Storing Davista with a Side of Distraction

I can’t believe it – we waited until almost the last night of our first stretch in Davista to experience the coldest night. A balmy 26oF was made far more tolerable by donning a nightcap before crawling into bed.  Not one of the adult beverage variety, but an actual cap. I didn’t realize that my birthday project would have served me so well, but was very thankful to have it.

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So there she is, our home, abandoned and forlornly parked soi-même.

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Well, not really all by herself, as she is accompanied by the Subaru.  They should be fine company for each other while we’re away.  I made it a point to write down all everything in our larder (and take a picture of it), to help us easily get settled in again once we return.  It seems so strange that we’ll be back sleeping in our Maryland house in a few nights. And when I say strange, I mean that it feels oddly like we’re moving backwards, as if the return to our empty house that’s not on wheels will undo all the experiences we’ve lived on the road and we’ll resume the lives we carved out in Maryland none the wiser.

No wonder my inner 5-year old is on edge…

We loaded the bikes inside and left Davista for our hotel, which was walking distance from the massive Disney complex and wound down in the pool – or rather the girls did.

Flight and I chatted and tried to strategize our reintegration into life in Maryland, starting with travel options should all of us not get on the flight.

We meandered to the Downtown Disney and scored some dinner, taking in the holiday lights on display before we headed back to the hotel to get rested for our last big day.

Which came early.

To give you an idea, this picture was time-stamped at 0726:

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The girls gave the ginormous teddy bear at the hotel a, well, a bear hug and we skipped off (literally – okay maybe that was just the girls…) to Disneyland.  We wasted no time and WoodSprite scored this ride at 0823 while Flight took her brother and sister to ride California Screamin’.

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So many distractions to experience!

I am fairly certain I know it wasn’t me or Keeper who suggested the Ferris Wheel down by the pier, but I’m not sure whom to credit.  Although it looks rather innocuous all beautifully lit up at night, this beast of a contraption has cages that not only rock as expected on most Ferris Wheels, but also pivot and slide along rails.  Ultimately, the collective motion is very unkind to anyone who may have motion-sickness issues (guilty).

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Flight and his wee girls managed just fine, but Keeper and I had a tough go…

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Incredibly, despite ten minutes of pure terror haunting her memories of her 6th birthday, we were able to convince WoodSprite to ride Splash Mountain again.  The previous evolution is captured on the left and the new memories on the right.  Significant improvement, at least for WoodSprite…

Our kids each earned their driver’s licenses (again), and I paused only momentarily to contemplate how far away that’s really not – at least for Keeper…

We also managed to score seats in the newly overhauled Tower of Terror ride that has a Guardians of the Galaxy theme, which turned out to be my favorite of the day but not for the film reference.  I can’t say I ever tried the Tower of Terror back in the day, mostly because I think I plummeted to my death in a previous life and couldn’t want to experience that “again”.  Regardless of a deep-seated fear of heights that may predate this life, I enjoyed that we tackled this as a family and, despite any preflight jitters, it ended up being a blast.

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In addition to thoroughly enjoying being so terrified, I must give props to Disney for their festive holiday flair.  Our last trip to the California mecca was at the height of Halloween and the all was decked out to the nines.  The winter holiday season is at least as festive, thankfully without Space Mountain’s odd décor mashup pairing demonic eyeballs with The Bodies exhibit.  Still trying to understand who might have thought that was a good idea.  Just weird and gross really…

The winter holiday scene is far more appropriate.  It’s a Small World was even more tolerable…

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But only just…

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In truth, today’s side of distraction was a huge success.  As we departed the Magic Kingdom to execute Operation Return to Maryland, I felt my exhausted five-year old passed out on my shoulders, her hands clasped loosely beneath my chin and gently swaying with my every step.  In my own quiet mental space, I gave thanks that she was soundly asleep and enjoyed the reprieve from her incessant questions,  Yet I couldn’t help but wonder if I was navigating the acceptance part of the grieving process.

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I guess we’ll see when she wakes up…

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