After the fireworks, we drifted up Main Street, U.S.A. to camp out in Jensey’s favorite viewing spot for the 10:30pm Christmas parade, near the barbershop—basically the end of the route.
We played time-filling road trip games with Amelia as we waited and laughed and laughed. Mostly at me and Nate, who could not figure out any of the sisters’ “predict the next word” games because apparently you’re allowed to change the rules every time??? Harrumph! Sisters!
At last the parade started. It was fun to watch it with CM Amelia and former CM Jensey, because they seemed to know all the performers!
Some of the costumes are a real hoot!
I dunno who this guy is, but the camera LOVES him!
Oh man I feel bad for that guy…
More fashion “don’ts”…
After the parade, there wasn’t much party left, so we made the most of it by skipping the castle show and heading for Big Thunder.
It looks like we poked our heads into the dance party at the Diamond Horseshoe, but I don’t think we ever did get any free watery hot chocolate or dry cookies…
After we shut the park down, Nate and Amelia split and Jensey came over to Bay Lake Tower for a slumber party! This was a very special treat for me, because Nate and Jensey do not like to be separated and Jensey was very kind to keep me company while Patrick was out of town (and indulge in a bit of girly nostalgia!).
When we got home, the first thing we did was that Jensey very kindly took some glamour shots of the room for me.
At first I assumed Jensey must be pretty tired, so I suggested we get in our jammies and hit the rack. But when I got out of the shower, I noticed that the light was still on in the living room. I poked my head out there and saw Jensey sitting in the sofa bed wide awake (her teddy bear, however, was totally sawing logs). So I came out and we sat up talking and laughing—just like at a real slumber party!
This next part is something I think I wasn’t sure I’d include in this trip report, and it’s taken me more than a year to even get to the point where I feel I can write about it. But since many readers who were following my pre-trip report on the DIS Boards supported me when it happened, I thought I’d include the whole story here.
So as we were talking, I got a phone call from my aunt telling me that my dad had passed on. I’d moved him from Northern California to a care facility near us in LA back in November when he finally became convinced that the physical problem he was dealing with was too tough for him to cope with on his own. Although he had lost a lot of weight and mobility, he really seemed to perk up those first few weeks at the care facility. Because of this progress, Patrick and I felt OK about continuing with our Florida trip. After we left, my aunt kept us in the loop about what was going on. Earlier that day she had called to say that she thought it might be a good idea for me to call my dad again, and I am so glad I did.
One of the reasons it’s important to me to tell this part of the story is that I want to acknowledge Jensey’s incredibly loving support when I got the news. She gave me a big hug and asked what she could do to help, and for the next 12 hours she was my rock as I worked through the shock. I was pretty much in a trance, so she gently reminded me I needed to call my brother and Patrick to tell them the news. Then she sat up with me until 3:30 in the morning just talking and helping me work through my grief. In the morning when we woke up, it was Jensey who helped me figure out what my next steps were as I assumed all the end-of-life duties you have as the next of kin, about which I knew absolutely nothing. At that point, my mental defense mechanism was to switch into emotionless business mode in order to tackle the innumerable tasks ahead of me, and that lasted basically for the next three months. So I cherish those hours Jensey spent with me as the raw emotion washed over me, just surrounding me with her love and compassion.