The O’Hara clan converges on Orlando! Or so it would seem…
I worked out my vacation planning perfectly this time. I doubt that will ever happen again. My Aunt and Uncle were taking their annual family vacation to Orlando, and just happened to have a second room available for the taking. Of course my family jumped on it, and soon there were a total of 12 people spreading out amongst 2 “villas” with 4 rooms. It was cozy.
My parents, doing all their driving in my early travel softball years, decided to be high maintenance and fly down. My sister and brother in law drove 14 hours with nugget- starting the journey at 4am. And I filled up my little Hyundai for the 9 hour drive from NOLA.
The time zone change always throws me off, but its fun to be like “hey! I’m finally on the same time zone as everyone else in my family!” As you may have noticed, I am a very impatient woman. So to sit and wait around for a time when I could get on the road was a novel idea… but I ended up leaving about 3 hours before that predetermined time anyway…. And besides… I’d already had my suitcase packed for a week, lets get for serious here.
Armed with some snacks and my tunes, I set out for Orlando. I was particularly proud of myself for not using my GPS until I was well into Florida. OK, its really not that hard… its one straight shot of road for like 444 miles.
Arriving at the vacation club, I tell the gate keeper I’m with the O’Hara party in building 57. His eyes grew wide and the response was “there are so may of you….”. Yes. we get that a lot. Which way?
The welcoming committee descends into the parking lot as I attempt to unfold my legs from under the steering wheel. I only stopped to get gas, I haven’t peed all day.
Nugget is clinging to Uncle Chris… he looks the most like Dad so who can blame the kid, and my cousin CJ is voluntold to grab one of my bags to lug up to the room. Sorry man, I pack heavy, yes, those are water shoes….
Mom and Dad arrive last, and when they walk in all I can think is “you have got to be kidding me….” My mother and I are dressed in the same outfit. When did I become my mother!?
Meg and Phil have the master bedroom in our two room villa, its a big enough space for the pack and play and features a GIANT bathtub. Being a child myself… I grab Nugget and get into the dry tub just because I can. It’s too slippery for him to stand up while wearing socks, so he just keeps sliding around and giggling.
The next morning we leisurely make our way to the pool and dominate the Volleyball Net. I don’t come back to the room until I have to shower and pick up Brandon from the Greyhound Station at 4pm.
But what would a Florida vacation be without a thunderstorm!?
This photo is eerily similar to one we have of little brother at the beach about this age…
Oh…Brandon? You caught that huh? Yeah…. I convinced him to jump on an 8 hour bus ride from the middle Keys to be thrown into the firey pit that is my family. I think he might like me a little bit to have agreed to take on that challenge. That and I also promised to drive back to the boat with him, but that’s the to be continued post.
With B in tow, we cautiously made our way back to the vacation station. He was introduced around and we all headed off towards CitiWalk at Universal for food.
Slowly but surely Nugget will come to appreciate coloring books as much as BigSeester and I do. I can feel it, we just need to get him holding crayons properly… We all wandered around exploring the area the rest of the evening, and as exhaustion set in, the furthest I made it was to pass out on the couch.
As a family, we’re typically vacation planners…. we have a timing idea of when we want to be where, so for us to just be sitting there staring at eachother at 11am the next morning was weird.
B and I made our way to the pool and snagged the same partially covered space we had the day prior. We all learned a lot about eachother while playing along to the Newlywed/oldlywed game that was being played on the pool deck. And then my family decided it would be fun to play the alphabet game…. but each letter was to be a word used to describe Missy…. sweet jesus. I came out of the game fairly unscathed and totally owning every descriptor.
These were the only pictures I managed to snap… I was too busy taking pictures of the giant kid next to me in front of all the legos….
Monday was a rainy day, so we again took our time getting ready, and then joined the other room for a hilarious round of Hand & Foot. Never heard of it? You learn a LOT about the people around you. Its typically where our family ends up sharing ridiculous stories, and laughing till our sides hurt. You also learn who is the most cut throat, competitive, SOB in the group.
Mom and Dad took Me and B to dinner that evening before we loaded into the car for the 5 hour journey to the boat. It was a quiet contrast to the previous evenings, and flowed without incident.
A great 3 days of family bonding until the next time I see everyone… It’s rough living this far away sometimes!