Disney Staycation

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Scott is a go-go-go kind of person. On weekends he doesn’t like to stay home and just relax. On summer breaks, he always wants to go somewhere for vacation… sometimes many places because there is so much time off as a teacher. He’s not particular. Camping, fishing, Vegas, etc, etc.

Before kids I was happy to go! It was awesome! I never traveled much growing up because my family didn’t have a lot of money & I now recognize my mom’s crippling anxiety about travel. (I actually had to overcome some of that myself because it was all I knew!)

But as we had kids our traveling resources dwindled; and then all-but went away when I stayed home. Before I stopped working, we did manage to buy a motor home and that was a fantastic way to vacation when M & O were young. It was perfect. Quick weekend trips were less expensive. Camping was MUCH easier. We even went across the country once. But we had to get rid of it in order to move back to California in 2008. We miss having it, especially after having 2 more kids. Right now E & G are the ages the big kids were when we went across the country, we get sad thinking these 2 won’t have the same family experiences. Even more so when we think about how M & O are at ages where they have said they would love to do it again. In a couple years that may not still be true. And for sure our days where all 6 of us can do it are very limited. With M starting high school in the fall, her summer is eaten up with band camps and coursework. And O has All Star baseball go until almost July and football starting August 1. It is just going to get busier and busier. Scott & I both know that.

So we thought about buying another RV. But we just didn’t have the money to make it make sense, despite our nostalgia. We also looked into renting one and doing the cross country thing, but that doesn’t make sense when you calculate gas prices and the mileage charges rentals charge. So no RV is in our near future.

So this summer started and Scott got the Vacation Itch. We had saved some money specifically for a vacation. He wanted to go camping & fishing, go to Las Vegas (his sister lives there), AND do something bigger. He knew I really wanted to go back and visit Colorado and tried to plan a driving trip. But his planning unfortunately coincided with my depression/anxiety mood problems. I was no help. I was feeling so crummy that I didn’t want to go anywhere, even my beloved Colorado. And then there were doctor appointments for my mental health & his bum shoulder that kind of sealed that there would be no big vacation this year. I was fine with it. I like staying home with not much to do. He and the kids were disappointed.

Another nostalgia-inspired idea occurred to my go-go-go husband: Disneyland. In addition to the RV we had in our other lifetime of only 2 kids, we also had Disneyland annual passes. We first got them when we were just dating. Then had them on and off for years until we got them again when M was 2 & I was pregnant w O. And kept them for 5 or 6 years… even when we lived in Colorado because we came home 3-4 times a year. But, also just like the motor home, we couldn’t afford to renew them up when we moved back to Southern California, luckily they were valid into 2009, for a few months after E was born.

So E, now 5, has no memories of going to Disneyland because he’s only been as a newborn. And of course, again, E & G are the same ages now that M & O were when we used to go to Disneyland All The Time. So go-go-go husband decides that since we can’t give E & G the motor home trip memories, we can try to do at least 1 year of Disneyland. So he starts in on The Hard Sell.

It is not really a true Hard Sell, because I love Disneyland. But I am the more practical one of the two of us. And I had a VERY difficult time getting past how much annual pass costs have increased in 6 years. It. Is. Crazy. I don’t remember exactly what we used to pay, but I think they have doubled. Plus! We have to buy 5 now (G is free until she is 3 years old.) It is A Lot Of MONEY!

So Scott’s Hard Sell comes in. He has agreed to work TWO extra periods next year and do after school detention. A normal school day is 6 periods, with teachers teaching 5 and having a Prep period. He is going to teach Zero period thru 6th period with no prep period. It is quite a bit of extra money to do this. It is also rare that they have the 2 periods extra, so this may only be available for him to do for 1 year. I am worried about him working this hard. I used to teach and despite the extra money I would never have given up my prep period. It was too precious for me. Not only the time to plan and copy, but I needed the time as a mental break from the kids. Also, as an English teacher, I always had to bring essays home to grade, but I tried not to bring home planning and other grading. If I didn’t have a prep period, I would have had to stay at school longer AND I would have had more to grade. So, back to Scott: I was vocal in how I was concerned about him teaching 7 periods, but let it be his decision. He was sure he wanted to do it while it was being offered. The money would help allow me to stay home another year and, The Hard Sell: we can afford to buy Disneyland annual passes.

What chance did I stand to say no to this? My hardworking husband, who has agreed to work EVEN HARDER next school year so *I* can stay home, only wants this one little thing. Yeah, no way I could be the negative one about this.

So we forked over a HUGE sum of money and are now Disneyland Annual Passholders again. And since my husband is so wonderful about spending money, he booked 2 nights at a Disney hotel. We are doing a real, Disneyland Staycation.

The best thing is that my mental fog/depression/whatever-you-want-to-call-it has been clearing and I am able to appreciate how happy this has made the kids. Truly.
M last night, was so happy to be at Disneyland again she kept hugging me and wanted to hold my hand. SHE’S GOING TO BE 14 IN 10 DAYS!
O, who has said he’d prefer a place with faster, more roller coaster-type rides, is all smiles and planning on which of the faster rides to go on first. He’s also like his father, and loves staying in hotels and can’t wait to check out the pool.
Little G is happy to go along for the ride and enjoys all the sights. Although, she did not care for the 2 rides we went on last night because of how dark they were.
But E. Well, truly, there is nothing like the eyes of a 5 year old seeing the magic of Disney for the first time. He has been a joy to watch experience this.

So I can say, without a doubt or reservation, that our Disneyland Staycation is going to be a great memory for the ENTIRE family.

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