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  trip to San Diego.


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 in San Diego.  Her husband is the Vice President of marketing for a company whose name you would know.  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 and a fire pit and a swimming pool and three acres of freedom.  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.  In exchange for feeding their dogs and bringing in the mail, they have welcomed us to their sprawling bedrooms, their acres for exploring, their bicycles, their proximity to the San Diego Zoo and Lego Land and beaches and national parks, their personal library (!!), and their complete collection of musical instruments.


I do not believe I will tell the boys about that last part.


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 in San Diego.  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.)

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