PJ Family Trip Report: Part 2, Travel Day

Friday goal: get to Florida, enjoy Stormalong Bay, celebratory dinner at Trattoria

Theme of the day: Wait, aren’t vacations supposed to be fun?

Travel day started off without a hitch. Got up, paid the cleaning service, ran a few errands, and got to the airport exactly on time. Flew through security and ended up with time for a leisurely lunch and some screen time for the kids.

Only thing we forgot to pack was trail mix for the flight. Barely even registers on the “holy crap how will we live without it” scale. I count that as a packing and logistical miracle.

Then things went south.

Weather delayed our flight a little bit, and there was a tiny mix-up with the Lyft, so we didn’t actually arrive at the Yacht Club until about 4:45. We quickly changed into our swimsuits and rushed downstairs, just in time for them to close the pool due to a tornado watch of all things. UGH. The kids are super hyper after all the travel and they are literally bouncing off the walls, so we decide to go to the arcade.

Now, despite all of my park planning, I hadn’t done much resort planning beyond “go swimming”. So I don’t have the layouts committed to memory and I consult The Googles for the best way to get to the arcade at Beach Club. And because DS7 is being super attention and sensory seeking, and DD9 is being hyper as well, and because we’re getting rained on and we’re all irritable, we just follow the Google Maps walking directions. They take us out the front door and to the right, all the way around the rear of Yacht Club, and then around the rear of Beach Club, and then around to the arcade. Seemed like a ton of walking but whatever.

So we throw $30 into a bunch of annoying video games but at least it keeps everyone occupied. When dinner time approaches I again pull up Google Maps to get walking directions to Trattoria and we start following them… to quickly realize how close Yacht and Beach are and that we had unnecessarily walked all the way around the rear of the resorts earlier. UGH.

On way to Trattoria the kids are hyper and running around (I think their ears or brains have some sort of neurochemical blocker that prevents the phrases “slow down” and “stop running” from ever reaching the frontal cortex) and DD9 slips on the wet boardwalk and bruises her hip, but otherwise we make it to the restaurant.

We get sat and scan our bands for the DP and… oh, that’s weird. Server says we don’t have the DP. Which is super weird because I clearly remember agonizing over whether it would make sense for us and I clearly remember making the payment after basically flipping a coin over the matter.

Looks like when we got upgraded to the Yacht Club, they screwed up the reservation and lost our DP. Thankfully my TA picked up the phone and spent her evening on a call with IT so that we could focus on dinner, and it was finally resolved before we left, but not without taking up time and adding stress.

Let’s talk more about stress. DS7 has ADHD and the meds he take kill his mid-day appetite. All he had for lunch was some french fries. The plan had been to get a poolside snack for him around 4:00 to tide him over until dinner. Except because of that damn tornado we never actually got to the pool, and then we forgot about the snack while rushing to the arcade, so suddenly we’re at dinner and it’s about 7:45 and he’s literally eaten only a handful of fries since breakfast and he starts melting down. They finally bring him his kids meal cheese pizza and it’s the smallest, most unsubstantial thing I’ve ever seen. He wolfs it down and is still on the verge of a meltdown. Oh, and DD9 hates her pasta as well, so now they’re both on the verge of tears, and so we order another adult pizza and another round of garlic bread just to put something in their stomachs.

At 9:30 we’re finally back in the hotel. We haven’t even been here a day, nothing went according to plan, we’re already over budget on food, and everyone’s tired and cranky.

I set my alarm for 6:00am because tomorrow we’re gonna RD MK, and that’s gotta be more magical than the travel day, right?

(Postscript: I realize that in the annals of historical travel disasters my little “oh we didn’t swim and no one liked their dinner” experience isn’t even a blip, and if you only have neurotypical children than you may not understand. But parenting a kid with ADHD/ODD/sensory processing disorder can be exhausting, and travelling with a kid like that doubly so. If you can’t empathize with this post so far then consider yourself lucky!)


Hopefully this was just a bit of a bumpy start. My kids have their own issues so I can definitely empathize. And hey, vacations are supposed to perfect, that’s why we plan for 80 zillion days to get ready. But you know what they say about the best laid plans. Hoping day 3 is MAGICAL!

So sorry you had so many issues on Day 1. :cry: Hopefully today is going much better. MK can really be a mood booster!!

Glad your travel agent was able to sort out the dining plan issues. It’s tough when you know something should be fixed but have to deal with the stress of waiting to find out when and how.

Sending you good wishes for a great day! :grinning:

Oh @sethpetryjohnson, I can very much relate to your struggles parenting DS7. Our DS9 has the same challenges. We are right now trying to find a way that he will eat something, anything, for lunch at school. It’s even harder when you need to change plans on them. Flexible thinking and going with the flow is really difficult. I can’t tell you how many times we have ordered 2nd and third meals for our DS because he didn’t like what they brought. Hang in there. I hope your magic shows up soon.

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My youngest son and I still laugh about his 7 year old self being in a full melt down and I would be screaming back at him - “we are not going to talk about it until you eat this banana!” We bring it up when his daughter gets “hangry” and she just can’t imager daddy acting that way. :smile: