The idea for my trip came about in November 2012; my daughter Faye was just turning three. Her birthday party was at an outdoor miniature railway on a ‘fresh’ Sunday afternoon. My Mum and I had put weeks of preparation into the party as we like to ‘wow’ with the party food – this year’s theme was gingerbread men, my daughter’s favourite biscuit. So three days before the party the baking commences, we’ve got gingerbread cupcakes, gingerbread biscuits, a gingerbread house, chocolate lollies in the shape of gingerbread men, the main cake for the party in the shape of a gingerbread man, the cake for the day of her actual birthday a rectangular cake covered in tiny individually iced gingerbread boys and girls – we had our work cut out, and may I add we are by no way professionals in the baking department, I have these elaborate ideas, that I think will be fun and when it comes down to baking them, they take three times as long and my Mum has to help dry my tears when the cake has collapsed for the third time! I vowed after Faye’s first birthday party that next year I won’t put myself through the torture and I’ll just buy the cake, but three years on I’m still up all night the day before the party icing bow ties onto a hundred gingerbread boys and girls.
So the day of the party comes around, I’m up at 7am making dozens of sandwiches (luckily not in the shape of gingerbread men) and the rain starts to pour, my daughters father Craig has come to help cut the carrot sticks and says every 15 minutes, “don’t worry about the rain, it’ll pass”. By half past 9 I’ve put on 6 layers of concealer to cover up my puffy eyes from weeping into the tuna mayonnaise and then at 10 o’clock we get the phone call from the venue that the trains flooded and the party has to be cancelled, then, the gingerbread house that was hardening in the garage gets brought in and collapses. At that moment in time I thought I was having a breakdown, life as I knew it was over because of rain and the back wall collapsing on a gingerbread house for my three year olds birthday party! The ironic thing is my daughter doesn’t even like cake and she wouldn’t even know it was her birthday if I didn’t tell her!
Alongside the big debacle of the birthday party I was also attending my final year of University, trying to get a degree, which meant yet more sleepless nights over assignments and deadlines. I was due to graduate the following May, so your inbox then gets bombarded with emails about career prospects and ‘what are you going to do next’? It panicked me slightly how fast my three years at University had gone and equally how fast my daughter was growing up and even more so how much time I’d probably spent over the last three years lying awake at night fretting over cake designs and which political party implemented which policy for an assignment id have due in two days’ time! I realised I wanted a bit of a break from it all before I started the gruelling process of job hunting in the current economic climate.
I battled with a few ideas of what I should do, how long for, where I should go and whether it would be right for Faye. I asked Faye herself what’s the one thing she would love to do, and this will be no surprise to many, she said DISNEYLAND! Thanks to a package holiday through Thomas Cook two years prior, Faye had seen a travel brochure with Minnie and Mickey Mouse on and had said every month since, ‘when can we go to Disneyland?!’ So that narrowed my choices of countries dramatically; France, America, Tokyo or Hong Kong.
For Faye and I it was the right time, I had finished with my studying and before embarking on my new career it was the perfect opportunity to do it. In terms of Faye, she was three, so still in Preschool and not starting at Primary school for another year. We decided to travel America, not only for Disney but also as I have a few family and friend contacts out there, which is always useful!
So this is how and why our trip came about and next time you hear from me we will be in the States.
See you in Boston x