My husband is on the cusp of turning forty.
Hard to believe it’s been forty years since God decided to show some Yellow to the world and grace us with his presence. Not that I was there for the blessed event or anything. Wasn’t even born yet. Because I am MUCH younger than he is. Let the record show.
Not that much younger.
For some time now, my not yet middle-aged husband has equally looked forward to and dreaded this birthday, I believe. He’s looked forward to it because he says getting older makes him feel more distinguished. And he likes feeling distinguished. Beats the pants off feeling undistinguished. He’s dreaded it, well, because he’s not thirty anymore. Even though forty IS the new thirty. But love ‘em or hate ‘em, fortieth birthdays only come around once and it’s something to celebrate in our house. Heck, ANY birthday is something to celebrate in our house. We are the original architects of Birth Week, for crying out loud. The idea being one day just ain’t enough. We need a whole week to celebrate.
Which brings us to Disney.
Some time ago, we decided that we’d take a trip for my husband’s fortieth birthday. Have us a little getaway and do it up proper. Now, being the distinguished (see?) world travelers that we are, we could’ve gone anywhere. For this momentous occasion. The world was our oyster. We could’ve done Sandals St Lucia. Which looks very cool. Although I’ve got a feeling I’d need to buy stock in Lysol first. Could’ve hopped a plane to Bora Bora. If we liked to fly. Which we don’t. So scratch that. I hear everyone who’s anyone is headed to Dubai these days. We’re someone, so we could’ve done Dubai. Or Dallas. Dublin. Destin. Dollywood. Detroit.
As you can see, the options were LIMITLESS.
But then again, they weren’t. Not really.
Because in reality, the only place we ever really considered for longer than about a nanosecond (which I hear is the same thing as two shakes of a lamb’s tail) was Disneyworld.
Same as it ever was.
Fittingly, it was the man who actually suggested it first. As in, “Hey, why don’t we go to Disney for my birthday?“ And that was all it took. I was on it like white on rice and just like that, plans were set in motion. Reservations were made, ADRs were booked and the Charlie Brown was done a time or two as the anticipation officially began. And it has not let up for roughly six months now. In fact, it has reached a fever high pitch in our home where most every conversation these days is interrupted by at least one high pitched squeal as realization sets in that we’re getting closer and closer to Go Time. The more excited, the higher the pitch. We’re running at four broken glasses and three moanful dog howls right about now.
It’s pitiful, really.
As D-Day gets closer and the links on the Countdown Chain grow shorter, we realize we’re looking forward to this trip for many different reasons. So in honor of my insanely handsome, hard working, and still very young husband turning forty, and because his birth ALL THOSE MANY YEARS AGO was the catalyst for our upcoming trip (pfff… as if we needed a catalyst), I thought I’d jot down a few of the things we’re looking forward to the MOST on our trip to Disneyworld.
Starting with the top forty.
Surprisingly, this list didn’t take very long to write. Which means two things, the more relevant of the two being: I have more. But I feel pretty certain ZZUB will find a way to start charging me per word before long. So forty it is. Some are unique to our family, but I’m betting the vast majority are not.
I do have one request : I’d like for you to add YOUR favorites to the list. Things that you love doing, that you can‘t imagine NOT doing while you‘re there. Should be fun seeing what everyone looks forward to on their vacations and it just may give us some ideas of new things to try while we’re there.
So without further adieu, this week’s top forty hits (in no particular order) are:
1. Seeing this place for the first time and hearing our daughter STILL mispronounce the name of the park. This time on purpose…
2. Yelling “Ticky tocky ticky tocky OY OY OY!” and hearing our favorite Biergarten guy’s voice telling us to clink glasses with our neighbor
3. Clinking glasses with our neighbor
4. Remembering the time we watched a young German waitress mop up chocolate milk and a broken glass mug after clinking glasses with our neighbor. With a little too much exuberance. Apparently.
5. Eating funnel cakes and licking the powdered sugar off our fingers as we walk/boogie to the beat of the band du jour playing at the American Gardens Theatre
6. Watching the colors on the castle change from blue to green to purple to pink and feeling blessed beyond measure that we’re all together, we’re all healthy, and we’re all able to enjoy a pretty dang awesome vacation together
7. Feeling the cold, hard seats of a Disney bus on the backs of our legs as we zoom past the purple road signs and immaculate landscaping on our way to a new adventure each day
8. The thrill of Crush ‘n Gusher baby!
9. B to the O to the M to the A
10. Walking around Frontierland and hearing the screams coming from all the suckers riding Splash Mountain
11. Stopping on the bridge to watch sad suckers get their ride on while anticipating our own Fastpass return time and the opportunity to scream like a bunch of banshees while being watched and pitied by complete strangers
12. Walking a few more feet and hearing the low, moaning sound of the Liberty Belle whistle
13. Feeling familiarity surround us at every turn while at the same time anticipating new, undiscovered experiences
14. Walking around the park sharing a bag of Goofy Candy Company sour Mickey head gummies while listening to the Innoventions Loop play in the background and discussing where we want to head next
15. Playing “Spot the Disney Sign” on the drive down to Orlando and making up the rules as we go
16. Having a non stop, seven day Dork Fest with the three people in this world who mean the most to me
17. Seeing the beautiful smiling faces of my children. Up close and personal. All week long. With no interruptions from school, homework, work or deadlines
18. Hearing “Please stand clear of the doors. Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas” and zooming smoothly and quickly into a night filled with fun
19. Watching my husband’s handsome yet smug face as he realizes he’s beaten the pants off all of us on Buzz Lightyear. Yet again.
20. Letting my smug, yet handsome husband beat the pants off me on Buzz Lightyear.
21. Ohana. Bread pudding. ‘Nuff said.
22. Watching my son go from being a cooler than cool middle schooler to a kid who is so happy in his surroundings that he temporarily forgets it’s no longer cool to walk around holding your mom’s hand in public. For a little while, anyway. In other words: until he spots a cute girl. Then all bets are off.
23. Hearing “SLAP ME THREE TIMES, WE’RE IN DID‘NEH-WHIRL!!!” coming from the backseat as we pass underneath the arches
24. Passing underneath the arches
25. Finding our resort and spending some time exploring the grounds with Perma Grins plastered on our faces
26. Kicking our shoes off and rubbing our bare feet on the ‘hard carpet’ in the hotel room for the first time (that one’s for the boy)
27. Spotting our first Disney bus (for the girl)
28. Singing along to the songs in Philharmagic and coaxing the girl into reaching out and trying to catch Ariel’s jewels as they float toward us in midair
29. Looking like a bunch of goobers in Philharmagic, yet not giving a flying flip about appearances
30. Dole Whip Floats (no longer elusive)
31. Strawberry Swirls (newly elusive)
32. Pulling off the last link on the LaLa Family Countdown Chain and doin’ The Stanky Leg
33. Watching Chip and Dale do the ole “balance the autograph pen on the nose” thing while the kids laugh like it’s the first time they’ve ever seen it. Again.
34. Watching Magic, Music and Mayhem again (this time for FREE…well, kinda) and experiencing the ridiculously awesomeness of perimeter fireworks
35. Riding Test Track while throwin’ our hands up in the air and waving’ ‘em around like we just don’t care
36. Watching as our son walks into the French gift shop, grabs a miniature French flag, waves it around and yells, “I SURRENDER!” Yet again.
37. Snuggling up to my husband and watching Illuminations while feeling the beat of the fireworks in my chest and a cool breeze floating off World Showcase Lagoon
38. Watching toddlers chase the lights embedded in the walkways on the way out of Epicot and reminiscing about how our kids did the same thing at that age
39. Hearing, “Hang on to your hats and glasses folks, cause this here’s the WILDEST RIDE in the wilderness!”
40. Hearing my not yet middle-aged husband’s booming laughter as he checks his stress at the door, forgets about work and responsibilites, and turns into a kid again
And one to grow on…Counting the many blessings God has given us in remembering all the fun and special times our little family has had together over the years at our happy place and making new memories that our kids will hopefully hold close to their hearts, no matter HOW fast time flies by and turns them into adults.
Right before our very eyes.
After several long months of anticipation, our trip to see Mickey and the Land of Yellow will be here before you know it and we could not be any happier about it. Hopefully our family will be able to experience all of the things we’ve looked forward to and more. Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise. If so, maybe I’ll be back to spill a story or two about our adventures there.
Or at least post some out of focus pictures. Plenty. Of out of focus pictures. Cause that’s how I roll.
So stay tuned.
And remember to keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.