DH’s grandmother died earlier this year and she left a small inheritance to her daughters. DH’s mother has decided to put that money into a “Disney World” savings account and take all 6 grandkids and their parents to Disney World. She wants to go in June.
This is very Midwestern. Growing up I think I was the only kid who had never been to Disney World (I had been to Disney Land as a child with an after-school field trip when we lived in California– mostly notable because they lost me in the gift shop and I spent a good portion of the time in the room of lost kids coloring in already colored coloring books and eating lolly pops). My sister has never been to either Disney. That money went into our college fund instead. (DC1 has been to Disneyland and to all the stuff in San Diego in conjunction with work trips for me– we paid for DH’s mom to fly out and take him places while DH took care of baby DC2 and I conferenced.)
I hate theme parks with a violent passion that’s mostly to do with my undiagnosed ocholophobia (well, not precisely undiagnosed– it showed up on the initial anxiety screen when I did CBT but I declined to get it fixed because I can easily avoid the kind of large crowds that freak me out now that I’m no longer forced to go to school dances or 6 Flags trips), and partly to do with the ease with which I get overheated in the sun. So I won’t be going. DH will have to go because there are 6 kids going and we have to send at least one adult to corral our two kids.
While I know that MIL will be paying for DH’s sister’s family (they combine a small-town teacher salary with a factory worker salary) and will probably be subsidizing DH’s brother’s family (union engineer + SAHM), we should probably pay our way. If we book now, it looks like flights will be ~$1,500 for DH and the two kids, and hotel will be another $500, assuming they stay outside of Disney which I assume will be the plan [update: our house rental will be $500-$1K, and I have to admit, some of these Kissamee houses are nice enough that I’m tempted to go and just work by the pool all day while everyone else goes to Disney/Universal]. Disney and Universal tickets look like they’ll be another $1,500 which seems pretty crazy to me. So $3,500, not counting food or ground transportation, for a trip that the kids will probably enjoy but DH will find exhausting. By me not going they’ll be saving ~$1,000, so that’s something, right? (Of course, I will probably soon start spending similar amounts on academic summer camps for DC1 without blinking an eye, but those are at least more enjoyable for the parents!)
My well-off colleagues seem to be going to Caribbean destinations more and more. Sitting on a beach has always sounded boring to me in the past (I can read a book just as easily inside without worrying about sunburn!), but given how hectic life has been lately, I’m kind of wondering if maybe they have a good idea. Though that’s not cheap either. Staying at home is cheap! And I can get more work done.
What kind of vacation do I like? The kind where a conference is paying for most of it, where there’s really amazing and different food to explore, and where there’s history and/or nature and not too much sun. Sadly I haven’t been going to too many of those recently– all my conferences are either in Boston or Palo Alto/Berkeley these days. And while those places are lovely, we’ve been so often that I can’t get DH and the kids to tag along with me (plus that whole public school thing puts a crimp in taking the whole family during the school year thing). So… no vacations for me, and another week to myself next summer.
Have you done Disney? Which one? How do you feel about theme parks? What’s your ideal vacation? Have any good vacation travel coming up?