In 2006, my mom and I started taking vacations together. She wanted to spend her birthday at Disney World. So we hit the road - park hopper passes in hand, reservation set for breakfast with Winnie the Pooh and friends, fast-pass strategy not yet a twinkle in our eyes. Walt and friends romanced us from the word go and really... you just have to believe!
The magical fairy dust there is REAL!
We visited a second time in 2008. The fairy dust kicks in faster on return visits. Or maybe it was the teacups. I walked around the park wearing a shiny gold tiara with princess charms like it was as natural as wearing shoes. The "It's A Small World" theme song rang in my head like a top 40 hit...that I liked! Casey Kasem, play it again!
We perused the gift shops seriously contemplating that Minnie Mouse dinnerware could be adorable, and yes, YES, you absolutely need that _______ (fill it in) coffee cup, tshirt, fleece vest (in Florida!), sparkle socks, matching towel set, twinkle wand...and...
There are parades EVERY DAY! Every moment is a celebration on steroids. I mean, I just dare you not to jump up and down and wave like a four year old when Winnie the Pooh looks right at you and waves!!!
By the fourth day of our last trip in 2008, I had a meltdown moment and hid in some bushy landscaping for about 10 minutes. There were TOO - MANY - PEOPLE. And it wasn't even Christmas or spring break. So for 10 years, I swore off Disney.
Not to worry...our travels didn't suffer. We have visited some amazing places...
* Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina
* Alaska, Seattle, the Oregon Coast, and Victoria, BC (psst...don't tell my mom because she'll start checking cruise schedules and airfares, but I would totally do this trip again.)
* The Grand Canyon, Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelley in Arizona
* And last summer, Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in Wyoming
I have imaginings of combining a collection of essays about our travels with her stunning photography into a book. And perhaps even a post this simple and fun is a start.
Just last month we compiled our Christmas gift lists for each other. Tripods and anti-aging moisturizer...the expensive stuff.
And at the end of her list, my mom wrote:
"All I really want for Christmas is for you to keep going on trips with me."
Next stop...Disney World!
Next next stop...the Northern California Redwoods later this summer.
This year, we get to enjoy both of our most favorite magical kingdoms, together.