January 27, 2021

TIMING, my new gig as lady of leisure, best laid plans, and a VOTE!

YELLOWSTONE SAGA CONTINUED:  You might remember Dad cancelled his participation in the Yellowstone trip. He wanted to go to London with my sister Marie. This was painful. You can read about how I confronted my folks about it here.

We worried that Yellowstone wouldn't let us use the ADA cabin without my gimp of a dad. I imagined a guy like John Candy in National Lampoon's Vacation:  SORRY FOLKS, BUT THE MOOSE SHOULDA TOLD YA OUT FRONT, THIS CABIN  IS ONLY FOR GIMPS. NO LIMP, NO CABIN.

THEN the pandemic struck and our reservations were cancelled by the park. SERIOUSLY?  AFTER ALL THE DRAMA WITH MY FOLKS?! . . . Well the talk with my folks was long overdue. 

Still, say it with me:  TIMING. 

And of course, the London to Paris trip Dad and Marie were going to do was cancelled. 

Video clip of  Curly in Yellowstone 2010 at age 2.5 yrs cheering me on after carrying her up a mountain. 

Yellowstone shouted out to people whose 2020 reservations were cancelled. We got first dibs on reservations for 2021 summer. The catch? They became available in the middle of the night.

Sleep is so over-rated (a thought process I DO NOT endorse). I woke up at 2:00 am or something ungodly. Yellowstone's server couldn't handle the response, so an hour or two later after my finger almost fell off from hitting refresh a ga-billion times I FINALLY got a reservation. I needed more than one cabin - so I pressed on. 

In the end, I reserved three cabins for a full 2 weeks. July 15-30th (loosely because I'm too lazy to go look at my calendar). One is a ROUGH RIDER with three full size beds. Can anyone say 'WELCOME TEENAGERS'? The other two cabins have beds and bathrooms. Score. We won't go for a full two weeks, but we can whittle away the dates once we know what the kids have on their schedules.

See that, I thought things out. I planned. I consulted a calendar. I considered EVERYTHING. Or did I?

Oh, and maybe this is obvious . . . but we aren't inviting Dad. Might bring a couple cousins though. We can pack people into those Rough Riders.

SO, GUESS WHAT? A few months ago, the people who rule my life aka the people who run Irish dancing decided to move the World Championships that ALWAYS happen Easter week to July 25-Aug 2.

Of course they fucking did. 

There is a chance that they will just end up canceling all together, because pandemic. They will decide in March. So, that's fun. I like to live on the edge. 

*lays on the floor, kicking and screaming, NO I REALLY DO NOT LIKE TO LIVE ON THE EDGE. I'M A PLANNER DAMN IT. I WANT TO KNOW SHIT. LIKE WHAT WE'RE DOING TRAVEL WISE IN UNDER 6 MONTHS. Gets up slowly, wipes faces with a damp cloth and tries to breathe. 

One of my favorite videos of Curly. While in Yellowstone, Curly's reaction after seeing a bear. 

The bonus is that we do have 2 weeks in Yellowstone reserved, so we can opt to use the earlier week of the reservation but that would mean we'd have to race back home so Curly and I could hop on a plane to Dublin. When would I do laundry? Groceries? When would Curly practice dancing? Duh. 

The reason I chose mid-July to the end of July for Yellowstone? Because National championships are scheduled every year over the 4th of July. This year it's in Arizona. Yes, AZ in July. Sound refreshing? (Last year's Nashville Nationals was cancelled). I wanted to give us time to do the AZ competition before getting geared up for Yellowstone. 

Silly me. 

So, my summer might look like this (NOTE: not one day in here to squeeze in time to lounge at the pool): 

1. JULY 1:  Curly and I fly to Arizona where she dances in National championships, flying home the minute she's done. No dates assigned to her age group yet, which is cool. Everything's fine. 

2. JULY 13th:  We drive to Yellowstone in time to check in on July 15th. Enjoy the outdoors. Take amazing photos. Bears wander by constantly, providing us with a plethora of photo opportunities that will turn Dad green with envy. 

3. JULY 21st:  We drive home like the wind.

4. JULY 23rd:  Curly and I fly to Dublin (tentative:  we have no idea yet what day she dances) 

5. AUGUST 5th:  We return from Dublin (tentative).

*No set dancing schedule yet, so Curly might dance in Dublin which will blow this plan out of the water or she might dance the last day, which will make things more manageable - but I'm absent longer. Her teacher says the older girls usually dance last, so not likely to be Curly.


NORMAL:  I do want things to return to normal, but careful what I wish for here. If things go back to normal, then Yellowstone. FINALLY. But if 'normal', then is World Champs happening too? I do hate for Curly to miss another year of competition. 


If you were a betting person, what would you bet on? Dublin World's being cancelled? Me being mauled by a bear? Curly quitting dancing before any of this becomes a reality? Me losing my mind before any of this becomes a reality? Arizona Nationals being cancelled? Yellowstone being cancelled? - this would equate to me losing my mind, in case that impacts your vote. 

You can only vote once. Please feel free to share your messed up schedule issues. I've been thinking about posting about this nightmare for weeks now, but I knew typing it would raise my blood pressure. Comments urged insisted upon. 


Nicole MacPherson said...

Oh, I hate the feeling of not knowing. I'm a planner too and this pandemic has...well, kind of destroyed that! Yikes, that's a lot of travel, it would be super exhausting!

Kara said...

OK, I'm guessing Nationals in Dublin get cancelled. Because AZ DGAF everything. And yes, late June in AZ is THE WORST. It was probably super cheap though, because all of those hotels and conference rooms have sat empty for almost a year now.

I know those Yellowstone cabins are hard to get. So you've kind of won the lottery there! We have only made camping reservations for this summer, because of the uncertainty still. We were hoping to get to Texas to see some baseball, but haven't reserved anything. It's my husband's bucket list to see all of the MLB stadiums before he turns 50. We have Texas, Florida, Atlanta, Cincinnati and Canada to knock out in the next 6 years.

Ally Bean said...

I love Curly's rendition of the all time classic song, Mommy Did It. What a great snippet of life to have on video.

Your travel schedule sounds not LADY OF LEISURE-like. I have to wonder if any of it will happen. I do hope you get to take advantage of the Yellowstone cabin. I look forward to your review of one, and reading about what goes right/wrong on your trip.

Gigi said...

Dublin being cancelled is my bet. And, I hate to say it, possibly all of them. But my money is on Dublin.

Ernie said...

Nicole - It would be exhausting. The new me is conditioned to be home, so what a shock to the system this could be. I do thing that World Champs will be cancelled - but I also know they aren't going to want to cancel it two years in a row. And they are shooting for later in the summer. I can't believe I have to wait 2 more months to find out. Irritating.

Ernie said...

Kara - Nationals is in AZ in early July and they are proposing Worlds in Dublin in late July. I would have to guess that Worlds in Dublin will be cancelled because things in England seem pretty ramped up. But who knows, maybe that means it will be all calm by then. It is just killing me that they moved it to dates that could interfere with our Yellowstone trip. Word to the parents of youngsters out there . . . travel now before everything gets so dang complicated.

I do feel like I won the lottery with the Yellowstone cabin. Come hill or high water, I want to be there. Good luck with the bucket list - 6 years seems manageable to make it to those ballparks.

Ernie said...

Ally - Yes, that video clip is so hilarious. She came up with that little ditty all on her own. There were a few hikes that Coach and I did with a tot strapped to our back that were near impossible. This is back when my idea of a workout was going for a walk. I was not in the shape I am in now. At any rate - super happy not to have to haul a kid on my back this time around, strength or not.

I have my doubts about that any of it will happen either. I guess I've reached a point where not knowing which end is up is starting to grate at my nerves.

Perhaps I should write a post about what went right and what went wrong on our original Yellowstone trip. So many funny moments. Well, funny now.

Ernie said...

Gigi - The crazy thing that I forgot to touch on in this post is that normally a trip to Dublin in July would be ideal. Maybe we could take all or most of the kids. It would take some planning, but World Champs usually happens near Easter and kids would end up missing school. I do agree that Dublin is the most likely to NOT happen. Yellowstone could also close that part of the park AGAIN because of the communal bathrooms that some of the cabins rely on.

The waiting continues.

Anonymous said...

Baby Curly! What a sweetie, that song was so cute! I would bet that the bear won’t tack you when you do finally get to go to Yellowstone *fingers crossed for you*, you seem to multitask well and you work out a lot, so ya definitely putting my money on no bear tack.
I also bet (with the certainty of an AZ resident) that there are much better times to visit Arizona than July, so I almost hope that gets cancelled and you can enjoy Dublin instead.
I also would like to bet that your dad attempts to invite himself on the Yellowstone trip if it does happen :)
I am with you in being a planner, all of the changes and uncertainty would stress me out!

Ernie said...

AM - That is the cutest thing ever, right? I'm so glad I was able to capture it on my camcorder. I had no idea if the camera was seeing or hearing her. Winds whipped up like crazy town and we started bucking to get back to the car before we got drenched. It WAS work.

I've been to AZ with Coach in Feb a few times. I chilled at the pool while he taught a class. Plus we visited the Grand Canyon in the summer heat one year. Yes, Feb is preferable.

My dad can TRY to invite himself along to Yellowstone. He has aged considerably and even had the trip gone off as planned last year with him joining us, he would've struggled to keep up and we would've struggled to convince him not to join us on certain hikes.

Oh the uncertainty. How dare these dancing people reschedule this huge competition so that it conflicts with my Yellowstone/Holy Grail trip. Of all the times to have to reschedule it - right when I finally think the stars align for Yellowstone. But of course, they might not align after all.

Charlie said...

What a cutie! The British Prime Minister promised last night that on Feb 22nd the Government would produce a road map detailing the timings out of lockdown for England. So you may get an indication before March. Let’s hope those vaccines continue at pace! I feel for you with your planning being derailed. I also like to know where I’m going and when. My stepson should have got married in Greece last August and that’s been postponed to this August and I so hope it can go ahead. It will be such a shame if they have waited a year for nothing.

I would be very happy with 4-6 weeks of travelling and being away from home. We’ve all been home so much that I’d be quite happy to vacate it for a period!

Suz said...

I honestly feel a bit anxious about this after reading it all.
I think the competitions will be cancelled and Yellowstone WILL GO ON AS PLANNED. Fresh air...they can not cancel fresh air damn it.
Lolo used to have summers like this with softball tournaments all over God's creation....some with her team and some guest playing on other teams. I was not a fan of being away from home all summer....and let's talk about the heat. Florida summers are just as bad as AZ and our tournaments were always outside. HA. You knew that.
I'm giving you many bonus points on trying to make this Yellowstone trip happen for your delightful offspring; I hope they appreciate it. and you.
By the way, I could watch Curly videos all damn day. Yes, Mommy DID IT AGAIN, she made shit happen, that's what she did!!

Pat Birnie said...

I also hate the uncertainty (or did back in the day when I was juggling many kids & schedules). Now it’s just me and my husband so we wait patiently for the freedom to travel again. Well, maybe not so patiently! My guess is that Dublin gets cancelled and Yellowstone goes ahead. International travel is going to be tricky while we all try to get vaccinated. It looks like you guys down ther in the US are doing a better job with the vaccine distribution than Canada :(. My guess is you’ll be moving freely around within your borders! I hope so anyway.

LOVE the video of your girl singing about how amazing her mommy is! such a sweetie and so many wonderful memories.

Ernie said...

Charlie - Postponing a wedding and still not being sure if it will happen is certainly stressful. Fingers crossed. There is zero chance the Irish dancing people will make a decision before March. Zero. Been in this too long to know that they aren't going to work ahead of schedule.

I would be happy to travel for 4-6 weeks too, but the thought of what my house and my bank account would look like makes my head spin. I need to be here to hold down the fort and only the Yellowstone part of that travel includes all of my children, or at least most. The older ones might opt out.

Ernie said...

Suz - Yes, this is an anxiety ridden dilema. Fortunately (or not) each day here in crazy-ville there is a new something to worry about or figure out or focus on, so not too much extra time to fret over it. Until I stop and think, or until a kid like Mini (who did this yesterday) asks "My peer leaders group is planning a summer camp and they want me to be a leader and when are we going to Yellowstone again." - and I have no good answer.

I could never attend a softball game in the Florida heat unless I took my portable pool along. That sounds miserable. Back when I was trying to get Mini the last first place she needed to retire at the level she wanted to retire at for Irish dancing - all I did was drive places for competitions (which were at least indoors). That level of busy makes my brain hurt.

I have MANY, MANY Curly videos. My kids knew I was searching for that clip and Tank was like YOU COULD PUT THAT ON YOUTUBE AND GO VIRAL. We all still find it so dang entertaining all these years later. I have a few other clips that I'll share soon. My favorite one is yet to be shown. It is not in Yellowstone. Get excited.

Ernie said...

Pat- I have really embraced indoor, stay at home type projects like photo albums and sewing stuff BUT I am starting to wonder when it'll be time to go places. I feel like I'm gonna need some time to prep.

I think you raise a good point - maybe Dublin will be cancelled. I do feel so bad for Curly on that side of things. Dublin cancelled two years in a row, when we have good friends that we could stay with and visit there? Well, that's also frustrating. Sometimes it is hard to know what to be bummed about.

I do cherish these little video clips. There are so many. I wish I could organize them and get them on DVDs to watch from time to time. There it is: another project.

Kari said...

Omg “the bears tack you”. Her sweet voice.
And you are a bad ass carrying a child on a hike. I’d need my own personal cheerleader doing that.
It looks so beautiful though. Maybe I could carry a baby while hiking? 😂

Beth Cotell said...

I would assume that Worlds will be cancelled. At least they are letting you know in March.

And oh my goodness! That video is precious!

Ernie said...

Kari - I strongly advise that if you carry a baby on your back - be sure the baby is willing and ready to sing a sweet song. It helps. Seriously we brought the packs to carry them but never tried it in advance. We started up the mountain and in minutes my legs were shaking. It was NOT EASY. A 2.5 year old is a heavy load. Poor Coach had a 4.5 year old. It is beautiful there - highly recommend.

Ernie said...

Beth - the whole dancing thing was so confusing because the July nationals and the Thanksgiving Midwest champs are qualifying rounds. For awhile I was like well if you can't qualify at Thanksgiving (because they decided not to count it) and you have to wait to qualify in July . . . how will you be able to plan for a trip in late July? Then they made it clear that the kids who can dance in this worlds are the ones who qualified last year. That made more sense.

I do love that video. Still one of my favorites is yet to be shared. Soon.