Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cosmic Dissonance or Why I didn’t go to Hawaii

Maybe our first mistake was planning a vacation after two bottles of wine. At the time, it just seemed so spontaneous, so adventurous. We were sitting with our friends from Maui in early March, considering our options for Steve’s upcoming big birthday. The offer of free lodging in Lahaina came up and presto, I was online checking airfares. $579 roundtrip from Aspen to Kahalui, it doesn’t get much better than that. In fact, the only time I’ve seen it lower was just after 9/11 when Steve got a $375 roundtrip ticket.

Logistically, we were squeezing this trip in between two trips that were already planned and I didn’t have the itineraries. So I guessed. I made our return to arrive in Aspen at 1 pm on Thursday, April 30 only to find out that Steve was scheduled to depart Aspen for his 8 day backpacking trip in Utah at 6 am on Thursday, April 30.


A quick (? 25 minute hold time) call to United and the original itinerary was refunded and the tickets were rebooked with a return a day earlier. Great. Now Steve had a 17 hour turn-around, at best, assuming our return trip went smoothly.

I only had two weeks after my return from London to regroup and prepare for another absence. 10 days in London, one week to recover, one week to prepare and then 15 days in Hawaii. And one of those two weeks in Aspen was closing week at Highlands. Party Sunday, party Monday, party Wednesday. Not very conducive to nose to the grindstone but somehow I managed. More than managed, I basically worked my butt off for 14 days straight so that everything would be done. And done, it was.

But, this past Tuesday, I received a letter from the high school discussing the logistics for prom. You know, prom. That thing that Rachel’s been planning on attending for weeks, nay, months. That thing that was a focal point of our trip to London, resulting in us importing a unique prom dress from the UK for which I paid pounds at $1.45 to the pound.

Yep, prom. Which is scheduled for April 25. (Please see our return date above.)

So now, all of the sudden, I’m going to miss prom. Who’s going to help her get ready? Who’s going to take pictures? Who’s going to drive her to prom? Who’s going to be the chaperone so she can have her friend spend the night, her friend who likely can’t go to prom if I’m not home so that she can spend the night? And it’s $500 to change our itinerary to come back in time for prom. And even then, we’d only be back in time if there are no travel issues.

Oh, but we’re not done yet. Sunday night I sit down to finally do taxes (one of the myriad tasks on my pre-trip to do list) and, oh shit, we’re not getting a refund. Not only are we not getting a refund but, we owe. A lot.

WTF? I always get a refund. I didn’t really mind the no refund part. I really minded the paying a lot part.

Never mind. Once again, I rally, crunch numbers and get it all figured out. Yes, we can pay Uncle Sam and still go to Hawaii.

Or not.

This morning, as we’re getting ready to walk out the door at 6 am for our 7 am flight, the dog just isn’t right. She’s favoring her left rear leg and basically won’t move. She was fine last night, but this morning, not so much. A huge part of me wants to just put my blinders on, leave for the airport and cross my fingers.

The responsible part of me (ugh) can’t do it. So I call United and try to rebook our tickets for tomorrow. $3000. NFW. Amanda from India does tell me that if we show up to the airport today, saying that we missed our flight, they’d likely rebook us for tomorrow for free. Or we have until midnight to cancel our tickets and have a credit to use with United before next March.

Having bought ourselves some time, we hang out until 8 am when Steve takes Ellie to the vet. They can’t see her then, so he has to go back at 11. Turns out she either has a pinched nerve or a slipped disc and needs to be kept quiet until she’s seen again tomorrow at 2 pm.

So, finally, I admit defeat. It just isn’t going to happen. I called United again and Vidya courteously cancelled my tickets.

Unpacking is going to suck.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So there's no financial penalty. You are a good mom for Rachel and the dog.

You'll somehow get to Hawai'i at a more auspicious time.