The title merely eludes to the magical time our family had while at Disney this past week. It was a much-needed vacation, and we had a great time. Lots of rides, lots of food, lots of fun…all the usual Disney stuff. Well, with a little blistering heat thrown in, along with huge throngs of sweating tourists from every corner of the globe. Oh yeah, and I can’t forget the whining kids, and did I mention the blistering heat?
All in all, it really was a magical time. However, if one more person told me to have a magical day, I was in serious danger of having my head spin completely around with billowing smoke pouring out of my ears.
Here’s a brief run-down of the trip. We left home at 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning, and by 6:00 a.m., we had kids asking us if we were almost there and if not, could we stop for a potty break. We very kindly told them they only had about 11 more car hours that day, and then the next day would be a much shorter 7-hour drive.
This was the first time Jadon and Jordan had gone on any sort of long car trip, so they were a bit overwhelmed. Ok, they were screaming. After the first hour, they pretty much hated the entire car ordeal, but there was no way we were going to turn back from our magical destiny now. No way. So, like any good parents, we began stuffing them full of soda and sugary snacks to entertain them. This actually worked well until they reached the point of feeling like Oompa Loompas, and they could not eat another bite.
Upon arriving at the hotel that first night, everyone was exhausted, but we were 13 hours closer to our destination, so we were all in good spirits. Stuffing 8 people into one hotel room was very interesting, and we had to do some creative people placements, but luckily we were just there to collapse and try to get a few hours of sleep. The girls took the floor, Jacob took the pull-out couch, and the little guys slept comfortably between Jason and me. (They were comfortable. We survived.)
After a short drive, day 2 brought us to our second hotel and Downtown Disney. The kids drooled over the pool that was within view of our room, and we told them we would see if we had time, but the plan was to go to Downtown Disney for some quality shopping time. Downtown Disney has always been a favorite for me…well, ‘cause I’m a shopper. That was until we took Jadon and Jordan. After about an hour and a half at the place, I would have voluntarily yanked out my own fingernails rather than stay there and shop more with them. They screamed in the stroller. They screamed out of the stroller. They wanted to play…except that when we let them play, they didn’t want to play. In short, nothing made them happy. So, our leisurely Downtown Disney outing was cut short for the safety and sanity of everyone involved. The kids lucked out…they got to take full advantage of that hotel pool after all.
Our first park day was at Magic Kingdom, and I’m pretty sure this is the day that Jacob’s “crotch fire” started. Do you know that teenage boys with this ailment can become extremely grouchy, especially when they do not feel they are achieving the sympathy level they deserve? Let me explain that he did not receive much sympathy from us because we had told him the night before that he probably should not sleep in wet shorts. But, being a teenage boy, he did not listen. Nope. No listening. So, he had a bit of a chafing problem that flared off and on throughout the trip.
By the end of the first day, we were sure Jadon and Jordan would stay scared of everything. In fact, in another moment of outstanding parenting, we concluded that the only way to successfully get them to stay in the stroller without complaining was to take them on a ride or to a show. This scared them so much that they were actually glad to be back in their stroller! This worked well, but Jordan started to warm up to the characters and the rides first, and Jadon finally warmed up by the very last day.
We came to the conclusion that Jadon, for much of the trip, looked like one of those abandoned chimps they try to rescue on a wildlife channel or something. He clung to Jason with both hands and both feet and buried his head in Jason’s chest, refusing to even look up at times. When he did look up, all we were able to see were big brown eyes staring over Jason’s shoulder.
It wasn’t until the next to last day that Jadon looked up, after hiding his face through an entire Nemo show, and said, “My pish.” Oh yeah, it was his fish…not sure how he even knew there was a fish because I don’t think he looked up through the entire thing.
We had a blast with everyone, but I have to say, it was such a fun year to take Marissa. She is right at the edge of wanting to be a big kid, but she’s still out little girl. It was so much fun to hear her giggle and watch her raise her hands on roller coasters…only to have her grab the handle and scream at the scarier parts. She has always been such an easy kid to travel with and so fun to take. From back when she was a baby, I can remember Jason toting her along in a backpack and taking her everywhere we went, and now she’s growing up, and she’s even more fun than ever.
Micaela and Haley fought like sisters, which is what I would have expected, but after a while, it just became funny. One of the fights was over whether or not someone had spun the table while someone’s elbow was on it. Seriously. Girls. Was I that dramatic as a pre-teen? Yep, probably so.
The other major moment of the trip occurred on the drive home. Just as we were driving through East St. Louis, passing all the cars on blocks and graffiti, Jadon decided to start throwing up all over Micaela, who in turn wailed about how she would probably smell like puke for the rest of her life. The. Rest. Of. Her. Life. And yes, in the chaos that ensued, I think I did start to giggle a little, mostly because it was not me who got barfed on. But I did try to tell her that she would be fine and that we would stop as soon as we found a nice, safe place. Then, she proceeded to tell me how he had chosen today—the day she was wearing her very favorite shorts in the whole world and her favorite tennis shoes—to puke on her. I told her I was certain he did not strategically plan for this to happen and that I would wash her things and that they would be just fine. She then informed me that I would need to wash them three times to get out the stink. And she was probably going to smell like that forever. Forever!
Needless to say, we made it home, if just a bit worse for the wear. Some of us were getting sick, some of us were covered in vomit, and one of us had a lingering crotch rash that reminded him daily of his mother’s wisdom in suggesting that he wear dry pants when walking around the parks all day.
We will go to Disney again. We will conquer it…every last square inch of it…sometime in the next 20 years.