And....we're home. *happy sigh* What an amazing week.
First, I need to update you from where I left off. On Thursday we spent the day at Epcot (everyone's tummies had recovered miraculously overnight). During my past Disney visits, Epcot had always been my favorite. But with little kids in tow, it definitely didn't have the pull that the Magic Kingdom had. We made a relatively quick sachet through the "World Showcase", stopping in Germany for a lunch for which we'd had reservations for months. Note to self: if your family is just recovering from a stomach bug, do NOT visit a restaurant that smells like sauerkraut and beets. Thankfully everyone was able to stomach his schnitzel, and we moved along. Here's a picture of my crew in front of our restaurant:
The front half of Epcot, if you've never been there, is a wonderland for imaginative kids. My boys wanted to see and touch EVERYthing, and we darn near managed it. The highlights of the day was a virtual hang-gliding journey in Soarin', and Hubs and the two younger boys raved about the ride Test Track (Adam and I sat that one out).
On to Friday...our last day at the park. We woke up early, packed, and headed out to Animal Kingdom for a character breakfast with Donald Duck. Mickey, Goofy and Pluto were there as well. We saw the Festival of the Lion King, a shortened version of the Broadway play...OH, MY GOSH! It was breathtaking. We met a few more characters and then took the Monorail back to the Magic Kingdom (we were able to sit up front with the driver--a real thrill!). That last day at the Magic Kingdom was so full I don't even know how to summarize it. We saw everything we wanted to, and a few things twice. The weather was perfect. I bought a much-cherished souvenir--silhouettes of my boys made at Liberty Square. Hubs and Adam were even able to get reservations for the Pooh character lunch Adam missed on his sick day. Things were going SO well.
We ate dinner at Pecos Bill's, with plans to watch the Spectro Magic parade and fireworks show again before climbing in the car to make the drive home. After dinner, we sat leisurely in the restaurant, until our nasty little stomach bug made a VERY sudden appearance with ME. With the room (literally) spinning, I ran to the bathroom, where I camped out for a very long time. Remarkably, I never actually threw up (because I'm sure you were wanting to know), but I hovered on the edge of death in that bathroom--or so it felt. I knew I would have to somehow make it out of the park, but I could barely pull myself off the floor. Finally I stumbled out to our table, where my sweet Hubs had four Disney bags cleared out and ready for me to chufe into as we dashed out of the park.
Just as we attempted our sailing exit out of the restaurant...THE PARADE STARTED. You Disney veterans know that nothing short of nuclear war could interrupt a Disney parade. So Hubs somehow managed some creative steering through stores and alleyways, dragging three boys and a very green momma behind him. Who needs a "Prince Charming" when you have the real thing? What a guy!
Long story short, we made it out of the park and to our car with no embarrassing, um, "episodes". We only drove an hour out of Orlando before we all collapsed into a hotel bed from exhaustion over the drama.
True to the form of this virus, I was fine the next morning. Our trip back was safe and uneventful. My boys mercifully have overlooked our less-than-stellar parting from Disney World and have talked non-stop about their happy memories. Their hearts and autograph books are full! Really, stomach virus and all, we couldn't have had a better week. We are so blessed!
Now we're home, and my house is piled high with dirty laundry, suitcases, and a wide assortment of souvenirs that seemed like a good idea at the time. My daughter had a wonderful time with my parents (though it took her about 30 minutes to decided if she still liked us!), and my house seems enormous to me after 10 days in a hotel room. It's a happy night indeed.
Thank you to those of you who read along and gave encouragement and prayers during our wild week! It was fun to share it with you. Bear with me; it may take me all week to catch up on comments, e-mail and other blogs! I missed my blogging friends even more than I expected I would--y'all are the best!
Signing off, for some laundry and rest....