A huge to everyone reading along.....I am always grateful for those who choose to spend their leisure time perusing our vacation memories. We are officially one week back from our most recent adventures in Orlando, so its high time a report gets (finally) underway . I certainly can’t say that we are settled in and organized yet (we are now in the midst of some minor home renovations, so life is more chaotic now than before we left!) but we’re coming along. It’s a process, albeit often a slow one. For those of you who may have missed my pre-trip report, you can read about what transpired in the months before this vacation here: http://www.disboards.com/threads/wa...ersal-seaworld-an-april-may-2016-ptr.3483799/ I am not going to re-hash the past.....the PTR details everything quite well, so for any new readers, I suggest you crack yourself open a cold diet Pepsi, find yourself a comfy chair, and start there. Those that already have the background covered, we shall waste no more time before jumping right in. Some introductions for any new friends who are joining us: We are Steve (44), Gina (42) and Jake (20). A little background on who we are..... Steve just got a promotion earlier this year, and is now a Manufacturing Engineering Technician for an auto parts manufacturer. Jake just completed his post-secondary education in the weeks prior to our trip, and has accepted a job as a Child & Youth Worker (Weekend Supervisor) at a local group home for at-risk male youth. I am the Office Manager for an insurance and financial planning firm. We all also have at least one “side” job (in Jake and I’s case, we have two!) which helps to fund our vacation addiction. Or would that be ‘obsession’? Either way, it sure helps make sure that our Florida vacations have become a regular indulgence: three times in 2015, and this year, twice (10 days in the spring, and a full two weeks just for Steve and I in mid-to-late October). As a general rule, I thrive on planning our southern getaways and that’s A-OK with my boys: if they were in charge of planning a family vacation, we’d be going to an all-inclusive and only finding out about it the night before . They love sports, theme parks, big thrills and food. I am more of an “experiences” kind of gal....as I told a friend last night, as a general rule I don’t like to be shaken, spun, dropped, startled, dangled, surprised, or perched at precarious heights. I also don’t like loud noises (cue the yawns, LOL!). But somehow, we always manage to find that perfect mix of things to do that satisfies everyone’s vacation wish list. The Disboards contributors and my awesome Florida friends are always a big part in my planning successes. Thanks to the many other trip reports here on the boards, I often come off as a genius in my fellows' eyes. These reports can be the most excellent way to share some pretty nifty ideas. This specific vacation was Orlando trip #10 for Steve and I (number 8 for Jake, who didn’t come with us two of our three vacations in 2015) .... and it just felt “significant” for some reason. Well, for multiple reasons actually. It was our 10th trip to Florida ... double digits, baby! I certainly could not have seen that milestone coming when we were planning our first (and supposedly "once in a lifetime") Orlando expedition in 2009. It was most likely our last trip as a family for quite some time, now that Jake has graduated college and secured himself full-time employment. We were celebrating our 23rd wedding anniversary on this getaway (May 1st ). We were celebrating Jake’s graduation (where on earth did his childhood go? ). When the initial plans were put in place, it was anticipated to be a very simple, basic, budget trip (after all, our Canadian dollar is still in the toilet and the exchange sits at 30% or worse)......but since coming home from our Christmas vacation in late December, the itinerary grew more and more fantabulous with each passing week. Much of that was directly a result from the most wonderful, amazing, and generous gifts from very special friends.......and to those very incredible folks, all three of us send you our heartfelt thanks. There were many, MANY times we raised a glass in their honour over the course of our trip : we never lost sight of how many incredible experiences were a direct result of their unbelievable kindness. Our initially "basic" trip was nothing short of EPIC. Over the pages and posts to come, I will detail our adventures at SeaWorld, Aquatica, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure, CityWalk, and in St. Petersburg. You will hear all about our stay at our home-away-from-home, the Sheraton Vistana Resort, as well as our experiences at our park-and-fly hotel in Buffalo and our two-night stay at the Residence Inn SeaWorld. There will be mini golf, shopping, a baseball game, a behind-the-scenes tour, and a dolphin cruise. There will be food porn . There will be minions! There will also be the end of the dolphin tale.....but not until much, much later . You will hear about our high points and an honest review of the things that didn't go quite as planned. There will be pictures and prices.....and hopefully, lots of questions, comments and other input from you, my readers. So with that, I declare this trip report officially open! More to come soon! PS....a big thanks to @dsmom who has recently re-awakened my love of all things Dr. Seuss ....hence the inspiration for the thread title .