Friday, May 14, 2010

Going on a Disneyland Vacation

Yes I said the “D” word. We are actually taking a trip to the land of commercialism and overconsumption next week (cue vision of me hanging head in shame). BUT, it is also the land of imagination and outdoor fun right (who am I kidding)? So here are some of my thoughts on this trip:

Like it or not, my older daughter is LOVES fantasy and princesses. She loves to dress up, to pretend to be a princess and she knows them all by name despite not seeing all the movies. This actually doesn’t bother me at all. What disturbs me is the thought that we will be surrounded by a HUGE amount of princess “stuff” which she will want, beg for, and likely be bringing home (as if we don’t have enough already – and yes we do have a lot). Just this morning my husband I talked about the ‘requests’ she might be making and how we would honor them. I’m not sure how it will go but one great idea he suggested is limiting her to one item per day (I know, even this is a lot) this way we can really help her value the item she chooses to ask for instead of having it end up in the trash before we even leave to come home. I thought this was a good idea and we intend to try it.

The food scares me! Living in a hotel for four days and eating out every day – at the park mostly – is a tough one for me. I know that you have to live a little while on vacation but the cost and impact will still probably weigh heavily on me and my guilt about agreeing to this trip in the first place. Gluttony comes with a price. Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised and will find that they have taken up some healthy choices even if they are shaped like Mickey. Oh, and let’s just not factor in the “princess” breakfast I’m sure we are likely to go too. In the words of Charlie Brown - Ugg!

Family vacations are good bonding experiences and can make amazing memories. Growing up, my grandparents nearly always joined us on our family vacations – these are memories I will treasure all of my life! My family grew up going to and loving Disneyland –we went there a lot. My dad is a big kid at heart and he loved taking us… I have some really fond family memories of the place. So no matter the place I’m looking forward to making memories with the entire family (my sister and her family are also joining us as well).

This is an opportunity to spark a sense of adventure and wonder and to entice the kids to try new things, take risks, be bold, and be free. One thing about being out of your element (commercial or not) is to focus on what lessons we can learn while there. I’m really looking forward to seeing how carefree and adventurous we can all be in such a big group and with big crowds. Plus the fresh air and exercise of walking all over will actually be nice, not to mention the hotel pool which we plan to use and not just ride rides all day.

Finally – I’m hoping we won’t have time for TV (again, who am I kidding – but I can dream can’t I), cousins will bond, grandparents will love our kids, heck parents might even get a break. That the conversation will be powerful, that we will all be kids again, discover something, learn something and that I won’t feel so guilty about spending all this money to supporting all that consumerism (yea, that whom I kidding thing again).

Anyone else have any good tips for these types of vacations?

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