I think I finally have some time to begin blogging about our December Disney trip. Well, I better find time before I forget everything. I had packed a small notebook thinking that I would jot down notes each day back at the resort. That worked for the first few nights. After that, I either fell asleep when the girls did or Rich and I ventured out for a snack and/or a photography expedition and taking notes fell off of my list. When I finally tried to catch up on the plane, I couldn't remember what we had done three days earlier. I have no idea what's going on with my brain.
Ah, where to begin.... Okay, so this vacation was mainly my idea. I didn't think Rich would buy into another Disney adventure but after I pleaded my case, he agreed without much resistance. The only hiccup was that we had to fly. I knew that our next trip to Florida (or anywhere more than 14 hours away) was going to involve a plane and I kept telling myself that it wouldn't be a big deal. How many people fly everyday without issue? We would just be like those people. And I know that flying is supposed to be safer than driving but as with grief, irrational thoughts go along with anxiety.
I've never liked flying, mainly because I suffer from motion sickness on any flight lasting for more than three hours. I hadn't been on a plane since our honeymoon to Hawaii in 2004. (Rich, remember how we were stuck in the Chicago airport and it was freezing, absolutely FREEZING, inside?) If you can't tell, I'm a Type A personality with some OCD tendencies. (Rich, remember when you placed my bagel on the counter and I FREAKED out?) Since Abbey's death and the girls' birth, I've noticed that I seem to have some anxiety issues. But honestly, if you were in my position, wouldn't you too?
Over the past year, I've noticed that my anxiety has become worse and sometimes happens over stupid, everyday stuff. Like driving myself to the train station and using the new machines for the first time to pay for my parking spot for the day. I was able to do it just fine but there was this underlying nervousness that was just absolutely ridiculous. During the two days before we drove to Florida back in August, I was an absolute mess. I suppose in the back of my mind I was terrified of a major car accident and the thought stuck there.
For this trip, I was calm and okay when it came to discussing different flight options with Rich or stalking Jet Blue's website for fare changes. Rich and I have a sort of routine when planning vacations. I do most of the online research, like find different hotel and flight options and prices. I had an online quote from Disney for the resort and park tickets. Rich then called AAA to see if they were offering a discount greater than what I was finding online. In this case, they did so Rich booked the vacation through them.
I basically left anything to do with the flights, airport and rental car with Rich. The girls are still much too small for booster seats and it was going to cost $10 per day per car seat to rent them from Avis (or wherever we were renting a minivan from.) Although, Rich thinks that AAA would have given us some type of discount. But whatever, it was easily going to cost over $100 and there's always that caveat that they can't guarantee that they will have car seats available. Rich decided that we would bring the car seats on the plane with us and because we were planning to check the two strollers in at the gate, we would just use the strollers to transport the car seats from our van to the plane.
Because I'm Type A, I tried to research the whole car seat/stroller check-in situation (even though I had left it for Rich) and found that I actually felt sick if I thought about it for too long. I would have to shut down the internet and move on. Another issue was how to transport the luggage from our van to the airline check-in. We were going to have six suitcases in addition to carry-on bags (and three kids, three car seats and two strollers.) Rich concluded that we would simply use curbside check-in. During one of my quick reads about the airport, I saw hours for curbside check-in and noted that they were closed in the middle part of the day. That useful piece of information slipped my mind though.
The weekend before our trip, I decided to see if I could bring my tripod with me. I've always been interested in night photography but there's not really much of interest to photograph around here that's in a convenient location. I'm still kicking myself for not bringing the tripod when we drove. It's quite large and heavy and not even close to a travel model at all. I delayed looking into transporting it because it meant that I would have to think about the plane. So although my tripod would have fit into one of the overhead bins, it's considered a weapon and not allowed on the plane. It was too late for me to find and order a travel one so I ended up improvising (but I'll talk about that later.)
I admit that flying saves SO much time but it seems like it took me a lot longer to pack because I was limited to a certain amount of bags and suitcases. Plus, the beginning of December is a tricky time to vacation in Florida when it comes to the weather. I checked different forecasts and ultimately did what was recommended - packed layers. In addition to the girls' custom clothes, I packed long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, hoodies, jackets and leggings so that they could dress in layers. The extended forecast showed temperatures in the 70s, with a few days close to 80. But how accurate was that forecast?
Up next - Traveling with triplets