It’s for good reason that I’ve been M-I-A (<—-see what I did there?) for the last week: The fam and I just returned from an epic field trip…
We did The Disney Thing. It was a blast.
We hadn’t done a Disney trip since the girls were 1 & 3, and Little Man obviously had never been. This was a very different visit than the last, and the kids’/my first time to Florida (husband has been a few times and was a perfect tour-guide/navigator/financier).
Our 2008 Disneyland trip was allllll about princesses, parades, pixie dust, and magic…
… this time the girls were pretty serious about hitting all the big rides, and we mostly dodged the long lines for characters.
It has been determined that Little Man is not a fan of costumed characters. Or crowds. Nor excessive heat/humidity, strollers, lines, fireworks, dark rides, and sudden jumpy 3D movies. He DID enjoy the trains, planes, and boats– Pirates of the Caribbean, Jungle Cruise, Small World, and Dumbo, to name a few. Oh, and the treats.
Thankfully, we didn’t hang all of our vacation expectations on poor Mickey.
While we thoroughly enjoyed our time with the mouse, the real reason we flew to the lush, sticky southern swampland was so that Firstborn could swim with wild manatees and Center Sister could visit the famous Weeki Wachee mermaid ballet. We rented a car and meandered to the Gulf side for both.
I’ll admit I was most excited to cruise the scenic highways along the way, checking all the boxes off my Florida wish-list upon spying orange stands (with free samples of the best juice I’ve ever tasted) and alligators, and tasting authentic Cuban cuisine.
Though we live quite close to a fine airport, we drove six hours to Salt Lake City for a direct flight to and from Orlando; the reasons threefold:
First and foremost, it saved us 50% on our tickets! Times that by 5 persons (little man is no longer a lap-baby) and one can see that it was a no-brainer.
Secondly, we love a good road trip. Had Husband’s employers been able to part with him longer, we’d have rented an RV and driven the entire way.
Lastly, it gave us a chance to shop and stock up on items from some of our favorite establishments in Utah.
We are grateful for our adventure, a much-needed break. Travel is something that we are passionate about, and we have been planning this holiday for a year. Two bonus skills the arduous adoption process will teach any family are how to seriously SCRIMP and SAVE. It was worth every penny.
Besides, it really was educational. In fact, another patron at dinner one evening inquired if we were there for the homeschool convention. I told her no, but it was an excellent guess since we DO home-educate. I assumed it was my Birkenstocks that tipped her off, she confessed it was Firstborn’s french-braided hair.