Travel Planning with Tater

We are in the midst of a very busy stretch of life. Friday night was my daughter’s senior prom. It was also the end of AP testing(though she has a makeup test tomorrow). This is the last week of school. A week from Friday is graduation. A week from Thursday my wife’s mom and aunt arrive to attend graduation. The following Monday we leave for London. On top of all of this, we are still in the middle of the remodeling of our master bath and, with my MIL visiting soon, we are in “everything has to be perfect” mode. It is tiring and stressful.

With all of this going on, my wife told me I needed to do the planning for what we will do while we are in London. I obliged, even though I knew my plans would not stand. I know this because my wife and I have very different definitions of what planning a trip means. I think we figure out which major attractions are “can’t miss” and then group them together on a day based upon location with the idea that things can change based upon the weather. Her idea of planning is to do this, but also know exactly when we plan to do each thing and also research restaurants and know exactly when and where we plan to eat each meal. I would also like to point out that when I figured out what I wanted to do(Abbey Road) was too far away to be convenient to our plans, I crossed them off the list.

I did as I was asked. I got the travel books out, looked at the locations of the major attractions, and did a day by day plan of what we would do when. Later that day, my wife asked for a piece of paper and a pen so she could “fix” my work. First, she apparently wanted it written in what she called “legible handwriting” and then she started second guessing where I had certain things listed. She also added which day she wanted fish and chips and which day she wants to eat in Chinatown.  I mentioned the Abbey Road thing above because she also really wants to go to Greenwich. Greenwich doesn’t really work with the time we have in London, but she is going to find a way  squeeze it in somewhere. I would say that there is no way it is going to work, but somehow she always makes it work. Today,  I will plan our two days in Paris so that tomorrow she can change it all. Fun times.

I’ve decided that this fall when both kids are away at college I need to get her to do a day trip with no definitive plans. Just jump in the car and go. Maybe have a final destination in mind, but be open to stops at interesting things we find along the way. Some day I will get her to drive the long way to visit family in Kentucky with the willingness to stop at random tourist traps along the way. She is very good at planning trips and it’s likely a good thing that she is giving more structure to what we had planned for London, but sometimes I think it’s good to just wing it. Domestic, driving trips are probably a better time to do the “wing it” type trip, but even with those she likes to look at maps to see if any of her “safe” chain restaurants are on the route and plan the quickest way to get from point A to point B. This does not make for a relaxing trip to me.  A “wing it” trip os not a relaxing trip for her. Maybe some day we will find a happy medium.

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2 Comments

  1. Since you don’t really get to wing it when you take your trips, this might be a good time to get her to agree to try it your way every other trip, to be fair. You know certain things she’s on the lookout for when you do a domestic driving trip, so you can include those in your basic outline for the trip while leaving room for plenty of spur-of-the-moment stops and side trips. Think she’d go for that? It’s all a little one-sided so far.

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