It was somewhat of a last minute decision but the incessant sub-freezing temps inspired me to try to plan a last minute trip to Florida for Christmas. Cool Dad was not on board with this idea, but when he realized I was serious as we shivered one night because the heat just wasn’t cutting it in our place, he started looking at temps of various cities on the east coast. “How far south do we have to go to get warm?”

Jeez. The real answer was Cuba. But we settled for Orlando. And I decided we were driving because I refuse to leave the dog behind. Cool Dad said he wasn’t doing it and he held on to that stance for several days until he realized I booked a hotel and started telling people “we” were going to Disney for Christmas. When I heard him on the phone a few days before our departure telling a work contact that he was going to be out of town for a few days I high-fived myself. Woot Woot! We’re going to Disney!

Driving is no big deal to me because we drove everywhere in the Wood Paneled Station Wagon. We went to Disney pretty much every year and we always drove. I have some really good memories of those trips and I want to create the same for the Little Pirate. The drive was the drive. Our A/C decided to break about an hour into the trip. This isn’t information we ever would have known had it not been an unseasonable 75 degrees that December morning. And the drive was about four hours longer than it should have been due to several accidents through South Carolina – one which resulted in people getting out of their cars and milling around the highway on foot. We cut off at the next exit and took some back roads and at this point, nine hours into the trip, was when the Pirate cued up her meltdown. It was so bad that I just reached back, unhooked her seat and pulled her into my lap. This does not make Cool Dad happy, but I’m still baffled by this bullshit of carseats until high school graduation. It’s impossible for a kid to enjoy a car trip like my brothers and I used to.

When the Pirate was in my lap for those brief 10 minutes, two things happened.

1) She braced herself against me and squeezed out the nastiest crap ever.
2) This crawled into the car through that mysterious vortex at the end of the dashboard where it meets the windshield. And no, I didn’t know there was a hole to the outside world there either.


For multiple reasons not limited to this drive and the incessant traffic, Cool Dad muttered, “Stupid South Carolina.”

It didn’t bother me at all that the Pirate was riding around backroads a la Bo and Luke Duke without being shackled into her safety gear but it sure as hell bothered me when I saw this thing crawl into the car and try to fly off with her. We pulled over (at a Dollar General – because where else do you pull over in South Carolina besides a Dollar Store or a BBQ Joint?) and Cool Dad took care of that monster bug while I changed the diaper. Whew. Back in in the car and back to the highway.

We finally got to Disney around 10 p.m-ish. About 16 hours on the road including stops. I hope that corgi-dog realizes how much we love him, damn.

The next morning we got our tickets and made our way to the Magic Kingdom. My parents were always obsessed with getting there at the crack of dawn and staying until it closed but we were more relaxed about it. We got there around noon and left at 9 p.m.  When we took the Monorail toward the Magic Kingdom, I got incredibly nostalic, then sad, and tears came to my eyes. It was probably a culmination of my life coming full circle and bringing my child to a place I spent a lot of time as a kid and missing those old days with my parents when things were fun and before everyone became so….angry. Hopefully I can create the same happy childhood memories for the Little Pirate only with a different but happier outcome as the years pass.

The Little Pirate loved Disney. She didn’t cry once during the entire time we were in the Magic Kingdom. I’m pretty sure that those 9 hours are the longest she’s gone on this earth without crying – it was amazing. The lines weren’t bad, the other people in the park were nice, no drama, and the Pirate found her people.


She was a trooper until the end. Then, in her Corgi-Pirate shirt, she proclaimed, “I’m done.”


She was a trooper until the end. Then, in her Corgi-Pirate shirt, she proclaimed, “I’m done.”