Monday, May 23, 2011

Planning a Road Trip to Florida

The girls and I are headed to Florida, hopefully! I know I have not talked about it much, but with dad's surgeries and my grandfather's failing health we have had to postpone everything-- and I mean everything. However, because we want to see a shuttle launch and the final shuttle launch is scheduled for July, we have to go now or miss it.  Seriously, it has been gloom and doom for months now, with the reality of and expected deaths of both family members, so while it is semi-calm I want to be able to nab a few minutes of fun with the twins.

Right now my mom is prepped for a last minute flight out or road trip to Texas.
I know she feels guilt over not going to see her dad, and she is anxious that he will pass before she gets there, or not be lucid enough to even remember her if she does make it. If that call comes, she will fly to Texas and hopefully get to say her goodbyes, if not the road trip to Florida will turn into a road trip to Texas for a funeral, so......
...on to thinking about happier things.
I have always wanted to see a space shuttle launch, in person. That and visiting the Kennedy Space Center are way up top on my list of things to do, and talking about it so much it is now something that the twins really want to see as well. Missy is very excited about the trip too, but I am not sure if seeing a shuttle launch are her thing or the prospect of being at the beach are what's got her excited. 

Since we would be going all the way to Florida, I figure that we might as well try to do and see all the things in Florida that I have been wanting to do for a long time-- I just hope two weeks is going to be enough because I think that is the most I can afford afford to fund. I want to see the Everglades, Missy wants to go to the Keys (and so do the rest of us after seeing my brother's honeymoon pics), and we want to stop and see a friend too. I would love to take the girls to Walt Disney World, even if just for a day, because none of us have ever been and they have been asking for years, but I know it is very expensive and after all the time off with my dad and unexpected expenses, I about wiped out my savings (it's crazy what unexpected health stuff can do to your wallet).  

I still have a lot to figure out, especially the car thing-- we love road trips-- but I am not sure what we will be driving just yet. Now that we know the planned day for the launch, it is so much easier to figure everything out-- though I was hoping it was going to be a little later in July than it actually is. Because it is the 8th, we would probably have to leave around the night of the 5th to make it there on time. This leaves the whole, leave before the 4th or after question out there, and I don't want to be driving the weekend of the 4th (because of all the people on the road) but I don't want to be rushing and not enjoy the holiday either. The twins did throw out the idea of leaving Friday, getting to our friend's place and spending the 4th with them before heading to Florida- but I have to wait to hear from them. 

So, that is where we are at right now. Big plans. Nothing set in stone. This will probably be the only vacation we get in this summer. Dad is needing another couple surgeries so I would like to take them before all that happens. Neither of my parents can do a family vacation-- mom is out of vacation/sick time (I think she is actually in the red from being off with my dad) and dad just can't. 

I am trying to figure out as much as possible to budget-- driving down versus flying/renting car, staying with a friend for a day or two, I found a coupon for the KSC that I can use on the launch day, and I have been looking for vacation rentals vs hotels to cut the lodging bill, plus the girls want to camp out a couple days. 

It's really a hodgepodge of a vacation, but I am going to do my very best to give it to them. If this last year has taught us anything, it is to stop waiting to do the things we want to do and just get out there and do them. Hoping my grandfather can hold on just a little longer for my mom's sake and hoping my dad doesn't do anything funny between then now and then-- because I won't leave if there is any question about his health.