Cinderella, Santa, Haunted Houses and other “Scary Stuff” (or: Vacation debacles that worked out somehow)

A few years back…. well, probably more than just a few, we took a trip to Lake George. I remember going there as a kid. I remember Story Town, which we discovered when we arrived was now just a small part of The Great Escape Amusement Park. I remembered the North Pole that was quite a drive from Lake George, but worth the trip. Specifically I remembered that in Story Town there was a Cinderella’s Pumpkin Carriage ride. My son was a Cinderella fanatic. He was obsessed, still is at 22. “Citronelle” was one of his very first words.

We arrived at the Great Escape and at the entrance was a sign listing all of the rides that were not operating that day. You guessed it…. Cinderella’s Carriage was on the list! Well, he got to SEE the carriage anyway and since there was also a castle (sort of, it was just a Prop) he got over the carriage ride a little more easily that I thought he would.


We had a good time at the park anyway.  I think I was more disappointed than DC was. I was just so looking forward to him being able to ride in the carriage. He would have been thrilled.

The next day we were heading to the North Pole. This would definitely make up for the missed carriage ride! I checked the local paper the day before and found an ad that stated it was open daily and listed the hours of operation.  It took quite a long time to get there – about an hour and a half, if I remember correctly. When we arrived at the park we found it “Closed for Construction” for the next few MONTHS!  Now I had to explain to him that the park was closed and we would not be seeing Santa today. That went well…………..(not!)

On the way back to Lake George, we happened upon another very small park called “The Magic Forest”. The park was small, cute but very run down and old. DC didn’t care.  He made me walk through a dusty, beat up “Princess House (cave)” 20 times or more. The Princess house cave was filled with dirty mannequins with peeling paint with cobwebs everywhere, but he LOVED it!

20 trips through the Princess House

20 trips through the Princess House

We took a ride on the train that got stuck on the way up a hill and the employees had to get out and push, but he still loved it.

There was also a SANTA!  So the second day of our trip was saved!

Santa Saves the Day!

Santa Saves the Day!

The next day we decided to walk though the town. I remembered a pretty cool wax museum which, surprisingly was still there. We also came upon a Haunted House. DC loves all things Halloween and loves Haunted Houses; always did, even when he was very young.

He wanted to go in. After only two minutes inside, I began to realize that this was a mistake. He was terrified. He put both arms around my waist and I had to keep both of my arms around his neck/head; and this was the way we walked through the rest of the house, with DC walking sideways facing my side, with both arms around me and both my arms around his neck. All the way thorough, all I could think was “What have I done? This child is terrified! I’ve scarred him for life”. I felt so bad that he was so frightened. I kept telling him that he was okay and it was all make-believe. We finally made it out and he seemed all right, but I still felt awful. It WAS really, really scary.

We continued down the street. I continued to ask him if he was okay and told him to remember that it was all just make believe. He seemed fine.

As we were walking DC stopped, pointed and said “Go In”. I looked over and he was pointing at another haunted house. I tried to explain to him that this was a “Scary House” just like the last one and I really didn’t think he wanted to go in. DC kept pointing and saying “Go in” and was now dragging me toward the line. All the while I was trying to explain that this is scary just like the last one. He got me to the line that I had no intention of getting in, and he proceeded to wrap both arms around my waist and had me put my arms around his neck/head and got “into position” to “Go in”.

Apparently, he did understand that this was another haunted house and as much as I thought he was terrified, he wasn’t – he loved it and he was “Going in!”

So, no…… Not scarred for life at all.

DC did get to ride in Cinderella’s Carriage a few years later at another park in New Hampshire.

He still loves Haunted Houses, but you would never know this as he’s going though them.

There’s No Place Like Home

There's No Place Like Home

There’s No Place Like Home

I am fortunate that DC loves to travel. This was not always the case and for a time I believed we would never be able to go anywhere at all, especially by plane. But now he loves to go everywhere and anywhere.

As much as he loves to go away, he always knows when it’s time to go home. If he knows we are leaving on Tuesday, then we are leaving on Tuesday. If he was offered an extra day in Disney, he would not take it because he is going home on Tuesday. It’s not that he is not enjoying himself, he is. He just knows when it’s time to go home and he wants to go home.

Three years ago we took a trip to San Francisco. With the exception of the off season heat wave, the “salad dressing incident” (as it has come to be known by many of my friends), the evacuation of our hotel and an extremely frightening ride in a taxi, the trip went well.

Evacuating the hotel - San Francisco 2010

Evacuating the hotel – San Francisco 2010

We had a great time!

Walking on the Golden Gate 2010

Walking on the Golden Gate 2010

Saturday came and it was time to go home. We had a very late flight, so we spent the day seeing some last minute sights, dinner, and nap and off to the airport to catch our 12:30 am flight home.

Everything went smoothly; bags were checked in, we got through security quickly, we made it to the gate, got DC some snacks for the flight and waited to board.

It was about the time for the plane to begin boarding when the announcement came that the flight had been cancelled! Not delayed, cancelled, due to the crew’s “fatigue” ~ seriously that is exactly what they announced; the crew was fatigued and the flight was cancelled. The next flight out was not until 6:00 am the following morning. This was an already scheduled and sold flight, so chances were they would not be able to accommodate all of these people that just became stranded in the airport.

This was not going to be pretty; DC was ready to go home.

The conversation went like this:

DC the plane is not coming; we have to wait until tomorrow.

“Going home now”

“There’s no place like home”

 No, Bud we have to wait until tomorrow, the plane is broken (I wasn’t going to try to explain “fatigued). Okay, we will go home tomorrow.



“Plane is cancelled, going home now. There’s no place like home”

Mom, going home now. No place like home. Plane is canceled, going home now, there’s no place like home.”

I tried to explain again and again, but as many times as he said “Okay” he went right back into “Going home now, there’s no place like home, plane is cancelled, going home now”

I gave up explaining and tried to ignore it, but he got right in my face and started to get loud “Going home now, there’s no place like home, plane is cancelled, going home now”

The gate was a zoo, with all of the passengers trying to book other flights home. I sat with DC while Doug was in line trying to get us on a flight. There was nothing else I could do for him.  He wouldn’t take any explanation I could give him. It just wasn’t going to sink in.

Now I was also worrying about spending the night in the airport with him. I didn’t think it was going to be easy to get a room anywhere since the entire flight of people would be trying to get a room. We had already turned in the rental car and I was imagining us driving around all night in a cab looking for a hotel with an open room.  Our bags were checked in earlier and we wouldn’t be getting those back tonight so  we had nothing!

And DC was still going on and on……

At this point I saw that Doug had made it to the counter and was working to book a flight. DC was just going on and on so I decided I would share the “joy”. I took DC up to the counter and stood next to Doug.

DC went on and on…..

“Going home today, there’s no place like home, plane is cancelled. Mom! Going home today, there’s no place like home, plane is cancelled, going home today” louder and louder……..

The woman behind the counter looked up at me and said “Oh! I AM Soooooo SORRY!” as DC kept reciting his lines. He kept it up, I tried to explain over and over and he went right on.  She apologized again and on he went.

She was finally able to book us a flight for the next day. And she also threw in a room free of charge (She may have been afraid she would have to listen to this the entire night – I think that “Sharing the Joy” may have paid off a bit……..)

And yes, in this case I agreed with DC… there is no place like home!

Wax Museum - San Francisco 2010

Wax Museum – San Francisco 2010

(We’re going to skip over  the next battle in the room, with no luggage, when he refused to go to sleep because he had no PJ’s and one just doesn’t  sleep In one’s clothes, you know)

“Penny” is in the house! NY Comic-Con


2013 comiccon

This year we decided to forego our annual October/Halloween weekend in Salem to attend NY Comic-con.

October… Costumes… it qualifies.

This was our very first “Con” and me, in my infinite wisdom, decided not to start small. Nope…. New York City…. Huge…. Mega Crowds…. but I have to say that it really went well.

Even though we would be in the city for the entire weekend (New York City is DC’s favorite place in the world) I opted for just the one-day/Saturday ticket. I knew that being in New York and not walking around the city and the crowds that I was anticipating would not make for a very happy guy. If this was a bust with DC at least there would be the bright spot of spending the rest of the weekend visiting his favorite places – Hard Rock, Central Park, Toys R Us, The Eloise Store in the Plaza and the Hershey Store.

Since most of our day was posted on my Facebook page, I am going to take the easy way out and just re-post those posts – they say it all anyway….

Once we made it through the crowd outside (pictured above) we headed to the vendor floor – the autograph/photo-op room was not open yet. DC wanted to see Felicia Day and only Felicia Day – but first; the vendor room.


 Just as we were making our way out of the vendor room because of the crowds, we happened upon Mike Tee-Vee. The real Mike Tee-Vee. Talk about a find! DC was so happy! If we had walked down a different aisle we would have missed him. Fortunately it was early and not too many people had happened upon him yet so he was able to take his time with DC.



Waiting in line for Felicia Day.  He had waited almost an hour and just as I thought he couldn’t take it anymore, she came out. She came out 20 minutes BEFORE her scheduled time. It was still another half hour before we made it to the front of the line but just seeing her up there kept him focused. Can’t love her more for doing that!



Some illegal photos Doug took while we were waiting.. until he was screamed at by the staff, that is.

2Ny and ComicCon 0031391453_10200782575831324_2033676110_n




DC with Felicia Day… She was wonderful. She held his hands and asked him which Dr. Horrible song was his favorite. (He was going to wear his Dr. Horrible costume, but changed his mind at the last-minute which was probably for the best)


DC loves “Penny” from Dr. Horrible but he also knows her from “Erica” (Eureka). He was thrilled. She let us take a picture even though we were not supposed to (as much as he loves her, I just could not make him stand in another line for a photo-op with her)



I picked the only panel I thought he would enjoy – the Once Upon a Time, panel. Even with the appearance of surprise guest “Emma” (Jennifer Morrison), DC fell asleep about 10 minutes into it – I tried….

There is a Walking Dead panel later today that I am dying to go to, but … yeah… that’s not going to happen.



Lunch: Pretzels on the floor. The pretzel line was the only manageable line for food we could find. If he was not looking forward to dinner in the city later, THIS would not have gone over well at all. – *Note to self


I told myself all day that I would not spend the money they are asking for William Shatner’s autograph. Well, I caved. How could I attend my first Comic-Con with William Shatner in attendance and skip him? DC does know him of course because I am his mother. I was nervous but William Shatner was nice to him. We were not allowed to take photos (and no, I was NOT going to pay for a photo-op), so this was the best we could do. We completely forgot to tell him that DC shares his birthday!



Ready for dinner in the city…

(update 2/2016: This was a post that I made private some time ago until I had the opportunity to edit a few of the photos of DC – I was reminded of it due to a conversation I had yesterday – My apologies if you have received an e-mail notification for a new post – it’s old)

“How Rude!”


Full House…. One of DC’s favorite TV shows. He especially enjoys Stephanie’s classic line; “How Rude!” It must be the delivery because DC really doesn’t have any notion of “rude” or what it means. He says what he says, the way it makes sense to him. He has no concept of what rudeness is.

Years ago, in the grocery store he wanted to get past someone, he just said, “Move”. I explained to him that this was rude and that he should say “excuse me”. And he did……. to every single person we passed in the store, every single one of them. He now knows not to tell anyone to “move” because I told him not to. He doesn’t understand why and just knows that it’s rude, not really knowing what “rude” means and not really being able to relate it to other things he does that can be seen as rude. It’s rude because Mom said so, period.

A few years ago, we were in Las Vegas. We were walking down the street and I was holding DC’s arm trying to navigate him through the hordes of people made worse by construction, on the sidewalks. He also has no awareness of what’s around him, in the sense for example, he will stand up in a restaurant to put his coat without looking around to see if he’s going to hit a waitress or a customer with his arms. He just doesn’t have the thought process to consider who might be around, who might be in the way, who he might knock over. He just does what he has to do. I was so preoccupied with making sure he wasn’t in anyone’s way, bumping into them or hitting anyone when the arms started flapping, that I didn’t notice the people out on the sidewalks handing out their “marketing materials”. I looked down and DC had a handful of business cards, all with photos of women on them. He wasn’t looking at them, he was taking them because they were handing them to him, and we always do what we are told. I took them and tossed them in the trash. I couldn’t just tell him not to take them. He wouldn’t know what to do when the next person tried to give him something, and that would result in a bit of a breakdown. Mom said not to, but they are still giving these to me. That sort of conflict in this head is never pretty. So I told him that if anyone else tries to hand him anything else, that he should be polite and just say “No, Thank you” and not take it.

In Vegas, the people handing out “literature” stand about 7 or 8 in a row and you run into another 7 or 8 of them every 10 feet. So DC, following the rules, proceeded to walk down the street, screaming “NO THANK YOU!” at each and every one of them, all the way down the street, the entire time we were there, anywhere we went.

That’s my boy! He IS NOT rude 🙂 I did manage to get him to lower his voice a bit as the days went on and he was very proud of himself for being so polite – even though he really doesn’t understand what that means either. It’s all still a work in progress………………….