This morning, after breakfast at the hotel, Brian had his first exciting moment of the day. His very first bus ride. It did not disappoint. He must have told me four times on the shuttle from our hotel to Magic Kingdom, "Mama - I'm having so much fun."
We arrived at Magic Kingdom around 10:30 and just about 10:40 is when my waterworks began.
I was so emotional - it took me by surprise! And then, as soon as we walked onto Main Street - a parade started.
Music and dancing and colors and energy - Gavin would have loved it. I couldn't control the crying at that point and was glad it was a parade with many floats. It gave me time to collect my sad self.
We all wore our Super G shirts in honor of Gavin.
Including Miss Sara!
We got lots of questions from people - asking what the shirts meant. It was always a struggle for me as to whether we should tell the story or not burden them with an awkward, sad moment at the "happiest place on Earth." I would say 9 out of 10 times we told them about our Superhero, Gavin.
We had lunch at the Crystal Palace. We weren't sure how Brian would be around the characters - whether he'd be scared of them, shy or excited.
I'll let the photos tell THAT story...
He was loving every moment of the experience. He even got into asking them for autographs!
After we left the Crystal Palace, the skys turned dark and the wind started blowing - it was clear a storm was brewing. We ran to shelter and stayed under cover until it blew over. We all had ponchos, but none of us were interested in walking in the rain. As an aside, I looked around for my fellow curly haired folks in this humid Florida weather. Hardly saw a one!! I'm guessing they were all the people with hats on. (Note to self: break out the hat tomorrow.)
Brian was very interested in seeing the Disney Castle. I think he had an idea in his head that we could go inside and he'd see a house with all of his favorite characters living there. He was slightly disappointed. But I faked it when I brought him down a hallway and told him whose doors were whose, but they were out walking around the park and not home. The poor child knocked on every (employee entrance) door in that hallway. But he fell for it and can't wait to tell his friends that he was "inside Disney Castle!"
The three of us followed Brian's lead when he nixed the Alladin Magic Carpet Ride for a tour of the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House. He couldn't wait to climb up to the top.
I couldn't wait to meet him at the bottom! I was not wasting my energy on 500 stairs! Miss Sara and I happily waved to Brian and Ed from below.
By this time - about two o'clock - Brian had had it. He was tired from the (regrettably late) night before and very hot. All he wanted was to go back to the hotel. I was worried because I knew we had reservations at "Chef Mickey" at 6:40pm where he would meet Mickey, Minnie and friends. I was hoping we could get him to rally. I chose for us to go on "It's A Small World" - a calm boat ride in the air conditioning. The poor kid was not impressed. Every turn into a new room of countries I heard, "Is this the end now?" I can't say I blame him - it is a bit of a boring ride.
Ed and I chatted after we got outside. We reminded ourselves that we weren't interested in forcing Brian to do anything he didn't want to do on this trip. Dragging him around to experience things if he was miserable would be selfish. But we also thought it would be a big bummer if he missed out meeting Mickey Mouse. So, while I went for a walk to Disney's "Guest Relations" - Ed, Sara and Brian waited for me in Tomorrowland.
Disney customer service is incredible. I'm not sure how they manage to satisfy everyone, but it really seems like they do as a rule. I explained our situation - how Brian really wanted to leave and our Chef Mickey Reservation was hours away. Next thing I know, she changed our reservation for less than an hour from that moment. I was so relieved... and grateful. I ended up crying in front of the poor Disney lady. I was just a mess today.
When I got back to the crew to tell them the good news, we all decided to go on the "Buzz Lightyear" ride. I was shocked that Brian was for it - and we had just enough time to go on the ride before leaving for dinner.
Ed and Brian were the perfect pair shooting their missles at the aliens that were floating around in 3D!
Sara and I were in the car in front of them laughing our heads off. It was hard to tell who was more intense about defeating the aliens - Ed or Brian! They both had SO much fun. It was the only ride Brian went on - and I'm hopeful that it will be fresh in his memory tomorrow when he'll have more rides like that to choose from!
We got to Chef Mickey's and were thrilled that Brian had found his mojo. He was much happier and really, really psyched to see more characters.
We ended the dinner with a napkin twirling dance party and Brian was getting the whole room going! Check it out...
I was so happy to end our day on such a happy note. I know Gavin was right here with us the entire time. I could see it in his brother's shining, happy eyes.
We got back to the hotel for a bath and a normal bedtime for Brian and he's been sound asleep for hours now. I'm hoping a great night's sleep will help him attack tomorrow. We've decided to go into Animal Kingdom with a shortened plan for the day and let Brian be the ultimate tour guide. This trip has truly always been about him. It's the ultimate Love Bomb from his Mommy and Daddy.