“Welcome home!” These were the words that greeted us to the Walt Disney World Resort, Saratoga Springs, in Orlando, FL for spring break. Immediately I felt completely filled up with joy and excitement at the fact that we were finally here. After a long fall and winter, the long awaited spring break vacation was finally here. I hadn’t let the excitement in until that moment, and it truly felt like I was coming home.
As Disney Vacation Club members, my family and I were accustomed to taking yearly trips to Disney locations, and coming back to our home resort of Saratoga Springs felt like just that: home. Right away my sister, Nicolle, and I went to our favorite pool that overlooked the entire Downtown Disney, an area that is full of great restaurants, shops, and clubs, and were finally able to do what we had been itching to do for weeks, just relax.
We immediately found a comfortable pattern for each day: wake up, breakfast, pool, lunch, nap, then explore Downtown Disney. Considering that we had been to Disneyworld quite a few times previously, the theme parks did not hold as much appeal to us this time. This was pretty much the perfect rhythm. There was the familiarity that comes from the resort and all its employees, who treat all their guests like family members. Anywhere with the word “Disney” in its name that I have visited has hired the best of the best at making their guests feel comfortable and very well taken care of. So the mornings and afternoons felt like we were residing in an amazing summer home, but the evenings and nights consisted of just the right amount of fun and new things in Downtown Disney that we never had the chance to become bored.
The very last night we were in Downtown Disney was one of the most eventful that we had. We saw a famous ex-NBA star in our restaurant that night, found some great deals while shopping, and were stuffed to the point of protruding stomachs from dinner. I suggested taking a walk under the guise of walking off our dinner, but really I just didn’t want the night to end. My family and I ended up in front of the Hard Rock CafÃ©, where there was a man playing the acoustic guitar and singing for a small crowd of about ten people in front of the restaurant. While standing in the warm, humid air, my cheeks still radiating heat from the sun I had gotten by the pool that day, and listening to him sing all types of songs from The Beatles to Jack Johnson to Buffalo Springfield, I just had to close my eyes and soak it all in. Again, I was completely filled up with joy, but this time the excitement was replaced with a hint of sadness that it was all over and I had to go back to snowy Wyoming the next day.
All too soon, it was time to walk back to the resort, go to bed, and return home. On the flight back, I didn’t think of all the homework I had to do in the next day before returning to school, or of having to navigate the Denver airport and drive the four hours from there to our home, or even of my lingering sunburn. Instead, I just reflected on the amazing feeling I had experienced in Orlando at Disneyworld, and looked forward to the next family trip.
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