Let’s Talk About Thanksgiving

Let’s talk about Thanksgiving, because that’s how we roll around here. While the over achievers of the world started blogging about Thanksgiving the day after Halloween or possibly sooner, I like to wait until the holiday is over, it makes my post so much more irrelevant original.

Besides, I’m not really going to talk about Thanksgiving, except to give you the broad overview and just a few pictures because my camera died while I was away, thus ruining my chance for my Story Book Land Christmas card photo op. IMG_6939We had a nice time celebrating at my mom’s, over indulging, making our aforementioned black Friday Story Book Land trip, which is always awesome, but this year, very, very cold, and basically, just hanging out.IMG_6935

IMG_6944The cousins always enjoy time at Grandma’s. These two played a lot of Go Fish. IMG_6930And on Friday, everyone was feeling ambitious and so went to the park to launch a rocket and then play a spirited game of basketball. That is everyone but me. I had other ambitions.

I’ve decided that watching House Hunters international on the couch, in your pajamas the day after Thanksgiving is the greatest motivator to planning a spring break. This year, I felt like I kept missing the mark for vacations. Our annual Hershey trip (for the birthdays) was foiled by bad weather. My grand design of a Christmas week ski vacation was thwarted by other ambitious travelers who, unbeknownst to me, booked their vacations in the summer, rendering almost every location occupied or ridiculously expensive, as in $10,000 for a room over Christmas week (I’m talking to you Stowe)! And, after spending an afternoon on the soccer sidelines, about a month ago, listening to everyone discuss their spring break plans, I was beginning to worry that I was going to be shut out of that week, too.

It is not my thing to travel on school breaks (or plan ahead, obviously). I see nothing good about booking a trip when the rest of the United States also wants to book a trip, because it means every location is crowded and over priced. But, alas, the school district does not care about what I want. Last year, after receiving three very official notices informing me that I was endanger of being fined, or worse, going to court because my son, who, by the way, is an A student, had missed too many unexcused days of school, I decided it maybe best if we plan our big vacations for the actual days my children are off school and save the two day trips (like skiing) for those five unexcused absences.

Now, I don’t really think that I would have been fined because of my son’s absences, or that my son would have been retained, either, because I was a teacher and I know how this stuff works (and I know what real truancy looks like, versus vacation truancy) but, honestly, I don’t need unnecessary hassle in my life, or days and days of make-up homework, or some over zealous specials teacher marking my son’s report card with too many unexcused absences as the reason for his S, as opposed to an O for outstanding (true story).

So, as it happened on that day after Thanksgiving, while I was binge watching HGTV, a family was relocating from their native Chicago to Turks and Caicos. I was seduced. Turks and Caicos was already on my radar after hearing people (on that same soccer field mentioned previously) rave about how Beaches Turks and Caicos is so wonderful. They spoke so highly of it, that that day, I immediately went home from the soccer game determined to book a vacation. Silly girl. The only option available to us for spring break week, was an all inclusive stay for $20,000!  That did not even include airfare. Twenty thousand dollars! I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Some people don’t even make that in a year. Now, I’m sure there are cheaper options at Beaches (at least I hope), but along with the over achieving skiers, other spring breakers knew to snatch those rooms up way before October.

But HGTV reminded me that there is more than one pony show on the island, and so I feverishly went to work researching, planning, and booking.  After hours of pouring over TripAdvisor reviews, checking out prices and websites, I felt elated to find a condo community, that wasn’t quite cheap, but was way more reasonable than Beaches and almost every other resort on the island, right on the beach. I booked it. Fatigued from all my research, i.e., six hours on the computer, I called it a day.

The next morning, when we returned home from my mom’s, I set out to book our flight. I never know which is better when booking vacations, especially during high travel times, booking the hotel first or the flight. In the past, I’ve usually booked the hotel. In this case, though, my method wasn’t working. Not only was I having trouble finding direct flights for my days, every flight was grossly over priced, with very limited seats. There wasn’t a single good option for the days I had booked the hotel.

That night, I went to bed depressed thinking that we had, again, missed the vacation mark, because although we had a hotel, we had no way of getting there, but, it’s amazing what a good night’s sleep can do for you. The next morning, I woke up determined to either figure it out, or find another spring break location. After five thousand more hours on the Internet, and with a lot of help from American Express travel, and a little shifting of our travel dates, we are locked and loaded and ready to go!turks picTurks and Caicos, here we come! Well, not, yet, but you know what I mean. And for that, I am truly thankful.

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