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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.

Moving On - 39. Chapter 39

Scott, Noah, and Zach's trip continues, and they finally head to their 'mysterious' destination...

Chapter Thirty-Nine

A Magical Vacation


After we got settled in the condo my brother and his wife shared in downtown Baltimore, and Ethan suggested we walk down to the Inner Harbor and explore a bit. Noah insisted Zach stay in his stroller as we walked the few blocks, since there was enough car and foot traffic to make us nervous. Zach wasn't a happy camper and whined a bit, but behaved after I announced we couldn't go since someone was being bratty and turned around to walk back to the condo. Suddenly, Zach wanted nothing more than to ride in his stroller. Emma and Ethan stared at our scene in mild disbelief.

As we continued, Emma asked me, "That trick actually works?"

"I don't know… that was the first time I actually tried it. We've told Zach in the past that if he started running off without holding a hand we'd leave, but we never hit the point where we felt like we needed to leave to prove a point before. I don't know what we would've done had he called my bluff," I confessed.

"Yes, you do. We would've gone back up to our place and found something to do there. Then maybe a little later, we'd try again. How hard has it been to be a parent?"

"Other than a few minor tantrums, it's been a piece of cake. I'm surprised how quickly Zach took to me, and it's clear he does view me as his father."

"Any disagreements with Noah as to how to raise Zach? I imagine it's hard for a parent to relinquish control to someone else."

"Not really, but Noah's only had supervised visitations, so he was as experienced as I was at being a full-time parent. Basically, he let Zach walk all over him, because it was the only time the two of them had together. I think if he'd already had full custody when we met there would've been a lot more tension regarding Zach between us, and it would've been harder for me to feel like it was appropriate for me to act like a parent to him. Why the questions?"

"I don't know, I'm just curious, I guess," Emma answered vaguely, but I could tell there was more on her mind. I didn't push it.

We enjoyed walking around the tacky, touristy stores that make up the Inner Harbor, and my stomach was doing back-flips every time we walked past one of the many fresh seafood restaurants that filled the area. We bought some fresh-made fudge and ate it while watching a street magician/juggler perform. Zach was almost more enthralled by the show than he was in the fudge, and I was glad we had plenty of napkins to clean him up. Ethan got a phone call, and announced it was time for dinner. Glancing at my watch, I realized we had missed lunch, and except for a small snack, and the fudge, we hadn't eaten since the morning. I was impressed that Zach had behaved better than normal, considering how hungry he had to be.

We walked to one of the nicer seafood restaurants, and I was shocked to see my parents.

"Surprise!" Dad said, as Zach raced to give his grandparents a hug. The rest of us followed suit, with Noah and Dad awkwardly trying to decide between a hug and a handshake before settling on a brief hug.

"What are you guys doing here? Not that I'm complaining or anything," I asked.

"We haven't had a chance to see Ethan or Emma in a while, and we never get to see you often enough. We figured we'd just pop over for dinner," Mom said.

"What's this I hear about a surprise trip?" Dad asked.

"Papa won't tell us where we're going, but they all think I know, but I don't," Zach explained.

"It was originally going to be just the three of us, but as I was looking into everything, I thought it might be nice to be able to go out once or twice without a child in tow. It'll be good to take a trip with Eth and Em. They're welcome to tag along with us, or do their own thing," I said.

"It'll be awesome to spend time with my favorite nephew and chillax," Ethan said, ruffling Zach's hair.

"Really, I'm your favorite?" Zach asked excitedly.

"Of course, dude."

"You talk funny," Zach said with a giggle.

"That he does," Dad said with a laugh.

I wanted to remind Zach he was Ethan's only nephew, but I realized the point would be lost on him.

We had an excellent dinner, and I even got Zach to try some of the 'gross' seafood, which he liked, but not as much as his chicken fingers. Little by little, I was opening his eyes to food, and he wasn't nearly as picky of an eater as either my brother or I had been at his age. When we were finished, we said goodbye to my parents again, but not before they made tentative plans to visit in the fall. I wasn't sure how reliable the plans were, since my parents had a tendency to overextend themselves, but I hoped they'd make the trip.

We walked back to Emma and Ethan's, and relaxed in the living room while watching a movie. I was a bit jealous when Zach cuddled up between Emma and Ethan, but it let Noah and I curl up unhindered by a child, which was a nice change of pace. Zach fell asleep during the movie, and as Noah and I got him ready for bed, Noah voiced his growing sexual frustrations.

"Damn, I guess he's sleeping with us tonight. I'm getting desperate babe, when are we going to get some alone time?"

"I know, it sucks having to share a room with Zach, but I'm not really comfortable screwing around at other people's houses anyway. That's part of the reason I wanted someone to be able to watch Zach while we're at – on vacation."

"Aha! You almost slipped there! C'mon, tell me where we're going, please?" Noah begged. "I'll make it worth your while," he added seductively.

"Your squirming already as it is, babe," I told him with a laugh. "Besides, it's only another day."

Noah did his best fake-pout before kissing me. "You're right. I think if you told me at this point, it'd just feel anticlimactic. I will figure it out before we get there, I promise. New Zealand?"

"Nope, still no passport, and it's winter there."

"Hmm, the Virgin Islands?"

"Actually not a bad guess, considering what you have to work with, but wrong. We're going south, but we're still going to be on the mainland."

"Ok, I give up for now, then. I'll get it, I swear."

"Sure you will, babe," I said, giving him a kiss.

We stayed up and talked with Emma and Ethan a bit longer before heading to bed. That night, we slept with Zach curled up between us. I know it's not healthy for kids to always sleep with their parents, but I could definitely get used to sleeping like that.

The next day, we spent more time exploring the Inner Harbor, and went to the aquarium there. Zach got a kick out of the giant shark tank, but it was a little underwhelming for Noah and I after having recently gone to the much larger one in Atlanta. After we had finished at the aquarium, we returned to Emma and Ethan's, where we all relaxed. We had had a busy few days, and the next week would be even more filled with activity. Noah and I played with our son while Emma and Ethan packed, and we all turned in early to make sure we were well rested.

– – – * * * – – –

Bright and early, we all piled, half-asleep into the rental car – except for Zach, who was apparently not ready to wake up yet. After returning the car, I checked us in with the airline. As I handed out the boarding passes, Emma and Ethan's faces lit up.

"I knew it!" Emma said excitedly. "I told you!"

They did exactly as I had previously asked, and didn't actually say where we were going. Noah realized that the boarding pass would reveal the city, and stared at it.

"Ok, I get 'BWI' now, but where's 'MCO'. Is there some city like 'McColt' I've never heard of that's really exciting or something?" he asked after a moment. I felt like smacking my head, since in smaller print under the city code, it clearly said the destination city.

"Remember how I said some airport codes are based on former names, like O'Hare is 'ORD' for Orchard Field? Well 'MCO' stands for McCoy Air Force Base, which is now Orlando International Airport," I told him, gently.

"We're going to a city in central Florida? This is the surprise? I was expecting someplace really exciting, like maybe Miami Beach or something," Noah said, sounding a little disappointed.

I let out an exasperated sigh, and both Emma and Ethan looked like they were about to explode trying to not to blurt out the destination. I took a deep breath and wrapped my arms around Noah's waist.

"You're either thinking way too hard about it, or not hard enough; I can't tell which. Let's see if I can give one last hint you might actually get," I said kissing him gently on the lips, not caring who saw. "Noah Abrams, you make me feel like I just won the Super Bowl. Where do you think we're going?"

It was fun watching his eyes as they transitioned from mildly annoyed to confused. The moment he realized where we were going was obvious; it was as if fireworks had gone off in his golden orbs. If it wasn't clear he had gotten the hint at that point, the change in his face was almost immediately followed by him jumping up and down excitedly and half-shouting, "We're going to Disney World?!"

I couldn't help but laugh as I rubbed my ears. "Not if we get arrested for making a scene in the line for security."

"What's going on?" a small voice asked from Emma's arms, where Zach had been sleeping before his father's outburst.

"Remember the place on the DVD that you wanted to go to?" I asked.

Zach nodded sleepily.

"Well we're getting on a plane that's going to take us there."

"Oh, ok," he responded simply.

My disappointment in Zach's lack of a reaction must have been noticed by Noah who rubbed my back.

"Don't worry; Zach will be thrilled once we actually get there. I'm so excited, this is better than any of my guesses! I always wanted to go as a kid, but we never had the money. I can't wait!"

Apparently, one flight was all it took for a lot of the novelty to wear off, as Noah, and even Zach to an extent, grumbled like seasoned travelers at the slow-moving line and general nuisance of getting through security.

As we waited at the gate, Ethan finally noticed the second surprise I had for him and Emma. "Bro, this has to be a mistake. My ticket says 'first class'."

"Nope, that's not a mistake. I'm really glad you're coming with us, and figured it would be a nice surprise. You said you two would pay your share, but the tickets are on me."

"You really didn't have to do that," Emma said. "Let me guess, the return trip is first class as well?"


"Then why don't you and Noah take our seats for the flight down; I'm sure you can use the quiet time. Ethan and I will sit with Zach."

"Are you sure?" I asked.

"Yeah, it'll be like a practice run for when we have kids. If things really fall apart, we can always call you back to help."

I told Noah about the change of plans, and he was excited about trying first class, but we decided to get Zach's input as well.

"How would you like to ride with your aunt and uncle," Noah asked the boy.

Zach did his usual chin-tapping as he decided, then with a big grin announced that it would be fun. Now awake and full of energy, he began incessantly babbling to the two, who tried their best to keep up. Noah reminded them to make sure Zach went to the bathroom before boarding, and I did the same as they announced boarding for first class. Noah and I settled into our comfy seats and were given complimentary drinks. A few minutes later, Emma, Ethan, and Zach walked by. Of course he had to stop and fill is in on what we had missed in that brief time, and Emma and Ethan already seemed slightly frazzled trying to corral the tyke.

The three-hour flight was fantastic, and Noah and I felt relaxed as we landed. Personally, I chalked it up to having actual arm and leg room, but as Noah put it, the free booze didn't hurt.

– – – * * * – – –

We were in the first group off the plane, yet another of those little perks, and we were both a little impatient as we waited on the others. Emma looked like hell as she carried Zach, whimpering in her arms, and Ethan didn't look too much better. When they approached, Zach wordlessly reached out to his father.

"What's wrong, little buddy?" I asked.

Zach just shook his head, buried in the crook of Noah's neck.

Noah leaned over to me and whispered in my ear, "Did we pack a change of clothes for Zach in a carryon? I think someone made an 'oopsie'."

"Actually, I put them in your backpack," I told him. Noah took Zach into the bathroom while the three of us waited.

"Did you take Zach to the bathroom before we took off?" I asked Ethan.

"No, he said he didn't have to go. Of course as soon as we started taxiing to the runway, he loudly announced he had to go. By the time they turned off the seatbelt sign, it was too late. I took him back and cleaned him up as best as I could."

"Why didn't you get one of us?"

"I didn't think you'd be able to do anything. At least it was just poop and he wasn't stuck sitting in a wet seat the whole flight. We tried to cheer him up most of the flight. It worked for the most part, but that shit is exhausting."

I couldn't help but laugh at both his statement and their predicament. "You wanted a trial run," I said teasingly, "and you just learned two important lessons. The first is that a child is always hungry, and always has to go to the bathroom, whether they admit it or not. I've learned to just tell him to try, and most of the time he actually has to."

"What's the second lesson?" Emma asked.

"Always, and I mean always have a spare change of clothes. Between food, mud, and accidents, that kid goes through so many clothes it's ridiculous. You should ask him about how he helped paint his bedroom," I said with a laugh.

"Still, I feel bad. I mean, we were responsible for Zach for three hours and we screwed up. How are we going to handle a kid of our own?" Emma asked, a little more panicked than I felt the situation warranted.

"Don't worry; you'll be great when the time comes. Zach really took a shine to both off you. These are lessons that you either learn the hard way or you over-prepare for. In my case, I was lucky, and Noah learned most of the tricks the hard way for me, and I've taken advantage of his knowledge. It's still trial and error, though, and I'm sure we've done far from a perfect job."

"If you say so," Emma said, not quite convinced.

Just then, a blur appeared out of nowhere and wrapped itself around Emma's legs.

"I'm all clean now! Daddy said I'm still a little stinker though," Zach said.

"I have one stubborn son," Noah said as he joined us. "I tried to just change his underwear, but he saw the other clothes and insisted on changing his whole outfit."

That was when I noticed my boyfriend was wearing different clothes as well.

"And why did you change?" I asked with a grin.

"Because someone noticed I had spare clothes as well, and thought it would be funny. He really wanted me to get you to see if you had a change of clothes, too."

"Um, I don't?" I said with a wink. "See, it's all about rolling with the punches," I added to Emma.

As we walked to the baggage claim, Zach was back to his usual self, which made me glad. I was worried it might have ruined his whole vacation, a concern I voiced to Noah.

"It was just embarrassment, mostly, I think. He was also worried we'd be mad at him, or that his aunt and uncle wouldn't think he was a big boy. He did tell me how Emma and Ethan handled the situation – well in his own way – and I think they performed brilliantly, other than not asking us if we had spare clothes for him. Poor boy, he must've been so uncomfortable," Noah responded.

"Make sure you tell Emma that. She seems to feel like she irreparably screwed up, and is taking it harder than she should. I have no idea why, though."

We got our bags and new rental car, and were quickly on our way. Emma got Zach singing a few of the songs from Disney movies, and we all got a little more into it than we should have. I caught Ethan's eyes once in the mirror, and we shared looks of mild embarrassment. I figured it was ok, though; between a four-year-old and the fact that Disney World seems to bring out everyone's inner-child.

When we passed under the huge archway to the resort, Zach's eyes became as wide as saucers when Noah pointed out the giant Mickey and Minnie on either side of it. We pulled into the Contemporary Resort, where the woman at the front desk loudly asked in Zach's direction if a special someone was celebrating his fifth birthday. He had been trying to take everything in and was his own little world, but upon hearing the word 'birthday', he was suddenly paying full attention.

"Me, me, meeee! I am!!" he shouted excitedly while jumping up and down, which caused the rest of us to laugh. With only one child in the group, it was obvious to everyone who the birthday boy was.

"Oh boy, how exciting," she said, enthusiastically. I immediately realized that I could never work in customer service. I was excited about celebrating Zach's birthday with him, but I knew I would not be able to fake the same level of excitement for complete strangers. "And what's your name?"

He told her, and I gave the appropriate spelling. She walked around the counter and knelt in front of Zach, pinning a button on his shirt.

"Make sure you wear this whenever you go out while you're visiting us," she said. "That way, everyone here will know it's your birthday. Happy Birthday, Zach."

She continued to check us in, and was delighted to find out that neither Noah nor Zach had been to Disney World before. When she was finished, she handed me two buttons commemorating their first visit, before introducing us to the bellman who would escort us to our adjoining rooms.

By the time we hit the room, Zach had hit sensory overload. Between all the little details everywhere, the monorail that appeared to crash straight through middle of the hotel, and all the hustle and bustle, he was quietly grasping Noah's shorts and sucking his hand while he tried his best to take it all in. Inside the room, the bellman opened our blinds with a flourish, giving us an amazing view of the Magic Kingdom, wishing Zach a happy birthday in a manner that seemed completely genuine, before leaving with a sizeable tip. We had only been there thirty minutes, and it was already a vacation to remember.

The week was a blur of activity. On our first trip to the Magic Kingdom, the monorail pilot, as we discovered he was called, noticed Zach's buttons, and asked if we wanted to ride up front. We immediately bought Zach an autograph book, and told him to get as many autographs from Disney characters as he could. It didn't work as planned, though, since Zach was far more interested in getting hugs and pictures with the Disney characters than he was in getting autographs. Noah and I sheepishly accepted the assignment, although our inner five-year-olds didn’t mind asking Cinderella, Mickey, and the rest of the characters for their autographs at all, once we got over feeling a bit creepy doing so.

An Ewok outside of the Star Tours ride was the only cast member that wouldn't sign. It was cute as he stared at it before trying to eat it or wear it as a hat, but also frustrating, since I just wanted his damn autograph. Zach thought it was hilarious, however, and talked about it for several days, so I guess it was worth the frustration. When we met Buzz and Woody from Toy Story, I decided to try something I'd read online, but try as I might, they didn't flop to the ground when I yelled "Andy's coming!" I'm not sure if it was an urban legend that the employees did so, or if it was simply a discontinued policy. Zach was completely star-struck meeting them, especially when they wished him a happy birthday, since we had watched the movie in our room the night before.

Noah and I took advantage of a couple of 'adult days' by taking a few behind-the-scenes tours that were neat, and went out to a few nightclubs unencumbered by Zach. We also took full advantages of those nights, since Zach even slept in Emma and Ethan's room, as our sex life had taken a serious hit while away from home.

I wanted to take Noah to a nice romantic dinner, but had no idea what all was offered, so I went to the hotel's concierge desk, where a very helpful gentleman named Bobby emphatically insisted the Queen Anne dining room at Victoria and Albert's, a five-star restaurant in one of the resorts, had the most romantic atmosphere and would be a perfect choice. He warned me that reservations were difficult to come by, especially last minute, but after several minutes of emphatic typing, frowning and a hushed phone call, he beamed when he said he was able to squeeze us in. To this day, I have no clue what strings he pulled, but when we arrived, we were immediately greeted by name and quickly escorted to a quiet table in the corner. We were treated like celebrities by the staff; it was truly a magical and romantic experience I will always treasure.

That evening, my head was hanging over the side of the bed while Noah lovingly thrust into me. As I felt him explode inside of me, the sky burst into color as the nightly firework show began. I blinked as my own orgasm took hold of me, unsure if I was seeing something. It was indeed the most magical place on earth.

Most days, the five of us went around as a group. Whenever someone wanted to ride something Zach wasn't quite tall enough for, Emma was quick to volunteer to spend time with the boy. Noah and I each tried to object at times, but she held firm. Finally, I asked her why when we met up with the two after riding the Tower of Terror.

"Duh, Papa, the sign says she can't ride!" Zach offered as explanation.

I looked at him a bit incredulously and crossed my arms. "Oh, and what does the sign say?" I asked him.

Zach gave a frustrated sigh, and grabbed my hand, pulling me to the ride's sign. "See, right there it says 'No people with bad tickers or pregnant ladies allowed'."

That's not exactly what the sign said, but I got his point. I glanced at Emma with an astonished look.

"Don't be so surprised, babe. I had a feeling after the incident at the airport," Noah said to me, before turning to Emma. "So when are you due?"

"January twelfth. I'm really surprised I haven't started showing yet, but my hormones have been going ballistic. At least Zach is helping me prove to myself that I'll be a good mommy."

"Both of you will be fantastic parents," I said, having recovered from the news Zach gave. Noah and I hugged them both, happy for their descent into parenthood. Not to be left out, Zach had to give everyone hugs, too.

Zach's fifth birthday went spectacularly, and he had the time of his life. We started with a character breakfast and got to meet Winnie the Pooh and his friends. Zach’s favorite thing at breakfast was mouse-shaped chocolate-chip waffles. I made a mental note to figure out where my waffle iron had disappeared to, since I hadn't used it in ages, knowing he’d request more once we got home.

After the breakfast we went on all of Zach's favorite rides, hopping from park to park. I lost count of how many times we rode Dumbo, and rode the teapots until I felt sick, but Zach was happily giggling away and having a ball. For nearly two hours, Zach happily explored the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Playground, even though he had spent an hour there the day before. One highlight that didn't get old was we rode the safari ride again at the Animal Kingdom. Each time he saw an animal, it was once again his favorite of the trip. Of course, each animal sighting was accompanied with a barrage of questions from the boy, which we did our best to answer. We went to see Cirque du Soleil that evening; Zach insisted on wearing his suit. Between the events of the day, and the fact the show was a little too grown-up for him, he quickly fell asleep. As we tucked him into bed that night, he tiredly thanked us for the 'bestest' birthday ever. It had been, and I'd lost count of the number of times complete strangers had wished Zach a happy birthday. I briefly wondered if we would ever be able to top it.

– – – * * * – – –

The end of the week approached before any of us were ready, and the mood in our room was a little somber as we packed everything back up. I think the reality of school beginning in a few days had hit Noah, and he seemed a little tenser than I expected. Back at the airport, we bade farewell to Emma and Ethan, who were flying directly back to Baltimore. Zach had really bonded with them, and there were a few tears shared between him and Emma.

Once we boarded the plane, Noah began grumbling. He complained about everything from the traffic to the cramped quarters on the plane. "I don't think I can ever fly in coach again after riding in first class," he finally said.

"You've only flown twice, and it's only for like ninety minutes. You know it's like three times the price for the upgrade, right?"

"Yeah, but we can afford it," Noah responded.

I was a little glad he said 'we', but I still wasn't happy with his statement.

"Sure, we can afford it, but you have to decide if it's worth it. If we start traveling often enough that we build up frequent-flyer miles, then we can fly first class whenever we want, but as nice as it is, it's expensive, and there are many things I'd rather spend my money on, or save up for."

"I guess you're right," Noah conceded.

I put my hand on his knee and squeezes lightly. "Is everything ok? You seem tenser than the previous flights and a little cranky. It sucks when a vacation ends, but you have to admit it'll be nice to get back to our routine."

"Maybe for you," he responded glumly. "As soon as we go back, I'm going to be starting classes. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about that, but it's going to take time away from you and Zach, which I'm not exactly thrilled about. I'm also worried I won't be any good or I'll be in over my head."

"For someone who's so laid back most of the time, you certainly know how to stress out," I said gently with a little chuckle. Noah merely offered me a weak smile.

"Remember the other week, when I had to pretty much lock myself in the bedroom to get anything done? You'll find a way."

"Yeah, but you also found some time each day to spend time with us."

"Exactly, it’s all about finding the balance. It may take us a couple weeks, but I'm sure you'll figure something out. The best part about online classes is that you can fit them around your schedule. I've been planning on trying to work on a more set-schedule anyway, so maybe you can plan on doing all your work at that time."

"Hmm, that could work," Noah said, finally beginning to relax a little.

"For the record, I'm sure you'll do fantastic. I can help you with some things if you have issues, and I know a few people who can help if I can't. This is a big change, so some stress is understandable, but remember that all Zach will see is his father upset about something."

"Yeah, you're right," he said firmly, seeming to snap out of his funk. "Did you have a good time, Zachy?"

As Zach rambled on about how awesome our week at Disney had been, it wasn't until the engines roared to life and we propelled down the runway that I even noticed we were moving.

– – – * * * – – –

We arrived back in Atlanta without incident. As we arrived at baggage claim, I texted Tom and managed to find him without any issues. Noah climbed in the backseat with Zach. I was confused when Tom flew past our usual exit from the highway.

"Umm, you missed the exit," I told him.

"No I didn't. I have a surprise for you; it'll only take a few minutes."

Surprises are very unlike Tom. He doesn't like change, and is fairly set in his routine. Actually, I was impressed how easily he rolled with the punches the past several weeks as everything around us seemed to be turned upside down.

A few minutes later, he exited the highway, and after a handful of turns, he came to a stop in front of a large house on a quiet street in Midtown. If I hadn't driven through the subdivisions of mansions in Buckhead, I might have confused this for one, but it was still 'just' a very large house.

"Well, what do you think?" Tom asked expectantly.

"About what? It's a nice house, but I'm ready to go home," Noah said from the back.

I looked at the house again before Tom responded, and I noticed a 'for sale' sign for the first time.

"Are you hinting that Noah and I should talk about upgrading to a bigger house?" I asked.

"No, but now that you mention it, you may want to consider it. It is a buyer's market, after all," Tom said. "Actually, I wanted to know what you thought about it… for me."

"What?" Noah asked loudly from the backseat.

I took a moment to collect my thoughts. "Tom, that's a lot of house for just one person. It looks great on the outside, and I'm sure it's nice inside, but still…"

"I know it's way more than I need. I was talking to my mom, and she really liked the idea of me finding a place with an apartment that she could use. She wants her and Dad to be able to visit whenever they want and not intrude. She even went so far as to hint that they've been considering buying a condo in town. I was shocked, but this was the smallest house Suze could find me with a separate apartment that didn't need a total renovation to be livable."


"Oh, right, that was after you and Noah left karaoke the other week. We were talking, and it turns out that she's a real estate agent. When you said I should consider a place of my own, I immediately thought of her. She's been fantastic."

"Are you sure you'll be happy here? I'm worried you'll feel lonely in such a large house by yourself."

"That's my biggest concern as well, but the way the house is laid out, I don't need to walk all over it for most day-to-day activities, so I'll probably never even use a lot of the house until my needs change. It's a great price and everything I've been reading shows the housing market is beginning to recover, especially for the larger homes. I'm hoping that even if I don't enjoy living in it, the house will prove to be a strong investment. I'm buying it for nearly a third of what it went for six years ago."

"Can I ask what you're paying?"

"Well, they were asking for one point two, but I got it for a few hundred less than that."

"Wait… one point two what? Million? That's a lot of money," Noah said.

"Not really. When Steve and I moved down here, we looked at a couple houses in Midtown out of curiosity. His parents were willing to help with payments, since we couldn't actually afford it at the time, but we knew there'd be strings attached, and we decided we wanted a place entirely our own. Even at that time, it was hard to find a house in this neighborhood for under a million that didn't require major renovations. We decided we didn't need that much house, and opted to get something we could easily afford," I said. "Do you think you'll be happy here?" I asked Tom.

"I'm certain of it. I can easily walk to pretty much everything, I'm close to lots of places to meet women, and I am a very easy drive to you guys. It's not like I'll be a stranger or anything."

"Well, if you're happy, then I'm happy for you. It's a big step, and the place looks great. Congratulations on being a home owner!" I said happily. "When do you close?"

"In three weeks. I haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do during that time. I was thinking about going back to my parents."

"Well, if you want to stay with us, you're more than welcome," I told him.

"Thanks, but even though you say otherwise, I can't help but feel like I'm getting in the way and taking advantage of your hospitality. I may spend part of the time here, but I definitely want to spend some time with my family. Zach seemed to really be the catalyst, but Mom seems to be mostly back to normal. I wouldn't be surprised if she wanted me to find a place with an apartment just so she could easily spend a lot more time with the little guy."

Tom put the car in gear, and we rode back to the house in silence. It had truly been an excellent two weeks, and a magical vacation to remember, but we were all ready to head back home.

Bobby provided excellent details for this chapter, so THANKS BOBBY!!!!!!!!! Full disclosure: I have not received any monetary compensation from Disney, so I hope it does not appear to be too much like an infomercial. Of course, I'm not opposed to receiving compensation lol.

As always, David did an impecible job editing, and any errors that remain are mine, and mine alone.

Only five more chapters to go!

Moving On is © Copyright Fitz, 2011-2013. All Rights Reserved.
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You wanted to know if I was right in my guess of where they were going to spend the last week of their vacation...I figured it was Walt Disney. I remember the smile on Scotts face and him heading into the study to his laptop after watching the DVD but I didn't want to say anything since you were so careful to leave hints but not the actual destination. I loved Noah's reaction when he found out.. Walt Disney brings out the little kids in all of us I guess. The was a great chapter.

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On 07/29/2013 04:24 PM, Daithi said:
You wanted to know if I was right in my guess of where they were going to spend the last week of their vacation...I figured it was Walt Disney. I remember the smile on Scotts face and him heading into the study to his laptop after watching the DVD but I didn't want to say anything since you were so careful to leave hints but not the actual destination. I loved Noah's reaction when he found out.. Walt Disney brings out the little kids in all of us I guess. The was a great chapter.
Yeah, it was a little more obvious than I'd originally wanted it to be. I knew Noah was going to be guessing and going insane, but I thought it would be cute if Zach got it at once. It wasn't until I was working out exactly how I'd tease everyone that I realized how early I gave it away. I figured it worked as a form of dramatic irony. I always find it interesting how comments left in various places seem very different. On my facebook group, EVERYONE jumped on the 'yay Disney' from the beginning, but it wasn't until the last chapter than anyone even said 'Disney' here, so I decided to keep up the idea of it being a 'secret' even in the comments lol.


Glad you enjoyed!!

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This is such a sweet chapter...bringing back memories of trips to WDW with my own boys .....many smiles and happy tears..........Thanks for the memories......felt as if I had gone with the whole gang...........Mike

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On 07/30/2013 02:25 AM, Ron said:
Fireworks, huh. Greatest place on earth indeed. Too funny.
Glad you enjoyed!
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On 07/30/2013 01:17 AM, flamingo136 said:
This is such a sweet chapter...bringing back memories of trips to WDW with my own boys .....many smiles and happy tears..........Thanks for the memories......felt as if I had gone with the whole gang...........Mike
Glad you enjoyed! Part of the reason I chose Disney as the destination is that I've been there many times and have always had a wonderful time and left with vivid memories. A few of the things came from when I visited WDW when I was around six. I'm still pissed at that ewok all these years later! I've lost the autograph book over the years, but I still have the photo album!
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Where the hell have I been that I missed this sweet chapter? Certainly not on vaca to WDW, lol! :(


I did love reading about their trip b/c it did bring back some memories. I remember walking through the Contemporay Hotel (is that what it's called? I can't remember from the chapter, lol). I remember the monolith. I just think Disney is so magical no matter what age you are. In fact, the last time I was there when my oldest was under a year old, wow, and he just turned twenty-one, holy shit. Anyway...it was magical. I never wanted to leave Orlando! I wanted to move down there just to be close to Disney World. lol


Terrific chapter, Fitz! My mouth was hanging open also when Tom revealed how much he paid for that house. lol


Ok, on to chapter forty.

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On 08/05/2013 02:05 PM, Lisa said:
Where the hell have I been that I missed this sweet chapter? Certainly not on vaca to WDW, lol! :(


I did love reading about their trip b/c it did bring back some memories. I remember walking through the Contemporay Hotel (is that what it's called? I can't remember from the chapter, lol). I remember the monolith. I just think Disney is so magical no matter what age you are. In fact, the last time I was there when my oldest was under a year old, wow, and he just turned twenty-one, holy shit. Anyway...it was magical. I never wanted to leave Orlando! I wanted to move down there just to be close to Disney World. lol


Terrific chapter, Fitz! My mouth was hanging open also when Tom revealed how much he paid for that house. lol


Ok, on to chapter forty.

Hubby and I keep batting around plans to go just the two of us. My parents last went shortly before my 21st birthday and bought me a mickey mouse bottle opener I've had on my keychain ever since. I've been several times, 3 as a kid growing up, once with band in high school, and again in college we got to spend most of the day in the Magic Kingdom after marching in the main street parade since our team was in the Gator Bowl. (Yes, this is the reason why it had to be Disney...everyone who's been has stories like these lol)
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