Trip planning for us is new and fraught with stress and uncertainty.
There is so much to think about when traveling with the Costello Crew that it makes the thought of most trips daunting. The unpredictable is what I fear the most. We have already experienced it with our upcoming trip to Disneyworld. Our car is unavailable for an October 12 departure, as had originally been planned and paid for. It took lots of phone calls, fact finding, cost comparisons, negotiating, demanding and tireless mulling-over-of-the-situation to come to the decision to push the trip back an entire two weeks. We are very lucky that the rental house was available.
Yes, rental house. It is just not possible for the six of us to function happily or sanely in a hotel room. We will do best with just the right number of beds and bathrooms and the ability to make and/or take our own food. There is a certain routine to our function as a family, and that would be best supported by larger space - and a pool - so a house works great for us. We need space.
Eating is always an issue. I dislike sitting in restaraunts, Ethan eats 4 foods, Gavin is a picky eater and Sean and Mikey are distractable. I can't just hope that all our needs will be met each time we need to eat and hope for the best. Budget is always an issue with so many of us, and most being growing boys. Even for food, I need to know the options and the alternatives.
Then there is the prospect of accidents, illnesses and injuries. I am not a cynic, I swear. It's just that they happen, and when you multiply it by the possibility of 4 kids (these kids) and pre-existing conditions, the odds are often not in my favor. Mikey's asthma is already acting up - I suspect it will be better in Florida - but we're not there yet. Ethan takes certain medications that are hard to manage. I need to know when we will run low, how many days it will take to get the prescription and if the medication will be in stock (because sometimes it's not). I can only refill them when I have a certain number of pills left. If this timing does not work out with the timing of our vacation, we will have to submit a special 'vacation' request with the insurance company and the pharmacy. Nothing like needing 'permission' to go on vacation.
Pools = ear infections and that has to be planned for. Gavin gets horribly car sick and that has to be planned for.
There is the wheelchair that we will need. Since Disney cannot promise us one at the gate, we are having one delivered to our rental house. Although Ethan is a big, strong boy, Down syndrome greatly affects muscle tone. With low muscle tone, everything is harder, like walking with weights on you. He will tire easily at a place with so much walking and that will cause him to behave really badly. I'd rather deal with the wheelchair than the alternative.
I believe all these things are managable, and we do have it under control. We did great in Washington, DC in the Spring, and that was encouraging. But if I don't seem excited for this much anticipated (and saved for) trip, it's because right now it's all work and no play.
Yes, I understand, that might not change much once we get there either.