3:30 a.m.: Running water. This is the sound that filters through the paper-thin walls and into my ears as I laid awake in my pullout bed. An uncomfortable pullout bed, might I add. The type of pullout bed that sags under your weight and makes your neck muscles whine with soreness the next morning. The type of bed that is even worse when you have to share it with your snoring mother. Maybe this is why it was so easy for me to wake up to the sound of my grandpa taking a nice, long shower. It was too early in the morning to question why my gramps decided to be the first one on the east coast to bathe, so I closed my eyes and tried to get another hour of sleep before the inevitable early morning wake up time.
3:45 a.m.: Apparently a shower wasn't good enough for my grandpa. He needed to stroll around the resort we were staying at too. Little did he know that in the room he was staying in, the other occupants in the suite he shared which included his wife, his daughter, and his two grandchildren, did not have insomnia and were trying to sleep. As quietly as he could, he creeped out from the adjoining room next door and out the main entrance of our suite. When he learned the buffet room wasn't open for another few hours, he made a noisy entrance. By then sleep was just a figment of our imagination.
4:30 a.m.: Alarms of all kinds collaborated and screamed out to us in a deranged symphony declaring that it was time to wake up. I'm the first one in the bathroom, the first one dressed, and the first one to eat the Publix crumb cakes my mom bought so we wouldn't have to stop anywhere for breakfast. Who cares if they tasted like cardboard boxes? No one else was as eager as I was, and no one else had a game plan buzzing around in their brain, so it took all of the energy I didn't have because it was so damn early to get everyone prepped and out of the door.
Me: "Make sure you all have your magic bands on, because we aren't coming back here again. We need to leave right now so hurry it up please."
Mom: "Drop the attitude, let me put my makeup on."
Brother: "It's just one ride no one cares."
Grandma: "Why hasn't anyone played me on Words With Friends yet?"
Grandpa: "Conversations in an elevator are great. You can raise them to an entirely new level."
5:40 a.m.: The wait for an Uber driver was long, and frigid, because Florida decided that today would be the day to set the early morning temperature to 40 degrees. My brother and grandfather had the chills and waited it out inside the lobby, so that left my mom, grandma, and myself to wave down the driver. It wouldn't be long before we would all be subjugated to shoulder-to-shoulder claustrophobia horror.
6:00 a.m.: By the time we arrived there were already hundreds of people in front of us crowding near the gate. We secured a space within that crowd and started to see (and feel) more and more people squeezing around us. The feeling of that many people being corralled like cattle in a rather confined space was a bit overwhelming, and quite hot since we were all bundled up in jackets and sweatshirts, but eventually the park opened thirty minutes later and everyone streamlined towards the Galaxy's Edge entrance. I don't feel too bad about not letting my brother go use the restroom, or else I don't think we would have ever seen him again.
7:00 a.m.: This is it. The moment I've been strategically planning since my brother and I were gifted this trip during Christmas. The whole crowd was frantically refreshing their Disney Experience apps on their phones right before the boarding groups were available. Once the clock hit 7:01 a.m. I was able to frantically press all the right buttons, hoping and praying that my fingers were fast enough to secure a spot. I was literally trying to use the force to make sure good data connection was on my side.
And there it was. In nice bold lettering on my phone, with a little droid zipping around, my family and I were secured in boarding group 33. The anticipation and nerves I felt since the night before melted away in one giant exhale, and I immediately knew that everything leading up to that moment was deemed worth it.