The fifth and final leg of our trip to America was a final few days of holiday at Disney World with just the three of us. We had intended to stay a little longer and see more friends and family but Hurricane Irene cut our trip short. 😦
But picking up where we left off, we awoke early Tuesday morning to say a sad goodbye to Grandma Jill. It was so great having her there with us for the weekend!
Andy took her to the airport and returned our rental car at the same time, while I took Elodie on an early morning walk around the Boardwalk for her first nap of the day. When Andy was back, we walked over to Epcot, my favourite park and the one we visited the most while we lived in Florida. The Food and Wine Festival was going on and we were so excited to check it out!
We spent that whole day at Epcot, riding Spaceship Earth and Livin with the Land, checking out the Festival Center and spending plenty of time exploring all the international pavilions in World Showcase and sampling the food and drink on offer as part of the festival.
I just love Epcot. I love the theming, I love the detail, I love wandering around all the hidden places. We weren’t sure how Elodie would last or how we would do an early baby bedtime that night, but it all worked out well. We took it slow and took turns putting her in the carrier for slow walking naps in quiet, air conditioned corners. We didn’t ride as many rides or sample as much of festival as we may have in the past but we very much enjoyed ourselves. We ended up staying through the evening and watching the fireworks. We didn’t anticipate keeping Elodie up that late, but since the fireworks woke her up the night before anyway, we ended up just doing more naps through the afternoon and evening and then hightailing it back to our room once they were over.
The next day we went to Animal Kingdom and this was a really fun day! We rode the Safari ride and had a really nice lunch at Tiffins, a new high-end restaurant there. The great thing about being at Disney was we could easily take an infant to a nice restaurant and no one batted an eye – the waitress loved her. And the food was amazing.
We also took advantage of the child swap policy to take turns riding the new Avatar ride there, Pandora. I never saw Avatar and wasn’t really that excited by this new addition but the ride, and the new “land” Disney built in that section of the park, is truly amazing. Andy and both loved it.
We also did the Tiger Walk and watched the monkeys for awhile, and I rode Expedition Everest, probably my favourite roller coaster, and we just enjoyed the theming and atmosphere.
Unfortunately we also spent awhile on the phone with Virgin to try to change our flight, and spent some time figuring out what we would do if we were trapped by the hurricane. We ordered supplies from Amazon and made plans to stay with my brother, but also kept calling the airline. Eventually the next day, we got put on an earlier flight, so we would be leaving on Friday. We were so bummed to cut our trip short, and have to miss out on seeing our friends the Floyds and their kids, and seeing Mark and Becky again and other family and friends. 😦
But we decided to make the best of it. We ended up staying late at Animal Kingdom that night too, first watching a light show on the Tree of Life, during which I fed Elodie: absolutely the best entertainment while feeding I’ve ever had. We finished out the night watching the new Rivers of Light show.
On Thursday, I went for a run around the Boardwalk and we hung out at the pool in the morning, taking advantage of the nice resort and getting Elodie more pool time. We then spent the rest of the day at Epcot, getting to explore the parts we didn’t get to on Tuesday, riding some more rides and sampling more of the festival. It ended up working out really well to eat most of our meals on Tuesday and Thursday as snacks from all the different festival marketplaces since we could eat on the go.
We also met some characters! This is not the kind of thing we ever would have done before but with a baby, we kind of embraced the chance to be silly.
We had planned to spend Friday at Magic Kingdom, but since our flight was changed to Friday evening we’d have to leave for the airport by 1pm, knowing the airport would be mobbed (it was). Since going to MK would mean having to take a bus to/from, adding in Elodie’s napping and the complications that entailed, before a full day and night of stressful travel back home, we decided it would just be better and easier to walk over to Epcot again and have a more relaxed morning. So we did, and it was great.
Kevin and Debbie were back at Disney that day, escaping the storm, so we got to see them again too right before we left for the airport!
We were super duper sad to leave for the airport. Our flight went off without a hitch and amazingly, Elodie slept the WHOLE FLIGHT HOME! She fed on takeoff and then passed out in my arms for three hours. She woke up to feed, and then I transferred her to Andy and she slept in his arms another few hours. She woke up when we were landing in a great mood. I couldn’t believe how lucky we were. it was amazing! Mind you, baby jetlag the whole following week was awful…but at least the flight was easy!
All in all it was a great trip, albeit exhausting. Never before has that old cliche, “we need a vacation after that vacation!” applied more. But we were thrilled we saw so many family and friends and happy the trip went so well!