Our Vacation Part II: Disney World, Tampa and the Flight Home from Hell

Disneyworld Day! We checked out of our hotel in Orlando to check into our Disneyworld Resort. We stayed at The Caribbean Beach Resort and were booked in a Pirate Room but apparently they had oversold on those rooms and had to bump us down to a beach front room. Being that I worked in hotels for 10+ years I know all about overbooking hotels and room types so we were a-ok with the change. The desk said they'd credit us for the difference in price in the room - a whopping $8. Eh, that's about how much a bottle of water is at Disneyworld so- thanks? The beach front room turned out to be way cooler than the pirate room probably was because we literally had a beach right outside our door. Rich and our friends had beers on the beach while I sat inside jealous trying to put the overtired baby to bed. Whatev-
After we threw our luggage in our new room we took off for our Disney Day! I left my purse at the room so I would be hands free. I brought just my phone, ID and credit card. We packed a little backpack leash for Olivia armed with:
1 sippy cup
Yes, I bought a backpack leash for my child. I always said I would never be 'one of those parents' but I have a runner who is much quicker than I am so hush past-Teri. I'd much rather have a non-parent give me a side eye for my kid leash than to lose my daughter in the busiest place on earth. Moving on: I wanted us to carry light knowing how much stuff we lugged around last year. I purposely didn't bring a change of clothes or sweatshirt for her because I knew I wanted to buy out there. (Don't tell Rich...) which we ended up getting her a new sweatshirt, sweatpants, sweatshirt for me, fleece blanket and numerous little toys and trinkets.
I could've done without having to pay $50 for a fleece blanket but it was raining and Olivia had fallen asleep in the stroller. The rain was blowing right on top of her and I bought the first blanket I found in the closest store I found. Three doors down there was one for $27. Ugh.
All the rides that Olivia went on, I went on. Disneyworld is totally infant and pregnant woman friendly. I did get the go ahead from my doctor to go on the safe rides with her. We rode:
Tea Cups
The Little Mermaid
Pirates of the Caribbean
Monsters Inc Laugh Factory
Carousel of Progress
The Haunted House
The Old Bear Country Singing Thing (unofficial name that I can't remember)
Rich and our friends went on Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Thunder Something and a few other thrill rides. While they did that and waited in line for 45+ minutes Olivia and I walked around and shopped. While the big kids of our group (aka Rich and friends) enjoyed Splash Mountain we tried on just about every set of Mouse Ears Disney has to offer:

The parade was the highlight of her day if she could tell you. I will never, ever, as long as I live, forget the look on her face when she saw Mickey in the parade. You know how teenage girls react when they see Justin Bieber or One Direction? That shocked face, hands flailing, wide open, teary-eyed face? That's what Olivia did when Mickey waved to us
It made mine and Rich's entire day seeing how happy that made her.

"You dig for gold Doc? So do I" ~ OLO

Photo dump:

*Above: Olivia was so tired she passed out in our friend's arms. She was totally dead weight and limp as a noodle. Rich said, "And you must be the monopoly guy" in his best Ace Ventura voice. The resemblance is uncanny.
We ended the night in Tomorrow-Land having a dance party with the Incredibles. Mr. and Mrs. Incredible as well as the Frozen/Froyo/Frozo whatever his name is. You know, the one in blue? His friend? Eh not important.
Anytime this kid hears music and sees a lit up dance floor she has to boogie. Just like her mama. She spent a good hour running around shaking it.
When the dance party was over aka when Rich and I peeled her off the dance floor while she screamed not wanting to leave, we sat down to watch the fireworks over the castle.
It was the perfect day, rain and all. I can't wait until next year when we'll have two little ones making memories.
You think after a day like Saturday we'd have adventures on Sunday? Football Sunday? You're funny. We drove up to Tampa to Rich's mom's Florida house and laid on the couch ALL. DAY. We ordered pizza, watched football, and did literally nothing. She has an elevator in her house so I didn't even need to walk up stairs if I didn't want to. Laziness at its finest. It was bliss. The only "action" was me seeing a commercial for apple juice around 2pm.
I wanted apple juice.
We hadn't been to the house in months so there were no groceries.
5pm: Still want apple juice. Only worse.
8pm: Call my friends, Are you coming over? No? Shit. Really frickin want apple juice.
9pm: Can't take it anymore and sweetly beg Rich to go get me some. I've never been that girl to send their husband out for food but this was a craving I had never had before. He went, like a sweetheart, even though it was the middle of the game. I know it was the middle of the game because he gently reminded me over and over as he grabbed his shoes and keys.
9:15pm: Drinking apple juice and totally satisfied.
Now as I write this I totally want apple juice again.
Sunday night we completely forgot about where Olivia would sleep in the Tampa house. I had already brought the pack and play home from the last time I was there in May so we could use it on the road in the summer. There are two beds that are full size and about 4 feet off the ground. She surely would have rolled off the beds at an unsafe height. I thought about sleeping on the couch with her but in the living room there were two huge flights of stairs- one going up and one going down - that were winding and waaaaaay unsafe for her to climb on. I was worried she would wake up in the middle of the night and I wouldn't and she'd fall down them.
We blew up an air mattress and gave our first "Big Girl Bed" a whirl. She did great! She slept all night on it, didn't try to get off, didn't fall off, and brushed us off of her when we tried waking her up too early for our flight home.
I'll give you the readers digest version of what happened (RD version = short version):
- I lost all our flight information and didn't even know which airline we were on. I'm typically the responsible one of Rich and I...
- I packed the iPad with my checked luggage and didn't have Frozen available. The only thing to keep Olivia semi sane.
- Olivia was very restless on the 3+ hour flight but thankfully we sat next to this old Greek woman who sang and talked to Olivia to calm her down. She shared her People magazine with her and the two of them laughed while ripping the pages out. She showed us her granddaughters she was heading to Appleton, WI to go see. My brother just got married in July in Appleton, WI; crazy coincidence! "Yaya" is what they call her so "Yaya" is what Olivia called her.
- There was a ton of turbulence that literally had me flying out of my seat.Terrifying! Everyone was holding on for dear life except for Miss-Thrill-Seeker Olivia. She thought it was a fun ride and belly laughed the entire time. You know that deep gut belly laugh babies do? That. I simultaneously thought I was going to die and pee my pants from laughing at her. She was throwing her arms in the air and squealing very loudly "Wooooo!" "Yaaaa!" "Weeeeeee!" When we landed very violently she started clapping and laughing saying "Yaaaaaayyyyy!!!!" making all the rows around us laugh.
- After we got off our first plane in Chicago I went to change Olivia's diaper. We left her backpack on the plane...... Double shit.
- Lunch was a screaming disaster with an overtired toddler. I asked the Chilis server to bring us Mac N Cheese as quickly as it was available which bought us roughly 6 1/2 minutes until Olivia remembered she hated airports and wanted to be home.
The only way to chill her out was to play "Shake It Off" on repeat. Sorry hipster kid sitting by us. Hope you like T.Swizz. Here I told Olivia, "You need to take a ni-ni love" so she closed her eyes while eating her animal crackers pretending to go ni-ni.
- After our 3.5 hour layover we went to board our final plane home. We waited and waited and it was time to board.... to LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS???
How could we miss this for hours? We sat in the next section over because "our" gate was so full and we needed more space and a little more quiet so we didn't see the screen or the flight information.
- We ran as fast as we could to our new gate with a rescued backpack, boppy, teddy bear, sleeping 26 pound kid, 2 bags, 2 dead phones, I dropped my $4 water, blanket, and animal crackers I unknowingly spilled along the way.
- We took our seats in the very worst seats on the plane, the very last row by the bathroom that doesn't recline.

- Turns out we didn't need to run to our gate. We sat for an hour and twenty minutes at the gate not moving. Remember, this is a flight from Chicago to Minneapolis, ONLY 51 MINUTES. We sat at the gate on the terrible plane longer than the actual flight. They didn't turn the air on so it was hot and stuffy and we were covered in sweat with a once-again-crabby baby.
Rich and I played a game of: "What's worse? Flying United or ......" with various horrible scenarios. Flying United Airways won every time.
What's worse? Flying United or wearing a fedora?
What's worse? Flying United or going bankrupt?
What's worse? Flying United or killing 15 people?
You get the idea.
- We finally landed in Minneapolis and Little Miss Sunshine was unhappy as ever. She was kicking, screaming, sweaty, and very hard to control so I grabbed our bags while Rich tried keeping making her happy. I grabbed our bags (more like, I pointed to our suitcases and asked the strong guy next to me to get them for me) and the car seat and started walking towards my happy family. I was dragging the car seat and wondering why people were looking at me and the ground. I got over to Rich and he pointed to the ground behind me wide eyed. I was tearing up the carpet with the dragging car seat as I walked. SHIT! An airport employee saw the whole thing and assured me it was totally fine.
- My dad picked us up and was so excited to see the three of our smiling scowling faces. I usually am the type to unpack and wash everything before going to bed after any trip but this time I just drew a bath and hopped in with Olivia then headed to bed leaving our suitcases staggered around the living room floor for two days.
It will be a very, very, VERY long time before the O'Neils take a flight or road trip anywhere again for a very long time.


  1. i just found your blog, it instantly became a fav and now i read you're from mn like me? win!
    sorry about the crappy plane ride btw :/

  2. Hi fellow Minnesotan! Welcome and thanks for reading!

  3. Oh my gosh that sucks about the plane ride! I hate flying with Olivia also. I mean, I feel like we are good at it, but it's so high intensity to try to entertain them for that long. Funny story - we were in Appleton, WI for Tgiving. I think I only ever said WI. Small world. I love the Disney recap and the dance party. I bet Olivia and Olivia would have a blast dancing to TSwift together!

    1. Oh my Gosh they'd have a total blast! Crazy story, yesterday at Old Navy I found a shirt that said "Love Like Crazy"!


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