Oct 16, 2014

Disney - July 2014

Early in the summer Reagan told me he had an opportunity to attend a pharmacy conference in Orlando. The conference was in late July. I jumped on that opportunity to make it a family vacation. We planned all summer. I packed all our luggage, made boarding arrangements for Taco and Buttercup, and even dropped them off the day before we left - all without SM knowing. The night before we left, after we had dinner and baths, Reagan and I told SM we were leaving the next morning for a week at Disney. She was excited. We all were.

We had to drive to New Orleans for our flight, which meant we had to get up pretty early. Not one single person in our family complained though. Would you? 

Once we arrived at the airport, Reagan dropped SM, me, and our luggage off at curbside check-in while he went and parked the car. We had a little time on our hands as we waited for him to return. And let me just tell you that SM spent it wisely. She pointed out every single cigarette smoker within her view. She made sure I knew they were going to get cancer. 

We arrived mid-afternoon on a Saturday. We claimed our luggage, picked up our rental car, and headed to our hotel. We stayed at the hotel where the convention was being held. Normally, we would not have stayed at such an expensive hotel with SM. It was decorated extremely well and the facility was huge and beautiful. While we waited for Reagan to check us in, SM and I walked around. She kept saying, "Momma, this place is fancy-smancy!"

Country gone to town, as my family would say.

Here is our girl standing in front of a water feature at the hotel. 

That evening we decided to go to Downtown Disney to pick up MagicBands and eat dinner. I may have mentioned we traveled during the end of July. To Orlando, Florida. You don't even know hot and humid until you've been to Orlando, Florida at the end of July. We were all hot, a little tired, and pretty hungry. Just, some of us are better at handling that than others. 

Reagan went to get our MagicBands while SM and I made our way to Earl of Sandwiches to pick up some dinner. At least it was air conditioned in the restaurant. That's about the only positive I can remember from that dinner. The line was long. SM was starving. She was tired. She was hot. And when she is any of those things, she's not pleasant to be around. Combine them, and she is down-right mean. She was so ugly to me in line as we waited to order that a complete stranger behind us tapped her on the should and said, "You're not very nice to your mom, are you?" To say I was embarrassed would be a bit of an understatement. 

We finally got our food. We found a decent table although about 500 people seemed to be in the restaurant. And Reagan finally joined us. Once SM ate, she was a little more bearable. We ate finished our meal, shopped for a minute, let her ride the carousel, then headed back to the hotel.

On Sunday we left our hotel bright and early and headed to Magic Kingdom. I always joke with Reagan about how much SM is like him. Neither have ever met a map they didn't like. Every time we enter a park, they both have to have at least two copies to refer to as we make our way around. 

We had reserved a few Fast Passes for the day. The first time SM got to use her band was at the Haunted Mansion. For some reason she likes that ride. 

You'll notice the red bandana around her neck. I forget what they are actually called. You wet them, wring them out, and wear them around your neck to keep you cool. When Reagan mentioned getting them for this trip, I was like, "No. We'll look like nerds."

Y'all, we looked like nerds for a whole week. But we were cool nerds. We also wore water bladder backpacks. Even nerdier. But again, well-hydrated nerds. 

Before going to Disney, SM had talked and talked about finally getting to ride the big roller coasters. She was so ready. Her first was Big Thunder Mountain. 

Her second, Space Mountain. That is my favorite, and it became hers too. We rode it twice that day and I believe twice the second day we went there. 

We rode tons more rides, drank gallons more water, and experienced more than one tantrum or melt down. But the day ended well. See...

The next morning Reagan attended classes for his conference. SM and I hopped on the bus at the hotel and headed to Animal Kingdom. And have I mentioned it was hot in Orlando, Florida at the end of July? Cause it was.

We rode the safari ride and the white rapids ride. We watched the Festival of the Lion King, and then we went to Expedition Everest. She has talked about this ride about a hundred times since she first saw it a few years ago. Her cousin, Mitch, told her that it went so fast that people fell out of the seats. She retold that to anyone that would listen for about 3 days. This trip, she was going to check this thing out first-hand. And she did. 

She loved it. But she didn't care to do it a second time. 

Reagan joined us right after we finished this ride. We all went back to the hotel to enjoy some time out by the pool.

The next day, Reagan went to class, SM went to KidCare, and Momma took a nap. Around lunch time, our friend, Nicki, and her boys, Jonah and Micah, drove over to spend the afternoon with us. We played in the pool while Reagan attended classes. After he finished, we all rode over to Downtown Disney for some bowling. We laughed a lot. And got drenched in a late afternoon downpour. Good times. 

The next morning SM and I hung out in the hotel room while Reagan attended the last of his meetings. After lunch we went to Epcot. SM road Soarin' for the first time. She liked it, but said she didn't really want to do it again. 

Keeping her hydrated. Diva.

The following day we spent time at Hollywood Studios. It all began well enough. We went to Tower of Terror, followed by Toy Story Mania, and ended our morning at the Indiana Jones show. That's why, for the rest of the day my 6-year-old GIRL walked around dressed like this. 

We visited the Frozen exhibit. She got to see the ice skating show and play in the snow. 

We had lunch at the Sci-Fi Diner. It's one of SM's favorite. Not for the food so much as the fact that it's the only place I allow her a Shirley Temple. It's the first place she ever had one and for some reason along the way I've told her it's the only place she can have one. She requests we eat there every time we visit Disney.

We visited a few of the other shows and had a pretty good day for the most part.  Then, late in the afternoon, Reagan and I got an ice cream. We got SM a frozen lemonade. The ice cream Reagan and I both got were the Mickey kind - vanilla Mickey shape, hard chocolate coating. We don't allow SM those kinds of things because, for some reason, her body cannot handle the artificial flavors, especially those used in the chocolate. So, my precious husband had the idea that, if he removed the chocolate, she could have the vanilla part of the ice cream. BIG mistake. Huge. 

After the ice cream, we watched the Little Mermaid show. Then we started heading to the park entrance to go home for the day. It was hot and we were tired. Before leaving the park, I wanted a picture of SM in front of the Hollywood Studios sign because I hadn't gotten a pic on the way into the park. I don't know what she thought I was asking of her, but she lost it on me. She threw something she was holding at me - I think her Indiana Jones whip. She screamed at me. It was bad. It was really bad. We could not get out of there fast enough. I told Reagan to NEVER give her anything again with artificial ingredients. Although, I'm sure that behavior wasn't completely due to the ice cream, I firmly believe it was part of the reason she threw such a fit. We went to bed early that night.

Our last full day at Disney started with breakfast at Cinderella's Castle. We always love it because it allows us to see so many princesses at one place, without the long lines. We aren't "long lines" kind of people.

We spent a full day at the park, went back to the hotel for a little rest, then came back to end our vacation with the parade and fireworks show. 

We had a great time at Disney, but it wasn't over yet. The next morning we check out of our hotel and went to visit our friends, the Glenns. I'll share that in my next post. 
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