Enjoying the Journey – Returning to Universal Orlando for Family Forward 2014

We had the delight of attending last year’s Family Forward Retreat by Mom It Forward, and we’re going back for this year’s event! This year, we’ve decided to make it a surprise for TJ. His ninth birthday is the Sunday before we leave, so we’ve been teasing him that we’re not getting him any presents – we’re only giving him a card for his birthday. The card, however, will include a “magic ticket” to Universal Orlando Resort and Loews Portofino Bay Hotel for the retreat. (Disclaimer: The retreat is highly subsidized by the sponsors, making it both affordable and amazing.)

TJ's Magic Ticket

The look on his face is going to be priceless, and we’ll be waiting until we’re among our big extended family for his birthday luncheon so everyone can share in the excitement. We plan on taking a video of the reveal so we can capture the moment forever. Last year, TJ celebrated his birthday during the retreat, and he’s been begging to go back ever since!

This year, I hope to make my way through the park without needing my cane to help me walk, but I know our feet will still suffer in the midst of the fun. We came up with a family motto last year that I hope to bring back this year: “Our feet hurt, but it was worth it!

Family Forward - Feet

And that’s what it’s about. Making memories as a family, overcoming challenges together, and enjoying whatever we encounter during the journey – whether it’s minions, riding the Hogwarts Express, swimming, using earplugs for Blue Man Group, or waiting in line to get something to eat. And maybe, just maybe, getting upgraded to a special Despicable Me suite, for which this post is an entry to win!

Christina Gleason (974 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I'm a multiply disabled autistic woman doing my best in this world built for abled people. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including Twitch Sings and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead.


  1. Oh! I love that birthday present! How fun is that? I’m so glad you’ll be back with us for year 2! So much more fun in store! See you in just a few days. And happy birthday to TJ in the meantime.

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