If everything goes according to plan today will be the longest travel in both distance and time.
But first the story from yesterday, late in the evening when both my princesses where already in bed I decided to settle our bill. Everything was fine I only paid 1 out of the 2 nights and as an additional bonus they also didn’t charge us for parking (28$/night) and we got fee breakfast (14$/person)! I’d say I did like the outcome, to bad we need to spend time on it. The hotel itself was very good and the location was perfect.
Back to today, at 6:41am the little princes decided that it was time to switch from the bed with mama to the bed with papa. That including a pretty loud announcement and without holding back she started jumping on my chest, at least she said “Papa I missed you” which made a lot bit more bearable.
From there we got ourselves ready, Emily and I loaded the first suitcases. And when mama was ready we went to the breakfast, I’m glad that we didn’t spent money on it, it was only slightly better as the free breakfast at a Holiday Inn Express.
9:00am sharp we drove out of the parking garage for our 384 Miles long drive to the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, North Carolina. For the European readers this a the North American variant of CenterParcs. Difference are that it’s a hotel and a single building and the pool is more exciting but less themed.
But we still had about 6 hours driving to do. Unfortunately we told Emily that she was going to swim today, she asked about it roughly every 15 minutes! The road was very boring we drove over 3 interstates the I-395, the I-95 and the I-85.
But lucky for us we found some entertainment along the road in getting gas at WaWa, shopping at a Target.
Just after we drove over the border of North Carolina, State #7 we stopped and tried out a new restaurant for lunch. The restaurant was Bojangles but it was a disappointment, the staff didn’t even knew their own menu and the service was, even for fast food, terrible. After lunch Daniëlle drove the last 2 hours and soon we arrived at the Lodge.
The lodge was way bigger as we imagined and we called see it from far away. When we checked in, or better to say got our paperwork as I checked in online yesterday already, we learned that the bracelet where like MagicBands they were your credit card, your room key and your ID. Perfect for a hotel build around an indoor water park/pool.
We got to our room, changed in our bathing suits and we were off to the kids splash area. Emily went from the yellow slide, then the blue slide and played a little bit.
Finally we convinced her to leave and go into the wave pool. She loved it…she was jumping and running until she wanted to checkout the section for bigger kids.
At first we thought adults weren’t allowed but apparently at least one us needed to accompany her. First we played with buckets and other water spraying elements until Emily wanted to slide… There were 2 longer slides and I would have not believed that she went of either one of them if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. And she didn’t only went once, she went 3 times until she decided that she wanted to eat a pretzel!
After dinner in the water area we jumped one more time in the wave pool before wen went back to our room to get dressed and see a short nighttime show for kids in the lobby. After the show it was time for bed.
When we got back to the room it was a little challenge to get Emily to sleep in her own bed for a night but good old Edwin, her interactive rubber ducky helped us out playing some lullabies, it’s also a Bluetooth speaker!
Tomorrow we’ll start in the water area and around lunch we’ll be starting to drive to our next stop!
At 3:15am the alarm clock went off. Way to early but it was for a good cause. Today we were leaving for Orlando and our flight was scheduled to depart from Toronto Pearson International Airport at 8:15am. After packing the last things and putting the suitcases in the car we woke Emily as late as possible at 4am and at 4:15am we left Brooklin. They advise you to be at the airport 3 hours before departure, even for US flights because of the extensive security checks. But all went well and after half an hour we entered the Maple Leaf Lounge to enjoy some breakfast.
Time went by and around 7:30am we arrived at gate F70 where the boarding process already had begun. Because we are still traveling with a small child and stroller we skipped the whole line and were able to board. We had three seats in the middle which was perfect. Emily was listening some Disney music and drawing in her Elena of Avalor colouring book. Push back was at 8:15am as scheduled and it was a smooth flight.
Normally we would rent a car and go to our hotel but this time was going to be different. Our first night in Florida we’re staying at a Disney Resort hotel for the very first time. We didn’t have to pick up our suitcases from baggage claim since Disney would do that for us and deliver them directly to our room at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter. After walking to the Magical Express desks and waiting in line with an overly tired Emily we got to board the bus and soon we were on our way to the hotel. Emily slept the entire ride.
After check in we went to our room and changed into more appropriate clothes for Florida (t-shirts and shorts). Ow it was lunchtime so we went to the food court to get a bite to eat. As soon as our tummies were full we took the boat to Disney Springs where we walked around and enjoyed the beautiful weather. And after being cooped up in an airplane and bus the only thing Emily wanted to do was walk and stretch her legs.
On our way back from Disney Springs we spend some time in our Resort playing, walking and we had dinner in the food court.
Because it was such a long day for all of us we returned to the room early where we reorganized our suitcases, Emily took a bath and we all went to bed early because tomorrow is going to be another exciting day because we are leaving our hotel to go to the cruise terminal in Port Canaveral to board the Disney Fantasy.
Last May we where on the Disney Dream cruising in the Bahamas. We loved it a lot and as you might remember we booked a placeholder on board, this means you get a discount on a future cruise next 2-years. Before we got home from our last vacation we found a very nice cruise on for later this year.
After a couple of weeks we booked the 7-Night Halloween on the High Seas Western Caribbean Cruise from Port Canaveral and we will celebrate Halloween on board! And today it’s just 8 weeks until we are sailing away for an itinerary taking us to Cozumel in Mexico, Falmouth in Jamaica, Georgetown on Grand Cayman in Cayman Islands and not to forget Castaway Cay!
We’ll be cruising on the Disney Fantasy, the sister ship from the Disney Dream. Funny enough this is not the first time we will see this cruise ship as we were on a city trip in New York the day the Fantasy for its christening. The first picture we took from the top of the Empire State Building while it was sailing in to port. The second picture we took a couple of days later when it was actually docked.
But before we sail away we fly to Orlando from Pearson a day before to stay in a Walt Disney World Resort for the first time ever. After we land we will take the Magical Express to Port Orleans French Quarter. Here we will stay one night till the Disney Cruise Line bus will pick us up and drive is to the port to embark the Fantasy. After we disembark we’ll be taking a the Disney Cruise Line bus back to the Airport where we’ll be renting a car from SIXT for the last part of this vacation.
This time we did not rent a villa but a townhouse in Windsor Hills a gated community very close to Walt Disney Resort. The house has a private pool and the resort itself has a lot of interesting amenities including a huge zero entrance pool, that’s what Emily likes a pool she can just walk in…
We can’t wait to get back to the magic of Disney and see how much the experience with Emily is different this time.