On Saturday evening, I finally broke my husband down and convinced him that we should tell the girls what the surprise was.
We videotaped it but I can't figure out how to share it here. Needless to say, they appeared more excited about the flight and concerned about where the van would be then going to Disney. It took me a few minutes to figure it out.
One of the girls had "guessed" Disney earlier after eavesdropping on a phone call and Brandon fibbed and told them that you had to be 10 to go. So Lainey thought that she wouldn't be able to ride anything. Thus, the anti-climatic videotaping session. Once we cleared that up, she was very excited to go. Since they don't watch much TV they don't see a whole lot of commercials so they weren't sure what to expect. I'm sure if and when we go back they will be much more excited. Tee hee!
We ordered pizza and ate on paperplates the night before we departed. We had zero issues getting the children to go to sleep. (Hmm I wonder why?)
Brandon and I finished packing and we headed to bed around midnight. At 3am, Solomon woke for a feeding right before our alarm clock was scheduled to go off.
I nursed him and dressed him and then put him in his carseat. I thought for sure he'd doze off, but he sure seemed to know that something special was about to happen. He was wide awake.
The girls got up without much issue. I put them to bed in their dresses and leggings the night before so all they had to do was eat breakfast, brush their teeth, have their hair done and put shoes on.
While I did their hair, Brandon loaded the van. And we were off. It was 4:20 am and we were right on schedule.
Funny story of the day: Julianne saw Brandon putting on his shoes. She opens her mouth wide and says "Daddy, you are going to Disney too!?!?!?" Uhhh.. yup. Priceless.. not sure if she thought just the kids were going or what. So funny.
We arrived at the airport right around 5am. At the last minute we decided not to use the economy parking that was poorly lit and quite a distance from the airport. We quickly found a close parking space and took a few minutes to gather our thoughts. I was stressed and needed a few minutes to pull myself together.
We started to unload our things. An advantage that we quickly noticed as our children have gotten older is that there are more hands to help.
I unfolded the double and single umbrella stroller and started putting children in. We had three suitcases, a diaper bag and a backpack. Brandon carried the backpack and pushed a stroller. I pushed a stroller, hung the diaper bag on the stroller handles and drug a rolling suitcase. Lainey pulled two suitcases.
We didn't have far to go but it was SO helpful! We got on the elevator and barely fit. Then we went to the airline counter, turned in our luggage and got our boarding passes.
Next up was security. For a few weeks I had worried about going through security. I prayed about it alot. And I have to say, every prayer was answered!
First, we went to a podium. The worker checked our IDs, asked the girls their names and passed us through. While we were waiting, I took everyone's coats off. Then I took off the children's shoes and put them in a bucket. Coats in another bucket. Bags on the conveyor belt. I picked up Solomon from the stroller and asked Julianne to stand. Brandon folded the stroller and put it on the belt. He picked up Xander and folded the stroller and together we put it on the belt.
I walked through with Solomon, Brandon walked through with Xander and both of the girls walked through on their own. We grabbed the buckets and went to the bench to put everyone back together. Xander's almond milk was tested and we were on our merry little way. No nekkid scanner, no patdowns.
Easy, breezy, beautiful.. covergirl. Oops.. Just easy, breezy, beautiful I mean!
We easily found our gate and noticed that we were near a bathroom and a small stand with some breakfast items. We asked the girls if they wanted a banana or a yogurt. One had a yogurt, one had a banana and I got a banana for Xander. Brandon and I got breakfast sandwiches and a drink. I ate the sausage off and gave the biscuit to the girls to split. It wasn't a very good biscuit at all and I was still nervous about the flight.
We camped out at the gate and looked around. We made some smalltalk with another group sitting next to us. I popped my anti-histamine dose and all was well. (Yes, I'm still on an anti-histamine cocktail...) Oh and I snapped some pictures of us in our early morning groggy state. (None of us are morning folks- but Xander was having a pretty good time!)
We gate checked the strollers and walked on with just the diaper bags and the backpack. We had four seats all on the same row. Three on one side and one seat on the other. The flight went really well. Solomon finally fell asleep after nursing again and slept for most of the flight. Xander took a short nap. Before long we landed!
Once we got to the Orlando Airport we quickly found our way to the tram and followed the signs to Mickey's Magical Express. We showed them our tickets and quickly loaded.
Apparently, our bus driver was very new. I mean.. like maybe her first day out of training? It was a rather scary drive with lots of heavy breaking, a heavy foot on the gas followed by heavy breaking and back to heavy accelerating. And tediously slow turning. Brandon and I just looked at each other.
But we got there in one piece. Somehow seeing this on the way made things all better.
We walked into the All Star Music Hotel and holy smokes it was busy. We stood in line for about an hour. During that time, we had our first sprinkling of pixie dust. A man walked up to us and asked if we could use some apple juice boxes. They were all sealed and still in the big outside package. He explained he over bought at the grocery delivery and that his bag was too heavy to take them home. I thanked him and then he offered some bottled Lipton Green Tea. We don't drink that so I passed and wished him a safe trip home.
Luis checked us in and the only thing that was not 100% correct was the pack and play situation. We requested two and only one was already in our room. Not a huge deal really and I knew it was going to happen because I saw it when I tried to do online check in the night before (unsuccessfully.) We did get the building we requested and he said that they would send a pack and play up.
Our room was ready so we headed to our building to lighten our load a bit. As we were sorting through things to leave at the hotel there was a knock and our pack and play arrived. Then there was another knock. Our luggage arrived.
We headed down to the Intermission Cafeteria and ordered lunch.
We used 4 counter service credits:
2 bacon cheeseburgers, fries and icecream sundaes
2 grilled cheese sandwiches and fries and grapes
A soymilk, 1 chocolate milk, bottled water, lemonade.
And we picked up all four of our reusable mugs that came with our dining plan.
Then we got another soymilk and used a snack credit for that.
Next up: Day 1 Continued Epcot