Sunday, September 27, 2009


We hadn’t been on a family vacation in years. With the summer rapidly coming to an end, we panicked and made reservations in Maui. Three families, including three small grand-children, all under one roof for eight days. What were we thinking?

A week before we left, we decided to make a test run to Disneyland. But the first amusement ride was a nightmare—the flight to Anaheim. The four year old serenaded passengers with the theme from “Ghostbusters” at the top of his lungs. The two year old wanted to go home. And the six-month-old baby played with the hair of the person in front of her.

We checked in at the Camelot Hotel across from Disneyland, then headed for the Magic Kingdom in our Mickey shirts, Mouse ears, and sunscreen. Passing by the hotel gift shop, the four year old decided he wanted ice cream and refused to take another step. His dad had to carry him kicking and screaming the rest of the way.

Our first stop was the Expensive Character Breakfast, where popular Disney icons walked around inadvertently scaring young children. The baby was pretty much oblivious to the Fairy Godmother, the two year old was terrified of Captain Hook, and the four year old ignored all of them, preferring to play games on his father’s iPhone.

Once breakfast was over, the two year old took off for Toon Town and the four year old ran to the Ghostbuster’s Ride (aka The Haunted Mansion), leaving the baby behind with me, “Grandnanny.” I treated myself to a two-dollar water while the baby filled her diaper.

We ended the day at the Rainforest Café. I smiled at the long line, feeling smug about having made a reservation online and wouldn’t have to wait. I soon realized I’d made the reservation at the Rainforest Café in Orlando, Florida. It was an hour before they found a table for nine in the jungle-themed restaurant that was filled with waterfalls, monkeys, and air conditioning. Unfortunately a fake “storm” arrived, complete with lightning and thunder, scaring the crap out of grandkids who fled to the gift shop.

Finally it was bedtime, thank God. On the way back to the hotel the baby had another diaper blow out, the two year old threw up, and the four year old remembered he still wanted ice cream from the hotel gift shop. After the grandkids fell asleep, their parents headed out to watch the fireworks, while Grandnanny stayed in the room, keeping an ear out for the sleeping cherubs. At the first sound of the ear-splitting sonic booms, the grandkids woke up screaming.

The next day, we did it all over again. Rode more rides, bought more crap, ate more junk. On the return flight, the baby chewed on the safety card, the two year old used his seat for a trampoline, and the four year old sang “It’s a Small World After All” a bazillion times. By the time we reached home, I never wanted to see those people again.

Too late. A week later we’d be on a five-hour plane ride to Maui where we’d be staying in one small condo for a whole week.

What were we thinking?


Anonymous Sandie said...

It seems that Granny Penny hasn't learned yet that kids love it when Granny takes the baby because then they can have fun! It's nice that you all can travel as a family. Er, um, I assume you're still a family. I can't begin to imagine the chaos you lived through. I'm so glad you made those reservations in Orlando because I think I'll use them!!

Sandie in hot Florida - I completely understand what a relief walking into a/c was for you at Disney.

October 3, 2009 at 10:55 AM  

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