Fiona Turns 9!

Our future veterinarian turned 9 this week!  Fiona had so much fun in Tampa and Clearwater when we went for Niall’s birthday that she decided she wanted to go back to celebrate hers.

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Tough Transitions

In any stage of life, there are always going to be difficulties – the “downsides” to the situation you’re in.  Sometimes they’re not so bad – if you’re lucky, they’re barely noticeable.  Sometimes they’re overwhelming.

We’re not in an overwhelming period, don’t get me wrong.  We’re working hard and looking forward and enjoying what we have right now.  But there are difficulties.. and these difficulties have made it hard to want to document what we’re doing.

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Niall Turns 7!

The youngest (human) Raum just had a birthday!  Niall turned 7 last weekend!  Now.. we used to do big, crazy birthday parties, but since we moved to Florida, we’ve started doing more “experiences” than parties.  If you don’t know yet, Niall is a HUGE train enthusiast, so looking for something train related was an obvious choice for his birthday.

We settled on the Florida Railroad Museum in Parrish, FL.  It’s about an hour and a half away, near Tampa, so we decided to make a weekend of it.  We have a membership at the Orlando Science Center that gets us into a few places for free in Tampa – after some browsing of websites, Niall decided he liked the look of the Glazer Children’s Museum.  We quickly decided on a complete itinerary:  Children’s Museum Saturday afternoon, dinner at IHOP, sunset at Clearwater Beach, bedtime at the Embassy Suites Westshore, then Fort De Soto in the morning, followed by the Florida Railroad Museum.  Niall wanted to spend most of his birthday budget on presents (all trains, of course), so we picked things that were free (the museums and beaches) or cheap (the hotel and IHOP – though that was a coincidence, Niall just loves IHOP).

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Liki Tiki Village Resort

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Since we’ve been trying to save up to put as much down on an RV as possible, we’ve been trying to be pretty frugal.  No spring break for us!  However, Doug’s mother came down from Atlanta for a visit, so we ended up with a little mini-vacation anyway!  She stayed at Liki Tiki Village in Winter Garden, and we were happy to spend our days enjoying the amenities!

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Roadside USA – Gatorland

After more than two years of living in Florida, I knew it was time to make a trip that I had been dreading.  I had completely run out of excuses.  My sister was in town and we were looking for inexpensive things to do, and it just so happened that we had a few free tickets.  It was time for.. Gatorland.

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Breakfast at 1900 Park Fare

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What’s more fun on a Saturday morning than a breakfast buffet?  Nothing, if you ask the kids!  We scored a late breakfast seating (11:35) today, so we didn’t even have to get up early.  1900 Park Fare is one of the Grand Floridian’s several table service restaurants, and can be found just off the main lobby.  Prices aren’t too bad, ranging from $29-55  for adults to $17-31 for kids, depending on season and whether you go for breakfast or dinner.

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Crystal Palace Review

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The Crystal Palace is one of our favorite Magic Kingdom restaurants, a must-do on each of our Disney vacations.  We were so excited to be able to go back!  As at most Disney restaurants, reservations are pretty much required.  If you’re not too picky about what time you eat, you should be able to get something on short notice – if you want a pre-park opening reservation, you’ll need to book as far out as you can, probably at the 180 day mark when the window opens.

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