Saturday, September 24, 2011

Orlando Trip Part 1

So this post is probably going to be long and include lots of funtastic pictures so I'm breaking it up into parts.  How many yet, I'm not sure.  I will begin at the beginning.  Mike had to go to a conference for his job in Orlando this past week (Sept. 19-23) and we had considered going with him because it's really close to Disney World and you lovely taxpayers paid for the hotel and Mike's flight and food, so it would just be my flight and entertainment we had to cover ourselves.  Also, my aunt and uncle live in Winter Haven, which is about 45 minutes from Orlando.  But alas, we are seriously broke and had decided we could not afford it.  My mom, though, really wanted us to go so my aunt and uncle could meet Elijah so she bought us an early Christmas present (and that's the only one she's allowed to buy or there will be consequences!!!).  So whoo hoo!  Elijah and I got to go with Mike to Orlando.

However, since the U.S. government that we love very much because they give Mike a paycheck every other week and we love our country, etc. etc., is still at times very STUPID, Mike had to take a more expensive flight with a layover.  (It's a long story that at the end of which, you would just say "that makes no sense" and conclude that the U.S. government is dumb.)  So the short of it is that I had to fly with Elijah by myself.  Now I don't know if you've ever tried to fly with a one year old who likes to move around but is supposed to be restricted to your lap--it's not pleasant.  Elijah was squirming and fighting me the entire flight to Orlando and occasionally threw toys that hit the sweet little seven year old girl sitting next to us. *SIGH*  He finally did fall asleep on my shoulder, but only when we were landing.  Also, I love southwest airlines but they let all the people in the A group go on before they do the family boarding.  Note to southwest: it's not really that helpful to let 60 people board the plane before those with small children since all 60 spread out everywhere and make the plane rather crowded already.

Anyway, after the horrendous flight we picked up the car seat that we'd checked and met up with Daddy/Mike.  My back was pretty much on fire by the time we picked up the rental car (that you lovely taxpayers also paid for, THANKS!!) because I'd been carrying Elijah since I'd entered security in KC because I'm also stupid and didn't realize you can take a stroller through security.  A shampoo bottle, no, but a stroller is okay.  Go figure.

So we got to the hotel and checked in and then went to dinner at TGI Fridays.  Elijah and I hadn't eaten since we left KC so we were very hungry on top of being tired.  But the hotel was very nice.  It was the Royal Plaza.  Here are some pictures from the room (and a few cute ones of Elijah in the room).

Goofing around with Daddy.

The view from our balcony.

Our room.  Yes, they gave us two double beds instead of a king like they were supposed to but we were so tired by the time we got there we didn't bother to ask them to move us.

Looking out the window of the balcony.

Unfortunately, despite our extreme weariness, Elijah dd not do well that first night in the hotel room.  He woke up around 10:30, right after Mike and I fell asleep and REFUSED to go back to sleep for hours.  I think I finally plopped him back down in his crib at like 3 a.m. and was like "THAT IS IT!!!" and was just going to leave him there to wail until he fell asleep.  Of course this time, he just lay down and went to sleep.  ::bangs head against wall::  We had tried this same tactic like four other times already so I have no idea what it was about this time that made it work unless he was just exhausted from fighting us or he just heard in my voice that there was no more sympathy from Mommy.  And, of course, he woke up promptly at 7 the next morning, bright-eyed as if everything was peachy keen.  I was propping my bloodshot eyelids open with toothpicks, but whatever.

On Tuesday we met up with my aunt and uncle and went to the Magic Kingdom.  I brought Elijah's baseball cap and sandals, assuming they would be a lost cause since he usually yanks them both right off when I put them on but my Aunt Patrice used her special aunt/executive powers and got him to at least wear his shoes.

Elijah was big enough to ride most of the rides, fortunately.  To get there, though, we first went to the Grand Floridian (this super fancy hotel) and parked there and took the monorail over.
This is the Grand Floridian.  Nice, eh?

Here's the monorail.

Little Man riding the monorail with my Uncle Ron.

This is the $15 stroller you can rent at Magic Kingdom.  NOT worth $15.  But whaddaya gonna do?  At least it kept the sun off him when he was in it.  It is rather annoying, though, that you can't take the strollers in the lines for the rides.  I mean, in theory I get that the lines are too narrow, but then it makes the strollers almost pointless because you move it like three feet from one ride to the next, pick the kiddo up out of the stroller and hold him for 30 minutes waiting to get on a 10 minute ride.  I guess that's kind of amusement park stupidity in general, but still.  I'd like to complain about it for a moment.

However, my complaint there ends because as we were entering the line for the Winnie the Pooh ride a Disney security guy was leading a girl who couldn't have been more than three around and she was crying because she'd gotten separated from her parents.  I was SO sympathetic to her parents at that moment.  I felt bad for her too because she was crying and upset but at least she was safe and didn't get snatched by the nearest freakshow pedophile or something, which is, I'm sure, the kind of things her poor parents were envisioning.  I said a prayer that she would be reunited with them quickly--before they had aneurysms or went into cardiac arrest.

 Here's little man in line for Winnie the Pooh.

I tried to take pictures in the ride itself but it was too dark to get any decent ones.  But these are Elijah riding the Winnie the Pooh ride.

Next we rode the Dumbo ride.  It goes around and the Dumbos go up and down and you're supposed to be able to control how high your Dumbo is by this little lever in the car but ours didn't work so we were stuck up too high most of the time.  Aunt Patrice tried to take pictures but could only get ones of Dumbo's belly.  So no Dumbo pictures, sorry.  Anyway, then we rode the carousel and Aunt Patrice did get some shots of us on the carousel.

By the time we were done on the carousel it was raining pretty hard so we went to this Disney 3D movie thing where you have to wear 3D glasses.  I wasn't sure if Elijah would be able to enjoy it since I didn't think he'd leave his glasses on his head--he hates anything on his head, hence the lack of the baseball cap I brought for him.  But the real thing he hated was the sudden loud music during the movie.  He started crying and shaking and I had to stand up with him in the back.  Also by that time he was getting pretty tired since it was time for his afternoon nap, but I paid $90 to get myself into the park (Elijah was free) so we were going to get the most out of my $90!  Here are him and Uncle Ron outside the 3D thing playing with 3D glasses.

We also got to see a parade with all the characters but we were far enough away that I couldn't really get any decent pictures.  We ate ice cream for his afternoon snack.  (That's right, I am very into good nutrition for my child.)  Then we went to the It's a Small World ride because my Uncle Ron LOVES that ride and was just DYING to go. ;)  Here are some shots from that.

Elijah riding the Small World ride in my lap.  He seemed to enjoy it the most because there was so much to look at.  It was slightly less annoying than I remembered.

After that we decided we had pushed him to his limit and it was time to head back to the hotel.  Aunt Patrice and I rode Space Mountain while Uncle Ron stayed with Elijah (it is one of two rides that he was too small to ride).  I remember when I rode Space Mountain as a kid I thought it was the coolest thing ever.  I wasn't overly impressed this time.  It seemed a lot darker than I remember.  Like it seemed like there were more stars when I rode it the last time.  But I guess that's the difference in perception from child to adult.  Not sure which is better.

So then we headed out.  Mike was almost done with his conference for the day so we needed to get back anyway so we could have dinner with him.  We rode the monorail back and Elijah fell asleep on Uncle Ron's shoulder.

He was tired!!!  He was a big grump at dinner that night but when we got back to the hotel and put him to bed he slept straight through until morning.  So that was Magic Kingdom.  I will blog about the rest of the week in Part 2.

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