Thursday, May 22, 2008

Okay, New Plan

Over lunch today (in Laclede's Landing, after riding to the top of the Gateway Arch), D and I hammered out contingency plans for the next few weeks of our trip. This was our original itinerary:
  • May 20-24: St. Louis, MO
  • May 24-29: Atlanta, GA
  • May 29-June 6: Orlando, FL (Shuttle launch on May 31)
  • June 6-13: Asheville, NC (D's family reunion, all week)
  • June 13-17: Kitty Hawk, NC
...and continuing on up the east coast to Washington, DC, and Niagara Falls. Orlando and Asheville were the fixed points in time, since NASA isn't going to reschedule the launch for our convenience, and D's family have already taken time off from work for their get-together. It actually worked out pretty well, since Asheville is a plausible one-day drive away from Orlando.

Unfortunately, we just found out this week that D's family may not be reuniting in Asheville after all. It's a long story, but the upshot is that one sibling--the one who has the timeshare in Asheville where everyone was going to stay (except us; we'll be in a pet-friendly, child-free hotel)--may not be able to travel out from Wyoming, and they won't make the go/no-go call until June 3rd. Another sibling has offered to host the gathering at his home in Pennsylvania, but that's a bit farther than one day's drive from Orlando. And after a couple of bad stopovers*, we've struck the one-night exception from our road rules. So every stop has to be at least four days.

Here's the new plan. We have these possible conditions:
  1. D's family reunion happens as planned in Asheville.
  2. D's family reunion happens in Pennsylvania instead, on the same dates.
  3. D's family reunion happens in Pennsylvania on different dates.
  4. D's family reunion doesn't happen at all.
And this is what we'll do in each case:

1. Stick to the plan. Nothing changes; everyone's happy.

2. Leave Orlando early. We want to spend at least one day each at the Universal and Disney World theme parks, but we can leave as early as June 4th. We'd then spend four or five days at a halfway point (possible Charlotte, NC), then spend six or five days, respectively, with D's family in Pennsylvania.

3 or 4. Skip it. We are only willing to bend so far to accommodate people who can't plan ahead, even if they're family. If this happens, though, we will stop and visit individual family members later, since our plans are pretty flexible otherwise.

All we need to do at this point is check with the hotel in Orlando about their change policies (in case we check out early), and get our one-day Disney park tickets. We already have 7-day tickets for the Universal parks, so we can go hang out there (or see other sights in the area) if we do stay all the way through June 6th.

I'm sure this is terribly exciting to all our blog readers. Since it'll be a couple of weeks before we can plan the rest of our trip, I'll start by posting a map of where we've been. Later tonight, maybe.

* The cats are usually restless during their first night in a new place, and if the cats don't sleep well, D doesn't sleep well, and everyone's unhappy. Also, it's tough on us humans to do more than one day of continuous driving. If I wanted to be a long-haul trucker...


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At May 22, 2008 at 8:18 PM , Blogger DeeAnn said...

A comment on CKL's footnote: it's not so much that the cats don't sleep well in a new place. They're nocturnal. It's expected that they're not going to sleep as much during the night.

What is not expected, however, is that the cats will spend their night walking back and forth across our heads and necks, screaming. When not screaming and pacing, they wake me every hour or so to demand attention.

Needy cats are unhappy cats. An unslept DeeAnn is also unhappy. And that, of course, results in a very unhappy CKL the next day.


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