One thing I LOVE about myself is my ability to go with the flow.
So when my friend asked about a month ago if we were interested in meeting in Disney in early March, I was quick to say Yes in my head..What are the odds that my best friend and other close friend would be at the same place at the same time!! Of course, I spoke to my husband about it..He is usually the more cautious one between us. He thought about it and said "why not!" We had wanted to bring Nikolas after the deployment, but then you know how you 2020 and 2021 went.
So I had a month to do research and get a plan in place. Some things didn't go as planned. I had ordered family shirts right away, however, I later on learned that the "shop" could not make it. It was too late by the time I had checked that email account so I had to just pick out anything I could find on Disney.
I must add that being self employed the last 8.5 years makes it challenging for me to want to take time off from work. I don't earn money when I don't work. This was the first time I've taken 6 days off since when I worked in the finance industry 11 years ago. I am lucky that most of my clients were able to adjust a bit to get most of their sessions in. Bill also tends to take time off from his work for army trainings. This was a big deal that we both prioritized this vacation. My goal is to continue to schedule time off so I can live a life.
I did not sleep the night before we left. I was sooooooo excited but also nervous leaving Bella after having an AWFUL weekend with her. Awful as in she was throwing up multiple times a day and was so lethargic. A call to the vet and my own instincts led us to discontinue her new medicine after only 2 weeks. We brought her to our usual boarder. I hoped she would be ok. Bill and I stumbled out of bed at 5:30am to finish packing and get the house set. A little after 6am, we woke Nik up and were surprised by his reaction when we told him. It wasn't a jump for joy reaction. Instead, he face planted into the bed several times..then when he realized that it was real, he began asking how he could miss school, how we would eat, what about the pets, he needed to pack. I assured him that everything was cleared and his bags were already packed!
We hung out with my best friend at the airport. It was so nice to see her kids. I never get to see them since they're at their dad's on weekends. It was fun to share the excitement about the upcoming trip. None of our kids had ever flown before.
My strategy for transportation as a mom (Car, bus, plane) to and from Disney was to teach him about entertaining yourself and living with boredom. So we mostly people watched and looked at the sights. I had him point out any words he might know. We counted vehicles and planes. I also told him to help us find our gate and any restroom. On the airplane, I gave him snacks as well as a few activity books. One of his gaming devices was a LAST resort and was only used for 20 minutes. I am proud of that. I had no idea how it would be traveling with him with a layover on the way there and then a delay with a direct flight back home.
My strategy for the trip was breakfast at the resort, snacks at the park from my bag or a concession stand, and 1 table service meal per day. 1 or 2 treats per day usually consisting of ice cream or frozen lemonade. Part of living in moderation allows for those moments of treats. They're not to happen every day because then it does not seem like a treat anymore. It loses value. This was a special trip so I let him have the Mickey waffles and ice cream every day. Bill and I also indulged quite a bit with desserts and our table meals. We also walked about 16-20,000 steps a day so fairly active and also needed to cool off with temperatures hitting 85-90 degrees each day. I felt blessed to have very little pain/soreness walking that much. My only discomfort was from carrying a heavy back pack full of waters and snacks.
At Hollywood, we bumped into my other friend and her daughter several times. She spotted me at the Frozen singalong so we joined them! We were able to hang out for some of our time there..then we bumped into each other again for Indiana Jones..and then again when leaving! I'm so glad it worked out. I am also grateful that her "invite" pushed me to finally book a trip!
What a wonderful trip it was. He was the perfect age to go. No need for a stroller or naps. Very few meltdowns. He kept right up. He believed in the magic, that the characters, princesses and princes were real. He sang. He danced. He waved a LOT. He was very well behaved considering he was going to bed at 9, 2 hours later than normal. It was a special vacation so I broke some of my hard rules.
I can't wait to go back!!