This has been one of the most chill summers my family’s ever had. Aside from a few performances and work-related obligations, my weekends were free and clear to spend at the pool or just hanging out at home, and I loved it. Slowing down summer was the best idea ever.
But we did plan one quick getaway to celebrate the end of the season: a trip to Florida that was anything but slow. No, the Rambachs don’t do slow while on vacation, thanks to my husband who likes to plan everything down to the hour.
We took off on Thursday morning, headed for Orlando. The kids were excited about flying on an airplane, while I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic (because toddlers). Parker is a great flier, while Mia still has a long way to go when it comes to airplane etiquette.
But we made it to our destination, and the first stop was my alma mater, Rollins College, in Winter Park. I’ve been back to visit a few times since graduating in 2004 (1.5 years early because I was that excited to study music therapy in grad school), but this was the first time we brought the kids.
As we drove onto the campus, Parker said, “Mommy, your school is very pretty!” It was so much fun showing them all the places I spent my time during college, especially the music building. We also visited my first dorm, the sorority house where I lived during my last year, and the campus center where Mia enjoyed playing in the fountain.
We ate dinner at The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park, and then headed back to our hotel to rest up for our next adventure…Busch Gardens!
We had the Disney World experience back in January, so we decided to check out a new theme park this time around. And it did not disappoint! The kids loved the animals, the splash pad park, the shows, and Sesame Street Village.
A day at Busch Gardens with a 2-year-old and 4-year-old is no joke, and we were all exhausted by the end of it. After a quick drive to St. Petersburg, everyone was happy to relax with our friends and their kids that evening.
Next up, beach day! We headed to St. Pete beach first thing in the morning, where there was a cabana waiting for us (a lifesaver when you have 4 young kids between two families and need to take breaks from the sun).
Both Parker and Mia Belle absolutely loved the ocean, so that’s where we spent most of the day. We spotted a dolphin and Parker touched a fish that swam right by him, which made for a very exciting ocean experience.
After a long day on the beach, we packed up and headed back to Orlando where we would be flying out the next morning. But we wanted to finish the trip with a bang, so we headed to Disney Springs for dinner.
We chose a restaurant called Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’ which is famous for its fried chicken. So of course, Zach and I had to give it a try — and I went all out by ordering chicken and donuts (yes, donuts). It definitely did not disappoint.
While we were there, we got to listen some great live music by a duo called A Little Giant. The kids loved dancing along and dropping dollar bills in their tip jar.
Would you believe that this is the only photo we took of the four of us the entire trip? Someday it will be easier to take family photos, and someday I won’t need a vacation from my vacation (let’s not even talk about the plane ride home). But despite the craziness of traveling with little ones and the challenge of packing so much into just a few days, this trip was the perfect way to end the summer.