While at a glance, our vacation to Disney World seemed like THE!BEST!TRIP!EVER!, like any other trip--it has it's challenges. I do not, for one second, want to under emphasize how great this trip was, though. Because it WAS great. Overall, it was fantastic! Awesome! Amazing! Full of fun! Chocked full of memories! Magical! (Okay you get it? Good.)
For sure, Disney is a memory-making-trip, though. And what do I say about memory-making? Oh yea. It often takes work. For the parents, mainly.
So I thought about a few of the ups & downs in Disney. In fact, I may have jotted some down along the way--because this pregnant brain forgets things, like, all the time.
Naps. For us, they were necessary. I wish sometimes that my daughter would happily turn her head in a stroller and just fall asleep peacefully for a blissful 2 hour nap while we continued on enjoying the parks & what-not. But noooo. She's never really been a nap-on-the-go'er. So this part was a bit challenging.
Our days were often split in half by a nap. Sometimes, just Declan & I would return to the suite while the rest of my family kept on trucking enjoying rides & fun at the parks. Others times, we'd all return and they would go down and hang out by the pool while we had to (womp womp) stay inside while the little lady napped.
Honestly, I know you're thinking, why weren't you just like SCREW IT about naptime? It's vacation anyway! But the truth is, we had dinner reservations MOST nights, at fairly nice restaurants, and a completely un-napped Eme is, well, let's put it this way--not fun. It was for the sanity of all.
So the napping thing was a bit of a downer. Sometimes I'd feel a little left out that I couldn't continue on at the parks, or spend as much time at the pool*, etc---but that's the whole having-children-thing. Oh, responsibility. That.
Upside? Having a happy child for most of the day!
*A few times we took turns & went down to the pool, just one of us. Declan was great about me going down there during some naps while he stayed up in the rooms and napped or read a book in peace. So that was nice and much appreciated!
On that same note. Bedtime. While we definitely did not stick to normal bedtime hours, she still was so overly tired and exhausted by the end of the night, she was asleep much earlier than 'night life' at Disney is. Again, lots of parents keep their kiddies out way late in Disney, but as far as a 10pm firework show goes? Eme would have NEVER made it. Thankfully, my parents were happy to stay back at the room on two separate occasions so that Declan and I could go watch the fireworks in Magic Kingdom & do some rides/attractions, and also so we could have a little fun in Downtown Disney the other night. That time was much appreciated and also very cherished :)
Upside? Emeline was a rockstar sleeper there. I will say, I'm sure the sun, fun & exhaustion of all the activities helps, but she literally would wave us goodbye at bedtime, and basically rid us from her 'bedroom' (which was really a bathroom with a pack-n-play in it). She's used to sleeping with a fan for noise at home, so we put a white noise app on the iPad, stuck it under the door each night with a towel blocking out the rest of the light, allowing the adults to be up, noisy as ever, not even remotely waking her up. Which was great! I couldn't have been more pleased with her in the sleep arena, which can always be tricky while out of their element.
Fast Walkers. I was born into a family of fast walkers. That's just how we do. I get that, and it's fine. BUT OMG at 28 weeks pregnant, and the week when my sciatic nerve pain was acting up and my HIPS felt like they were breaking apart? It was torture! To be fair, it wasn't anyones fault. But being pregnant with literally the miles and miles and miles and miles of walking you do daily (with a stroller)? OUCH. I definitely went to bed with sore hips every night. My braxton hicks contractions were off the chain there.
My husband was great. Very, very, very attentive to my needs. Always offered to do anything & everything related to Eme-pushing her stroller, carrying her, taking charge on the bus trips, at restaurants, etc. If anything, I realized even more what a fabulous daddy (and husband) this man is on this trip.
Upside? My parents gave us the master bedroom in our suite (to help accomodate for Emeline & a place to sleep, etc), and it had a jacuzzi bathtub in it! And you bet your butt I used that thing, and multiple times. It was just what the doctor ordered for my achey pregnant hips & contracting belly. Also, another UP? In all of this, with all the miles and miles of walking in 90 degree weather? I got NO puffy ankles. I fully expected to look like an elephant with cankles the size of Africa, but nope! So yay.
No Manners, Yo. A few times, I admit, I was slightly disgusted by the lack of basic manners/chivalry while there--from strangers. If you stay within the Disney resorts, you use the bussing system to get to and from all parks/hotels, etc. Right? Right. A few times the busses were so full, and I was shocked and appalled that young, capable men didn't give up their seats for elderly, pregnant women (more than just me, but me included), or women with small babies/children. Being forced to stand and hang onto the bars, or hold their kids/babies while hanging onto the straps, etc.
One time we were on a bus heading somewhere, we stopped, and a huge group of people got on. The first people up & offering their seats to others were my husband, my brother and my dad. Like real gentleman should. Some things like that seem like basic human kindness to me, but apparently not to everyone.
Upside? The bus system is great. It's the easiest, most convenient, well-oiled machine when it comes to travelling around in Disney. Simple, simple, simple.
CHAOS. You know how here, in public places, people generally walk in the same direction as traffic? Stay to the right is a good rule of thumb. Yes? Not there. I actually think this is probably due to the very vast & diverse crowd (from lots of countries & such) that Disney draws. (Different countries drive on different sides of the road, etc.) So, basically? It felt like chaos sometimes navigating the parks, zig-zagging amongst people, especially with a stroller. It's not like there are big signs telling people the direction to walk to keep foot traffic smooth-flowin' ya know? It was just an observation, but definitely got a little stressful (for me) at times. Also, parking the stroller to do rides/attractions, unloading your kid & personal belongings a million times--gets old. But that's just how it works there and has to be done, obviously.
Upside? I loved the diversity. Loved, loved, loved it. So did Declan. Emeline met a little French girl her age, they had many-a-busride together, we stayed at the same resort & they would giggle, play peek-a-boo and sing the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse song together. It was ridiculously cute & so fun. (Just one example :))
Lovebugs. Do you know what they are? Well, we were apparently there in PRIME TIME MATING SEASON for these little creatures. They're two bugs, flying together, ATTACHED, having sex basically. Awesome, right? They don't bite--but holy cow, they swarm. Literally, at the opening of Magic Kingdom, where the little town square is? It was like the plague. They would be all over the air, flying, and then fly onto your hair, clothing, legs, stroller, your kids hair, their clothes, their legs, etc. ICK. Thankfully, once you got out of over-crowded areas, they'd lighten up a bit.
My brother may or may not have made many-a-jokes about the number of bugs having sex on him that day. It was funny at the time, swear.
Upside? None. Sorry. ;)
Pregnancy. I already touched on this a little, but I definitely missed out on a few things because of the occupancy of my uterus. Lucky for me, I went only about 6 years ago and did everything as a fully able-bodied person. But this time? Different story. I obviously did not get to do any water slides at the water park, no everest, no space mountain...nada.
Upside? There are about a million and one other 'rides' and attractions you CAN be a part of! There is always someone able to sit with the kid who is too small to do above-mentioned-rides and hold everyone's bags. Oh, and take photos. And another upside is the cute babe inside me who is so totally worth missing out on those few things.
There you have it. Some of them, anyway :)
**ps: I've had a few people email me with questions about the trip, some of you are taking trips soon or in the near future. If you do have any specific questions, feel free to ask away--but make sure you have your email address attached when you comment so I can respond!