The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

June 17, 2011

Figuring Out How the Heck to Get There is Half the Fun, Right?

Filed under: travel — Brian Lutz @ 2:10 am

Although I’m pretty sure that I’m not actually supposed to like being single (I guess it depends who you ask really,) I do have to admit that it has its advantages.    For example, not having any kids to worry about at this point means that if I’m planning a vacation I don’t have to worry about their schedules, which in turn means I can schedule things at times when the kids are all supposed to be in school, thus (hopefully) avoiding some of the crowds of feral children that might otherwise be roaming assorted popular tourist destinations during the Summer and Spring Break.  Which does absolutely nothing to explain why I happen to be currently in the process of planning a trip to Disneyland right smack in the middle of Labor Day weekend, but in theory that’s how it’s supposed to work.  In realty, most of the time I’ve also been restricted by available vacation time (or the lack thereof in a lot of the contracts I’ve worked) and financial constraints, but even under those constraints, I find that it’s relatively rare for me to take a vacation during the Summer, at least not the part of summer generally considered to be Summer Vacation.

So, along these lines, I find myself with not one, but two different trips coming up in September, and even though that’s still several months away, it seems that I’ve already got planning to do.  The first trip will be, as noted above, Labor Day weekend (give or take a day) spent down at Disneyland with some friends.  The “Labor Day” part of that should ensure that the place should be niiiice and crowded those days so we get to do fun things like wait four hours in line for the teacups or spend an hour trying to figure out how the heck we’re supposed to get past the parade.  Well OK, I don’t think it’ll actually be quite that bad, but nobody remembers the trips where everything goes according to plan, right?  Anyway, my friends have been booking their flights down for the trip, but I’ve been putting this off for some inexplicable reason, planning to purchase the flights after my most recent payday.  As of Tuesday, all seemed to be well, with the flights both ways priced at $109, so I planned to book yesterday evening.  This, of course, must have set off the airlines’ secret “jack up the price” alert, and by the time I was ready to actually book, the flights were now coming up as $172 apiece, which isn’t necessarily a deal breaker (especially since I don’t have to worry about paying for a hotel on this trip,) but was certainly enough to make me start hastily searching for a plan B.  I did find one reasonable looking alternative on another airline at a more reasonable price and was about to book it before noticing a little AM/PM mix-up in the schedules that would have really made a mess of things if I booked it.  I do a pretty good job of messing things up on my own, I don’t need the airlines’ help to get myself hopelessly lost in a strange land, I am quite capable of doing that on my own. 

Ultimately, it took wading through half a dozen websites looking for flights that weren’t either ruinously expensive or thoroughly inconvenient, and finding out that there really weren’t any better options than just sticking with the flights I planned to book in the first place, so in the end, those were the ones I went with.  They ended up costing more than I would have liked them to, but I guess I just need to remind myself I don’t need to pay for a hotel this time around.  That (mostly) takes care of trip #1, so now I need to figure out trip #2, which has a lot more planning to do.  Shockingly, I’m booked for yet another cruise later in September (I figure I’ll get it out of my system eventually, right?) this one being a five-day trip from Vancouver to Los Angeles with stops in Victoria and San Francisco along the way.  That, of course, means having to figure out getting up to Vancouver (which will probably end up being by train), getting a hotel overnight up there (which doesn’t seem to be cheap,) then figuring out if I’m going to try to sneak in a couple more days in LA when I arrive down there.  Oh, and I have to find a flight back up too, although that shouldn’t be too tough to figure out.  And then just around the time when I’m done figuring all that out and getting that out of the way, I suspect I’m going to have a weekend roadtrip out to Eastern Washington sometime not long after that, but I suspect I’ll just be along for the ride on that one so it shouldn’t be anything that’ll get me into too much trouble.

I bet if I went back and dug through some of my old stuff, somewhere along the line I’d find a point where I said something about wishing I had the opportunity to get out and travel a bit more.  I’m just not quite sure that I had intended it to all happen at once.  So if sometime roughly three months from now if you see some Blog post about being lost in the middle of Nowhere with all my luggage having somehow found its way to some random closet in New Jersey, at least you won’t be too surprised.  After all, nobody remembers the trips where everything goes according to plan, right?



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