As I write on my rest break, I am most disappointed to announce that I have failed in my attempt to contain our belongings within 3 suitcases. There goes my plan of 2 suitcases within 2 others babushka doll-esque style. I was going well until I had to try squeeze in a certain someone's footwear. I have grossly underestimated the combined volume of Malcolm's shoes. Who has such mammoth feet? And what male needs to bring five pairs of shoes?!?! Thus, a babushka suitcase had to be brought out of its comfortable bigger brother's cocoon just to accommodate his shoes.
The clothes were relatively easy to pack. It was the Disney paraphernalia which kept me on my toes. Autograph books, big permanent pens, lanyards, fish extenders, door magnets, the list continues. WDW has been occupying our minds of late. Whilst awaiting our detailed park plan from our theme park strategist, Malcolm has worked out his casual walking speed to be 6.2km/hour with an 8kg daypack assuming no wind and level ground. Others have been working on pelvic floor exercises to minimize the need for toilet stops and chances of unfortunate accidents on scary rides. I have been refining my "scoop and sprint" technique to be able to gather (belongings and children) and run quickly to an attraction if need be should any overtaking of other Disney wannabe fans are required.
I was delighted when our 2 page Animal Kingdom touring plan was distributed, complete with map, contingencies, and an accompanying 30 page supporting document. I am wondering how our theme park strategist has time to do this being a surgeon with an active 18 month old child. Now awaiting the same for the other 11 days!
The last few weeks seemed to have passed by in a flash. I was most excited to discover that Malcolm is now staff at Macquarie University. He very flippantly mentioned this AFTER listening to me lament for days about how expensive photoshop is and how I wished we were eligible for the student/teacher version which was so much cheaper. So we now have in our possession a copy of Lightroom 3 and Adobe CS5!
Our most recent "stress" is what the front desk at Port Orleans Riverside will think of us. We have been madly purchasing things online with the fantastic post-Thanksgiving sales. Disney T-shirts, Disney pyjamas and a Disney Christmas tree-skirt amongst other things. The tree-skirt survived a close call being nearly embroidered with "Lara" upon Malcolm's instruction until the Disney customer service officer kindly intervened:
"Sir, how about The Albany Family?"
"I think that would work much better Sir'
Malcolm had thought that it was a skirt for Lara!!! I had to be grateful though that he was willing to spend time on the phone "fixing" our order so as to be able to ship it free to our hotel. Somehow, in the process, he managed to get an extra $12 off! Woohoo!
We've now had our Christmas "parties" with both sets of parents as well as Malcolm's grandfather. The children have been delighted to get all their Christmas presents early. They have also received generous donations for shopping in the US. They are very lucky children indeed!
There is good news on the home front. Our plans were finalized on late Thursday night. We are now awaiting landscape designs and finalizing other external elements such as roof lines, colours and windows and doors. This will hopefully be done by Monday leaving 2 days for final preparations with submission to council slated for Wednesday.
On Sunday afternoon, I will be leaving for the Hunter Valley for an off-site work meeting. I think of this as a child-free treat to relax and prepare myself for the long journey on Thursday. Upon my return on Tuesday evening, there will be a ream of things to do including buying that bottle of phenergan...