I should be getting good at it. I’ve been doing it a lot lately; travel prep.
A week ago I made a road trip to Bisbee, AZ with two friends. As travel goes, this was as easy as it gets. I had a hotel reservation, a GPS, and a couple polo shirts in a bag. The only time commitment was meeting a friend’s flight at the Tucson airport. No schedule. No real plans.
The week before Harper’s Other Dad and I had gone to Santa Fe. The arrangements were only slightly more complex. It was a car trip so no worries about planes or rental cars. Since we were talking our own car we didn’t even need to pack efficiently. We were stopping along the way one night so we had reservations at two hotels, tickets to two operas and we had to board Harper. … not too many details.
Tomorrow we leave for the annual theater trip to Canada; always one of the highlights of the year. We’ve done it often enough it is easy to organize but there are many more details.
It’s too far to drive so there are plane tickets, checked bags (and checked bag fees!), and carry on luggage. Our neighbors who usually provide airport shuttle service are out of town. (They’ve got a nerve!) Round trip on Supershuttle is cheaper than parking a car at the airport for 11 days. Those same traveling neighbors usually water our plants so we had to find a substitute.
Harper is off to the PetsHotel again. She’ll have the usual accommodations but, for such a long stay, we added a mix of morning, afternoon and full-day play dates. After a week in a kennel, she’s also getting a bath and pedicure. Sounds like ‘spa vacation’ to me but I doubt she feels that way; especially when they “express” her anal glands. It is anthropomorphism, no doubt, but I don’t think I’d like that so I assume she doesn’t either.
Canada is a foreign country, or so I am told, that means passports and foreign currency. Worse still, it means driving across the border. I’ve seen “Midnight Express”. I know what can happen.
On this trip we will be staying in two motels, one hotel, one B&B and one night with ‘the in-laws’. Three of these venues are familiar. Two will be first-time experiences.
Renting a car is never complicated but finding the best rate seemed to be this year. I booked a car in April with a major national car rental company. In June, I found a better deal so I switched to another major national car rental company; saving about $70 for the trip. Last week, I found an even better rate with that same company. I had to make a new reservation and cancel the previous one. It’s a lot of foolishness but we ended up $175 cheaper and two car classes higher than when I started in April.
We have tickets to see 10 plays. Unfortunately they are not evenly distributed throughout the week. We see 5 in the first 2 days and then the remaining 5 distributed over the remainder of the week. We will have the opportunity to add a few more if the spirit moves us to do so but I doubt that will happen.
We are excited to be meeting a nice mix of people on this trip. On Sunday we will have our annual dinner with a friend in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Usually it is two friends but, sadly, one is quite ill and won’t be able to join us.
We will be meeting a couple of bloggers which is always exciting; first time real-world meetings in both cases. I will leave it Spo Reflections to cover the details. Later in the week we will connect with two friends from Michigan who will be in Canada at the same time. That is always pleasant as well.
The logistics of connecting with people can be a bit of a challenge. We turn off our voice, text and cellular data services when in Canada to avoid the obscenely high roaming charges. This mean we can only use our phone for internet access and then only when in a WiFi location. Basically we are forced to live like animals in the information age. Was that hyperbole?
I am sure it will be a wonderful week; connecting with friends; old and new. We are seeing a great mix of old and new plays; some very familiar and others virtually unknown to me. It will even be cooler. Asking for more than that would just be greedy.