Things were not ending on a really high note as I had to call to cancel another dinner reservation. The lady on the phone noted that because I was cancelling this the same day as the reservation, I would be charged $10 per person. I protested that I didn't think this was fair as I was having to cancel the reservation because one of our party was sick.
What illness has befallen the El family? Who is, in fact, sick?
We'll find out today as I conclude recounting my family journey to the Friggin' Happiest Friggin' Place On Friggin' Earth with...
|Part Seven - The Epilogue|
Our last day at Disney World was an atypical day when it came to the weather. Instead of the pleasantly balmy sunny skies associated with Florida's environment that we had enjoyed for the week so far, the weather on Friday was decidedly cooler with a high reaching up barely to 60 degrees under a austere grey sky, necessitating a few extra layers of clothing than had been employed so far.
After the end of Mickey's Fantasmic show at Hollywood Studios, the night air was quite chilly and was having a negative impact on my wife Andrea. Andrea has problems with asthma and the drop in temperatures was not helping. A nagging cough had developed and she wasn't feeling good. She was at least working on a cold, maybe something worse.
So after so back and forth on our plans for the evening, we made our way back to the Caribbean Beach Resort and the Old Port Royale where we grabbed some food to go to take back to our room. It was probably for the best. We had put in a solid week of vacationing at Disney World and we were beat. And we had the trip back to Greensboro NC and the Fortress of Ineptitude to look forward to. So we all crashed in our respective beds to sleep one last night in this small little home away from home that I dubbed the Fortress of Amaze-itude. Well rested, we would pack our backs and begin our journey to our true home.
1:00 AM and my best laid plans were in danger of being upended in a serious way. I was awakened by the decidedly unpleasant sounds of retching in the bathroom. Oh no, whatever illness Andrea was fighting took a turn for the worse. Did she have the flu or something?
Except Andrea was still in bed with me as she informed me it was our daughter Randie in the bathroom throwing up.
Uh oh. That was a plot twist I could do without.
After a mission to find a soda machine to get Randie some Sprite to help settle her stomach, we all eventually collapsed back to sleep from sheer exhaustion.
When the sun arose, we made a decision that we would press on with our mission to return back to North Carolina. Randie wasn't feeling great but felt she could hold it together for the trip back home. For my part, I was prepared to pull over as often as necessary and if things really took a turn for the worse, we could check into a hotel and resume the trip on Sunday.
|Old Port Royale food court|
But first, one last visit to the Old Port Royale where we did a bit more souvenir shopping and refilled our refillable Disney mugs one last time. By 11 AM, we were on Interstate 4 with the Friggin' Happiest Friggin' Place On Friggin' Earth fading away in the rear view mirror. If everything went well, I calculated we would pull into the driveway of the Fortress of Ineptitude by 9 PM.
And for most of the trip, things went well. Randie, mind you, still didn't feel good but managed to make herself as comfortable as possible in the back seat. Andrea, fighting a cold, slept through most of the trip. To be honest, Andrea pretty much sleeps through most trips, cold or no cold.
We were within 20 miles of the North Carolina border at around 7 (we were halfway through A Prairie Home Companion; God, we're such white people) when Randie plaintively said from the back seat that she really didn't feel good and could we find a hotel to check into.
I will state that at this point, we are on track to meet my deadline to be home by 9 PM, perhaps even a bit before that. As much as I didn't want to put my daughter through any discomfort, at this point we were too close to home. 80% of our journey was behind us. I did elect to park in a truck stop/convenience store parking lot and we stayed there about an hour before we headed out again.
We stopped again at 8:45 PM at another truck stop/convenience store in Rockingham NC. We're 90 minutes from home now. After that stop, we kept going until we pulled into our driveway at home... at 10:45 PM, twelve hours after we left the parking lot of the Old Port Royale.
The next day was December 11th, my daughter's actual birthday. She spent it lying on the couch, feeling miserable.
Andrea spent the day in bed, feeling miserable.
I felt great! I got up Sunday morning and sang with our church choir for our Christmas music program and I came away from that feeling pretty good.
I hated that my wife and child were sick but before that downturn of events, we had a great time at Walt Disney World. I have to admit that I pretty much enjoyed myself and whatever did go wrong, hey, I get a good story out of it. And really important for me, for the first time in over a decade, Disney World had not tried to kill me. I got through the trip in good health and came back with no problems at-
Around mid-Sunday afternoon, it was like someone flipped a switch: I began coughing and sneezing, I was achy all over. I felt miserable.
Damn you, Disney! If you didn't get me there, you got me here, after I got home.
And I'm so glad my suffering amuses you.
Wow! And that is that for this Disney Daze series! Sorry to end on a bit of a bummer note with Andrea, then Randie and then myself all getting sick but hey, it's Dave-El and his family from the Fortress of Ineptitude. Of course we all got sick. But it could've been worse. Unlike in 2011, one of us (me!) didn't get sick on the first day and never fully shook it for the rest of the trip, you know?
As I frequently tell my daughter and to be honest, I have to remind myself too, you can't let the bad color the good, especially when then bad really is only a part of the total picture.
All in all, I will declare the 2016 family trip to Disney a success.
And no, I don't want to go back.
Well, maybe someday.
To wrap up this last installment of Disney Daze, a bit of verse...
Now it's time to say goodbye
To all our company
(See you real soon!)
(Why? Because we like you!)
Until next time, remember to be good to one another.
Oh, one more thing, a bit of blog bidness. For 7 straight days, I've been posting twice a day. I need a break from that so we're back to posting once a day. So the next post is coming up tomorrow.