“It was a cold and wet December day, when I touched the ground at JFK…” I know how you felt, Bono, I know how you felt.
We (me, my husband, and the kids) have been in Disney World (and Universal Studios) for the last six days. It was golden, t-shirt weather. When we got off the plane in DC, a sharp cold wind slapped us hard in the face, and the four year old actually tried to run back onto the plane.
It is always difficult getting back into a work routine after a vacation, but even more so when you are a parent, who works from home. Mixed in with the pile-up of emails, phone messages, and forms to be sent out, are lunches to be packed, bags to be unpacked, and of course, groceries to be bought – I had to put Horizon vanilla milk in my tea today. Revolting!
First of all let me tell you this, I have never really had a hankering to go to any Disney theme park. I’m just not such a theme park kind of girl. I’d rather be hiking to Macchu Picchu, or exploring Marrakech. As a child I never visited any Disney Park, I never actually went through a princess phase (I recently took a Which Princess Are You? test, and got Maleficent – says it all), and when I turned fifteen, I got heavily into the Grunge scene and left-wing politics – not really a Disney state of mind. However, my daughter has been dropping hints about Disney World for sometime, so I thought “why not”, and I have to admit……… it was a blast!! The best thing about Disney World? Seeing the perpetually enormous smiles on your kids’ faces every single day. Here are some high(and low)lights from the trip:
- The people who work at Disney are truly the nicest, happiest, most helpful people on earth, with no exceptions. No one was ever grumpy or snappy with us (except for Grumpy the dwarf, of course).
- We kept encountering a massive group of Brazilian teenagers, who would spontaneously break into song every ten minutes. It felt like we were on a Glee set.
- The kids amazed me with their stamina. We did not use a stroller because, the four year old has not sat down since he was two. Sitting down is not his thing. Those kids must have walked at least ten miles a day. Strong kids. By the way, what’s up with all the people pushing seven year-olds around in strollers at Disney?? Car culture is making us weak.
- Every single ride exits through a gift shop. Every single product is Ammaaaazing!!! Really!!! You have to stay strong, my friend – leave the gift shop, and keep walking, don’t look back.
- The Ghirardelli store in downtown Disney gives you free chocolate. Yes, free chocolate. By the way the Cheapskate Princess blog is an invaluable source of information about that kind of thing.
- The four year old (who looks and acts like a three year old) kept screaming “I want to be first!”, “I don’t want to wait in line”, and also, “I don’t like the people!!!!” because he felt that he ought to be allowed on all rides first. He also looked terrified and crumpled during every ride, but always asked to go again. ???
- HARRY POTTER WORLD. Hogsmeade, Butterbeer, Hippogriffs, Honeydukes, Ollivanders, Diagon Alley, the Knight bus. I think I enjoyed that part more than the kids. Once a geek…
- I felt homesick at Harry Potter World when we walked through Kings Cross Station, and I don’t even like Kings Cross Station!
- I gained disproportionate pleasure from the fact that they labeled sprinkles as ‘hundreds and thousands’ at Florian Fortescue’s Ice Cream Shop, at Diagon Alley. Nice attention to detail.
- The eight year old is better at keeping the four year old happily occupied on planes than I am. On our way back, we were stuck on a stationary plane for hours, waiting for our pilots to arrive from some storm afflicted destination – not a single whine, whimper, or complaint. I see babysitting in her future.
All in all, a pretty fantastic trip. Time to get back to reality now (while wearing socks with ‘hundreds and thousands’ on them of course).