Since leaving Ft. Polk, we have slowly meandered east, enjoying time in the van with the family. We stayed in Baton Rouge and Tallahassee and have really been having a good time with the kids and each other. The dogs have traveled well and Deacon has not been car sick once (a huge answer to prayer). This trip had been masterminded by Tina. During my year in Korea, she has been planning and saving, determined that we would spend some quality family time together before diving head first into my new position, a new city, and a new life. I can't explain how grateful I am tha God blessed me with a woman who thinks ahead and puts family at the top of her priorities. She is such a blessing.
Since being on the road, the weather has been not so great but we drove on to Orlando, FL anyway. We stayed at a great hotel, the Holiday Inn Family Resort. This place is really geared toward families on vacation. The pool ranged from one inch deep to 5 or 6 feet deep so everyone could swim. But more than that it had several fountains and water guns and all kinds of cool stuff for the kids to play with and on and really wear themselves out before retiring for the evening. The restaurants were nothing terribly fancy which, again, fit the family motif.
This morning we got up bright and early to discover that the rain had stopped but the clouds were still over head offering shade for a day of fun. So we headed to none other than the Magic Kingdom itself, Disney World. Man, we were pumped! It was a great day from the very first moment. This being the first time in this place of wonder for the kids, they wanted to do everything. However, since Tina and I had both been to Disneyland as kids, we wanted to go on certain rides, not only to introduce our children to the things we enjoyed at their age, but to relive our youths for a little while. Throughout the day we ran into several well known characteres such as Micky, Minnie, Cinderella, and others. Some of them we were able to meet, others had huge lines up tothem so we only saw them from a distance. We bought a small note book for the kids to collect the characters signatures and Olivia quickly took charge of that task and asked every character she met for their "ortograph". She was a girl on a mission!
We rode Space Mountain (glad that all the kids were tall enough), Dumbo, and the Tea Cups (a real hoot). We also ventured into the Haunted Mansion. The boys had a great time laughing at the ghosts and trying to figure out how the illusions were created. Olivia did not like it at all and took every possible opportunity to say so. "Daddy," she said, "I don't ever want to go in there again." I don't recall her acting scared during the ride, but she was not enjoying it either. Afterward, as I carried her out, she had a smile of releif on her face. I think she was glad to be able to say she did it but will probably not want to do it again for several years.
At days end, we picked up our kids, packed up our memories, and were glad for the chance to build a history worth having.