Well, just from my kids.
Because here's the thing, we started planning our typical Hilton Head vacation recently and realized that maybe Hilton Head wasn't the place we wanted to be this summer. Don't get me wrong-- I LOVE the beach and especially love Hilton Head. Where we typically stay is more than affordable as far as prime season vacations go. However, it's a 10 minute walk to the beach. A 10 minute walk to the beach is fine when you don't have kids. Or when your kids are in diapers. But with a kid who is potty trained? The thought of being a 10 minute walk from the bathroom made us start looking for a rental closer to the ocean. Factor in that you'll also have a toddler who likes to nap and the clost-to-the-beach rental has even more appeal. But the close-to-the-beach rental also comes with a high price tag. As Eric and I started considering that high price tag, we started thinking about what else we could do with that money.
On a whim, I emailed a woman I work with who also works on the side as a Disney vacation planner to see what she could offer us in the way of a Disney vacation that fit our budget. We're still planning to see Mickey and the gang in two years when the kids are older and my mom and I have the same spring break. But Cate is so into Disney right now, that I figured we should at least try. My girl loves Tangled, has practically memorized Cars (1, not 2), got Toy Story figurines as potty-training incentives, and holds a special place in her heart for Wall-E. She also pretends to be Simba on a regular basis. And when Mama has to shower, the one episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse that we purchased from iTunes is my go-to distraction.
To my surprise it was more than affordable. We could get 5 days, 4 nights, and the dining plan (which is two meals and a snack each day) for what that close-to-the-beach rental would've cost us. I've always been a Disney fan and am so excited to share that magic with my kiddos. There will be plenty to do there to keep them entertained. There will be plenty to do there to wear them out. There will be plenty to do there that will make the trip magical.
I know Brennan won't remember any of it. Shoot, Cate won't even remember all of it. But Eric and I will. And part of vacationing is creating memories for all of us. A part of me still wanted to hold out for a couple of more years, even once we knew the trip would be affordable. But then I asked myself, "Why not?" Why not go and meet Mickey and the Gang? Why not watch Cate's face light up when she meets Rapunzel or rides Buzz Lightyear's ride? Why not listen to Brennan's squeals of delight at the fireworks or the parades? Why not be a kid again for a week?
And so we'll be heading to Disney this summer. I couldn't be more excited. It certainly beats trying to clean sand out of every little roll and crevice in Brennan's body. It certainly beats trying to keep Cate amused all day at the beach. It certainly beats cooking dinner most nights (which is what we do to offset some of the cost in Hilton Head). We've decided to wait until closer to when we're actually leaving before we tell Cate. Otherwise we will be questioned daily about when we are going.
So you're in on our secret. And please don't tell our kids.