Sunday, July 1, 2012

Making the best of a bad situation

My parents started planning a big family trip to Disney World last summer.  They traded their Virginia Beach timeshare for one in Orlando.  My mom managed to get reservations at Cinderella's Royal Table.  (For those  who, like me, know nothing about such things, Cinderella's Royal Table is an outrageously overpriced restaurant located in Cinderella's Castle at the center of the Magic Kingdom.  What makes it so exciting for the kids is that the Disney Princesses come up to your table while you eat.  For little girls under the age of 10, this is better than meeting a pop star).  Last Sunday, nine of us (my parents, me, my husband and stepdaughter, my older sister, my brother-in-law, and my two nieces) piled into two cars and made the twelve hour drive from Virginia to Orlando, FL.  About halfway into Georgia, we ran into some really heavy rain.  We weren't particularly concerned; it's not that unusual to run into rain on a long trip.  We figured we'd pass through it and back into sunshine.  We weren't all that concerned when it kept raining all the way to Orlando.  We assumed it was just a summer storm.

We didn't start to worry until we got settled in at the hotel and turned on the television.  That's when we learned that Tropical Storm Debby was stalled off of Florida's Gulf Coast.

Because the storm was basically stationary, it was projected to hang out in the Gulf for a few days and continue dumping rain on most of the state of Florida.

Forecasts called for wind and rain the entire week. My heart sank.  We'd been planning this trip for a year and now Tropical Storm Debby was going to ruin it.  I had images of the kids staring bleakly out the window at a torrential downpour of rain, crying over their shattered dreams of Disney World.

We awoke Monday morning to dark skies and relentless downpours.  I was surprised when my parents, my sister, and my brother-in-law pulled out rain ponchos for themselves and the kids.  Someone threw a poncho at me.  "Here, this one looks like it'll fit you."

I shrugged and put the poncho on.  I said nothing but thought to myself, "I can't believe we're going to Disney World in this weather."  I imagined we'd all be soaked to the bone and miserable within an hour.

In the end, it seems that I was the only one who expected Tropical Storm Debby to ruin our vacation.  Everyone else accepted the situation and adapted.  Nobody complained, not even the kids.  (I think the kids actually liked the rain.  We had to tell them more than once to stop jumping in puddles and splashing water all over everyone within a ten foot radius).  I felt a surge of pride when I looked around at all of us in our ponchos, standing in line for the Thunder Mountain Railroad as the storm raged on.  I felt it again when we all donned our ponchos and danced in the rain along with the Disney World "cast members" at the Street Party. We stayed at Disney World all day Monday.  We did it again on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, our luck changed.  Maybe fate smiled on us.  My sister said she prayed about it, so maybe it was divine intervention.  Whatever, the reason, it finally stopped raining.


  1. This is great. What a wonderful lesson about making lemonade when life handed you lemons!

  2. You had, of course, less people to crowd you out of a ride, a big plus. Weather is one thing you have no control over, so best to adjust your tolerance for change, right when it gets worse than you thought. I have flown right into a hurricane in Mexico, where everybody evacuated, and the hotel staff gives you tape for the windows, and a little prayer for night as they leave. No food and the whole kitchen and lobby was in 3ft of water. You find out how resourceful you are, and laughs come easier.


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