Sunday, April 17, 2011

Family Vacation

I can't help but sing "Holiday Road" today as my family prepares to embark on the pilgrimage known as The Family Vacation. There is something so horrible and wonderful in those words. We are avid travelers, and avid travelers with our children, so the idea of being in a car for hours on end is nothing new, or dreaded. This will be our first vacation as a family of four, though, so it will be a new dynamic.

Our adventure will take us to Orlando, Florida, which also happened to be the location of the first family vacation I remember as a child. I'm not positive how old I was, but I believe I was almost four as the vacation includes some of my first memories. It was my first plane ride and I remember the blue and green shag carpet in our hotel room. We also went to the beach and collected a million seashells.
My mother and I hunting for seashells. I love my dad's foot in this photo!
It was also my first and only visit to Walt Disney World. I vividly remember It's a Small World. I also remember my dad telling us a story of riding a roller coaster (Space Mountain?) with my brother. As they rode through the mountain part Dad could hear a kid screaming and elbowed my brother, "Wow, listen to that kid!" Turns out the kid crying was my brother. (I will note that my brother heartily refutes this story).

My most poignant memory of Disney World was my encounter, or lack there of, with Mickey Mouse. My main objective was to meet Mickey Mouse. I was still young enough to be riding in a stroller and after searching for that dodgy mouse for a very long time we finally came across him. I could see him in the distance like a shining beacon of happiness. My parents quickly motored my stroller towards him, but it seemed like we were moving through molasses and everything slowed in motion. He turned, we made eye contact. The moment was nearly here. And then, without so much as a wave, Mickey turned and went in to a building. I was crushed, and have clearly never recovered. And like a good fishing story, this one grows a little each time I tell it.

Unequivocal joy. Taken somewhere in Florida, possibly Disney World
I remember returning home with Mickey Mouse ears that were embroidered with my name...and that I wouldn't take off. But the best memory of all is the pure joy that this adventure brought to me. There was nothing better than flying away with my family for a respite from the everyday. I only hope that my children's memories are half as sweet.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I hope Disney World is as empty as it was when we were there!! Have fun!! :)