Archive for December, 2006
OK, been a while, family updates are in order. I took the longest vacation from work that didn’t involve a baby being born, or being laid off, of my adult life this holiday season. A) There will be pictures up on pillsburyfamily.com soon, once I get them edited, picked, and uploaded. B) there will also be some DVDs getting made with slideshows for pictures and with some of the video footage we shot (Thanks to Uncle Bill and Aunt Karen for the use of their camcorder). C) We took a ton of pictures with our new digital camera that we purchased before the trip (if we’re spending THAT much on a trip we should have a good camera to record it right?… thanks to Mom for contributions to the camera fund) On… Thursday Dec 14th we were to head south to Orlando, FL for Aaron’s wedding (Aaron being Alicia’s cousin) at 4AM so the kids would sleep through half the ride. That didn’t work out as planned. About 1AM Grace spiked a 104.4 fever and puked all over us. So Alicia took her to the doc in the morning and after X-Rays and blood work and such they sent us on our way (eventually calling in some Albutirol for her breathing issues and chalked it up to a virus). After a very long drive to FL in a very packed car we surprised Ed and Mary Anne when we showed up a day or two before they expected us.
Friday: We had hoped to sneak in a day at Disney with Alicia’s Dad and Mom before the wedding, but everybody wasn’t really up for it so instead (after a morning playing with a 3 foot tall inflatable Mr Hankey… thanks Uncle Bill) we drove down to the M&M World and had dinner at the RainForest Cafe in Downtown Disney (the not-a-park-but-still-part-of-Disney place in the Disney area). Sam got a bit overwhelmed and started his new coping mechanism (hands over ears and singing the alphabet song to drown out the noise) in the din of the restaurant.
Saturday: Saturday morning we lazed around a bit and enjoyed a very nice breakfast at our hotel before going to a park with everybody for a Roche family picnic (more wedding related festivities). That night we did Christmas with Alicia’s Roche family since they were heading back to NY on Monday. Kids had fun, got a bunch of toys and candy and such (and I got a nice Starbucks gift thing and a Border’s gift card). The “winner” toy was probably Sam’s toolbox that he loved playing with, and Grace enjoyed climbing up on to sit with a smug look of self-satisfaction (though they enjoyed the movies and dinosaurs and Hess trucks and helicopters and everything ELSE they got too of course). I don’t recall if it was that night or the next morning when the boys came down with a stomach bug that Alicia’s grandma had inadvertently brought along for the trip (vomiting and diarrhea… the best part of any vacation).
Sunday (Wedding Day): We had all been planning on going to the wedding, but after Jake and Sam started puking all over us and the hotel room we opted to just let Alicia go as our representative. Grace was still not feeling well, and had been puking, though it still seemed largely due to the horrible chesty cough thing she was suffering from and not the stomach bug the boys had. I hear the wedding went well, though I spent the entire time with the TV on for the kids and trying to juggle who was losing their stomach contents at the moment.
Monday: We had planned on checking out early with the rest of the family, them heading to the airport, and us heading to Disney, but with the kids still a smidge ill we opted to check out later and spend some more time with the local family. This turned out to be a good idea as we hadn’t realized Alicia’s grandparents had a flight the NEXT day, so we got to spend more time with them (and Uncle Steve and Aunt Terry and crew) before heading to south Orlando for our second hotel (for the Disney portion of things). Around 4:30 we got to our planned second hotel (Days Inn East Gate or Main Gate or something like that) which we had pre-paid at a discounted rate… it was skuzzy. It was so skuzzy Alicia went and begged for our money back and we called up my mom and had her contact Disney and find us a room on site. So instead of $30 a day for hotel we spent $80 at Disney… but we didn’t catch the black plague or dengue fever… so probably a better deal in the long run. Disney worked us into the All-Star Sports hotel, which was pretty bare bones, but on site, and (here’s the big one) clean. With the kids getting over being sick we didn’t want to subject them to any OTHER diseases. Sam got one last puke in during our check-in time (and managed to hold it long enough to let me rush him to a bathroom to do it in), and was then fine after that. We got unloaded, and crashed for a planned big day at Disney MGM the next day.
Tuesday (Disney MGM): We had wanted to do 4 days at Disney, but with Monday getting nixed we opted to drop Epcot from the plan, with the slight chance of working it in on Friday and pushing back our return home. MGM was Day 1 because they had the biggest lot of characters that Sam would enjoy (and Jake and I would enjoy Star Tours, and Indiana Jones, and Alicia could go on the Rock’n Roller Coaster with him, etc). First thing we did was go meet McQueen and Mater from Cars, then Jake and I did Star Tours while Alicia took the little ones to see the Muppet 3D movie thing. After that we had our “this is worth the whole trip” moment when we got to take Sam to meet Buzz and Woody. We also got to meet Mike and Sully from Monsters Inc and Mickey Mouse, and Mr and Mrs Incredible and Frozone… and a few other characters as well, but it was the shots of Buzz and Woody that made it worth it for Sam. Grace also had a fan club following when we hit the Honey I Shrunk the Kids play area and a group of Asian high-school/college kids thought she was the cutest thing and had to all take pictures with her and faun over her… which worked out well to chew up the 20 minutes Sam took climbing the “Spider Web” area 3-4 times. We pushed our luck and stayed later for the Fantasm show (which looked really good, but may not have been worth the very long wait), because it got too scary for Sam who was tired and sick of sitting around at that point.
A couple days later I asked Sam what his favorite thing from our trip was and he said “the part with my friends”. I asked him if he meant the time with grandma and grandpa and he said: “No, the part with my friends. Where I got to hug my friends Buzz and Woody and Mike and Sully and Mickey Mouse and meet Mater and McQueen.” SURE we spent a small fortune… but it was magic for him. Wednesday (Magic Kingdom):
We planned MK for Wednesday because it’s open later and they have a fireworks show at the end of the day near Cinderella’s Castle. WHAT a long day, and it was CROWDED. But we got to do the Buzz Lightyear ride first thing and Sam loved it. He got to meet Stitch (the only signature we got at MK) just as we got off the ride. Jake got to do Space Mountain twice (once with Alicia and once with Me). They do a nifty Parent Swap thing now where if you do a FastPass ticket to come back later and do the ride, when you go on they’ll give you a secondary pass so the kid can come back and do the ride again with the other parent who is left outside watching the little kids… very handy (we used it on Thunder Mountain as well). Wednesday was a long day, with more rides and more lines (Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, It’s a Small World, and two times on Goofy’s Barnstormer). Kids had fun, Mom and Dad’s back pain didn’t. By the end of the day we were wiped out and by the time we got tot he car I was starting to feel a bit nauseous (so much so that I had Alicia drive back to the hotel as I wasn’t sure I was going to hold it together that long). Wednesday Night Through Friday Morning (Puke Kingdom):
Alicia and I had finally caught the bug everybody else had caught (before they left it had hit Uncle Bill, sideswiped Ed (Alicia’s Dad), and also hit her Grandfather (also Ed). We spent the night, next day, next night, and part of Friday morning taking turns running to the bathroom for various unpleasant bodily functions. She had more problems than I did with vomiting, so I was the one who got to go buy food from the cafeteria for the kids, and call around to get her doc to call in some phenergen (no, I have NO idea how to spell it), and try and keep it together myself enough so the kids survived as well… though they did go pretty stir crazy. Friday we checked out, without doing Animal Kingdom, and made a very long drive home (with more stops than we wanted, but probably not as many as we needed).
And I’m going to wait and do a “Christmas Day” entry later… my hands are tired of typing.