October 12, 2020

tried and true method, not for everyone

I came across this little ditty when I was looking for something else in my drafts. It reminded me of the days when we used to travel A LOT. Remember:  water polo games, Irish dancing competitions, Coach teaching out of town and I would go along just to hang out in an empty hotel room (wink, wink), and two years ago college visits with Ed? 

It didn't feel unmanageable at the time, but now that we are preparing to go out of town this weekend, and the two consecutive weekends after that . . . I am bracing myself.

It isn't that covid has me freaked out, it's that I'm out of practice. We aren't even flying anywhere, which is mostly what the below paragraphs refer to. Still, it makes me feel tired to think of not being home.

How will the laundry get done? What will our food inventory be once we get home (probably same as when we left since no one will be home - duh)? What about the other stuff I typically do when I'm home? Life is not as completely slow as it was early on during shutdown. We do things like stalk our kid on the tennis team from the comfort of our car. No spectators. Plus I drive to dancing a lot. 

Still, traveling three weekends in a row makes me exhausted and we haven't even left yet.

I was wondering what photo I could stick in here, and then I found this gem. Curly must have taken it with my phone last week. This is Coach and I assuming the usual position: asleep on the couch while trying to watch a movie. How will we survive squeezing travel into our busy schedule? The exercise bike is not usually there, but I am just realizing that I need to explain how that happened. Laundry baskets follow me around the house in case I decide to sort them. It's magic.

We leave Sunday morning to drive to Omaha, NE (the day before you read this) to visit Creighton which is where Coach went to school. Tank, Mini, and Mini's bestie are driving there with Coach and I. We are farming out Reg and Curly to friends' houses. We take a tour Monday morning and then drive back. We are only gone ONE night.

Guess who thought there was no school on Monday? That's right. I may not have screwed up a flight (since we're driving) but I arranged all of this without realizing that the high school is in session, virtually. The kids will miss 3 classes, and they might be able to tune into zoom from the hotel for their first class. Whatevs. Curly is off and she will enjoy the day hanging with her BFF.

To prepare, today I am baking 6 loaves of pumpkin bread (that I just took out of the oven 10 minutes late because I forgot to set the timer - UGH!). We will see our niece at Creighton and will deliver her some pumpkin bread, along with cookies - if I get those baked too. Then the families hosting Reg and Curly will get a baked good too.

The following weekend we intend to go see Ed at his school in Indiana, but I did hear this morning that Indiana might be added to the 'do not travel to list'. Ed's birthday is the 18th and we really didn't visit him last year. He seems stressed out about what we'll do while in town. Walking around campus is enough, we've assured him. Drive there Friday, return Sat after lunch.

Finally, we have scheduled a tour of a school in Ohio for the 24th. 

I always thought having two kids about to go to college would make sense when planning visits, but academically they are very dissimilar. Still, Creighton is a school that they both might be interested in. Tank is working hard to get a rise out of me, claiming Creighton is too small. Insisting I'm steering him one way or the other. Not true. I know he wanted a team to cheer for and not something really small. Creighton has a great b-ball team and it is a little under 5,000. I'm trying to arrange tours of places that might fit the criteria that HE has mentioned. Sigh.

After he complained that Creighton is too small, he texted Eddie to say he's excited about going to see the school after all. I will keep you posted as to whether or not I decide to strangle him BEFORE he has even applied to colleges.

When not feeling overwhelmed by upcoming travel and while wanting to beat Tank with a wet noodle, I read the below and remember with chills the awful thing I used to be a pro at -  SCREWING UP flights, etc.

You know what's really easy and costs nothing and might come in handy if you struggle in this particular department, or if you are like me and you just want to feel relaxed and enjoy a good night sleep?  I don't necessarily recommend this approach, but it does work.  I'm not sure if the added blood pressure rise would be a wise choice for anyone with a heart issue, so consult a medical professional first.  

Or, if you are like me - consult no one and just stumble your way into this dreaded situation and bask in the freeing aftermath.

Directions:  wait until you are pretty damn tired, and at THAT moment look thru your emails for information on your very expensive upcoming flight.  When the email is either non-existent or confusing or incorrect, be sure to have an available bathroom nearby. 

That, gentle reader, is a not-so-gentle approach to clear up constipation.  Unfortunately for me, it is a tried and true method - if unintentional. 

I have a history of stumbling across information that is difficult to navigate and can instantly lead to panic and abdominal bedlam.  If I am not careful, it might also force me to contact a divorce lawyer because I do not know how many more flight or pre-travel mess ups Coach can tolerate.  This time he grilled me on one important factor:  
I admit, it is a valid point, but sometimes when it is time to collapse into bed, I look at my list of things to do and I realize that I failed to get enough of them done and THAT makes me crazy.  (maybe crazier is a more appropriate term for me). . . 

Anyone venturing out to travel some place? Or have you even royally screwed up a flight or gotten a confusing email (remember the one when the confirmation code had a lowercase 'L' in it that I thought was the number 1 - that was all on them, right?). My brother Pat once took his entire family to O'Hare for a flight to Disney, only the flight left from Midway. They made the flight, no idea how. Maybe it's a family thing.


Busy Bee Suz said...

Oh my goodness. The travel fiasco's that you've (created?) endured could surely clear out a colon! Just reading it game my stomach a flip.
I do not do the travel planning in our house. (except for my trip to New Zealand) The Coach has always done it, and he enjoys it. Weird, huh? He did all the flights/hotels for all his years of travel softball for the team too. He's a pro.

Like you, I do tend to stress about leaving the house for travel, whether its two days or a week. So much to make sure is right at home before you can leave. Even now, I stress about making sure the house is prepared for my dog/house sitter....I want my dogs to be well taken care of. LOL. Probably more than when I left my girls home. But don't tell them that.

I HOPE everything goes smoothly and that you can actually enjoy yourself.

Kari said...

I HATE travel planning. HATE ITTT. This is so funny because I am reblogging a post on Friday about a trip we made to Kentucky and I talk about that. I have a friend who loves to do trip planning and I am always like, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? I shouldn't say that but I just don't like logistics.

We haven't visited Anna yet because her school's numbers are really high and the school doesn't recommend visiting. She hasn't gotten it yet but she said she had a scare this past weekend when they went to a bar and it was packed. When a college student (who is never scared and loves to party) is scared about getting it and leaves a bar, we need to question what we are doing wrong. Insert eye roll.

Have a safe trip and eat some pumpkin bread for me!

Ally Bean said...

Back when I was younger I loved to travel, but not anymore. It's nothing but a headache, as you've clearly mentioned here. I wish you well on your travels.

Had to laugh at you brother getting from O'Hare to Midway in time for a flight. We once missed our flight out of Indianapolis because, being Ohioans [EST], we misunderstood what time it was in IN [CST] and arrived late for our flight thinking we understood what time it was in IN.

Ernie said...

Suz- I once booked Reg and I on the wrong flights and could not get my money back. I blame Irish dancing. Long story but they forced us to take him to Montreal for World champs so he could dance for 5 MI Tues on a ceili team (as a partner, think square dance but the Irish equivalent). I am a pro at messing up. Weird because I manage many other parts of life just dandy.

I am not even getting my house ready for dogs or anyone, I am just missing my lounge time. I guess.

I worked hard 10 yrs ago to have the house immaculate before leaving for Yellowstone. We were gonna be gone for 2 weeks. Came home and the kids were SO confused. How did our house look so good? They were so accustomed to the mess.

Driving home from Creighton now. It was a good trip. Lad continues to text us upsetting stuff which is hard to stomach. We powered through.

Ernie said...

Kari- Coach planned our visit to Vancouver which was a huge relief. I still did the flights so still stressful. Oh (I knew there was something I screwed up) and I did the hotel for dancing portion of the trip. Had to get the hotel months early when they opened the block and I neglected to get a room for several days after she danced. In my mind we were all set. That's when I booked an Airbnb that ended up with 2 begs - slept 3 vs 8. Clean up in isle 4- I wasn't even in isle 4 . . . meaning the airbnb part was NOT MY FAULT.They lied dang it.

Ernie said...

Ally- I think going to Europe someday would be wonderful but now I have to worry about traveling with celiac disease. With a language barrier- ugh!

I went to school in South bend. Half of the year we were on a different time zone than Chicago. That was annoying!

Charlie said...

Omg I LOVE planning travel. I spends hours researching trips and friends have said I should have been a Travel Agent. I’ve not messed any travel up, but I did go to a Destiny’s Child concert at the wrong venue many years ago! Luckily the venues weren’t too far apart and we only missed the beginning!!

Ernie said...

Charlie- I am an expert at packing food/meals for our trips so I guess when we get stranded at an airport at some point at least we will be well-fed.

I do not even like making hotel reservations online. I want to talk to a live person who is standing in the ACTUAL location. That almost never happens.

Sounds like you missed your calling. Do people still use travel agents? If so, I might need a reference for one.

Amy said...

I once messed up what time I had to leave my house to get to the airport on time, so I ended up arriving at the airport just as the plane was taking off. I don't know what I was thinking, not allowing time for going through security, through the airport to my gate, etc, but yeah. Oopsy.

Bibliomama said...

My husband has that same talent for messing up flights. He booked my flight home from Sudbury once and told me it was the day after it was - my fault for trusting him. They switched it no cost. Then he thought our flight home from Cuba was the day BEFORE it was. We packed up and went to the airport and were totally confused that we couldn't see our flight. I stopped trusting him after that. I always quintuple-check everything because the the whole thing is so effing stressful, so I constantly THINK I've screwed it up. I've always been a nervous traveler. I'm happy once I get somewhere, but getting there is hell.

Kara said...

I get terrible travel anxiety, but I've never screwed up a flight. Sure, I leave important stuff at home (like my license) and then boarded a flight using a school ID and stress crying (it was just after 9-11 too, so I'm honestly surprised that I was allowed on a plane).

My oldest is a Junior this year, and I have a Sophomore right behind her. Originally we were supposed to go to New England for Fall break to take college tours for the both of them. Most of those colleges are now only doing virtual tours, so that plan got scrapped. Now my oldest says she's really only considering ASU anyways, so she doesn't need to tour other places. ASU is about 20 minutes from our house. I work less than 10 minutes off of the main campus.

Beth Cotell said...

Planning travel is the WORST! But I love to travel though. But also my husband is cheap. So typically we end up just going to places we can drive. Except the time we went to Ireland. BUT - he spent a lot of time working there so he was like a built in tour guide. Plus, he booked the rental car and some hotels through his company. And we got to use miles for free airfare. Ever since then though it's been USA all the way!

Ernie said...

Amy - I can only imagine the pit in your stomach as this realization hit. Were you already in the airport, or on your way?

I once was assigned to drive my youngest brother to the airport when he was going to fly to Ireland - I think he was a college kid. He neglected to wash a pair of pants that he needed for the trip and did it last minute. We drove the the airport with his pants flapping out of the window as he tried to dry them. No idea why that reminded me of your comment, but it was a panicky ride.

Ernie said...

Ali - he and I are cut from the same cloth. I have figured out my mistakes early enough to recover, but it has cost me or us a lot of lost sleep.

I am a nervous traveler too, but that didn't used to be the case. It makes me sound like a simpleton but I so prefer when Coach travels with me, so I don't have to manage to find the hotel, or the luggage, or the cab or whatever. I can just sit back and let him handle it. More often than not, I am traveling with kids for Irish dancing and it STRESSES ME OUT. When I got stuck in Heathrow for like 8 hours with my elderly dad on my way to Scotland with my girls, nightmare.

Ernie said...

Kara - I can't believe they let you on that flight either, maybe your tears translated into NOT A THREAT. Tears have gotten me out of many speeding tickets, not all - mind you - thus the year my license was revoked.

I cannot believe you are going to have a kid go to college so close to home. My guess is someone's dirty laundry is still going to end up in your machine.

Ernie said...

Beth - we are of the same 'we will go wherever so long as we can drive' mindset. Yellowstone and Glacier were some long-ass drives. Half the fun is getting there, sort of.

I have been to Ireland several times, but remember I was supposed to go with the girls for World Championships of Irish dancing in April? Cancelled. Of course it was the one and only dancing trip that I had arranged to have friends pick us up at the airport, stay with them, so little stress. Sigh.

Amy said...

Oh my goodness, that would've been hysterical - pants flapping alongside the car! lol!

I realized it was a lost cause on the drive there, but we still went, so I could arrange for another was so embarrassing. Especially since I could've left earlier! I was just cleaning my apartment, so it was nice to come home to. SMH.

Ernie said...

Amy - I'm trying to remember if this is the same trip that he went on /tried to go on with an expired passport. I kind of think it is - that he had to end up leaving the airport (with a different form of transportation than me) and flying out another day.

Coming home to a clean place IS delightful, but that was a slightly inconvenient price to pay.