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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The best way to vacation at Disneyland? With adult children!

My husband and I have four children. That's his fault.

He waited until our two daughters were three and four-and-a-half (a.k.a. walking, talking and potty-trained) before suggesting we have more. Was he serious? He wanted us both to endure the months of nausea, the sleepless nights, and endless diapers again? I burst into tears.

Long story shortened, he won me over. Five years after daughter #2 was born, we had son #only. Sixteen months later, we had daughter #3.

We lived for two decades on a single teacher's salary, while I finagled ways to give our children as many fun experiences as possible. Of course with Disneyland only six hours away from Phoenix, that experience was one we repeated as a family whenever we could swing it. It was expensive and exhausting, but worth every minute.

Well, the kids grew up. Some went to college, some forged careers. The two older girls got married, and we discovered that one of our sons-in-law had never been to Disneyland.

Challenge accepted.

Plans were made for the eight of us to spend a day at Disneyland together one December, when the park was festively adorned for the Christmas holidays, but before schools let out for winter break. We all convened at our Anaheim hotel and made plans for the next day.

To be honest, this was the easiest Disney trip we ever had. If the adult children got hungry, they bought their own food. If they saw something in a shop that they wanted, they paid for it themselves. And if they got tired, they went back to the hotel to take a nap.

Even better, I have never had more fun at the park in my entire life. We laughed uproariously at our Space Mountain photos--where each of us mimed doing something you would never do on a roller coaster: put in a contact lens, pick your nose, file your nails, drink water, apply lipstick, or write on a pad of paper.


And when the Indiana Jones ride shut down on our third time--and our car was the culprit--our daughters and sons-in-law passed the crew's futz-around-and-see-if-we-can-fix-it time "jowling" and taking photos (see below). I laughed so hard, I nearly lost control of certain bodily functions before the car was pronounced dead, and we were released from our restraints and escorted out through a back door.

Best ride ever.

We have talked every year about doing that trip again. But daughter #3 teaches middle school math now, and can't take the days off before winter break. Son #only has been promoted to supervisor at the busiest Costco in the region, and the pre-Christmas rush there is insane. Son-in-law #2 is the customer relations manager at a popular Phoenix resort where "snowbirds" flock in to escape the chill of wintery climes. He can't shake loose.

And yet, we haven't given up. I'm sure we'll discuss it again this year. Here's hoping we have another chance.


After all, I'm sure there's another wonky Indiana Jones car just waiting for the eight of us to climb aboard.

Waiting for the car to be fixed

Jowling: relax your jaw and shake your head really fast while someone takes a picture.

4 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

After reading your post, Kris, I can see there is something to be said for a trip to Disneyland as an adult. The only time I went, my seven year old son got lost. On vacation from my child protective service work, my mind went to all the worst places and I was terrified. Of course at Disneyland no child is ever lost - it is the parent who goes missing.

He disappeared in a nanosecond as we were watching the fireworks after the Electric Light Parade. When found, he in a shop looking at something he wanted.

To this day, I remember the terror and the profound relief. May have to plan an adult day at Disneyland to erase that particular visceral memory or at least give it some happier competition.

Sarah Raplee said...

My husband keeps telling me we should go to Disneyland without kids. Maybe I'll take him up on it!

Diana McCollum said...

I think Disneyland with out munchkins would be a blast! Your family certainly had fun, and you've pictures to prove it.

Kris Tualla said...

We had such a great time. As you can see.