Saturday, December 27, 2008


5 theme parks, 4 tired people, 3 days, 2 ten dollar balloons, 1 dollar left and ZERO sightings of Mickey Mouse in person. Really, who goes to the Magic Kingdom and does NOT see Mickey Mouse - we do, that's who.

We had a great time in Orlando, but I can say that we did not see Mickey Mouse in character the entire trip. Granted, we only did Disney parks on one of our 3 days. We were on a tight schedule and we were completely focused on cramming in every ride we wanted to, so doing character meetings was not important to my kids. In fact, we skipped A LOT of the Magic Kingdom. They would have stayed in Frontierland the entire time if we would have let them - it was Splash Mountain and Thunder Railroad that were the big tickets.

We started our trip with Sea World which they loved, and they were really only interested in seeing the animals, not riding anything. We had to drag them on to the Atlantis ride, upon which I got completely soaked from head to toe. I was one of those people coming off the ride that people laugh and point at for getting SO WET. We stayed until the park closed and we finished it off with the Miracles Killer Whale show in the Shamu theater - it was awesome.

Day two took us to the Magic Kingdom where we went straight to Splash Mountain. The park had been open for 2 hours prior and oddly enough the ride was not yet open. It opened just as we walked up and we were able to get right on. The best part is that upon exiting we were "winners" of Dream Fastpasses for the day. We were able to Fastpass 10 rides, many of them were the most popular rides, so this made for a great day for us. I feel kind of like a slug passing people who are standing in line for hours, but this really helped us fit this park into a half day trip. We were then able to go to Epcot for the rest of the early evening. Lines at Epcot were horribly long and we only rode Test Track and then wandered around the World Showcase. The kids loved Japan the most and we spent most of our time there.

Day three took us to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. This was a very cold day, which made it hard to really enjoy Islands - they have a lot of water rides and at 40 degrees there was no way we were doing it. There were plenty of crazy people willing to get drenched, and we laughed and pointed! We really wanted to ride the Hulk coaster, it has always been our favorite, but HUNK was afraid that we would end up with SNOTCICLES it was so cold. We ended up skipping it. In fact, we did not really do much at all by the time we got to Islands, it was really cold and we were all just pooped.

We tried to cram too much into a short time, and while we thought the kids were big enough to handle the all day time frame we were wrong. They just couldn't take the 14 hour days were were pushing. We will do it differently next time, but we did have fun.

We came home and had a great holiday with family - some came into town and some we took a road trip to visit. The kids had a fun, but small Christmas morning (the trip was THE GIFT). And now we look forward.

Monday morning my youngest will have surgery, yet AGAIN. A proceedure we had done in May of this year just isn't cutting it, so we are trying something new. While I hated to use her school break for surgery, this recovery is two weeks, so this way she will only truly miss one week of school......but it sucks for her. Luckily (I think) we are pet sitting for our friend's hamsters and guinea pig. This should keep her occupied once she gets home, something new and she can hold them and they will run around on her!

Think of us on Monday and send some good vibes. She is excited to go back because Children's Healthcare of Atlanta makes her feel like a rockstar. She doesn't even remember the pain, just the awesome staff and all the fun distractions that are there. I, however, will be on the verge of mental breakdown. It's difficult - to watch your child's body go limp as they put her to sleep. To know that her little body needs help and that you have no control over any of it. But I do realize that we are lucky, that this is our only problem, that there are so many kids that have so many more difficulties. And we are blessed with near perfect bodies and so many is still difficult.