Wednesday, July 02, 2008

ready to run...

Does Christmas ever feel like a let-down to you because you’ve put so much energy and excitement into anticipating it? That’s kind of how I am with vacations too, except hopefully not as much letdown (easier because it lasts a LOT longer than Christmas, so anyway.)

My point is not that vacations are a letdown, but that I LOVE planning them! The more complicated, the better (although maybe I’ll rethink that when it really IS complicated. I remember my mom reading frantically and spending hours on the phone in the months before we went to Europe—I would NOT want to have organized a European vacation for a family of 7 in 2000. Yes, there was lots of stuff to help plan on the Internet, but I betcha it wasn’t nearly as easily as it would be in 2008. I mean, did Google even exist? That would kill me. I live for Google).

Anyway, we have been having so much fun planning and prepping for this vacation. We’ve got our spreadsheets and our lists and all that jazz. Last night we did one of my absolute favorite vacation-prep things: the mammoth shopping trip. Retail therapy always works for me anyway (going to the grocery store is one of the happiest parts of my week, because that’s the only kind of shopping I do these days), but this was especially fun. We stocked up on propane, new crayons, lantern mantels, and fruit snacks. We bought a car adaptor for the laptop, a new (smaller) cooler, and a Little Mermaid hat for Abigail (much eye-rolling from Neil and I, since we’re really not fans of the whole Disney Princess thing, but at least this way we know she’ll keep it firmly on her head). And lots and lots and lots more. Then we came home and made another list of what we have to do every night until we leave.

Today the girls and I went to two of the local libraries on a search for Harry Potter audio CDs. We've stepped up our daily walks around our neighborhood to "practice really hard for hiking in Yellowstone, Mommy!" to get Abigail's short little legs in training and stave off the inevitable "I want you to caaaarrrryyyy meee." We recite the names of all her cousins as we walk, and tell her stories about her babyhood that involve the aunts and uncles she doesn't remember but will see next week. We discuss Ruth's upcoming wedding and talk about when Mommy and Daddy got married. We spend hours on our floor flipping through photo albums, and Abigail hangs on tightly to our 11 x 17 copy of "Yellowstone on My Mind."

The links on our paper chain are slowly disappearing, the maps are out every night, and we're avidly debating the best campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park. Should we take I-70, or I-80? Or 40? Stop at Dinosaur National Monument? No, the visitor's center is closed...let's add another hike on at Rocky Mountain instead. Do we want to spend three days in Yellowstone, or two there and one in the Tetons? Wind Cave, Jewel Cave, or Timpanogos Cave?

Last night I dreamed we were driving through Provo Canyon. I could hear the wind rustling through the aspen leaves and see Timpanogos looming above us with snow glinting off the topmost peak.

I'm so ready to go.


Kilerkki said...

Dinosaur National Monument is really neat, but with the visitor's center closed because it's slowly breaking apart (seriously--cracks running all through the ceiling, floors tilting at an angle, doors that won't close because one side is an inch higher than the other) it's not the safest place to hang out. >.> However, if you want to see dinosaurs, the BYU Earth Science Museum has some neat stuff, and if you go during the day you'll have a good chance of seeing the paleontologists at work preparing fossils! Abigail would probably love the Bean museum, too.

Meghan said...

Planning trips is so exciting! Based on my experience, I would encourage you to simplify as time goes on--do the complicated stuff at the beginning and take it easy as enthusiasm wanes during the final days. Just camping and taking hikes near your campground might be more enjoyable than hopping in the car for a long drive to a new thing, when everyone is about new-thinged out.

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