If you have been to Walt Disney World you already know that it isn't just a place where you show up with no game plan. I had bought a giant travel book full of insider info and had been post-it note scarring it for months. Armed with personalized maps of the parks and extremely detailed agendas, I successfully micro-managed my family around the parks. I had our timing down to the second so that we could squeeze every last drop of family fun out of our seven days.
What I didn't anticipate (stupidly) was how amazed the boys would be every time we saw one of the characters in full costume. Picture me meeting Ryan Gosling and you might be able to imagine the excitement the kids had when they saw Mickey for the first time in person. Luckily I was smart enough to buy the biggest memory card I could find so I can always relive those magical moments.
By the time we went back the next year some of the magic had already faded. They were still excited to see the characters but my oldest whispered in my ear that it was just a person dressed up in a suit. I was so sad to see that he was growing up so fast, in part to things he heard at school from kids with older siblings. I was proud of him that he didn't want to ruin the magic for his younger brother but I wanted to keep him innocent and believing in Mickey Mouse forever. Okay, that sounds a bit nutty, but it was the first time I realized how fast he was growing up. Then he motioned for me to put my ear back down to his mouth and he whispered, "The REAL Mickey Mouse is WAY too busy to hang out here every day." My heart nearly exploded with joy that the magic would indeed live on for a little bit longer.
Do you have a favorite summer vacation memory?