Bumps, bruises, too many teenagers & swimming with sharks! NEW 11/17 pg. 32
Welcome to my latest Trip Report! We just returned from 10 wonderful Disney days from 4/19-4/29. We love spending spring break at Disney and this year didn’t disappoint! We were celebrating DS11’s (Alex’s) upcoming elementary school graduation and also his return from a week at environmental camp with his 5th grade class. It was an amazing experience for him & definitely a reason to celebrate! Also, DS8 (Zach) earned his green belt in karate the afternoon before we left for our trip so I added on that celebration so he wouldn’t be left out.
Who are we?
I’m Amy, SAH “Spectrum Mom” to two wonderful boys who happen to be on the autism spectrum. I’m also a part-time bookkeeper, working mostly at home. I’ve spent the past six years running our school PTO and will be stepping down in June to focus more time on my boys. Alex will be transitioning to middle school this summer. It’s going to be a big change moving from our little elementary school to a large middle school with kids from several other towns.
DH is Tim, a workaholic software engineer. He doesn’t love Disney like the rest of us, but he gets more and more excited prior to each trip! It was his idea to keep this trip a secret from the boys until the morning we left.
DS11 is Alex! Or Alexander as he always used to make us call him! Alex is in 5th grade for about six more weeks! This summer he’ll attend a summer program at his middle school to help him with the transition to the big school. Alex is a wonderful kid and has come SO FAR since he was diagnosed with autism (PDD-NOS) at 26 months. He does an amazing job articulating his needs and telling us when he’s had enough of something. Considering he didn’t talk until he was four and used to bite people and bang his head on the floor, this is an AMAZING thing! Alex has a unique sense of humor and has been trying to figure out the social rules of when it is and isn’t OK to share it with people! Alex plays trumpet and swims on the swim team. He also loves soccer & basketball. In his spare time at home, he likes making spreadsheets about anything imaginable!
DS8 is Zach! Zach is our sensitive guy. He is an artist and loves to share his creativity. He is in second grade and will be free to roam the school next year without his brother lurking around the corner! Even though our boys are very different than one another, Zach is also on the autism spectrum. Zach was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the end of kindergarten, about two years ago. Zach is a very emotional kid, but he’s also very sensitive to other people and their feelings. Not exactly what most people think of when they hear autism. Zach’s major challenges are reading social cues and emotional regulation. He also has a lot of sensory issues – he’s very sensitive to bright lights/sun, heat, loud noises, etc. Just in the last year, he has come so far and has been doing a great job dealing with his challenges. Zach’s favorite things are baseball, karate & Legos! He loves sports and in addition to baseball and karate, he played soccer & basketball this past year.
This was our 7th trip to Disney in the past six years. Our first with the kids was just a few days in 2006 with DBIL, his family & DMIL. We stayed offsite at an awful hotel that we exchanged through our timeshare without much research. We (I) knew we had to go back for a real Disney vacation… which we did in 2007. In 2007 we stayed off-site at Marriott Grande Vista and had a great trip. DBIL & family and DMIL joined us for part of the trip. We got to experience our first (and only) MNSSHP that year. Our next family trip didn’t happen until 2009 when we stayed on-site for the first time at Caribbean Beach Resort. I loved staying on-site but CBR was too small for us. In 2010 we stayed at Sheraton Vistana Resort and had another great trip. 2011 was a repeat at Sheraton Vistana Resort but something was off that trip… we needed a re-do! So in November 2011, to celebrate our 15th anniversary, we took the kids to help us celebrate & we stayed at BWV in a 1BR for five nights! It was an amazing trip & I was afraid we’d raised the bar too high!
This trip started as most of our trips do, with a few nights visiting DBIL in the Tampa area, followed by a week off-site through our timeshare. We booked Sheraton Vistana Villages. Then, after our November trip, decided to skip the visit & booked three nights at the Hard Rock Hotel to do Universal Studios! Then we worried Zach might not be tall enough so we decided to postpone Universal & stay on-site at Disney. The Beach Club had long been my dream resort so when the spring discounts came out we booked a room at BC, to which I later added Club Level! I was so excited and we made many plans around staying in the Epcot area again. Then that dreaded day in March came… SAB was going to be partially closed! We went back and forth but ultimately decided to change resorts. There were pros & cons to every resort we considered… if we couldn’t stay in the Epcot area, we wanted club level at a resort on the monorail loop… that wasn’t going to happen. One day it finally came to me – Animal Kingdom Lodge! I’d stayed there in January 2011 with the Spectrum Moms (see TR in signature) and knew the boys would love it! We couldn’t get club level so I booked us at Kidani in a 1BR. Finally I could sleep again… At least for a few weeks… Just days before we were going to leave for vacation, I read that the SAB pool work was going to be done early and the pool would be fully open during our vacation. After going back and forth on what to do and getting confirmation that the pool was in fact open, I was thrilled to be able to switch our reservation back to the BC. Our Garden View CL room wasn’t available so we went with Lagoon View CL! Everything felt right with the world again!
Thanks for reading along!! Up next: Arrival Day!
Links to updates:
We made it!
Arrival - continued
Arrival - continued
Zach's Photo Tour - Day One
Day 2 - Our first park (part 1)
Day 2 - Our first park (part 2)
Day 2 - Our first park (part 3)
Day 2 - MK (part 1)
Day 2 - MK (part 2)
Zach's Photo Tour - Day Two (1)
Zach's Photo Tour - Day Two (2)
Zach's Photo Tour - Day Two (3)
Zach's Photo Tour - Day Two (4)
Zach's Photo Tour - Day Two (5)
Day 3 - Resort Day?
More on the surrey bike & life update
Day 4 - Moving Day (part 1)
Day 4 - Moving Day (part 2)
Day 4 - Moving Day (part 3)
Day 4 - Moving Day (part 4)
Day 4 - Moving Day (part 5)
Day 4 - New Resort (part 1)
Day 4 - New Resort (part 2)
This & That - Life Update
Animals & Hoop-Dee-Doo Day (part 1)
Animals & Hoop-Dee-Doo Day (part 2)
Zach's photo tour of day 5 (part 1)
Zach's photo tour of day 5 (part 2)
Zach's photo tour of day 5 (part 3)
Animals & Hoop-Dee-Doo Day (part 3)
The end of swim time & off to HDDR
The end of Day 5 (part 1)
The end of Day 5 (part 2)
Day 6 - Going on a Quest (part 1)
Day 6 - Going on a Quest (part 2)
Day 6 - Night out
Day 7 - Magic Kingdom!!
Day 7 - Magic Kingdom!! (part 2)
Day 7 - Magic Kingdom!! (part 3)
Off to the Big Apple!
More MK (part 1)
More MK (part 2)
Pool time & dinner with Mickey
Wishes dessert party (part 1)
Wishes desert party (part 2)
Day 7 - Photopass
Zach's Photo Tour - Day 7
Swimming with Sharks - Day 8
Finishing off Day 8 at DTD
Day 9 - Time for Teenagers (part 1)
Day 9 - Time for Teenagers (part 2)
Day 9 - Time for Teenagers (part 3)
Day 9 - Time for Teenagers (part 4)
Day 9 - Time for Teenagers (part 5)
Zach's Photo Tour of Day 9
Day 9 - Photopass
Day 10 - Our last park day - morning (part 1)
Day 10 - Our last park day - morning (part 2)
Day 10 - Last day/last park (part 1)
Day 10 - Last day/last park (part 2)
New York City Trip - Day 1
NYC - Day 2/part 1
NYC - Day 2/part 2
NYC - Day 3
NYC - Day 4/part 1
NYC - Day 4/part 2
April 2013 Plans - part one
April Plans - part two
Checking in. Great start!
Yay! I'm here for the fun! :goodvibes
Hooray:woohoo: you started, great start, can't wait to read all about it:goodvibes
Here and following along!
Amy, I'm here. :)
Looking forward to reading all about your trip!!! Dee
Can I sneak in too?
I am looking forward to reading all about this nice, long trip!
Did I post a picture of my son who looked strikingly like your son on a previous report of yours?
I am also a SAHM, who recently "retired" as treasurer/VP of the PTA after 7 years when my youngest moved to middle school. My husband is a software engineer, too.
And I must say that I love your taste in resorts!!!
We so have to get together!
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