I am so excited!! On Friday we leave for our annual trip to Florida.
Every winter, for as far back as I can remember, my family has gone to Walt Disney World for a glorious week of “fun in the sun.” It all started the year that my father was invited to attend his first medical convention in the city of Orlando. Because it also happened to be the home of the Magic Kingdom, my mother decided to take advantage of the situation and turn my father’s boring old business trip into a fun-filled family vacation. It was such a success that my parents ended up making the trip an annual event.
The only problem is that we always travel to Florida during the school year. This means that I always end up having to lug my school books down to Disney World with me (so that I don’t fall too behind on my schoolwork). However, now that I am in Middle School, I am afraid that it’s not going to be all that easy to keep up with my assignments anymore (there are just too many of them). And, I am really worried that my grades are going to suffer as a result.
In fact, I have been so stressed out about it that I actually tried to convince my father to change the date of our departure this year so that it coincided with my Spring Break. That way, I explained, I wouldn’t have to miss any school at all. I guess that it was too far out of the “routine” for him, because he refused.
I am going along with him this time, but I have a feeling that this may be the last year that I go to Florida in February.
Routine or no routine, life goes on. Even if my mother hadn’t died, I would still be in sixth grade now, and I would still be worried about falling behind in my schoolwork. Things would still have to change. Nothing can stay the same forever.
Not that I don’t like going to Florida. Who wouldn’t want to go to Walt Disney World? Exciting amusement park rides, fun musical productions, and friendly Disney characters. And, besides, it’s tradition!
I know, I know, I sound like my father. But, I can’t help it. Disney World has the word “tradition” written all over it. The place never changes! It’s the perfect vacation spot for (what’s left of) my family because it allows us to preserve our absurd need to keep to a routine. When we’re at Disney World, we get to do the same things over and over again, year after year, with only the slightest departures from our regularly traveled path.
For instance, one of the things that we always like to do is stand at the far end of the Monorail tracks (Disney’s aboveground version of a subway system) in the morning, on the way to the park. By standing at the far end of the tracks, we increase our chances of getting chosen to ride in the front car with the driver. It’s fun because the front car is really spacious (there are only a handful of seats) and it offers a completely different perspective of Disney’s grounds than the other cars do.
The window in the front car is big, and round, and bubble-like. It’s very futuristic. I like to lean over so that only my forehead is touching the window. Because, when I do, the floor below me disappears from view, and if feels as if I’m floating above the ground, with nothing but magic to keep me from falling to the earth. It reminds me of the scene at the end of Roald Dahl’s book, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, when Charlie and his grandfather fly through the air in Willie Wonka’s glass elevator and look through the floor at the town below.
Of course, I am probably getting a little bit too old to get picked to ride in the front car at this point (usually only younger kids get chosen to have this particular honor). But, I think that I’ll try to get away with it just one more time. After all, it is a tradition.