Thursday, December 04, 2008

Memories of Thanksgiving

Really, it's hard for me to accept that it's December. I keep looking at the calendar trying to reinforce the idea, but it just won't sink in. Since I don't often go out of town on long vacations, I think our honeymoon just really threw me for a loop. I left town when the weather was my favorite - low 70's and sunny - only to return to 40's and 50's. Brrr! What happened to my northeast toughness, you may ask? I spent the first 18 years of my life in Baltimore, MD and then headed even further north to Rochester, NY for college. Four years of 8-month winters and "lake-effect snow" was enough to encourage my pilgrimage to Atlanta, but I always laughed when I saw people around town bundled up when the thermostat read 50-degrees. "You have no idea what cold is! This isn't cold!" Now, I've become such a wimp. I can't seem to get warm in our drafty house. And I refuse to go out for my nightly walks because it's just too cold!

I got a break from the cold weather over Thanksgiving when Nick and I went to Orlando to visit some of his family. The weather? Sunny and high 60's. Yay! We got to see the family, reminisce about our wedding, walk on the beach, eat a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, window-shop without coats, and the really fun part - we went to going to Disney! I haven't been to Disneyworld since was about 8 years old. (Everything wasn't nearly as big as I remember...) The Magic Kingdom was so fun. My favorite rides were Pirates of the Carribean, Peter Pan and The Hanted Mansion. Funny how I remembered The Haunted Mansion. It must have scared me so much that the memory of standing in the dark waiting for the car to arrive is burned in my memory.

Check out this warped picture of Cinderella's Castle.
My iPhone had had a couple by this point. :)

Nick and I in line for Peter Pan...
One of the few lines we had to stand in.

Me and Dumbo. I'm the one wearing sunglasses.

Disney Ducks! These were actual real ducks!
After seeing all the mechanical animals for hours, we couldn't believe our eyes.

I was talking with Nick in general about taking kids to places like Disneyworld. When kids are so young, there's no way of knowing if they will ever remember it. He wondered if it was worth spending upwards of $50 or $75 for admission, plus hotel and transportation on an experience they may not remember. Since most memories are based on the emotions you feel at the moment, I'm thinking that Disney is a very memorable place. Whether they scream on Thunder Mountain or stood in awe of Mickey Mouse, chances are if they're tall enough to ride the rides, they'll probably remember something. But more important than that is that they had fun while they were there. Since we can't know what kids will remember, isn't it worth it to have the most varied, fun, exploratory, educational, new experiences possible?

(And now for the shameless plug....hey, at least I'll admit it!) This is why photography is so important. I think we've all had the experience of not remembering something from our childhood until we saw a photograph of it. Or even more extreme, when our visual memory is directly tied to that photograph. What memories will your kids have? What will they have the opportunity to remember simply because there's a photograph of it?