View Full Version : Any tips for what is going to be a bittersweet trip?

Miss Park Avenue
06-20-2006, 11:49 AM
After many tearful discussions, my husband and I have decided to move from my hometown just outside of Pittsburgh to Portland, OR. I have lived very close to my parents (they are just across the street) and they are very close to my daughters, their only two grandchildren. It breaks my heart to take them so far from their grandparents.

Anyway...My husband is moving out there in a couple weeks to start his new job and get things set up. I will be staying behind with the girls because we had this trip planned in August and and will drive down with my parents. But when the trip is over, the girls and I will hop on a plane in Orlando and fly to Oregon. I'm not too sure when I will see them again and I'm used to seeing them every day :guilty: In a way it's nice because originally we were supposed to go in a couple weeks, so we have some more time together. But now we have to say our goodbyes in WDW. (yes I know the countdown says "girls only" but when we announced our move, my dad decided to come)

Any tips on making the last day as happy as possible? We have ADRs at Chef Mickeys. But now I'm thinking it might be too rowdy for my mom, who might be a frazzeled bundle of nerves. I thought it would be nice to spend that last day at the Magic Kingdom until we have to leave for our flight (which is at 5:10 pm)

Have you had to take that last trip before a big move, or other big change? What did you do to make it special and not heartbreaking?

06-20-2006, 11:58 AM
I've never had to do a heartbreaking trip, but I live next door to my parents, so I can begin to imagine what it would be like. I'm afraid that it's going to be a tough day for you regardless, but you could go two ways. One would be to do as many fun, fast-paced things as you can to keep your mind off of leaving. The second would be to do some quiet things that would allow your family to be together as privately as possible. Not sure what the best solution would be, but hope that it goes well for you!

06-20-2006, 12:52 PM
Welcome to Oregon! I live about 30 miles north of Portland in a small town (Woodland, Washington). I work just across the river from Portland (Vancouver, WA). Portland is a beautiful city and I'm sure your family will love it.

We have a wonderful zoo, a great Children's Museum, and OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science & Industry), as well as the Newport, Oregon coast aquarium, and a real live active volcano! Not quite Florida size attractions, but you can always make the trek across the country like we do each year for Spring Break (my sister lives in FL). We are about 1-1/2 hours from the beach (dress warm!) and about 1 hour away from Mt. Hood (snow skiing, innertubing). My family loves camping and if you don't mind the rain, it's something you can do here year-round.

I know it will be hard to leave your parents, but just try to look at it as a new adventure in your life. I was very close to my mother and called her almost every day of my adult life! So it's still possible to stay very close, even though the miles separate you. (I highly recommend a 3 cent/minute calling card!).

Please feel free to PM me after you arrive and get settled in. Would be happy to meet you somewhere for coffee (yes, you will become hooked on Starbucks!) and welcome you to the area. Oh & yes, we have several Disney Stores in the area as well, if you need that ever important Disney fix! Not to mention that you are only 2 hours plane ride away from Disneyland!

Here's to flannel shirts, Starbucks, sweatshirts & rain!

06-20-2006, 01:00 PM
I was an Oregonian until I got married. Graduated from a Portland school, my mom still lives there. I live across the river 11 miles east of Vancouver. It is always hard to move away from family but this is a beautiful part of the country to move to. Plus there are a few WDW fanatics that live here. We are planning two trips for next year, spring and fall. Hopefully you will make this trip a wonderful time and not think to much about the move. Enjoy it!! By the way if you are not a coffee drinker you will be when you hit the Pacific Northwest!!

06-20-2006, 04:02 PM
I'd suggest not acting like this is the end of the world, because it isn't -- not even close. Act as if it is the normal end of a trip, because that it what it is. Last chance for favorite rides and souvie shopping until next time. No one is dying, so there is no reason to act as if the children will never see their grandparents again. This is important, because kids can get confused about permanency when adults get over-emotional about goodbyes, or as one of my nieces put it when she was 3, "you're never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever coming back again!" (We visit that part of the family yearly.) When you leave, just wave and say, "Goodbye now, we'll talk to you tomorrow!"

If your folks can travel to WDW, they can travel to Oregon; so sign everyone up for Rapid Rewards accounts and make sure that your guest room is in good shape. Get a good long distance plan, and check out Skype. If the folks don't have a computer with good internet access, then get them one before you move, and teach them how to use it (or sign them up for a class at the public library.)

Miss Park Avenue
06-20-2006, 09:25 PM
Thanks so much for the encouraging words. I've been to Oregon many times (we've been married almost 15 years and have visited the in-laws many times) and am kind of familliar with the area. It is very beautiful out there. I've seen Mt Saint Helens, skiied on Mt Hood, hiked Oregon coast, crater lake, the science center. Wow, you'd think I was in better shape :laughing:

My mom is afraid to fly. I told her to take a Xanax and get out there. I'm hoping she doesn't cry the whole drive home. Why couldn't I have married a Florida man??? :crazy:

Rella Bella
06-20-2006, 09:39 PM
Act as if it is the normal end of a trip, because that it what it is. there is no reason to act as if the children will never see their grandparents again. This is important, because kids can get confused about permanency when adults get over-emotional about goodbyes, When you leave, just wave and say, "Goodbye now, we'll talk to you tomorrow!"
I think this is really good advice.

I know first hand how hard it is to move far away from your folks, but you can remain close and still talk everyday. My mom sent cards to DS for every holiday you can imagine -- and some you forgot exsisted -- always with a dollar or two. He has a great relationship with her, and talks on the phone very animatedly.

Maybe a good way to leave would be to make the trip an annual event.(or even bi-annual -- sorry just thinking like a DISer) That way instead of saying "Goodbye", you can say "I'll meet you right here exactly __ months from today... and I'll talk to you tomorrow." And while your at Disney make some "we're going to do this again next time" memories.

(PS - Since it sounds like you usually drive, be sure to arrive at the Orlando airport atleast 2 hours before your flight... security can be a real pain.)

06-21-2006, 12:29 AM
Doesn't really address the last day...but my parents live 10 hours away from us...but my mom bought a web-cam and it is a great way to visit with your parents more face to face on a regular basis. Seriously, it is amazing what these simple items can do. My mom bought some dresses for the girls and held them up while we were talking (you can set it up to do audio through your computer or just talk thru the phone while you are looking at the camera) to see if I liked them, etc. It isn't quite the same as sitting around the same kitchen table, but it is pretty neat. I can even see the "mess" of my dad's office in the background- ahh..the clutter...just like being there.

Miss Park Avenue
06-21-2006, 12:49 PM
Yeah, I think I'm going to keep the Chef Mickey's breakfast ADRs and then head back to OKW and have our goodbyes there. I'm not sure I can handle a big scene at the airport. I've been trying to be upbeat for the girls (who do not want to move) but it's hard. I'm going to look into a webcam, but first I'd have to convince my parents to get internet service.

Most importantly, we'll have to plan our next trip!

06-21-2006, 01:08 PM
Hi, I live in Portland as well. You will have so much to do!! One thing I suggest is if you are moving into the Portland area make sure your girls are not in the Portland Public School distruct. There has been many issues with those schools and I would suggest a diffrent area school. There are many things to do in Oregon including the Columbia River Gorge with Multnomah Falls, Beaches, Shopping malls and we are only a 19 hour drive from Walt's first home Disneyland, or a 2 hour flight. But if you drive it is worth it all the senory that you get to see.

For your last day in WDW I would suggest that you just take your kids to a really nice meal, I have never been to WDW only DL lol. And then let them pick a item out and let them take it home with them. Try not to think about you moving, your parents will be upset but this will be a new adventure for ALL of you!! Your parents will now have an excuse to come to the Pacific Northwest. Just remember that you are always a plane ride away from your parents! Hope that your trips are great and not sad. :)

06-21-2006, 01:39 PM
... but first I'd have to convince my parents to get internet service.
Honestly, it is worth giving them one year of DSL as a gift, and go set it all up for them yourself (or hire someone yourself if you don't know how.) Don't give them any choice about refusing. The only way that you will overcome computer fear is to make it so easy that they won't have to expend effort to do it, and you want to get them used to using it BEFORE you leave. Be sure to install a good firewall while you are at it; once they get to be enthusiastic users, they have a tendency to download trojans all over the place. Trust me on this; I'm a librarian and I deal with issues of older folks being afraid of computers all the time; there is no substitute for walking them through it.

As for the fear of flying, there is nothing you can really do except refuse to humor her by always being the one to travel to her. She will have to have motivation before she will face the fear, but if she misses the kids badly enough, she'll do it.

PS: The kids need for the adults around them to at least act like they see this move as a positive thing, because if they pick up "bad thing" vibes from trusted adults it will make their adjustment much harder. Your Mom needs to avoid showing intense grief about it when she's with them, and should keep the crying for her private moments. Kids, especially girls, have a tendency to interpret crying as a sign of fear, and you don't want them wondering why Grandma thinks moving is scary. BTW, I should probably tell you that I've moved cross-country and internationally several times, both as a child and as an adult. Nothing will make a move harder than going into it grieving for what you are leaving behind. I really do believe that every move should be seen as a fresh start, an adventure and an opportunity for personal growth, even when you are all grown up. You're being spared the grunt work, so revel in it.

06-26-2006, 02:20 PM
I'm in a similar situation. One thing we do is always plan the next trip before the first one is over, even if it's just to see each other again, and not a big trip like back to Disney. To me, it's easier to leave if you can start the countdown to the next reunion. When I was little, we had to move away from my grandparents, and we started a monthly journal we mailed back and forth since it was before email. I'd write about my "adventures," Gram would reply and tell me what she was up to. Made the time between visits feel less disconnected.

06-27-2006, 09:12 AM
I will offer a cyber hug. We moved to Italy 2 years ago and it has been extremely difficult for my mother to be away from my son. The week before we left, she spent that time with him. We did not do any special trips or anything, but regardless, you know that final day will come eventually and it does leave a big dark cloud over even the happy moments. I say for the last day, you should just allow your mother to do whatever she feels is special to she and her grandchildren.
Good luck with the move. I know it is difficult not knowing when you will see each other again, but it will happen. At least you are still in the USA.

06-29-2006, 02:11 PM
I used to be terrified to fly. It just came on me one day while I was on my way to KC for business and it lasted for about 7 years. Whenever I knew I had to fly, I would start crying days before hand. I eventually got a prescription for some kind of tranquilizer and once I tried it, and found out that it would get rid of that total panic feeling while I was in flight, the crying before hand seemed to fade out. Your mom needs to find out what exactly it is about flying that frightens her. For instance, I am not afraid of taking off or landing. Its the time in between where it seems like we are just hovering that upsets me. Also, while I used to cry for days before leaving for a trip, I was never as upset when I knew I had to get on another plane to come home. Knowing exactly what is scaring you seems to make it easier to face and seems to reduce the fear leve. I know there are classes you can take to help you cope with this fear. It also seemed to relieve me just to tell a stewardess or the pilot that I was freaked out. They seem to watch over you--and I feel like if I tell them I'm afraid, they'll be extra special careful flying for me.

My in laws are in McKeesport,PA and we are back in St. Louis. My MIL did not like to visit at first, but now she has her favorite shops and restaurants and will spend up to 2 weeks with us at one time. She has her own room, we stock it with all her own brands of shampoo, soap, she has her own blowdryer, brushes, robe, slippers, etc, here--so packing is not a biggie and she really feels at home. She comes out to visit for both kids' b-days, then for dance recitals, big games...she even came out one week just to watch my DS's football practices--I think the trick is to make her so comfortable and happy while she's visiting that she will be willing to face the airplane to get there. Or you know--there's always driving, or a train ride....

Good luck!

Miss Park Avenue
07-03-2006, 03:23 PM
Thanks for all the encouraging replies! My computer is disconnected now (I'm typing this at the library) and we are in the final stages of moving. My house is being boxed up and my husband will be driving out there on Saturday. We will stay with my parents until we drive down to Florida. After Saturday, I will be officially "away from home" as most of my stuff will be in boxes, on it's way to Portland.

The girls and I will be using the Magic Express to get to the airport. We decided not to say goodbye at the airport. After a month at my parent's house, then stuffed in a car, and a week at OKW, we may be ready for a break from each other! :joker: I can't believe it's a little over a month away.

07-03-2006, 03:43 PM
As the first person in my family to move away from my hometown (where my parents and grandparents graduated from high school), I know your pain.

Can't help you much for your trip, but I bought a great book for my mom several years back called "Long Distance Grandma". I'm not sure that the particular book is still available, but Amazon lists several similar ones in a search. One of the items was to send a packet of hot cocoa to the grandchild and then call them up and have cocoa together.

Best wishes.....

07-04-2006, 03:08 PM
Don't know if you'll get to read this or not, but I just wanted to add my encouragement!!! I lived in Oregon for years!!! No humidity in the summers, not a lot of bugs...it's great!! If your girls are of reading age, you should get them some Ramona Quimby books...written by Beverly Cleary. Ramona and her family live in Portland, Oregon...on Klickitat street...a real street!!! It might be a fun way to introduce your girls to the area! I second the avoiding the Portland Public School system...of course there are LOTS of schools in the close surrounding areas...Hillsboro, Beaverton etc...much better schools.

Don't let the impending move weigh you down...I know how hard it is to move with your man...I now live in New Jersey, mom and sisters are in Oregon...rest of the fam is in Texas...but y'know...you are on to a new adventure!!! Props to you for having that sense of "YES WE CAN!!!" And your parents are only a plane ride away!! It's hard...but it can be exciting too!! Oregon is a very clean, nature oriented state....lots of outdoorsy stuff as I'm sure you know! Throw on those Ponchos you save for WDW rains and head out into the Pacific Northwest!!! Congrats on your new adventure and :grouphug: to all of you!! Onward and Upward...y'all will do great!!!

07-06-2006, 02:16 AM
two things - portland is awesome. i hope to move there for the summer next year. and secondly, i have a bittersweet trip, too. it ends 5 days before i move far far away from DGF. we plan to spend the last day just enjoying company, no matter what we do.

07-06-2006, 12:50 PM
I think you have rec'd many good ideas here from everyone.

Since you have a month in your parent's home, it would be fun to introduce your mom and dad to the internet. Tell them that with the kids growning up with the internet, that this would a perfect medium to help the kids learn writing and spelling skills...with gram and grandpa.

I have VOIP (voice operated internet access) which , besides being much cheaper ($20 per month incl all taxes and fees and all long distance in US and Canada), also has a video phone option...which might be sweet for your parents so that they can see the grandkids. Not sure how much that costs, but I'm with Packet8.net and the regular service is great (you do need DSL however)

But now you really asked about special things to do at WDW. It might be that WDW ends up being your yearly 'meeting place' with your folks, so I think it would be really cute to start a couple 'traditions'. So I'm listing a few options here:
1. Not sure about finances, but perhaps you could all invest in a small contract at DVC. If you can't, maybe look into renting points so that you could all stay together each visit. This gives EVERYONE something to look forward to and it links the kids with Disney and gram and grandpa...not a bad combination!
2. A special place for breakfast or dinner that you do each trip. For this trip, maybe something magical like dinner at the castle (which might still be available, tho breakfast/lunch will be long booked.) Set up the time so that you can watch Wishes from inside. Dinner isn't a big character meal, so it is much quieter and relaxing.
3. Afternoon tea at the Grand Floridian.
4. a carriage ride at Ft. Wilderness.
5. A quick trip on the Breathless.
------------But if you want a special 'memory' that doesnt' cost money, how about something free like watching the electric parade lagoon show from the beach at the Poly? Or doing a nature hike from OKW? Taking a farewell carousel ride and everyone picking out a special horse...that you will do every time you go to WDW in the future!

Please make sure that you take lots and lots of photos /video of the trip. As the kids grow, the photos will become their memories...and they will always remember!

I left home young and lived as far away from PA as Hawaii and didn't get to see my folks all that much. My dad passed when I was 23. When I married, we started bringing my mom out to visit for a month a year BUT my best memory was meeting my mom and sister in WDW with DH and DDage 2.....
we had a wonderful trip (stayed at the Poly) and it is even now, 23 years later, one of my best memories of my mom who passed in '94.

07-07-2006, 10:37 PM
Welcome and good luck to all of you with this move, from another Disney Park loving Portlander. There is a lot to love about living here, especially the summers!

07-07-2006, 11:22 PM
Welcome to the beautiful state of Oregon! (Orry-gun) :wave: I moved from Australia to the Pacific Northwest to marry my (American) husband and understand how hard it is to leave family behind. My father was afraid to fly after having a heart attack, and I didn't see my parents for many years, as we had our own business and couldn't leave it for an extended period of time. It was hard to justify putting out close to $4,000 for just a week, which would end up only being 5 days because of travel time. My parents were semi -retired and could stay here for a couple of months.

My Dad just bit the bullet one year and did the trip, after that they came every other year. My Dad passed away last year and I am so grateful for all the memories I have of them staying with us. To see them all the time would have been ideal, but it seems like we packed alot into our visits together, always being aware that our time together was precious, nothing was ever taken for granted.

When they were leaving I always focused on their next trip back, and not be sad about the time in between. Your kids will take their cue from you, so always try to be positive in front of them. You haven't mentioned your husbands parents, if they live close by, it will be fun for them to get to know their other grandparents. (Just don't mention that in front of your parents)

Like others have said you will be fairly close to Disneyland, which holds it's own charm for Disney lovers on the West Coast. Good Luck to you.

Miss Park Avenue
07-11-2006, 02:15 PM
Hey I'm here at the library checking emails and my DIS thread and it's nice to see so many with encouraging words. I'm trying to by positive for my girls. I only cry when they are not around. But I don't mean to sound like I think this trip is not the end of the world. Now that my DH is in Oregon (and moving our furniture into our new place as I type this) I am anxious to get out there with him. As much as I love my parents, I want to be wherever he is. Sorry if that sounded corny. :love:

littleladykaty: Since I'm here at the library, I'm going to check and see if the Ramona Quimby books are here. I remember reading "Socks" by Beverly Cleary when I was young and loving that book. I will look up "Long Distance Grandma" too since I am here. Thanks lovesmurfs.

I can't find who asked but yes, my in-laws live in Oregon and I will be close to them. My DH's brothers have a business there and they wanted him to come out and help him with it. That's why we are moving. My mil has several grandchildren while my parents have only my two girls. That's one of the reasons why this is so hard on them (and me).

poohluv2u: I know what you mean about pronoucing Oregon correctly. My husband corrected everyone who would ask about "OR-i-GONE". I get that way when people think I live somewhere in "Virginia" (I live in the northern panhandle of West Virginia and am only in Virginia when I'm driving to Florida)

kidsister: My parents are DVC members, owning at OKW. I'm really excited to go. I know we will probably meet up with them there every summer. Maybe we will make Chef Mickeys for breakfast our goodbye tradition.

Thanks again and I will check back when I get back to the library!

07-11-2006, 08:06 PM
Oh good, I hope you can find some Ramona books!!! They start from when she was in pre-school and follow her up to fifth grade I believe, so depending on your girls ages you can pick which book would be most relevent to her life! Beezus and Ramona is the first one and it's more from Beezus' point of view...Ramona the Pest is Ramona in kindergarten...it's one of my very favorites! It's laugh out loud funny...there there is...

Ramona the Brave-1rst grade
Ramona and Her Mother-2nd grade
Ramona and Her Father-3rd grade
Ramona Forever-4th grade--another one of my faves...the girls get to be in a wedding and Mrs. Quimby is going to have a baby!
Ramona's World-5th grade

They are fantastic books...I moved a lot when I was kid and I always found comfort in my books, especially my Ramona books b/c Ramona was always in the same place with her family, getting into trouble and being so real and easy to relate to.

I know how difficult moves like this are, I truly do...I also share your desire to be wherever your husband is. I love my mom and sisters beyond reason, but my fiance is home to me...wherever he is I want to be. I'm guess I'm corny too!!!

You are going to really enjoy Portland, and Oregon in general. Y'all will do GREAT!!! :cheer2: