Our first trip to Disney 5 years ago, ended by us promising Sadie and Ethan that we would return when Lily was 5 years old. As the years passed, the kids never let us forget this "promise." Therefore, I found myself planning our second trip to Disney World in August, right around the time of Lily's 5th birthday. However, we kept it a complete surprise until we went to school to pick them up the day we were leaving. What a fantastically difficult, yet very rewarding surprise to keep!
Let me start by saying that prior to going to Disney in 2004, I can say that was not a big Disney fan. Sure, we watched the movies, but didn't "get" Disney in all of its wonderfulness. The last time I had been to Disney was when I was in 4th grade, - 28 years ago. In fact, I had a bit of snobbery when it came to Disney clothing. For the life of me I could never figure out why any adult would wear something with a Disney character on it. It just seemed a bit childish. In fact, I tended to pass on any Disney licensed product for my children, too. Just seemed a bit cheap and a tad too American. Yes, I will eat these words later in this post.
Disney in 2004 was a very special trip. My father paid for the entire family to go. We believed, at the time, that my sister was in complete remission from her breast cancer. It was a celebratory trip and simple a trip of a lifetime. Less than 2 months after our return, the cancer was found in her brain. What a blessing for God to time our trip without the thought of cancer hanging over us.
Now, it was my family's time to return to Disney. This would be Lily's first trip, because she was only 9 months old the firs time around and stayed in High Point while we were away. I am not sure who was more excited about this trip in the end. I would venture to guess me. There is something like seeing Mickey Mouse on that first day that just brings you back to being 5 again. I squealed his name like a little girl, "Ohhh - It's Mickey!'
We did things a little differently this trip. We rented a house which turned out the be the best decision. We also took my mom and stepdad - a huge help and blessing. It was so very nice to have another "mom" to help take kids to the million trips to the bathroom each day.