I haven't had a vacation in over a year. At least not a real vacation. Last time we took off, we went to Jamaica for a week. It was fantastic, but it's been much too long since I've had more then about 2 hours of face-time with my husband. Well, we are going to remedy that. We are preparing to drive to Orlando to spend some time with my brother and his family. And the mouse, or if not the mouse, at least his watery friends.
We were going to go on a cruise, utilizing the services of Autism on the Seas to do our booking, but given my grams' terminal cancer I just can't take a cruise right now. At least with this we will have a car and God forbid we have to return home we can do that at a moment's notice.
So far our plans have included renting a condo for a ridiculously cheap rate, hiring a mother's helper/vacation nanny to give me some respite and help to keep the Beastie safe and reading a ton of books about Orlando & Autism.
The most helpful one I've found so far is The Child With Autism Goes to Florida: Theme Park & Resort Guide, Tips and Rides Review. It's a nice pocket size guide and has been packed with useful info on every page. As someone who has been to Disney World 14 times already, but never with an autistic child, that is saying something.
The one I am slowly plowing my way through is PassPorter's Walt Disney World for Your Special Needs: The Take-Along Travel Guide and Planner! (Passporter Walt Disney World). It's almost overwhelming but very, very thorough. It covers about every 'special need' you can think of for pretty much every attraction in the greater Orlando area. And a few needs I never even considered!
Both books will be making the trip with us. I've also seriously considered buying The I-95 Exit Information Guide: 6Th Edition. The bits I've looked at online seem like it would be perfect for us, since we aren't making any reservations for accommodations on our drive down or back, just playing it by ear, based on Beastie's needs & mood.
And, in a moment of weakness, I purchased The Ultimate Disney Savings Guide .pdf. I am currently on page 34 of 137 and so far I haven't learned a single thing I didn't already know. Now, to be fair, I do have a degree in travel & tourism and am the Queen of Google Research (yes, it's a title I own, along with "Queen of Random" -- you know you're jealous). So I am reserving judgement till I save the $19.95 I spent on it. So far, no savings.
So, did I mention we are leaving in TWO WEEKS??? Oh, and I have a 3 day trip to MD Sheep & Wool thrown in there for good measure? And a trip to take Beastie to the Center for Autism & Related Disorders at Kennedy Kreiger (read: Johns Hopkins) the day before we leave for vacation?
Hang on friends, it's going to be a wild few weeks!