How do you go about finding joy when the family vacation goes wrong? Let’s discuss!
In the blogging world, the elusive Disney Social Media Moms trip is on everyone’s radar. It’s a blogging conference about Disney where you can bring your whole family. No one really knows how anyone is invited on this family vacation or what the criteria is, there’s no application to apply, and it’s invite-only. We were first invited in 2015, but couldn’t financially swing it. Invited again in 2016, but at the time of the event, I would have been 36+ weeks pregnant with our second, and thus our doctor said no travel. Fast forward to last November, and we received our third invite. We could make this happen. Andrew and I talked it over and ended up registering. You would have thought I was a little kid again. I was soooooo excited.
I was excited for a family vacation. Our first as a family of four. I was excited to go back to Disney. I hadn’t been to Disney since I was 8 and Andrew was around the same age. I was excited about the girls’ first Disney trip. I was excited about meeting other bloggers. I was just plain, stinkin’ excited. I planned daily for the next three months. Everything from making Mickey ears, to planning our outfits, writing out all the rides we wanted to do and the places we were going to eat. I don’t think I left any stone unturned.
The day came!
I went into the day saying that nothing would railroad our trip, we were going to have a magical time. It’s Disney, after all!!
As soon as we hit the airport, the issues started.
- Both our bags were over the limit, we had no where to move anything around, so we just had to pay the overage fee.
- The airline, put me in the same seat as someone else. Thankful for a not full flight, we got it all sorted so we could all sit together.
- Serenity and I both experienced sharp eye and head pain on the decent into Florida. It was horrible and I hope neither of us ever experience that again.
“Okay”, I said, “Whatever! We’re still going to Disney! WE MADE IT!” We were just a short ride away from checking-in and heading over to the parks.
Fast forward, we got to the park, met up with some local Jersey native, now Florida resident friends, and made it through our first two activities (Meeting Talking Mickey & Tinkerbell!). All was going well and the annoyances of the morning were a thing of the past. Serenity fell asleep while we were walking down Main Street to get to Tomorrowland. We ended up waking her up to get on Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Walking from the stroller parking over to the ride, she threw up everywhere. All over herself. WE DIDN’T HAVE EXTRA CLOTHES WITH US. HUGE. MAJOR. #FAIL. Even though she had been drinking water, we got her some more, found the closest store with her size clothes and bought her a shirt, and sought out somewhere to eat. In the mean time, she fell asleep again. We decided to just relax and let her sleep while we ate. Before we were finished she woke up and asked for ice cream. We were across the street from Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, so Andrew said he would walk her over there while I grabbed the baby and our stuff. I met up with them as a cast member was cleaning up her vomit again. At this point we decided to head back to the hotel. I missed my first official business part of the trip and the girls slept through the rest of the evening activities.
After a night’s rest, all seemed right the next day. We enjoyed all our activities. We had a great day at the park. Serenity and I rode Splash Mountain and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train together. We had a great day. The third day started off amazing too. We boarded buses to take us to Port Canaveral for the second portion of our trip. I was so excited about this part because the hustle and bustle of the parks was so overwhelming, that I was looking forward to the confinement of the Disney Wonder cruise ship and having everything within a short walking distance. The whole first part of the day went great. Then, disaster.
- Sitting down to dinner the first night, the baby threw up everywhere.
- Woke up in the middle of the night to Serenity throwing up.
- Both girls threw up the entire first night. We got about 30 minutes of sleep that night.
- The baby threw up at dinner every night.
- Andrew was sea sick the whole time. He couldn’t join us for most of the dinners.
- I was sea sick the whole time, though not as bad.
I say all that so you can see how our trip went wrong. But after all, we were still on a Disney Trip. So how did we find joy when everything was seemingly against us from having fun and making a memorable trip?
- Make it a Memorable Trip!
- YOU have the power to change whether you make memories. You know what’s funny? If you ask Serenity, she’ll tell you she threw up but can’t wait to go back. She doesn’t care. Don’t let it ruin your joy if it’s not even bothering them. Be as resilient as your children are in the moment.
- Take a Break and Reset
- Going back to the hotel or stateroom and rest for a bit. I know it’s hard, you spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars for this trip. But as Daniel Tiger says, “Rest is Best. Rest is best”. If you aren’t allowing yourself, or your kids in our case, to rest, the entire trip could go even worse. Stop. Break. Reset. Try again. Make fun.
- Relish hard on the things you are able to do.
- Sure we missed out on some things we would have liked to do, but the things we did get to do where so memorable. Meeting Talking Mickey, riding Splash Mountain, going down the water slide on the cruise, enjoying a Broadway caliber show, riding bikes on Castaway Cay.Watching the girls eyes light up as they met Anna and Elsa or Rapunzel, seeing the Frozen show, playing at the kid’s club. These are the memories that I will hold on too from our trip. We truly did make so many memories.
- Savor the Moment.
- Everything was going wrong. We could have held onto that and stayed in the room miserable or we could get up and try again. We kept choosing to try again. And that’s what allowed us to be able to create the amazing memories that our girls keep talking about now.
- Be willing to change plans.
- We were scheduled to have sit down dinners every night and even one breakfast during the cruise. It didn’t happen because the baby kept getting sick when we would sit down at the table. Instead we went to the cafeteria and ordered room service. We still ate, we still had good food, it was just a bit different than the original plans.
- Be grateful.
- Yeah, I didn’t want to do it either. But you are on a trip, some people can’t do that. You are with your family, some people don’t have that. We did about 1/50th of the things I had planned (literally), but I’m so grateful for the few things we did get to do.
- Give yourself (and your family) Grace.
- Again, I know you’re thinking, I just spent so much money. You didn’t expect all this to happen and it’s sure not ideal, but it’s happening. Just give yourself grace and realize that there will be another trip, there will be more memories.
The main tip is and always will be, find the little joys, live in the present moment that you are in at the time. Don’t look back at what bad things did happen. They are there, if you are willing to look for them. So if you’re having a rough family vacation, just look for the joy. I promise you can find it.
How do you go about finding joy when the family vacation goes wrong? Leave a comment and let us know your tip!