Day 1–Smooth Travels and Stinky Boys

Yesterday’s high was in the upper 40’s. Cold winds and occasional rain made outdoor activities less than pleasant. This morning, many of the northern suburbs awoke to a blanket of wet snow. While this is not completely unusual for Chicago in April, it’s difficult for us, since just two weeks ago, we were basking in the mid-eighties glory of the central Florida sunshine. Yes, dear readers, the Diva Family made a Spring Break pilgrimage to the Mouse House. We’d been planning the trip for two years and although we had a great time, it’s nice to be home, even if I feel like we’ve suddenly revisited late October weather.

My Florida adventure actually began three weeks ago when Little Darth and I left for a professional conference. Diva Nana and Diva Papa joined us for a combo vacay/babysitting trip. They enjoyed the sun and showing off their youngest grandson. I spent most of the week attending meetings indoors, but managed to enjoy a few sunny hours.

I was scheduled to fly out of Orlando at 1:05 pm on 3/31. Unfortunately, the rain gods had other ideas. After an evening of severe storms, the morning of the 31st promised more of the same. Four hours after my flight was scheduled to leave (and one gate change later), Little Darth and I took off for home.

I spent the next 24 hours doing laundry and packing. At 4 am on 4/2, we officially set out on our Spring Break with 3 boys, 3 suitcases, 2 media players and a partridge in a pear tree and a cooler full of sandwiches, fruit, cheese and travel-friendly beverages.

We made a stop at a Mickey D’s near Nashville and kicked off our vacation on a fun note. Ronald McDonald himself made an appearance and The Tweenager scored a complete set of “The Last Airbender” toys as a raffle prize, which he graciously shared with The Manimal, ensuring at least a few more minutes hours of peaceful driving.

Of course, the testosterone level being what it was, many jokes were made equating bodily functions with “bending air”, “bending earth” and “bending water”.

Fourteen hours after leaving home, we arrived at our hotel in Macon, Georgia, our pre-arranged stop to pass off Little Darth to Diva Nana and Diva Papa for the week. As we pulled into the lot of the local Microtel (which is highly recommended by the Diva Family, more to come later), The Manimal (presumably after not seeing any sign of the Mouse) shouted “I thought you told me we were going to Dismey!” We enjoyed a delicious margarita Mexican dinner (and celebrated a Butler semi-final win–Go Dawgs!), and collapsed into bed to prepare for the last five-ish hours into Orlando.

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