Saturday, June 28, 2014

Girl Time

I travel to Washington DC area 4-6 times a year for business.  These are very quick, fly in Thursday night and fly out Saturday right after the meeting ends in the early afternoon.  Before each trip, I keep thinking I should fly out early or stay a day later.  For as many times as I have been to the city, too many to try and count, I’ve barely explored beyond the 5-10 blocks of the hotel, convention center, or meeting location.  I am happy to share that I have pushed past this habit, and added not only flying out early on Thursday morning, but staying through Sunday night to my September trip.  

The extra two days will be spent with my older daughter, who will be freshly home from her studies abroad, who will take a quick break from her job hunting, relocation planning, to have a good old mother daughter bonding weekend.  Of course I still have my meetings all day Friday, and Saturday morning, but that will give her time to check out the 10 blocks I have seen numerous times on my trips, and decide what we cram into our time later on Saturday and Sunday. 

I am currently as giddy with anticipation with this trip as I was in planning our trip to visit her in England.  When she was in her last year as an undergrad, we had talked and talked about a weekend in Chicago for her graduation.  She graduated a semester early, in December of 2012, and wasn’t starting her post grad program until September.  There should have been lots of weekends to fit this in and the travel time from Minneapolis to Chicago is short-drivable if we didn’t want to spend the money on airfare for two, and with lots of things to do there, and neither of us having spent much time in Chicago, it should have been a cinch to plan. As often happens, life intervened.  Basketball and soccer tournaments and work projects ate up my weekends; college and high school friend events ate up my daughters.  And as I mentioned, neither of my adult kids are really self-sufficient financially, both taking on more schooling after their undergrad, so finances always seemed to be in question.

This week though, I finally not only realized  the opportunities to spend this one on one time with my kids will be even more difficult as their lives get more and more complex, I made the  decision to cut the excuses.  I confirmed she wanted to go with me, found a Saturday night hotel right in my favorite DC neighborhood, as opposed to the Arlington hotel where I stay for work (nothing against Arlington), and found two early tickets for Thursday, and a late flight home on Sunday.  Sure, it will set us back probably $750 or so with the extra hotel, food, and plane ticket, but for my estimate of 30 hours of good quality, not counting sleeping and traveling, time together, it is a bargain.  I’ll tighten the belt and be sure to brown bag, make coffee at home, and avoid spontaneous purchases.  I read something about making the choice to do something now, or to do something more.  I’ll have to find the exact quote.  This is something more.

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