5/20 - we drove several hours and met my parents for lunch in Chattanooga, TN because their van had broken down! We ended up taking my mom with us and heading down, with the rest of the family (my dad, brother, sister-in-law, and their 3 kids) getting on the road 2 hours later (now in their own rental, leaving their van in TN to get fixed).
5/21 - we got to Daytona Beach, Florida around midnight on the 21st and crashed! When we got up, we were so excited to meet up with our friends who moved to Florida about a year ago. It was great to see them and a fantastic way to start the trip! They hung out at the beach with us all morning, and then we went back to our room and had a late lunch of pizza. So fun to see them!
5/22 - Levi was not a huge fan of the water - he doesn't like being splashed in the face so ocean waves aren't his favorite. However, he loved playing in the sand! Josiah stayed in the water almost the whole time and had such a blast playing with his cousins in the waves!
That night we walked to Joe's Crab Shack for some yummy seafood and fun bibs.
5/23 - Jessica and I got up early and headed down to the beach for some morning yoga. It was beautiful out there!
We checked in to our condo and then made the short trek to Disney Springs (an outdoor Disney shopping area) where we had lunch and picked up some souvenirs. It was much easier to buy here than to tote things around while we were in the theme parks!
5/24 - Universal Studios! They have 2 parks and we planned to do them both in one day, so we came prepared with 2-park unlimited express pass tickets, and a planned route. When we paid to park, the guy at the booth said "you're the family of the day!". We had no idea what that meant, but he told us to follow a guy in a golf cart to our specially reserved parking spot, and they took a family picture for us! That was a fun surprise.
Our first ride ended up being one of our favorites - Transformers. Such a blast. After that we did Despicable Me, and then Jason and I took Josiah on the big roller coaster (Rip Ride Rocket) while my parents took Levi for round 2 of Transformers. We did these 3 rides within an hour of arriving, so when we got off of the roller coaster, Jason was having some major vertigo / nausea issues! So he sat out for a bit while my parents and I took the kids to the Shrek show. When we walked back by the Transformers ride, we got to be one of the first to see Bumblebee! He even played me a song (I can't fight this feeling). It was so fun.
5/26 - Disney's Magic Kingdom! Obligatory castle pics :)
5/27 - we checked out of the condo and headed north. We decided to try and bypass Atlanta (where we had gotten stuck in traffic on the way down), but still managed to hit some traffic delays. Jason says he's never going to Atlanta again. :) We stayed the night in Tupelo, MS and even had time for some swimming at the hotel that evening.
5/28 - We continued our drive and stopped in Memphis, TN to see the Bass Pro Pyramid and ride to the top. It was fun and a great vantage point to view the city.