Monday, September 16, 2013

Finding "Normal" part 1

The last few weeks have been great! Of course it has been busy with recovery, birthdays, packing, and continuing to try to finish up the kitchen but the best part was why we were packing...Vacation!

I'll start back in July when we were trying to decide on what we were going to do for a vacation. It is a daunting task to try to figure out something that will be good for us all (2 adults and 2 kids, 5 & 2) Budget is our starting point but with little ones it rules out to adventures at the moment. The 5 year old is much better about being able to walk more but still wants to be picked up or in a stroller. He also gets growing pains frequently in his legs right now so I understand why it hurts. The 2 year old is very strong willed and wants to walk but really needs to be in the stroller because his pace is pretty slow unless he is running which then includes not watching and typically falling. I know this is typical for these ages but these are the reasons we shouldn't go to Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, or anything to physical just yet.

We had been on a cruise last September and while we were able to disconnect from phones/internet, the beaches were fun, and we were able to travel to several places without having to pack there were a lot of downsides to me. We are a family who does not smoke or drink so having to walk to dinner through the bar/casino and the designated place to the time we got to dinner we didn't have much of an appetite. There was very little for the boys to do and the family friendly shows were just advertisements to come to the adult only shows. Pretty much every family with children got up and left within the first 15 minutes of one show because the comedian was talking about how much it sucked he had to perform a family friendly show and that we should come back at 10 for the real show. As we neared the end several other passengers would come up and say that Disney was far better especially for kids, in our head we knew it just had to be the case but didn't think it would ever be a possibility.

I have always kept an eye on Disney cruises though trying to find deals but it seemed impossible. My husband really wanted to go on another cruise, I thought he was a bit crazy, still the best deal I was finding was an interior state room which was still normal price but cheaper because of the time of year. I tried talking him into going to Chicago again, we spent our honeymoon and first anniversary there and my oldest wanted to see a big city. It would be cheaper, closer, and we knew that we could take the train or drive. He was leaning towards it too until I started to rethink things after talking to some friends.

We knew that our trip to Florida in March was a bust and this would probably be our last time to get a cheap rate for my youngest and both my husband's and my birthday were coming up. In fact it was a birthday I preferred to get away from so no one would be able to do anything for so I started looking things up again and that is when I found it...VGT. Now I had to talk my husband into it.

Guaranteed VGT is basically we know that we are getting a Veranda room but don't know where or how big it will be until about 12 days before we sail and only offered about 45 days before sailing for that last minute incentive. It was a great deal that shouldn't be passed up but it was also about 2 weeks before we had planned to go. My husband was worried about work and leaving his team abandoned at a critical time but once we looked at the dates and realized he would also have Labor Day it was looking up. With having a holiday typically things are a little slower for that week, he also has a great team that held down the fort while he is gone so we decided to go for it.  7 days in the Western Caribbean disconnected from everyone and hoping that no hurricanes were headed our way.

Our expectations were high, even though we got a great deal it still cost quite a bit more than the cruise last year. Last year the private island we visited was heavenly so we were hoping to encounter the same with Disney's Castaway Cay or other beaches we may visit along the way.

Still stress was at an all time high trying to get the house cleaned, kitchen finished, figuring out arrangements for our dogs, packing, working, oh and lets not forget that we started homeschooling 3 weeks before we left...

Looks like this is going to have to be a few posts

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