I had the unusual opportunity to write a sequel for my Disney trip. The original entry was about the trip I made to Orlando as a single mom – just me and my daughter. This past weekend I had a chance to experience a similar trip but adding my mom to the mix.
But before you think my daughter is super spoiled or I can't get enough of driving up and down the state of Florida and its scrub brush scenery; My mom had a conference to attend on schools of choice. She gained a hotel room, and I lost my babysitter. I wouldn’t be able to go to work anyway, so Pen and I hitched on for the ride. I got to drive.
Going with grandma changed the dynamics of the trip. But I’d certainly put that finding in the “no-duh” category along with the scientific studies that include“High Heels Cause Foot Pain”. (Which is a real study someone's tax dollars paid for.)
I left at 6 a.m the last time, beating all the traffic and having my daughter sleep the whole way. This time we left 2 hours late, with grandma loading her up with Fruit Loops the whole way. Penelope wasn’t sleeping in the car, not during the day at Disney, and not most of the night either. It was about 11pm when I could finally take a shower, as she was finally content playing with her Princess dress-up rather than what she was doing before, which was jumping on the bed. My mom went to bed at 9 and can sleep through a parade. I had to share a double with my little girl rather than the king on our last trip. She didn’t fall off the bed, but I did.
One small story before I switch into the dynamics of 3 people vs. 2 on any vacation.
Grandma tried to put it in my daughter’s head that Pen might want to go on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. My mom who's been on that ride plenty of times described it as a “boat ride - like Small World.” Oh, that grandma. Bloody pitates chaching each other with machetes, singing kids from different countries, my daughter wouldn't be able to tell the difference.
Three people on vacation is 50% harder than going it alone. I still had to do everything I usually do, but I had to carry more luggage. 80% more. I also had to consult with someone and take some criticism. It was like being married as I remember it. I had to walk slower and actually discuss my plans before executing them. No scooting across the park as there looked like a break in a line. No riding the carousel more than 3 times in a row because I had someone else to consider. On rides with only two seats, someone rode alone.
I lost my mom several times while heading into the shows, like the 3-D movie starring Donald Duck, but I somewhat suspiciously believe she purposely lost us.
It was helpful to have an “official photographer” who won’t charge me $14.95 photo as these theme parks do. I also appreciate the family part of it all. It’s nice to have my mom around to make memories like this with, even though I know she’ll never actually develop those pictures on her camera.