I’ll be honest, I need a vacation. I’ve done a few long weekends here and there, but it’s been years since I’ve done a real vacation. I’ve been putting off planning financially for a vacation, just because I didn’t see any opportunity in the near future. But the last few days, an unexpected plan has started to form:
I’m going to Disney!
I’m sure most of you are rolling your eyes right now. I’ll be honest, 10 years ago if you’d mentioned going to Disney to me, I’d have done the same. But then we started taking “girls trips” to Disney. My Aunt owned a bunch of points in Disney’s version of a time share, so on 4 (5?) different occasions my Aunt, her daughter, my Mom, my older sister and I all packed up and went to Disney for a week. My Grandma went with us the first year (or two?). The last year my younger sister came with us as well.
Honestly, walking through the parks, watching toddlers melt into tantrums, I understand why most parents would question how worthwhile Disney is. Sure, there’s something to say for seeing the look of joy in your child’s eyes: The look on my youngest nephew’s face in pictures at Disney when he was 3 is just pure magic. The look on my older nephew’s face? Not so much. But a group of women, all over 21, free of responsibilities? The ability to eat and drink “around the world”, and a bus to get you safely where you need to go, at the Happiest Place on Earth?
FYI: The Magic Kingdom does not allow alcohol (except apparently in the new French restaurant). And it has the most attractions geared towards small children. NOT the Happiest Place on Earth.
But 5+ adult women, spending 10 days together (including the drive there and back) on a rather pricey vacation several years in a row started to become too much. The last trip was somewhat less magical. And my Aunt eventually decided that, with her health, she shouldn’t travel such long distances. So the Disney vacations became a thing of the past. A fond memory. Maybe something to work towards in the future.
The last few months have been wearing on me, and it’s becoming obvious that I really do need a break. I’d love to get away, spend some time with my Mom and sisters. We really do have a fabulous time together, most of the time. They started to put the bug in my ear about a month ago; Why couldn’t we go to Disney again? Just the 4 of us? We’d have so much fun!
I could feel myself starting to cave.
This week a 48 year old co-worker of my Mom’s passed away. It was rather unexpected; she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer barely 2 weeks before, which had spread to her brain and stomach. She had 3 grown daughters, much like my Mom. They’d worked together for many years. It was the 5th person to pass away at my Mom’s work in the past 6 months. All middle-aged, mostly unexpected; An accident, the flu, cancers. Being the same age, and having suffered serious health issues in the past, it made my Mom really start thinking about the things she really values, and how she wants to spend her days.
And so, we’re going to Disney. Most likely in September, when the rates will still be low. This won’t be a low-cost getaway; Disney tickets are incredibly expensive, and we will be staying at one of the resorts on property because, well, we want to. I’ll trying to find as many deals as possible, and we’ll work to trim as much of the unimportant stuff as possible. Luckily, I have the cash to make it possible, but it will mean rearranging some of my priorities for the year.
It wasn’t the plan. But, the money is there. And honestly, I won’t regret spending my money this way, even if it sets me back on my overall goals. It isn’t a need, and I don’t deserve it. It’s how I’m choosing to spend my money. Sure, I could find a less expensive way to spend time with my Mom and sisters. But, this is something we all will enjoy, and look forward to. And the memories will last a lifetime.
After all, it is The Happiest Place on Earth.
– Cindy W.