Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Trip Courtesy of Peter Pan's Wings




 
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan    


As is always the case, you must get back to the real world after a trip.  Life must go on.   

You sparkle the pixie dust on yourself and fly about for a few days, but you eventually must come back to earth.

But you never come back to earth completely, because in my experience, every trip we take makes our lives a little more magical, a little more special, and we carry those feelings with us forever.


“If you shut your eyes and are a lucky one, you may see at times a shapeless pool of lovely pale colours suspended in the darkness; then if you squeeze your eyes tighter, the pool begins to take shape, and the colours become so vivid that with another squeeze they must go on fire.”

― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan    

I wanted to end this weekend with a short little post wrapping up our trip to Florida. 

It was one of the best trips we've ever had: a mixture of fun, family and memories.  A pilgrimage of sorts in honour of a travelling companion who has now passed on to another, wilder adventure.

The first time I ever went to Florida was 1991, and it was a late honeymoon of sorts with Barry.  We stayed on the Atlantic Coast, walked the beaches, explored seaside towns and we took a couple of day trips over to Orlando to visit Disney World, something neither of us had done as children.  My parents picked us up at the airport and were enthralled by the pictures and the stories.

We didn't return till 2003 when we went with my dad, who was now a widower.  Our kids were 8 and 11 at the time and the five of us had a blast, especially my dad.

My dad's health took a negative turn shortly thereafter, and I am always grateful that he travelled several times with Barry and I and our kids.  Memories made on trips are crisp and laser-focused.

We took our kids back to Disney in 2007.  They were older, we were older, we stayed onsite and we had a great time.  We brought Dad back some gifts and took them to him in the special care home.

On this trip, we took a 19 and 22 year old. We took a girlfriend.


We bumped into various versions of our family everywhere and ghosts of happy memories haunted us around every corner.  We saw grandparents holding hands with grandchildren and we blessed them all.

There was a wistfulness in the realization that though we will likely go to Disney with our kids in the future, it probably won't be until they have children themselves.  Someday, I will be that grandparent.  Someday I will be my dad.

Woven through our entire trip was my dad, both at Disney and out at the Gulf, were we visited with family, Rob and Angela, whom we think the world of and who are always so kind to us.

Rob is now the Patriarch of the McLeod Clan.  Not sure if he'd like the title, but he's inherited it nonetheless!


With the amazing Angela and Rob - best people ever!


I thought I'd end with some final images of the trip.  I realized that though I brought a physical representation of my dad along with us, I needn't have.  He's always with me and will always be with me. 

obviously I'd had a couple of drinks..

 






Sometimes in life the magic is obvious.....



Sometimes it is brilliant:


 
 
Sometimes it a moment captured:
 
 
 
 
Sometimes it is subtle:
 
 
 


My father was a subtle man, but he loved whimsy of all sorts.  And he did adore Peter Pan.

 

 
 
 
There wasn't a moment on this trip that I didn't savour, even when my legs ached!  I drunk it all in and I toasted it all.  The memories were made, and now they can be called upon and enjoyed for years to come.  Just like my father.
 
So Cheers Dad!  We Love you!




“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”
    
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan    
 

40 comments:

  1. Beautifully said, I love this post! Having just returned from Florida also, after spending a week with my youngest daughter at Universal Studios/Portofino Bay, I went on any ride she wanted, regardless of my fears, lol. We went from morning to night, and I took in every moment, as she is a senior at college, will be graduating, and it is probably our last trip like that together. My parents took my sisters and I on trips, even a drive cross country to California, stopping at every major place - Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, etc. and my grandmother came along. It is true what you say about encapsulated family time. I'm so glad that my parents instilled it into me, and my husband and I carried it on with our children. Thanks, Wendy for sharing your memories.

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    1. Suzy! I am so happy you had an equally wonderful trip! And you are right - the moments I remember most with my own parents are the trips we took when we were young! I think travel is the one thing one never regrets spending money on, especially if you have children.

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  2. Thank you so much for sharing Wendy,it brought tears to my eyes!
    I sometimes forget the bigger picture and worry about the little things and this post really hit home for me.

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    1. Let me know when you get your eyelet dresses what you think of them:)

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    2. Thanks Ina and I will definitely let you know how I make out!

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  3. Bravo Wendy! Ol' Bud would be so proud of his daughter. Your kids will one day take their kids back to Disney World and pass along how this legacy started. You brought a tear to my eye.

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  4. Hi Wendy, what a lovely way to round up your trip to Florida. My, but the McLeod resemblance is strong, in you and your kids! I always love to see family resemblances, especially since when I look at our two boys I don't see anything familiar at all, although other people do see it. Anyway, that was certainly a wonderful holiday you all had, a very fitting way to honour your dad.

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    1. Thanks Patricia! it is funny - people do say my daughter looks like me as well, but all I can see when I look at her is Barry as she has Barry's eyes!

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  5. Since I am a little ahead of you on the road, I can tell you how sweet that next trip will be. Now that I am a grandmother I have an even greater appreciation of how quickly time passes and how important it is to freeze and capture such precious times. I am sure that with your youngest near grown you fully understand. Your post was a moving tribute to your family and to your dad. It is great to have pictures but just as you said my mom will always be in my heart. I am so glad your trip was complete with beautiful memories.

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    1. My mom, coincidently , loved Tinker Bell. She used to play a flashlight game with her grandkids making Tink appear on a dark ceiling. She always spread a little magic too!

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    2. Teacups - we were staying at a resort onsite full of condos and I would say that every 2nd family had grandparents with them, obviously hosting the children and grandchildren. The grandparents were always so delighted and I laughed when I saw them as when we are younger parents we are always so stressed over what our children do! My father and mother never seemed to mind what my son and daughter did and they in turn seemed to behave much better for them... I love that your mom loved Tink!

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  6. Such a lovely post! So glad to hear that you had a great trip!

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  7. Completely teary, this was so lovely Wendy; he was loved.

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  8. What a lovely tribute to your father Wendy! I love the photos with him...So sweet and funny all at once.

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  9. Oh Wendy, I just love this post! So many good things in it... life really is about the memories you create with your family, I'm so happy for you that you had such a wonderful experience on your trip. xx

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  10. Life is to be lived and lives to be remembered. What a wonderful gift you and Barry have given your children. Very lovely and loving post. Much love baby.

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  11. Beautiful post and written with so much love, thanks Wendy.

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  12. Crying here. This is so beautif. Great family memories do live on forever.
    Your kids will be telling their kids about your trips and that's a beautiful thing to pass on.

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    1. A - you are so right! Thanks for the kind words!

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  13. It is a beautiful post Wendy, an ode to your Dad.

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  15. You're such a beautiful and eloquent writer Wendy. This brought tears to my eyes. Such a loving tribute to your Dad. Mine is always with me too. xo

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    1. Thanks Jen! I think as we age, we realize how fleeting it all is and how it has to be savoured, every bit of it!

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  16. Well, my comment in which I raised my coffee mug to Bud and his wonderful family was eaten, so now I will try again and raise my wine glass! Such a touching post! I just got back from a community showing of "Nebraska", a film certainly about fathers and memory; those of us who had fathers able to show love were surely lucky.

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    1. So true! Haven't seen Nebraska yet! We finally caught American Hustle which I thought was great! How is weather there? I think I should have stayed in FLA a couple weeks longer with you!

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  17. What a beautiful post Wendy! Very calming to read after my long day of work. I'm so glad to see your Pop-sicle photobombing your Disney shots. I'm so sentimental I would probably make a Christmas ornament of of it and hang it on the tree as a memory. Maybe you could decoupage Wendy and Peter Pan on the flip side. Cheesy I know but I can't help it:)

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  18. Beautifully written. Your dad sounds like an amazing man and you honored his memory so very well with this trip.

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    1. Thanks Jen! He was a shy man, but he had a good sense of humour and fun!

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  19. Nice! I totally agree about memories being laser-like focused on those trips. I have some from childhood and hope to make more great ones w/my mom, daughter, etc...

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    1. I think travel with our kids is the greatest gift we can give them!

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  20. second star to the right and straight on til morning...

    xxx

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Kindness is a virtue...