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The happiest place on Earth | Day 1.

Well here we are at Walt Disney World!! It's a little after 10pm as I write this, and man am I BEAT. I'm actually not sure where to begin telling today's story, as I never actually made it to bed last night. Yep, 38 hours and counting...

I thought I was ready for this trip. Really. I mean, I've only been planning for it for the last 2 years!! Yet there I was at 3 o'clock this morning, putting Stickles on a dollar-store tiara and swearing at the printer because the cardstock jammed it again, and at the computer because Photoshop Elements crashed...again. I didn't manage to make even a third of the items on my list (though I did get the 2 most important ones done...more on that later). In between all that and tossing last-minute items in the suitcases, it was 5am when I realized that sleep just wasn't going to happen... not really the way I wanted to start this trip, of all trips. So finally the bags were all packed, only to be unpacked and repacked in different bags, because the largest suitcase to be checked was a good 15 pounds overweight, and the tote bag I was so psyched about carrying on (the All My Memories pink camo one, yum!! lol) was never going to fit into the overhead compartments. Evidently I seriously underestimated the sheer amount of stuff that a family of four needs for a week-long trip.

About 7am I forced myself to shut down the computer, and we went to go wake Hannah up. I had printed out this sign (above - a really pretty piece I found on, and wrapped it in Cinderella paper along with the new satchel I got Hannah for this trip (a shimmery black number from The Children's Place, so cute!!). So Chris and I waltz into her room singing "Happy Birthday", tell her we're having her surprise birthday party today (which she's been saying she wanted for months now LOL), and oh yeah we're doing it NOW. She tears the paper off, doesn't want to read the sign, and isn't impressed with the bag. Naturally I have the whole thing on video. ;) By this time it's 7:15am and we have exactly 15 minutes before we're supposed to leave for the airport - and by "leave" I mean actually backing down the driveway. My brain is so foggy from lack of sleep that I immediately lose everything I set down, but as I am getting Hannah dressed she is coming fully awake and realizing that we really are going to Disney World, and not just "someday" but today and in fact RIGHT NOW... she starts getting really excited about the idea, and in spite of everything else I find her enthusiasm is rather contagious. :)

On the way to the airport, we end up having to detour through downtown due to an unannounced freeway closure for construction (well surely they told somebody but they didn't tell us! lol).

At the airport, I feel like I'm spinning in circles trying to keep track of all the bags (and children) at the security checkpoint. I was rather concerned about them giving me a hard time about Hannah's Tamiflu prescription - we had it in a Ziploc baggie with a gel-type ice pack (it has to be kept cold), and I didn't know if they would allow the ice pack on board. Or worse yet - if they notice the medication was Tamiflu, and they start asking questions about does she have swine flu, and maybe they won't let her on the plane, then what?!?! Thankfully none of it was an issue and we got through the checkpoint I think almost faster than we ever have (they even let me carry William through instead of making him walk like they did with Hannah at that age; an ordeal, let me tell you, and of course I was flying alone with her at the time).
At the gate William wanted to wander - in fact he wanted to take off down the concourse - and as he is a toddler naturally he threw a holy fit in the middle of the floor when we wouldn't let him. Then a few minutes before we're due to start boarding, they decide the plane has a mechanical problem, we all have to change gates, and by the time they got everything settled with the new plane and boarded and everything we were about an hour late taking off. The flight was relatively uneventful, given that it was William's first... His ears gave him some trouble during the somewhat turbulent descent, and that made him howl, but that was all and it didn't last long. He was fine with sitting on our laps (can someone please tell me what the hell we were thinking flying with a 30-pound toddler on our laps???) and even napped for a while. I'd say that easily 97% of the passengers were families with small children (ie, younger than school-age) headed to Disney World.
When we got to our resort (we're staying at All-Star Movies), I checked in and was told we'd been assigned to the Mighty Ducks building. Only problem was, that was the only building on the property that I was not okay with staying in; this trip is totally for our birthday princess, what do we care about hockey?! Thankfully they did have a room open in the Love Bug building, so that's where we are. (Evidently all the other buildings on the property - the ones with the best theming - are all premium-rate rooms. Anyone else think this is information my travel agent should have told me when I said I wanted to reserve a standard room in the Toy Story building?!?!) I had planned for us to go to Downtown Disney for dinner and to hang out, but we were all so tired that we decided to stay in. So we ate here in the World Premiere Food Court, which had surprisingly good food (I had the Hot Italian Sandwich and Chris had the Meatball Sub; of course Hannah inhaled her cheese pizza though William wouldn't touch his). After dinner we walked around a bit, though it was really too late for any photo ops with decent lighting, and stopped in the gift shop, where I thoroughly amazed myself by not spending a single dime, despite spending quite some time checking out all the "exclusive, park-only" merchandise.
Our room is small, but I don't mind... It's clean and seems to be in decent shape. Hannah is totally enchanted by the theming, and even I was impressed by the mosaic tile border in the shower that looks like a strip of film frames.
Hannah is very excited about being here; she can't wait to ride the rollercoasters, and see the fireworks over Cinderella's castle, and meet Sleeping Beauty and Mickey Mouse, et al. And of course I can't wait to share the magic with her... :)

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