The Incorrigible Night Owl

December 3, 2004

Be it ever so humble

And lo, I come bringing good tidings of great joy to all people (or at least myself, anyway). After many months it has come to pass that I and my children shall mount an ass made of metal (ahem) and journey forth unto the land of my upbringing where we shall not be turned away from the Inn of My Parents.

Yesiree, it's true -- our California trip is booked, finally. I was beginning to be concerned that it might not come off, but, jolly good, it's all set now.

I had intended to stay three weeks but we're actually going to end up staying three and-a-half. This is the longest I'll have ever stayed, and if my father didn't look at my mother and say, "See, I TOLD you this would happen if we added a room on the house!" when he found out, I'll eat my hat.

But, far from booking this trip simply to annoy my father (though that is one of the perks), I have my reasons for making my stay so long. It was actually possible for us to return right at the three-week mark. But the flight times were nearly unbearable (leaving at 6 a.m....from an airport two hours from my parents' house). Pushing the return date back to Saturday gave me much better flight times, means we'll have only one stop (the other flights had two) and also makes it easier on my parents who both work and who have to take us to the airport.

We will be leaving on the 14th, so, naturally, I have kicked into panic mode already. I have a set of luggage coming via UPS and I am anxiously tracking the package online to make sure it will arrive when they say it will (Monday). I am making arrangements for the animals (Robert will be joining us for Christmas so we'll need petsitters). It's a lot to worry about at the best of times, but add to it that I have a bunch more Christmas shopping to do and am trying to figure out how to afford it. At least Robert will be driving out when he comes so he can bring all the gifts out and haul them all back, rather than having to ship them (what we usually do).

My three big concessions to the fact that we really have no money and no business making this trip are:

1) I am bringing all our clothes in aforementioned luggage. I usually ship all our clothing out a week before and just bring a carry-on. It's a lot easier when you are wrangling a bunch of kids. However, since Robert will drop me off and my parents will be there to pick me up, I will have help with all the bags and shouldn't fare too badly.

2) I am not renting a car. This should be very interesting, as my father remains firmly convinced that the first thing I would do if allowed to drive my mother's car is drive it directly into a telephone pole -- despite the fact that I've never gotten into a wreck and have only had one ticket, 9 years ago. This means that my chances of borrowing my mom's car to go anywhere are about the same as my winning the California Lottery while I'm there. So I will be doing lots of walking and bumming rides. Incidentally, my dad will also complain about the ride-bumming.

3) Last, but definitely not least, we have not bought a seat for John Zachary. This is quite a frightening prospect. In all my flights in four-plus years of traveling with children, we have only NOT bought a seat for one of them twice. Both those times I had other adults with me to assist. Now, it's true, JZ's favorite place to be is on my lap, so I'm hoping it will work out okay. But, gosh, it sure would be nice if I had somewhere to put him when he fell asleep!

All in all, though, I'm just darned glad we're going, period. I swear, if the kids didn't have preschool I would stay longer. But they're already going to miss about 7 days and we still have to pay the same for it, so we'll be back on January 8th.

And to sum this entire entry up in two words: Yay! Mommy!