Lori's Minute

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Vacation continued

Today is a day the grown ups are excited about because we are going to MGM and it is the weekend celebrating Star Wars. We get there and immediately a guy recognizes us as fans (no, we are not dressed in costume but I guess we looked like we were fans anyway) and tells us what is going on all day at the park and where all the characters are. We head to the Star Wars ride and pass several sand people and Leia. We get on the ride fairly soon and it was fun then over to the Indiana Jones stunt show (cool) and a few other things. We want to get a picture with Darth Vader so we get that, too as well as the kids faces in a Star Wars movie poster. Pete and I agree this is the best day so far. All the kids say is they do not want to go on the Tower of Terror ride which suits us just fine. The new camera seems to be working well. Back to the hotel for a swim. Tomorrow we go to Sea World and Discovery Cove and it is also Father's Day.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Day Three

Today we wake up and are ready for our second park...Magic Kingdom. The only thing I want is a picture of the kids in front of the castle. After the disappointment of the continental breakfast yesterday, we decide we will stop at the McDonalds which is right outside of Magic Kingdom. We all put on our required attachements, hats, sunglasses, etc. Since we do not want to eat breakfast all covered in suntan lotion, we decide to put it my backpack along with our digital camera, all snug in it's own bag.

The lotion is in a canister similar to the hair mousse product. Just before we head into McDonalds, I open the bag and lift out the can and it's totally EMPTY!!! "On no!" I say and my husband asks waht happened and I give him the camera and he takes it out of the case and it is wrecked! Our $300 digital camera is totally ruined!

I try not to blow a gasket. The day is just beginning and I am determined to have a good day. What about our picture in front of the castle??? Well, we set the camera in the car and see if it dries out while we are eating. Once we get to the park, we shell out money to purcase more lotion ( squeeze bottle this time) and we head to the castle. Pete tries the camera and we think it took a picture, we are not sure. An hour later I take the camera out to take a picture of us at the Aladdin ride but the lens is stuck so now we know it is gone for sure. Hopefully we can still use the memory card and the pictures that were on it before it got maced.

Again, determined to have a good time on this "vacation of a lifetime" we manage to have a good day. As we were leaving, it started to rain. In front of us my husband and son are skipping to the car...the only thing missing were a pair of Mickey ears on my son's head. (I wanted to get him the hat with the ears but he said no). Then my daughter said, "Look, a rainbow!" I kid you not, a rainbow over Magic Kingdom!

Before we went back to the hotel for another swim witheven more unsupervised kids, we stop and get a new camera and breakfast items for the fridge. I call my mom and tell her about the camera and in her usual calm voice says, "Well, if that is the worst thing that happens to you on this trip, consider yourself lucky!"

Yes, mom, I am lucky.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Vacation of a Lifetime, Day Two

Despite having gone to sleep at two a.m., I was wide awake at six waiting for my family to wake up and start this "vacation of a lifetime' . I took a bath, tried to be quiet since I know they needed their sleep to make it as long as possible at the park we are going to that day.

One of the reasons I picked the cheap hotel we were staying at was because it had a continental breakfast. We stay at the same hotel line when we used to go visit my in-laws in the U.P. They had a fantastic continental breakfast...better than my house. They had cereal, milk, juice, donuts, bagels, muffins, jellies, fruit and usually a waffle maker with a syrup canister not to mention a half a dozen other misc. items that I do not recoginize because I am a picky eater.

So, since I am the only person awake and I am hungry as always, I head down to the lobby for the continental breakfast. As I am about to leave, my daughter wakes up and wants to go along. I am happy to oblige and off we go with my daughter still in her jammies wearing flip-flops.

We walk into the lobby and I see about four tables, all empty except for some newspapers on one someone had left. I look for something that looks like a counter and see a cart. On the cart is a canister of orange juice, and a small bread basket which had about six packages of donuts...the kind you might find in a vending machine or at a checkout counter at a convienience(sp?) store.

I ask my daughter, "Is this it? Am I missing something?"

"Yep" she says, "This is it."

So much for my bright idea about saving money by not having to shell out the bucks for breakfast. We look at the donuts and each grab a package and she gets some juice and we head back. We share our 'continental breakfast' with the boys and get ready to go.

Our first park is "Animal Kingdom" We decided we are going to go to the Safari Ride and get a fast pass, a pass which tells you what time to come back so you do not have to wait in line. We all march the 20 minutes to the back of the park where the ride is located. As it stands now, the line is at least an hour long. We take the pass which is for one o'clock so we head to the bone yard where the boy wants to dig for dinosaur bones and that is all he wants to do all day. We hike the 20 minutes there and both kids dig for about 20 minutes without finding any more bones besides the two large ones that are part of what basically is a giant sand box. Then they go on the jungle gym and I say, "We are leaving this area and going to meet Mickey". The six year old does not want to go (a recurring theme throughout this vacation of a lifetime) but I tell him we will come back to the sand box,I mean bone yard, before we leave for the day. He agrees and off we go and march another 20 minutes to wait in line to meet Goofy, (a little handsy I might add) and then another 20 minutes to meet Mickey.

Now it is time for the safari ride so we drag ourselves 20 minutes and still have to walk through a maze before getting on the ride. I enjoy the ride even though we did not get to sit with the boys...they got on a different car which left without us. (Poor Peanut is my guide for most of the day). We saw elephants, giraffes, hippos, lions and leopards.

Afterwards we were right next to the train ride so we got on that one forgetting it was a train that takes you to another area of the park so we got off and got back on. Now we are hungry so we have lunch. The six year old spends the whole time feeding the birds his french fries. THe boys head back to the boneyard while Bree and I shop. We each find something we like immediately which is unusual for us and meet up with the guys to leave about six p.m.

We are all a little tired, but is was a good day. I realized if we would have waited the hour in line at the safari ride, we would'nt have to to walk all over the park to get back to it which took an hour anyway.

Back at the hotel, we decide to go down to the pool which is pretty full with unsupervised kids. We stay for about two hours and head back up and go to bed...exhausted and wondering how we are going to go the parks for the next three days. We had planned a couple extra days where we could take a day and rest, but the way it was working out with the weather and schedule of events, we would have to do all the parks first and have the last two days be resting days. It is ok, though, because it is the 'vacation of a lifetime".

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Vacation of a Lifetime

Finally, after seven long years, we went someplace on a family vacation. The kids have been asking to go to Disney for a couple years so since last August, we started to save money by eating more at home. I think we managed to save about $1200, which is enough to pay for the airline tickets and our hotel. A week before we left our hot water heater broke and it took about half of the savings but we were still going and we were going to a have a good time on our family vacation!!!!!

But, first we had to get there.

Due to our procrastination, we took a flight which landed in Orlando at 11:30 at night. By the time we got the luggage and the rental car it was one a.m. Then the directions hubby printed out were too small for me to read and I had left my magnifying glass in my luggage. Finally, after wondering for 20 minutes if we were going in the right direction, I ask him to pull over at the 7-11.

Now, I am not too sure how often a middle aged, blind woman walks into a 7-11 in Florida but I got the impression it's not too often. I realize later it was probably not a smart thing to do but in my defense I was delirious due to lack of sleep from packing non-stop for three days. I have to say, the two young guys in the store were so nice and helpful and even spoke in my language. The one guy told me the hotel was only two blocks away, "right by the Taco Bell and the IHOP". I can find anything if it is next to a restaurant.

Going back to the car, another guy gets out of his car but I do not see him until I hear his voice, "Here" he says as I jump and shout to which he says, "I'm sorry, ma'am , I am just gonna get the car door for you!" I say thank you and off we go.

Now we are at the hotel, we all have at least one piece of luggage and another item, we have to walk up a flight of stairs which are not lit and get to our room. There's a lot of "Mom, are you coming? Over here, Mom! Turn this way, watch that step, look out for the pole, Not that room! " We check the room out and except for what could be mold in the fridge, it seems ok so we all go to bed and fall asleep. It is two a.m. Day one of our 'vacation of a lifetime' has come to an end.

Tomorrow, day two.