This was not an easy task to go back through all my memories from adulthood and pick one time that was either the best or worst vacation I ever had. I decided to be fair it would have to be from after I graduated high school and got married. This was no easy task because most of the times we have ever been on vacation has also been whenever we have moved.
When we were in the military it would be the only time we could do stuff and visit more than just one place. I do recall a time we moved close to Christmas, I can’t recall which year it was but it was one of the worst times to try visiting anything because EVERYTHING would be close as we approached. Yeah that was not a fun trip, the fun moments of that trip were those that we made such as playing at the rest stops, etc. But isn’t that what getting a best moment is all about, making memories? Sure there were some awesome moments I could have picked like when I took the kids to Tyron Palace by myself, or the time we’d visit Emerald Isle with the kids, the beach always had memories but this one had deeper meaning.
The memory I am going to had both good moments and bad. Many would probably say it was the worst vacation but it had its high moments. Imagine being at home with your 7 1/2 week old little girl and your husband coming back from war all in the same weekend. He wasn’t sure how to act around us and we weren’t sure what to expect from him. Already I had seen him drop to the ground due to fireworks and I had been a bit edgy because I’d heard some stories of other Marines coming home. I hadn’t learned to drive just yet, had been holding off, yes even at 26 years old.
In the parking lot had sat our purple jeep for the full time he’d been at war and never driven once, not even when I almost gave birth at home. With 3 children now the jeep was an ideal vehicle and first thing he did the day he got home was scoot off to a car dealership to trade in his vehicle. I think part of it was because he was still scared of home and the other because we couldn’t go anywhere now. He came home with a SUV and tickets to Disneyland. This would be our best vacation and worst at the same time.
See, what many don’t know is Disneyland was our place. It was the place we’d taken our first two children every time we went anywhere. The last ride we’d ride always was “It’s a Small World” this would also be the ride that got us back together when we were about to divorce. Okay not just the ride but you get the point I’m sure. This time would be different though, Babygirl was a quiet one, even from birth. She took everything in and just let you snuggle her. BalletGirl was so excited that her daddy was home and wouldn’t leave him for the world. SoccerBoy loved it all, his siblings, his dad being back and the fact that not only were we going to Disneyland but now we got a new car. When we got there everything seemed fine, but I constantly watched him to see if there were any signs.
Within the first hour I noticed red flags. He could no longer be in crowds, loud noise or sudden movement was catching him off-guard. We did a few rides, got some toys from the souvenior shop and let the kids get a few candy items before we sat in a tiny corner away from most of the people to eat lunch. Buzz Lightyear came on with his show near us and after spending about an hour there we got up to walk around but it was getting more crowded now and walking meant holding on to the kids hands even tighter than before and no one would move out of the way of the stroller. He handed me BabyGirl and picked up the stroller and started shaking it, I knew then this was starting to become a bad thing. We left shortly after that, stayed in a hotel room at Disneyland where I’d call my sister up who lived nearby and I’d go shopping with her and spend time with her.
The memories of before leaving had been good, seeing him hold our little girl there was precious as he was too afraid to hold her before. We spent a lot of fun time in that hotel room winding down and making memories as we’d play with the kids that weekend and watch movies, we even went to the beach, but we never did go back to Disneyland. But those are memories that we will always remember. The time BalletGirl danced in the walkway with her daddy, the two older kids going on rides with him and that precious moment when he took BabyGirl in his arms and just held her. Before you ask, we never tried going back and it has been 11 years. I do wish to go back, even if it is myself with the kids we just haven’t made it that far yet. But that is the best and worst vacation story. What’s yours?