Sunday, March 02, 2008


(Who’s singing the Go-Go’s song?!)

It’s been a long, long time since we had a family vacation. We’ve visited other family members, and, although we love those visits, they do not exactly constitute a vacation. After my sister married, she and David moved to North Carolina and they never lived in our home city again. When they would visit she would often say, “This is not a vacation. It’s hard work to visit family.” I thought she was crazy. How hard could it be? You stay at Mom’s, she cooks for you, you go visit the in-laws, go back to Mom’s… then we’d pop over for a quick chat, then head back home to our own beds. I could not figure out what was so hard about those visits. After three years of “visiting” home, I now know. It’s hard to figure out just the right balance between parents and in-laws and friends and kids’ friends. I love going home; I just didn’t realize it would be so hard.

That’s why I was so excited about our vacation. We’ve been saving for it for about a year and by the time last week rolled around we were ready for a break from school and shoveling the white stuff. So on Tuesday of last week we took off for the happy land of Walt Disney World where we planned to visit three parks and stay on the property for the first time ever. We had packed short-sleeve shirts in the hopes of feeling the sun on our skin for the first time in months; unfortunately the weather had different plans and we wore our coats at Epcot and the Magic Kingdom. But by Friday we were able to shed our protective outer layer and feel warmth on our arms; that was a good, good feeling.

We started out with a Princess Breakfast at Epcot. I think I was more excited than anyone because we saw several of the princesses that are harder to find: Aurora from Sleeping Beauty (who needed a better wig, IMHO) and Mulan. The breakfast was hosted by Belle from Beauty and the Beast and she paid some special attention to Michael which he liked and hated at the same time.

After the Princess Breakfast, Sean’s Aunt Carol and Uncle Bill joined us for the day. They have a condo about two hours away and drove over just to see us. They were super sports, wandering along with us as we attempted to fit in all the rides and countries we wanted to see. Bill carried my backpack all day and that was a huge blessing – I didn’t think it would be as heavy as it was since all I had in it was my wallet and video camera but as the day wore on and one thing after another was added to it, it felt like lead was in the straps.

Long story short, we visited Epcot, the Magic Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios. It was fun. It was exhausting. It was a great family trip. And that is why I haven’t posted in over a week. To my six readers, I apologize and will be posting more in the coming days. Thanks for missing me!

And now, assorted pictures from the week:

The towels on our beds were arranged like Mouse ears, which Amy liked.

We saw Pooh, Piglet, Tigger and Eeyore at the Magic Kingdom.

Jasmine from Aladdin held up her hand and asked us what part of Michigan we were from - she said she learned that trick from Genie who has friends in Grand Rapids. Rebecca was quite impressed.

Our family plus Bill and Carol outside the GM Test Track ride at Epcot. Rebecca loved the ride and we rode it four times.

Sean's favorite movie star was at Disney's Hollywood Studio - Herbie the Love Bug!

Woody and Buzz were very important to Michael about seven years ago. It was still a thrill to see them.