Well we did it, the two middle aged immature parents of autistic toddlers took them on vacation, and everyone came home alive!!!!
We fretted, and debated, and worried, and stressed, about
Where to go
What to do
How will they react
How will they behave
How much will it cost
Fly or Drive
Hotel or Condo
Close or Far
To the point of absurdity we worried. However, we finally got it together and booked a vacation in the High Sierras. We went to a place my husband had been to before in his childhood, and it was HIT!!!! I could not recommend enough if you are in for a rustic type of vacation with hiking, fishing, horses, and the most beautiful mountain country imaginable go to Cardinal Village Resort. Our cabin was quaint and cozy. I cooked most of our meals, and they had a great breakfast out on their deck. Owned by an incredible family who were beyond accommodating to my family, and they had a beautiful worship service at the facility the night we arrived. Franklin made it through half of the service and then was getting a little too loud so we had to make an early exit.
The kids had a great time, they were so good, the change of routine and surroundings was a little bit of an issue but once they got used to it, the fun was incredible. Since we were given the diagnosis of Autism, we had not taken our kids on vacation, and had taken them anywhere other than my parents house. Because we have been submerged in therapies, and school, and Dr. appointments and diets and behaviors and the whole bucket of shit that comes with Autism.
My kids experienced something this week that everyone gets to experience, they fished, they hiked, they played, rode a horse, rode a gondola to the top of Mammoth Mountain, had lunch at 11,053 ft.
I learned that I have conditioned myself to have very low expectations of my kids, and that made me really sad. Because they did amazing. They had fun, they were good in the car both 5 hour drives were long and they behaved perfectly. They didn't eat great, and didn't sleep much, but the trip was still a complete positive. There was so much that they learned, and saw, and experienced, and a whole world opened up to them. While I didn't sleep much and did a lot, I am exhausted but really am just elated at the experience that we all just went through together. It was fricking amazing.
This was a great week for our family, we upped the expectation of the kids, our marriage had a big reconnect, and for the first time in a long time, I felt like we were working as a team. So we conquered Autism on vacation, it did not ruin a trip, it did not hijack my kids while were in the middle of nowhere, and our family became a stronger unit.
So Cardinal Village look out this motley crew will be back next year!