Hey everyone, I know I've been talking about this vacation for a while, and I know that a lot of you have been waiting to hear about it, so here it goes...
The trip started last Sunday, we took the red eye flight from Seattle to Atlanta. Our plane was scheduled to leave at 9:50pm, but after boarding the plane, it was announced to us that the fuel gage on the plane was not reading right, and they were troubleshooting it. This really had us worried. We only had a 90 mins layover in Atlanta. In most other airports it would be no big deal, but Atlanta is confusing, and has this tram system, and I was depending on those 90 mins to get us were we needed to go, along with a much needed bathroom break (they need to happen often when traveling with kids). During all of this troubleshooting that was going on, I was trying to encourage Olivia to sleep. We had, on purpose skipped her nap that day, I know she was more that a little tried. She started resisting me. She was excited, she was on a plane, and she was on her way to Disney. Even though she's a three year old, that has never been to Disney world, she knew from what she was told, "It's magical." After about 40 mins of sitting at the gate it we were told things were looking up, and we would take off soon.
Olivia finally fell asleep after take off. This is about when I discover, we are in one of the few rows that doesn't recline. Great now how am I going to fall asleep? I ended up dosing off and on, for most of the four and a half hours of flight. I maybe got two hours of sleep tops. Not a very good way to start a vacation, but what could I do about it. We booked the red eye because we hoped all of us would sleep on the flight, and this would put us at Orlando early, and we would get more time in whatever park that day. Darien got about the same amount of sleep as me, Zach got three hours, Olivia got about three and a half, Nathaniel slept the full flight, and Jeremy didn't sleep at all. Okay so maybe the red eye wasn't the best plain, but oh well.
We finally land in Atlanta and we only have 30 mins until our next flight. I guess making up the time in the air wasn't an option, in fact they must have flown slower, because yeah we only have 30 mins, and to top it all off, out ticket didn't have a gate number on it, so we have no idea at first were we needed to go. Once we finally found the flight board, we were surprised to see that our next flight was very close, and we would have enough time for a bathroom break.
We boarded the plane for Orlando, and we were more than excited to be this close. We were sitting behind this family of five, that seemed to be destine for Disney as well (they had a magical express envelope, just like us), but boy were their kids bratty. Okay, maybe my kids are just really well behaved, but these kids were a mess. I mean if your parents are nice enough to take you to Disney World, then you think you would be on your best behaviour (maybe). The whining and fussing that came out of these kids just really surprised me, and made me look at my own kids, and thing "Wow, I'm so lucky." We toughed down in Orlando at about 7:30am EST, and we were so thankful to finally be there.
We stayed at the Art Of Animation Resort, in one of the Cars rooms. It's the newest of the Walt Disney World Resorts, and it's awesome. It has rooms that fit up to six people (same size as our family). The resort has four themes Nemo, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Cars. The resort is really nice, but is also really crowded. If you want to get breakfast without fighting a crowd, you need to get down there at 7am right when they start serving. If you wait until 8am you are going to have to fight for your food.
Our first day we were going to spend it at Epcot, so we hopped the bus. For those of you who didn't know, if you stay at a Disney Resort, they have buses going to all of the parks, so you don't have to worry about transportation. Once we were off the bus, I spotted a soda machine with Jeremy's favorite monster favor in it, so he had to get one. We walk up to the machine, and a dollar pops out (I'm not joking). So we take that, and then another one pops out. Yup the machine gave us two dollars. Once we were in the park, we went to Soran first to get a fast pass. We've always wanted to ride that. Then we went on the finding Nemo ride. After the ride, you exit into the aquarium, and boy did Olivia love that. Jeremy took the boys on Mission Space, and then we had Ice Cream. We were on vacation so it was okay. We went on Ellen's Energy Adventure, and Olivia thought it was so relaxing, that she fell asleep. We woke her up just long enough to make it back over to Soran (to use our fast pass), and she fell asleep again waiting for everyone to get back from riding. Soran was awesome! I went first and took the boys, and we were clapping by the end of the ride. Around 5pm we ate at the Coral Reef Restaurant, it was beautiful and the food was excellent! After dinner we met up with our friend Lauren. She was at Disney because she did the half Princess Marathon the day before we came. This was her last day before going home, so it was really our only time to met up. She is awesome and sweet. She goes to Disney all the time, because she loves it, and she also has friends that work in the parks. She rewarded us with text messaged savager hunts almost everyday of our trip, tailored to which ever park we were going to that day. We met up in Mexico (the Mexico in Epcot), and went on the Three Caballeros ride together.
By the end of that day we were super tired, as I'm sure you can imagine, so shortly after saying good bye to Lauren, we made out way out of the part, and on to the bus, and back to the hotel. There was no saying up, we all were sleeping by the time we hit the sack.
I was awaken the next morning by a loud and desperate cry. So I jump out of bed thinking, Olivia has woken up in a stage place, and is scared. Nope! I find Olivia out of bed at the mini fridge trying to open a little carton of milk. She was not scared, just thirsty.
It was Tuesday, and we were going to Magic Kingdom. We were able to get into the park before it opened, because we had reservations at the Crystal Palace for breakfast. It was nice walking though the almost empty park, on our way to eat a character breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and his pals. We made our way around the park going clockwise, after breakfast. We went through Adventureland, riding The Magic Carpets, Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean, and walking through the Swiss Family Tree house. In Frountierland, we went on Big Thunder Mountain, but couldn't go on Splash Mountain because it was closed. We rode the Haunted Mansion in liberty Square, then went on to The New Fantasyland. Wow that place was packed. Because there were so many people there we only got to ride Dumbo, and the tea cups, but we did get to see Ariel. She was the first princess we were able to see, and Olivia thought she was wonderful. It was great, she asked Olivia about her bears (Olivia had to bring Cinnamon and Nutmeg with her to the parks). In Tomorrowland we went on Space Mountain, The People Mover, and Space Ranger Spin. We also got to meet Buzz Lightyear here, and Nathaniel was so excited. After a late lunch we made our way back to Main Street, to see the princesses in The Town Square Theater, and watch the parade. Olivia got to meet Rapunzel (her Favorite), Aurora, and Cinderella. Rapunzel asked Olivia if she ever made things for her bears, like she does for Pascal, and Olivia just giggled and smiled. Cinderella asked the boys if they were going to take Olivia to the ball, and Aurora told Olivia she is so lucky to have such wonderful brothers to look after her.
That night we had dinner at Tony's Town Square, and stayed in the park well after dark. We ate ice cream while watching the fire works and it was wonderful. On the ride home on the bus, Olivia fell asleep in my arms. Perfect ending to a perfect day.
Early Wednesday morning I was woken up early on this day as well, but by someone else. Jeremy was sick, and throwing up. It was bad, he had been up a few times during the night, and he was miserable. He was so sick that leaving the room was out of the question. I made the decision to take the kids to Universal (to see Harry Potter) by myself. I didn't want them to miss it, not after coming all this way, but with only me, and the four of them, there was no way we would be able to ride any of the bigger rides. The boys were very understanding, when I explained it all to them at breakfast.
The four kids, and I made out way to the front of the hotel, all of us wearing a Hogwarts hats, representing which ever house we were. Darien (my oldest) is a Slytherin, Zachary (my second son), is a Hufflepuff like me, and Nathaniel (my third son) is a Griffindor. Olivia had on a Griffindor hat to, but she's 3 and we really have no idea what house she is in. The Valet notices right away, and asked wondering if we had any Ravenclaws in the family. I told him we do, because my husband is a Ravencraw, but he is sick today. He told us that he is also a Ravenclaw, and that he knows how to do "Wingardium Leviosa" without a wand. He took out a quarter, held it out in his right hand, then said "Wingardium Leviosa", and it flu up into his left hand. Nice! Then he flagged us a taxi.
One thing you should know about Universal, most people (like us) only go there for the Harry Potter stuff. The park was mostly empty, until you get to Hogsmeade. We were able to tour the castle without going on the ride, and we saw the Ollivander's demonstration, and the boys each bought a wand. We had Butter Beer, and bought Pumpkin Juice. I got a Hufflepuff shirt, and I bought Jeremy a Ravenclaw Stein. They did a wonderful job with Hogsmeade, it really does fell like you are there. The shops look just like you think they would. The staff is friendly and in character, and you can even hear Moaning Myrtle crying in the bathrooms.
We spent a somewhat short day in Universal, getting back early so we could swim. That's what we did when we got back. Jeremy was feeling better by this time, and he went with us. We tired out the Cars pools then the finding Nemo pool. The Nemo one was warmer, but in both pools I had the hardest time keeping a hold on Olivia. Her brothers can swim, so because of that she thinks she can too. She is not scared of water, not one little bit. After warming up, from going in the pool, we ate dinner, then did some shopping at the little store in the hotel. We bought everyone a pin trader set, so the kids (and us really), could trade pins with staff members. It's another little fun thing you can do at Disney. We went back to the room early, watched some Disney Channel and called it a night, hoping that no one ease would get sick.
Thursday was Hollywood Studios day. We grabbed a quick breakfast (thankful that Jeremy was feeling much better), and caught a bus. While getting on the bus, one of Zachary's pins fall off, and while I was able to find the pin, I could find the backing. This is what we were soon to find out is the problem with Disney pins. The backing is a rubber Mickey head, and they don't always stay on, so you pay anywhere from $5-13 for a pin, and if your not careful (or even if you are), you may lose it. Sure you can buy locking pin backs at almost any Disney store, but their not cheap ($7 for a pack of 14). Of course!
The first thing we did when we get to the park was get a fast pass for Toy Story Mania. From what we had read, and from what we were told, fast passes for that ride run out quick. I can see why it was a fun ride, and even Olivia could go on it. So if you want to ride it without a long wait, get a fast pass early. I went on the Tower Of Terror with Zach (only Zach), no one else was brave enough. I love that ride. We also went on The Great Movie Ride, Studio Backlot Tour, and Star Tours. We saw Muppet Vision 3D, Light Motors Action Stunt Show, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast. We looked in a lot of shops and I bought myself a Cheshire cat plush, that Olivia now thinks is hers, and she named it Linky. That night we ate at the 50s Prime Time Cafe, and that was a lot of fun, but we did end up being there a lot longer than we thought we would.
After getting back to the hotel, we took a walk, just around the Art of Animation Resort. We wanted to see the different themes, and it was so nice and beautiful and the kids loved it. Olivia had to get her picture taken with every wonderful thing she saw.
That night I could tell someone else was sick. I kept hearing frequent trips to the bathroom, and the awful noises to follow, and it was also confirmed when I woke up and saw the mess it the bathroom. Yup that morning, while everyone was still asleep, I was wiping chunky vomit off of the bathroom floor. Yes the glamorous life of a mom. Darien was the sick one. After Jeremy got up, I went down to the food court, to get breakfast for everyone. Jeremy and I sat down together on our bed and came to the conclusion that I would stay with Darien today, and also keep Olivia, while he and the other two boys went to Animal Kingdom (it was the best choice, and I didn't want everyone to miss out). It was okay for the most part (poor sick Darien), we watched TV in bed, and I updated my blog post. Yup I wrote some of this post then, but not much. We took a nap, and Olivia played with the new toys that Nathaniel bought.
By the time Jeremy and the boys get back, Darien is feeling better, and we decide to go to Downtown Disney. That place was packed! WOW! Yeah so maybe not the best idea. It was Friday night, so maybe we should have known better. We also got caught in traffic on the way back to the hotel, on the bus. Yeah that was also not fun. I think this is why some people never leave their house.
Saturday was Epcot again. We were going to be spending most of the day in the World Showcase, and that sounded nice. A little walking a little site seeing and shopping, great pictures. It was suppose to be a promising day... Yeah I'll get to that part... I went on Mission Space with the boys, we stood in line to see Mickey and Minnie, had lunch, and walked the showcase, but then I started to feel sick. The kids were doing Turtle Talk with Crush, when I realized I may need to go back to the hotel. I told Jeremy to stay there, and have a good time, while I took Olivia back with me. I'm really glad I took her with me, because not to long after I threw up, so did she. By this time I figured we were all bound to get it, and I just hoped that it would happen and be over with before we had to fly home on tuesday. Just an hour after hoping this Jeremy came back to the hotel with two sick boys in tow. Yup that's all of us! Boy it was a ruff night. Olivia and I sharing one bed, and Zach and Nathaniel were sharing another, which left one non-sick bed for Jeremy and Darien to share. Jeremy and Darien we helpful, and nice about it all though.
By mourning (Sunday) our hotel room smelled awful, and it was clear that even though Nathaniel and I were doing better, Olivia and Zachary were not. Since I still felt like I could use some rest, I once again told Jeremy to go ahead without us, take Darien, and have a good time. They went to Hollywood Studios and they had a really good time. I was glad to hear about it when they got back. I on the other hand, well I'm sure you can imagine, but you know how it is. I was just so worried about Olivia, she seemed so sleepy and she wasn't eating much. I just wished we were home. We hardly ever get sick, and now of all times we are sick, and we're 3,000 miles from home. We're suppose to be on vacation, eating good food, and having a blast. Well not anymore.
My first thought when I woke up Monday morning was "thank goodness we are leaving tomorrow." Olivia was doing a little better but not much. She wasn't holding down much still, and I was just so worried by how out of it she seemed. We went back to Downtown Disney that day, and the only reason we went there was because we figured it would be the lease crowded place, and we were right. At this point we really didn't want to deal with crowds. We ate at the T-REX for lunch, and we loved it. It's an awesome Dinosaur restaurant. The kids thought it was great! We took it really easy that day and just rested, we were really looking forward to getting home.
Tuesday, the travel day. I was so ready. I was still trying to get Olivia to eat, and not to fast. It was a struggle. She wouldn't eat, but she would drink milk, but then she would drink it to fast and throw up again. We boarded the bus bound for the airport at 11am. Disney had already taken care of our bags and boarding passes, all we had to do was get through security. The line for security was crazy long. Olivia was sleepy and insisted on being carried. She also insisted on carrying her bears, and got really upset when they had to go through the scanner. Poor baby. After trying to get her to eat something at the airport, she threw up all over me... eeek.... it was in my hair and on my shirt. Lucky I did pack an extra sweater, and having to wash your hair in the sink of an airport bathroom really isn't that bad :(. I was more worried about Olivia then myself at this point, so I just stuck my bad smelling wet hair in my hufflepuff beanie and moved on. We had a short flight from Orlando to Atlanta again, and that went fine. We had a two hour lay over in Atlanta and that wasn't so bad... until... We were about the board the second plane and Zachary throws up. I know! When will it all stop? ... Oh just wait it's not over yet. The second plane ride was five and a half hours long... eeek... Olivia borrowed my Ipod and watched the fresh Beat Band, while the other boys played DS. Everything was fine until Nathaniel threw up... Yup there it is. We had packed an empty shopping bag in one of the carry-ons for an event such as this, and most of it did make it into this bag, but boy did we all stink when we finally made it off of this plane.
We land in Seattle and I feel like cheering. We go down to baggage clam and began to wait for our four bags. All of them came but one. Oh no! I've never had this happen to me before. Jeremy ended up waiting in an hour long line (the kids and I were sitting near by), just to find out that it is on a later plane, and they will deliver it to us tomorrow. Well okay thats fine, I just wish we didn't have to wait an hour to find that out. We finally find our car, and it looks like a long lost friend, and we drive an hour to get home.
Ahhhh home, I love that word. So we are home now, safe and sound, and I am also happy to report that Olivia is doing much better. I think she just really wanted to be home. The cats also did fine without us (Jeremy had a friend of his stop by and check on them daily). I may never leave home again! ;)