Smiles & Sunshine ☀️😆

June 15, 2022

If you follow us on Social Media, then you were inundated with pictures and posts from our family vacation to Orlando.

PS – this might be the only picture we have with everyone in it ‍♀️

Yes, I do travel a lot and typically I’m working all while I’m traveling – heck, I get some of my best work done on the airplane. But this was a personal family trip so I tried my best to limit my work time and really try to focus on my people.

Last year when I was planning this trip (yes, I’m already working on next summer), I was adamant that we needed to get outdoors and explore some National Parks. I found a fantastic hotel in Jackson, Wyoming and we were planning to visit Grand Tetons & Yellowstone…epic vacation right?

Well, the problem was that I was the only one excited for this vacation. Despite my best efforts to sell the destination to my family…they were having no part of it and logistically it was becoming a nightmare.

So, I decided to scrape the whole plan and restart with a new plan. This time involving my husband and kids from the beginning and letting each person voice their opinion on what was their top priority for our dedicated family time.

I then went to work designing our family trip around what everyone wanted and selected the destinations based on their feedback. I try my best to listen to what my client’s want first and then design the itinerary around their requirements rather than the destination. Very often I find that what my client wants out of a vacation is not in line with the destination they have in mind.

However, I forgot to treat my family like my clients and listen to what they wanted before I picked the destination…lesson learned!

And our family’s requests lead us to a split stay between Orlando and Clearwater Beach in Florida.

Check out our itinerary below and the fun way that I involved even our tiniest of family members…



Like I said above, once I started to listen to what each individual wanted, the planning was the easy and fun part! I not only listened to everyone’s top activity pick but I also designed the day around that person. Being one of four kids, it’s not too often that you get to make all the decisions but for one day on our vacation, they each got to choose how and where we spent it:

Day #1 – NORAH – Our youngest, Norah, had never been to Disney before and she has heard so many of our stories about this magical place that it was a no brainer for her. She wanted to see Cinderella’s castle and experience all things Disney. So we headed to Magic Kingdom for an epic day. From rope drop to front row parade seats to the fireworks finale, she loved it all!

Day #2 – MOM – When we go to amusement parks, we go hard. We are there before the parks open to park close. Our kids are resilient and always surprise me with the amount of energy they have. However, they will go, go, go and without some days of rest built in, I knew there would be melt downs and tantrums galore! So my day, was a day off where we slept in, spent several hours at the resort pool, took naps and went out for a nice dinner and some Crumbl Cookies

Day #3 – LUCAS – Our oldest is a huge roller coaster fan (just like his Mama) and is the only one of us that has read all the Harry Potter books, so Universal Studios was a slam dunk for this kiddo! This was our first time in this park and we loved exploring all the creatively designed lands such as Jurassic World, Super Heroes, Simpsons Land and of course, Harry Potter World. But the roller coasters were pretty impressive and we had such a blast riding the Hulk & Velocicoaster along with many others!

Day #4 – DAD – Mike is the man behind the scenes and is the glue that holds our house together. He would never ask for his own day but I tried my best to plan some of his favorites. We headed to Disney Springs for the day as Mike loves to spoil the kids with souvenirs. We visited the amazing Lego Store, shopped for souvenirs, got iced coffees and ate at a local sandwich shop. I know, he really is that easy to please!

Day #5 – WILLIAM – As a middle child, he rarely gets to make a decision so today was so much fun because whenever we had to make a choice like which ride to ride on or where to take a break, we had Will decide ‍♀️ We all thoroughly enjoyed the smaller and slower paced park experience at LEGOLAND after our bigger park days. Plus we are all big LEGO fans so it was so cool to see all the little details in the decoration throughout the park.

Day #6 – MAGGIE – Last but certainly not least was a Beach Day for Miss Maggie. I remember taking Maggie to the beach for her first time when she was about 18 months and the absolute joy on her face was priceless! She loves the freedom of the wide open beaches, building sand castles, wading in the waves and mostly flying a kite. We even ate at a local breakfast spot called Maggie Mae’s and it was delicious!
This was a day we all needed!

That’s a wrap on our family vacation…until next time! ✌️