My school friends were very excited to see me back at school on Friday. And on Saturday I swam in a pool that didn’t have any stingrays in it – I told Mommy and Daddy that was okay as they are creepy.
The trip was more than I could have ever imagined and then some. When people at work ask (and believe me, a lot have) which I liked better, I honestly can’t say. They both were equally amazing. Every morning on the cruise we awoke to the bluest waters we have ever seen lapping away at the boat right beneath our deck balcony, and every night we were swayed to sleep to some of the best sleeps I have ever had. And well Disney… it was everything we wanted it to be and more. Definitely one of the best memories was taking in the night parade in the Magic Kingdom and seeing Tinkerbell fly down from the castle just before the fireworks with Danielle and Emelia there at my sides. But, there were four days chock full of memories there too.
In the end, there is no doubt in my mind that Mom and Dad helped us create memories with Emelia that will be with her into her adulthood like our first trips were with me… Pretty much the reason that I wanted to give Danielle that same trip nine years ago. And why we were overwhelmed when Mom and Dad offered us the same opportunity to do so with Emelia and our entire family there too. Of course the down side to that was that Mom and Dad weren’t able to go in the end, but in the smiles, photos and memories we’ve brought back to them, I think they’ve been able to vicariously live them too.
I am still in the process of working through all the photos – there were 192 captured on the boat and 230 in Disney by their photographers. And then I have about 900(!) or so that I got on my iPhone in addition to the 500 or so that Danielle got on hers. Suffice it to say there’s still a lot of work to be done. But in these photos we will be able to relive the trip for years to come. And we might even use them to find a very special way to thank Mom and Dad…
We got back into town in the early evening on Wednesday and pretty much just unloaded and then hit the sheets. I luckily had requested the Thursday off work too to give me some extra time to decompress, unpack and unwind before starting back to work on Friday proper. Emelia and I used the day to go over and visit with Mom and Dad, and share some of the pictures from the trip.
Pretty much the rest of my week was work which was understandable after being off almost two weeks to the day. It was great to get back to work – especially when your coworkers are excited to see you back, and want to hear all about your trip.
My ‘weekend’ is midweek for the next couple of weeks, so I will use that time to have some special days with Emelia, and then the other days starting to put together the program book for Home County as it is getting to be that time of year. And it is also time to plan for my trip back to NxNE which I skipped last year, and as well annual family pilgrimage to the Wolfe Island Music Festival — our fourth time going! So, there is plenty of things still to be excited about now that Disney trip has come and passed.
Well, we aren’t in paradise anymore. And I miss it, I miss the time as a family, I miss the relaxing (as much as you can at Disney World) and I miss Mickey.
There are not enough thank-you’s in the world to say to Helen and Doug for the dream of a lifetime trip. This was truly a dream, we were able to show Emelia a world years before we could have ever done it. Emelia was at the perfect age too, she believed in every aspect of the Disney magic, she loved every moment of the parks (less the crazy heat). She was up hours past her bedtime each night but we wanted to assure we let her absorb as much as possible. We were given the gift of a lifetime and were going to enjoy every moment to the fullest to assure we got the biggest value from the trip. Emelia was over the moon with excitement each day.
I have been asked countless times which part of the trip we loved more, like John I cannot pick one. I loved every moment of the cruise. I cannot say enough amazing things about the cruise. Disney was over the top accommodating for every aspect of the experience. The guests were treated like royalty. They were so amazing when it came to my gluten allergy. For the first time since realizing I cannot eat gluten I was relaxed and enjoyed a meal out. And the food – oh my god the food – It was heaven. It was like having a 5 star meal each and every night.
We were rotated between three restaurants, all with very different themes. Admittedly the Animator’s Plate was my favourite by far. The food at all three restaurants was out of this world and the other to had even better food if that was possible but the Animator’s Plate was the best for the kids, it was so much fun! Between the interactive screens speaking to Crush the first night to the interactive movie that our own drawings were part of on the next night it was entertainment plus. I know it was Emelia’s favourite by far.
The cruise was also so convenient. You could hop from one entertaining event to the other with ease, if the heat was too much, jump in the pool, grab an ice cream at the all you could eat ice cream bar (Emelia’s favourite). You want fresh tropical fruit? Go to Flo’s and grab a plate of the most heavenly fruit you could imagine. And entertainment, wow. A broadway like show each night was a highlight for Emelia, or was it the constant character meet-ups, or the Oceaneers club, or the two pools, or the two splash pads, or the water slide? Ask us which was our favourite part, it is impossible to say because every aspect was out of this world.
Over the next couple weeks as we are grabbing our pictures I will try and review a couple days at a time so we can share with everyone who has been asking us about the trip, but also to document the 12 days for Emelia. Because although I am sure there are aspects of this trip she will never forget, she is only 6 years old and I want her to be able to go back and read about her first cruise, her first big adventures and her first trip to Walt Disney World.
So that was the amazing cruise, so is that the aspect I love the most? Well yes and no. Nothing compares to bringing your child to Disney. Emelia although exhausted at times was ready to take in as much as she could of WDW. She loved the rides, the shows and I won’t ever forget the look on her face the first time she saw the castle. She was in awe. Yes, the parks are not as relaxing as say the cruise and things are not as convenient but nothing compares to taking your child on the rides you dreamed of as a child, nothing compares to seeing her face when she finally held one of the famous Mickey Mouse balloons, nothing compares to seeing her sheer joy at seeing the fireworks over the castle and for John and I holding our little girl together smiling from ear-to-ear — taking in the memories with her.
So we have the pictures, the souveniers and the amazing time together as a larger family. But more than that we have the memories that will last us a lifetime. And for that, for the 100000x, thank you thank you thank you Helen and Doug for letting this little dream come true!