02 February 2006

seemingly doomed

Here's the post about the trip. Starts off pretty scary but ends more or less well, I promise.

The trip was supposed to be 13 of us staying in two lovely suites at Disney's Beach Club Villas for six days of fun at the Happiest Place on Earth. It didn't quite turn out as planned.

Friday night my sister and her husband were supposed to fly to Florida. She was going early to do a little shopping and get things sorted out at the hotel. Two pit bulls had other ideas. They attacked my sister and her two golden retrievers while her husband loaded up the car. She tried to make the flight anyway, after getting more than 20 stitches in her hand and assessing some puncture wounds in her dogs. They didn't make the flight. Probably a good thing, in retrospect.

I'll spare all of you my thoughts about the owners of these dogs, but feel free to tell me what you think of them getting a $100 fine and nothing else.... The only good thing is that the dogs were current on their rabies vaccinations.

There were no flights on Saturday from Portsmouth, NH to Sanford, FL. Also probably a good thing. They were planning to fly Sunday but a red streak appeared and started moving up her arm. Stitches removed, antibiotics started, surgery contemplated, etc. I'm way over-simplifying but the whole thing ended up with her getting IV antibiotics every 6-8 hours for over a week. She is still in a lot of pain but is done with the antibiotics and now doing physical therapy. It's going to be a long road. Oliver is especially thankful for his cross-stitched Christmas stocking. His aunt may not be able to engage in that activity for a while.

As for us, and extremely minor by comparison, I woke up Saturday, the day before we were scheduled to leave, with food poisoning. My body spent five hours ridding itself of toxins by all available routes. Then I felt fine. The culprit was a bad sandwich from my favorite local food store, Whole Paycheck. It had been quite tasty. I'm going to assume it was a fluke and continue to shop there.

These two events left me thinking I should crawl back into bed and wake up in a month or so, not giving the trip another thought.

We left very early Sunday morning for Florida, all the while thinking my sister's doctor was going to let her leave later in the day. We didn't get the news they wouldn't be joining us until our arrival at the hotel.

Our party was down to 11 (my mom and step-dad, eldest sister, her husband, her two daughters and their husbands, CD, Oliver and me) and we were all more than a little upset about our missing family members. My sister had planned this trip for about two years. We were spending her Disney Vacation Club points for the hotel. It was all just wrong. Oliver, of course, didn't have any idea about what the rest of us were thinking and tried like crazy to cheer us up at every opportunity. He's a happy kid and seemed to know we were all supposed to be happy too.

Monday we took advantage of "extra magic hour" at Animal Kingdom and went to the Kilimanjaro Safari ride, where there was no queue. (A recurrent theme of the trip is rides without queues. Our timing was exceedingly good most of the time.) I made the most of it being my birthday and got my button at Guest Relations before checking out the Baby Care Center. (I have now visited all the Baby Care Centers at Walt Disney World. I'll be sharing my thoughts in a later post.) We liked the Bat House too. We also made a quick trip to the Magic Kingdom in the afternoon. The line for Dumbo was too long but we visited Mickey at the Judges' Tent in Toontown Fair and got the first autograph in Oliver's book. We then found the boat to go to Wilderness Lodge and our group dinner reservation at Whispering Canyon Cafe. That restaurant is a blast!!! The staff are very entertaining, to make a gross understatement. I will forever refer to the Grand Floridian as "The Red Roof Inn". Oliver was darn near angelic. [Note to self: make all dinner reservations with 9 month old children at 5pm.]

One thing Oliver didn't like was the pool. He behaved similarly at the lake last summer. It's no reflection on his Uncle Greg.

Here are a few highlights from the rest of the week, rather than the blow by blow:
Soarin' at Epcot - mmmm, smell-o-vision
Richard Petty Driving Experience - CD did the 140 mph ride along and the smile means he liked it
Extra Magic hour at the Magic Kingdom - four rides in half an hour, not a queue in sight
Character Breakfast at Cape May Cafe - Characters in beachwear!
Mini Golf at Fantasia Gardens - CD kicked my ass but it was still tons of silly fun - we should get that silly more often
Tea at the Grand Floridian - elegant and yummy, yet not at all stuffy
Dinner at the California Grill - only our second night out since Oliver arrived and it was lovely

One of the last things we did was visit Lynda, our favorite employee of The Rose and Crown in Epcot. She was our server back in October and it was love at first sight for Oliver. He cried every time she left our table. They traded pins and made a date for January. We had to make good on our promise to visit her again. This time she was tending bar so we stopped by before our dinner reservation (5pm, of course). Lynda recognized us immediately and had a lovely reunion with Oliver. One more autograph in his book. Which reminds me, I really need to get pictures in the mail to Lynda before she heads back to Disneyland Paris. Maybe we'll see her again if we get to France on our next trip across the pond.

I can't say enough about how cool the hotel was. All hotel suites should be like these. We had a full kitchen, washer, dryer, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, three tvs. It was crazy. Our bathroom had so many doors I kept getting lost. For better and occasionally worse, we could watch the nightly Epcot fireworks from our balcony. They woke Oliver up a couple of times but this fireworks addict enjoyed them nonetheless.

So the trip wasn't exactly what we were hoping, but we made the best of it. I hope we can do it again someday, but WITH my sister this time.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

So sorry to hear about your family members, but I'm glad overall you had a great time. Happy birthday!!!