We stayed only one night on the gulf coast, but I'm glad we made time to at least go there. We'll go again in the future I'm sure! We stayed in the Hilton which was right on the beach. The view was really nice from our room. I couldn't believe how much softer and whiter the sand was here! I loved the blue cabanas lined up on the beach. Ed and I got a picture together, but it didn't turn out very good. The beach was just beautiful and I wish we had more time to relax and swim, but we had lots to do.
It was my very first Mother's Day spent away from the kids. I didn't realize we'd be on vacation! Since losing a child, Mother's Day is one of the most difficult days to get through because you don't have one of your children there to celebrate with you. Oliver must have been thinking of me because while we were walking along the beach, wading in the water, I saw what I thought was something heart shaped coming in on the waves. It was happening fast and the water was really bubbly, so I quickly reached down and grabbed it. To my utter AMAZEMENT... it was a shell with a heart inside of it. It looked like someone paper punched a heart from the center of the shell as you can see in the photo below. I just started tearing up and KNEW that Oliver wanted me to know that he was with me... especially on Mother's Day. Just the thought of it throughout the day brought me to tears.
International Flower & Garden Festival
I was so excited to find out that it was going to be the Flower & Garden Festival while we were there visiting! I brought my nice camera and had so much fun stopping and smelling the roses, along with taking many photos of the gorgeous flowers in bloom! Every single topiary throughout the park was just stunning!
|Ed and me in front of the big 'golf ball', Spaceship Earth.|
Even though we had no kids with us on this trip, I still wanted to see the characters. I'm young at heart and have never seen Daisy out and about on our other trips, so of course I had to take a picture with her!
I couldn't get over all of the vibrant colors of flowers and how they had them arranged! I was in heaven!
These were outside of The Wonders of Life building. I loved the lizards hanging out all over the place! One wanted to climb in Mickey's mouth! Totally made me think of Oliver.
Buzz Lightyear, in front of the Universe of Energy, Lightning McQueen and Mater. The boys would have loved seeing these, especially my nephew, Carson.
|Peter Pan, Captain Hook and the alligator.|
|Winnie the Pooh and friends.|
|Beauty and the Beast, Cogsworth and Lumiere, Prince Charming and Cinderella|
|Ed trying some ratatouille for the first time along with a croissant and macaroon.|
|I love the architecture and details in the buildings!|
|We met some fellow Iowans here in Japan! I think they were from Davenport. The bonsai trees reminded me of Oliver and the toe socks reminded me of my brother, Bryan. I told Ed he should get some of the sandals!|
*The AMERICAN Experience*
Every May during the flower festival they have the Flower Power music series which features bands from the 60's. We were lucky enough to be there on the day that Herman's Hermits were performing! He also did a great impersonation of Mick Jagger. Ed said it was one of the best concerts he'd been to! I was thinking of my mom the whole time as she listened to Herman's Hermits when she was a teenager.
"I'm Into Something Good"
"I'm Henry the VIII, I Am"
"There's a Kind of Hush"
"Leaning on a Lamppost"
"Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter"
"Can't You Hear My Heart Beat"
|Again, the buildings were so pretty and I loved the Lady and the Tramp topiary!|
|Snow White and the Seven Dwarves|
|I hope this isn't the closest to Norway I will ever get! I love all the trolls and the Maelstrom ride. The desserts here were wonderful. I think I was enjoying my unihorn... I mean my cream horn. I had some lefsa, too, of course!|