Wow, well I don’t even know where to start with this one. We took a family trip down to Orlando to do Disney. John’s mom and sister have a time share down there so we stayed with them and Michelle’s boyfriend, James. It was such a great time!
We decided to drive the van down there. We knew we would save money in the long run because apart from saving money on flights (somewhat offset by the price of gas and hotel rooms), we would not have to rent a car that sits 7 plus rent a car seat and booster seat. Some people do the drive from Indiana to Florida in one day by waking up in the middle of the night and getting there late at night. We didn’t think this would work for us with the kids’ ages – particularly Layla. When Layla is asleep the person not driving can get some rest, but if she is awake there is no sleeping for the non driving person. She wanted to be entertained. I can’t blame her – it was a looooong old drive, and I’m sure her car seat was not the most comfortable for all day sitting. We decided that we had a fantastic time on our trip and can’t wait to go back when Layla is old enough to appreciate it in a different way and Michelle’s (as yet unborn) baby can ride some rides, but we will fly next time and stay in a Disney resort for a number of reasons, mostly because we can get to and from the airport, resort, and Disney parks with no need for a car!
We did all the Disney parks – Magic Kingdom three times, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. Hayden did the roller coasters! I couldn’t believe it, because he is normally so cautious. He started with space mountain. It’s completely dark in there, so I’m not sure how much he really liked it. He never wanted to go on it again, but he really didn’t show any emotion about the ride afterwards one way or the other. At Animal Kingdom he went on Everest, which was very fast and goes backwards and in the dark and all sorts, and he seemed to really like that. Everyone loved the Star Wars ride at Hollywood Studios, as well as the Buzz Lightyear ride there. In fact, those were 2 of the group’s favorite rides, although overall Hollywood Studios was my personal 3rd favorite of the 4. We did tons of rides, but we tried to have shorter days at the parks so we could also have some down time at the condo. Michelle is pregnant, Madeline has a leg that gives her trouble, and the two kids – well, need some downtime! So most days we had pool time as well. One evening we drove down to my aunt’s house to see my aunt, uncle, cousins, their kids, etc. My brother and his family were also in Orlando at the same time, so they went to my aunt’s as well. We also ran into them at Magic Kingdom on the way to Tom Sawyer’s island!
I was really so proud of the kids. Going into the trip, I thought for sure there would be at least one meltdown from each of them every day. The parks are just so over stimulating, and there is so much potential for crying – heat (which wasn’t too bad while we were there), hunger, thirst, waiting – that I thought we would have a few battles. But really, they were very patient and good. Which is good – because they should be allowed back in. 😉
It was really such a great trip, we can’t wait to do it again sometime! Madeline came back with us and is staying with us for 2 weeks, so for her and Hayden the vacation continues! Madeline is watching Hayden on my work days. She was going to watch Layla, too, but Layla couldn’t get her head around the idea of Mommy trying to work, so she went back to day care. That’s good for her anyway, as she really has a good time there.