(apologies in advance for a consolidated blog of our trip to Disney)
Clearly I have lost brain matter since having the boys so the trip is somewhat of a blur. I actually started this on vacation but I never had time to keep it up. Any down time was spent healing my back and feet and curling into the fetal position until the boys came bounding in the next day saying "Hi Mom!HowYaDoin MOM?" (letters purposly run together to simulate Nathan turning a sentence into one word)
They were the best of times, they were the worst of times...such was the theme of the trip. My memory is more in sound bites so I will replay both good and chaotic memories - and not necessarily in order.
1. Mike went old school on me...doesn't believe in strollers.
When the boys were babies, Mike saw a toddler in a stroller in Target. He couldn't believe the kid wasn't walking around. Thought the parent needed to get him out of the stroller. (Huh?) Fast forward to Disney, millions of people, overtired kids...no stroller. If the boys weren't running around, I was carrying one of them. Ugh. There were three, half-days that I convinced him to use a stroller. Two out of three were a bad idea.
Upside? 5 - 6 miles a day carrying dead weight, easily a 30,000 calorie-a-day burn. I figured since I burned all those calories, I could eat lots of chocolate when I got home Aaahhh! The Magic of Disney!
2. Sleep? No sleep.
The boys were so overwhelmed that we couldn't get them to nap. We had to throw every technique out the window and think fast - we needed them to sleep more than 8 hours a day. We employed two techniques. The first is called the "Starbuck's Strategy". This is where you use the combination of your navigation system and laptop to find all of the Starbuck's within a 100 mile radius. Midway through the day, we plop the kids in their carseats and take off. They end up asleep in about 10 minutes and we get our coffee. The 2nd strategy was to lie in bed with them at night until they fell asleep. I loved doing that and wish it was easy to do at night at home but as Cassie always says, "don't do anything you don't want to do forever". It worked at Disney and they slept well after the 1st night.
Downside - Nathan teething so he would leave huge, soaking wet spots on my shirts when he fell asleep on me. (but I wouldn't trade it)
3. LaQueen and TOW Mater (a.k.a. Lightening McQueen and Mater)
They love the movie. They love the cars. They play with them, carry them around in pockets, lose them outside. They line them up, match them in pairs. Drive them around the floors but meet them in person? Not the reaction I expected.
4. "Jamie, meet Mickey, Mickey. Mickey meet Jamie"
We met Mickey. Jamie was fascinated meeting him. Even waiting for him, the boys were patient as they remained glued to a tv watching cartoons. Nothing short of a miracle.
5. Finally, a BEER!
On our last day at Disney, we visited EPCOT which turned out to be a real hit. You mostly think of it as a playground for older kids and adults. We played the first part of the day at Innoventions, World of Imagination, Turtle Talk with Crush and the Living Seas with Nemo. After lunch, we toured the World Showcase. About 1/3 through, the boys fell asleep IN THE STROLLER! Could it be? Asleep? You know what that means?!?! We hit the beer vendor and pay $15 for two beers. May sound crazy but I handed the cast member my money with glee! With the boys asleep, we could easily take pictures of them because they were sitting still. We went to one of the pavillions to add onto Mike's troll collection.
Hilarious? I thought so. Mike didn't see it as funny as I did.
6. Our first ride
One of my favorite memories will be riding the tram our first day to Disney MGM studios. It was warm, the boys were lovin' it. Their little faces turned toward the sun with the win blowing through their hair. It was magic.
7. Nathan hits on some girls.
The morning we went to EPCOT, we were parking our stoller in the stroller "parking lot". We turned away from Nathan and heard a young women giggling. When we turned around. He was holding hands with a miniature princess. She was all dressed up like Belle and Nathan was holding her hand. Good thing she had a twin sister ;)
8. Dude, Turtle Talk with Crush is Awesome!
Kids up front, adults in back. We took the kids with us because they were a little young. They were squealing and yelling and having the best time...and so were we. They have two cast members that can play that part. It's completely improvisational and I imagine him with little electrodes hooked to his face because "Crush" has facial expressions while he is talking - expressions that go to what he is saying! It was incredible! In a time when it is hard to amaze me, I was amazed.
Our room at the Animal Kingdom faced the Savannah. We had the giraffes outside of room every day. Spectacular. They were so close. The weirdest think was this bird that sounded like a cat. He would sit across the way and make sounds early in the morning. I kept hearing him around 6am and thinking someone brought their cat. I was so groggy and barely awake but I kept hearing that sound! Then I started to wonder if they brought a litter box and where they hid it and if they put him in the kennel and by then, I had completely over analyzed the situation and I was up...
There is more but I am sure Google will stop me soon. As a former cast member, I cannot think of Disney as anything other than a fantasy, pure magic. The first few days left me wondering if you could still find the magic in the rat race of kids and people. But I did. And it was. 15 years ago I found my way to a place that will always be in my heart. A place I hope to return someday, as a cast member once more. Although this time, they're paying me more than $5.25 an hour.
~ just another former cast member and MOM