A few months ago, I made plans with two of my cousins who live in Cary, North Carolina to visit at the end of December because work for me was pretty slow around that time, and I wanted to run away from the harsh Upstate NY winter weather. The plan was all set for me to fly down, stay just about a week, and head back to work (trying to) feel recharged and ready for the rest of the lousy weather and stressful workload January and February would bring.
Naturally, after I had reserved my flight, plans had changed with my family. Long story short, my mini-private vacation for six days turned into a full on family vacation to Disney World. I was excited to head back to Disney, but a little stressed about the thought of the WHOLE family – parents, sister, cousin, grandparents – together for an extended period of time.
As much as I love my family, we have the magical power (as most families do) to raise each others’ stress levels with a simple sentence or non-verbal gesture. So, the thought of all of us being together for over a week, with long car rides as part of the mix, well, I assumed the worst. I got to start off the trip as planned, alone in Cary with my cousins, visiting the newest 5-month-old addition to our family and genuinely relaxing. We drank wine, discussed topics that made me fairly emotional, and cried (alright, I was the only one who cried…), then came an 8 hour car ride that was closer to 9 because of traffic, and all of a sudden, 7 of us were together sharing one big condo. Let the games begin.
Without going through each and every detail of the trip to Disney World, I will say that the only reasons I would go back during Christmas time is for the Osbourne Lights and the specialty menu that EPCOT introduces in the world showcase (INCLUDING SOME GREAT PEPPERMINT CHOCOLATE TEA). Other than that, the Magic Kingdom crowds were annoying, but it was nice to see the decorations around all the parks. I won’t say that I was 100% right about the stress everyone felt during our vacation, but I’m confident that everyone had at least one tension headache throughout the course of the trip. Ah, well, that’s family I guess.
Talking about family, especially with my family, makes me emotional…always. Whether it’s regarding my new baby cousin who won’t be able to meet his grandmother, or what happens once my grandparents aren’t around anymore (because of natural causes at a very, very, very old age), I can’t keep it together. So, when all seven of us made it back to North Carolina from Disney to visit the rest of the family, tears were shed…mostly mine.
But, that’s family I guess. Happy, sad, stress, fun, mad, excited, emotional – that’s family.