Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A November Adventure

Teh Bear didn't schedule to take vacation for the end of the year.. originally.  Then someone at his work retired or quit or something and 2 weeks of vacation opened up at the beginning of November.  His work has this stupid rule about everything waiting 5 days to see if someone else wants the vacation time and the person with the most seniority gets it, but everyone else had already put in for vacation, so the 15 days was his!

For him, this meant vacation.  For me, it meant to decide on a real vacation or a Teh Bear visits vacation.  These things are not the same.  One includes me working during his visit.  The other includes me NOT working during his visit.  We've never actually went on a legit vacation, vacation (saying a word double completely validates the literal-ness of a word) together, so I figured.... why not?  It is before the holiday leave period so I wouldn't really be competing with anyone over vacation time and it's after everyone in my shop comes back from TAD/leave/whatever they do to not be at work.  I hadn't taken more than a week off of work since Teh Bear came to visit in Feb and that was a long time ago!  The timing was perfect so I decided that we were going to have a real vacation.

First World Problems is definitely my fave meme.

So, with both of us having approved vacation time, we I started considering ideas for vacation.  Teh Bear had mentioned in passing a few times about going to see our friends in Denver, so I suggested that idea and he approved.  We contacted them and they agreed to host us for a visit.  We planned on a weekend adventure with them and potentially other friends in the area, then just spending a few days hanging out during the week until it was time for us to head back to NC.  Since we had only planned on spending a week in Denver anyways, so we I had to figure out something to do for the 2nd week of vacation.

I say "we I" had to plan these things because Teh Bear had decided, "This is your vacation.  I'm going to be on vacation no matter what since I won't be in FL."  I think that means that because I want to do something vacation-y, not in MD, I must plan these things.  We've had some contention over this statement because he keeps calling it "your" vacation and I keep calling it "our" vacation.  I argue that he will be participating in OUR vacation with me, which makes it ours, but he keeps saying this isn't the case.  I'm still certain I'm right.  You may weigh in on this issue in the comments!  :)

Where in the world do I/we want to go? (image)

Anywayssss.  For the 2nd week I was overwhelmed with options.  Did I want to just leave the US altogether?  What about London/Rome?  What about something else not in North America?  After looking at some prices, I had to be more realistic.  What about NJ to see his brother?  What about Niagra Falls (where I never got to see the Falls at night because Teh Sister was a pain in the ass when we visited as children)? What about the Outer Banks?  What about going leaf lookin' (which was easily eliminated since it will be almost mid-November and most of the leaf stuff happens in Sept/Oct)?  What about visiting Teh Ginger and his wife in WV?  Several things ended up coming together to solve this problem.

Ok, now let's be realistic..  (image)

1.  Teh BFF is on vacation starting Oct 31st.  Which I forgot.  She told me, but I forgot.  She was considering making a visit up to see me, which I would have loved... buttttttt I had strongly considered an NC leg on our vacation and...
2.  I was kinda hoping that Teh Parents would watch Teh Philio while we were in Denver, so going to NC would be convenient in the exchange of Teh Philio.
3.  Also, I looked up flight prices out of RDU...  $100-150 cheaper than flying from DCA/IAD/BWI.
So, I decided that I'd start my vacation a day early and head to NC to hang out with Teh BFF for her first few days of vacation while dropping Phil off with Teh Parents, and save some monies on my plane ticket to/from Denver.

Since this helped concrete NC into our plans, I was able to do even more scheduling!
The Biltmore Estate starts their candlelight Christmas decorations tour on November 9th!
The Carolina Renaissance Festival will still be going on that weekend as well!
We could visit the mountains and lodging is free (yay crashing at Teh Parent's, which would also mean Teh Bear gets to spend time with Teh Philio)!

So, I had a rough idea of somethings that could happen during these 2 weeks of no working.  Teh Bear didn't not approve any of my suggestions, so I moved forward with the planning.  I asked Teh Dad if they would watch Phil while we were gone and ensured that we could crash there while we were in NC.  These requests were approved.

Then, we got word from our Denver friends that our "scheduled" weekend getaway with them and potentially others was a no-go on their end.  They suggested we come to town for the weekend to do stuffs, then have our own getaway.  I'm not gonna lie, I was a little bitter.  Maybe it was the PMS, maybe it was that I had started getting excited, either way, Bitter Betty was all up in arms.  I wasn't even sure I still wanted to go to Denver.  I ranted a bit to Shoulda Been a Cowgirl and explained to her that I couldn't tell if I was legitimately upset or if Bitter Betty with a hefty dose of PMS was making me a Dramatic Dora.  I think I just needed to be upset for a little bit because I had been counting on this activity.  24 hours later, I was back on track and thinking of fun Midwestern things to do.  (This paragraph is proof that being a girl is hard!)

-We weren't really interested in Vegas as we're trying to not spend an obscene amount of money.
-I really wanted to go somewhere with snow.  (Which is, apparently, unreasonable during the early part of November... I should have just said we're going to Canada to visit Teh WoW Family (the whole family really does/did play WoW).)
-We had already committed to going to Denver and I didn't want to be the asshole who got butt hurt cause I didn't get my way.
-Europe was just way too expensive, despite the deals I was seeing on Groupon/Livingsocial/tripmasters.com.

I had mentioned the Grand Canyon as a group weekend getaway option before I knew it was 14 hours away from Denver.  So I started doing a little more research.  Was a flight from Denver to somewhere closer a realistic idea?  Yes, actually.  What about lodging?  What about what to do while we were there?  Is the Grand Canyon even open in November?  Would Teh Bear be ok with a trip to the Grand Canyon?

I can take this picture?
The Grand Canyon © MedioImages/Getty Images (image)

These were all valid questions, but I knew the answers to most of them, including the last one.  Teh Bear has never been to the Grand Canyon before.  I have never been to the Grand Canyon before.  So this would be a first time for both of us, which is pretty rare due to how much I've traveled.

Just in case, I did ask Teh Bear, "What about the Grand Canyon?"
Teh Bear:  The Grand Canyon would be fine.
Me:  Fine?  Just fine?  Not even ok?  (Fine and ok have strong definitions for Teh Bear and I.  Fine really means "not fine at all, but I'm upset and don't want to talk about it."  Ok means "no, really, everything is ok, nothing is wrong, even though it might sound like I'm just 'fine.'")
tB:  Yeah.
tB:  Uh, sure?
tM:  I'ma need a little excitement from you.
tB:  You didn't really sound excited when you asked me.
tM:  I was trying to be neutral about it to gage your interest.
tB:  You sounded depressed.
tM:  Fine then. *insert perky voice* How about the Grand Canyon, babe?
tB:  Yeah, that's ok.

eofjweoiifjes;oigjero;jgre;ojgaeso;jaociweoignrbmaedclasdmclksajdoiebjeodmaoifj!!!  BOYS!  UGH!

So with his "ok" I've started planning for 2 days at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.  Terri has suggested NO camping in November.  Which is perfectly acceptable to this girl, because I'm a huge fan of indoor plumbing.  She also told me she would get me her trip notes from her trip last November to the Grand Canyon.  She's great!  I'm still looking for more suggestions though.  What else is there to do in/near the Grand Canyon besides take pictures and take a stupidly expensive flight around the canyon?  Apparently, there are also other parks besides just the Grand Canyon itself, but I'm mostly midwestern inept, so I really require some guidance!

That area of the world (somewhere in Arizona) is called the midwest, right?  The bread basket is the middle of the country, so I feel like the midwest would be halfway between the west coast and the middle of the country?  Maybe that's just me putting too much thought into this?

So, there you have our vacation summary.  Honestly, I'm pretty excited to see how it will all work out.  I'm sure that I will start freaking out as soon as plane tickets are purchased.  Luckily, we aren't really on a tight time schedule for the entire vacation except for whatever we schedule, which then means its on us to get it right.

So it looks like this:
-Teh Megan in NC for 2 nights then meet Teh Bear in Denver
-Denver for the weekend with our Denver Friends
-2 nights at the Grand Canyon (which we are open for suggestions about!)
-fly back to Raleigh.
-Show Teh Bear NC State (GO WOLFPACK!) potentially, depending on what time we arrive back in Rah-lay.  Potentially show him other Raleigh things (suggestions on this are also welcome because it's been a hot-minute since I've been in Raleigh to remember the cool stuff).
-We can stay in Raleigh for the night, but the lodging is free at Teh Parent's house, so this isn't settled unless we don't find something awesome to do.
-The 2nd weekend we will spend in the NC mountains (LOOOOOVE that place, I might be biased).
-We're gonna hit up the Biltmore Estate for my first Christmas decorations tour... PLUS it will be candlelight and that will also be a first for me!!   (and Teh Bear).
-We're gonna go to the Renn Faire in NC (north of Charlotte) on Saturday potentially with Teh Parents (they've never been!)
-We're hopefully gonna see Worldwide Jesus Lover and her husband (although she doesn't know it yet) and possibly Teh Ginger and his wife.
-Then, we're gonna drive back to MD with Teh Phil-io.  Teh Bear and I might take turns snuggling with Teh Phil on the way home, who knows?
-Once we get to MD, we'll be proving to my MD friends that Teh Bear is real and does exist in real life!
-A few days later, sadly and with heavy-hearts, Teh Bear will head back to FL (booo!) and I will return to work.

Luckily, the next week is Thanksgiving week, so it will be a short week!

I feel like writing all this out has made our vacation real.  Like.. its more than a possibility.  Almost like.. I've purchased tickets.  Oh wait.  I did!

The last time we were on vacation, vacation together it snowed!
I could go for a repeat of this...

PS.  You can go ahead and start getting excited for vacation recaps/photos.  It's ok.  Do it.  I am excited!

No comments:

Post a Comment

YAY!! I love comments! Please be aware that I reply to comments via email; please have an email associated with your account so we can chat!