My summer vacation is finally over, much to my disappointment. I got back last Thursday, but it has definitely taken some time to fully relax and decompress, and settle back into the swing of things. So I'm finally back here on the blog, ready to roll! But first, I thought I would share a few memories from vacation!
One thing you should know is that when my family goes on vacation, we always drive to our destination. Florida is about a 19-hour drive from the Kansas City area, so it's a long drive. We used to be able to drive pretty much straight through, stopping for a few hours to sleep in our car, but now that we're all older, we can't really take it anymore. So we stop overnight for two or three nights on the way there and back. But driving gives us some awesome views.
|The "Batman" Building in downtown Nashville, TN!|
|All pictures of the Appalachian mountains from the drive home!|
Once we got to Florida, we spent a few days in Daytona Beach playing in the pool, wading in the waves, and soaking up the sun!
Then we moved inland and spent the rest of our time in Florida at my aunt's house, spending time with my cousin and her son, and having a ton of fun with the whole family. I don't really have any of these pictures, because I was way too busy talking and joking around to be taking pictures. My parents have a few more for posterity, though.
My parents and I went to Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on Saturday. We hadn't been in almost ten years, and with the recent expansion of Fantasyland we just KNEW we had to go. And it was an absolute BLAST.
|The entrance to Magic Kingdom.|
|Cinderella's castle! (With some random people in front!)|
|Prince Eric's castle, and the front for the new|
Ariel's Under the Sea dark ride! (Which is so
|The Beast's castle up in the mountain!|
|Gaston's Tavern in Belle's little town!|
|Big Thunder Mountain!|
And let me just say this: if you haven't been to Disney World in while, GO. Seriously, you're never too old for Disney. And the new Fantasyland stuff is SO cool. I loved the additions of the Beast's and Prince Eric's castles. There's a very cute walk-through show in Belle's cottage that features Belle herself! And most of all, the new Seven Dwarves Mine Train is one of the coolest rides I've ever been on. It's half rollercoaster, and half dark ride, which completely works. The wait time is killer, but do like my mom and I did: wait until dark, when the parades and fireworks are about to start. Most people, especially those with little kids, are going to be near the castle and Main Street to watch the fanfare, and the wait time will be dramatically decreased. Most of the day while we were there, the wait time was anywhere between 70 and 135 minutes, which is insane. But when we went on the ride a little after 9? We were only in line for about 25 minutes. And it was so worth it.
We got to Disney around 10:30 AM, and we got in our car to leave at about 1 AM. For those of you who don't like math, that's 14 1/2 hours spent at Disney, walking around the entire park and riding almost every ride. It was completely exhausting, but still one of my favorite places on the planet.
We even got to see Jurassic World on Sunday with my aunt, which was awesome. If you're a fan of the original Jurassic Park, please go see the new movie. It's funny and touching and has you on the edge of your seat the whole time. AND it has so many references to the original that were so much fun for a megafan whose seen the movie a million times like I have.
We left Florida on Monday and started the long drive home. We decided to stop at my uncle's house in Tennessee on the way, and our route took us right through Asheville, North Carolina. And because my parents are the absolute best and pretty much down for anything, they agreed to make a pit stop in Asheville for a short visit to Malaprop's Bookstore! Malaprop's is the home bookstore for great YA authors like Beth Revis, Meagan Spooner and Stephanie Perkins. I've ordered a signed copy from them online before, and it was such a lovely experience, and I just had to go.
I ended up buying three books, and my mom bought one book for us and three for my aforementioned little cousin, whose 4th birthday is next month. And because we bought so much, we were allowed to choose some books from the "free" shelf, which is amazing. I ended up finding six ARCs on that shelf, several of which seem fresh from BEA! I'll be filming a June book haul later this week so look for that! Then I'll post some pics of the books I got on Instagram, in case you don't watch videos.
That same day, we got to my uncle's house, where he has this amazing garden, and a huge yard where they have a ton of adorable chipmunks to call neighbors. We even saw a deer behind his land, and my dad got a picture of several wild turkeys! My aunt made a ridiculously delicious dinner for us all, and in the morning, we were off again. By Thursday, we were back home, but vacation wasn't quite over!
That night we got to go see the national tour of the Broadway musical Once, based on the movie. It was SO amazing and beautiful. And a perfect way to end our official vacation.
Now that I've done absolutely nothing for a few days, I think I'm ready to get back to things. I've already started back onto Instagram with my Owl Crate unboxing, and my Twitter has not been forgotten. On Friday, I'll film a book haul, so this weekend my Youtube channel will be back in action, as well!
I hope you all get the chance to go on vacation this summer, even if it's just for a long weekend. It's always so wonderful to unwind and relax, and do things you don't normally get to do, and spend some much needed time with family that you miss all year round. I know this vacation will be one I treasure for years to come.
Tell me: did/do YOU have plans for a vacation this summer? Where will you go? Let me know in the comments below!