Day 1 – Getting There
Once again the Vaughan family embarks on an ambitious vacation, eager for new experiences and time well spent together as a family. We’re doing Disney again, as is our new tradition. This time we’re bringing along Aunt Molly because she has never experienced the “magic” of Disney World.
I’m sitting in the atrium of the contemporary resort (the one that the monorail drives through to get to the Magic Kingdom) listening to birds sing and the “Cast Members” making final preparations for the onslaught of visitors. We’re here. But it wasn’t easy…
The plan for getting from Chicago to Orlando was a bit different than previous departure plans. We flew out late on Sunday afternoon, but still needed to be at Church Sunday morning for Megan’s normal duties. So, the plan was to pack everything the day before into the car, then get up at our normal Sunday time and do our normal Sunday routine, but instead of heading home after Church, we would head to the Airport. We would fly out, arrive in Orlando, get on Disney’s Magical Express bus and be at our resort in time for a late snack before and a bit of exploring before calling it a night.
The plan went off pretty well, at least for the major points. But there were many challenges that we overcame to make the plan a success.
What Really Happened
Tate must have been too excited or ate something that his stomach didn’t like because he got sick in his bed early in the night. Of course, he didn’t tell us this until just before we’re getting ready to leave for Church. So we had to quickly strip his bed and stuff all the messy things into a laundry bag. It’ll have to wait until we get home.
Having dealt with that (hopefully none of those things get ruined), we all piled into the already loaded car. Does everyone have everything? Phones? IDs? Boarding passes? Disney tickets? Confirmation papers? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. OK, let’s go. We pull out and around the corner, but something doesn’t feel right. I pull the car over to discover that one of the rear tires is COMPLETELY flat, down to the rim. Not good. It appears that there’s no permanent damage to the tire, so I get the pump out and stand out in the cold for 15 or 20 minutes while it re-inflates. This was our vacation “glitch” and it was going to go smooth from here on out.
The tire made it all the way back to 30 psi. While I was standing there I discovered that the valve cap had pretty much been destroyed by me getting to close to the curb while parking, so I figured some ice got into the stem and slowly let the air out over night. We made it all the way out to church on the re-inflated tire (about a 45 minute drive) without trouble. We parked the car and had a quick look at the tire and it was low again. Megan, Molly and the boys went inside and I stayed outside to try to inflate it again. As I was getting the gear set up, I could hear a distinct hissing sound coming from the tire. It was very clear and loud enough to be a serious leak. It was a good thing that we got the spare fixed not long ago, because we weren’t going to make it any further on this tire.
So, I unloaded all our vacation bags from the back of the car and I changed the tires in the church parking lot. Just to keep in the spirit of the day so far, I got really messy with road salt and grime in the process. I got everything put away and packed back up. I was cold and quite tired.
I looked at my phone and it said it was just after 8 am.
We made it through church with the usual 2-year-old difficulties, got ourselves organized and headed out for a bite of lunch before going to the airport. After burning so much energy in Church, Jasper fell asleep the moment the car started moving, so Megan ate lunch in the car while he slept and the rest of us went in to the restaurant for a quick bite.
We made it to the airport in plenty of time and got the bags tagged and sent down the Conveyor Belt of Good Hope. We got in the security line and I distributed the boarding passes. We get to the first security podium and Megan discovered that she left her driver’s license in her coat pocket. In her other coat. At home. The official at the checkpoint was very kind and allowed Megan to pass with a collection of other forms of ID. We made it through the rest of security without incident and explored the airport a little bit. The boys loved watching the planes come and go.
The flight to Orlando was uneventful. Tate fell asleep and Jasper stood in his seat yelling and making happy noises, facing the rear of the plane for nearly the entire flight. I think he made some new friends back there.
We landed in Orlando a bit early and made our way down to Disney’s Magical Express. It’s just a bus that shuttles from the airport to the various Disney resorts and back, but as with All Things Disney, they make a big show of it. It’s nice though so we don’t have to rent a car or something like that. It turns out that our resort is the last stop on the route, so we didn’t get to our room until nearly 9:30 pm local time. By the time we got in and settled, we didn’t have much time to explore. It was OK though, because nobody had any energy left to explore.
Tate fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow and Jasper struggled to sleep, but eventually gave up and fell asleep after I snuggled him for a while.
That was the first day of our great family vacation adventure and what an adventure the day was. We will spend Monday at the Magic Kingdom. Keep watch to this space and on our Facebook pages for pictures and more stories!