Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas at Animal Kingdom

After a relaxing Thanksgiving Day at Jen's we got busy with some Holiday shopping and house chores in preparation for hosting the family at our new home on the big day. There is still a bunch that we need to get done but we all felt like a bit of a break would help recharge the batteries so we went over to Animal Kingdom for the day :)

The Christmas tree is beautiful...

 
We got lucky on the Safari Trek and saw the lions...
 
 
The hippo swam right up to us too...

 
And we actually saw one of the gorillas beat his chest! It was nuts!
 
 
Now back to that pesky shopping:)

Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Look at the girls in their matching dresses for Thankgiving!
 
 
Mike couldn't resist getting Rich a turkey hat. And then wearing it himself...

 
It was great to see Dave, the father-to-be:)

 
Jen and Rich did a perfect job of hosting as usual!

 
And Rita celebrated her birthday from the day before...

 
Sue and Richard spent some time telling tales of their amazing travels...

 
And then it was bird time...

 
The girls relaxed afterwards with Monopoly. Who knew they have credit cards in the game now?

 
We chatted and watched the game and relaxed:)

 
And Mike and Eyeball compared belly sizes...;)


Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Fort Wilderness

We managed to squeeze in a little weekend break to Disney's Fort Wilderness during the Holiday season. It's only about 10 minutes from home but you feel like you are in a different world when you are there!
 
 
After seeing the ponies we went for dinner...

 
Gotta love iced tea in mason jars in the woods...

 
At the campfire grounds they had s'mores and an old fashioned sing-a-long with Chip 'n' Dale...

 
And we watched Cinderella under the moonlight...


Perfect :)

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Rock and (stop, drop &) Roll :)

Maddy came out to support me at the most fantatsic firefighter-themed obstacle course (more pics on running blog here!) in gorgeous Ocala on Saturday morning. Then we got ready for our very special girl's night out together at The Who's 'Quadrophenia' concert!
 
Maddy had no idea who The Who are or what a 'Mod' was so earlier in the week we watched the movie together so that she could familiarize herself with the story and learn a bit about British music history. Quadrophenia (1973) is my favorite album of all time and I went to see The Who perform it in concert just over 15 years ago in London. It was an amazing night and I never thought I'd be lucky enough to get the chance to experience it again. I was thrilled that they have decided to give the show one last run and it was particularly special to share it with Rock 'n' Roll daughter, Maddy :)
 
Nothing says mid-life crisis Rock 'n' Roll quite like peacock feather earrings...
 

Quadrophenia is the story of a young man struggling to find his identity among four personalities, represented by each of the four members of the band. It is set in the mid-60s, a time in British history when there was social, political and economic discontent and some disillusioned teenagers formed into groups. The Mods (who were Who fans) fought the Rockers on the beaches. To help the audience get up to speed at the beginning, the show included lots of historical footage of actual events leading up to the time when the story begins. It was beautifully portrayed and helped set the scene perfectly for the show.
 
The show was also like a tribute to the amazing portfolio of the band's contribution to music history. The two surviving members, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend looked really well (they are now 68 and 67) and their vocals are still extraordinary!
 
video
 

 
 
During 5:15, they incorporated old footage of John Entwistle (the bassist who died 7 years ago) into the performance which was both amazing and really sad...
 
video
 
Later in the show, Keith Moon (the drummer who died 35 years ago) was featured singing on "Crazy Days" just as if he were there which was also really moving...
 
  video
 
And after Quadrophenia, they performed some of their classics. Like Teenage Wasteland - which made the crowd go nuts!
 

  video
 
Maddy said she had a really good time. And one day when she is all grown up she will realize that she is one of the lucky few her age who actually got to see The Who for herself :)

Happy Halloween!

This time last year we were preparing to leave our wonderful home in Tampa to start a new life in Orlando. Leaving somewhere we loved was hard. Exactly a year later we are only just settling into our new home but are so happy to be finally at the other end of the transition! For the first time since what feels like forever, we were able to just spend quality family time together without having to worry about moving or packing or anything on one of my favorite holidays :).
 
Here are our pumpkins - mine is on the right and Maddy's is on the left. Not only did she carve it completely by herself but she also gutted it too! That's my girl!
 
 
We have a strict 'no costume - no candy' rule at the Early household. Even if you are 13...
 
 
We went trick or treating to the few houses that have people actually living in them in our new neighborhood. Love the camraderie in a new development - everyone was so friendly and there was nop-notch candy galore. This guy created his own "candy flag" to advertise the quality brands on offer at his house. Way to set the bar new neighbor!
 
 
Some folks even managed to decorate their yards...
 
 
There were however some poor Halloween performances on Mabel Bridge. One woman gave Maddy four mini-boxes of cereal. Come on people - it's Halloween! What's next? Fruit?

 
Loved the neighbors who were walking their hot dog :)
 
 
The night ended with the fabulous fireworks in the distance from Mickeys 'Not So Scary' Halloween!
 
 
So great to finally feel like we're 'home' :) Happy Halloween!!!