Our family Christmas gift from my parents this year was a trip to DisneyWorld.
The girls were super-psyched. Not only did they get a week at Disney, with their grandparents (who joined us there), but they got to escape the omnipresent construction mayhem at our house. For an added dramatic fillip, it snowed four inches the day before we left. They gleefully packed their flip-flops and sunscreen.
We stayed at the All-Star Music Resort, where each building was themed for a different style of music. Ours was Calypso, providing my father with the ideal opportunity to sing every calypso song he could think of. Let's just say that he knows a surprising number of them.
We arrived at our restaurant for dinner the first night and found Uncle Awesome and Aunt Fabulous casually waiting outside. Wrapped up as we've been in The Construction Project That Ate Our Lives, we had no idea they'd been vacationing in Florida the previous week. My parents secretly arranged for them to spend the first days of our vacation with us. We were thrilled to see them. (This is further proof that I'm the most oblivious person ever. Apparently my mother had nearly let the secret slip several times. I had no clue).
Bear and Bug dragged Nana and Papa along on all of their favorite rides. Papa kicked major intergalactic butt on the Buzz Lightyear ride. And let the record show that he was a very good sport about riding Bug's all-time favorite ride, It's a Small World. That ride with its dolls of all nations and endlessly repeating song has never bothered me until this visit when our boat got stuck in the last room of the ride for a good ten or twelve minutes. At which point I really, really needed someone to make the infernal singing STOP.
Bug prided herself on being quite the driver on the Tomorrowland Speedway and was especially difficult to live with when one of the ride operators handed her a Speedway Driver's License. She seemed to feel that this was some sort of special recognition for her driving skills.
I chose not to mention the fact that they seemed to be giving them out to all the kids.
See this? This is the face of a child who momentsbefore sweetly cajoled me into riding The Teacups with her by saying, "I just want to ride with you, Mom. I don't want to spin them at all." ...then proceeded to maniacally spin me into a nauseous, dizzy grave. If I'd been able to tell which of the three Bears I was seeing was the real one, I probably would have throttled her.
Our very last night, we went to Hollywood Studios and saw The Osborne (no, not Ozzy) Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights. The millions of sparkling lights were originally displayed in this family's Little Rock, AK yard (and can you imagine being their neighbor?). It was much more impressive in person, as the lights were all coordinated to blink and twinkle in time with Christmas carols.
And yet, for my kids, one of the most magical experiences of all ... drumroll, please ...
SWIMMING AT NIGHT! Nothing says "Florida vacation" to them like being able to slip into their bathing suits after a day at the park and hit the pool. Add to that the fact that the resort had an enormous inflatable movie screen set up poolside playing one of their favorite movies and mugs of hot chocolate sat beside their towels on a deck chair. It doesn't get much better than that. For the record, while they swam I sat on a deck chair wearing jeans and a fleece, drinking hot chocolate and thanking God that they're old enough to swim without me being in the pool with them.
Thank you, Nana and Papa! We had a wonderful week and left with fantastic memories of time together. We returned to The Rubble Zone refreshed and ready to dig in for the last few weeks of construction.