Eight Weekends

Steve and I have not come up with a family vacation plan yet. But we’re getting closer.

Our goal of getting Ian in a specialized transition program took priority this spring. We still haven’t been able to lockdown the right program for him (lawyers, red tape, money). With all that uncertainty, we can’t commit to plane tickets and hotel rooms, because some programs begin in the summer. Also, we had to hire an expensive lawyer to make this happen, so there’s not going to be a lot of extra money floating around in our bank account for a fancy escape. I’ll talk about that drama more in the next Great Leap newsletter.

This week, we decided that we couldn’t let the summer slip by without any fun. So, I took out a piece of paper and brainstormed ideas with Steve. Sitting at the kitchen counter with a glass of wine, we came up with a list of ideas for the eight weekends and two full (!) weeks in July and August. A Yankee game, camping, a trip to the beach, We’ll do one long car trip in the second week of August, but haven’t settled on the exact destination — Montreal/Quebec City or Northfork Long Island/Block Island/Newport/Cape Cod.

For the first time ever, Steve is going to take two consecutive weeks of vacation. This is a game changer. In the past, Steve’s 20-24 days of Paid Time-Off were eaten up by doctor’s appointments, school meetings, random emergencies, extended family obligations, and childcare gaps, leaving only one week for a summer vacation. Until we sat at the kitchen counter to talk about the summer and counted his remaining vacation days, we hadn’t even contemplated this luxury of a two-week vacation. For various reasons, we won’t be able to actually travel or sit on a beach for that whole two weeks, but we will have the luxury of having packing and unpacking time on either end of the vacation. Steve can have a few days to sleep in and truly relax. Like I said, game changer.

We have some obligations for the remaining weekends of June. The kittens were returned to the shelter to get antibiotics to manage some rather extreme intestinal issues. They might come back for a week or two, when they feel better. But by July 1, we should be free and clear to check off items from our Summer Bucket List. Tonight over dinner, we’ll start to make reservations and finalize plans.

We have eight weekends for adventures and fun. I plan to use every minute.

Picture: Block Island, 2016

11 thoughts on “Eight Weekends

  1. We did Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City in 2019. It was a good trip. Ate very well, except that Tim Hortons isn’t really any good. I think Montreal was my favorite.


    1. We love Montreal. We went there after our wedding (I’m never sure whether to call it an official honeymoon) and, by happenstance, were there on our 30th anniversary. Our recent trip, with kids, was fabulous for us, and, I think for someone who enjoys NYC. We stayed in Old Montreal, enjoyed the French character of the city, ate Quebecois food, visited an old Jewish neighborhood (Mile End), visited the history museum (an interesting comparison to the one in Barcelona, because both had elevators that took you down to the history of the city, but Barcelona’s went to the Roman origins and Montreal’s to practically yesterday).

      Montreal is a slog for us, but we do love the city.


  2. Laura wrote, “For the first time ever, Steve is going to take two consecutive weeks of vacation.”

    You guys probably want to stay closer to home this year, but that sounds like Europe.


  3. I eventually put together a schedule for our youngest for the summer. But then our kids one by one got COVID, so it’s blown up her first week of camp. There was a week and a half where I had to cancel everything. Youngest was the last to get sick and is finishing up her isolation, and she’s boooored.

    Our summer plans (roughly) are:

    –youngest and I spent a week in WA with family (CHECK)
    –a couple swim lessons for the youngest
    –a few sessions at the therapeutic riding place for the youngest (her first time ever)
    –several weeks of art camps for the youngest
    –fill in the remaining weeks with a light schedule at the therapy place
    –husband spending two weeks on a work trip in a cooler climate
    –husband taking one kid to British Columbia to see family for a week (?)
    –the rising high school senior is taking a college science class at Hometown U.
    –a first job for the big kids–progress has been derailed by our family COVID
    –summer reading for the college student (she has a reading list exam in the fall)
    –driving instruction for the high school senior once he’s done with his college course
    –college application for the rising high school senior

    I’m mostly happy that I’m not my high school senior.


  4. I’m sure hoping that Covid doesn’t de-rail this for you.

    Our last ‘summer holidays’ was in December-January this year. Apart from a single 1-week holiday programme (thankfully, it was the theatre one), *everything* was either closed or they did nothing but go to the centre and stay there. The most boring school holidays ever, according to Mr 14. Even things like the zoo were closed (or at least closed to groups) – madness, I know, it’s *out of doors*.

    I’m just grateful that we’ve aged out of the ‘need’ for holiday programmes. Two of the local ‘good’ ones have shut down (combination of uncertain enrolments with Covid, and a reluctance of some parents to pay the slightly-higher prices for the more premium experience). Most of what’s available now is fairly bare bones and boring – also really hard to get into (quart of demand into a pint pot of delivery).

    We have a short 2 week break between terms 2 and 3 coming up. I expect Mr 14 to sleep for most of the 1st week (he’ll have just come out of an intensive 8-performances of Oliver!), and he’s enrolled for his beloved musical theatre holiday programme for the 2nd week.

    No holidays on the horizon for us. Everything is *very* expensive – from eating out to events and experiences – businesses trying to recoup their Covid losses. Airflights are a *lot* more expensive – and TBH I wouldn’t trust NZ not to reimpose quarantine, if we risked going overseas.

    Mr 14 has a scout jamboree booked for July 2023 – in South Korea – so is getting very excited about that!
    I’m hopeful that the whole international travel scene will have sorted itself out by then.


    1. I have the other problem to Steve, I have so much leave accrued, and never get to take any. About 9 weeks, and counting ATM!


Comments are closed.