Monday, April 26, 2010

Taking a break from stress and worry

Queen Teen and I had reached our max on unhappiness, so we headed to Disneyland. I bought a Disney vacation package from AAA (great deal!). The two of us packed our bags, said goodbye to homework, therapy, doctors and housework and then flew to LA to lose ourselves in the Magic Kingdom.

What is it about Disneyland that makes people drop everything and spend far more money than they should just to wander around the park in the hope of meeting a Princess or getting on a ride in less than 30 minutes? I have never been what you'd call a Disney person; I could care less about Mickey Mouse and I'd scoff at people who collected pins. But now, I can't wait for our annual trip to D-Land. Annual trip? Yep. Queen Teen demands it. We hunt autographs and trade pins with the most hard-core Disney fans, but we skip the rides. Just wandering the lanes, looking at the shops and statues, flowers and settings, is enough for us, and when we run across a character like Minnie Mouse we're thrilled.

This was the year for Minnie. Queen Teen has developed a passion for all things Minnie, in fact, I think it's almost equal to her love for Cinderella. We spotted Minnie three times and posed with her twice, and in every shop Queen Teen hunted for the Minnie Mouse dolls. The other highlight for Queen Teen was meeting Princess Jasmine, one of the Disney princesses she hadn't met before. And of course, she met Cinderella. I reserved a table at Ariel's Grotto where the Princesses come to your table while you eat, and it was a good thing I did, because that was the only place Cinderella appeared. If we went to D-Land and missed Cinderella, Queen Teen would be crushed. And we met Princess Tianna in New Orlean's Square, who sang songs from the Frog Princess accompanied by a New Orleans Jazz style band.

Overall, it was a good trip, except for the food poisoning. Our first night at the California Grand, I ate a salad and woke up sick as a dog. The sickness lasted the entire trip, making it even harder to care for Queen Teen on my own so far from home. I sipped tea and ate crackers while pushing her wheelchair several miles a day. Even without being sick, it was difficult taking care of her alone. She's so much bigger and heavier, as well as more wobbly. Between her size and worsening ataxia I realized taking her do Disneyland, or anywhere far away, by myself has become almost impossible. Sure, I can do it, but at a cost to my energy and sanity. Next time, Rick is coming.

While we explored the park, Queen Teen sang songs at the top of her lungs, making the people we passed smile. "This little light of mine... I'm gonna let it shine..." Seeing her that happy after so many weeks of snarling misery was worth every dime, every exertion, even worth food poisoning.

On our last day, Queen Teen announced, "I'm so lucky! I get to come to Disneyland. Not everybody gets to go, but I do. And I get to go next year too!"

Yes you do, darlin.


leah said...

What a great trip! We're going to visit Disneyland when we do the John Tracy Clinic in July. Did you guys use the FM systems (neckloop??) they offer at all? I don't know what to do about that when we go- it might not be worth the bother, but it might help?? Not sure!

Emily said...

Oooh, I have questions too... Do you know if the audio description can be used with the FM system (as opposed to just headphones like it states on the wensite)? I e-mailed to ask them, but they seemed confused as to why anyone would need both vision and hearing accomodations. Also, we do the sighted guide thing with Noah at our local amusement park, but our O&M is recommending that we use "Mr. Cane" when we go to Disneyland since it's so unfamiliar to Noah. So what do you do with it (a cane) while you're on a ride? Noah's had his cane stolen before, and I'm terrified that it'll be misplaced/stolen at Disneyland and then we'll be without it for the whole rest of our time in CA.

Terena said...

I didn't know about the audio description, so I didn't try it. Queen Teen has enough vision to see the shows and images, as long as we can get close enough to it. I fill in the visual gaps, directing her attention so she can focus on something specific.

I saw two children at D-land using canes. One child seemed to have low vision because he was using a verification technique while walking very close to an adult, and the other appeared without vision and was using a cane with a large ball on the tip as well as Human Guide. I didn't see them on any rides, so I don't know what the protocol is. Queen Teen has a hard time using a cane because of her ataxia, so doesn't have one.

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

This made me smile. A lot.

Except for your food poisoning. Boo to that!

Sarcastic Bastard said...

Glad you two had fun. Sorry to hear about the food poisoning though.

leah said...

Emily, Noah had his cane stolen? How awful! I can't imagine someone stealing a cane- it makes one wonder what on earth they are thinking!

Princess Abigail said...

Oh my what a fabulous trip!! I wish Princess Abi and Queen Teen could have done this together! Next year, come to Eurodisney!!

Confessions of a Closet Hoarder but you can call me Judy said...

I'm just getting caught up again. I'm not getting updates in my reader for some reason...sorry. :(

I'm sorry you got sick, but you rock as a mom! Good for you that you and QT got to enjoy some wonderful alone time at Disneyland together.

Hopefully, next year will include a couple extra hands and no sick salads!