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To Oma: Thank-you for our exciting trip to Florida.  We love you.  Please don’t take this post the wrong way.

Oma recently made it clear that she was not going to live forever and neither were we.  In an fit of magnanimity, she invited to take us all to Disney for a multi-generational trip.  This led to another sort of fit on my part.  There was some foaming at the mouth.

The proposed trip was:

  • Return flight from Canada to Orlando
  • Pick-up by Disney shuttle
  • Trapped at Disney: 5 Day Park Pass, 5 Day Meal Pass, 5 Day Accommodation

It was decided that Fabhio couldn’t take the time off work and Firstborn probably couldn’t take the time off uni.  That left six of us – the exact maximum allowed in a Disney hotel room.  Room, singular.  Yes.

The thrill of spending quality time with the family was tempered by the certainty that we would not come out of this alive.  You can’t take a big family of hippy homeschoolers, expect them to eat junk for 5 days while standing in long crowded lines in the stinking hot sun in an overstimulating theme park and then cram them all (teens included!) in the same hotel room with their grandmother for 5 nights and not know that it would end very badly.  Also, the older kids were set on Universal Studios more than anything.

Luckily, Yogawisewoman told me about the time her mother bought her a brand new car.  YWW’s advice was to gently explain that a humungous gift has to work for both giver and recipient and then to work together to come up with a solution.  Oma had no idea that the dream vacation was more of a nightmare to us.  A couple of lunch dates later, we had come up with a comparably priced trip that worked for everyone.

Our new trip:

  • Rent a van in Canada for 3 weeks
  • Spend a few days driving it to Orlando
  • Rent a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house off-Disney for 2 weeks
  • Make use of the full kitchen to prepare our meals.  Rent a locker daily at Disney for our lunches etc.
  • Make use of the washer and dryer to clean our clothes
  • Make use of the wifi and back garden to chillax at the end of the day
  • Fahbio to take a week off work and fly down to meet us
  • Have Fabhio drop us at Disney when he’s in Orlando or pay the $20/day to park
  • Firstborn to take a long weekend off uni and fly down to meet us
  • Join a homeschool Disney trip that allows the 6 main travellers to buy discounted 4-day Disney tickets which can be used anytime (non-consecutive) in two weeks
  • We are free to do our own thing in Disney but we do have to attend one educational workshop that looks great (Behind the Seeds)
  • Add on 2-day discounted Universal tickets for all 8 of us through the homeschool field trip (again good for 2 weeks, don’t need to be used consecutively)
  • Volunteer at givekidstheworld a charity that makes dreams come true for children with life threatening illnesses
  • Spend a few days driving home

Our five day trip for 6 has morphed into a 21 day trip for 6-8.  Yes, we might still kill each other but the odds are now much more in our favour.  In the good-sign department, all 8 of us are now stoked for our trip!