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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New Year's in Tampa

One of the big gifts that we gave the kids this year was a trip to LegoLand in Orlando.  Last year when we were at Disney, we kept passing signs for it, and it was on my radar.  So when it was announced that Auburn would play in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, we (well, more I but Heath was a good sport) decided that we would go to the game with Heath's family and stop off at LegoLand for a day while we were down there.  Turner and John Burke each got a Lego watch from us, with a map taped on it of the park.
A picture from the car ride - it got a little loopy, but it wasn't bad
Here we are at the entrance of the park.  It was drizzling outside, but luckily stopped as soon as we got in!!
These guys were pumped!
We called Heath's sister when we got in the park.  Somehow we didn't get a picture with her the whole time?!  But, we met up with them.  I offered to hold baby Missy while they rode the ride with Cameron.  Well, someone did NOT care for that and gave me this look.
Death stare, and this picture is nicer than it was.  I tried to get it in real time, as she was whimpering "Hold you, Momma!"  Jealous much?!  So Heath got to hold the newborn, and she was so quiet and adorable!!
There was a safari that went around animals made of Legos, and it was very cool.  The boys were so excited because they were tall enough to go without an adult.
A Lego zebra and a Lego lion behind it
There was also a ride like Dumbo at Disney, but you had to pedal it to make it fly. 
Einstein's face made of Legos - the park is full of cool things like this
There was a building you could go in and build cars and then there were several tracks to race them down
All the kids loved this!
 This was a race.  Jonathan and Heath and Turner were in a fire truck, and they had to pump themselves all the way down and back to make it roll.  Then at the end you had to shoot a water hose at a Lego villain and race back.  They took it very seriously, and beat the other cars.  Of course.
And there were test tracks for 3-5 year olds and also for 6-13 year olds where they could get a "driver's license" and race around a track.  Collins waited right until the car opened up before she bolted away crying, but John Burke and Cameron still did it.  The boys all thought it was fabulous!

 In one certain area there were city scapes made of Legos that were fascinating.  I care very little about Legos, and found it all really neat.  So, if you have a chance to go here in the future, do it!  There is a water park, but it was closed for the winter.  I wouldn't mind heading back there another time.
 Collins was too small to ride one of the roller coasters.  Kelly and Heath took the big kids to ride that, and Jonathan and I took Collins and baby Missy to try fried apples, which were quite tasty.  Then, Collins and I found a 2-story carousel.  There were fireworks on in the background (they do a 3-D fireworks show with glasses, but we just watched it in plain 2-D), so she got a spot right away.  Great ending to a fun day, and about 10 minutes later it started pouring as the park closed.  We ran to the car and headed to Tampa.
The next morning we ate at a fun restaurant in Tampa for brunch with the whole family, and then our family and Kelly's family headed to the Tampa Zoo.  It was great!

It was bigger than the Birmingham Zoo, and had fun rides to do for free - once you bought an admission ticket.  We love carousels in our family!
Yes, we were representing our Auburn clothes because it was the day before the game
 They had 2 things that stood out to us that we don't have - a roller coaster (which I didn't get a picture of, but Collins was just tall enough to ride) and penguins!!  Aren't they cute?
Posing in front of the penguins - one of our last stops before we headed back to the room to rest up, since it was New Year's Eve
 We met Frank and Tambry in a suburb of Tampa called Ybor City for a parade featuring the Wisconsin and Auburn teams
 The glasses looked like 2005
 We loved the parade!  The bands, the was so fun!!

The weather was unpredictable that week, but we had on long sleeves that night and it ended up mild, so we were able to hang outside for a long time.  John Burke and Frank made it until the end of the parade, and gathered tons of beads!!  We found a restaurant/bar where we could still see the parade and had dinner out there.  So fun!
This cracked me up.  Long day and night, but on the way home Collins was playing with a little battery-powered car that climbs.  It climbed up in her hair and got stuck and tangled in there.  It was hilarious.  Luckily back at the hotel, Tambry had a little pair of scissors and cut her free!  We crashed and I woke up near midnight our time to see fireworks out of the hotel window.  So festive!
The next morning we headed to our friends' house with the kids.  Bradford and Anna graciously offered their house and had a sitter for these wildcats.
Baby MK was taking a nap, so there were 6 little Auburn tigers in all
Here we are at the game - again with the unpredictable weather.  It started out a little cold, then drizzled a little, then bright and sunny!
 The view from our seats - I could actually tell what was going on, but probably because my kids weren't distracting me
Sadly, the boys didn't behave the babysitter very well at the Boney household, so we had to skip out before dinner.  We were all so exhausted and grabbed a quick dinner (near Nordstrom, which I was dying to shop at!) and headed back to the hotel.  They were able to snuggle with Pap and Tappy for a while and then we headed to bed.  The trip was wonderful, and a nice way to pass the holiday.  The car ride back ended up being 11 hours straight because we hit some rough traffic heading back up to Alabama.  It was definitely worth it, though.  Happy 2015!!

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