Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Big Reveal: We're Going to Disney World!

I had been looking forward to this day for months-finally telling Evelyn we were going to Disney World.  Actually, it had been years in the making and it was finally the big day!

That day we sent Evelyn to daycare as normal so we could take care of a few things-like packing.  Up until about three hours prior to our departure I hadn't packed a thing. As a family, we aren't heavy packers-in fact we almost  never check luggage and regardless of the length of the trip will fit it into a carry on.

Once Boyfriend and I had gotten everything ready to go we picked up Evelyn from daycare (Penny had stayed back with us since she had a doctor appointment that morning) and told her she was coming home early since her Papa was visiting.

Once home, we sat her down to finally tell her.  I knew I wanted to record her reaction but if she saw me bring out a camera to record she would immediately know something was up.  So I came up with the idea of making a One Day video customized to our trip.  It was a great idea in theory-unfortunately the last question, "Do you want to go to Disney World today" for some reason didn't save!  Luckily I thought ahead and asked Boyfriend to also record us just in case something went wrong.

I already knew she wouldn't have an "OMG WE ARE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!" reaction-that just isn't her.  Boyfriend and I anticipated that she would give us that shy smile (which she did) but I didn't expect that she flat out wouldn't believe us.  Immediately following the video we took her to the bedroom to show her our packed luggage and she became pretty upset-refusing to look at it.  It was as if she was so scared we were playing a trick on her she couldn't allow herself to get excited.

Even when my mom came over to pick us up, she still didn't believe us.  When my mom asked her where she was going she would say, "They said we are going to Disney World-but I don't believe it."  We finally stopped trying to convince her we weren't lying and just told her she can wait and see.

We finally arrived at the airport and said our goodbyes to my mom, and asked her to take a family photo.  Evelyn refused to smile-little did we know this would be the trend of the entire trip.

Penny on the other hand (another trend for nearly the entire trip) was just as happy as can be tagging along.

Once inside the airport, we started to see a little pep in her step.  I could tell she was actually starting to trust us and the excitement started to build.  We arrived to the airport two hours early (when you work for an airline-you become paranoid since you know about all the things that can go wrong and are overly cautious) so we stopped to eat first.  While eating, Evelyn was abnormally impatient and wanted to get to the gate right away.  I tried to explain to her that we would be there for quite some time but I think to her-being at the gate meant we were really going.  Once we started walking to our gate, the smiles started appearing.

Unfortunately, they didn't last long because our scheduled 5:02 pm departure had been rescheduled to 5:57 pm.  I was actually pretty impressed with both Evelyn and Penny-they managed to keep themselves entertained and not make too much of a raucous.  Of course having packed a few new activities in Evelyn's bag definitely helped.  

Around the original scheduled time for our departure, I noticed that I was having trouble breathing.  Initially I had Penny in the carrier on my chest so I thought maybe that was what was causing it so I took  her out and put her on the ground, which she was just as happy to chill and people watch.

Even with the literal weight of my chest, I still felt like I couldn't breath freely.  My chest felt so heavy and constricted and like I just couldn't get air in.  Boyfriend knowing that I am, to put it lightly, an anxious flyer suggested that maybe I was already feeling anxiety.  

Full disclosure-I do medicate when flying.  I have never been someone who is totally comfortable on planes but once I had kids, my body reacts in a way I just can't control.  I break out in sweats, every bump makes my heart explode and my mind races, convinced we are going to crash.  It is quite maddening to be honest because right along with all of those reactions-I still have my logical brain telling me that I am (literally) crazy and need to chill.  I just can't control it though-the only way I am able to stop the physical symptoms is to take a (doctor prescribed) anti-anxiety medicine.

I make every effort to make sure my kids do not recognize my anxiety, I know they will feed off my vibes.  I went ahead and took half of my regular small dosage, hoping it would help me.  Unfortunately, this was not the only episode of high anxiety during our trip-and it wasn't just me.  That said, within a half hour of taking the medicine, I started to feel so, so much better. 

Boyfriend and I were tracking a storm that was coming in-it was scheduled to hit almost exactly the time as our new departure time.  Our airline was actually making updates almost every ten minutes advising us of where our plane was currently and trying to expedite boarding in hopes that we could depart prior to the storm hitting.  They let us know at this time it was highly likely we would not be able to make our connections (we were flying DFW-FLL-MCO) so I went ahead and made a car rental reservation just in case.  Spoiler alert-we had to use it.

Once on the plane, Air Traffic Control denied our right to depart.  So we just sat there on the runway, watching the storm roll in.

The storm was absolutely terrifying, and at some point I got a pop up on my phone warning us of a tornado watch.  Our plane was literally rocking from side to side, it felt as though we were going to tip over.  The kids were totally clueless though, Evelyn played with her new coloring books and Penny ate some snacks.

Eventually the storm passed and we were cleared for take off, once we went back to the gate for more fuel (delaying us even further). We were on the plane for nearly three hours before we departed, making us a total of four hours delayed.  We finally arrived in Ft. Lauderdale around 12:30 am and headed straight to the rental car counter.

This was the first time that I have ever rented a car and had to utilize the car company's car seats-since we were using the Magical Express Disney offers, we didn't have to bring along our car seats.  I was pleasantly surprised at the quality.  Mostly though, I was just relieved to be finally off the plane and on our way (officially) to Disney World.

I tried, really, to stay awake and entertain Boyfriend during the three or so hour drive, but fell asleep rather quickly.  I was just so mentally drained.  I think I slept the first two hours, waking for the last leg of the journey.  Both kids slept the entire trip, another spoiler alert-this is all they slept that night.

Once we finally made it to Orlando Airport, we dropped off the car and wandered around MCO for some time attempting to find Magical Express.  All of the instructions I could find were for when you are getting off a plane-not dropping off a rental car.  Eventually we stumbled upon it and even though it was a little after four in the morning I was SO stoked. Also, since we were arriving at such an odd time-we had a totally private chartered bus all to ourselves.

I started to tear up as we left the airport on the Magical Express because it meant that, even though it didn't occur as how we thought it would, we were finally at Disney World!

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