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March 28, 2017

spring break - the budget and logistics angle

Ah, spring break.  That time of year when most people head to a warmer climate leaving our budget conscious family to chill out in town.  Operative word being 'chill'.
With few friends around to invite to our house and no one requiring my babysitting services, I had visions of tackling some closet/mudroom/study/basement-toy-area reorganization tasks.  Bottom line - eliminate!  

Right off the bat, I knew that the slobs I live with, a.k.a. my children, weren't all that focused on overhauling a single corner of our home.  In order to keep the troops happy, I agreed to schedule some fun into our week off of school and sitting.  Besides, if Tank was hopping on a plane, I felt it was only fair that the rest of us kick back a bit.  I'm getting ahead of myself . . .
A few months ago, Tank was fortunate enough to be invited to Hilton Head with his best friend's family.  When they asked him, it was all I could do not to whisper subliminally into the phone, 'take me, take me!'
Thankfully the males of the family take on the tent set up duty.  I try to keep true family identity a secret, but I couldn't help post this one despite Reg's photo bomb from in the tent!  
Before he accepted the invite, Tank asked me if our family would be traveling anywhere at the same time.  That almost made me laugh.  Although we did travel to the DC/Virginia area for spring break a few years ago, that trip was an uncommon event for us.  (This is link to a lengthy post that I still need to edit  about a very scary part of that trip!)  We usually roll with the:  'hey-let's-camp-in-a-national-park-this-summer-since-it's-cheap' annual travel agenda.
This from our trip to Glacier.  June 2017.  Hours before the coldest and longest night of my life.  Next night unwilling to brave the scary wind gusts - we moved to a cozy, rustic cabin . . . a.k.a. heaven on earth!
Tank claimed he didn't want to miss out on any of our family activities, so I made an effort to figure out something to do before he went out of town on Tuesday.  Since Coach planned to attend a local course for his fellowship on Saturday and Sunday before working all week, our options were limited.  

As usual Coach and I wondered how families can afford to jet somewhere over spring break, and most likely head out of town again in the summer.  Perhaps their grocery bills don't top $400 bucks on a weekly basis allowing them the wiggle room necessary to invest in travel.  
Setting the cost factor aside, I can't wrap my brain around the logistics.  IF Coach was to take time off of work, we'd still need to deal with the fact that college-kid Laddie is now on a different schedule than the rest of our gang. How do families manage that issue?  While Eddie might not be penalized for missing varsity water polo practice at high school (our water polo program isn't overflowing with extra players waiting to fill an empty position - unlike Ed's more mainstream h.s. winter sport of basketball), he still prefers to attend practice with his teammates. 

While I tossed around a few ideal spring break day trips for the family, I reminded myself that soon friends, classmates, acquaintances, strangers, and even my own son Tank will pop up in the grocery store, the school, the health club, and the library after basking in the sun during their relaxing holidays. 

Their skin will be a few shades darker, and their exotic cornrows will boast of their adventures.  My pale face will smile.  I'll politely inquire through gritted teeth where they were lucky enough to visit. 

This is why I MUST accomplish some organization project on the home front.  I need to be able to  secretly bask in the knowledge that my closets are more organized than theirs. (That satisfaction will only make me feel marginally better).

Tune in to find out what we decided to squeeze in over spring break with our limited time, money, and family members . . .
I'm just noting that Tank is mysteriously missing from these tent set up pictures.  How did he escape tent duty?  I wonder if this is when he was flagging down a ranger to give me instructions on how to deal with a tick in my scalp.  One of the few benefits of having thin hair.  That bugger didn't stand a chance.  Ah, sweet camping.  Note to self:  still lots of unbelievable camping stories to blog about from Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, and Glacier!

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