What a lovely morning. After a relaxing breakfast with the family, I went for along walk in the cool, crisp Oregon countryside.
The family and I are on vacation at my in-laws. Despite the very rainy forecast, I am very happy. We make at least one annual trip to visit the grandparents, in their home state of Oregon. They retired eight years ago in a small town, located near a river. It is a peaceful, haven located near a small forest of trees.
I am feeling very peaceful now, but yesterday was a very different story. We flew from Southern California to Oregon yesterday. A short flight, by flying standards.
As much as I enjoy our annual vacations, I dread the preparations and real traveling. Preparing the family for a simple trip takes weeks of planning. It ridiculous how much work it takes.
This year was especially difficult, because of a huge error I made. Prior to booking at type of airplane travel, I scour the airlines for the very best prices for airline tickets. Paying for five people is not cheap. Deals must be found. Planning a trip requires careful scheduling too. I like to fly direct flights and in the early morning. This year I prided myself on finding a terrific deal on our airline tickets. Everything was great until the family and I went out to lunch last weekend.
“Mom, why are we leaving for Grandma’s house in two weeks? We get out of school this Friday.” – Old Boy
“What? What do you mean you get out of school on Friday? I thought you had the week before Easter and the week after Easter off for Spring Break.” – Mom
“Not this year.” – Old Boy
Determined to prove my oldest son wrong, I consulted robot girl (Droid phone) for the boy’s school vacation schedule. Turns out Old Boy was right. I had bought tickets to Grandma’s house, for all FIVE of us on the wrong dates. I tried to stay calm, but it did not work.
“Mom, did you book our flights on the wrong dates? Are we not going to be able to go to Grandma’s house?” – Tall Boy
“Great. Now we are going to be stuck at home for two weeks, with nothing to do.” – Old Boy
“I want to see Grandma and Grandpa.” – Little Boy
“BE QUIET EVERYONE!” – Mom
I told my husband to take everyone into the restaurant for lunch. I remained in the car and phoned the airline, explaining my error. The young airline consultant informed me I could buy new tickets. I was thrilled. My error would be easily fixed by buying new tickets for the correct dates. The consultant told me I only needed to a pay an extra hefty fee. I groaned, as I thought of the hours I spent looking for the lowest fare, only to now have to pay top dollar for the same trip.
The change of dates for our trip, meant the family has only a few days to prepare for vacation, not the planned two weeks. I think I may have mentioned before, I am not a Type A person. I do not plan for weeks in advance for big events. I do plan, but usually there is a lot of last-minute things to do. With this trip, everything would be the last-minute. I felt horrible for making such a costly error. Because I felt guilty for my mistake, I started to get grumpy.
There was so much to do to prepare for our trip. Pets needed tending to, mail and paper needed to suspended for a while, bills to be paid, home repair work to be rescheduled and worst of the laundry. Every mother knows, packing can not even begin until all the laundry is washed and folded. If all the laundry is not done, then some one inevitably will start whining how their favorite pair of jeans are missing.
I begged my husband to take a day off work. Thank goodness he did. I know you are thinking, “Nate, you are such a wimp. You made you husband take a day off from work to prepare for vacation?” Yup, that is exactly what I did. But even though the two of us were working at light speed, we still did not get everything done.
Going on vacation should not be so stressful. The point of a vacation is to relax, right?
Somehow, we managed to pack the bags, make arrangements for all the pets and clean out the fridge. We always manage to do it…every year. It is almost silly how much I worry that things will not get done.
It is ALMOST silly. I forgot to pack enough underwear.