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Payback’s a …. Trip to Disney World! (Jun 6 - 16) Updated 8/7
You probably all know by now that I’ve got a trip to Disney World in, um, one day. What you may not know is that I’ve been struggling with whether or not to write a trip report. I’d always PLANNED on writing one. But, Eileen kept needling me. Poking, prodding, making fun, soooo sure I’d never do it. It made me not want to write one at all. Because if I did, she’d say, “You only wrote it because I pestered you into it.” And, if I didn’t, she’d say, “See! I told you you’d never write a trip report.” Either way she’s right, I’m wrong. She wins, I lose. But you know what they say, payback’s a …
Cut to the original purpose of this trip. I asked my darling son early in the school year if he’d rather have a big 16th birthday bash with his buddies or go to WDW for two Star Wars Weekends. I think I phrased it something like this, “Zack, we could like get a couple piñatas and some streamers and invite your friends over for rutabaga and prune juice for your 16th birthday or we could take a deluxe ten day trip to Disney World with the chance to go to two consecutive Star Wars Weekends. What do YOU want to do?” Wisely, the lad went with numero dos.
Planning began in earnest and we planned to stay in a DVC studio for the first part of the trip, moving to a two-bedroom when family joined us for Zack’s actual birthday. But then Disney made a brilliant move to secure more of my vacation dollar and announced the 7-for-4 deal. It opened up a whole host of new options for me, and before you knew it we were booked Club Level at the Wilderness Lodge for seven nights, followed by 3 nights in a 2-bedroom villa at the Villas at Wilderness Lodge. The Club Level is a total surprise to Zack, only to be revealed upon landing at MCO.
Well something happened on the way to our magical, stress free journey through the 10th grade. Zack hit a couple of bumps in the road that made the journey neither magical nor stress free. It’s nothing major, and Zack is still a great kid, but, I’ve been reminded multiple times this year that I’m really glad I’m not growing up in today’s world. And, I’ve developed handfuls of grey hair and a couple of deep wrinkles courtesy of my dear boy. But you know what they say, payback’s a …
Cut to the other members of my family joining us on this trip. Not only is 2009 the 16th anniversary of Zack’s birth, it’s also the 75th anniversary of my Dad’s birth. My Dad wouldn’t be one for a party, but he loves to travel around the US. We developed a plan for him to drive to the east coast to visit family and then meet us at Disney. Zack (needing 50 hours of supervised driving before he takes his driver’s test) would then drive back with my Dad along the southern part of the United States. Doesn’t sound like much of a 75th birthday celebration to me, but my Dad was pleased!
Originally, I was hoping all of my siblings would be able to join us, but due to work schedules it turned out only my younger sister Alice could come. But then not having my brother along, who’d already been paid for, enabled me to invite Eileen along instead. A trade up! Sorry bro.
But, once again, we had a little snag in a stress free march to vacation time. My Dad had been having some difficulty walking last summer, so he was scheduled to have a hip replacement in the fall. Once the hip was replaced, however, it became clear that he had Parkinson’s disease as his physicians suspected. He’s doing fine, but the fall and winter were filled with re-hab and daughters being forced to perform duties that were really intended for nurses. Very highly paid nurses (if there is such a thing.) Coincidentally, my two sisters always seemed to be out of town whenever my Dad needed something particularly unpleasant done. But you know what they say…
So we’ve got a vacation coming up and I’m paying for my son to come who’s caused me some typical teenage grief this year. I’m paying for my sister who’s been ducking her daughter duties to my disadvantage. And, I’m partially paying (since she’s using my brother’s portion of the package) for the woman who will never fail to point out my severe cases of trip-reportus-interuptus or no-trip-reportus-at-all…-us (I know. I was stretching it with that one.) They say payback’s a, well, you know. But, really, it appears that payback is a trip to Disney World. I had come to realize that my rewards-based negotiation skills need some work, and I was feeling a bit low.
Never fear! Along came my dear friend, Olivia, with a book that she thought I might enjoy. As soon as I read the endorsement on the cover from one Mr. Bob Smith, Dedicated Father, I knew this was the book for me. It read, “Until I read this book, I had no idea how easy it could be to traumatize my children. Now they’ll definitely need therapy!” Do you see why I was sold on How to Traumatize Your Children? Sure, it’ll be expensive to take the teenager to Disney World, but now I had a step-by-step guide for how to make it fun for me too! And for those of you horrified that I would think of this, don’t worry, the book promises that I’ll be able to, “Defend [my] choices against others who’ve opted to traumatize their children differently.”
On to Alice… I figure we’ll have to call it even since she’s volunteered to drive home with Zack and my Dad. She’s so worried about Zack’s driving that she updated her Will before she left with my Dad last week. Hee! And, finally, Eileen. With the perfect book being dropped in my lap for Zack, and Alice out of nowhere voicing concerns over her physical safety, I figure we’ll just have to see what Eileen’s got coming to her. And perhaps payback will be just a bit more than a trip to Disney World!
So there you have it. Karen’s first ever pre-trip report filled with no useful information and lots of useless blather. But, I can check it off of the pre-trip to do list. Check. Under the principle that tanned fat is more visually appealing than white fat, I’ve also successfully applied self-tanner to the point that I now resemble a lumpy Orange Creamsicle. Check. And, I’ve bleached my teeth to the point where it hurts if I breathe in too quickly. Check. Unchecked? Pretty much everything necessary to make sure I get on the plane successfully tomorrow night for my red-eye to Orlando. Oh well!
See you in a week and a half! And for all of you who look at these trip reports as a way to find out what people will actually be doing… Staying: Wilderness Lodge with my fam and Eileen with Jill’s fam, Sha, and Heather in the same hotel at various times. Eating: a lot Drinking: even more
Can’t wait for it all!
Karen, aka Zack's Mom - Lover of all Things Disney and the San Francisco Giants!
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I figure we’ll just have to see what Eileen’s got coming to her. And perhaps payback will be just a bit more than a trip to Disney World!
20 some hours of free PhotoShop labor ain't enough for ya?! Do you know what a graphic artist can charge?!
Seriously though, I never would've been able to make this trip without your generous... um... generosity, Karen. Having just done the trip with my son in March, no amount of puppy dog looks from cute, blonde Koenigs girls would've made blood come from the stone that is my checking account. Your opening of your heart -- and your hotel room -- to me is what's made this possible. (I'll still do my best to make you take money for the DDP!)
Originally Posted by zacksmom_1993
And, I’ve bleached my teeth to the point where it hurts if I breathe in too quickly.
Oh, lordy! We'll both be wincing in a cool wind! I bleached my teeth too and they're killing me.
Additionally, I've dipilitated my upper lip -- which I'm sure you're all glad I shared with you -- dyed my gray hairs, and taken several layers of dead skin off my calloused feet.
Looks like I'm ready to go. Now, why can't I get on a plane before Wednesday the 10th?
Fear not Karen - these teenage woes will pass - and soon you will have a 20 year old that actually thinks that you've learned something over the last four years - and actually asks you for advice - and means it!!
Seriously - Amanda gave me a run for my money - but she's a fabulous kid - 20 1/2 years old, graduated from college with honors, has a full time job, a brand new car, an apartment, and she's happy and healthy! There were times when I didn't think she'd make it through 16!!
Like you said - payback's a *******!!!!! As soon as the student loans are paid (which shouldn't be long!) she's promised me a trip to Europe for two - just us two!!
Oh my goodness... I can hardly keep up with all these witty, crazy and endearingly charming TRs! I'm so glad you decided to chime in. What a fabulous trip you have in store. I can hardly wait to hear all about it. Keep it coming, Karen. Awesome!!!
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