Well, I guess I should post part 2 of my trip before summer is officially over. I've been back for a few days now and am still slowly recovering from missing my family and jet lag. You would think I would be used to saying goodbye to everyone when I leave since I've been doing it my whole life but every time is like the first time. It hurts. Not knowing when I will see them again is an uncertainty that is not easy for me to deal with. But that's what we do...we go on with our normal routine and look forward to the next time I will get to see the people I love the most. Many don't understand why our family lives so far apart and it's not easy but we have the fortune of being able to visit different parts of the world and visit places that not everyone gets the chance to see.
So where did I leave off? Oh yes, Mr. Amore and I left from the Philadelphia Airport to Fort Myers Florida to visit with my father. We went from really hot in Pennsylvania to really really hot and humid in Florida but thankfully we had amazing weather for our entire stay and did not get any thunderstorms which I was told is very unusual for August in Florida.
We got home and relaxed a bit. That night we had DELICIOUS tenderloin steaks that my father made on the grill. No pictures...sorry but they were exquisite. I haven't had a steak like that...ever...I think.
The next day we packed up the car and drove to Disney. I really wanted to spend a couple days at the "Mouse House" as my father calls it LOL and it was a lot of fun.
We stayed at the Old Key West Disney Resort and it was just beautiful. When you go to Disney it's like being on another planet. The people are exceptionally nice, everyone is smiling and you never see rude staff anywhere neither at the parks nor in the resorts. If visiting the theme parks, try to stay at one of the Disney Resorts because they have buses that take you directly to the parks, drop you off in front and they run like every 15 minutes or so. You don't have to worry about parking and the resorts will hook you up with tickets and everything so you are ready to go in no time.
We spent half a day at Disney's Hollywood Studios and it was H-O-T...of course I was an idiot and wore jeans the first day not realizing just how bad of an idea that was until about the third line I was waiting in under the scorching hot sun...then I wanted to die.
Anyways, we were much better prepared the next day with shorts, hat, sunblock and lots of bottled water! We went to Epcot in the morning and I have to say that we had so much fun that day. Epcot is just amazing. They have so many awesome rides and there are so many attractions to see. I would definetly say Epcot is more the adult version of Disney World.
My absolute favorite ride was Soarin' Around The World. It is an amazing attraction that carries you all over the most spectacular wonders of the world. It seems as though you're actually soaring in a hang glider and is so realistic with scents and sounds. Soo fun! The line is super long but so worth the wait...trust me.
Oh and definitly download the Disney App if you can so you're able to sign up for Fast Pass and see how long the waiting times are for the lines. That definelty saved us a lot of time. You can't get Fast Pass for every ride but we were able to use it for a few of them.
My other favorites were Mission: Space and The Sum of All Thrills. These were all amazing rides. Disney leaves me dumbfounded every time. It really is a magical place.
Last but not least we stopped at the Magic Kingdom...how can you go to Disney and not visit the Magic Kingdom?? Not possible.
We took the Monorail from Epcot and arrived in the afternoon. Since we were all adults and it was really hot we decided it would be a good idea to sit somewhere and grab a bite to eat while sipping a nice cold beer, right? Wrong. They don't serve alcohol in the Magic Kingdom...anywhere... Did you know that? I did not... womp womp.
The lines were incredibly long and we only went on three rides before we called it a day. I chose to go on the rides that I loved when I was a little girl: Haunted Mansion, It's a Small World and Space Mountain. We had Fast Pass for the first two rides but we had to wait an hour and a half for Space Mountain. There was a girl that actually fainted in line I guess because of the heat. I felt terrible for that poor girl. It was worth the wait though. I screamed my lungs out the entire ride and it was quite therapeutic actually :-).
We drove back to Fort Myers right after that and got home really late. We rested up and the next day we went out on my dad's pontoon boat. I didn't know what a pontoon boat actually was and had a picture in my head of the raft from Gilligan's Island but this is actually what a pontoon boat looks like:
We took the dogs out on the boat and I was so surprised at how well they did. They were the cutest with the life jackets on.
This little girl was just a puppy when we got her and I was so happy to have seen her again. She's such a good dog and so well behaved. She did really well on the boat even though she has some bad arthritis in her front legs but we just didn't want to leave her home alone.
We took the dogs on the Dog Beach and they loved it. The beach was absolutely beautiful and so clean. I loved watching all the dogs run around in freedom and just play.
I took this picture as we were coming up to the Dog Beach. We all had a great time on the boat and the Sea-Doo. I have to show you the picture of my Dad with Mickey on the Jet Ski. You should have seen him on that thing. He rode that like a champ! It was the cutest thing.
So we just rode around Sanibel Island that day and it was such a great day. That jet ski was so much fun to ride on. I wish I got more pictures because it is a beautiful area.
We went home and had to get ready to fly back. That's when the sadness started to set in. We had such a wonderful time and it sucked to have to go back. The last night my father made us the juiciest Boneless Rib Eye Roast on the rotisserie that I have ever tasted in my life. The meat was sooo tender. Just looking at these pictures makes my mouth water..
That pretty much sums up our trip to Florida...we said our good byes, got on a plane and headed to Boston (close to where my brother lives) and there we would take our connecting flight to Rome. We happened to have a 10 hour layover...and just when I thought I wasn't going to see my brother or his new baby girl....
He came to pick us up and take us to his house.
And that's where we met for the very first time...
I am an Auntie to the most beautiful, happiest baby girl that hardly ever cries and who loves to drink ice water and has the strongest little arms I have ever seen on a 7 month old baby. I was so happy for those precious hours that I got to spend with my baby brother and his beautiful family. I am so proud of him and all that he has accomplished. He is a great father to this beautiful little girl.
Then he drove us back to the airport and we headed home.
Then he drove us back to the airport and we headed home.
And now here I am back in Italy...writing this post and missing my family very much again as I look at these pictures. In the end family is all that matters and I thank God for mine every single day.