Well… we’ve been back for several days and I think I have fully recovered enough to tell you about the trip.
Of course, they had to practice a bit before loading the buses. Gotta love a marching band in the snow in Ohio. 🙂
The bus ride down was uneventful – that is after we got all the horns/drums loaded, all the uniforms stacked under the bus (that was fun because they kept slipping and had hats and shoes in the bags so they didn’t lay flat) and then all the luggage stowed as well. Now really, tell me what do you really need to take that fills a LARGE suitcase when you are only going to be gone for 6 days and 2 of those will mostly be on a bus? Oh My Goodness! I have no idea what some of those kids (girls?) took but their suitcases where huge and heavy.
We did watch our share of movies on the way down: Pitch Perfect (I don’t ever need to see that one again), Batman Returns (eh… napped through most of that one), Elf (always a holiday goody), The Croods, and Journey to the Center of the Earth. Then there was much sleeping. The bus drivers were going so fast that we ended up in Florida 3 hours ahead of schedule. Yes, you read that right, 3 HOURS!! So… we stopped at Cracker Barrel for breakfast. Cracker Barrel was not prepared. Thankfully we weren’t in a hurry. They quickly called in other workers and made the best of it. One of my children didn’t get what she ordered in all the confusion, but she lived.
Our first stop was Blizzard Beach. On a 90º day it would be wonderful. On a 70-something day not so much. The kids played and swam and slid. The directors napped. The kids were told that this was their shower for the day. LOL!
Then we headed to Hollywood Studios for the afternoon/evening. I saw a few shows and wandered around with some other chaperones. We did not ride either the roller coaster or the Tower of Terror. That was fine. The new Pirates Show/Adventure thing is lame, so not worth the time. We did stay for the evening show. Fantasmic is my favorite of the evening shows that Disney puts on. Here some of the kids (including Lydia) standing in line for Fantasmic with Tower of Terror behind them.
Now we head back to the hotel and this is the fun part!
At the hotel the kids are to get with their roommates and then they are assigned their rooms. They have to get their luggage from under the bus and all their carryons and get to their room. It is now almost 10pm. Lights out/curfew/tape-on-the-door will happen at 11pm. There are only a few lists of assigned rooms and I am handed one by the director. That is fine. Even though I wasn’t the chaperone that was “assigned” to do tape-in I don’t mind. I am then handed the roll of tape from the mom who was assigned that duty. Hmmmm… she could have just asked for the list if she had planned to do the job. But, oh yeah, she didn’t really do too much chaperone-y on the trip, but that is a whole other story.
So about 11pm my roommate and I head out to tape all the girls doors. I think there were 20 of them (or something like that) on 2 floors. The girls were on 4 and 6 and the boys on 5. Some rooms were waiting on pizza delivery or chinese. So we told them we’d be back. We made our rounds, taped the doors, came back to the other rooms and by now it is 11:45pm. The security guards are there and are worried about how they might get to the doors of a couple rooms because they have 2 rooms that are on the corners but inside a little lobby like area. So, an extra door to go through to get to the room door. Only the rooms hold the key to that door. So… as good chaperones, we tromp down to the front desk to get keys to those corner rooms so we can get inside that “lobby” and thus get to their door. Once we get the keys we go back to our room to get a pen so we can write on the keys which one goes to which room. As we leave our room to figure that out. WE LOCK OURSELVES OUT! By now it is quickly approaching midnight. We giggle our way down to the lobby to get a key to let ourselves back into our room. Label the other keys and head to bed. It was close to 12:15am. Wake up time was 6:30am. OH yeah…. had to ask for a wake up call because the clock in the room was set an hour ahead (didn’t conform to daylight savings?) and there wasn’t a way to change the time without unscrewing the back and the front desk never did that even after I asked them to.
We both (and all the chaperones, I’m told) slept like logs because after 20 hours “sleeping” on a bus sitting upright, laying down felt really good!!! There was no issues with the kids staying in or escaping from their rooms. The security guards (Roscoe and Bob – may not have been Bob, but I know one was Roscoe) were nice guys. They had reading material and sat on the balcony/hall all night and probably wandered around too.
Day 2 came early and I will blog about that later. 🙂