* this is mainly for me to remember*
the prep work for this trip began about a year ago. rooms were booked, grandparents invited, airline tickets secured, weather checked (and rechecked) park schedule discussed and meals planned. all of this right under the noses of our innocent children. there were times when i would have to quickly close the laptop as they rushed into a room and plopped down beside me ~ once little man told grammy that he "did not know what his parents were planning but whatever (it was it was going to be huge" (that was over the summer and then he forgot about it). when the invitation went out to the grandparents, mine accepted but due to jd's dad's cancer, his declined. during the fall and into christmas we were unsure the trip would even take place due to his quick decline. our plan to tell the children was hindered because of that... so we decided that should we have to cancel it would be better for them to not have even known. about two weeks after pops passed away (and three weeks prior to the trip) jd mentioned that he would really like it if his mom could join us. i made a few calls and had trouble with making all of the meals (reservations for the meals were made back in october) and room availability work. on her own my mom also began making phone calls to disney regarding the same thing... great minds. long story short ~ we could not make the entire trip work at that late date, but she could fly down on sunday and fly back with us on wednesday. jd talked with his mom and she thought about it and decided to join us.
our itinerary was downtown disney on friday for dinner, epcot on saturday and animal kingdom on sunday. we were saving the magic kingdom for monday and tuesday, with a flight back on wednesday. knowing that friday thru sunday would be long days trying to cram each park into one day, we decided to leave m2 with nana for those days and planned for them to fly down together on sunday. and yes, i cried at the airport when nana and m2 were left in the car and we headed in... still wondering what was going through her young little mind as we unloaded everything. to make it simple for nana we took her suitcase and m2's things with us. the only thing she needed for her flight was the stroller, a backpack and m2.
the weekend prior to the trip we had a large snow storm... the children were out of school on monday and tuesday with rumors of a wednesday cancellation. i was starting to panic. i was not packed at all and could not get this done with them home. plus leslie and i cooked on monday. good grief! luckily school was in session on wednesday and my dad came to my rescue. he came and watched m2 so i could get the suitcases packed up. by the time i picked them up from school wednesday four out of five of the family members were completely packed (with the exception of those last minute toothpaste/toothbrush etc items). the remainder of the packing was completed on thursday while they were in school. whew! friday morning was a breeze! the children enjoyed pulling their own duffel bags on wheels but were concerned that their stuff would arrive when they did.
okay, now on to the fun stuff...