We decided to go on a bit of a whim, and an expensive one at that! But the motivation for a trip just a year after our last visit had deep seeded meaning to our family. January was the cold, snowy reality month when we looked back on our last encounter with the happiest place on earth. The trip was planned for months in advance, reservations made and timed to the T, and the whole thing was tied up with a bow literally, as a Christmas gift to our boys.
Unfortunately, we learned the hard way you can’t plan everything. We did not anticipate our youngest son becoming ill and missing an extra day of school the day before we were to leave on our adventure. At the time I was relieved that he was getting his illness “out of the way” before we embarked. Sadly, that was not to be the case. Instead, he proceeded to get worse and worse and in the end, was sick the entire trip. We attempted to make the best of things by venturing out to the amusement parks each day, leaving late and returning early to our room. Our son has to be among the very few to actually lose weight at Disney, leaving his carefully planned dining program virtually untouched. We limped along enough to say we had a good enough time. But we all returned home feeling a little cheated and defeated, instead of happy and satisfied as we had hoped.
That’s why, last month when we were looking back at that fateful trip, we began thinking more and more about how we left it and it felt more and more like a little grain of sand inside the oyster shell. The longer we thought about it the more we knew we had to act and act now.
So, we embarked on the quickly planned version of our Disney Re-Deaux vacation and as is the case so many times in life, this time we just let it happen around us. We did not plan the trip beyond the transportation and hotel reservations. We did not have any expectations beyond having a good time. We did not stress over anything we didn’t see or ride, but instead made it our quest to go with the flow and enjoy what we did see and do, knowing from experience that you can never have it all.
The result was the best family vacation any of us have ever experienced. While I would never consider Disney a relaxing vacation, we did our best to work in some times of the day to relax a bit between scurrying off to our favorite rides and shows. The lesson I take from all of this is that sometimes planning, while necessary to a point, can take away from other elements of a fun filled vacation creating stress and anxiety to hurry up, get there, don’t be late to your planned event. Instead there is something to be said for allowing it to just happen around you, to expect the kids to be wide-eyed, not in a big hurry and actually stopping to look when they point and say, “Wow, look over there!” Of the two, I recommend the second vacation. And healthy travelers don’t hurt either!