|We're so happy to see you go!|
Annnnnnd I'm back!! You're welcome :) Did you miss me? Of course you did.
I recently returned from vacation at a Disney Resort in Orlando, FL this past week with my family. My parents thought it'd be great to get their kids (ended up being just me and my eldest bro, not the other 3) and grandkids (5 of the 11 total) together to experience the magical world of Disney as one big happy (yet incomplete) familia. So after 3yrs of planning, the parentals made it happen! I traveled to Oklahoma City to pick up my other big bro M.V.'s kids--a boy (who's not biologically his) and girl that none of my family had met. Initially, M.V. was supposed to bring the kids down to Orlando himself, but being the trifling hard-head ninja he is backed out at the last minute (*smh* to be cont'd later...). So, the kids' mother (who couldn't attend due to school) released her precious children into my care. What a great aunt. eh? With my newly intro'd niece (Lil Ma'am, 6) and nephew (Ray Ray, 8), we headed to Orlando. The trip was smooth and I had no problems with the kiddos. We were then met by my oldest bro, who drove down from Georgia to Florida with his wife, and 3 sons (D-Money, 8; Tone, 8; J, 11). It was quite a cute sight to see all 5 cousins meet and excitedly play together. In fact, their 1st activity as a group was hunting toads and lizards on the grounds of our resort before dinner. Gross. All the adults were gagaing over my niece, who is rather adorable and who we'd been dying to meet after receiving numerous pictures of her doll-like face over the last 6yrs. We purchased 3 day passes for the Disney parks and were all ready to enjoy our time together as a family exploring the hometown of Mickey and Minnie.
And, well.... that's pretty much where the warm fuzziness of the "let's all go on vacay as a fam" spirit ended. [Sidenote: Anyone who followed my tweets are aware of this. I had made a pact with myself that I would take a break from my Droid and enjoy my vacay time without distractions. But yall, twitter was my only way to vent!!] By the first full day, when all 10 of us went to Magic Kingdom, I was ready to quit my duties as babysitter. Since none of the other adults were really interested in riding the fast rides, I was the default ride chaperon. There were very few moments I was ever apart from the munchkins. And having 4 boys ages 8-11 is nonstop energy and rowdiness. And my niece? Well let's just say she was deceptively cute because Lil Ma'am had plenty of bratty attitude and tantrums for my a$s. She was impatient, hard to please. easily bored, and got very angry and aggressive when her older boy cousins wouldn't pay attention to her. She was constantly going at it with Ray Ray and D-Money. J, the oldest, tried to reason with her but wrote her off as annoying and didn't want to battle with her. Tone, her one advocate most of the trip, had to tell her on the last day, "You need to work on your attitude." Now, my nephews are a handful, but they are pretty well behaved and submit to grown folk, so it's easy to take charge of them when they get out of hand. I was having to constantly reach within myself to bring forth my maternal side and discipline her while simultaneously trying to make sure everyone was having a good time. My family can be rather harsh and unyielding and it was obvious she wasn't used to that kind of treatment and made it that much more difficult to deal with her.
For some CRAZY reason, I actually thought I was going to have time to myself. Since we were there, in part, for an NMA meeting, I figured I'd make my way over and mingle with some single doctors. I even made sure to pack cute sundresses and chic evening wear just in case their was an opportunity to hang out at night. WRONG. I never quite escaped the little people. My mother did offer to watch my niece one day, so I could go meet up with some people I knew. But I turned her down since (a) I wanted to use my passes to go to Animal Kingdom (which ended up being mad whack) and Hollywood Studios with the others and (b) I didn't believe my mom really wanted to be bothered with Lil Ma'am by herself. And really, I had agreed to come on this all-expense paid vacay knowing I'd be helping with the kids. My babysitting was my way of earning my keep. And truthfully, I didn't mind. I was happy to relieve my aging parents of the hassle of alone time with their grandkids lol.
Despite some of the hardships of playing Auntie Gemmie, I had a great time with my family. We bonded, shared a lot of laughs, got in some great rollercoaster rides, had tons of pool and tanning time, and enjoyed being away from our daily routines. I am truly blessed to have been able to go on this trip and being with people I love. There's nothing like QT with the fam--especially with my big bro, Lou, a shining example of who a great man should be.
Some trip highlights:
- Meeting my niece for the 1st time. Brat or no brat, I love my niece! I'm so happy I got to meet her and her brother (and mother). It's a shame that it took 6yrs to meet her but I'm so happy it finally happened! I look forward to more visits in the future.
- Being at the happiest place on earth. Disney world, though run by thieves of the worst kind, is quite a spectacular place. And I got to be with my nephews and niece for their FIRST experience of the magic of Disney. I love being an auntie :)
- My in-flight in-my-head romance. I met the most gorgeous and friendly man on my trip with the kiddos to Orlando from Houston (our mid-point stop from OKC). He was probably about a decade older than me (I'm assuming from the beautiful gray sprinkled through his hair) and he was traveling with his son and a few other families for a basketball tournament. We talked on and off for the entire flight and our convo helped take my mind off the fact that I was nervous about flying with 2 children I hardly knew. If only it could have continued once we got back down to earth *stares longingly into the distance*
- My family consists of natural born comedians. From my dad trash talking everyone, to my brother cracking jokes about his 2520 wife, to the kids reciting quotes from The Godfather at random times, we were CTFU constantly. Even Miss Thang had her me laughing when I wasn't plotting on leaving her at one of the parks...
Lil Ma'am: What's your name again?
Me: [Gem's govt name here]
Lil Ma'am: Can I call you Margaret?
Me: Uh no, that's not my name.
Lil Ma'am: I'ma call you Margaret
*Ray Ray tells a terribly unfunny joke*
Lil Ma'am: Why don't you think about your jokes some more and try again later, ok?
*Lil Ma'am loses her 2nd baby little pony and only has 2 left*
Lil Ma'am: I lost another pony! Oh my gosh, I hate myself! *screams into pillow before composing herself* Well, at least they're even now...
- My dad's obsession with my Droid. My dad thinks smart phones are a waste of money and unnecessary and took every opportunity to tell me so. He hated big time. When I found the grocery store we'd been looking for on my Droid? Dad: "Your Droid didn't find $h!t." By the end of the trip, my dad declared he was going to buy himself a Droid. Yeah, right. Good luck trying to figure out how to use it when he can barely work his flip phone *eye roll*.
- GTLing. I didn't exactly make it to the gym but please believe I shed calories and likely fat by walked around endlessly in that hot-as-hell Florida weather. Likewise, all that time in the sun at the park and by the pool caused my skin to get colored in! WOO HOO!! I'm a brown skin lady now! And since we had a w/d in our room, I came home with only 2 pieces of dirty clothes. Boo yow!
Moms is now talking about everyone going on a Disney cruise. Lawd! I may have to conveniently schedule important experiments that can't be rearranged around the same time. Either that or she'll have to lure me on the ship with an Idris Elba doppleganger as bait. And I WILL bite.
Have you ever been on a vacation that turned out to be different from what you planned? Have you been on a family vacation that exhausted you and made you want to take another vacation to actually relax and have alone time?
Still in vacay recovery,