You know when you plan the perfect vacation, and everything is falling into place, and you can’t wait to get started, watching the kids enjoy themselves and then you start to relax and enjoy yourself? Yeah. Ain’t happenin’. This is a Skamarakas family trip – did you expect the Brady Bunch?
I woke up early this morning – what else is new? – and went to the bathroom before waking Jim and asking him if he wanted to get up early with me, eat breakfast out on the balcony watching the animals before the kids got up. He reluctantly agreed. I quickly made breakfast for Jim, grabbed a protein bar for myself, and sat outside. Then had to go to the bathroom. Then ran back outside. Then had to go to the bathroom. Yes, ladies, you might recognize this as a symptom of a urinary tract infection. I drink a gallon of water - give or take an ounce – and hope for the best. The plan is to go to SeaWorld, then hit Walmart for a few things I didn’t know I needed – cranberry juice and Azo tablets – and to pick up a bag of groceries that never made it into our shopping cart yesterday. We also left a bunch of stuff at Jim’s mom’s house, but I realize how low in importance it is when the pain from the UTI kicks in.
We get the kids up, dressed, and fed, and we are on our way to SeaWorld. The gallon of water is helping minimally, and I am in such great discomfort walking around SeaWorld that by 1 o’clock, I really can’t stand it anymore. We decide to head out of the park and grab some lunch and then hit Walmart for the stuff we need. Not sure where we want to eat, Jim starts heading down International Drive from SeaWorld, and we figure we’ll find some place we’ve never eaten to try, and then we pass Cafe TuTu Tango. This was one of our favorite places when we lived in Orlando, but we haven’t been here in years. If you have never been, this is a tapas style restaurant – basically, a menu full of appetizers. It’s perfect for someone who has had gastric bypass surgery! We choose a few things we think the kids will enjoy – steamed dumplings, chicken pizza, scallops, hummus and chips, and black bean soup. It really makes a full meal for everyone at the table, and the girls are given pictures to color of Backyardigans characters – Granuaile’s favorite. Another of the neat things about TuTu Tango is that they display the works of local artists all over the walls, and when the girls are done their pictures, the waitress brings them tape so they can add their art to the beautiful displays. Eilis puts a price tag of $2 on hers – a bargain at twice the price.
Bordering on agony, I am finally on my way to Walmart. I grab a six pack of diet cranberry juice and the box of Azo, a nightgown, since I forgot to pack one, and we get the groceries that we left behind the day before. I pick up a rotisserie chicken for dinner, and we are on our way back to the hotel. Tonight in the lobby there is a craft set up. The kids can pay $5 and make a Christmas ornament using dyed broken ostrich egg shells. We pay for Eilis to do one – the money goes to animal conservation – and she happily sets about making a blue giraffe, which, of course, is exquisite They give her a button which says she has helped with animal conservation, and we head up to the room for dinner. The Azo is kicking in THANK YOU MAKERS OF AZO!!, and I am finally feeling a little bit better. I take the girls downstairs and at the gift shop, they are getting ready to hold a parade. The kids get to choose an instrument from the shop, and they parade around the immense lobby of Animal Kingdom Lodge singing, “We are in Africa!” over and over again. It’s so much fun for the kids, they want to do it every night of the vacation!
We head back upstairs, have a bedtime snack of cookies and milk (thank you, Jim, for the nice cookies you picked up for the kids – they loved them as much as you do), and head off to bed. No rush to get out tomorrow, since the plan is just to go to Magic Kingdom for the Very Merry Christmas Party.