You’ve heard that joke, right? I just flew in from (fill in the blank with a name of a city) and boy are my arms tired! Well, that’s how I felt today, minus the corny joke.
My family just got back from spring break yesterday afternoon. I’ll be sharing many parts of the trip with you guys over the coming weeks, but I felt the need to sit down and talk about it.
It all started last Tuesday night with a bit of a freak snow storm in the DC area. We had tickets to fly to Orlando Friday. But, school was cancelled for Wednesday. Early Wednesday, they had already cancelled school in our area but the roads were definitely passable. My wife, who worked for the school system for a decade, was certain they would cancel school on Friday. An idea started to form in my head. Would we wait around until Friday? Not when we could fly down earlier and get more time in at the various amusement parks! Challenge accepted.
Not So Fast
I was shocked at exactly how full flights were. I can’t say I was expecting to find four saver seats on United nonstop (in retrospect especially given these horrendous award flight prices). But, I could barely check the price of award flights, since all the nonstop flights were booked pretty much solid. Southwest had a smattering of single seats but at sky-high prices. There were no nonstop options for 4 people. Connecting options meant spending a lot of miles and backtracking into the storm path. No thanks.
Since I’m a genius, I just decided it would be a great idea to drive. We’d get to the parks a day early and do a little sightseeing on the way. It would be fun, right?
Not So Fast
It’s a long drive from DC to Orlando. But, you knew that already. That’s why we have airplanes. We drove about 9 total hours the first day and pulled into Savannah, Georgia around midnight. We got up around 8am and hit the road by 10. With a stop for lunch and some traffic we were in Orlando by mid-afternoon Friday. That meant we had an extra evening at Universal Studios. When we encountered the mother of all price gouges at Universal, we opted for annual passes. I was happy to get another day’s worth of value out of them.
We had set the trip up so the first 3 days would be at Universal Studios, deep in the world of Harry Potter. We’d head to Legoland there and hang out at their new beach resort and have a “rest day”. After recharging, we’d do a day at Legoland followed by 2 days at Disney World. Then, we’d head home. I had built in that recharge day in the middle of the trip to give us a chance to reset. Even with the long road trip and extra day at Universal, a down day should be just what we needed to finish the trip strong.
Not So Fast
The “rest day” turned out to be a “rest hour” at the pool, after which we headed to Legoland for the rest of the day. As the trip stretched on, the disagreements mounted. The tantrums became more frequent. Leaving any store without a new toy became a battle. The parents won their fair share of battles. I’m still not sure who won the war. At one point, the kids were fighting over who got to sit with who on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Charlie’s favorite ride at Disney World.
I’d had enough. To be fair, Michelle had as well. I got upset, gave one of those speeches about how lucky our kids are, and how so many families never get to experience Disney World. I told my kids how I felt, that hearing them bicker after all of the happiness we had planned made Michelle and I feel as parents. They both burst into tears, a sure sign it was time to go home and put them to bed. So, of course, we went and rode Winnie the Pooh before leaving. Ugh.
The Morning After
Even though I vowed to put us on a slower pace for this trip, I was exhausted when we got home yesterday. I’m a man possessed in an amusement park, determined to cram as much fun into a day as possible. And, we did slow down this trip. However, we were still averaging over 10 miles of walking a day while pushing a double stroller. Side note: someone should tell the folks who designed my Apple Watch that pushing a stroller for 10 hours is a heck of a lot more exercise than they give you credit for.
What I wasn’t expecting was how I would feel this morning. Arms, legs, feet, knees, hips, quads, hamstrings. Everything was sore. Michelle didn’t cop to feeling that bad. But, we all know she’s in a lot better shape than I am.
The Final Two Pennies
I’ve got plenty more to share in the future about this trip. But, as I look back, I’m not entirely sure where it went wrong. Don’t get me wrong. We made some great memories. There was a whole lot more bickering this time. Lots of greedy, galloping gimmies (which Michelle and I both hate).
Was it because of the long drive? Were the days too long? Because of that missing rest day? I can’t quite put my finger on it. But, there was definitely more general crabbing on this trip. And, I feel like a Mack truck hit me.
What do you think? Have you ever had a family trip like this one?
The post Boy, Are My Arms (And Legs) Tired!!! was published first on Pizza in Motion