Solo Travel -- by Robin
In a perfect world, this trip would prove both relaxing and fun. I crave both. I remain hopeful but guarded.
It's already been stressful. And, we're just at the planning stage.
Since my senior dad has been in and out of the hospital in the last few weeks (thankfully he's now home and slowly healing), I put off booking the air. And, as you might expect, the fares went up. So quickly, I was stunned. I was on the phone with Expedia one night to ask a question, and during the phone call, the fare jumped $75 dollars, and I hadn't locked it in. I quickly became potty-mouthed mommy (Seth wasn't in the room), and raced onto Orbitz.com and snagged the fare at the rate I had planned to pay. It's a direct roundtrip flight (the only one).
Then, I decided to try to apply rewards points from both my Marriott card and Capital One. While it ultimately worked out, it required a rather complex conference call with all parties involved to make it happen.
Ok....my patience and persistence is already being tested.
When I decided I'd like to get away, I thought the ideal plan would be to visit a child-friendly friend. Since we're not traveling as a family or with a family, I'd appreciate the company of another adult. Not only would it help me with Seth but I'd get to enjoy some much needed gal time. Though it won't be just me and my girlfriend, if we're hanging out with Seth at the local children's museum, he can run around and do his thing while we can catch up.
So, we are going to Asheville, NC. I was there years ago with Marc when we went furniture hunting in North Carolina, but we breezed through Asheville. I am looking forward to returning and visiting some neighboring towns as well. My friend who moved there from NY is a fairly new grandma and former school teacher...a great combo. And, she lives a life of spirituality, which I also admire. I'm grateful for the face time we'll have.
I've been on the web researching family outings as well as shopping. Gallery hopping for me, and mining for Seth. Digging my hands into mounds of dirt with the hope of discovering a gem or two doesn't get my heart pumping, but hmmm....are diamonds potentially part of the find? That would be sweet.
Oherwise...we'll wing it.
I'm already making myself a list of toys/gadgets to bring to occupy Seth. I must be sure to pack all the right chargers. Wouldn't want his iPod, DVD player or Game Boy to run out of juice. It's only a two hour flight, but since we're not staying in a suite in the hotel, Seth and I will be co-habitating closely for five nights. We'll each have our own Queen bed, but there won't be any separate space for him to play or to watch his own tv while mommy endeavors to sleep in a bit. Does his DVD player come with headphones? I MUST explore that right away! If I'm forced to wake up 7AM daily on vacation, as Seth does, I will not be a happy camper. I'll need a vacation from the vacation when we get home, and that defeats the purpose. But, isn't that often the case with kids?!
Vacations aren't always what we expect them to be, but I do look forward to some mother-son bonding time. He'll miss his dad, and his toys, etc. I'll miss Marc. But, a little break can be good for everyone.