Autumn, Downtown Disney, family, fun, Halloween Spooktacular, Hot 101.5, hubby, Jayde, Jenna, Nick, niece, Orlando, radio, SeaWorld, weekend

An Orlando getaway with Autumn!

We have had the pleasure of having our niece Autumn stay over at our house several times in the last couple of years. She is so comfortable at our house, calls the second bedroom “her room”, and loves going to the park across the street, and more. Recently, we decided that she could stay over once a month. Autumn loves it, we love it, and her mom and dad could have a night out once a month. It works for everyone.

This Saturday was going to be our weekend to have her over. Last week, hubby found out he was going to work a live broadcast at SeaWorld on Sunday and we were going to go up after we took Autumn home on Sunday morning. Then we found out that we would have the chance to stay over Saturday night and we decided to make a weekend of it, and had the grand idea to take Autumn with us.

I have to say that we are so blessed to be able to take Autumn out of town with us. Having her stay over at our house is one thing, but to be able to take her on a little road trip was great. I very much value the fact that my brother and sister-in-law trust us with the care of their amazing little girl.


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After hitting the road around 1 on Saturday, we headed straight for Downtown Disney for our first stop, the Christmas store. It is an annual tradition for hubby and I to buy a new Christmas ornament each year and it was fun to include Autumn in this. I was also very excited to see that Downtown Disney had their fall decorations out and Autumn and I fond the perfect spot for a photo just minutes after arriving. Who else thinks the sign should say “Autumn at Downtown Disney”?




We went in many shops, played with Legos, and watched a quick show at Downtown Disney before heading to dinner. Not surprising that we ended up at a Hooters near our hotel. Like us, Autumn loves wings. There was more silliness during dinner…




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After dinner, we checked into our hotel. Since Autumn had just been on a Disney vacation (complete with a pirate bed!!) with her mom and dad, she was curious as to what kind of bed she would have. There was a little bit of disappointment when it was just a plain bed, but the view from the 6th floor window made up for it. Autumn is very much related to me in that she loves a colorful sky and we were lucky to see this beautiful sunset.




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Autumn and I did some exploring around the hotel and she was fascinated by the different color lights in the fountain by the pool. It really was a beautiful property. We stayed at the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld.


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Probably the funniest moment of the weekend was when Autumn’s mom and dad called to say goodnight. Autumn was all curled up in her very own queen size bed watching TV and when I handed her the phone, she rolled her eyes like a teenager. After saying hi to her dad, she said “Daddy, we’re on a vacation and I’m trying to watch TV.” If only I had it on video…

On the ironic side, I brought my current read with me to enjoy all curled up in the big comfy hotel bed while I was falling asleep. My current read is The Shining and you can bet that I ended up dreaming about it that night. A dream about a horror story that takes place in a hotel while staying in a hotel? Now it’s amusing…. When you wake up from dreaming about it at 3:30 in the morning, not so much…. I probably should have stuck to the Weight Watchers Magazine…





Sunday morning, we slept until about 7:15 which is so late for me. It was heavenly. We took our time getting ready and went downstairs for a fantastic breakfast buffet. I didn’t take a single picture of this but I had a delicious omelet with tomato, peppers, and onion (no cheese), grits, bacon, and sweet plantains. I really wanted pancakes, but I skipped those in favor of the plantains. So so good.




After breakfast, we loaded up the car and then walked to SeaWorld. The hotel is literally right next door. Ten minutes later we were there and the real fun began. Autumn was a little afraid of SeaWorld because of the commercials where the audience gets splashed during the Shamu show. We explained to her that we would not get wet if she didn’t want to. I don’t think she mentioned it once after we got in the park… We had so much fun watching the dolphins (my absolute favorite!), she got to feed a bird, touch a snake, and touch a stingray. It was a great day!




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Remember how I said hubby was there for work? SeaWorld was having their Halloween Spooktacular for the kids. This was such a neat idea! They had a whole are for the kids to trick or treat and even gave out bags. They could wear costumes too! There were games and coloring stations and more. Autumn really enjoyed it. She told me it was okay that she didn’t have a costume on because she was dressed as a school girl. Such a smart girl.


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Since hubby was engineering a live broadcast, we also got to sit in the broadcast area. Jayde with Hot 101.5 was there and she had her adorable daughter Stella there who was dressed like a little ladybug. Stella really liked Autumn. And, Jayde let Autumn wear the headphones for a bit and listen in. Perhaps we have a future broadcaster in the family? Thank you Jayde for being so sweet to Autumn!


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My favorite part of the day? When Autumn told me that “SeaWorld wasn’t as watery as she thought it would be”. Which of course means that she had a great time and loved it. And the smile – and silliness – on her face are proof… She had fun and that makes me so happy!


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Cutie-pie Autumn fell asleep on the drive home… Even more proof of a great time. I look forward to more fun weekends with her. I adore this kiddo so much!





Have you been to SeaWorld lately? What is your favorite part of the park?


  1. Pam

    That trip looked like so much fun for you and your niece. Autumn is adorable and what a lucky little girl to have such a devoted aunt and uncle! We have never been to Sea World, but have visited WDW countless times!
    Pam recently posted…Journey to 26.2: My Pit Crew (014)My Profile

  2. She is so cute. And I think it’s so awesome that you take her for a sleepover once a month. That’s a great bond you’ll have forever with her and to give her parents a date night is fantastic.

    We were at SeaWorld 2 weekends ago. I think we’re heading back on Thanksgiving.
    Jenny recently posted…October 14My Profile

  3. Looks like you guys had a wonderful time. My little one lied all your pictures on IG, especially the ones with Autumn. She kept asking to see more of her. Bet those two would get along swimmingly!!! This reminds me so much of when I was growing up and spent all my weekends at my aunt and uncles house. We were so close and to this day we have an awesome relationship – I only wish they would live closer!
    Susi recently posted…Focus on Mom {October 2013} and a giveawayMy Profile

  4. Oh, she’s adorable! Looks like you guys had a great time. I went to Orlando when I was about eight years old; I’d love to go back and take all of the magic in as an adult.
    Suzy Marie recently posted…My Precious: Treasured PossessionsMy Profile

  5. I really enjoyed looking at all the pictures from your special getaway. How wonderful to have a little one in your life to dote on. She will always remember these special times with her Aunt Nancy! She is lucky to have you in her life!

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