Planning any vacation takes considerable thought and it pays to consider your company whilst plotting your journey. My husband is the family concierge - the fungineer - and he is fabulous.
We've had this trip to Disney World planned for months. Grandma Freeman has a conference in Orlando, so we built our vacation around it. I can tell you with full confidence that she, like my husband, imagined an ideal Disney experience.
Here's how the fantasy version goes: The plane gently touches down in Orlando as the kids rouse and rub their eyes after sleeping the entire way. We exit the airport into an arid, 75 degree atmosphere as the rental car magically appears at the curb to greet us. We swiftly make our way to the resort, get the early check in and head to our fully updated suites.
We enjoy the pool, make dinner and get to bed early for the next day at Magic Kingdom. We get from the hotel to the Kingdom gate in no more than 15 minutes and are immediately greeted by Minnie, Mickey and a throng of Princesses to kick off our day free from hunger, heat, humidity and waiting in any line of any kind.
It's so great, we don't even need a plan - we can just wander around aimlessly and the fun will find us. Oh ... and no one ever needs to eat or drink anything or potty or have her diaper changed. We're just perfectly sated and hydrated the whooooooole time.
And no one ever has a temper tantrum. Especially not an almost three year-old.
Oh hell no. THAT IS SO NOT how it went down.
But we pulled it off - even better than I had imagined.
We rocked Magic Kingdom, met princesses and princes, napped in mom and dad's sweaty arms while in line to meet said royalty. We ate boobie dish waiting for shows to start, waited for rides we were too afraid to ride and rode the stroller all over the world - literally (Epcot).
We pulled out peanut butter and jelly sandwiches grandpa had stashed and mish mash and juice and bottled water while we made our way through the points on the map.
We acquired baby Tinkerbelle and Rapunzel, a dress for breakfast with the Princesses (that we never wore because the arm elastic was "ITCHEEEEEEEEE"), an Ariel jewelry box for our new Cinderella necklace, pjs for both girls, crayons and coloring books. I'd say we did a decent job sticking to my "We're not buying ANYTHING at Disey World rule."
We ate and drank and laughed and cried and watched and listened and took pictures and blew kisses and had a fantastic time.
I would do it again starting right now. If anyone other than Bill Gates and Oprah could afford it and if Leighton hadn't told me that Disney World is "for special occasions" only.
And for all of the waiting and whining and sweating and pouting ... the laughter and the fun is what we will remember.