Most of you know from twitter and blogs and facebook that I surprised my two boys with a trip to Disneyworld for their birthdays. Now, first off, the trip was wonderful. There is no way Disney cannot be wonderful. But the first day we arrived was a bit of a challenge, and drove home the lesson I should never, ever forget as a mother.
Expect. The. Unexpected.
Our flight was early so we were up at 4:30am. Of course, no one went to bed at a reasonable hour because we were so excited, and the boys slept in my bed, which I allowed for this special occasion. With two boys and a dog, well, needless to say no sleep for me.
First the plane, then the bus, then on to the hotel. No one had eaten except for a bag of animal crackers on the plane. So, when we finally got to our hotel, and waited in line for almost an hour to check in, everyone was a bit cranky. Cranky and Disney don’t mix, but don’t blame us too much. I was not well prepared and forgot to pack the lone banana or snacks more organized moms pack. I just grabbed my Kindle, my suit, and took off with the kids.
Now, my husband is a bit of a drill sergeant when it comes to vacation. He doesn’t want to miss anything, so he times us on our events, and his plan for the first day was to hit SeaWorld. We clashed a bit when I told him we needed to sit and eat and go to our hotel room, because that would take up precious time at Sea World. Of course, when my son cried because I wouldn’t buy him the very first toy he saw in the very first aisle, he finally agreed. They were having breakdowns from overexcitement and no food.
We got our disney dining plan, sat at the restaurant and fed ourselves. Then walked
to the hotel, which was miles away from the lobby because I wanted to save $9.99 per night. Stupid, now I know that. Note to self for future. Of course, we did something terrible on the way.
We walked past the pool.
I have learned from family vacations that the pool surpasses everything else. Everything. Mickey Mouse, incredible rides, celebrities, food, toys, games and prizes. They just want the frikkin pool. Even if there’s nothing by it, just a simple round circle of water. They want it.
My husband urged them forward, barking orders that there will not be any pool until we properly see the amazing wonderful Sea World. I promised the kids when we got back they could go swimming, and we changed, then walked miles back to the lobby to take a half hour taxi ride to Sea World.
By then, we noticed it was hot. Too hot. We weren’t in shorts, and we waited in line forever for SeaWorld. By the time we got to the counter, my husband showed an ID to get in for a big discount, and they asked for my ID.
Well, I had my tiny walking purse with no id. The guy at the desk said without my ID, I would have to pay an extra $100.
This caused a problem. With my husband. As he yelled at me and waved his arms, my boys started begging about the pool, and we all had mini meltdowns at the gate. After about fifteen minutes of chaos, the man at the gate let me in because honestly, he couldn’t take our crap any longer. We had asked to talk to a manager, and I wanted him to log onto my facebook page so he could verify who I was. My suggestion to use social media seemed to disgust him further, and we were holding up the line, so he waved us in with a good riddance.
OK, onward to wonderful SeaWorld.
As we walked through the gate, my contact lens popped out. I have dailies, so when I searched my purse for my spare, I realized my little walking one did not have any. I was therefore half blind and could hardly see, but then my husband freaked out some more about me going back and being unprepared, so I decided to just go with it and divorce him later. I closed one eye and made my way around the park for the rest of the day looking like an idiot and not really focusing on anything.
We wanted to see a dolphin show, which my boys dragged their feet on, but we forced them. Then we fed the sea otters, which was my favorite experiment. Now, at this point, we made our way around the park but the boys kept chattering about going home to the pool, and they didn’t want to see the big whale show, and the rest of the day ended in a bad blur of time.
We walked for hours and didn’t see anything.
I know this sounds stupid, but if you ever went with your family to a big park, this sometimes happens. Bathroom breaks, water breaks, ice cream breaks, wrong turns, long lines, and after many hours, you realize you saw only two things.
We got out, took the cab back to the hotel, and collapsed by the pool.
Of course, by this time the temperature had dropped so we were all a bit cold and the only thing that saved me was the pool bar where I quickly spent a million dollars for two beers and anything that could deaden the pain.
As I said, it got better. We had a wonderful time, but on the final day, my four year old said the following words to me:
“Mommy, I’m so tired of fireworks and parades. When are we going home?”
Oh. My. God. He wanted to go home. Blase and tired at the age of four. What have we done?
My older son agree and they were happy to fly away from Disney on our final day.
My husband and I decided to look at it differently. Somehow, we must be doing our job right. They rather be in their own home, with their family, rather than Disneyworld. Does it get any better than that?
Nope. Not really. Home is a wonderful thing, and we officially tired them out from vacation.
But next time, I swear I’m spending the first day by the pool and skipping the whole mess.
Come share with me. Don’t leave me alone. Tell me about your family vacations. Disasters? Expectations not met? Click on the number at the top!