars breaking through the skin, and he was not enjoying the car ride a single bit.  So, we stopped half way and grabbed a hotel room in Illinois.  Luckily, I travel a lot for work and earn TONS of hotel points, so we got a room for free for the night. The hotel had a pool where we spent most of the evening splashing around…

After a good swim and getting a good nights sleep we headed out in the morning to finish the last half of our journey home. We took our time. We stopped for a packed lunch at a rest stop with Mr. Smarty Pants himself…

Smarty pants eating his lunch at a rest stop

…and then Ace napped most of the rest of the way home…

Ace relaxing in the car on the way home from Iowa

Despite the sore rear ends from sitting in the car for over 28 hours, the mix up with the hotel room, the incredibly hot gymnasium, the fried diaper biscuit, and the crying restlessness of a teething child strapped into the back seat of a gas guzzling SUV…we had a very good time and enjoyed the visit with our old friends!

Back to the grind… Ughhh… :lol:


COSI – An Electrifying Experience!

Hello everyone!  I’m writing this from the hotel room in Iowa!  Why can’t life be one big vacation? :D

Last weekend Momma and I took Ace to the Center Of Science and Industry, commonly known as COSI.

This place is sweet! (especially for a big dork like me).  Ace is kinda little for most of the things there, but he still enjoyed himself.  It was a very electrifying experience!

An Electrifying Experience

Ace is all about figuring out how things work; from spinning the wheels on his toy trucks to opening and closing the dishwasher door.  COSI is full of things that move.  His actions create a reaction.  All of the exhibits are totally interactive and I’m sure he will enjoy it even more as he gets older.

But for now he enjoys being able to see and touch everything…

Ace at COSI - Playing in the Floating Ball Exhibit

The top floor of COSI is specifically for the younger kids.  Ace had a blast up there.  He was able to drive the ambulance!  Pushing buttons by the steering wheel made the lights flash!

Ace at COSI Driving The Ambulance

We always knew that he liked playing in the water in the bath tub, but never knew how much he really enjoyed water.  He probably spent the majority of his time playing in the water with Momma!

Ace at COSI - Playing In The Water With Momma

COSI was a blast for Ace, Momma, and I.  We bought a season pass here as well, so don’t be surprised if you get hear about more fun experiences from COSI!

As I mentioned earlier we are currently in Iowa for vacation.  The hotel we are staying at has an indoor and outdoor water park and Ace was able to go swimming for the first time in his life!  Stay tuned for more pics and awesome Ace adventures! :D


Do Crocodiles Actually Cry Big Crocodile Tears?

Vacation! It’s coming soon!

Do you know the last time we went on a real vacation? A real getaway? Me neither.

In a few weeks we are going to pack 900 pounds of stuff into the back of Momma’s truck, and guess what…it is all Ace’s!

Seriously, how can such a little guy require so much stuff? The list of stuff to pack is 3 or 4 pages long!

Anyways, if we manage to successfully drive the overloaded vehicle (at what point are you required to stop at the weigh stations with the semis?) halfway across the country, we are going to be in for some good fun in the sun!

So you are probably imagining a beach somewhere,  South Carolina? Florida? Nope, and nope…Iowa!  Yes, I said it…Iowa!

Seriously! We are driving to Iowa to visit some old friends, and we are staying at one of those hotels that have the indoor water park! I’m excited! (I’m really a 12 year old in a…man I hate to say it…almost 30 year old’s body)

Not only do they have an indoor water park, the hotel is located on a lake for some outdoor water fun as well!

I’m so excited!

Even though all of this puts a big smile on my face there is one thing about the trip that I’m sure will make me cry big crocodile tears…

The gas prices make me cry big crocodile tears!
I think I cried 23.743 gallons after filling up my truck. :(

I plan on taking a record number of pictures on our road trip, as long as I remember the camera (and we don’t have to pawn it off to pay for gas to make it all the way home) :lol: .  I should have some good shots to show all of ya’s .

Oh yeah!  If the weather cooperates, Ace will be visiting the zoo for the first time this weekend!  Please don’t rain! :)

This summer is going to be sooo much fun! :D