My presentations on Thursday went quite well. The sessions were fully attended, and we received a lot of positive feedback. I also had a series of great meetings with some clients. I received confirmation of a contract renewal, and worked out the details for a new contract with an old client.
As I am sure I have now said hundreds of times, I cannot believe how much Micah has grown and changed over the past year. All week, I kept remembering how little Micah was his first trip to Orlando last year, and I was amazed at how...BIG...he seemed this year. On Thursday evening, we took Micah to Downtown Disney. I have to say, dinner with a toddler was a bit more challenging than dinner with a newborn last year. Once again, we got a bit of a late start - we went to a reception at 5:30, and it was 7:00 pm before we made it to the restaurant. By that point, Micah was fidgety and hungry. There was butcher paper on the table, so I gave Micah a crayon and let him play a bit. My little boy was coloring!! Well, when he wasn't trying to eat the crayons. Micah was not being so cooperative at dinner - he didn't want to sit still, and he wanted to practice walking. The waiter gave him a plastic cup of water with a straw, and he wanted to play with the cup and the straw the entire time. Naturally, he managed to figure out how to douse himself with the water, and screamed bloody murder any time I tried to confiscate his new "toy."
Last year, Micah slept through dinner...well, he actually slept through the entire visit to Downtown Disney. We joked about him being a traveling gnome - he was sound asleep and we were taking him out of his stroller and snapping photos of him everywhere - at Lego Land, trying on hats, and at the candy store. By far, this was my favorite photo of Micah:
DH held him up next to the Lego bulldog while he slept. The bulldog was maybe 18-22 inches off the ground, and we were laughing at how little Micah seemed next to the bulldog. This year, we couldn't resist revisiting that spot and trying to re-create the moment. Can you believe the difference?
Funny - this year, the bulldog looks so tiny, and Micah looks like a giant!!
On Friday, we spent the afternoon in the Magic Kingdom. We drove over to the parking area and took the monorail over to the Magic Kingdom. Micah is FULL of energy and just does not like to sit still. He is content in his stroller if we are moving, but he hates to be on line, and he really hates when we hold him and prevent him from wandering around on his own. Upon arrival, we picked up our tickets and headed straight down Main Street. Micah seemed to enjoy the music and he LOVED the balloons.
We decided to start off in Fantasyland. Our first ride of the day was "It's a Small World." The line was relatively short - maybe 5-7 minutes long, but Micah was pretty unhappy that we were keeping him so confined. When we first climbed into the ride, he was angry and screaming. As the safety bar pulled down, he was squirming and crying. I turned to DH and said "if this does not go well, I think we'll be heading back to the hotel." As the car moved forward, Micah got a bit quieter, and when we entered the first room and heard the song "It's a Small World" from all the moving people, Micah's face lit up and he started to clap!! It was the sweetest thing I have seen. He was enthralled the entire ride!! He smiled, he clapped, he danced - our first right was a complete success!!
After "It's a Small World," we picked up a fast pass for Peter Pan's flight, then immediately hopped on the carousel. Once again, Micah was not so thrilled while we waited, but once the horses started moving, he was all smiles. We took a quick spin on Snow White - he was calm and content, but not so much interested in clapping. Then, DH decided to take Micah on the dumbo ride. At this point, I was having some issues with morning sickness, so I decided to sit this one out. This ride might have been the worst decision we made all day. DH ended up waiting in line about 40 minutes, and Micah was cranking and complaining the entire time! Once the dumbos took off, he was back to smiling. Immediately after the ride, we gave Micah a quick snack and decided to head on over to Frontierland to see the Country Bear Jamboree. We arrived just as the show started, so we had about 20 minutes to pass. We ran into the food shop and grabbed a veggie burger for the three of us to share, then made it back to the Country Bear Jamboree just in the nick of time. Once again, Micah was cranky about being held on my lap...until the lights went down and the bears started talking and singing. He was back to smiling and clapping for the entire show!
After the Country Bear Jamboree, we headed to Adventureland and took a ride on the Jungle Cruise. That has to be one of the cheesiest rides ever! Micah did seem to enjoy the animals, and he was even pointing at different things that caught his eye. We decided to ride on Pirates of the Caribbean before heading back to Fantasyland to use our fast passes on Peter Pan's flight. By the end of the day, Micah was clearly exhausted, but he seemed to have an amazing time. There were only a few other rides and shows I think he could have enjoyed at Disney, but we definitely felt that we took full advantage of those tickets. I am certain that Micah will not remember this trip, but I think it was a great learning experience for him and he seemed to have a wonderful day. Most of all, seeing him light up and enjoy the rides brought a bit of joy to an otherwise sad day for me.
That night, a friend of mine drove up to Orlando to attend my conference! While we waited for her to arrive, we stopped off at a wine and cheese party at one of the other villas. My friend arrived around 7:00 pm, and was able to see Micah in person. We went out for dinner together and caught up. After the crazy day Micah had at the Magic Kingdom, he just needed to go to sleep, so DH graciously volunteered to stay behind and put him to bed while I went out. I loved having the time to get out and catch up with a friend.
Saturday morning, I woke up and gave my final presentation. Another successful session, and I received more good news - apparently, the program in the Virgin Islands was thrilled with my sessions and wants to bring me out to provide my assistance there! Can I tell you how excited I am about the opportunity to go to the Virgin Islands? We might also have to visit Puerto Rico on the way out. Usually, I end up going to Wichita or Minneapolis or Podunk, USA - this trip promises to be far more exciting! My mother has already volunteered to come along as a "Grananny."
After my presentation, I spent a bit more time in the exhibit hall, said my goodbyes, and then we headed out nice and early to the airport. On the way there, my mom called to tell me that another friend of hers was stuck in Palm Beach because of the weather issues and flight cancellations. We checked on our flight...only to discover it was canceled! I was panicking - we needed to be back so that I could get to my grandmother's funeral, and DH had a group of Red Cross delegates he was coordinating for departure to Haiti. We spent the next few hours trying to switch our flights, change airlines, etc. During that time, my mom decided to postpone the funeral a day - the snow was far worse than had been anticipated. Ultimately, we finally did get on a flight home at 5:20 pm. Poor, Micah - it was quite a long day for him. We were lucky enough (again) to have a seat for him on the airplane. But, he just did not want to sit still. DH put on an Elmo DVD to keep him entertained, but it was a tough flight back. We finally landed around 7:20 and rushed to the car. Micah fell asleep on the way home, and transferred easily into his crib and slept through the night.
This morning, DH woke up early to help the Red Cross delegation leave for Haiti. I made Micah pumpkin pancakes for breakfast, and we had a fun morning together. This afternoon, we took Micah to a friend's house for a birthday party. He had a good time playing this afternoon, and he is just so sweet!
Tomorrow, I have to leave quite early to drive to Pennsylvania for my grandmother's funeral. We decided that DH and Micah would stay behind - the ride is just too difficult to make in one day with a toddler. I'm dreading tomorrow and saying goodbye, but I am so thankful that after everything, I made it back to be there with my family.
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