Tuesday, February 23, 2016

On Going Back to Disney World

Aboard the Disney Magic

We just got back from a trip to Disney World: three days at the parks, and a three day Disney cruise to Disney's private island in the Bahamas. It was fabulous for far too many reasons to list, but if you really want to hear them, I'll tell you them all. Seriously, our list of negatives included approximately three items, one of which was an overly-attentive server at the adults only restaurant, who was required to be so attentive because they included so many free extra courses with our meal. Among the many positives: the weather was better than the weather in Boston, we had very little wait times thanks to well-planned Fast Passes, the kids were old enough for all the rides they wanted to go on and could handle all the walking, the many engaging activities and shows on the ship, the fact that I couldn't check my email for three whole days, and, most especially, continuous uninterrupted time with my three favorite people. Well, except for the parts when the kids got to experience a little independence and do their own things on the ship. But then we had fun texting them.

I sang pop songs with abandon, and I danced. I sang princess songs too. I can't stop singing Frozen's "In Summer" since we've returned.

I survived "scary" rides. I even laughed during the Tower of Terror. 

I took more pictures than I realized. I took videos. On our last trip, I had a Blackberry. iPhones have changed everything.

Before we left, I was doing a lot of comparing the upcoming trip to the one we took when the kids were 5 and 1. That was such a great trip, too. I will never forget Hannah's sweet voice, from the darkened backseat of the car as we left the hotel for the airport, "it was a really good four days, Mommy." Now, I can remember Max saying something similar at the end of this trip.

I couldn't help comparing the two trips because I was in such a similar emotional state to when we'd last gone to Disney, a state I described in this post, which became the genesis for The Having It All Project. While I've had some time off and trips, the last "real" vacation we took was in December 2013, our jam-packed trip to Israel. We've still been spending time moving back into the house post-renovation (and we'll still be doing that for quite a while). The kids are busier than ever. The economy is lousy and work has been stressful. Situations with family and friends have weighed heavy on my mind and heart. February descended, bringing snow and extreme cold, and I was growing ever more certain that our lousy February luck was going to come back and derail everything again. But that string of lousy February's was why we'd planned the trip in the first place. We needed to break the cycle. Thank goodness we did.

Aboard the ship, there's one themed night, a pirate party. Bandannas are left in your room, some people dress in costume, but basically it's a chance for another dance party on the top deck of the ship, ending with fireworks. The characters are brought out, Mickey saves us all from Captain Hook, and there's more of that dancing and singing with abandon. Marc, Hannah and I stayed together, but Max ran around the deck, sword fighting with some kid he'd just met, flush with independence. As the fireworks began, he came back to me, and put his arm around my waist, leaning in to watch the lights. I was completely in the moment. All of the stress I'd felt just a few days ago must have been left back on the shore.

It's the first time I've left a trip to find myself sitting in the airport, strategizing about how and when we could do it all again. Hopefully, it won't be too long.