Well! My Tuesday “meh-mood” has been replaced by a great deal of bouncy goodness! I mentioned back in February that I was planning a three-leg trip to coincide with some training that Bill has to attend in Chicago in May. The trip would encompass a long weekend spent in Chicago, then flying from there to Maine to spend a few days with my uncle, before flying back to Phoenix.
Since February I’ve been investigating flights and routes, hitting all of the various travel search engines and even signing up for several airline frequent flyer programs. I was never able to find a multi-destination arrangement that was less than $868.00, and I began to despair. I’d just about made up my mind that I’d have to go to either Chicago or Maine, but not both. And then I waffled back and forth about THAT – “Chicago has Heather!” “My uncle is old!” “Bill will be bored without me!” “My cousin just had her first baby!” “If I got to Maine I’ll disappoint Heather and Bill!” “If I go to Chicago I’ll disappoint my uncle, my cousin, and my sister!”
I was battling conflicting priorities. I don’t know if you know this about me, but I really REALLY love my husband. It is very important to me that we have shared memories, and the opportunity to spend time in Chicago together, when we’ve both been there separately before, was too good to pass up. This class he’s taking is forcing him to stay over a weekend, which is an arrangement that perfectly accommodates a fun little mini-vacation.
Then there’s the whole Maine thing. Going home is ALWAYS a priority to me, and it’s even more important this year because of my uncle’s age, needing to scan the family photos, and needing to see my cousin’s newborn baby. If I don’t go in May then I might not go at all this year, since Indy is already scheduled for August and I have pre-approved vacation time in May that was finalized BEFORE three people in my group decided to up and change jobs, and two more are going on Sabbatical. It’s going to be a SUCK summer covering their desks while training new people.
I don’t know what it was, but SOMETHING was preventing me from pulling the trigger on any arrangements at all. I’d get all the way through the process and hover over the “submit” button, then just close my browser window and walk away. I have no idea why. I did this with a multi-leg trip, with a trip to Chicago, with a trip to Maine, and every time I’d just back out. Something was telling me to wait, but that gut feeling was causing me anxiety as well.
I started to stress way too damn much with the whole thing.
After a conversation with my uncle this past weekend (he mentioned doctor’s appointments and was vague when I pressed for details, so, UH OH), I made up my mind to forgo Chicago and head to Maine for a week. And then, somehow, between making that decision on Sunday morning and last night when Bill made his trip arrangements, I determined ONCE AND FOR ALL that DAMMIT, I was going to do the whole three-leg trip and hang the consequences!
So! Back to the internet I went, but this time I went directly to US Air’s website. Now, I did vow that I would never fly US Air again after the whole missed connections debacle of 2007. But they seemed to have the lowest airfare and they were coaxing me with promises of extra frequent flyer miles. So I plugged in my dates and destinations, perused my flight options, and was SHOCKED to find that my entire trip, with decent connections and layover times, would only cost me $530.
I clicked “submit” on that sucker and BAM. No more stress about it. I’m flying from Phoenix to Chicago on 5/12, then flying to Portland on 5/16, then flying back to Phoenix on 5/21. Only two points of the trip spell SUCK to me: a 6:00 a.m. flight out of O’Hare (putting me into Portland at 1:00 in the afternoon, which is FINE BY ME!), and a 10:30 p.m. arrival back in Phoenix (but a 3:30 departure from Portland which means I don’t have to rush that morning).
One thing I always look for is a decent amount of layover time for whenever I need to make connections. Phoenix to Chicago is a straight shot, but Chicago to Portland has a layover in Laguardia, and Portland to Phoenix has a layover in Philly. In each case I could choose from layover intervals of 45 minutes, or three hours, with no happy medium in between. So I picked the three-hour layovers, and you know what? I’m just FINE with that. I’ll read a book, warm a bar stool, people watch, and dork around on Twitter and Facebook.
I’m going to be exhausted when I finally get home, but I’ll also be HAPPY. I bless whatever impulse it was that forced me to delay my final arrangements until today.