Day 8, Part 4: Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade & A Slumber Party at Bay Lake Tower!

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!

They must know this Wendy, cuz there are lots of shots of her


OK, they definitely know this girl!


Paper snow

My favorite kind of Christmas tree!

Is that a baseball cap on Prince Philip?!

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…

I can't believe they can play through those masks!

More fashion “don’ts”…

The design of these guys reminds me of the creepily off-model walk-around characters in the early days of Disneyland


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…


Wait—another FAVORITE!

Here's what us walking around looks like


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!).

Here's Jensey totally prepared for the slumber party!

When we got home, the first thing we did was that Jensey very kindly took some glamour shots of the room for me.

Room 8611: The Peeping Tom's Delight

Second bathroom

Jensey slept here!

Four months old and already the place is showing signs of wear…


Sorry about the mess… I actually used the laundry room!

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.

Up Next: Last Day of the Trip!

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12 Responses
  • Hope
    December 21, 2011

    I’m incredibly late and had no idea about your loss. It’s always difficult to lose a loved one – especially a parent. You always think they’re invincible right? 🙂 I’m glad you had a great friend with you to help you through the initial shock and I’m glad you have great memories of your father to help you get through the grief. *Hugs*

    • lurkyloo
      December 22, 2011

      Thank you, Hope! 🙂

  • Kaylin
    June 8, 2011

    I know this is late on the news but im so sorry about your father. big big big hugs coming your way with some virtual flowers.

    • lurkyloo
      June 8, 2011

      You are very kind—thank you for the hugs and flowers!

  • Kira
    May 16, 2011

    I’m sorry for your loss, Carrie. I know I and all of your readers empthasize with and support you. I’m so glad that your dad got to see his little girl have her dream wedding.

    • lurkyloo
      May 17, 2011

      Thank you so much for your support!

  • ATG
    March 23, 2011

    I am so glad you weren’t alone when you heard the news. I can’t imagine how much harder it would have been to learn about the loss of a parent alone.

    I’m glad you included this in your blog post. I remember reading it on the Dis. Still sending kind thoughts your way. I’m sure the days get easier but, I can’t imagine that sadness ever totally going away.

    • lurkyloo
      March 23, 2011

      Thanks for the kind words, Anita. It is tough, but at least I have so many wonderful memories, especially from the wedding and the last few years!

  • Katie
    March 15, 2011


    So sorry to hear about your father. Big virtual hugs from a stranger and good thoughts coming your way.

    • lurkyloo
      March 15, 2011

      Thank you so much!

  • Claire
    March 15, 2011

    big hugs to you

    • lurkyloo
      March 15, 2011

      Thank you!

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