Mostly harmless (corto) wrote,
Mostly harmless
corto

A trip to Orlando...

Mouse Hunting.



Our vacation in a day by day kind of journal... cut to save those less interested and thumbnailed for those without highspeed access... I hope you enjoy this and let me know if you see any broken links or glaring mistakes... I'll turn it into a web site words-bit in a little while. :D




Day one:

~ the screening process for hiring staff to work at the donut shop in the airport should at least include a strength check to be certain they can press the little heat sensitive keys on the cash register... Something the 240 year old lady at Tim Horton’s had trouble with.

~ Seats 30 a,b,c,d provided a back-of-the-plane view for the boys first ever airplane ride. It was delightful... they loved it. They even managed to deal with the air pressure, ear thing.


~ Serious snow in Toronto... oh my god I'm sick of snow.

~ we have to get up at 3:40 AM to be certain to be on the plane that leaves at 7:00 AM. kill me now. If we sleep in, I will die. We have a history with this kind of thing...

Day two:

~ we made it.



~ up at 3:40, on a shuttle by 4:30 and at the airport at 5:00.



~ we were shooting for the mile-high-club but a plane FULL of people powering back coffee made for constant line ups at the loveshack/bathroom so unless masturbating counts... no beans this trip. :D

~ other than kicking the chair in front of them far far far too often, the boys were gems on the flight with absolutely no serious complaining about anything (wow!).



~ arriving in Orlando was perfect... slightly overcast and warm. My brother and sister were there to collect us and bring us to the Liki Tiki or whatever this place is called ... it's a massive time share zone that my 'rents own some of.



~ this is a massive family outing... mom and dad, brother and sister, brothers girlfriend, ex-wife, two kids (jake and Zoe) and us... (Z, geo, ed, and moi).

~ That's twelve if your counting.



~ it's 12:30 and time for lunch. see ya.

~ hmm... well, the boys ... Jake, geo, ed and I went for a two hour swim'n'play thing in "the pool"... specifically named, "the pool" to contrast it to "the lagoon pool" which is altogether something else. This was great fun and I can clearly sense that geo will be getting a huge uplift in his swimming skills while here. It ended poorly when Ed did a bit of a mouth plant on the side of the pool cutting his upper lip... tears and blood are always kinda fun-stoppers. It's a small cut and he's much improved after a half hour of everyone koo'ing over him.

And now a word from our sponsors: This place... this Liki Tiki (I'll find out the proper name later) is a mini paradise, but a horrific stereotype of a hard HARD sell time share zone. My parents, ever vigilant in the pursuit of a deal, bought theirs second hand ("time share distressed resales" are the only way to go!). At any given moment we are invited to spend an hour and a half with the sales-force-from-hell and get paid handsomely for our time... Disney tickets, Universal Studios tickets, whatever.... but the thing is that the sales-devils will follow a time honored tradition of sending in the softy for the first hour and then a procession of "closers" come at ya at each "no". "No I definitely do not want to buy one." translates into "I have plenty of time, so why don't you get someone else to run through the numbers with us again." We'll see if I have the energy to go through their process... I'm kinda into the idea of forcing them to fuck off.



~ Ok... time to do some planning with Z. :D

~ more swimming... this time it's geo's turn to ouch himself... little abrasion on his foot.

~ dinner and hours of Cranium pitting the boys against the girls... and yes the boyz spent the time sitting on the data-head mark adjacent the starting cranium the entire time! :(

Memory: I'm reading something really quite amazing... a good friend from work has made it his habit to keep a small hand written journal when he goes on vacation. The first time I heard about it was when he came back from Ireland. I was so enthralled by his writing style that I was well baited for his return from Amsterdam a year later. Well, he just returned from an adventure in Thailand over the Christmas holiday... he went with his mui thai fighting club to train with some masters in Thailand, and once again, he kept a little journal. It's wonderful. I will continue to press him to find a way to publish these... no fooling, they are that good. I suspect a web site with actual scans of each page would be best because there is a great deal of flavour in the way his handwriting fades as drinks are consumed and the "I'm writing in total darkness" bits are priceless. The journals are peppered with little keepsake papers from the journey and the accompanying photographs are beautiful - Thailand is especially beautiful. This was my "airplane" reading and I'm just about done.
Note that "he" (the journal writer) is a livejournaler... His name is Rob - landmark, and the many notations in the journal on Thailand of his love for heather (hi heather!) are adorable. :D

~ it's now pretty well the end of day 2... I've been up since 3:40 and it's about 10:00 pm... I'm wiped. Time to brusha brusha (and I'll always think of izzicam Elizabeth when I say that) and curl up in front of one of the tv's and chill with Z. See ya tomorrow.

Day three:

~ sleep ended with the smell of the Walton’s breakfast table squeaking in under the door. My brother, his kids, and his women (lol) are doing Magic Kingdom today (we are slated for tomorrow - working off 5, 7-day park hopper passes, so we cannot all go at once), and the forecast calls for t-storms for the next week, starting tomorrow. weeeeeeeee.

~ our plan is to go swimming... not get injured, and go to Disney Downtown with the boys and enjoy the Disney bits and have lunch at the Rainforest Cafe. Then bring the boys back here for my 'rents to entertain while we do some more pointed shopping. :D Lets see how this works out...





~ and we're done... of course, very little worked as planned... except the swimming... no new ouchies is a good thing. George is making sudden and dramatic improvements in his swimming, as is Edward, however his are less obvious. We drove the 15 minute drive from where we are staying to the "interpark highways" of Disney (yes, we are that close...) and spent about 4 hours at Disney Downtown. There were decidedly low numbers of patrons from the look of the parking lot. :D Lunch was fun except it really fried my guts... left me feeling just terrible for the rest of the day (ug). My shopping tolerance is quite low to start with so just assume the worst for this. The Lego Store in Disney is phenomenal... we spent a lot of time there and in a store called something like "Play it again Toys"... the concept for that store was "a box costs 16$ and you fill it with parts to things like tinker toys, Lincoln logs, or Mr. Potato head parts, etc. As far as theme park stores go, this one was fun. We stuck to the seriously kid stuff there and called it a day by about 3:00. We've been napping, swimming, and writing post cards ever since. :)

~ tonight is another big family dinner thing, with a minor postponement due largely to human excrement. The Bar-b-q pits at the resort are in "our pool" (versus, "middle pool" or "lagoon pool") and at about 5:00 the had to clear the pool zone because some kid let a log go in the pool... nice huh. lol...

~ They've been cleaning the pool with all manner of implements of destruction ever since... and it (the whole pool area including bbq-pits) will be open again at 7:30. So we're waiting for that.

Observation: Disney does so many things well it leaves you in awe. When I was last here (2 years ago at a work-related conference) I spent a bunch of time talking to a few Disney worker bees. A mixed bag of folks that want to do the work they are doing... it shows in everything they do. A man that was, until last year, a successful lawyer in NY, retired 15 years early, sells his partnership in a firm and moves his family to Orlando and works in the "Memorabilia Store" in Disney because he "wants to". The depth of the employee "Politeness to guests" is impressive. A maintenance worker sweating over the work of clean-painting a piece of industrial iron protruding from a bit of hide-this-thing shrubbery will give you the most considerate "good morning, lovely day, and have a wonderful time" unbidden and seemingly quite sincere. Stand that at stark contrast to the mostly Hispanic worker bees that swarm over the resort we're staying in who, while polite, are definitely not Disney. We could all stand to be a little more Disney in our day to day... ya know?

~Josh Lyman's girlfriend... I can never remember her real or character name... she has that sorta low voice, a bit husky, killer sexi... She totally rocked tonight in WW. :D I was laughing out loud after she fried that columnist that approached the first lady.

~ tomorrow is officially Mouse Hunting day. We are on schedule to be at the Magic Kingdom park gate at 9:00. The forecast calls for rain in the mid-late afternoon and the chances that we'll still be vertical by 3:00pm are slim to none. Six hours in hard-core excitement overload with the boys is going to be plenty and then some. We're aiming to hit splash mountain, space mountain, buzz light year, Peter Pan, Briar Rabbit, and toon-town. Anything else will be gravy. My 'rents are just unbelievable - just a btw here. They are cooking and caring for us like they were staff, for goodness sake... let alone loaning us their car to do all this Disney stuff.

~ serious TMI ... jump to the next paragraph... I've been just fucked for the last two days with the shits. Personally, I'm blaming the fajitas at the Lone Star in Toronto and noting that Americans have a thing for liquefied cheese and this very strange quazzi food product is getting a bit of the blame too. Quesadias (sp?) are supposed to have slices of jack cheese in them that melt with the cooking... not a thick layer of liquid cheese. Yuck on all forms of liquid cheese.

~ Animal Kingdom is on the sched for Saturday... Friday may be a trip to the Kennedy Space Center. That place (KSC) is a must on this trip... Edward is so seriously into all things rocket that it would be a horrible injustice to not do it. He's 5 years old... he's watched Apollo 13 from beginning to end at least 50 times.

Day four:

~ and it's done. Today just rocked. My sister came with us... so it was the five of us at The Magic Kingdom from 9:ish to 7:40. Long long looooong day for a couple of wee little kids. The day started with a missed exit from the highway and serious fears that we had entered the Route To Tampa with no end in sight but, fortunately, ol'Walt and his cronies had planned for people like us and there was another Disney exit just around the next bend. :D



(more pictures in the upcoming "A Day In Our Lives" post)

~ We parked and turned ourselves over to the Machine for the day. A people mover brought us to the infamous monorail station that took us to the gates of Mickeydom, through which the Cinderella Castle loomed large in our eyes. We wandered - er, pushing a rented double stroller - towards the castle passing all manner of pricey Disney stores until we were at the gates of Tomorrow land. So to get here there was the cost of the park passes, parking (7$), and rental of the stroller (15$). We got our moneys worth...
I'll just run through the things we did, in order of appearance;

~ oh, and I found Minni, ma ho, and she made good. :D



The Rides
~ Buzz Lightyear Star Command, we did this three times in all... great fun.
~ Space Mountain, which scared the beegeebers out of George (Ed was not even in the running due to height restrictions). I went twice...
~ TomorrowLand Arcade, time waster for Ed who couldn't go on Space Mountain.
~ Peter Pan's Flying pirate ships, a delight for the boys and super cute.
~ Blue Thunder Mountain, which scared the shit out of Edward... a roller coaster.
~ Splash Mountain, another "not Ed" thing because he didn't want to do the "big drop" at the end. This was chocked full of animatronics and music... ultimate Disney event.
~ The Haunted House, cheesy fun for everyone although it did scare Edward.
~ Pirates of the Caribbean, excellent fun for everyone, and as old as the hills (great for the kids... just wonderful).
~ Aladdin’s Magic Carpet, a spin spin spin ride which I cannot stand so I watched.
~ Dumbos Flying Elephants, blech
~ Mad Hater Spinning Tea Cups, more blech



Other...
~ we walked... and walked and walked and walked... :D Visited the big castle, and wandered through Frontier Town and Fantasy Land, but we also went fully through Fantasy Toon Fair (wee kids remember). We had the best luck with Disney Characters... taking a wrong turn and finding ourselves at a dead end but low and behold there's Snow White and Mary Poppins just getting ready to begin a "picture taking shift"... but just before or "as" they begin so we got to monopolize their time for several pictures. We had pictures with Mickey, Mini, Max (Goofies son), Timone, Mary Poppins, Snow White, Woody's Horse, Princess Jasmine, Chip and Dale... I made the most of the Mini Pictures.

~ it rained several times today and while it was a mild pain, it kept the people away and it kept it from becoming unbearably hot. Either there were no lines to speak of, for an attraction or, where there were lines, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, or Peter Pan, the "Fast Pass" system was in full effect and really just fantastic.

~ I photographed the boys day completely towards the goal of producing a "A Day In Our Lives" photo journal day for the boys. It will be great fun to make that and a telling "journal" of their day...

~ the day at Disney went on and on... we ate a packed lunch in a lovely nook overlooking a waterway beside the big castle.



~ the first of many rain showers started after lunch and served to shorten lines, cool us down and effectively turn Disney World into a giant wet tee shirt contest.

~ After watching the 7:00 pm fireworks we managed to get back to the resort by 7:40 to find a "surprise birthday dinner" for my nephew and yours truly. They had expected us home much earlier than that... us being with such little kiddies but everyone - including us - vastly underestimated the children’s longevity, and tolerance for the day.

~ I had pre-set everyone’s expectations for my priorities on a Thursday night so at 8:00 sharp I was in front of TV watching Survivor with my notepad and stayed put until 9:00. :D There were plenty of gifts for my little nephew and I got an interesting shirt from my mom (haven't tried it on yet but I'm sure it's nice) and a Middle Earth Risk board game from my brother... fun!!!)

~ Geo and Ed were still going strong after a big spaghetti dinner so we took them for a swim at about 9:30 and finally got them to bed at 10:30... where they passed out like little rocks in about 15 seconds flat.

~ now it's rest and journal time and I'm certain Z and I will pass out shortly. Tomorrow is a day at Disney for my brother and his crew... with Epcot on the menu. We will spend a day by the pool and plan out the next three days... I want a trip to KSC and another Disney Day... Either Epcot or Animal Kingdom. If we're very lucky, we'll got to Blizzard Beach or Typhoon Lagoon on Monday or Tuesday. I'm also hoping to leave the kids with my 'rents one late afternoon and go to Epcot with just Z and I for a dinner and evening thing.

~ g'night for now... see ya in the morning... when I'll be writing a S6 update. :D

Day Five:

~ My father is making serious headway in the process of getting my mom to move into the digital age. About 5 minutes ago he managed to format the smart media card in her relatively new digi camera... ixneying the entire set of vacation pictures she had taken. Score two points for my theory that LARGE digital storage cards are the devil... you get far too many memories invested in a single disk. I prefer to have several smaller media disks that, when one is full, you swap out. In fact, if I was on a serious overseas vacation, I'd mail home a full disk to ensure that if my camera bag was stolen, I'd still have the memories on disk... ya dig?

~ It's much cooler in Orlando today. My brother and his brood have just left (12:30) for Epcot... to spend the day and into the evening doing that park. I intend (we'll see how this works out) to spend today just soaking in relaxing moments.

Observation: Do you remember when you were little... and you could spend 5 hours in a swimming pool... just playing?

Memory: when we first got inside the gates of The Magic Kingdom we walked, slack jawed up the main drag towards the castle... drinking in the moments and watching the children darting their eyes everywhere and being appropriately impressed. We went first to this Buzz Lightyear "ride" thing that was just wonderful for kids their age and emerged with huge grins and brains practically making whirring noises with anticipation for what would be next. We needed coffee though so we took a little pit stop off to one side and Suzanne ran Geo over to a washroom. My sister moved off a bit to enjoy a smoke and I sat sipping coffee and people watching. I turned towards Edward who was still sitt'en in the rented double stroller to point out some amazing something I could see and there he was... busy as a beaver with three individual blades of grass and a "coffee mate" coffee creamer doing a selection of voices and playing. After a moment his little noises stopped, he clamored out of the stroller... stepped two paces away to collect one of the blades of grass that had escaped. He climbed back into the stroller and on again came the little voices and the play. He is simply amazing in the way that he "self entertains".

~ day five is wrapping up... I haven't managed to post the survivor update but a sweet friend (lj user mandelion) has arranged for me to have a local Orlando dial up account for tomorrow so it should get posted tomorrow. My brother and his crew are all set to drive away tomorrow morning at 5:00 am on their return trip to Canada. We have four more days... I'm not sure what tomorrow will be... it's kinda dependant on the weather... I'm thinking typhoon lagoon in the morning, a "little kids included" Epcot in the afternoon and then have my folks watch the kids over dinner and the evening while Suzanne and I go back and give Epcot a big go.

Day Six:

~ we were all kinda up with bleary eyes to say goodbye to my brother at 5:00'ish, but after that it was back to bed and into the freaky dream land. I dunno about you but when I get up and go back to sleep... that's when I have the really bizarre dreams that I sorta remember, versus the "I never remember my dreams" zone I normally have.

~ we got up again at about 9:00 and were packed with a lunch cooler and en route to "Typhoon Lagoon" by 10:30. It was a foggy, overcast and cool start to the day... it looked like it would be a lousy day and believe me... I was wrong. :D

~ risking arrest for indecent exposure in a Disney park, we changed into swim gear and sandals beside the car in a less-than-1/4-full parking lot at Typhoon Lagoon. The last thing we did before locking the car was to put cash, a traveler’s check and the all important Park Hopper passes in the bright yellow side lock clipping water/air tight mini pack and tied it to my shorts. We then walked into the park. Oh my god! It is freaking beautiful in there. I have no hesitation in saying it is the best (so far) part of the whole Disney freak-out. There is a wave pool the size of two football fields that sends out a 15 foot swell every 90 seconds... the beach is beautiful soft white sand that gives way to a kind of cushioned soft flooring that extends throughout all "water zones" and everywhere you look there is an attentive life guard ready to do their thing. Water slides, water raft courses, play areas, snorkel zones... you name it... it was paradise for a child Georges age and plenty of fun for Edward.

~ after staking out a "base of operations" on a few lawn chairs we played in a kiddie park zone then went for a raft-float in this creek that circumnavigates (I love that word) the entire park in a slow current. Half way along that I thought to look at my pocket... and there was the bright yellow side lock clipping water/air tight mini pack OPEN with the car keys just about to fall out... and it was otherwise empty. My heart sunk so quickly you cannot imagine. Luck was in our camp today... the weather had, by that time, turned beautiful, the kids were happy, the park was way under attended and as I stood, crest fallen and prepared to panic, in the creek facing up-current I plucked cash and all of the park hopper passes from the flowing water... each bit meandering along the bottom. The only thing we couldn't find was the Travelers check which we cancelled tonight and now it's a complete win. No worries... however there was one hulluva moment of evil shiver when I saw the car keys sitting there... gasp.

~ we played in the giant waves... we snorkeled in a giant man made salt water corel reef with hammerhead sharks, sting rays, and all manner of other fish (George was more than a little amazed by that experience...) rode uber cool body slides and generally speaking had a fantastic time.

~ after lunch we packed it up and drove over to Epcot (didn't actually get there till about 3:30) and we had another fantastic time... I have no idea where our kids get the stamina for this stuff but it is truly amazing. We only did a minimal number of "large events" at Epcot and let the kids go nutty in the "Innovations" exhibits until it was dark and then it was off to McDonalds for dinner and home.



~ eating snacks of french fries and drinks in Epcot is surprisingly inexpensive and really very good.



Note: Going to a McDonalds in the US has the net affect of reminding me how crummy McDonalds is in Canada. The portions are totally huge by comparison and the yummi factor (accounting for how hungry we were) was still way over the Canadian product.

Special Note: how freaking stupid am I?? I managed to get a significant sunburn on my shoulders, neck and back... at Typhoon Lagoon, you know, all the spots you don’t easily reach when you apply your own sunscreen.

~ we got home by 8:30 and the kids were in bed by about 10:00... another long day for the boys. I managed to post the Survivor Update finally (thanks completely to lj user mandelion - my on-line access angle) and now it's about midnight and time to get ready for bed.

~ the plan for tomorrow is to go to Disney Animal Kingdom and bring my dad. :D

Day Seven:

~ ok, so nothing went as planned... and the day came out just perfect. :D

~ we got up and promptly realized we were really beat from the last few days... so today was a "hump" day and we spent our time recuperating and recharging. It was kind of overcast, rainy and windy today ... so we spent the first half of the day in the pool, by the pool, around the pool or drying off from the pool. Swimming in a mad down pour is fun...

~ the afternoon was marked by a particularly memorable moment meeting another lj friend. We managed to find our way to a place called "Orlando's Premium Outlets". A really nice - but expensive - "outdoor" mall... something that a land with only one season can support. Note that word from my just recently returned to Ottawa brother is that it is going down to forty below zero tonight at home...



~ we (all four of us) met up with Raylene and her daughter Tory at this mall and had coffee and chit chat... I'm counting myself lucky to have had a chance to give this friend a hug. I was more than a little surprised at how young and beautiful she looked... I mean, I already knew that she was a good looking woman (with cute kids, btw) but she really has one of those faces that say's "I'll look 25 for the rest of my life." :D She has a spark... a friendly, warm spark that makes me really happy to have had the chance to meet her. Tory is a real cutie... and was great with the boys. We bought fudge and various yummi bits at a "Candy Factory"... the candy goodies will be park snacks for tomorrow... and tomorrow we intend to get to Animal Kingdom. I'm taking the video camera this time... I've hardly shot any video this trip... and I'm wishing we had a mini-dv camera. It's all well and good that the camera we have takes better looking video than most mini-dv's but if it's too big to be conveniently carried around then... well you get the picture. See ya tomorrow. Oh, we watched Alias tonight - cool!! and "The Pelican Brief" (I've read it and seen it before)... Miranda, from Sex In The City has a small role..

Day Eight:

~ another fabulous day... but overcast, cold and windy. Our weather luck kinda sucks, but I have a sunburn to prove we went south. :D

~ we went to Disney's Animal Kingdom today... and for every moment I thought "ug, this is kinda crummy" the kids were dancing around having a monster blast.



~ We went on a safari and saw lions, tigers, wildebeests, gazelles, giraffes, elephants and other things I don't remember the names of. We watched the Lion King Festival (a song and dance show), rode the "Dinosaur" ride (big fun, scared the crap - in a good way - out of Geo), rode a twirlie coaster, and a Triceratops ride that went around and around. We saw all manner of monkeys and topical birds... and generally had fun... a really great park for the kids, especially the "Dinosaur Land". Oh and a major highlight of the day was watching the parade. All the "Tips on doing Disney" books tell you to head for the busy rides, etc. during the Parades but if you are here with kids... the Parades are an absolute must... very memorable. I took plenty of video today including a complete taping of the parade.






~ I heard from Sunny (lj user) tonight... but only on a voice mail and now it's too late to call but tomorrow I hope to connect. :D It would be great to meet up with another Lj friend before we are done. There is only one more complete day and I am seriously hoping to make it to the Kennedy Space Center tomorrow. Edward will be firing on all circuits the very moment we see a full size rocket. It will definitely be a time to capture more video and take pictures.

~ my parents are beyond wonderful... they have been feeding us and making cooler-lunches to take on our day trips and generally being fantastic hosts... having my dad with us today made all the difference in the world in our visit to the Park in that Edward was just not tall enough or even really "into" many of the rides, so having "papa" there to watch over Ed made it possible for Z and I to do things with Geo together that would otherwise have been much more difficult.

Note: The "fast pass" system at Disney is the be-all and end-all... I cannot imagine standing in those lines with the kids and, thanks to the fast-pass system we didn't have to.

Day Nine:

~ well, officially it is more like an update on the very dead of night in the space between day eight and nine. We woke up to the sound of Edward wailing... and gurgling in a most unhappy, un-vacation like way. From 3:30 to 4:ish we were cleaning bed sheets and cleaning a little boy of the mess that a late night upchuck makes. Poor little guy... not sure if it was a bug or a general reaction to the freak out of the last 8 days but either way, he seems well enough now.

~ today is a bit of a burn... not sure if we're going to make it to KSC, and the weather is sucking... so it's time to go dive into the well heated pool and do some relaxing.

~ hehe.. kind of a moment by moment update day... Kennedy Space Center will have to wait until our next trip to Orlando... Edward burped a bit and then blew a smoothie out again, but this time, into the toilet (tg) and we are in a bit of a holding pattern now. Being the uber resilient child that kids are want to be, he was in the pool an hour later and we've all spent most of the day in the pool. We're being careful what Ed eats... a little ginger ale and some pasta noodles seems to be staying down alright. :D It's staying oogish outside anyways. Of course, the moment we leave, Orlando will be bathed in sunlight and warmth.

~ Z and I traveled to a place called the 192 flee market... the land of kitch of cheap watches... our return voyage brought us to "orange world" which was a real treat because they had this "coconut butter toast spread" stuff that you can't get in Ottawa and is pure PURE heaven on earth... we also bought a bag of Florida honey tangerines... I'm sure people that live here just get used to it but oh gawd they are good... it's a fresh fruit flavour that I just want to crush into my mouth sorta like the way a dude crawling out of the desert would go at a barrel of water. I bought new shades... they kinda have a purple tint to them... el'uber'cheapo shades but that’s what I need... as soon as I spend good money on sunglasses I am destined to lose them.



~ Edward is much improved but now Geo is complaining about not feeling too good... and he's a bit hot... (lovely). The weather is turning beautiful just in time for us to head back to the land of 40 below temperatures and waste high snow... again, Lovely! But I'm not complaining... we didn't come here to get a tan... and doing 12 hour days at Disney in 80 degree sunny days must be killer compared to what we had. So... no complaining. :D

~ we travel home tomorrow afternoon. The morning will be all about swimming in the Liki Tiki lagoon pool with the boys (so long as geo is ok) and packing. Tonight is an open book, although it's 7:30 and we've yet to have dinner. It's shrimp and salad night.

~ we watched most of "The Necklace" tonight (beautiful movie) and Z did most of the packing... it's rather late and time to go snuggle. See ya tomorrow. hmmm, by this time tomorrow I will be checking email at home. :D I'm intending to post this whole journal and hopefully pepper it with thumbnails and links to pictures.

Day Ten:

~ the end is near...

~ I guess it's time to go... both boys are nursing oogish feelings... geo in his tummy, and ed is just generally worn out. It's 11:37 am now and our plane leaves at 2:45.

~ we woke up to a foggy day but that burned off to glorious sun (of course! grrr) and we did a little lagoon swimming with the boys... well, sorta... ed demurred.



~ we toyed with the idea of staying a couple more days and shifting plane tickets around but there literally were zero seats available on Fri, Sat and Sun so that's out... and besides, the boys have had enough. This truly has been a vacation that we staged for the kids and it has certainly been a massive experience. I hope Edward will retain some memories and I know Geo will be able to pull bits and pieces of it out of his head for the rest of his life. We will spend a bunch of time making photo albums of our experience and records like this one will serve us all well as the years tick past. :D

~ it's time to pack up my jornada (what I am typing on) and get stuff to the car. See ya when we're in the air.

~ airborne. With both boys showing signs of coming down with something, we ended up with them in bed for the last couple of hours of the trip. This left us with some time to quietly sit with my folks and relax.



~ we packed and made it to the airport in good time and after a quick hit at the airport Disney store it was off to our gate and ultimately on our flight.

~ is that a nuclear power plant outside of Orlando?

~ we never managed to hook up with sunny... my loss I'm sure... but there will definitely be a "next time" so we'll see. :)



~ next stop is Toronto in a few hours and after an hour and a half wait, a short flight to Ottawa.

~ ok... bing... another step complete. It's 8:40... We landed in Toronto and dragged the little guys all over the place as we cleared customs and had a light dinner at Swiss Chalet. We're on another Airbus cruising at about 850 km/h towards Ottawa. It's such a short flight... it's almost funny to watch the flight attendants try to get the bag of nut-free nummi things and drinks distributed before we land. Soon... I'll be brushing off a car that has sat through several snow storms in our absence and getting my very tired and very travel worn family home. Z just reminded me that she set the thermostat down to something like 59 for our absence... to the house is going to need some warming up. I'm thinking with four warm hearts, happy to be home and a high efficiency furnace, we'll manage to get things all cozy in no time. I am gonna sleep so well tonight...
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