Sunday, July 21, 2013

OMG...Maddy is 14!!!

Maddy is 14 - we can't quite believe it! For her big birthday surprise we took her and Mya to the Wild Africa Trek at Animal Kingdom. (Disney link here!) She had absolutely no idea:)
 
 
For the special tour, you get two Disney tour guides for a small group of about 10-12 people so you can ask anything you want to know about the animals throughout the 3-hour experience. They were incredibly knowledgeable and took photos of everything as part of the package for the day. They have those really good cameras (and photography skills:)) so you can completely focus on just enjoying the experience :)
 
We started out with a hike through the forest...
 

 
 and stopped to feed the hippos...
 
 
The girls were fearless on the rope bridges!
 

 
Even directly over the crocodiles...

 
No hands!
 
 
We got within a few feet of the crocs but stayed safely above them. Thankfully they are not good at jumping :)

 
After the crocodiles we went out to a little hut to have an African-themed lunch on the savanna surrounded by the animals...
 

 
And then we had a guided tour back to the pick up point...
 
 
 
It was perfect:)
 
Safari trekking is hot work so after a little rest the girls finished up the day in the pool with Maddy's new inflatable...

 
Thank you Mya for helping us give Maddy such a special birthday :)

 
An amazing day for an amazing young lady...we love you Maddy - Happy Birthday!!! 

Big Cat Rescue Summer camp!

Maddy has really missed Big Cat Rescue since we moved from Tampa so we made sure that she got a place at Summer camp again this year. She loved seeing her favorite cats again. Zabu is still as beautiful as ever...
 
 
Cameron lets everyone know who's in charge...
 
video
 
To provide enrichment experiences for the cats the campers make different objects full of different smells for the cats to engage their natural senses. Here's Maddy's group's golf cart...:) 
 

On the home front...

Our current obsession on the home front is watching documentaries on Netflix:). Who the heck knew there were so many fascinating stories out there?! Our favorite ones so far are: The Imposter, The Woman Who Wasn't There and Catfish. We also loved Queen of Versailles which is a local 'riches to rags' story about the family who own the biggest privately-owned timeshare business in the world. Their dream house - the biggest single-family home in North America - in the movie is about 10 minutes down the road so we went to take a peek at the real thing after watching the movie. It's amazing...
 
 
Out back, the turkeys have had babies! They are a little camera-shy but usually come out at weekends at breakfast time. So adorable...:)
 
 
The neighborhood is growing every day - we love it here :)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Maddy and the Sandcastle

Perfect day at the beach. We watched this guy hard at work all day...
 
 
...while Maddy practiced her surfing...

 
...and played with the baby jellyfish...

 
Loving Florida right now...

Thursday, July 04, 2013

4th July and random updates!

Happy Birthday America! We had a great 4th July with a race in the morning (running stuff here!), some friends over in the afternoon and then we went down to the 'back side' of Magic Kingdom to watch the fireworks:). During this whole week the nightly "Wishes" show is replaced by a special patriotic display. Maddy and I went down to the *secret* parking lot behind the castle to check it out on Monday. There were fireworks I had never seen before and I loved the finale:)
 
video
 
No frills in the industrial parking lot but an amazing view and added bonuses of the reflections in the puddles and a two minute drive home :)
 
 
I can't believe the year is half over already. Maddy and I have been doing loads of crafting lately (craft stuff here!). Here are our fab bleach-painted shoes :)
 
 
The chins are well - here's Chef looking particularly handsome...

 
We loved Monsters University! Why am I the only one doing 'scary pose'  here?
 
 
There were deer everywhere the other night at Disney...love these guys...:)


Life is good:)