What does this photographer think of embarking on an 18 hour road trip to Orlando with three kiddos 4 years old and under? Well I’m not sure I’d ever do it again, but we survived! The reason for our trip however, made it worth the extra work. Andrew’s sweet grandparents celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary and Andrew’s mom and aunt wanted to get as many grandkids and great grandkids together as possible in Orlando, FL to surprise them and celebrate with them.
Andrew’s aunt drove his grandparents to Westgate Lakes Resort and Spa in Orlando Florida and told them that she was going to take them on a little vacation. But when they walked in the door, an empty hotel room is not what they found. Instead, grandkids and great grandkids, some they hadn’t even met, awaited them with smiles and hugs. This Orlando photographer just couldn’t leave her camera home… I knew these memories would be precious to capture. No more words are necessary, just the pictures.
A Surprise Family Reunion by Orlando Photographer
The hugs all the way around were priceless.
It was also Grandmom and Grandpop’s first time meeting our little Kiwi girl! She took a liking to Grandmom right away…
… and found Grandpop’s beard extremely intriguing.
Our Little Monkey will stop and tell anyone who will listen about his favorite lovey, creatively named… well, “Monkey”.
70 years married. Can you believe that??!
Westgate Lakes Resort Waterpark | Orlando, FL
As any parent of little kids know, sometimes the best way to have happy, well rested kids who actually enjoy their vacation is to not schedule too many activities. Westgate Lakes was PERFECT for us because not only do they have many pools to swim in, but they also have a mini waterpark on the property that is complimentary for guests! Honestly, we spent most of our week at either a pool or the waterpark!
Little Kiwi scoping out the wave pool, deciding she might wait a year or two to attempt it!
And Little Bear, who LOVES waterslides, did the biggest, fastest waterslide at the Westgate Lakes Waterpark! I was SO proud of him!
Little Monkey rocked one of the five water slides over at the kid’s pirate ship play area! He went down that yellow slide over and over and over again!
The “big kid slides” at the waterpark and Little Monkey enjoying the wave pool!
It was just so fun to unplug and spend some really good time with my Hubby and kiddos. Like my dad has always said, “making family memories on vacation is priceless” and I am so thankful for the quality time that we had together.
This Orlando photographer always debates whether or not to bring her camera on vacation. It would be nice to be able to “leave my work at home” but when I capture images like this one of Little Monkey coming off a water slide that I know couldn’t have been captured with my phone, I am beyond thankful that my camera made the packing list.
Our Kiwi girl and Andrew’s mom whom our kids call “Mamai”!
It’s hard to decide whether the boys liked the waterslides or the lazy river better at Westgate Lakes Resort Waterpark.
This is the look I got when we told Little Bear (on the right) that it was time to go back to the room for dinner. Always so excited to get the waterpark, always so sad to leave.
Other Orlando Adventures
While most of our time was spent at Westgate Lakes Resort pools or waterpark, we did have some other adventures! From taking Grandmom and Grandpop out for dinner at Ford’s Garage, spending a day at Sea World’s Aquatica, to shopping at Disney Springs, we all had a great time (except of course, when we told Little Bear (top right) it was time to leave the waterpark, LOL! Maybe you see a pattern here!)
We also hung out with my childhood friend Sherri and her family who lives in the area! We only get to see each other maybe once a year and it was so fun to get together in person!
Portraits of Kiwi
When we weren’t swimming or spending time with family, I took the opportunity to grab a few 9 month portraits of our Kiwi girl in a favorite outfit from a dear friend!
Her brothers are just crazy about her! Again, this Orlando photographer was so grateful to have her “real camera” to capture moments like these!