We’ve been to Disneyworld a few times for our family vacation. Some people go back to the same beach; others like to go camping. My little clan goes to The Happiest Place on Earth every couple years. Packing up a week’s worth of sunscreen, snacks, shorts, Band-Aids, bug bite itch cream, swimsuits, stuffed animals, phone chargers, toothpaste, deodorant, aloe vera and everything-else-you-need-when-traveling-with-kids so that you’ve got more with you than you left at home. Our recurring Vacation Destination of Elation has been nice because as the kids have grown up we feel like we’ve had a different experience every time we’ve gone. As they get older they’re interested in different attractions. They’re tall enough to ride new things. Sometimes they’re brave and we hit the roller coasters. There are definitely some things that are staples in the trip that we make sure to hit each time, but every trip brings new experiences … and new revelations. This time I’ve compiled a sassy little list of things I realized. (I have a sentimental list here.)
Birds are assholes. Now, anyone who knows me already knows that I loathe birds. Hate them. Little sneaky bastards always want to dive bomb my head and freak me out. Rats with wings. On this Disney trip they also made sure I know that they’re vindictive, greedy little shits too. While eating lunch at a picnic table in the shade (read: under a tree … read: in the territory of the aviary devil’s spawn) one of those assholes dropped a sloppy deuce on the Boy. I wasn’t at the table at the time–thank you Baby Jesus–so the Hubbinator dealt with the mess and subsequent flipping-out-of-a-teenager-who-has-just-been-shat-upon. (Note: I’m certain the Boy made less of a scene than this 40 year old would have, so that should not be taken as a statement that my teenager overreacted. I heard no squealing, screaming or shrieking as there most certainly would have been–along with swearing–had I been the one wearing the bird turd.)
Once the Girl and I arrived with our food, we were stalked by some freakishly long-necked white feathered monster. He kept walking near our table, eyeing us up. I just knew he was going to come over and try pecking our eyes out a la Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. I had his number … I had seen that show before. (Second Note: I’m sure that in addition to my Grandma’s plumed evil pet, Petey, my deep-seated hatred and fear of birds has something to do with watching that show at a very young and impressionable age while staying the night at her house.) This Disney bird was hatching a plan and I wasn’t going to allow it. Although our karate training never included “bird defense,” I knew that putting on a confident, you’re-not-going-to-mess-with-me air would be the trick. So, I spent the beginning portion of lunch with one eye on that winged thug. That’s when the actual thief made his move. While that ground-dwelling decoy was distracting us, a smaller crow-like bird (with beady eyes, I’m sure) flew down onto the table right between the Girl and me (sitting only about a foot from each other), grabbed one of her french fries and took off into a tree with it. Scared the ever-loving shit out of all of us. I literally felt the wind from his wings on my arm. It sounded like fluttery thunder when it was that close to me. In and out like a stealthy bomber … except instead of dropping a torpedo like his bastard buddy did on the Boy, he was on a Grab and Go mission. Assholes! Every last one of ’em! (Third Note: If you’re one of the people who feeds those god-blessed villains making them feel emboldened and entitled to take what they want whenever and wherever they want to, then, I’m sorry to say it, but–you’re an asshole too. Quit feeding them. They’re supposed to eat worms, not hot dogs and french fries … and they’re certainly not supposed to land on your plate to take your food from under your hungry hands.)
Small bikinis are not for everyone. I absolutely believe that we all should feel comfortable in our own skin. I want people to have a healthy body image. Having said that, just because you can physically buy a size small bikini (by walking to the cash register at your favorite store and exchanging currency for said itsy-bitsy-teeny-bikini) doesn’t mean that everyone should wear one. Listen, if you want to wear a bikini, then go for it. I’m totally on board with that. I want you to do what makes you happy. However, please be sure to buy one that fits. Reasonable gauge to know whether a swimsuit fits: your ass shouldn’t look like it’s eating the suit. There’s today’s Public Service Announcement.
Vacations are easier with teens than toddlers. Fewer tantrums because they’re hungry and / or tired. They are less likely to cry when they don’t get a balloon. They stay up later to take advantage of the cooler temperatures and shorter lines at the amusement park. You don’t feel like you’re going to break your back carrying around a 30-pound
sack of dead weight sleeping toddler. Not as stressful worrying about their safety at the water park. They sleep in–which means so do the parental units. Did I mention sleeping in?
Vomit is still awful–even in the most magical place on earth. After nearly a week of eating out–and desserts twice a day (gasp!! … don’t judge, we were on vacation!)–and all kinds of rides and activity, the Boy’s stomach was done. In the middle of the night I woke up (mother’s intuition, dammit!) and saw him sit up and barf. On the floor. Between his bed and mine. I flew into Mom Action Mode and jumped up and grabbed a trash can. Pretty quick reaction time all things considered. Not fast enough though because there it was. On the blanket. On the carpet. Between the beds. Gah. So, I’m one of those ANYTHING-but-barf kind of people. Anything. But the deed was done. I paced for a few minutes trying to figure out what to clean it up with. Pulled the blanket off the bed and put it outside. Grabbed a washcloth and did my best. I heaved a few times and thought for sure I would hurl too. Where the hell is that damn magic wand?? We are at Disney, right??! Isn’t there pixie dust or some other fairy shit to do this for me? Long story short, three washcloths later, the carpet was clean-ish. I didn’t have any good supplies to really do the job. So the next morning I talked to the front desk about it. They sent Housekeeping Special Ops up to the room to work their magic. Oh, sure, THEY get the magic!! It worked. For a minute. By the time we were back in our room later that night, it smelled awful. At 1 am, I called back to the front desk (as the very kind reception desk girl with the access to the hazmat clean-up team suggested) to request an air freshener. They would send up the big guns instead of a freshener she said–an air purifier … to make it smell better AND kill germs! While we waited for them to bring it to the room, I smeared pretty smelling lotions (thanks, Bath and Body Works!!) onto the sheets and pillow cases to try and mask the foul odor. The purifier really did a good job … but I still reminded the front desk that our room should be given a serious cleaning overhaul before the next unsuspecting family checked in. (Fourth Note: I’m really sorry if you ended up in room 7761 at the Art of Animation resort after us.)
I am a “water magnet.” This is a quote from the Boy used to describe me. It isn’t a new realization, just a confirmation of what I’ve known and experienced my entire life. I can go on a water ride with ten other people and the only ones who will get really wet–other than me–are the people sitting right next to me. This is now a fact. There is no scientific probability of front vs. back of the car, left side vs. right. There is only one factor to take into consideration if I’m on the flipping water ride and that is MY location. I always end up soaked. Head-to-toe, drippy-droopy-drawers, feeling like I’m wearing a full diaper, saggy pants, wring-out-the-socks completely soaked. We went on Kali River Rapids at about 3 pm. My shorts, undies, socks and shoes were still wet at 11 pm. Can you say “chafing?” I know I can.
Mom jeans are back in style. High-waisted. Flared hips. Faded denim. But these aren’t on Moms and they’re not pants. Teenage girls are channeling their inner Macklemore and hitting up the thrift shops and buying Mom jeans. Then they take them home, cut off the legs and make some MomJeanShorts. I saw them in two distinct styles: with and without butt cheeks hanging out of the bottom. This wasn’t an isolated sighting. I saw it several times. It was not pretty. So, President Obama, you better beware–hide your favorite jeans before your daughters pillage your closet and take off for Disney …