I read the other week in the New York Times Health Section (which appears on Tuesdays) that a study found that when stressed out mice take vacations they become less stressed. Soooo, I decided, if a vacation works for little stressed out creatures like mice, perhaps a vacation might help me relax too.

On Tuesday, I boarded the plane for Fort Lauderdale, along with my daughter A (and her Louis Vuitton handbag which does not leave her sight) and son D (and his Blackberry which I think may be permanently part of his right earlobe since he talks to his girlfriend L all the time.), for a week of vacation in Flo-ree-da.

First, I took my kids to see my mom P (their grandmother who had not seen them in almost two years) who lives in Margate and then we spent the second half of our trip in Orlando, since I had a wedding to attend in DisneyWorld.

The Flight
“I can’t believe you spent the entire 2.5 hours of the flight reading your Vogue magazine,” said son D. “How can anyone spend that much time reading one magazine?”

“You have to understand,” I said, “It is the September issue. It’s 584 pages of as it says on the cover ‘stylish steals & smart splurges + beauty secrets of the season and all the Fall fashion fun.’ Plus, I had to read the articles about Jenny Sanford and her husband’s ‘cheating heart’ and Roger Federer, ‘the greatest tennis player of all time’ and Charlize Theron, who ‘always reveals too much.'”

Cover to cover, I covered all 584 pages. So glad the flight took all 2.5 hours.

To Grandmother’s House We Go
Grandma P was a bit under the weather, but we had fun. We brought bagels to go along with grandma P’s lox and lots of bottled water to keep us hydrated during the hot, hot days at the pool.

“Where do you think we will go for dinner?” said A. “You know grandma, she likes Chinese food and deli.”

“Where do you want to go for dinner?” I said to my mom on Tuesday evening.

“Let’s see,” said P. “Oh, I haven’t had Chinese food in a long time. “Can we go have Chinese food?”

A and D were quite surprised to find out that the Chinese restaurant also served sushi, and quite good sushi at that. Grandma P’s taste is quite trendy. We left the restaurant with full tummies and lots of leftovers for P’s already full refrigerator.

“Where do you want to go for dinner?” I said to my mom on Wednesday evening. (We had plans to go see the Julie and Julia movie that night. We checked the movie times in the paper to make sure the movie was playing in a theatre nearby. The paper said 7:30 pm which was perfect. If we left for dinner at 5:30 pm, it would give us enough time to eat dinner, get lost finding the theatre, and be in our seats for the start of the show.)

“Let’s see,” said P. “Ooh, I think we should go to TooJays Deli. I have a yen for shrimp salad.”

TooJays it is,” I replied. We enjoyed our salads and deli sandwiches and shared some delicious desserts. No leftovers. We all decided that TooJays is feeling the effects of the recession and has definitely cut back on their portion sizes – either that or we were little piggies that night. NO, NO, NO, the portions were DEFINITELY smaller!

Finding Our Way
“Which way do we go,” I asked P as we piled into the car. “Left or right?”

“I think you go left,” said P. “You need to find Lyons Road and then you make another left and the theatre should be right there.”

It was dark. I turned left. I drove several blocks. It was 7:00 pm. (Remember I said the movie started at 7:30 pm).

It was dark. I kept driving several more blocks. It was 7:10 pm. (Remember I said the movie started at 7:30 pm).

It was dark. I kept driving several more blocks looking for Lyons Road. It was 7:15pm. (I knew where my children were. I knew where my mom was. I didn’t know where Lyons Road was.)

“I don’t think we are going to make the movie,” I said to P.

“I thought it was this way,” said P, “I guess I was mistaken.” (It was 7:20 pm.) “Turn in here, I think there is another movie theatre in this shopping center. We can see if Julie and Julia is playing here,” said P.

I turned left. I drove up to the theatre. D went to check the times. The next showing of Julie and Julia was at 7:25 pm. A went to get the tickets. D helped P out of the car with the walker. I parked the car.

We were all in our seats when the show started. Whew! Close call, but we made it. Glad there are several movie theatres in Flo-ree-da.

Off to See Mickey
“Everyone is always happy here,” said D, as we arrived for our three day stay in DisneyWorld. “I wonder if the happy workers go home and yell at their family and friends at the end of the day?”

I realized that I hadn’t been to DisneyWorld in many, many years. And after a few days I realized why I hadn’t been to DisneyWorld in many, many years. The Beach Club Resort was lovely, but there were soooooooooo many little kids and I don’t have little kids anymore. No, now I have BIG KIDS. It just wasn’t the same. There was no one to buy Mickey Mouse ears for. No one screaming in my ear to have Breakfast with the Characters. No one to stroll in a stroller around the parks.

Now my kids are old enough to go by themselves on a roller coaster. So, I did not have to lose a night’s sleep worrying about how I was going to survive the wait to go on the rollercoaster and survive the fear of the rollercoaster ride. (Years ago, I actually yelled to the Disney conductor to turn off the rollercoaster halfway through the ride, but he never listened to me.)

This time, instead of waiting and worrying, I took myself to see the Beauty and the Beast show with the other rollercoaster wimps, while my BIG KIDS ventured on all the fast-paced rides.

Wedding Bells
Saturday nite was the best – I dressed in my Nicole Miller strapless dress (which was luckily glued to my body from the 90 degree heat) and my Ann Taylor high-heeled sandals (which were also glued to my sweaty feet) and pranced off to my colleague’s wedding. She was so beautiful in her elegant gown. She looked just like a Disney princess. It was like a storybook wedding. The sun was setting on the gazebo as they said their vows, we threw yellow rose petals at the bride and groom. Then we were wisked off to Epcot for cocktails, an extraordinary light show, and back to Ariel’s restaurant for dinner and dancing. (Not much dancing for me. My 50+ year old feet weren’t up for too much dancing in their high-heeled sandals.)

Almost Home
Sunday morning we woke early, finished packing our bags, and were ready to check out. The wonderful thing about staying at a Disney hotel is that you can check your luggage at the hotel and not even think about it until you pick it up at your destination city.

“How many bags are you checking?” asked the attendant.

“Two bags,” I said. (A and I had shared a large suitcase. We were good packers. Although, we did bring way too many clothes.)

“We’ll have to weigh the bags,” said the attendant.

I put my bag on the scale.

“It weighs 53 pounds,” said the attendant. “You’ll have to take 3 lbs. out of the bag or you’ll have to pay an additional $50.”

“How could your bag weigh 3 lbs. more than it did when we arrived?” asked D.

“How is that possible,” said A.

“Oh no,” I said. “I know what it is. It’s my Vogue magazine. That’s the extra 3 lbs. I packed it in my suitcase.”

“Well, just throw it out,” said D.

“What, what, what,” I replied. “I can’t throw out the September issue of Vogue. Not yet. I know I read the entire issue, but I haven’t picked out my favorite outfits yet. I know I’m not going to buy those outfits from Neiman Marcus or Armani, but I still want to look at them again when I get home.” (But, I also didn’t want to spend an extra $50 to take home my Vogue magazine.)

I took out my shoes, and some other items and put them in my son D’s suitcase.

“It’s 47 lbs.,” said the attendant. “You’re fine now.”

Home Sweet Home
I enjoyed my vacation in Flo-ree-da. It was nice to have a few days to relax, sit by the pool (even with all the little kids), read an entire novel (Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner), and spend time with three of my favorite people (mom P, daughter A and son D).

I think A was glad to be home too. She didn’t appreciate sharing a room with her mom who snores. I never realized I am such a snorer. The good thing is – if I was snoring then I must have been sleeping – which means I wasn’t having one of my stressful sleepless menopausal nights.

Yes, like the little mice on vacation – I too had a chance to relax and have fun during my 6 day break in Flo-ree-da.