Jolly Holidays 2007 – Our Christmas Trip to Disney Day 1, getting there

In true Skamarakas fashion, the details of this trip take on a life of their own. I am getting better at not planning things, because you just don’t know what’s going to happen. The semi, not set in stone plan is to leave at oh dark thirty Sunday morning and drive straight through to our 2 bedroom villa at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Then we start planning our summer trip – a 3 week trip to Europe, which includes a 13 day cruise to England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It is during this planning that Jim realizes we have oh so many frequent flyer miles, none of which can be used on British Airways for our trip to Europe next summer, so we might as well use them to fly to Florida for our Christmas trip. Alrighty then.

Jim works in Milwaukee all week long, and flies home to Jersey on the weekend. His plan is to just fly from Milwaukee to Orlando and I’ll fly with Eilis and Granuaile from Philly to Orlando, and I’ll try to coordinate our flight times so that neither of us has to wait too long for the other one when we arrive in Florida, and we can all ride to Jim’s mother’s together in a rental car. As it turns out, I have to go to Eilis’ mid-year conference at school, and we have tickets to see A Christmas Carol at the Walnut Street theater, so I can’t leave until late in the day. When I start looking to coordinate flights, I see that there is one from Milwaukee that arrives in Orlando at 11:30, and one from Philly that arrives at 11:30 – oh my goodness – the Milwaukee flight connects in Philly!! How cool that this is going to make it possible for Jim to get to fly with the baby on her first airplane ride! I know they will both be excited!! We book the flights – and for $15, me and the two youngest children will be in Orlando in 2 hours instead of 20 hours! I’m so excited!

So, Jim goes to Milwaukee for work a week before the trip, and I send with him a huge suitcase of all of our clothes so that it’s easier for me to take myself and the two kids. The day of, I am still frantically throwing things into a suitcase to take with me that I forgot to pack in Jim’s, and then I realize I have Christmas presents to take with me, too. I bring out another suitcase and fill that one with holiday gifts and some sugar free snacks I picked up for my MIL, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes. I go to the conference, we go to the show, and we come home and start putting stuff in order for Brighid to stay here with Nannie for the week. The window on my Navigator broke yesterday – in 18 degree, snowy weather – and my stepfather has offered to come early and take me to pick it up. We agree that he’ll come at 4 to avoid the traffic down to the car dealer, and we’ll leave for the airport at 6, so I’ll be there in plenty of time for my 8:45 flight.

Okay, so at 3, my stepfather shows up. We go down to get the car, and when we get back, he’s anxious to do something, so he loads the bags in the trunk. Then he starts asking what time I want to leave. Then it starts snowing. I figure he’s getting nervous about driving in the dark and in the snow, so I tell him whenever they want to go is fine with me. We are on our way to the airport at about 5 o’clock. Oh man, I’m going to be early.