A Vomit-Free Vacation

We are back from our family vacation to Florida.  I have much to report, but let me cut right to the headline:

Nobody threw up.

It’s true!  This is epic for the residents of Fordeville.  I mean, there was a very close call during the endless descent of our return flight.  As I sat between my two green children and played Vomit Roulette with the one puke bag I could access at that moment, I may have shouted “Come on, man!  For the love of God, how long does it take to land a damn plane?  Wheels down, dammit, wheels down!”

Or something like that.  Anyway, we emerged vomit-free.  Barely.

While little else can compare to that sparkling family achievement, there were other great elements of our trip.

We stayed with my mom and stepfather for a few days, which was great.  There was a lot of swimming and hanging out.


And then we drove up to Disney World for a few nights with my in-laws.  I really do love that place.  As you can see, this is a Fordeville genetic trait.

Here’s the thing about Disney World:  My son’s favorite attraction was the monorail — which is the only item in a 50-mile radius that costs absolutely nothing.  I may have to consider a Disney edition of my Money In Flames series, wherein we could have just purchased the kid a map of the park and a pirate outfit, then put him on the monorail for three days to save large sums of cash.

But then I could not have had access to the ice cream shaped like Mickey’s head, which is a must-have.  For me, anyway.

Also, the souls of my children have been replaced by those of pirates.  Arrrrgh.  Ahoy.  Me hearties.  They are obsessed, particularly since we bought them the Disney pirate gear.

My son, 16 seconds after waking up each morning:  “Where’s me pirate hat?  Me treasure chest?  Oh, and me spy glass?”

Aaaargh, matey.

My daughter, thankfully, held off on the Disney princess mania for what is probably the last possible year — mainly because she has declared herself a Pirate Princess in a show of solidarity with her brother’s obsession.  Naturally, there is an appropriately overpriced and ill-fitting Disney Pirate Princess hat available for purchase. {Hook and spy glass sold separately.  Of course.}

People have asked me if the park was crowded and if we waited on a lot of long lines.  Here’s the thing:  My kids are young enough that they don’t know yet what they are missing.  So if a particular ride had a really long line, I just steered them in the other direction, yelling something about another ice cream shaped like Mickey’s head.  Or I busted out another pirate prop.  Selfish parenting?  Maybe.  Totally effective?  You fucking bet. There will be plenty of years when we wait on long lines because they’ll have their heart set on something.


Other highlights of Disney World:

FastPass Insanity, one of my favorite spectator sports.  This is when you see two seemingly educated adults who, in front of their children and the general Disney public, will scream at each other — even stoop to name-calling — over the family’s FastPass strategy, in an effort to avoid waiting on any lines.  Like this:

“What do you mean, you didn’t get the FastPass for Winnie the Pooh?  The wait is over an hour!  What have you been doing?  I sent you to get the FastPasses!”

“I decided we should FastPass Pirates of the Caribbean instead.”

“What?! That’s all the way over in Adventureland!  What kind of jackass are you?  We are not hitting Adventureland until tomorrow!  Today is Fantasyland!  Fantasyland, god dammit!  I told you this over breakfast.  I can’t believe you.”

“I just thought…”

“You thought what?  You thought we’d just skip Fantasyland?  And ruin the whole trip for the kids? Nice job.”


The Stroller Olympics.  For many attractions, you are required to park your stroller in a designated area, which happens to be the size of China.  Then, in an effort to streamline the parking or to just screw with the minds of parents, the Disney employees tend to relocate the strollers while you’re inside the attraction.  You think you can spot your stroller in a crowd, don’t you?  I mean, you use it every day.  You may even have a colorful toy or something attached to it for easy identification.  But let me tell you something.  Unless you have installed a time-release-activated flare gun from the base of your stroller, you will be reduced to a dizzy and disoriented parent who walks around for 20 minutes mumbling, “I thought I left it right here.”  Because “right here” looks like this.


–And let’s not forget Disney Magic.  This year, Disney Magic emerged in two distinct forms.  First, the night when our kids, in a completely unprecedented move, fell asleep at a restaurant — one in the stroller, the other laying down in the booth.  This never happens with our kids.  Ever. Less selfish parents might have called it a night.  But where those parents see defeat, we saw opportunity.  Why, yes, we will have another round of cocktails please.

Disney Magic II was seeing one of my closest friends while there — in an unplanned capacity. A friend I’ve had for 20 years.  The friend who is the godmother to my daughter.  Someone whose travel plans don’t usually fall off my radar.  About a week before we left, I was on the phone with her, making plans for a different trip later this year (more on that another time).  She made a passing reference about getting ready for Disney, which led to the quick realization that we were booked on the same days.  At the same hotel. I swear, if we tried to coordinate this, in a hundred years we would not be able to do it.  But there we were.

So it was thumbs up all around at Disney World.

But look.  A Disney vacation is tiring.  So imagine how grateful I was to my mom when she agreed to watch the kids at her Florida place so P and I could go spend a child-free night by the ocean. Not a chicken nugget nor a pirate sword in sight.


A very nice 24-hour getaway that had me ready to face the trip  home.  Plus, we had to leave the humidity of Florida before my daughter was mistaken for Nick Nolte’s mug shot.



It’s always hard to come back.  But I’m pretty excited that we seem to have brought the warm weather home with us.  Along with the swashbuckling, sword fights and treasure hunts.


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  1. So glad you had a fun, vomit-free vacay. Your pictures are awesome!
    BTW your son isn’t alone in his monorail obsession. That was my son’s favorite “ride” when he was 4. But he called it the “mama-rail” 🙂

    • fordeville says:

      Thanks Jen! I think the NYC Transit System should be replaced with the monorail. Wouldn’t that just be better for everyone?

  2. Erica says:

    You HAVE to stay at Disney’s Polynesian Resort when you go back there six months to a year from now! It’s soooo beautiful!!!! Also, you simply have to do the whole “princess-y” thing with your daughter at that point!! The Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, breakfast at Cinderella’s Royal Table. It’s against the law not to! ; )

    • fordeville says:

      Thanks Erica. We stayed right near the Polynesian and it does look lovely! I’m sure the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is in our future — I’m just trying to hold it at bay for as long as possible 🙂

  3. Sounds like a glorious vacation! Glad you got some downtime with the hubby before coming home 🙂

    So excited that Spring days seem to be near.

  4. Anna says:

    that looks like a super-fab vacation, and congrats on the no-vomit achievement. i will admit that the stroller lot is a little bit frightening!

    we havent been to disney but when we go to six flags my husband types and distributes an itinerary – i’m totally serious. the first time friends came with us they almost died laughing. but by our second trip they were like, “can you email this year’s version to my phone?”

  5. Alicia says:

    love the picts and the story! thanks.

  6. Christine says:

    The Dimmicks are headed to Disney Friday! Can’t wait!
    I would seriously live there if they had a Starbucks!

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