Family Vacations: It is what it is…err make it? (July 2014)

The weekend before we left for Disneyland we visited my family at their river house to enjoy some fishing, gumbo, and relaxation.  In the midst of conversation with the four generations of ideas the term “it is what it is” was spoken.  Quickly a retort was filed:  ‘once upon a time “it was what you make it”‘. This blew my mind, why have we come to accept all of life as mediocrity, why don’t we celebrate it more?  Being a compulsive user of “it is what it is” I decided it was time to clean up my attitude.

The next morning we arose to catch my least favorite of flights, the kind that require you to leave the house before eight in the morning.  Aislyn had a slight fever so I dressed her lightly in only a onesie.  I decided I would not let all of this get me down, it was in fact going to be what I made it.  Atleast her fever wasn’t hospital worthy, and atleast our early flight meant more time to play at Disneyland!

The flight was easy, ofcourse no one was able to sit together, but Aislyn’s temperature made it so that she slept nearly the entire way.  When we landed our luggage was quick and easy to grab, and the clerks at the Budget rental booth in the airport were eager to help us with the reservations we had already made for two car seats and a minivan.  They sent us to the garage with a smile on their face, and we loaded up the four year old, the 18 month old, my teenage cousin and my 85 year old grandmother and Josh & I headed to meet my cousins who live in LA in the Budget garage.  I headed in with my contract information and the lady very rudely yelled that I had two people in front of me, then I could get my car, it would be no time at all she assured me.  This worried me all the same, this was the sort of place they just handed you the keys and send you to embark on an independent search for your spot in the lot.  Why is there an invisible line to just be handed my keys and give me my assigned number?  Something was fishy.  There was no room for the nine of us in the waiting area of two chairs, and the bench on the outside was completely occupied so we created camp in a vacant parking spot just next to the office.  “This is what I make it” I thought to myself feeling Aislyn’s temperature rise in the hot parking garage.  Even above the ground was a sun of 90 degrees beating down on us!  The clerks of the Budget garage successfully ignored our ongoing inquisitions for over an hour.  A little communication is all I ask, if you don’t have our car we reserved over a month ago, please tell us.  If the wait is going to be longer than an hour then take the customer’s number and allow them to debark back into the air conditioning of the airport baggage claim across the street.  Don’t make an octogenarian widow and two toddlers stew in a 90* heat with no explanation.  What ever happened to good old fashioned customer service? But I stop myself:  “it is what I make it”.  We are gaining an opportunity to visit before we part ways, and I have more fuel to actually return to finishing the book I am writing on customer service.

As we finally are placed in a mini van we pile everyone in and race to the nearest CVS Minute Clinic as Aislyn’s temperature did reach 105 while in the garage.  At CVS though they turn us away, as they only help with injuries or vaccinations, anything else and we must head straight to an ER.  The ER is beautiful, and half the staff is amazing.  We are admitted at once, and after running a cathater and examining Aislyn’s ears for any sign on an infection Aislyn is given a clean bill of health, and we wait four hours for her temperature to drop enough to be released from the hospital.  It is what I make it though, and the hospital staff was kind, and the bill was only 1200 dollars out of pocket, a third of what it was when we had to take B in for measles last Christmas in Houston. ( We believe in vaccinations…his mother apparently could care less.)

Finally it is five o’ clock and we are in bumper to bumper stand still traffic, as we see the first day of Disneyland draw to what to me I struggle not to make a bitter end.

I’m nearly in tears of frustration when we arrive at the Disneyland Hotel only to find that due to our delayed arrival we were by default issued an ‘upgrade’ in accommadations.  This ‘upgrade’ included absolutely no bed for our four year old to sleep.  “Roll aways are a fire hazard”. This is a room that is costing us atleast 600 dollars a night and our child is being forced to sleep on the floor as they have no other rooms available?!  This is my breaking point, the point that she asks me if that will be alright, “do I really have a choice?”  Josh tells me to sit down, seeing my temper beginning to flare and once again I return to my mantra, “it is what I make it”.

Trying to create something positive.   I start to plan it all in my head I’m going to start this day fresh, right here at 6:30 in the evening.  We are going to have a family dinner at a nice delicious restaurant in Downtown Disney, and then at the dinner table we are going to get a picture of the family to place in the album that we can look back on and tell the kids about how crazy their first day of “Disneyland” really was, and we will laugh about this.  But when we arrive to our hotel room I find my camera had been accidentally left on and the battery is drained.  We go to dinner at the Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen and enjoy a pricey dinner, and then just as my gut is twisting at the picture idea a photographer comes to the table and offers us a complimentary family picture.  We not only take the complimentary one but purchase all three precious photos he had also printed for us, and with that I am resolved.  The day was absolutely what I made it!

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