White family vacation becomes adventure

By NIKKI ROWELL,

You know what they say about the best-laid plans. Even the most prepared face mishaps, especially when traveling.

The White family experienced this firsthand as they made their way to Orlando for their much-anticipated trip to Disney World.

They found that sometimes the journey can be as fun as the destination if you have the right attitude.

Chris and Missy White live in Madison with their children Embry Claire, Sophie and Denton.

The trip to Disney was a first for Chris and the girls. Chris took to social media to document their travel mishaps along the way.

Last year in August, the couple booked a trip to Disney with their two daughters through Little Luxury Travels.

However, they could not book their flight at that time as it was too early. So, six months before they were set to leave, Chris booked the flight.

They decided on VIA airline because it offered a direct flight out of Jackson.

The family even changed their trip times to coordinate with the flight dates.

Later, Chris received an email informing him that their flight time was changing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., which took an entire day out of their park time and kept them from their Cinderella character meal.

But the Whites decided to make the best of it and make up their missed time during the week.

A friend dropped them off at the airport and they were on their way. So, they thought.

When they checked in, they found out their flight was going to be delayed a few hours, but again they were trying to stay positive.

After an hour of waiting in the terminal, an announcement over the intercom system told them that their flight was canceled.

“I said, ‘You have got to be kidding me,’” Chris said.

After discussing with airline staff what their options were, they were told the only options were to get a refund for the flight or fly out the following morning at 9 a.m., which would take another day off of their time in the parks.

“Planes, trains and automobiles. We are getting to Disney one way or another!” Chris posted to Facebook.

They decided at this point to drive to Orlando. They figured that driving couldn’t take longer than the delays they were experiencing in the airport.

A neighbor drove their vehicle to the airport from Madison and the Whites were on their way.

Chris said they stopped for food and soon got on the road.

“We stopped twice, once for gas and once to stretch our legs,” Chris said of the 11-hour trip.

 

They made it to Orlando around 6:30 the following morning.

“The Gris-Whites made it. We didn’t leave a dog tied to a bumper or have a grandma croak,” Chris posted to Facebook that morning, along with a photograph of Clark Griswold in the car loaded down with bags.

The post was a nod to National Lampoon’s movie “Vacation.” While traveling on vacation the Griswold family experienced one mishap after another.

One thing the White family didn’t have on the Griswolds was the luggage. The Whites had packed to fly, so they had one bag and two carry-ons for the four of them.

“The girls were devastated at first because they had never flown,” Chris said. “They really wanted to fly. But then they were thinking OK well we aren’t going to fly, so we must not be going to Disney.

“I said one way or another, I’m going to get you to Disney,” Chris said. “I told them just to go to sleep and we’d be there in the morning.”

Since they had not planned to drive, they didn’t have pillows or blankets for the long drive.

“They covered up with jackets and whatever they could find in the car,” Chris said of Embry Claire and Sophie.

Once they made it to Orlando, they took a short nap and took on a day at the parks.

The following day in Animal Kingdom, they ran into another couple that had been in the terminal with them at the airport in Jackson.

The flight they had been promised would take off on Monday morning at 9 did not make it out until 5:30 that evening and did not arrive in Orlando until 8 Monday night.

The Whites were happy with their decision to make the trip Griswold style.

Chris said they are still awaiting their refund from the canceled flight, but they made it home safely with many new family memories, the good and the frustrating.  

 

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