Saturday, August 15, 2015

Daddy's 30th Birthday

Every June, Daddy has to go to Orlando for a conference. This is kind of the best and the worst thing ever. On one hand, I love going to Orlando. We have friends near UCF, family near Disney, and of course, there's always plenty to do. On the other hand, UCF and Disney are basically two separate cities. Two separate cities that may as well be on two separate continents. Seriously. The drive is 40 minutes on a good day, but throw in tourist traffic with tolls on 408 and it can really be a nightmare. Additionally, this conference is always around Daddy's birthday. So again, there's a dilemma: celebrate his birthday in Orlando with Mickey Mouse and some of his favorite friends? Or does that mean missing out on a celebration with friends back home?

The decision was easy this year: Abue wanted to meet us in Orlando. It was Daddy's 30th birthday, so we decided that he would head to the conference, you and I would fly down to meet him, and then he'd stay late after the conference while Abue drove up. That way, we could all celebrate his birthday together at the parks! Oh, and this also happened to fall during Star Wars Weekends.

Our dreams of celebrating with Abue and Darth Vader had to be flexible, though. As you know, Abue was sick for most of 2015, and at the last minute, she wasn't able to join us. We decided that the show must go on, and to Orlando we went!

The flight down was pretty awful. You're not so great at sitting still these days. When you ARE still, you're only comfortable doing so if you have your space. I get that! That's okay! But there was a lot of turbulence, which meant I needed to hold you to keep you safe. Longest two hours of my life.

We made it in one piece, and Auntie Michelle picked us up at the airport. We spent Friday night and Saturday hanging out with her, Auntie Jen, Auntie Ellen, and your cousins Keira and Oliver. You had met Keira during your first visit to Disney World over a year ago, but none of us had met Oliver before because he's brand new! Your birthdays are actually pretty close together, but he's an entire year younger than you. Nonetheless, you were basically the same size.

You got to spend a lot of quality time with your cousins. You went to the pool, watched some Disney Junior, and played with Keira's toys.

We spent Sunday at Disney's Hollywood Studios. We're really lucky in that we get to go to Disney World pretty often. Because of this, we don't usually have a plan. We roll out of bed, head to the parks when we feel like it, grab something to eat or maybe not, maybe go on some rides, and head home. It's nice to be able to stop by, and it's great to have that flexibility. But when you have kids around, it's helpful to have a schedule. This way, you make sure you have as much fun as possible while still planning around a much-needed naptime. We got up EARLY, met up with the Barks, and headed over. We did some rides, saw a parade, and had more fun than I've had at the parks in a long time.

My favorite part was watching your face during the Frozen Singalong. I think your favorite part was seeing Jedi Mickey. This was your first time seeing him in real life, and you were just starstruck. I almost got us a reservation to do character dining, but I wasn't sure how you'd react to the characters. That's a lot of money to spend if you're not sure what the result would be! But in hindsight, I think you would have loved it. Next time.

We went back to Auntie Ellen's house and took a nap. We went back out in time for fireworks, and it was sooo worth it. They were choreographed to all of the music from Star Wars, and it was literally the best fireworks show I've ever seen. You went to bed close to midnight, which made getting up for an early flight tough.

Star Wars Weekend: 1, Ellie: 0.

We had a really great time, and Daddy certainly felt loved on his birthday. We'll be back in December to celebrate your, Oliver, and Uncle Mark's birthdays! I can't wait to see how much more you love it!

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