Ultimate Family Vacation, Anyone?

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Cheerios® is giving you the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, your ultimate family vacation. As part of a paid promotion for their “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, Cheerios® is sponsoring my post today about what my ultimate family vacation would be. Read mine, Enter the Sweepstakes for a chance to actually win your own fantasy family trip or one of a bunch of other great prizes.

I know. I've been posting like, once a week and the last time I was here I was all LET'S MAKE OURSELVES LOOK LIKE SPARKLY JERSEY GIRLS so what could possibly be more aligned with that than a post about my ultimate family vacation? But this posting opportunity calls, and I must listen.

The truth of the matter is that right now, this very minute, no vacation seems like a good idea. I learned on our trip to New York + this summer that a vacation with a barely-toddling baby means a lot of time spent in silent, dark hotel rooms while your child tries to nap in a strange place and you can't so much as sigh loudly (let alone go to the bathroom) because if you wake her, she will NEVER nap and that just means bedtime will be 5:30 p.m. and you know? That's not exactly fun.

So my ultimate family vacation takes place in another year or two or three or four. (I don't know. You tell me: when is the best age to start taking your kids on vacation?)

Regardless of when, I want to go back to Disney World.

Yes. I also want to go to a ton of actually cultured places with history and interest (Prague comes to mind), but, well. Disney.

When I was growing up, Disney is the only place we ever went on family "vacation." We'd take the odd weekend trip, or visit Nantucket or family in the Midwest, but Disney was something we'd wait years to go to. We'd plan. We'd wish. We'd aspire. And then, finally, we'd go. With my best friend's family. And even though trips like those were rife with tensions -- 9 people with tremendous expectations is a lot of pressure for a family vacation! -- they were exceedingly memorable and basically the best thing I ever experienced as a kid.

I can't wait to give that experience to my own child.

What's more, though, is that I don't just want to take Ish and Eve. I want to go with my sisters and their kids. I want to go with my best friend and her kids. And my best friend's her mom, who is like a second mother to me. I want to go from our motley crew of 9 to our second- and third-generation crew of 14 and 15 and 16...

Nothing could possibly make me happier.

But what about you? Where would you go?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 
Here is the part of my post where I WOULD show you, in pictures, what a fantastic time we had at Disney World the handful of times we went. Except all of the photos are still in photo books and scrapbooks and frames and SLIDES, and have not yet been digitized. 

Therefore, I give you the most random assortment of photos from WDW EVER, because I happened to have these shots on the computer for reasons I can't possible explain.

Here is a picture of my mom in Disney Land from the 60s. I don't know why she was there or who she went with. But um, here she is! In a Disney photo. With Doc! You're welcome.

Here is my sister, Healy, and Emily's brother, Taylor, on the monorail.
I don't know why they are wearing masks, because I'm pretty sure this WASN'T the year we were there for Halloween.

The day before we went to Disney for the second time, we all got our hair done.
I got my first perm (it was 1986). My sister, Healy, got a "pixie" cut, and spent the
entire time we were in Florida explaining to strangers that she wasn't a boy.

Above, Healy and my sister Sam with the Imagination guy outside of the
Captiain EO (with Michael Jackson! In 3-D!) movie/attraction. The dragon's name is Figment.

Here, the kids pose in front of the Tiki statues in Adventureland. We have probably just come from the Tiki Room, which is a horrible, horrible place where automatron birds screech jungle-bird songs at you for an hour. My mother made us go, and we have never forgiven her. I hope wherever she is, she's reading this.

For those of you keeping score, that's Healy on the left. Next to her is me, the dork in the giant t-shirt and -- could it be? -- acid-washed jeans and giant white sneakers, adorned with a perm, standing a full foot taller than Emily, who is next to me (I have not grown since I was this age). Next is Sam in a fashionable suspender combo (Sam was perpetually better dressed than I) and Taylor, barely putting up with the girls' antics.

Here we all are, in 1988. I don't know what to tell you about the fashions. I was 13, and yes, that's a Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt and jean jacket with 900 pins on it. My dad is the guy in the yellow shirt and my mom is the tannest of us all, in a Minnie Mouse t-shirt standing next to me, Healy and Sam.

Don't forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


  1. I am pretty sure I had the exact same outfit as you in the last pic when I was 13, but my jean jacket probably had a slightly different assortment of pins and I was a brunette.

  2. Yes, those masks are from the year we were there for Halloween. As I recall, we ALL wore similar masks. We were the epitome of hip and cool. And we sure had fun.

    We shall all return! xoxo

  3. You guys are so cute. And for the record, I was in Disney World a few years ago,and that EO ride was still running. Granted that was before MJ passed away, so maybe they stopped it now in deference to that: but yeah, four years ago: totally still going. Crazay!

  4. I like how in the last picture it appears that you're standing with one leg in a bag. Was that the style too?

    Nice flair!!

  5. I love the idea of passing down the vacation memories - it's such a fun tradition!

  6. I too wore the Hard Rock Cafe tee/jean jacket combo to excess back in my teens...

    I've been taking my son on vacations since he was 8 weeks old. You just have to tailor the vacation -- and your expectations -- to them for a while. So we did a lot of visiting of family up until he was around 4 or 5, and then we moved on to the slightly more fun stuff (what could be more fun than visiting relatives on your vacations??). Disney World, for example. For which I will wholeheartedly suggest the ages between 4 and 7 as being "the perfect age" for WDW. They're old enough to ride all the fun stuff and not too old to love the childish stuff, or to believe in the "magic."

  7. Uh, fairly sure that's ME in the jean jacket with 900 pins, not you. So ashamed.

  8. Here's my last memory of Disneyworld: I was 14 and there with my dad and my sister. The three us were waiting on line for Tomorrowland and I started talking to a 19 year-old guy from Boston behind us. Long story short- my father let me go on a full on date with him that evening. He picked me up in a car from our hotel and everything. Nothing happened because he kept prefacing everything with wicked and sweet and as a Long Island kid I thought that was terribly uncool but STILL. This is why you should never trust your kids on vacation alone with their father. Even if it's at an innocent place like Disneyworld.

  9. Great posts here ;)
    Our child vacation memories are always great to remember.
    Or at least, they should ;)
    Became a fan and glad to find your blog.

    My own funny cartoons blog is at

    Many thanks.

  10. There is no good time or bad time to travel with a toddler. You just have to bite the bullet and do it. We just got back from a 6 week trip to Europe and South Africa with an 18-month-old. And I survived. Just. And the copious bottles of wine I needed to survive the flights... priceless!

  11. Great post! I love all of these photos...

  12. I'm glad I wasn't the only one in the denim jacket with 900 pins -- and the pegged jeans -- at 13. It was clearly a national epidemic. :)


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