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A New Year After an Epic Adventure

2016 was one big adventure for Jordan. And she wrapped it up on a two-week epic level after I put together a two-week land and sea Disney trip that I will never be able to match again.

First, our family had a chance to travel to Walt Disney World Resort and enjoy six nights at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. It was a part of my “reward trip” after spending a year on the Disney Parks Moms Panel. (2017 is the panel’s 10th year! Be sure to ask your vacation planning questions to the awesome crew there!) We had to work hard to get to Disney thanks to really crummy weather in Missouri. From the moment we stepped into the St. Louis airport until the moment we landed in Orlando, we experienced a 103-degree temperature difference. How crazy is that?

Our visit to Disney World was magical. I probably say that every time, but this one was the ultimate visit thanks to the years of planning I have under my belt. Plus, being on the Mom’s Panel kept me up to date on all of the little, wonderful things happening in the parks. Plus, some amazing Cast Members made our visit extra special. There were enough incredible moments that I plan to write about them separately. I will say this: We are incredibly lucky to have had this opportunity. I’m also very thankful for the many wonderful Born Just Right families and community members who found us during our trip. It was awesome.

After those six nights at the Polynesian, we hopped on board the Disney Fantasy cruise ship! It was a trip we’ve saved and planned for more than two years. Combining the Moms Panel reward trip just made the epic vacation MORE epic. Our cruise started on Christmas Eve and ended on New Year’s Eve. We explored a number of spots: Cozumel, Mexico, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and Disney’s very own Castaway Cay. To add to that excitement, Jordan turned ELEVEN on the ship. Eleven! How crazy is that? Jordan and the family had a chance to snorkel (Jordan’s first time ever), play on beaches, enjoy boating, meet a dolphin, and even climb a waterfall. On the ship we had wonderful meals, Jordan LOVED the tween club and made a bunch of friends, we watched movies and shows and Jordan had two opportunities to dress up and have fun.

Of course, the adventure didn’t end there. We wrapped up our last day back at Walt Disney World Resort. I had a vision that came true: to ring in the new year from a hotel room looking over Magic Kingdom Park. We had a theme park view room at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Two years ago, the kids and I experienced New Year’s Eve inside Magic Kingdom Park. This time, we watched just outside and we could enjoy the huge expansive perspective of the fireworks at midnight. It was perfect.

After a final character breakfast with Mickey and friends, we finally headed home. Jordan and Cameron are back to school. Randy and I are back to work. But we’re still basking in the glow of two amazing weeks of fun. I’m thankful for the hard word we had to do to make that trip happen. It was all worth it! We may never be able to match that trip, and I’m okay with that. We have incredible memories and stories to share for years.

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