With this new overseas move ahead of us, we're considering a trip back home for a bit of a holiday-funny, isn't it? We live a holiday here in Great Britain. Anyhoo...
This means we are again faced with, "My parents or yours?" and "My sister will get mad if we stay with your sister." Etc, etc...
I can go to Nowhereville, Nevada to see my parents-who are hoarders, so we'd have to stay in a hotel. That's AFTER paying to rent a car to get us there since no international flights fly in to any city less than 4 hours from them.
If we go to his parents, we have to offend one as Mom and Dad live in different states. Neither has the room to put us up (I'm not opposed to floor sleeping, but I do put my foot down with sharing my sleeping bag with numerous cats).
Again, each would have another lengthy drive from an airport after flying for 14 hours.
There's the son and daughter-in-law in Idaho. I would love to go see them, but it's not really a 2-3 week sort of place to go, and in all honesty, I do NOT want to be the in laws that overstay their welcome. A few days to possibly a week would be perfect- but then where do we go? More distance driving.
My brother lives in southern Arizona. I adore my brother, but I do NOT do well when my shoes are melting to the sidewalk. I can't even pretend to be civil when it gets that hot.
My sister lives in the northwestern part of the states. I have never been there. She and her husband both work, so basically, we'd be going to this location to sit and wait for them to get home every day-again, with considerable cost to us to reach their home and about 3 days worth of activity/sightseeing for the kids.
Our "home of record" for the Air Force no longer has any family members living there and is a tourist area (translation: OUCH to the wallet), although we could fly directly in and out...
We haven't even discussed the burden of feeding our clan...
When we have lived in the states, with the exception of a small few, our family didn't come-they didn't even call, it has always been up to us to keep communication open, but as a family of six with expenses of our own, we were expected to keep the family bonds strong.
So, we start thinking that Disney World really is the only answer. This is what we did last time we flew back to the USA. It cost less for all 6 of us to stay and eat there for 11 days (and have the oldest come out to see us), than it would have been to go see any of the above mentioned family for a week. How crazy is that?
We are still paying for that trip, but not in the way you'd expect. I'll probably NEVER hear the end of, "They can go to Disney World but can't come see us?" despite that we had started planning in February of that year; sent links to all of the family members inviting them to join us in September; also worked out a greatly reduced rate to stay together in a military place and none of them could swing it.
But, like I've blogged before, I have a 2200 mile hole in my heart. I miss the place where I grew up more than I could ever express. I have a dream of taking my kids out on a houseboat for a week, or camping on the shoreline of "my" lake like I did as a child. I want them to see the Grand Canyon, I want them to hike Bryce Canyon in the moonlight and splash in the cool waters of Zion Canyon. Northern Arizona and Southern Utah are Heaven as far as I'm concerned. I'm turning 50 and I'd like to do it in a place that I long for.
So, after hours of online boat rental sites and gorgeous landscape images that my brain is salivating over, I mention to my mother, "Do we have any connections there anymore? We'd kind of like to consider going, but the cost is escalating quickly".
And she replies, "I know of a place in Nevada where you can go....".
I should have just planned our holiday and sent post cards after we got there.
How do YOU juggle family that's spread out all over the country?