John and I spent much of Thanksgiving in airports and on an airplane.
However, it was a great Thanksgiving.
John's father generously organized a family vacation down to Disney that took place through an extended Thanksgiving Day weekend. In total, 10 of us spent 6 days together in a combination of Fort Lauderdale and Orlando.
However, before we packed ourselves away on the airplane, I was able to make a quick stop at my Mom's house beforehand. Since she thought we were already Florida-bound, she was SUPER surprised to see Vincent come barging through the door.
That was probably my favorite part of the entire day. I love surprises like that!
We spent about 45 minutes there before having to leave. I hated having to go so soon. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the entire year, and I missed not spending it with my family.
But I did spend it with family, so I can't really complain. Vincent and I went back to Jersey to pick up John and then meet up with his sisters and their husbands for the trip to the airport. Surprisingly, everything went really smoothly. The kids were great on the plane and baggage was efficiently shuttled onto the conveyor for retrieval. John's father was already outside waiting to pick us up, and when we unloaded at the Ft. Lauderdale house, John's mom had already set out Thanksgiving dinner for everyone.
After cleaning up and putting the children to bed, the rest of us played a ridiculous card game together. John Sr, my father-in-law, won with a score of 10. I came in second with 8 and my husband, John Jr, caught third place with 6.
It was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed the interpersonal communication shared as opposed to contending with iPads and television screens. A family game played around a family table is a great way to share laughs and love (and terrible, terrible jokes).
We spent another day in Ft. Lauderdale before making the 2.5 hour trek to Orlando. That wasn't so bad as the kids were content to watch two Charlie Brown videos while I caught up on some reading. John and his father talked sports in the front seat while the other half of our party followed our SUV in a rental.
We hit up Universal as well as Disney. We did not do Animal Kingdom because, frankly, no one wanted to be bothered given all the other parks we were trying to cram into the three days we spent in Orlando. Universal and Disney were MORE than enough for us.
Vincent surprised me by going on several of the "big kid" rides that I thought would be too scary for him. Tower of Terror, Space Mountain and Jurassic Park were among them!
He and my niece, Alliya, also had a great time playing in the swimming pools at both houses. Vincent is getting much more comfortable jumping into deeper water so long as Daddy is there to catch him. He began following Alliya's lead doing trick jumps into the water.
Alliya, for her part, is becoming quite the little fish. She no longer fears the deep water like she used to. I snapped so many photos of them swimming around together.
After they'd had their fill of zipping around the pool, they caught a quick cat nap while the rest of us took a mini-siesta, too.
Look at them holding hands in during their cat nap. Alliya was actually awake. She kept kissing Vincent's head and petting his hair. Ha ha. It was so sweet.
Of course, we have plenty of theme park photos, but for now, I hope this suffices. I also caught a few "3 King" photos in Epcot as we explored the various Christmas practices of other countries. But that, too, will have to wait for another day. I'm just glad to be back home. My feet were beginning to plot a revolt.
I hope your Thanksgivings were just as wonderful as mine. Maybe even moreso!
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