I depart for Orlando in a few days! Getting ready for the trip has me thinking back to last year’s conference, which was one of the events that prompted me to both start this blog and adopt Cedric Doggery. It has me thinking of the last time I went to Orlando at the age of five.
I grew up in Miami, but it was a 4 hour drive to Orlando, so we didn’t go as often as you would think. In those days Disney was not about the Princesses, at least not the way it is now. It was more about the core characters: Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Pluto. Movies like Robin Hood made up the characters you saw around the park. This was when Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was still part of the park and one of my favorites.
This was before my sister was born. My grandparents had come in from Massachusetts to join us. We stayed in some resort like apartments. I remember the dark wood decor of the rooms vaguely. I remember wanting to stay in the hotel that had the monorail go through it. I thought that was just so cool.
I carried an autograph book around and had the characters sign it. I had my mouse ears with my name embroidered on the back. We did a character breakfast, which I still think is the best part of a child’s first Disney experience. My memories are 35 years old and so pretty faded. Pictures tend to trigger something, but they are like photos themselves.
In future trips we would go with my sister. One year she got pink eye and was miserable through the entire trip. There was one year when my father was traveling and it was just my mother with Katie and me. There were annual trips in December when I was a teenager with my youth group.
There have been none since I moved to Massachusetts. There has been too many other places to see: Paris, London, Germany, California, D.C., and other places. This trip marks the first family vacation in a while and one of the very few we have had as adults. I can’t wait for any of it!