The Day I Took My Kids And My JewFro to Orlando

Dessert offerings at The KitchenLast week we were supposed to be in Mexico. Unfortunately I have been starting treatments for my RA, and I absolutely could not be further than a car ride away from my specialists. We did a modified getaway and had a superb time. I got started on Prednisone, and I’ll need several posts to explain just how unpleasant (and sometimes scary) that drug felt.  It was nice to be able to move my hand (for a change), but the trade-off was jitters, nausea and insomnia. It was a difficult week for me.

Sunday morning the kids and I left for Orlando. The folks at Universal invited us here to check out the theme parks and hotels. Well, to be perfectly frank, they invited me and one kid here, so I did the tacky thing and asked if I could bring two. It’s not exactly Sophie’s Choice, but…

Jane, Alexander and I were on an 8 am flight from Los Angeles to Orlando. Once again I found myself on United, and once again I found myself absolutely delighted. Since our tickets were booked last minute all three of us had middle seats, and we were scattered all over the airplane. When I got to the gate I showed our tickets to the gate agent and explained that Jane is 11, but Alexander is just nine, and I’d really like to have them together. I could sit nearby, and I really wanted to be with my kids, but if she could only get two seats together I’d be very grateful.

And then the plane started boarding. They called first class, then section one, and as they were finishing section two the gate agent paged me.

She had three seats for us, all together. The kids gave her a chorus of “thank you’s” and when we boarded I realized she’d put us into Economy Plus. I wanted to run out of the plane and hug her, but I’m pretty sure she *might* not have appreciated it. So Ms. Gate Agent in Los Angeles, you know who you are, the blonde at the 8am flight, I owe you a hug, and the kids do too.

Unlike my flight earlier this month, I didn’t meet the captain, but they did give away a bunch of 10% off coupons for folks who listened in on the air traffic control channel. I love how United treats me as a passenger. Really, I do.

So we got through the five hour flight and my son literally hopped and jumped through the airport. It was like he had little springs on his feet. The flight was, quite simply, too long for his little body. We took the long way around the airport, and finally found our driver. Poor Alexander had to sit down and buckle up again. I felt like I was punishing him.

Our driver pulled out of the airport and began the twenty minute drive to the airport. He asked us if we’d ever been to Florida before, “nope, it sure is lush though”. And made some other small talk. Then he asked me when my return flight was, and I didn’t really have an answer for him. I hemmed and hawed, and as we drove through an elevated highway transition he pulled out his cellphone and started scanning the calendar.

My heart stopped. My children. Me!

I asked him if he could check all of that when we got to the hotel, and he was nice enough, but I was not recovering quite so quickly. I don’t know if Florida has texting and driving laws, but I know that California does. Since the loss of Dr. Frank Ryan I think we’re all on a heightened awareness.

So we arrive at the Hard Rock Hotel, and I swear it’s like we’re the Hatfields showing up. Jane and Alexander and strolling through the lobby Oh my gawding, and I’m dragging my luggage along, refusing help from the bellman, just because I’m really not in the mood for small talk.

As I check in and I’m trying to explain to the clerk that I’m not a bitch, I’m just bitchy because of the car ride. She gets sweeter and sweeter, and my stress melts away. Alexander then joins us, as she’s giving us our room keys (room keys that incidentally allow you to jump the line at the theme parks) Alexander looks at me and says, “Mom I don’t think Florida makes your hair look very good. It’s all frizzy in the front and it’s lumpy here and here and here.” And the little stinker walks around me patting the poofy parts of my hair, which is all of it.

Inside my head I’m screeching: Listen kid. I know I’m due for a Keratin Treatment, but we’re in Florida, no one knows us, and I’m rockin the JewFro*. Leave me alone.

I feel the bitchiness return, and I do not want to take it out on the clerk so I take my darling (but honest) children to our room.

The room is nice. It’s clean and fresh. It’s a standard room which is not how I typically travel with children (I’m a connecting room or a suite kind of mom), but we’re happy to see the room, and the kids are even happier to see goodie bags. There were plush toys, visors and Harry Potter things. I say things, because in reality I have no clue what they are.

And for me, there is a goodie bag, but also a mammoth fruit plate and bottles of water.

I am home.

We settle into the room and unpack (this is quick it’s a short trip) and I go into the bathroom to pee. Then I have to try to not cry. I’ve just finished a few weeks of antiinflammatories, steroids and antacids and my body really doesn’t even feel all that great, and peeing is the most exquisitely painful act. I am alone with two kids and I am brewing a urinary tract infection.Sucktastic.

Fortunately I have a good doctor. I was able to locate a 24 pharmacy (Walgreens around here closes at 6 on a Sunday) and my Doctor called in some pain relief as well as an antibiotic. We met up with the rest of the group, The Simpsons, Scooby Doo, and Woody the Woodpecker, and us Moms (and Aunts) realized that seven is the perfect age to meet characters. One of the kids was such a joy to watch interacting with the characters that I’m unable to wipe a grin from my face in the retelling of it. We then had an amazing dinner at The Kitchen, and after dinner the kids and I hopped into a taxi and got the goods.

Does anyone ever take a vacation without needing a prescription? You’ll be happy to know that I peed without crying, pyridium is very effective that way.

So I’m trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour (failed already) so that we can check out the theme park tomorrow.

Thus far we have a few things to report:

  • the kids love me best
  • the kids realize I have bad hair and would like me to fix it
  • the kids are aware that this might be a three day sugar binge if they don’t sit next to me at all times
  • The Hard Rock Hotel is less Rock and more Family than I’d have imagined.

If you know the difference between a Methodist, Lutheran and a Protestant Church I advise you to NOT use the term JewFro as you will be seen as anti-semetic. Catholics typically are able to get away with it for a time, as they share our passion for guilt, fattening food, wine, incense and candles. They also tend to have unruly hair, unlike the Protestants who taunt us with their blonde bobs.

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Comments 14

  1. LOVE you explanation of appropriate use of JewFro. I am Catholic and never understood why my hair was so naturally fluffy until today. You have educated me.

    Have a good vacation!

  2. You are living the dream Jessica. I love your honest Alexander. Reminds me of my son who once told me after I just got my haircut, “You look bad.” When I told him that hurt my feelings (it really didn’t) he said, “I’m sorry but I do not like that red color or your round, round, round, round head.” (It was cut in a manufactured red protestant bob.)

    Thanks for the morning laugh and have a great vacation. (And enjoy the goodie bags!)

  3. M’lady, you cannot mention JewFro and then show us a picture of the desert and NOT of the said hairdo! I know there is NO way you will show us a picture of your hair either before or after Alexander patted it down. I just need to officially lodge my complaint. Glad the trip there went smoothly. Have fun at the park!!!

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      1. LOL. You are one cool chic! Ok the JewFro is how my hair looks (at least very similar) every day. I did NOT know I should complain about my hair! Thanks… I think…

        But your hair in your profile picture does look very nice. That’s probably why you (and Alexander) freaked out. ;-)

  4. Wow, super surprised at your United love/good experiences. I think they are from the devil. Tonight (for a single and most recent example) they threatened to have my husband arrested. He had two bags which fit all of the guidelines for weight/size restrictions for carry-on but both of them had wheels. (he has flown with these two bags on many airlines several times a month over the past year, one is a camera bag, one is a computer bag and usually both footage backups etc so he doesn’t really want to check them so we worked to find bags that work to airline guidelines and can even fit under the seat of most planes) They told him that because the bags both have wheels he couldn’t bring them on to the plane. The mechanic nearby told him that he could ask security and United threatened to have my husband arrested if he so much as stepped out of the line. (this was not the security line it was the United ticket line, which he had to be in because they screwed up his ticket)

    My husband is seriously the most mellow man alive, he doesn’t even have a speeding ticket on his record from…oh yeh…ever. It was insane, he eventually pried the wheels off of his bag and they let him bring the bags. This was the final straw with United, I will pay whatever amount not to have him fly them again.

    Ugh, sorry to use your blog for venting but I literally just got off of the phone with him and was reading to calm down so the United thing hit a button. Glad your experience was awesome, flying is so much more fun when it goes smoothly, especially with children!

  5. oh yes, the jewfro. my son has one. my daughter has one. and i have one.
    the more humid, the more fro in the jew.
    have a great time, i love disney!! ask them why they don’t do family specials for families that decided to have more than 2 kids though. because i think that sucks.
    hope you’re feeling well!!

    1. I’m actually at Universal, not Disney. They have family suites here, but I’m touring three hotels tomorrow, so I will ask.

  6. Love this JewFro post! Every guy I ever had a crush on at summer camp had one – and they were all great water skiiers for some reason. But the JewFro is a fleeting ‘do for teenage boys…most are bald men now…sigh.

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  7. Great post. I had a shoot in Orlando (stayed at hard rock- your description was spot on). Anyway, this was before the days of Keratin treatments. Let me just say that I was thankful to be amongst other J-Fro’d peeps. Orlando doesn’t exactly shabbat if you know what i mean…

  8. Pingback: Universal Studios Orlando: Vacation Guide

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