Last updated: February 15. 2013 8:35PM - 186 Views

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My family ‚?? which consists of my parents and my brother and ‚??sister‚?Ě ‚?? and I are very close, even though the latter two live in North Carolina. We‚??ve always been like that, so it‚??s kind of shocking that we haven‚??t been on a full-fledged family vacation in 22 years, which was an awesome week at Disney World in 1986.

(Certainly, we‚??ve all been together since then, but once my brother flew the coop six years ago, my parents and I have gone to visit him on our individual own, or he‚??s come home for a whirlwind few days.)

So for all intents and purposes, I am considering this as momentous as that week in Orlando.

That vacation was awesome for so many reasons: I vividly recall how much my father ‚?? who was and still is the epitome of a manly man ‚?? enjoyed the It‚??s a Small World ride.

I still get breathless when I consider the nearly overwhelming awesomeness of the Goofy hat he bought for me (complete with white teeth that hung down from the peak and the floppy ears on the sides). I will have you know that there is a picture in existence of me wearing the hat as I am sitting next to Goofy himself. The fact that I have a piece of gum dangling out of my mouth and am wearing terrycloth short shorts and a shirt with Jon Bon Jovi on it in said picture is obviously moot but worth noting regardless.

That trip gave me some firsts: my very first plane ride, and I attended my first ‚?? and last ‚?? luau at our hotel, the Polynesian Resort.

Thanks in part to my dad, when he gave my brother and I the OK to charge souvenirs to our room using a special kid-friendly room card, I learned that things bought on plastic are ‚??free.‚?Ě Clearly, he found the opposite come checkout time, just as I did many, many years later with my own credit cards that were, unfortunately, real.

So here I am about to jaunt off on this vacation that I am super-excited about. I‚??m excited about a lot of things: We will be together as a family, we can all celebrate my brother‚??s birthday together, and I am off for a whole week for the first time in eons.

But what I‚??m really excited about is this whole trip revolves around my parents‚?? 25th anniversary. These two wonderful people have always been my touchstones in life, and I am so glad we are able to get everyone‚??s schedule aligned to make this long-time-coming vacation a reality.

And, Mom, as an added bonus because I love you so very much, I promise to keep my one allowed luggage item within the required 50-pound weight limit. You‚??re welcome!
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