Most vacations that my family plans consist of one main point of travel, and then side-winding our way to other destinations.
Example: we are a family of baseball sports fans. When the idea came to my hubby's mind to venture to the real Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa, it was a no brainer. But we backtracked and started our trip in Kansas City, MO. Why there? Why not?!
We road trekked up the state of Missouri to Iowa, making stops in Amish Country and Bridges of Madison County, stopping at the Field of Dreams that started the whole trip, and finishing with a drive down to Chicago before flying home thirteen days later.
The added point that the kids were Preschool and shy of Kindergarten age is remarkable - life before we had all the electronic gadgets to keep them entertained. Nope, they did those days of road trekking the good old fashioned way - with toys and plenty of looking out the window.
The. best. family. vacation.
From there we have managed to always fly to a destination and road trek about, or just road trek straight from home. Car travel has always been something our kiddos have done; they know how to see the countryside. They don't mind it. It works for us.
If we were in similar state of mind as all-prior vacations, we would be making our Mid-Winter Break excursion to California just like one of these road trekking vacations. You have a "main purpose" and then you branch out from there to create an incredible experience.
But we are not in the same state of mind as all-prior vacations. Our "main focus" will be leaving Amazing Haddie in California. How do you begin to plan a memorable vacation from that stop-dead-in-the-planning-tracks-with-the-reality-she-is-no-longer-with-us?
I started booking hotels for our trip in the Fall, and this morning I went back into my files to get started on making a final itinerary. What was supposed to be a quick fifteen minute look-over turned into a sixty minute ordeal. Apparently, I could not make up my mind in September on where we should stay during our two day travel just to arrive in Santa Rosa. And, once in Santa Rosa I switched hotels at least three times. Apparently, I didn't realize I had so many choices.
Sorting out which cancellation went with which reservation number, and finally determining that yes, i do in fact, have a place to rest our heads for every night of our seven day travel made me realize that this is just a very hard trip to plan. Even back in September, when it felt that I was overly ready to plan - I obviously was still very much scatterbrained.
What will we do once Haddie is on campus and ready to begin her training? Sigh. I have no idea. I know we will be visiting the Napa Valley area and San Fran, but specifics? Not a clue. It doesn't even interest me to think of the fun that could happen post-Haddie.
The thought of just turning the car around and driving home has occurred to me more than once. But I am pretty certain our longevity in successful road trips would end. We just might go completely bonkers if we are trapped in the car back-to-back-four-days-in-a-row, especially when traveling the same roads home.
Putting it off a few more days, weeks, will have to do. I am not ready. But then I glance over at Haddie who is twisted like a pretzel resting in my 12" Beagle's tiny pillow bed and think, "Oh goodness, Dog, you just might not fit in at CCI College."