Supergirl pronounced it fabulous. Poor little chicklet caught a nasty cold on the first day of her vacation and was going through a lot of tissues, but managed to have a good time despite her nasal waterfall and cough.
A little climbing and sliding, and they decided they liked each other.
The big girl could climb on some decorative rocks all by herself, so the little girl had to do it too, with some help from her mom.
Sadly, I don't have any good pictures of the swan boats, because by this time, Miss D was starting to become less than her sunny little self, and it was hard to take pictures. A 30 minute rental of the swan-shaped paddleboat was $15. The girls were suited up in life vests and off we went! I've lived in the Orlando area for well over 30 years and this was my first time on a swan. I'll say it's something everyone should do once - and once, honestly, is enough - but it was pleasant enough. Even on a mild early March day the sun was pretty warm on the water, and I cannot imagine doing it during the summer.
By the time we were done with the swan boat ride, Miss D was launching into a full-blown meltdown. It was a long walk to our lunch destination in Thornton Park (actually maybe 3 blocks, but with a 2 year old in a full tantrum mode, it felt like a death march). Her mom just kept muttering, "She's never like this!" and truly, it was the most dramatic tantrum I'd ever seen from her. We picked the noisiest and most casual restaurant (so if she launched again, we'd be drowned out by the ambient noise) and got an outside table at a dog-friendly establishment. The many dogs helped entertain the little Crazy Dog Lady until salvation, in the form of a nice big lemonade, arrived. A few sips of lemonade and her mood magically improved, and she ate quite a bit of her hamburger and fries as well. After lunch she was back to being her delightful little self, as if the screaming meltdown and rolling on the sidewalk had never happened. We now know that hunger turns her into a wild beast, and will make a point of carrying some sort of snack and an emergency juice box on future outings. This is not a child who can wait for lunch. ;-) It's funny to me because I suddenly remembered how my late husband would turn into an angry pain in the ass and start complaining about EVERYTHING when he was hungry. When he'd start to go off on the pettiest crap, I'd ask him when he'd eaten last. Invariably, it had been many hours. I suspect he rolled on a few sidewalks at her age too.
We had a fairly long walk back to where we'd all parked, and the girls decided they should hold hands. (Delaney's expression in the first shot does not reflect her mood at this point; she was just mildly annoyed at her uncle for stopping them for a photo. This child can side-eye you into 2nd degree burns.)
They held hands, chattered, and made up little games all the way back, as my heart melted into a puddle of happy, sappy goo.
There is a fabulous massive live oak right near the lake, and as we made our way back to the cars at a preschooler's pace, with the girls stopping to explore, this huge branch caught their attention and they had to sit on it. It became my favorite picture of the day:
I'm so glad we had this wonderful, perfect, happy day, because it went downhill from there. After we got back to my house, Supergirl tried to nap and couldn't get comfortable, then had a coughing fit so spectacular it made her throw up. She had a bad night and today she is still feeling poorly, and now my daughter-in-law is congested and has a sore throat. (After all the hugging and hand-holding yesterday, I fear we are all DOOMED.) They have decided to drive home later today instead of tomorrow, so we will wrap up our visit with lunch at our favorite Chinese restaurant before they get on the road. They can be back in the mountains by late tonight, and sleep in their own beds.
So the visit was too short and less than ideal, but we did have a truly lovely day yesterday, and have vowed to get the girls together again soon. When Miss D got home, she reported to her daddy (who had to work yesterday and today) that her cousin is her best friend.
And after lunch at Imperial Dynasty the Asheville family is on their way back to the mountains. It was a fun, if whirlwind, visit - they agreed that next time they won't try to cram so many family visits into too few days - but at least it was a quality short visit.
Murphy is moping.