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It was a hot summer day in June. My grandmother, Mom, my brother Daniel, my cousin Valerie, and I were headed out for a long vacation. We were first going to Mississippi and then on to Florida to Disneyworld. Talk about excited!!! I couldn’t contain myself and didn’t sleep much at all the night before. Valerie was visiting us because her mom had gotten sick. My wonderful mom had volunteered for her to stay with us the entire summer. It was so cool. Valerie and I were best friends already, much less best cousins. We did everything together all the time. So having her come along was just another treat for me. Of course, I had rather my little snoopy brother, Daniel, didn’t come, but oh well! After all, who can complain when you are going to Disneyworld!
We had to stop in Mississippi to leave my grandmother off at her house before the vacation. That wasn’t such a bad idea either, because I loved my grandmother’s house, the creek to fish and swim in and all of her things. The night before we had packed everything we needed. I just couldn’t get to sleep. Finally I must have fallen asleep because the alarm was going off and everyone was hurrying about the house. Dad had made us breakfast. He couldn’t go due to his work schedule, but insisted we go and have fun. He even told me to ride the Teacups for him and the Train! Dad is such a laugh.
The car was packed, we had double checked everything and were waving goodbye! Another reason for the stop in Mississippi was for rest. It was going to be a long ride to even get that far in one day. Mom turned on the a/c in the car along with the radio and we settled in. She had it on her favorite country music, so we sang along a few songs of Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash. I must have fallen asleep right after we left the house. The next thing I knew, Mom was waking me up. We had stopped for lunch at a Whataburger restaurant. My favorite, too! She said to eat hearty as we would not stop again until we reached my grandmother’s house. I ate a whole Whataburger with fries and an ice tea. Valerie did, too! Daniel had a Jr Whataburger and so did my grandmother. Mom had a salad with chicken. Back in the car, Valerie and I decided to play, I spy. It is loads of fun! I was spying all kinds of things from license plates from Washington to blue jays in trees. Daniel tried to join in but would get mad if we guessed his too quickly. So he got out his video game and played it. Mom had to stop for gas one time right before we made it to the Mississippi state line. We always honk the horn when we cross over into Mississippi, but she said she was not going to do that since it was now getting dark and it might upset other drivers. I have a very smart mom.
Soon enough we were at my grandmother’s. Mom had made us pack one light bag with just enough for each of us our night clothes, and a clean outfit for the next day. That way we didn’t have to take so much out at my grandmother’s house. We were ready for a light soup supper and off to bed.
Before we knew it, it was daylight again. Mom was hustling us out of bed and into the kitchen for breakfast. She said to eat hearty as we had many more miles to go before we reached our final destination. So thankful that my grandmother cooked her best oatmeal for us topped with cinnamon, brown sugar, strawberries, and whipped cream! Who could ask for anything more? Yummy!!
Then it was load back into the car and get on the road. This time Mom found an oldies radio station and she was singing along with Patsy Cline, Tennessee Ernie Ford, and Frank Sinatra. Talk about strange music that none of us knew except her! Valerie and I played a game of travel trivia which was sort of fun and of course, Daniel, was back on his video games!
For lunch we stopped at a roadside park and had the sandwiches our grandmother had packed for us along with an apple and sweet iced tea. When we got back on the road, not a sound could be heard. I figured out later that all of us kids had fallen asleep.
A loud bang awoke us as Mom clapped her hands and proclaimed our arrival to the Holiday Inn at Disneyworld! I could not tell you who was the most excited as we were all yelling sounds of glee and running around the car to get our luggage out. Mom registered us for our room and we were giggling uncontrollably.
When we were settled in to our room, Mom explained the sleeping arrangements. Valerie and I would get one of the queen size beds to share, Daniel would get the fold out couch in the living area, and Mom would get the other bed. She said that is night number one, then we will switch on the second night. I love it when my mom thinks of everyone and being fair to all. We were so happy we could have slept on the floor and not minded!! Mom called Dad to let him know we made it safe and sound. Then she called our grandmother, too. She also called Valerie’s mom in the hospital so Valerie could talk to her and let her know all was well. Valerie’s mom’s health was improving daily, too.
Mom ordered pizza for us the first night. We went to bed without any complaining, so excited to be going to Disneyworld the next day!
Mom had picked up a map of the park when she had registered us, so she was busy planning our day while we were falling asleep.
The morning came with a clap and thunder outside of our room. What was going on, we had wondered? Mom explained that it was raining and that we would have breakfast in the hotel lobby and then see what happened. She did tell us that the hotel manager had explained to her that quite often the rains would start and stop during the summers at Kissimmee, Florida. We were not too disappointed after she said that. The hotel offers a free breakfast for everyone. That was definitely a plus in Mom’s opinion.
Sure enough after we had eaten the sun came out. The hotel offered a trolley bus to the theme parks, so we opted to take that rather than worrying about parking and walking. Disneyworld stays open all day and late into the evening. Mom said she had mapped out our route to take so we could get to see most everything in our two days along with purchasing us the fast passes to avoid long line delays.
What a cool Mom, right?
The awesome view, the rides, the larger than life Disney characters, people laughing and having fun everywhere. Yes, Welcome to Disneyworld! First we started following the crowds that were going down the main street with shops galore. Then Mom got out her map and starting us on our route. By lunchtime, we had already seen more than imaginable. We had ridden the Liberty Square Riverboat, gone to the Swiss Family Treehouse, enjoyed the birds at the Enchanted Tiki Room, and countless of stops to listen to theatrical groups perform. Mom had thought of packing a lunch, but had decided against that. We had hot dogs, chips and a soda. Mom said the prices might be a bit high, but it was well worth it!
In the afternoon, the rain began to return, so we went inside a western style dance hall and listened to a group of singers dance and perform. It was really quite entertaining. Then it was time for more rides. Space Mountain was indeed worth it! Scary, and adventurous and well, mostly scary! My little brother couldn’t go it and he pouted about that. So we switched directions and went to a kind of petty zoo afterwards, and to ride the Mad Tea Party (Dad’s Teacups) to keep him happy. Valerie and I did not mind a bit. Mom steadily had her phone out taking pictures to post and to make copies for us.
Needless to say, by the end of the day, we were all exhausted and a little sun burned, too. Mom said we would stay the second night for the parade and fireworks. She said it was time to call it a day. We all moaned, but happily boarded the trolley back to our hotel. Once at the hotel, we settled for the buffet dinner. They let kids eat free at this hotel if you choose the buffet.
That night we all chatted about the rides and all of the attractions we saw. Mom didn’t even have to tell us to go to bed. We bathed and took to the sheets! The morning was just around the corner.
Again on the second day, we had the free breakfast and rode the trolley. It wasn’t raining this time at all. Mom got out her map and we began our day. Daniel wanted to go back and ride the Mad Tea Party again, but thankfully Mom said no to that.
We were able to go to Splash Mountain, the Jungle Cruise, the 7 Dwarf’s Mine Train and much more. Mom did make a request of her own. She wanted to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse who were scheduled to appear outside of the Cinderella Castle. She also said she wanted to listen to the Enchanted Tales with Belle and ride the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. What a crazy silly Mom!
What we didn’t know was that she had a plan. It was right after we left the carrousel that we heard to fantastic sounds coming down the main street. Yes, parade time right before our eyes. Mom told us to come and sit. There we were on the side of the castle sitting on the ledge in perfect view of the parade. We asked her how she knew to stop there. She said one of the hotel clerks had told her how to find the spot and when to be there. The parade was magnificent to say the least. The characters actually stopped in front of us and performed. Wow! We couldn’t have planned it any better.
After the parade we went to A Pirate’s Adventure and Tomorrowland Speedway, andBig Thunder Mountain. Mom said we needed to head toward the front entrance as it was time for fireworks and we needed to be ready. We got there just in time. The lights lit up the sky behind the Cinderella Castle and throughout Disneyworld. Just picture it!
What a perfect ending to our vacation.
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