I should be in Disney World right now. The most magical goddamn place on earth. Instead, I am in my drafty house, filling up the gas tank for the snowblower, hunkering down for a freaking blizzard.
So, hi! How are you?
We were in Disney World this week. We left last Saturday. It had been planned for months – a big family trip courtesy of my dad, fifteen or sixteen of us in all. We didn’t tell the kids until we were on the bus to the resort. My dad and brother had conference stuff going on the first few days, but that was fine. We had M’s parents drive up from South Florida to babysit Ellie so that he and I could go nuts in the parks with the kids. And boy, did we. Teacups. Characters. Freaking Jedi Academy.
My in-laws left Tuesday night, so Wednesday onward was all set for Big Group Family Time. Between the four of us siblings, we live in four different states, so together time is rare. But good times were to be had by all. A fancy private breakfast with none other than Cinderella herself. Rides with cousins for hours. Happy grandparents.
And then, on the way back to our hotel after a long, fun day, I started to hear about some snow forecast for Boston. A blizzard. Two feet of snow between Friday and Saturday. When was our return flight scheduled? Saturday afternoon.
I quickly realized that there was no earthly way we were going to make it home on Saturday. And that I needed to call and reschedule ASAP instead of getting stuck at the airport with three kids. And while extra days at Disney sound nice, the logistics of being away an extra 3-4 days just seemed like too much. Not to mention the fact that, once we did get home, we’d never get into our driveway with two feet of snow in it. As much as it sucks, we decided we had to leave early. I called the airline to re-book us on a Thursday night flight, so we could get at least one more morning in the parks to do a final hurrah.
In the 30 minutes I was on the phone, everything was booked. My only option, sitting there at 5pm on Wednesday, was 8:15am on Thursday.
I made the reservation change and promptly burst into tears. I was upset at having to leave early, having to abruptly drop everything and go, not knowing that afternoon was our last day. I felt awful for my dad, who was so excited to have us all together and had been looking forward to it for ages. I felt shitty for all of the times I said “not now” in the gift shops, fully intending to go souvenir shopping later in the week. All of a sudden, we had about two hours before bedtime and then a 5:00am wake-up call to get to the airport.
Just so we could be home in time for a freaking blizzard, that they have so helpfully named Nemo. (WTF is up with naming winter storms, now?)
But my pity party needs to be done. My family understood what we had to do, they knew it was the right decision. And as bummed as I am to miss out on more days, we thankfully can say that we milked every little bit out of the ones we had, and I am hard-pressed to think of something we wanted to do that we didn’t make happen. It was a huge bummer to end it like that, and I hate that we didn’t get more time with my dad, but I can’t let that set the tone for what was otherwise a great trip. There was wonder and excitement, there was family time big and small. There was magic. Totally worth it.