I'm a planner. I admit it. I like to be spontaneous, really, but I feel a perverse sense of accomplishment when I can get a week of vacation planned out. I love researching places to go and restaurants to try. I love trying to find a route that includes a little less highway and a little more local color.
So, here is my "vacationing from scratch" plan. We are going to drive straight there. We plan on doing most of our driving overnight on the way, to take advantage of a sleeping preschooler. My husband and older son have spent hours reading about the characters and rides and deciding which attractions are "must-see". Those are the ones we are going to hit. If we don't see every little thing, we're fine with that. The boys will also spend a day in Lakeland, Florida for Detroit Tigers spring training. Our goal is to see and do as much as we can enjoy. Have you ever come home from a vacation feeling more tired and run-down than when you left? That can easily happen in the land of never-ending theme parks. We're going to be picky about what we do and when we do it. On the way home, we're going to take two days and a different route. The return route will take us along the east coast of Florida and Georgia, then through the Carolinas, West Virginia and Ohio before we return to Michigan. I already have some restaurants picked out courtesy of Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives. I'll review those when we return.
In order to make sure my son (and the rest of us) remembers our trip we will not only take pictures, but we will spend time talking about what we've seen and done. No video games while waiting in line. We'll pass the time by talking to each other and playing little games together (my son is a big fan of "I Spy"). If we allow ourselves to zoom through the trip on autopilot, none of us will remember the trip clearly and it will have been money and time wasted.
When we return, I plan on a series of posts about the trip. Stay tuned to see if we were successful or if I broke down on day 2. It could go either way, but part of the adventure is knowing that and still hoping for the best!