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Vacation wrap-up

January 21, 2013

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I thought I’d post a few last thoughts on our vacation, now that we’ve been home over a week. . .

Apparently we picked up some germs on our trip.  A came home coughing, then E picked it up along with a runny nose, and now they’ve passed it on to me.  I’ve had a horrendous head cold for the past few days and feel like my head’s in a bubble–minus the cough though, so maybe I’m the lucky one?  I don’t feel that lucky right now. DH sounds about as awful, although C and D aren’t too bad so maybe they’re the winners in this round of sickness.

I bought two bags of lemons and we’ve been juicing them to go with honey and warm water for everyone to drink, although E, who most needs the honey for his throat, won’t touch it. But I digress–although the fact that my head is very fuzzy may explain some of the rambling that is to follow.

The kids loved our hotel in Anaheim.  We stayed at Embassy Suites where all 14 floors are open to the atrium below.  If our door was ever open, E was sure to escape through it to go look through the railings at the floor beneath. He also had to be the one closest to the glass in the elevator.   He was fascinated by the waterfall and the rocks, and the stuffed lion perched above the waterfall.  Once we were on the main floor, it was practically a given that he’d run away to look at the koi in the fish ponds.

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Here are the boys, packed and ready to go, reading through The Secret Life of Droids that Grandma and Poppa bought for them.

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I have to laugh when I remember trying to leave the airport.  Since it was snowing quite heavily, DH said he’d take the shuttle to long-term parking and retrieve our van so we could wait in the warmth of the airport.  So he left.  Then Grandma and Poppa’s shuttle came and they left.  Then we waited.  And waited.  And we waited some more.  And wondered if DH had gotten lost.  Finally he called to ask if we remember what row we parked on.  I asked him which shuttle stop he got off at because we were only one row over from shuttle stop 3.  “Oh,” he says.  He got off at stop 9.  Eventually he found the car and called again to say he was pulling out and we should venture outside.
I managed to get all of our luggage, the stroller, and four children safely across 3 lanes of traffic while the snow was blowing sideways.  And we waited.  And waited.  And waited some more.  Thankfully, a traffic control guy came over to me and  told me to send the boys across the next street to wait inside the rental car building opposite where it was heated, which was good because DH missed where the lanes split and drove right past me on the wrong side and had to drive clear around the airport again.  Finally we were reunited.  And I was chilled to the bone.  He loaded our luggage and I retrieved the boys and we were on our way home.
It’s always a letdown to come home from vacation.  Not that I would wish to be on a permanent vacation, able to idle my days away forever, but after days of being together all the time, it’s always a little sad when we have to return home and go our separate ways once again.   Granted, the boys and I still spend the majority of our time together, but DH of necessity has had to go back to work, and we had to say good-bye to Grandma and Poppa as well.
I’ve realized that I really enjoy travelling with my parents, and I really enjoy travelling with my children.  And my parents enjoy travelling with my children.  Apparently we’re doing a good job of parenting, when our children are turning into people that we don’t mind spending time with.  Although I suppose one of our major goals in this earth life creating a family that we actually want to be with forever.
So we had a fabulous time together.  I’m still a little overwhelmed by my parents’ generosity in providing this entire experience for us.   In trying to put some of my feelings into words, my thoughts kept going back to the talk my dad gave at my last little brother’s funeral where I found this:
“It is often said of new parents expecting a second child that they cannot conceive how there could possibly be enough love to share with another after all they have lavished on the first one.  Every parent with multiple children can testify that the capacity to love miraculously grows and there is always enough to go around.  We have discovered over the past few years an interesting corollary.  As each child has left in his or her turn, the love doesn’t diminish, instead it becomes more focused so that what once was shared by five is now apportioned among the four remaining, making them all the more loved.”
Now being the only remaining child of those five, I feel the immense love my parents have for me.  Even as it has expanded to include my husband and each additional grandchild, I am still sometimes overwhelmed by the great amount of love my parents show me.  (And not just by taking me to Disneyland!)  I’m grateful for it, and I’m grateful for their teachings as well.  We had family home evening together in their hotel room Monday night.  After spending our first day at the so-called “happiest place on earth,” we listened to Poppa teach more about the real happiest place on earth, the temple, and the blessings that are ours because of it.
It’s those teachings and blessings that are helping me to raise my own children and I do look forward to the day when we can be together for eternity with the entire family, never to be separated again.  So, thanks, Mom and Dad.
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