Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Disney Family Reunion

Two years ago, my family decided to plan a Christmas family reunion to Disney in 2011. It seemed like such a long way off back then, but it sure came quickly! The plans shifted from being just our immediate family (mom, dad, brothers, sister, and spouses) to including all of my Dad's immediate family (grandparents, aunt, uncle, cousin and spouse). We saved our pennies and anxiously talked about plans as the day approached.

Chris and I made the terribly long (45 mile) drive to Orlando last Friday afternoon. We were the first ones to meet my grandparents at the resort. They kindly used their timeshare points to get our family a 4-bedroom Presidential Suite at the Wyndham at Bonnet Creek Resort. The suite was beautiful and very spacious!

Our view from the balcony of our suite

We helped put groceries and supplies away as we waited for the rest of our family to arrive. My brother, Isaac, and his wife, Heather, drove from Indianapolis and arrived shortly after us. Throughout the afternoon and evening the rest of the family got in. By the end of Friday night, we had 15 people and their luggage spread around the suite. We stayed up late catching up, swimming, and planning our week.

With my brother, Isaac

My sister, Tasha, and me

Saturday we got up early and headed off to our first park. Most of the family started out at Magic Kingdom. It was super crowded, but still very exciting. The Christmas decorations and holiday spirit added extra excitement in the air. My sister and I stuck together most of the day. We wimped out around 5:00 and headed back to the room. The swimming pool and hot tub were a welcome sight after the day of walking, being pushed, and waiting in lines.

Epcot at night...beautiful!

Sunday was Christmas Day, so we headed back to Little Union for church. I was very excited and thankful to have my parents and sister go to church with us. Chris and I had decided to put Grandma into a nursing home for respite care while we were gone. We picked her up Sunday morning to take to church. We enjoyed a wonderful church service and visited with folks for a bit. Then, we brought my parents and Tasha over to check out the house. After a gourmet lunch of peanut butter and jelly and ham sandwiches and visiting, we needed to get back to Orlando. Grandma Corn had given us strict instructions that Christmas dinner was to be at 5:00 and we didn't want to be late. We took Grandma back to the nursing home and headed back to the resort.

Grandma Corn brought decorations to make the suite more Christmasy!

Before we were able to eat our Christmas dinner, the family attempted to get a group shot. Imagine trying to get 15 people gathered and 5 cameras working with the self-timer function! It was quite the scene! We did manage to get a few pretty good shots.

Group shot...this is all of my grandparents' kids and grandkids

Grandpa and Grandma had ordered our Christmas dinner from Publix and picked it up the day before. The spread of ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, green bean casserole, cranberry relish, and rolls was yummy! We enjoyed eating, visiting, and opening presents together.

Christmas Day

Isaac and Heather

The rest of the week was spent enjoying all the parks, the amenities at the resort, and spending quality time as a family. It was a week full of a lot of fun and many memories. Friday morning came around too quickly and it was time to get back to reality. It's always hard to leave my family, but I am thankful for the time we were able to spend together. I was able to spend at least one day with each of my siblings and parents at one of the parks. Since my grandparents drove down from Illinois, they decided to spend the weekend with us before heading home. We really enjoyed having them as our first overnight house guests.

Mom and Tasha

A snapshot of one of the pictures they take on the ride.

I ate an entire turkey leg on our last day at Animal Kingdom!

Dad wearing his bug glasses for the 3D movie


Michele said...

It was such a wonderful time together with family. The Lord certainly blessed us all! I missed you immediately when we left!

I'm ready to do it all over again!
Love you! Mom

His Mercy Endureth Forever said...

So glad you all were able to do this!Sounds like a really fun time. Despite what Bro. Chris says! :)

Kelly Spezzano said...

What a fun time! We're going to be at the same resort in February. I hear it's so beautiful! Looking forward to it now, even more!