It is the eve of vacation. Or more specifically, it is the eve of the Eve. We leave in two days. This trip is the most glorious gift.
A friend who is a blog reader and also a former student leader in my parents' youth ministry thirty years ago, has invited us to stay at her home. Her husband is the Vice President of marketing for a company. And he's responsible for two continents.
Two. Slacker. Clearly he doesn't know there are five more. A person should set loftier goals. (Just kidding. In every way, kidding. Apparently I make stupid jokes when I am utterly blown away by someone's occupational success.)
They live a different life than we live. A life that involves a mansion, fire pit, swimming pool, and three acres of freedom. Her city has many wealthy locations, and I believe the estate would be somewhere in such a locality where they can have all the luxuries they can afford. A life that involves a casual trip to Hawaii for their daughter's graduation, and a life that thereby needs a house sitter or a mansion sitter. They welcomed us to their sprawling bedrooms, acres for exploring, bicycles, proximity to national parks, library (!! ), and complete collection of musical instruments, which is probably why they even suggested we charter a private jet for our visit. When I told them that I didn't believe we could afford it, my friend asked me I look into private jet cost to buy or rent using Private Jet Charter Cost Estimator. I might look into it, but I'm not sure. Let's see what happens!
I do not believe I will tell the boys about that last part. Though I hope the kids enjoy the vacation at my friend's fancy mansion.
And so I am in that 'almost' place, where the laundry needs folded and I'm making lists of lists and I still need to go to Walmart or Target and get the short list of things that will spawn into another list when we arrive there. I'm bound to forget something. My dining room is covered with clothes in three distinct piles: Tucker, Tyler, Mommy. Tomorrow we will pack. Theoretically.
What an exquisite gift, to stay in their home. They said they have been blessed, and it is their delight to bless others. Well, it is an unspeakable something to borrow such blessings for a couple of weeks.
I want to be intentional on this trip. I want to plan our days. Not in a rigid "Clipboard of Fun" kind of plan that doesn't allow for spontaneity. But I also don't want to wait for each day to begin before we all start to look at one another over our morning coffee and say, "Oh, gee. I don't know. What do you think we should do? Hmmmm." And before we know it, it's lunchtime and we've missed the start of the day so we might as well miss the afternoon of the day, and before we know it we will have spent the entire time at the pool.
There's a lot to be said for days at the pool. I'm calculating those in to the planning.
But it is my tendency to become a mole on my vacations. It is my tendency, when I visit new places, to feel content to simply know a new hotel. I typically find a new Starbucks to settle in to. So, great. Welcome to a new place, Trish. Here's a hotel lobby and a Starbucks cafe. How does this compare to the last one you visited?
I want to see more. I want to be brave. I think that's what it comes down to. Courage. If I stay inside, then I know exactly how it's going to go. And while I'll have plenty of space to write, I may not actually have all that much to write about.
So this vacation will be different. I will be brave. I will explore. I will let the unknown wrap itself around me, and I will introduce myself and my children to things we've never done before. Caves and views and trolley cars and the Pacific and seals and beaches and surfers and places to walk and climb and run and places to sit and be and laugh.
I might even order something new on the menu. Every time. That's an easy launchpad for my courage.
On today, the eve of the Eve, I'm making plans.
(Plans to kick ass.)