Saturday, March 31, 2007

And we're back!

From sunny Florida. What a dose of reality to come back to cold, grey, Michigan. I can't even begin to tell you what a DOWNER that is. I'm not sure I'll ever get warm again. I vowed before I left for warmer climes that I would wear flip-flops every day from now on. Now that I hear that snow is predicted for next week, I've had to rethink the wisdom of said plan.

Here are the highlights of the trip:

Disney is so magical. And seeing that magic through Jenna's eyes, well, that was amazing.

The magic of Disney extend to the convenience. Everyone is so kind, and there is so much to see. And the way they get you through the rides, your meals, and into the parks . . . I marvel at all of the planning that goes into this.

Weather was BEAUTIFUL every single day. Warm and beyond in the p.m., so we spent the afternoons in the pool (after a nap, of course!)

The family we traveled with was amazing. Everyone got along, and the girls put up with Jenna so well.

The place that we stayed was great! There was a pool (lanai) in the home, as well as a community pool with an awesome slide. In the clubhouse was a small movie theater, a gym, and an arcade/gameroom. There was also a play area, as well as volleyball, tennis, and basketball courts. I was skepical staying off Disney property for the first time, but it was well worth the five-minute drives to the park. I didn't feel as trapped as I did on the resort itself.

I got to see my good friend Maddy and her adorable kiddos. She made a long drive and we had dinner and went back to our place so the kids could play and swim. The time went too quickly, and poor Mads had to go to work the next day, but it was definitely a highlight for me. Love you, girl!

The lowlights:

My first reaction in Disney was of sadness. I missed Emily. It was my first time in Disney without her, and I felt that loss the whole trip. I would say, "Emily would love this!" Some day, my girl, we'll go back.

The sun. Not to sound contradictory, but the warmth of the burning sun got a smidge annoying. I'm not sure the burn on my head (the part) will ever heal. I swear I haven't had this much pain before. Note to self, BUY A HAT! I also got a nice case of hives from overexposure.

I dropped my camera. And not a slow, graceful fall, but a crash onto the pavement. That broke my lens. I can't even tell you the level of sick I felt. Serious pain. I realized that I have an unhealthy attachment to my camera. The camera itself works, so I really can't complain. And I had another lens with me, so I didn't miss a shot.

The screaming kids in the park, and the parents snapping at each other. It cracked me up, how we spend all of this time preparing for the perfect trip, then spend it cranky, hot, and snapping at each other. Such is the fun of travel! (Think National Lampoon Vacation. How true is this?)

Jenna got a migraine yesterday. I'm sure that's what it is. And I can't tell you the sick feeling I get in my stomach that she will need to deal with these too. She laid on the couch first thing in the morning, writhing in pain. She then threw up in the rental car on the way to the airport, then fell asleep all the way to the airport. When she woke up she was fine.

As we got on the shuttle from the rental car place to the airport, I realized Jenna's carry-on bag was missing. Bill took care of the loading of the bags while Jen was sick. OOPS! So I called the complex where we were staying, only to find out they couldn't get into the house where we were staying. Twenty minutes and three calls later, it is being shipped via UPS. Should be a hefty little charge.

Our flight appeared to be taking off on time (1:30 p.m.) and first-class loaded the plane. Then the dreaded announcement. "Maintenance problem. Could be up to four hours before it's fixed." Oh great. After about an hour, we noticed everyone on the phone, and a family near us suggested we call NWA and try to get on another flight. We could get Jenna and I on one flight, (6:00), and Bill on another (8:00). After much hagling, we all got seats on the 6:00 flight, with no promise of luggage since the other flight was rescheduled for 7:00 a.m. today. When we showed up at that gate after an entire day at the airport, we found that this flight was also delayed. By an hour and a half. Then we had a two-hour drive home from the airport. I thought I was going to have a breakdown. But we made it home at 12:30 a.m. Barely.

All in all, it was an amazing trip. Now I have three days of laundry to do. Good times!

See pictures of the trip on the photo blog.

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