Family vacations are fun!

I promised my son we would go on a family vacation before he started school and I can’t let him down as I always keep my word. My wife was not able to get the weekends off from her job so we are going for 2 days but 2 days is better than no trip at all. We decided on New England because it’s a nice trip and Great adventure because Matthew loves the park though he’s only been to the one in New Jersey so this is exciting because it requires more driving and this will be his first time in Massachusetts. He always enjoys our family trips and it’s a nice break before school starts. We plan on the amusement park one day and the waterpark the next day depending on the weather. I have my Tom Tom so I’m already to go and it will be the longest trip I am making with the new car. I’ve only had it for 3-4 months and I already have 6,000 miles on the car. I guess I am breaking it in. I understand Nissan’s last a while so I’m not worried.

The best part of the trip is the ride and anticipation. We will be driving thru Connecticut to I-95 North and probabaly stop for a few restroom breaks and a bite to eat. It’s always fun going on a road trip and Matthew always keeps himself buzy and I bring some of his cds to listen to. Unfortunately I don’t have the entertainment center where you can pop in a dvd but I guess we won’t be on the road that long. Maria also likes to share the driving if I need a break. My mother-in-law was invited to go with us but she will be babysitting the cutest little filipinas girl and her brother at home so she will have to stay home. She is part of the family and is always invited but this was kind of spur of the moment. I would like to go on a real vacation but will have to save that for another time as we do have to live on a budget and we are not quite ready for the Walt Disney World vacation yet. I have my camera so I plan to take some pictures and will try to relax a little bit. It’s nice to get away sometimes as we all need to recharge our batteries and spend quality time with our family. Matthew realizes this is important and he always enjoys these times. We usually like to drive down to Williamsburg, Virginia and Virginia Beach as that is a great family destination and it isn’t that far a drive. It is 8 hours and just about long enough for me. When I was younger and single I used to drive down to Florida in 22 hours but with a family I believe we would have to do it in 2 days and I’m not quite ready for a trip like that and if we were going to Disney we would probabaly want to fly.

I am all packed and ready to go and just waiting for our darling son to wake up and for Maria to get him ready and fix him a breakfast before we head out. I also have to run a few errands before we leave. I believe Matthew is now at an age where he will remember these trips which is good as memories of times with family on trips are very important and I believe autistic children have the same emotions and feelings that other children have. We just need to help Matthew in instances where he feels overwhelmed as he can not usually tolerate large crowds and loud noises so we must always be careful when we encounter those types of situations as it is one of the worst places to have a meltdown. It’s happened before and I have been discouraged taking him to crowded places but it seems we would always have to go offseason to avoid the crowds and that is not possible as it means we would have to arrange for Matthew to be out of school and we would never do that. So we sometimes just have to bite the bullet and hope that he can tolerate the crowds for the day. We also have to keep a firm grip on him as he loves to run and we need to always keep him in our reach. The sad part of these trips means the summer is coming to an end and before you know it the colder weather is upon us. The month of September now means 3 things to me. The first is Matthew goes back to school, The second is our wedding anniversary and the third is that horrible fateful day of September 11th 2001 which is one of the worst days we have witnessed as a country and a world. As we are going on a family trip I will only think of the positives and having a fun time with my wife and son before he starts his school year again. Our son is now moving on to middle school! Let’s enjoy our trip! As I plan to leave I am preparing for my son’s obvious question, “Are we there yet?” and my response, “We haven’t even started yet, Everyone ready, Let’s go! Oh I have to fill up first at the nearest station. Anyone need a drink for the road or a snack” We heard it all before. See you when we get back!

Edward D. Iannielli III

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