As I’ve mentioned numerous times, our biggest problem traveling has been terror of how the Monster might respond to a trip anywhere.Our vacations, typically, tend to either involve going with family so we have backup or going somewhere that we can ‘abort’ back home if there’s too serious of a disruption.We’ve gone to the beach and small trips within driving range primarily, so we end up within a few hours radius of our house where we feel ‘safe’.Flying somewhere’s been off our radar, despite having gone through Wings for Autism and his seemingly having responded okay to that.A week on a cruise ship, though, where there are thin walls, no availability of adjusting the environment and especially no aborting back to home?Out of the question, you lunatics.
About a year ago, my family and I had the benefit of enjoying a morning with some of Autism on the Seas’ staff on Grandeur of the Seas, the Royal Caribbean ship that’s travels from the Port of Baltimore.The goal of the exercise, besides obviously getting a sales pitch for their services, was to see how the Monster would respond to being on a ship, and to figure out if we could imagine ourselves actually putting ourselves through that kind of an exercise.I’m also a big believer that a test-drive often doesn’t give you a full, accurate impression of a company’s services, but I could put my thoughts on that aside when the wife and I actually found a few sailings that worked with our schedule and budget and… suddenly, I found our family preparing to go on vacation. Continue reading →
Long before the children were a thought, my wife and I managed to get away twice on cruises. It’s fun enough to me – most of an all-inclusive coupled with actually getting to see different places – but as we’ve had children, that’s not been as much of a thought to me. And then throw in the Monster’s Autism, which makes any trip scary enough… and we’ve not really gone anywhere.
So when Autism on the Seas announced that they were doing a ship-tour nearby, coupled with a discussion of their services, we jumped at the chance to both window-shop and hear about something that might make it possible. Continue reading →
The benefit to having memberships at some of our local attractions is that our memberships often transfer to other places around the country. By benefit of our membership at the Maryland Science Center, we have access to interesting museums around the country… like the Virginia Living Museum, in Newport News, VA.
It’s been a while since my family journeyed down to Six Flags. It’s the nearest amusement park to our house (just barely), and while my wife and I used to have season passes before children, the park hasn’t had as much to offer to our family while both R and the Monster were younger. But now that both children are north of three feet tall…
One of the worst parts of the holiday season is the annual holiday break – it means that we’ve planning to do about keeping the children busy, and dealing with the fact that the Monster is quite, quite used to his regular routine. While he did spend a couple of days at Schools Out at the JCC (which I still absolutely love), we elected not to send him on the days that they were doing field trips, just to not torture their staff.
So instead, we tortured ourselves, and decided to plan a field trip to the Crayola Experience. Continue reading →
I’m a big proponent of educational stops for kids as part of their lives – not everything you hit on a vacation (or staycation) should be an amusement park. One of the benefits to living in a bigger city, though, is having a bevy of educational options that can also fun and stay fresh…
A few weeks ago, the Monster wandered off from us at Sesame Place when the park was extremely crowded.
The nature of the Monster’s Autism is that he’s limited in his ability to communicate with others. If prompted, he can tell you his name (first and last, but you often need to prompt him along), but he doesn’t know our phone numbers, our names, his home address… or at the very least, he doesn’t know how to share them with others.
We were very lucky, that afternoon, that park security found him and took him to Lost Parents, and that he was sufficiently communicative when I got there that he positively identified me as his father, but… in a larger amusement park, anyone could have found him, and we could have been running all over. And out in the wider world, if he were wandering in our neighborhood? Continue reading →
Is any childhood visit to a beach community with a boardwalk really complete without a trip to an amusement pier?
When I was a child, we used to take a week in the summer and head down to The Wildwoods, and at some point during that week, we’d end up at Mariner’s Landing to go ride the rides. Now that I’m grown up, and my kids are old enough for at least some of the things that are offered on the piers, it was time to let them get the same experience, albeit removed twenty-something years from my own. Continue reading →
So as followers of my Instagram feed (or those who noticed the pictures on the Facebook page) will know, my family and I decamped from Charm City for a week for a vacation down the Shore.
Yes, I say “down the Shore”. (My wife’s the “down the ocean” or “downy Ocean” person.) Don’t look at me like that.
My mother very generously arranged for a rental house in Wildwood, New Jersey for a week, so that my siblings could come with their families (as appropriate). So a little more than a week ago, our cars converged on a nice little house a block off the boards, and we spent seven days away from it all before the new school year. Continue reading →
Every summer, my company finds something for us to do with our families. For several years in a row, it was the company picnic at a local swimming club, but… then we grew a lot. So it got moved, first to Six Flags America (see On the Road – Six Flags America), and then the last two years have been at Hersheypark. (Given where the staff at our company live, it just makes more sense to have it north of the office than south.) Continue reading →