Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I can't believe I went all of March without posting. The week before I went on vacation all I did was work. My boss's daughter was in the hospital so I worked for her while she took time off. To fulfill an unwritten rule of the universe things just seemed to keep popping up that had to be dealt with before we left.
Leading up to our trip I was a bit apprehensive about the whole thing. There were several factors contributing to my fear. They were destination, travel partners, and crowds. We had decided to go to Orlando. The only reason I had agreed to vacation there was because I had promised Curly Top I would take her to Disney world. Before I made any definite plans I called Drama Queen twice to make sure the girls would be able to go. Since she didn't see any problems I went ahead and paid for 1/3 of the house. Then when it was time to buy airline tickets she decided she didn't want to go and that she didn't want the girls to be that far away from her. I hung up the phone and cursed for at least five minutes straight. We were all angry, but there wasn't anything we could do, so we just got over it.
I am not trying to dis Florida, it is just that Orlando seems to be totally geared towards theme parks and shopping. Those are two things I tire of quickly. There are many places in Florida I would like to go spend a week at, Orlando just wasn't one of them. When I was seventeen we took our senior trip to Orlando. The only two things that screamed 'come back' to me were the beach and Typhoon Lagoon. I would have much rather stayed closer to the ocean and drove in one day for the water park.
Our group consisted of three families. Miss Universe (my sister), her husband Rolando and their three children, Mon(12), Eddie(10), and Bella(2.5 who used to be known as Huggy Bear, but since she is growing older she deserves a proper name) were one family. Godiva and her husband Raul, who is Rolando's brother, and their three girls who are 7,3,&2 years old were next. Then there was myself, dh, and our three boys, Lee(16), Jason(14), and Lane (12). If you happened to be in a airport last month and noticed a loud, but cheerful, mid western group that seem to be collecting children, that was us.
We have traveled with Miss Universe and Rolando several times over the years. They have dated since they were Sophomores in High school, which was my senior year, so Rolando really is part of the family. Of all of our travel partners they are my favorite. Sure sometimes their kids get on my nerves,as I'm sure mine do hers, but that is part of being a family. We have more fun with them than we do anyone else. A big part of that is the amount of years we have spent together. One word can send us all into giggles because we were all there when so many funny stories were taking place, before they became family legend. I was looking forward to spending time with them.
Godiva I have mentioned before. She has some glaring quirks that make her a hard person to be friends with. This is not just my observation, she really has managed to make people in two counties want to avoid her. I have never been timid about befriending her though. One because we are almost family, so I better at least try, and two because I know my limits. Even under the best of circumstances I tire of people. When traveling with just my immediate family I know that after a few days I will need some time alone. Because of this personality flaw of my own I know better than to get sucked into spending all of my time with one person, making their life integral with mine. Godiva is the type that sucks her friends in to her life spending more hours a day with them than apart. She does that until she has sucked all of the energy from them and they are no longer strong enough to be her friends. I know that sounds harsh, but I swear it is no exaggeration. The thought of spending over a week straight with her had me a bit nervous.
Her children, I do love and enjoy being around, it is just a lot of work to have kids that little to care for. I was afraid thought that either Lee, or Jason, or I would be stuck babysitting. That was one thing we did not want to do on our vacation. Godiva's parenting skills can be described as lax. Her mother ran into me while we were Christmas shopping one day and mentioned that she and her husband were worried that the house we were renting had a pool. They were both concerned that Godiva didn't watch the girls close enough to be around a pool 24 hours a day. They were glad I was going to be there to help. Inside my head I screamed. This was supposed to be a vacation.
The last worry I had was the amount of theme parks everybody wanted to go to. Standing in line for hours, and trying not to lose anyone in the crowds did not have the promise of fun to me.
The last worry had the easiest solution. The five of us sat down and discussed what we really wanted to get out of this vacation. Lane wanted to ride roller coasters. We picked Universal and U.I.A. for that. We did want to go see Epcot. We all agreed on a water park, so Typhoon Lagoon was in. So while the rest of the group went to go to the other four parks we found different things to do. We went deep sea fishing. Where I had the opportunity to throw up in the Atlantic ocean. Since none of my children inherited my loathe of shopping we went to few outlet malls. We found an Indian restaurant to eat in, where dh finally admitted that he did like Indian food. Our waiter was great and helped him to choose something he would like.
This previous solution was also a solution to the Godiva problem. Since we didn't do all of the parks that they did most days we only spent the mornings and evenings together. It was the perfect mix, I really enjoyed her and her children when we were together. With so many people around the house it didn't feel like we were watching her kids too much. We did get them food now and again, and we kept them out of the pool, but it never seemed like too much.
As far as the destination went I enjoyed Orlando. It still seems like the most commercial place I have ever been. I tired of all of the gift stores, traffic, and every tourist gimmick known, but we had fun. We went to the beach one day, all fifteen of us together, and it was voted by all to be the favorite day. The day we went fishing gave us something unclaimed to look at. The ocean was restful to our eyes after all of the billboards and flashing light. By the last day, which is the day we went to Typhoon Lagoon, we were tired of theme parks. Lee chose not to go and went shopping with Godiva instead. We gave his ticket to Godiva's seven year old and took her with us. She got to ride water rides, which for her was better than shopping, and Lee came home with henna tattoos and a story about how a tiny old lady tried to sell him Salvia at the flea market.
Dh was wore out by the last day. he had not heeded my warning about taking up walking the month before we went. He was out of shape, and had sunburned the top of his feet at the beach. After having walked on them for for a full day at Epcot, the day after he had burned them, he just wanted to sit down. I found him a chair in the shade, bought him a refillable mug for pop, and left him reading his book. He moved only once that day to go to the restroom, and he tried to get me to find a way to do that for him too. If you knew dh you would be shocked by the fact that he was reading a book. It was only the third book he has read in his adult life. He is more of a t.v. and newspaper guy. We had found a super cheap book store the day we were shopping though so we had loaded up and never wanting to be left out he bought a book too. We paired the kids up and told them to go ride the rides. I spent time with Miss Universe watching Bella and reading, floating along the canal, and swimming in the wave pool. It was a relaxing day, even though it was crowded.
None of my fears came to pass. Our vacation was great. I found much of my time among the crowds picking out accents and trying to place them, I then eavesdropped to find out if I was right or not. I didn't tire of anybody on the trip, Some of them may have tired of me, but that is for them to write about.

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