Menopausal mom to 2 young adult sons (one with ASD, ADHD, tic/seizure disorders and the other with attitude).

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Cruising 2018 is a Wrap!!

Hard to believe it’s already been 2 weeks since we got home from our cruise.

In that time, we’ve had snow at our house twice and I’ve experienced for the first time ever…winter in Winnipeg, Manitoba (aka Winterpeg) where the temp was -24C/-11F with a wind chill temp of -31C/-24F. Downright brisk. 

I thought I would wrap up this vacation diary with some pics for those of you who do not follow Riley World on Facebook.

Part I:  Orlando

Riley could not wait to go see Gru, Margo, Edith and Agnes (characters from Despicable Me) at Universal Florida. If you remember, Edith was not at Universal Hollywood when we were there a year ago. She was well…ummmm…“sick”. The promise of Edith at Universal Florida was the incentive we used to get him excited about this trip. I know what you’re thinking…what if one of them was not there???  Not to worry, G was prepared to don a costume if need be.

See…EXCITED!!!   


So excited that for the next 3 photos he looked like this...


Luckily we were able to see the characters twice that first day and have photo-ops with all them.



And of course, he had to hug each of the girls both times.  


If there was ever any doubt that the hundreds of dollars spent was worth it…just look at that face!!  

Until…

Day 2. 

We missed the first photo-op. They came out early and by the time we got there, they were leaving. To say Riley was disappointed would be an ummmm…understatement. I may have even pulled the “A” card to no avail. *sigh*  I get it. I really do. But just to make sure we would not miss them again, we went to Guest Services.

Guess what??  It was a Harry Potter special event weekend so gosh golly…there was going to be a special parade instead with NO PHOTO-OPS. I may have gasped. No…no…I’m pretty sure I gasped. I think I also broke out into an even bigger sweat. Not pretty. 

The young man did all he could to see if there was a chance of getting a photo-op but no luck. After trying to explain to Riley that it was not to be and “it sure was lucky we got to see them TWICE yesterday”…I did what any other parent would do in that situation. I told him we would go buy him the Land Before Time Complete Collection for the 14th time. Yup. I exaggerate. Only slightly. But that’s what I did. “Incentives” have not always worked in Riley World but now that they do…it’s a wonderful thing.   

Part II:  Cruising the Caribbean

Riley’s dream vacation would be to stay in a hotel room/stateroom for the entire trip. Come to think of it…it really is a wonder that we travel at all. Yet we continue to. I could say it is to expose Riley to different places and activities but let’s face it…it’s mainly because G and I like vacations.

There were DreamWorks Characters on board our ship.

Being an "Autism-Friendly" cruise line, they even brought in R's udon from the Japanese specialty restaurant that was next door to the dining room for his dinner every night.

We went kayaking in St. Maarten. Well...some of us kayaked and someone got to relax. 


Over the years we have learned to compromise. Some “activities” we do together, like meals (yes believe it or not meals are included as an activity) and others G and I will take turns so Riley can have his down time in the room. Not always the most relaxing vacation but it works for us. Just one of the reasons G and I also like to take our separate vacations.


Thursday, 8 February 2018

Homeward Bound

Part I:  The Flight Home

In Riley World, when it’s time to go home...it’s time to go home!  As in RIGHT. NOW!! 

From the moment he got up on our last day until the wheels hit the tarmac, whenever I glanced his way the “going home” dialogue was in full force.

R:  I AM on vacation. Am I on vacation? I need to STAY! I DO want to stay on vacation.
Me:  You do??  *of course I knew he didn’t but I throw in the occasional clarifying question*
R:  NO!  I CAN’T stay on vacation! *slight pause*  It’s not time to go home yet. Is it time to go home yet??
Me:  Yes. We’re going home t…
R:  What time? I DO need to go home.
Me:  We’ll go to the airport at 4 o’clock.
R:  What time is it? 
Me:  8 o’clock. 
R:  I DO need to stay!  I can’t go home yet. 

You get the gist, right???  Oi-vay.

My ears were nearly bleeding and my eyes were sore from having to avoid eye contact for the nearly 8 hours before we got on the plane.

Usually Riley likes to watch/play games on his iPad and can’t wait to get “puppy” out of his backpack as soon as we are seated. Not so this time. Pretty sure he was thinking ahead about getting the hell off the plane and didn’t want to worry about packing up his things so decided it was best to just keep everything packed. 

So instead he opted to look out the window. 


He just sat there and stared out the window. Into the darkness. Pitch black. Nothingness. Pining away for home.



There were a few bouts of almost tears with “I just wanna go home now. Can we go home?” which I will admit pulled at my ice cold heartstrings. Thankfully he managed to fall asleep about 2 hours in.


As soon as the wheels touched down, "Now we're back. It's good to be home again. Are we home? We're home." and at that moment, all was right once again in Riley World. 


Part II:  Home Sweet Home

I hadn’t planned on unpacking our bags that night. It had even crossed my mind to leave them in the entry hall because the thought of lugging them upstairs…

Riley thought otherwise because of course he would.

Two carry-ons and one suitcase were on the bed.

This bag weighed 47 POUNDS!!!

R had managed to wrestle the bags upstairs without so much as a bump, thump or grunt. And here I thought he didn’t have any muscle strength.

I know who’s going to be bringing in the groceries from now on.