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How we got to Florida...

And I don't mean did we fly or drive, although we did drive.

I just realized I haven't posted a blog entry since September. I daresay things have been busy since then and one of the busy things was our trip to Florida in October. And that is a funny Cara story that goes all the way back to the end of last school year - so May 2023.

On the last day of school, one of Cara's teachers brought her out to my van (named Cobalt) and told me to have fun in Panama Beach. I was completely confused and asked her what she meant. She said that Cara had told them that we were going to Panama Beach. I had no idea where she got that from and let her teacher know that we weren't going there. That began a summer of Cara trying to communicate that she wanted to go to Florida.

Cara has an email account that she uses for school. It is attached to my Gmail account so I get notified on every email she receives. All of a sudden she started receiving emails from realtors in Florida. Then there were rentals. Finally, I got a notification that her STABLE debit card (which never has more than $100 on it at a time) had been used to try and reserve a hotel room. Needless to say it didn't go through, but now I was very concerned. All of this had been happening in fits and starts over the summer. My next step was to store my purse in my room and then to talk to Cara.

I sat Cara down for a conversation. First of all, I told Cara that she could not use her debit card online. I then told her that if we were to go to Florida that mom and dad would make hotel reservations. Both of those ideas seemed to sink in. Then, I asked her why she wanted to go to Florida. This is where she melted my heart. She said she wanted to see Mickey. Yes, mommy tears in eyes.

Rick's parents have a trailer in Bradenton Beach, Florida and so I finally decided that Cara needed to go see Mickey and we could go see Grandma and Grandpa too. In October we loaded up Cobalt and made the two-day drive to Orlando. We spent one day at Disney and Cara got to meet Mickey. You can see in the pictures just how happy it made her. I think one of the best things about Mickey Mouse was that he didn't speak verbally. It was all hand gestures and such. He was talking Cara's language.

Then, the next day, we drove to Bradenton Beach where we spent three days with Grandma and Grandpa.

Was this a crazy spur-of-the moment kind of thing? Maybe. And was it a bit of an overload for what a kid asked for? No, not when that kid is Cara and communication is one of her greatest challenges. She communicated, in a roundabout way, that she wanted to go see Mickey. I might not be able to give her the moon, but I could give her Mickey Mouse.

And that is how we wound up in Florida in October of 2023. It was a great trip and I am really glad Cara talked us into taking it. It will be a favorite family memory.

(And since the trip there have been no more emails about Florida.)

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