I left bright and early this morning for a vacation I've been dying to go on for a while. (Somewhere new!) You see, I was raised in a family that started out going somewhere different every year. Then around 1984, my parents developed a love affair with Myrtle Beach, SC, and it became our go-to destination every year.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love it there, but every year? There's too much of the world to see. And I'm not much of a lie-on-the-beach-all-day person. Still, my parents made a point of doing family vacations every year, and that was always important to me.
Fast-forward to having my own kids, and I still think they're important. For a few years, my husband and I got in a rut not so unlike the one my parents made. You see, we're both Disney freaks, and our kids like it too (as most do). So we had been to Disney World three out of the last four vacations. (The one in between was when the kids and I joined hubs on a business trip overseas.)
And we found ourselves talking about doing Disney again. I didn't want to; he did. We finally agreed to leave it up to the kids. Imagine his shock when our kids (7 & 11) announced that they'd rather go someplace new. Then they started talking about our trip to Italy and the funny words and gelato and the Coliseum and a bunch of other things. (I didn't bother mentioning how many of the places we saw that year that had made it into a manuscript.) Hubs was disappointed, but I reminded him that if we take a break, Disney might actually be magical again next year.
So, we are in Florida right now, and I imagine he's pretty antsy to shove us in a car and drive to Orlando, but tomorrow we're boarding the Oasis of the Seas and cruising to the Caribbean so we can swim with dolphins and snorkel with stingrays and see the ruins of Tulum. (Actual activities not yet decided :P) I'll be begging the kids to eat something new, and he'll give me the "I told you so" look. But then we'll see dolphins racing the boat and try out the zipline on the ship, and I'll get to give it right back to him.
Because at the end of the day, vacation for me isn't about the food. (Although, that might not be strictly true of Italy--yum!) It's about seeing and experiencing new things. It's about fun with the people I love.
And, okay, it's about hopefully finding some little tidbits to work into a book. I don't think Disney would like it so much if I used their parks as a major player in one of my books. And really, if you're at Disney World, the park is a character all on its own. So, wish me luck, I'm off to see a man about what would happen if someone skated onto the ship's ice rink in the middle of a show. And then I'm going to ask how many zipline accidents they've had onboard before I use that tiny little wire to try to conquer my fear of heights.