Jackson goes to Disney World

After our day at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (and subsequent day of rest by the pool) it was finally Jackson’s turn to go to Disney World! He’d been counting the days and the day had finally come.

My brother-in-law fixed him up with a lanyard for pin trading, which he’d already worn the night before to Disney Springs. An affinity for Donald Duck has grown in recent months so he decided to decorate his lanyard with Donald-specific pins. From what I understand, he was diligent about keeping to his goal.

A character lunch ensured he met the Fab Five – including Donald Duck!

Jackson loves fast rides, so Space Mountain was one of his favorites!

Jeremy had a hard time knowing what he was missing, but he understood it was his brother’s turn and he had already experienced Disney World with his cousins.

I love this photo of him passed out asleep with Donald Duck on his lap 

Fortunately, after getting back to our house late Friday night, our family spent Saturday with us and saved Sunday for the long drive home to Chicago. That meant there was time for Wizard Chess.

Donald Duck pin success!

Thank you, Becky, Jeff, Jacob, and Owen, for taking Jackson to Disney World! To use his words, the trip was MAGICAL. (And thanks for all the cell phone pics!)

A second spring break

As homeschoolers, we do what we want. It’s glorious. It’s magnificent.

Our first spring break was spent at home, and truth be told, we still did math and reading while on hiatus from our homeschool cooperative. It wasn’t a full respite because we knew we had a second break coming – one that involved travel and excitement beyond compare.

Several years ago my sweet sister decided that she needed to take my children to Disney World since we weren’t going to. NO PROBLEM, I said, and threw some money her way. In 2015, Jeremy joined her family at Disney, and eventually, it would be Jackson’s turn.

This was his year.

On top of the Disney adventure, we decided it was also time to fork over the cash and visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, somewhere I’ve wanted to visit since it was built. Both Jeremy and Jackson are fans of the books and movies, so we’ve been counting the days until we could finally head to Orlando.

There is much to say about the experience, but in this particular post, I’ll be brief. I was overwhelmed to the point of tears, and not I’m not exaggerating. (Chuck has photographic proof, which I won’t be sharing publicly.) Since reading the first book in 2001 and seeing the final film in 2011, to watching both of my children fall in love with the series and love it as I do, going to Hogsmeade Village and Diagon Alley was an experience that spotlighted nearly two decades fandom. 

The impeccable detail of these two scenes left me fully satisfied, feeling like I’d actually walked into a magical world and lived there for one full day. YES, I bought a wand (Professor McGonagall’s). YES, I bought a Chocolate Frog. YES, we rode the Hogwarts Express. YES, we tried Butterbeer.

There is much to say about how it all felt, but I know what you really want is to see photos. They’re coming. I’ve got a few things to check off my to-do list before I tackle editing them.

Chuck, Jeremy, and I returned home late Wednesday night, leaving Jackson in Orlando with my sister and her family. He still had Disney World to experience, after all. From what I’ve seen in texts and Snaps, he’s living his best life. He’s loving every minute. Two magical experiences in one week is too good to be true for an 11-year-old. 

And yet, it’s all real. 

Jeremy’s first trip to Disney World

Do I even have to tell you that he had a wonderful time?

Jeremy at the Disney castle

Jeremy is now suffering a post-Disney depression, which I’ve tried to mitigate by indulging stories about all the things he loved about Disney World and reminding him that he can go back when he’s older. “When I grow up, I’m definitely taking my kids to Disney World,” he says.

Jedi training

Fighting Darth Vader

I’m glad he went with people who know that place inside out (my sister and her family), so Jeremy’s time was well-managed and he was able to hit all the high points. He did Jedi training and ate breakfast with characters. He raced a car he created and rode all the big rides. He even went on the Tower of Terror. Jeremy did not want the week to end.

On a ride with Jacob

But of course the vacation ended, as they always do. In two years, Jackson will go to Disney World and I have no doubt his experience will be equally as magical.

Before our family headed back north, we made an evening trip to Menchie’s, where another patron took our photo. I hate that it’s blurry, but I’m grateful for the time spent with these precious people. The geographical distance between us is just too far.

Millers Przyluckis April 2015

We are now in the home stretch of the school year and you can tell this by our lack of enthusiasm. Truth be told, Jackson will be finished with his math curriculum this week and he’s already started fourth grade vocabulary… He could be done with third grade by Friday, but I can’t fathom that long of a break in school years – April to August? So we’ll spend the remaining time in review and working to master the skills he learned this year.

If you’re ready for summer, raise your hand.

Hey Spring Break

My sinuses hate everything about right now, but the scenery is gorgeous.

bud pinky purpley white and pink

The boys are working double time on their school work today to ensure their spring break starts tomorrow instead of Monday. We have big plans for the coming week, specifically that Jeremy is going to Disney World. Just Jeremy, you ask? Yes, because Chuck and I are totally uncool and will not take our kids to Disney, so my sister is. They will swing down from Chicago, pick up our 11-year-old, and take him to the happiest place on earth. Two years from now, when Jackson is 11, they’ll do the same with him.

Chuck and I get off scot-free. We don’t have to wade through pools of loud children or stand in line for hours or hear It’s a Small World over and over and over again. We’re totally dancing a jig.

It sounds bad, but the honest part is that we’re a different sort of traveler. We’d rather camp or wander around a new city without a timetable. We prefer places where we’re not outnumbered by stranger kids and food isn’t outrageously over-priced. There is charm and magic at Disney World, but it’s not the kind of charm and magic we’re interested in. We’re very grateful to have family members who will do this great task for us and give our children a wonderful experience.

Meanwhile, we have our own plans to make Jackson’s spring break memorable. He’s pretty excited about being an only child for a week. His first request?

“Can I stay up ’til 10?”

You sure can, buddy.