We're back from our very quick trip to Orlando. We headed there on Wednesday morning and returned yesterday. I was attending a conference on Thursday and Friday and we stayed an extra day so we could enjoy a very mini vacation. We had an okay flight out of Portland, though Raf hardly slept, so we had to find ways of trying to entertain an overly tired toddler for a few hours. But we arrived in sunny Florida at noon and as soon as we got to the hotel we headed to the pool for a quick swim (see pics below).
The next couple of days were pretty cool and dreary, but I had my conference so it wasn't so bad. Raf and Rich enjoyed some time together and I believe they did a lot of book store visiting. They texted me photos as I sat in workshops and listened to papers and met me on breaks for quick snippets of family time. IN the evening we strolled around the mall (our hotel was at the mall!) and took Raf to the indoor play center, which he really loved (I think Rich may blog about this), and he really seemed to come out of his shell. Indeed one of the highlights of the trip was walking through the mall with Raf skipping along next to me, when he suddenly stopped outside of the Armani store. He'd heard the music playing within and started dancing right there, right then outside... and then he wandered into the store and just bopped along to the music, looking up at a mannequin as he tapped his feet. It made me almost cry with the sweetness of it.
On the way home Raf yet again didn't sleep. Unfortunately he fell asleep as we checked our baggage in so we knew we'd have 3 hours of an awake-Raf! but it was his 13th flight en route home so we knew he'd be a trooper about it :)
A few snippets...
Watching mama swim some laps, trying to decide if he'd come in for a swim.
All of a sudden, in the midst of swimming laps, Raf decided he'd come into the pool and join me. We had a blast! He loves the water and especially loves being thrown in the air.
Hanging out in the hotel room... just reading in the drawer.
On Saturday we headed to downtown Disney. Raf is a bit too young for Real Disney, but we headed on the bus and walked around the downtown part and Raf had such a super time. Disney is definitely not our cup of tea... and knowing that the Mickey Mouse teeshirt we bought Raf was likely made in Honduras by children, and thinking of the awful messages articulated through Disney films and more, made us a bit leery about the entire thing...
But the truth is we knew Raf would love it, that he'd be enchanted by the music and atmosphere, and we weren't wrong. He loved it. He was a bit apprehensive at first, but we got some brunch and then headed outside. Immediately we happened upon a carousel. What was more fun for Raf, though, were the bubbles that were being blown by various employees around the ride. Raf was raptured! At first he stood and watched, looking at the other kids running and jumping, and then, out of nowhere, he started shrieking and running, trying to catch the bubbles (I posted a little video below),
Waking up... about to head out for our day at Disney!
In awe of the floating bubbles!
First time on a carousel.
Waiting for the car service to take us to the airport, Raf tried to climb up on the wall and jump into the water feature and fountain outside of our hotel. We let him dangle his feet in the water, though that only seemed to make him want to go in even more!