So I suckered my sister and my parents into going to Disney World with me and my traveling circus. I'm not really sure what they were thinking, but I must have sounded/acted pathetic enough last December when we couldn't go that they agreed to give it another shot. Clearly they are way too nice or drinking too much. The really nice people at Southwest airlines assured me that missing last December's flights (I called before we actually missed the flight because I thought it would be rude not to tell someone that we wouldn't make the party even after we RSVPed) just meant that we would have that credit on our account for a year from the time of ticket purchase, and that I could rebook on-line using the confirmation number. Lo and behold! They were right. It was just as easy as buying a new ticket and whole lot less expensive. Not to mention that Carrie, Nana, AND a heavily guilted and coerced Papa were able to get on the same flight out of Indianapolis.
As the day of our flight approaches, I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to pack for the three of us without going over our bag limit. Southwest flies bags for free and I will forever want to give them a big, sloppy, inappropriately long kiss for that. But they fly two bags free per ticket, and I have two tickets for three people, four blankets, a booster seat, a car seat, regular diapers, wipes, pull-ups, swim diapers, sunblock totalling a million SPF, distraction toys for the plane, sippy cups, clothes, shoes, stroller, hair stuff, toothbrushes, 27.5 chargers, and 40 pairs of socks give or take 37 pairs. It kills me that I am unable to travel lightly with my children. I once wrote a "Travel Light" manifesto for my parents, sister, and friend as they were about to embark on their journey to visit me while I was studying in France and then bring me home. And despite the fact that I didn't put an -ly on the adverb in the title, I thought it was rather useful. The fact they took my advice was probably what made our stowaway trip on the Orient Express a success. Anyway, I did manage to pack our things in two bags with another bag holding the car seat and the booster snuggled inside. Then Sweet Girl's backpack became the kid carry-on and my backpack became the other kid carry-on.
Disney World was magical as always. On the way there, Carrie and I discussed the last time I had been there in the hot "peak" season months. The answer is it's been a long time; Justin Bieber was still in hoody onesies. What I remembered of Disney at it's most crowded is still the same. There are lots of people, lots of strollers, lots of matching t-shirts, lines can get pretty long, and you can easily get warm enough that handing over your first-born for a bottle of water seems reasonable. What I didn't know, or the media has failed to cover, is that Disney World has moved. It has moved to approximately 10 miles off the surface of the sun. About five minutes into the day and I looked like I had just completed a three day hike in the rainforest. We sweat so much I was pretty sure reapplying sunblock was an effort in futility and so I didn't. (I do not recommend or condone not taking proper precautions when dealing with the sun. Skin cancer is a serious thing and I've been known to get on an SPF box and preach about it.) Amazingly enough Whitey McTranslucentSkin didn't get a sunburn and my two EuroPasty children didn't either. Besides the heat some really cool stuff happened and it would take me forever to go through it all in detail, so here are some highlights:
*Friendly Skies - As Sweet Girl's mother, I imagined a thousand different ways for the flights/time in the airport to be awful; tantrums, meltdowns, getting lost, holding up the line in security, getting detained by security, not being able to sit still in the seat, tantrums, screaming, tantrums, and so on. Turns out I completely underestimated Sweet Girl and Little Man. I had a lot of help, but they were wonderful. Sweet Girl was excited about flying and sat still in her seat the entire flight. She played and watched videos on the iPad and just hung out in general. Little Man had some snacks, took a nap, hung out in my lap, took a nap on Aunt Carrie, and just hung out in general. I have a mustard seed pin that I purchased when I realized that Sweet Girl would be facing some pretty tough battles throughout her life. I bought it as a visual reminder that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. Thinking specifically of the flights we would have to take, I took the pin with me. Turns out I had made a mountain out of a mole hill, and my kids moved their own mole hills that day.