It was significantly colder today than yesterday. Since we weren’t going to go swimming in this weather, we decided to go out. We went to Old Town Kissimmee, which had, among other things, a small theme park with rides that we hoped Namine could go on.

It’s easy to forget that Namine’s most critical disability is not that which is most visible. It’s not her caudal regression, but rather her heart defect. And even though she’s had the necessary surgeries on her heart to enable her to live a normal life, the potential for heart failure is always there.

For this reason, we’ve always been cautious about the kind of activities Namine participates in. But every one of Namine’s heart tests lately has been more than promising; her cardiologist (along with the entire cardiology team at Children’s Hospital) has given her a clean bill of health. She has their permission to go on park rides — even ones with a heart defect warning sign — as long as she met the height requirements. (And that’s restricting enough as it is, with Namine’s short stature.)


So with cardiology’s newly granted permission, we — that is to say, Namine and I, since Jessica and my aunt don’t do rides — were looking forward to seeing what kind of rides there were. Unfortunately, the cold weather — which, to us, was merely an annoyance — seemed to be a major obstacle to the Floridians. We found the park, but none of the rides were in operation. So we opted instead for walking around, checking out the different stores in what seemed to be a large strip mall.

We came across the largest claw machine we’d ever seen, filled with Despicable Me minions. Jessica tried to win one, but we know very well how stacked against the user these things are.

We found a popcorn store which had more flavors of popcorn than I’d previously have thought possible. Not only cheddar, white cheddar, and caramel, but Tutti Frutti, lobster, blueberry (which Namine loved), and more. We tried several samples, but resorted to the reliable cheddar when it came to buying a bag for ourselves.

In one gift shop, we noticed a large selection of rubber animal masks. Jessica tried on the unicorn. Namine chose the zombie horse (and identified it as such, I don’t even know). The bird head reminded me of the Taheen, so I tried that one on.

On our way back to the car, we found a haunted house. Unfortunately, like so much else there today, it was closed. That didn’t stop us from having some fun in front of it, however.


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