Monday, July 23, 2012

Vacation?

A quick whine.....it is amazing how one bill can "undo" all your efforts.  Our dental bill went UP due to my crown, thus negating the $380 payment on the retirement loan, $230 to the car, $250 to student loans....GRRR.  G-man has to have a filling replaced and just had a cleaning, so the bill will go up again.  GRRRR.

OK, whine over.

So I already know that this post will cause all sorts of "drama."  I already know who will say Go For It, and who will say "Are you out of your mind?"  So let the chips fall where they may.

I have mentioned that I have a tumultuous relationship with my parents.  None the less, they are still my parents, and my kids' grandparents.  I also know that their health isn't great, and realistically, I am doubtful that they will live a "long" life.  And while I am making strides to remove myself from their DRAMA, in the end....they are my parents.

Their 40th wedding anniversary is in November.  And we are considering flying there to celebrate.  Due to Election Day and Veterans Day, we will take the kids out of school for 3 days, and be able to be there for 4 full days, and  2 "half" days (and have a day to re-coop).  My brother and his girlfriend are also trying to come for the weekend, so for my parents...it would be a rare treat to have their entire family in one place.

Flying vs driving.  Driving takes a minimum of 15 hrs.  MINIMUM.  It is at least 5-6 tanks of gas round trip (using $3.50 as a median number between cost here and cost there....that is between $350 and $420 just for gas).  Plus wear and tear on the car, and the body.  And the mind, as you are listening to 2 kids for 15 hrs....

Flying...we have never flown as a family.  Actually, the kids have never been on a plane!  This would be a first for them (and us as a family).  Including layovers, extra time at the airport, etc....it would be about 6 hrs EACH way.  Round trip is less time than driving one way!  I found flights that have great times, and round trip would be about $1000 for all of us. I know that taking Bossy on a plane is going to be way stressful, but hopefully once he has the experience, it will open the door to future flights.

Food.  While our food cost while we are there will be minimal...we would of course take my parents out for a nice dinner for their anniversary.  If my brother goes, we will split it....if he doesn't come, then we will take care of the bill.  I am not planning a $$$$ meal...but we aren't going to go to some casual dining, chain place either.

Stress.  That's a given.

So, there it is....we will probably spend $1000 in the next several days to book a flight.  While it would have been better to have thought of this awhile ago....I didn't.  I think also, I assumed that my parents would have come to visit at some point in the past 3 years....but other than Mom coming about 6 months ago for a long weekend....yeah, not so much.  Between overtime, Christmas bonus, and whatever else we can scrape together....I am pretty sure we will have that paid off before the end of the year. 

Since we don't really vacation, I guess this would count.  Not MY idea of a vacation, but the money certainly says it is!



18 comments:

  1. It's a nice thing you are doing; but I know how you feel and your hesitation......

    Gill

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    1. If I knew it would be appreciated, I wouldn't be hesitant.

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  2. 10 years from now (or sooner) you will be grateful you gave yourself this gift.

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    1. This is what I would LIKE to think....

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  3. Ugh, that does not sound fun! But I see where you are coming from. The kids will probably be excited about the airplane ride, though! That part could be fun.

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    1. Long time no see!

      Even the plane ride is going to be stressful. I think Bossy will look forward to it, until it gets there...and then he will lose it.

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  4. I actually say no. And it has nothing to do with the money.
    The thing is, I can't explain it properly.
    I guess I just can't see you coming back from this with big huge smiles and gushing with awesome stories to share especially after the last couple family stories you've shared.
    It seems you are doing this out of obligation. Or you are doing this to please your parents even though, from what you've told us, it seems unlikely they WILL be pleased with your efforts.
    I dunno. Maybe I'm just a Debbie Downer today but I say no. Send them a lovely card or gift. Call them together. But stay home with your family and do something you will all really enjoy-- even if it means having a movie marathon all weekend and doing nothing else.

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    1. I guarantee I won't come back with gushing stories. And yes, I would be doing it out of obligation.

      Where the question comes in is do I deal with NOT going, and then having it held over my head, and repeatedly brought up? Or do I go, and while I know it won't be appreciated...at least I won't have it looming over me (although I am sure something will loom anyway).

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    2. That's a question for your therapist....and since you're 90% sure you're going, and due to past experiences know it will be miserable, she'll also have some good ideas about managing expectations and staying calm and detached during your visit. So hey, put those new therapy skills in action!

      I would advise flying non-stop if you possibly can. Pack snacks. Pick out the restaurant you are going to ahead of time. And then pick out the alternate restaurant for when they object and monkey around with your choice. Plan for Bossy's meltdowns. Maybe send your mom and Sassy out for a manicure.

      Don't think about it as this awful looming trip to see your ungrateful asshole parents. Think of it as a test of your skills. You know your parents, your husband and your kids--lay out your strategies of dealing with each of them in order to get the most peace out of the weekend as you can. But also separate yourself from the outcome.

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  5. Based on comments you've posted about your parents, I'd predict that they will NOT be grateful for your huge effort to celebrate with them and that you'll come back enraged and depressed and having spent money that could be used to pay down your debt. If you absolutely must spend the money why not plan a trip that involves plane travel so the kids can have that experience? Here is something to consider: when the kids are older, what do you think will be more important to them--a plane ride to visit relatives when they were young or parents who are currently debt free and in a position to help them with college or other schooling?

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    1. We would like to take the kids on a real vacation when we are debt free....they will be young teens by then. The plane travel is purely in play because if we went....it would cut down on the travel time (30 hrs vs 12), which would be great....and the bonus is the experience for the kids.

      As for the idea of when they are older...what would they think is more important...I have to say the plane ride. Bossy has no concept of money, so he won't care if we are debt free or not. He is all about experiences. Sassy....don't know what she will think. My honest guess is that she would remember the trip more than she will care about help with school.

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  6. What about you and your brother going alone and having a "family" weekend. Much cheaper and you can go out for a nice, adult dinner, etc.

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    1. I agree with Shauna. Fly by yourself, and that way you wont need to spend the money on your kids and DH flying too. Take the money you save and take your little family on a fun experience(flying may even be an option that way)

      :)

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    2. Mom and Dad don't care about seeing me.....they really just want to see the kids. But the kids and I are a package deal.

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  7. I think you should do it only if you are doing it for yourself and/or your kids. Kids are all about experiences and it could be a great trip for them (their first plane rides and time with their grandparents). Will your kids go to the anniversary dinner? If not, you might want to think about doing something different that would include them. At this point, you might want to consider your obligation to your parents to be your kids' relationships with them and not your parents themselves, since they don't seem to care about their relationship with you.

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  8. I think it is important to spend some time with the parents - I know it isn't a 'vacation' but maybe you can plan to do something fun while you are there... visiting your parents is like visiting my in laws - they are about 17 hours from us (18 if we do a majority during the day) we drive - but dd is pretty awesome in a long car ride. she hates planes so she is good about driving. she calls it an 'adventure' ~ good luck! I hope you find some cheap flights! :)

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  9. Fly, it is worth it in the long run.

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  10. I haven't visited in awhile but I am so glad to see you guys still working hard to get out of debt!! BTW I would fly... Sometimes it's necessary to pause and take care of life then go back to getting out of debt. We will be praying for your journey with getting out of debt and visiting your parents. Blessings~ Gillian

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