Making Memories

Our daughter’s family took a vacation to Orlando. We’ve been to Florida a few times, and have enough of our share of Disney World and Universal Studios, but we tagged along to offer what little help we can, seeing that they have a lot of stuff to carry. There were two suitcases, one large and one medium, two car seats, a heavy-duty stroller, not to mention two wriggling little kids! I guess children are more fortunate these days and get to fly. But more importantly, we get to have some fun with the bambinos! It wasn’t that we packed in a lot of activities or sight-seeing into each day. Being young, they need their nap times in the morning and afternoon. And if they go out on consecutive days and don’t get enough rest, they get cranky and miserable. But at our age, presence is enough.

After living with them for a week, the first big change we noticed was our granddaughter’s “talk”. Every morning she would get up around six, and talk incessantly as her parents fed her breakfast. It’s amazing how much language skill she picked up between one-and-a-half and two-and-a-half years old. A year ago, she was talking in mono syllables. Now, she talked in complete sentences, with an accurate grasp of tenses, use of adjectives and adverbs to describe what she was doing and how she felt, and even conditional statements as she bargained with her dad, “If you love me, you will give me more ice-cream”! If only we could learn a foreign language as easily as children’s natural language acquisition!

Her younger brother, not even half-year old, didn’t know how to talk yet, so he babbled. But he was always smiling. Whenever I looked at him, he would break out into a broad smile that melts all your cares away. At first I thought he must think I looked funny with my big glasses, but no, he smiles at everyone. It’s just his easy-going disposition. That surely was one of the things we missed when we wrapped up our trip.

Airfare: Jet Blue from Buffalo is way cheaper than flying from Toronto, even when you factor in taking Mega-Bus to Buffalo. The downside is you have to wait a long time at the airport. Accommodation: cheap if you don’t mind driving a few more miles to the theme parks. Food: I don’t understand why, but about a third more expensive compared to Toronto. Car rental: not bad unless you want a second driver. But the joy as we watched our grandchildren’s faces light up when they are having fun, priceless!

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