Parker Family Trip to Orlando: June 2021

We haven’t been on a Parker Family vacation in a couple of years now and Mrs Charlotte was able to find a house big enough to fit us ALL which is quite the accomplishment haha!

It ended up being a bit of a tricky situation as the Parker Family trip fell just one week after Big Daddy passed away. It was a blessing in many ways as I think it did Mr Rusty’s hurting heart a lot of good for us ALL to be together during such a tender time of his dad passing away. However, it also made schedules a little tricky to work out.

Zach missed a good bit of work when Big Daddy passed so he had some stuff he HAD to finish up and we ended up not coming down until the day after everyone else did. It was worth waiting that day to ensure Zach would be able to fully enjoy himself without any work stress though!

Brad ended up not being able to come at all on the trip due to a death in his family and Courtney and their kids had to leave early for that funeral and then Aaron couldn’t come until the end portion of the trip due to his job.

So it was a “Parker Family Trip” but a very fluid one with lots of moving parts and people! It really all worked out super well though and we had plenty of altogether time but also time with smaller groups together which can be great for bond building!

On our way down Kye beat his Zelda Breath of the Wild game πŸ˜‰ We arrived at the resort and everyone was down at the community pool to enjoy the water slides! Mrs Charlotte chose a house with a resort that had a lot of amenities and it worked out nicely to allow everyone plenty of chill time but also stuff to DO too!

The kids were super pumped to play with their cousins!

It’s crazy that the littlest ones are not so little anymore! This was FOR SURE the EASIEST family trip we’ve ever had. No hardcore nap schedules or early bedtimes to be stressed over for anyone! The house also had a nice big upstairs area and the kids are all old enough to trust enough to play on their own so the adults actually HAD ADULT CONVERSATIONS on this trip which is kinda a miracle if you’ve ever traveled with lots of kids!

The cousins all get along SO WELL too. We had no fighting or bickering and I think it worked out well that we did come down a night late. Sometimes too much time together can start to cause those kid bickering moments the longer they are together and the less sleep they get for multiple days in a row but we didn’t have a single hiccup!

I love a private pool! I’m just not a big community pool kinda girl and Spear is still not quite old enough for us to be comfortable in a large pool setting so I was thankful that the kids wanted to come back to swim at the pool at the house!

In years past we have gone on the family trip over Mr Rusty’s birthday and this one worked out to be close to it as well. And even overlapped with Father’s Day which I really feel like was a God thing as I’m sure it helped his first Father’s Day without his dad be a little easier to have his 10 grandbabies with him!

We did one night out for dinner with everyone. Being that we own a home in the Orlando area and visit frequently we have quite a few favorites but Ford’s Garage is hands-down our must-have pick when deciding where to eat!

The outdoor area is super close to our rental house and a great spot to walk around and go in and out of shops while waiting for a table. Spear is taking Tess’s place as the kid who convinces people to carry him around haha!

I wanted to get a cute pic of Zach and all our kids in honor of Father’s Day!

A couple of the BFF Cousin pairs! And ALL the grandbabies with Big Papa and G-Mama!

We celebrated a combo for Mr Rusty of both his birthday and Father’s Day. The burgers were EPIC, as always, but we did have some service struggles (we all know it’s a LOT when you have a group this big) and poor Kye didn’t have ANY food as the server forgot to put his order in!

Colt was SO SWEET. All on his own he decided to wait to eat any of his food until Kye’s arrived. So, so precious!

On our way in we saw a man making balloons and when Kye’s food had to be cooked and took awhile and then there were issues with the check which also took awhile we needed to kill some time and let the kids go outside and burn off some energy too so balloon creations for the WIN

Embarrassing preteens is part of the fun right? Truly though ALL the kids were into it and I also knew, being total pro-mom level status at this point, that we’d be getting tears later as the balloons would pop but in that moment it was worth it!

I took our crew back to the house along with all the other ladies in the fam and Zach and Mr. Rusty took Kye and Colt to play putt-putt.

In years past Zach and Mr. Rusty had a tradition to do a full day of golfing together while on the family vacation but now that we have four kids and don’t ALL get together as often as we used to with all the crazy schedules everyone has and since Zach and Mr. Rusty go on an annual golf trip together and also play golf together a least a couple Friday’s a month it made sense to change up that family trip tradition a bit!

With Kye and Colt being older and also having SO MANY GIRLS in the fam now I thought it was an awesome idea to do a biggest boys outing with the men! A guys’ night! Zach has been super pumped to take his dad to the awesome Disney putt-putt course. The Fairways Mini Golf is apparently a unique mini-golf experience because the holes are longer or something. I’ve not been but Zach loves it and knew his dad would too.

They all had a BLAST and I loved that Kye and Colt went too as they are def old enough to enjoy spending quality time with Big Papa and I think it’s great for Zach and Kye’s relationship too to have those sort of bonding moments.

The mini golf outing was a highlight of the trip for them all!

We originally had planned to do something extra fun with the girls and younger boys since the biggest two boys were doing the putt-putt but our dinner TOOK FOREVER and by that point Spear was just beyond ready for bed and truly my girls just wanted TIME TOGETHER.

We aren’t a sleepover family so the ability to be on vacation with their cousins and get to spend the night together was SO exciting for them!

I’m really proud of ALL of these girls! Ella and Elizabeth fit in so beautifully and perfectly with all the cousins and it’s been a very smooth transition for them all. The girls all simply adore each other and it is precious to see the joy they feel when they’re all together! There were a WHOLE lotta giggles going on!

Kye loved getting to have the one on one time with Colt and we hated that he and Payton had to leave the next day but were thankful we still got to enjoy them for most of the day at Volcano Bay!

We have really LOVED Volcano Bay this last year. Tess randomly asked to go to a water park for her birthday last summer and it all worked out where we visited Volcano Bay and then based on that visit ended up deciding to get Universal Annual Passes for this year.

Volcano Bay is THAT epic πŸ˜‰ Every time we’ve gone we’ve talked about how fun it would be to have a group go together. We’ve done theme parks with Zach’s whole fam and we are just a LOT of people and it’s so tricky to navigate and plan and make sure everyone is happy and having fun.

Volcano Bay is set up in such a great way that it’s easy for everyone to go and do what THEY want and it’s chill enough where there isn’t anything you feel urgent over making sure you do. We were SO excited to have all the cousins experience it with us!

The little kid area made for a great meeting spot hub and then the older kids were able to group up and go and do and check in between slides. Spear was SO PUMPED to have his bestie Cam with him. They were so funny because Spear is just so used to being alone that he kept forgetting to wait for Cam!

My favorite part of the day was Spear’s LOVE for the lazy river! We had the best time together! He was ADORABLE about it. It was great that all the kids got to enjoy their cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncle too. But it also allowed Zach and I to BOTH enjoy Spear together which is a rare experience that we both enjoyed!

I am not a huge water slide person but I’m all about some lazy river fun! I loved getting to hang out with Elizabeth a bit as she is more my kinda ride girl. We had fun doing the wild rapid river together! We rocked the rapids πŸ˜‰ It was also a blessing for Tess that Elizabeth didn’t love the bigger slides and helped Tessie feel less left out since she’s not tall enough for some of them!

All the cousins being together is always so special but I think I tend to REALLY love when Kye and Colt get to be together. I think it’s bc my girls have each other but Kye doesn’t have someone the way Britt and Tess do so he ESPECIALLY values and cherishes time with Colt!

Everyone loved Volcano Bay and we stayed until mid-afternoon. Plenty of time to do everything everyone wanted and plenty of time to be exhausted and in need of chill time too!

The Flemings had to hit the road and the rest of us kept it super chill the rest of the afternoon and even the next morning too. We were straight LAZY and none of us were mad about it.

It was so great just letting the kids enjoy the time together and trusting them to play and entertain themselves upstairs while we all just hung out and took our time getting the day started. We waited till like lunchtime to finally head down to the water slide area!

Spear got to practice his driving and his patience as he had to wait for us to let him jump in the pool.

We met a super nice older man at the pool who said Spear reminds him of his son who ended up being a football player in college and a volunteer 1st responder. He said his lack of fear made him able to jump in a help people. I LOVE hearing that the wildness can be fostered to be used as a STRENGTH!

The water slide was a mega-hit with our crew and everyone wanted to take turns going down together (notice I never went down haha I’m good with being the picture taker which Britt kept MAKING SURE I was capturing every pic!)

The resort also had a lazy river area that we took advantage of and enjoyed. Spear was so cute to watch as he stacked and restacked all of the “tires”. I always love that my big kids jump in with whatever the littler ones are into and try to enhance the fun for them!

Tessie got to drive back and we had naps and more chill hang-out time and some afternoon swimming. Zach and Mr. Rusty loved the mini-golf so much they decided to take Kye back again that afternoon too!

The kids all loved the quality time with their cousins and I know G-Mama and Big Papa enjoyed the quality time with their grandkids too! We are blessed for sure and the timing of the trip working out was so perfect and just what we all needed at that time.

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Emily Parker

Hey Y’all, I’m Emily! I’m a stay at home mom and consider parenting to be my passion. Disney is my happiest place and I love making memories as a family together. I’m a big believer in transparency and share all of my real-life moments as a mother of four.

My work has been featured on Love What Matters, Today Parenting and Babywise.Life. I’m also honored to be a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network.

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