Friday, July 16, 2004

Hey, No Fair! There Was A Car Coming!.. 

Have you ever been allowed to take a "do-over?" No matter if it was when you were a kid playing stickball and there was a car coming, or as an adult playing "golf" (I'll be taking a 'mulligan' on THAT shot) getting a "do-over" can be a great thing. If you "screwed up," you get a chance for redemption. If you were "wronged" in some way, you get to make it "right." If there, indeed, had been an automobile bearing down on you, you get another glorious chance to hit the ball without the unbearable pressure of potential catastrophic injury and/or death. Do-overs "rock and roll," people. We should all get 'em more often...

Unless it's something like an ad, or a direct mail piece...Then it sucks. (The client hated it. Let's do it over.) That would be "bad."

But I'm not typing about bad "do-overs" today, only the good ones. I've found that, as I've grown into adulthood, my opportunity to take these "do-overs" has dwindled down to almost nothing. Granted, I have a delete key and "command-Z" ("undo") at my disposal within the realm of Photoshop and Quark, but that's simply not tangible enough. I have often stood in observance of many a real life mishap secretly wishing I could click "undo" on the whole thing. Like I said, real-life "do-overs" don't come along often enough outside of childhood, so you have to grab them when you can. It's for THIS reason that my wife and I are taking one such "do-over" and driving to Las Vegas this weekend.

Viva Las Vegas, baby...Hell, Viva Las "do-over."

So you may be thinking to yourself "What the Hell?" Well, if that's the case, I'd tell YOU that here a couple weeks ago, when my wife and I went to my family reunion, I tried very hard to enter into the trip with a positive attitude. I was gonna have FUN, dammit! No matter how crappy the camp was or how many people made me uncomfortable, I was gonna have me a rollicking good time...Of course, if you listened to my audioblog entries regarding the whole experience, you're well aware that I, indeed, failed to have "fun." It was a lousy, crappy-shit-poop experience. It was ALSO the last bit of vacation time that I had scheduled, pending the outcome of certain events...

So that was it...I had a lousy damn time and didn't have another vacation on the horizon. Yay me.

I did, however, schedule some time off during the week of July 19th to use for some unpleasantness which I will not discuss. Suffice to say, this time off didn't originally entail fun OR frolic, but did require my being somewhere. Anyhoo, whilst my wife and I were away, Diana had agreed to collect our mail for us. As I was going through the formidable stack of correspondence that had accumulated during our absence, I came across a particular piece of mail which turned out to be a joy to read. The "thing" that I had taken the time off for had been postponed! In the blink of an eye, I had time off and nothing scheduled to fill it. It instantly held the potential to be "happy-fun" time off!

Enter the vacation "do-over..."

Time, obviously, was of the essence. There were less than 2 weeks until "departure," so I had to get the "details" hammered out as soon as possible There was potential to "miss the window," so to speak, if I "dilly-dallied." Money, also, is a bit of an issue in this case. Traditionally, I plan (and save) for vacations starting as much as 6 months out. My planning method is to book the airfare as far in ADVANCE as possible, while waiting until almost the last minute for the car and hotel. Without boring you with minutia, it's a solid way to save money AND maximize your fun. With help from Andrea, Andy's wife, we used this formula PERFECTLY to stay in some awesome places and see all kinds of stuff in the east and midwest and Canada last summer for just around $2000...

But I digress...Can I get a "do-over" for that paragraph? No? Damn...

So, anyway, my wife and I decided that we'd be looking to book a trip to Pennsylvania. We wanted very badly to go and visit Andy and Andrea again. I searched and plotted and did this thing called "math" over and over only to find that, as I suspected, 2 weeks out is a TERRIBLE time to try and find airfare to ANYWHERE. Driving WAS considered, but the timing factor (I don't have Friday the 23rd off) didn't work out. Doing the Pennsylvania trip simply wasn't economically feasible with the given time-frame. With these factors in mind, we instead decided to use the time off to drive, via Grand Junction, CO, out to Las Vegas. We've got family in both places and breaking the drive up into two days will make it breeze by (I say that like I've done it before, well, because I've done it before). I booked us some good, inexpensive accommodations in both locales and we'll be driving my wife's Saturn, thereby saving money by not renting a car...Despite the fact that it wasn't our first choice, I'm really looking forward to the trip and so is my wife. From what she tells me, her sister Shannon and their grandmother are looking forward to visiting with us. It's a shame that Heather's dad and stepmom will be out of town while we're there, but I'm sure they're enjoying the Hell out of Aruba...I think I would be if I were there...Also, I'll get to meet "Aldie," who is Shannon's boyfriend. I guess the threat was that, when he met me, I would get to shoot hockey pucks at him or something. I'd better pack my aluminum stick, just in case...

So that's that, kids...Heather and I will be hitting the road on Saturday morning...Thanks to the fact that my mom allows me to borrow her cell phone, I'll be posting audioblog entries for your listening pleasure as events warrant...Viva las Vegas! Viva Las Road Trip! Viva DO-OVER!

See you next Friday, amigos!

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