Wednesday June 16 we loaded up Fiona, paid a service to keep the pets from starving (actually she over fed Vladi and he looks like he needs to unbutton his pants but he's not wearing any) and got on a plane to go to Orlando, FL to meet up with almost all of Dave's side of the family (BIL B & SIL J are expecting a baby in the next month or so, so traveling cross country was understandably not on their to do list) to celebrate Dave's Dad's 60th birthday in Disney World.
So that means we had 10 adults and 5 kids (2 who are under a year) to organize. Almost the whole southern half of the family had just had the stomach flu (My FIL and one niece were the only ones who didn't get sick ) so we were worried about possibly catching that. These things combined with the logistics of traveling with a two year old just did not have me looking forward to this trip.
Maybe I cursed us or maybe I was just right about the potential for badness but the trip started out every bit as hellish as I expected. Fiona decided on the first leg of the airplane journey that she wanted to "go home". She was in full on melt down mode for the entire 3 plus hour flight sobbing, "Wanna go home Mama, wanna go home". If it hadn't been so frustrating it would have been heartbreaking. She continued to loose it and tell us, "Wanna go home" for the rest of that day until she finally passed out from exhaustion. Then when she woke up....it started again.
Either Fiona didn't get the memo about Disney being "The happiest place on earth" or she got the memo but couldn't read it 'cause she's only two. But we said "You're going to the parks and you will like it!". And in a way she did. She liked the shows and rides but in between she continued her mantra of "Wanna go home Mama, wanna go home". Eventually we were so worn down by it we took her back to the room and let her cry herself to sleep.
Friday was better she was still kinda grumpy and asked to go home a lot but we found something she loved, the teacups. We only had one really bad meltdown but after we fed her lunch she was almost her normal sweet self. Everyone was supposed to go out to dinner that night to celebrate FIL's birthday but there was no way Fiona was going to make it that late so Dave went and I stayed with Fiona who took a nice long nap and woke up happy. When they got back from dinner we went down to the pool (which she may have loved more than the teacups) and swam with my niece and nephew. Hilariously my niece and Fiona had matching swimsuits (Walmart is the place to shop). The hotel also did something really cool. On Friday nights they put up a big screen and show a movie at the pool. So we watched Toy Story 2 and then went back to the room to go to bed.
Just when it looked like things were getting better Dave, his brother P, sister T, and both nieces came down with the stomach flu in the middle of the night. Yeah I won't give you a play by play on that one but I will say that at least in our room it was like that one scene in Team America World Police (If you haven't seen it, it's a hilarious movie but the part I'm referring to is disgusting). So Dave spent Saturday in our room being miserable and I spent it trying to keep Fiona and myself away from him as much as possible so we wouldn't catch it too, which is not easy when we are all living in one room. Luckily Fiona chose that day to adapt to the situation and go back to being her normal happy self (I think the pool helped).
Sunday morning everyone was pretty much recovered if a little weak and we all went to breakfast at Chef Mickeys which is a buffet where you get to meet the characters. This was definitely when Fiona started to not just accept but enjoy the trip. Not only did she meet Minnie, Pluto, and Goofy but she got to meet and get kisses from Mickey House* (Donald was there too but for some reason none of the kinds were excited about him). Then we went back to the park and had a great day including riding the teacups twice. That night Dave heard her talking in her sleep and the only word that was clear was "teacups."
Monday we did Epcot and she met Tigger and Pooh and tried to give them the stuffed Eeyore I had just bought her. We had dinner in the France section (I think the restaurant was called Plate Du Jour) and it was a really excellent meal, I recommend the lobster bisque and my FIL says the onion soup is the best he's ever had. We got to the meet the chef, which I won't tell you about in case you ever go 'cause I don't want to spoil the surprise but it was charming.
Tuesday was Animal Kingdom. I think Fiona's favorite part was just hanging around with her cousin. Honestly I'll skip Animal Kingdom and Epcot if I ever go again but others may feel differently.
Then Wednesday we got back on a plane to come home. This time Fiona was great the whole trip. Actually she slept the whole second leg which is my favorite way to travel with her.
So we're home. Fiona, SIL AK, FIL, and I all seem to have avoided the stomach flu (knock on wood) which is particularly good in my FIL's case since he made it through multiple rounds and it would have sucked extra hard to get it on his birthday. Once we process them I'll post some pics. Don't worry this won't turn in to a travel log but we got a few that were funny or cool.
*We watch the Mickey Mouse Club House on the Disney channel and so Fiona thinks his name is Mickey House not Mickey Mouse.