Sunday, July 18, 2010
Thanks to grants from the Lower Colorado River Authority, parents, and a First Baptist Church of Woodworth, Woodworth, LA, we were able to travel to Walt Disney World for the National Down Syndrome Congress annual meeting and convention, taking 11 residents with Down syndrome to attend the simultaneous Youth and Adults with DS Convention.
I had planned to blog throughout our adventure, which began last Thursday and will be ending with the return of the residents and staff to their homes in about two hours from now after their plane lands in Austin. However, it turns out that while Disney World may be many wonderful things, it is a crummy place for a convention, especially for--as in our case--people traveling in a large group, or--as in many other cases--young families with small children, strollers, and baby paraphenalia.
Thirty minutes later we were deposited beside a shuttlebus shelter next to a parking lot next to clusters of two story lodgings, each dragging a heavy suitcase and armloads of other perceived necessities. The Donner party flashed through my mind as we began trekking through the jungle in the dark, in a direction picked at random, there being no signs, nor signs of life, to guide us toward our proper destinations.
Clif bar since lunch at 11:30 that morning.
We wended our way around this building and that, finding numbers affixed to them occasionally. After another half hour we'd all found our buildings and our rooms and agreed to meet at the foot court across the lake, the lights of which were twinkling merrily over the water.
In the morning we met at the pool and laughed at our pickle the night before, because once you could see the layout we saw we'd walked a good five times further than we'd needed to. We met a young family in the pool with baby Landon, here for his first NDSC conference.
Once we'd all connected, we found our bus stop again and headed for Hollywood Studios Park. We waited about a half hour for the bus to take us there, which it eventually did.
Mama Melrose's Italian Retaurant and I looked forward to mediocre food at eye-popping prices, but I was wrong wrong wrong! Well, right about the prices actually, but a simple bowl of vegetarian minestrone and a salad were as good as anything I've ever tasted, and that's a fact!
By then I'd had all the fun I could stand, and left the park to go to the conference, where Jerry and I joined a workshop of older parents whose adult kids with Downs had married or were contemplating marriage. More of that later on in the week.
They got registered for their conference, and Jerry and I went to dinner, which again was pricey but quite out of the ordinary.
That was Friday.
(To be continued)