When Al and I first got married, we lived in a townhouse in Park Ridge, NJ. It was Valentina’s first home, and we lived there until she was a year and a half with Devin and Brynn. One of the “features” of the townhouse was a small, but functional elevator. We were healthy, able-bodied youngsters and we didn’t use it for much, except maybe to move things from the basement to the top floor, but that was rare. And, I’m sure you can imagine when the kids had a play date it became like the Tower of Terror at Disneyworld, and that came to a screeching halt… another story.
Our first trip to Disney with Valentina was a bit more challenging for a third-time mom who now had to pack diapers and toddler things that I had not packed in over five years. Vale needed her own “supply” bag and clothes, and represented more luggage than I had been used to. (Today it’s like moving out someone’s apartment just for a trip to Florida). I packed Dev and Brynn in one suitcase, and on departure day, I put everything in the elevator to move to the ground floor.
We merrily went on our way, got to the airport, checked in, checked our luggage and boarded our plane to Orlando International Airport: the magical place where dreams start to come true as soon as the wheels are down on the tarmac.
We adore the Polynesian resort, and have been staying there with a few deviations to The Grand Floridian or the Contemporary but I love the carefree atmosphere and the Polynesian flare that really makes me feel like I should be in a Kaua'i rowing crew with some hot Polynesian guys in grass hula skirts. But then the hostess in her long mumu and plastic lei shows up with her Disney smile and hand gestures and it’s all over... LOL
We were waiting for our luggage and decided to go to the park. I had extra clothes for the kids, so we ventured out and did our Disney thing for a few hours. We came back exhausted and ready for bed. I went to give Vale her bath and I asked Al, “Where is Vale’s suitcase?” He said, “What suitcase?” I said, “Her suitcase with her clothes, and her other one with her diapers and bath stuff.” We looked at the bags we had, and none of them housed anything that resembled Vale’s stuff. Devin and Brynn were accounted for and could care less… Vale had on a dirty t-shirt and some gross shorts from her day of feasting on the fat in the Magic Kingdom. The only diapers were in my travel bag, and nothing else. What an ass! Did we lose the luggage or leave it? Al checked the baggage tags… we never checked in her bags.
In a panic, I called my sister, who I have to say, in her calmness, can solve a lot of problems I can’t. She claims she was much more histrionic in her earlier years, but if you ever met my nature-loving, animal-kissing older sister Christine, you would never believe it. She ventured over to my house, and found the bags… IN THE ELEVATOR. I pressed the button to send them down, and they never made it out. So, what now? Well, I will say this: there’s a reason we came home with gilded Mickey ears that read “Chris” in prolific embroidered script across the back. She took the bags to Fed Ex, paid the fee, and the next day, like everything in Disney, magically appeared.
The evening solution was Al’s pre-Uber trip to the Kissimmee Walmart with strict instructions to find the cutest pjs and short set that looked like I paid a lot of money for it. And of course, more diapers.
Needless to say, to this day, I have never left luggage home again, and I have learned to take pictures of my bags before we wave bye-bye on the belt... disaster avoided… no sibling rivalry here!!