We returned from spring break a mere 2 weeks ago, yet we are already deep into the logistics for end-of-the-school-year activities and for summer. My eldest will soon be 12 (!) so we’re planning birthday stuff for him. This weekend is a total doozy on the logistics front (more on that Monday or Tuesday I suppose) and I am sorting out June travel with flying to a speech from an extended-family get-together. I also booked tickets for a trip I’m taking with the big kids.
Then there was this week’s real planning fun (and almost a fail). I wanted to get a reservation for my husband and me at French Laundry in the Napa Valley area this summer. We’d previously booked rooms at the Majestic Yosemite for some dates later in the summer for a family vacation, and we’re celebrating our 15th anniversary. I figured that while we were in northern California we could do both (they’re about 4 hours apart). The online reservation system opened for summer bookings at 10 a.m. Pacific (1 p.m. Eastern) on May 1.
So I was on right at that time…and was immediately shut out. The two dates I was looking at in August were instantly gone*, which makes me suspicious (I was truly on there, on the page, registered, etc. at 1 p.m.) I clicked on some other times, but as soon as I’d click, the system would claim someone else had just gotten the spot. This kept going on, with my frustration rising, but finally, I was able to snag a reservation — that I’d clicked on before, but the system said someone else had grabbed — for a time that was earlier in our planned trip. So I took it, and then spent the next few hours looking at maps of California and on the phone with the lovely folks who do Yosemite bookings sorting it out.** The good news is that I was able to add another day for our two Yosemite rooms, so we’ll still have time in the park despite the first bit being chopped up…quite lucky, as the entire rest of the month appears to be sold out for Yosemite too. Fun stuff.
Someone sent a question recently asking if I ever suffer from planning fatigue. The answer: Yes! Yes I do!
But I also want to do cool stuff, and I want to do cool stuff with my (large) family. I spent an hour yesterday looking over my printed time logs of the past year. The logs encompass 8760 hours, as a year is always 8760 hours (except for leap years). Yet it feels expansive in memory. So much happened, including things both big and small that required logistical maneuverings. When you wish to do very specific things, particularly things where demand eclipses supply, then you have to plan ahead.
The trick is making sure you’re actually enjoying time while you’re in it, and not constantly working out the details for the future. I think part of my frustration this week is that I’ve spent so much time sorting out this weekend (and some stuff for next weekend!) and for the summer that I feel like this week itself has been…meh. It might have been meh anyway, as it was filled with such fun stuff as getting my 8-year-old car repaired prior to the epic driving that needs to happen this weekend. But! I am hoping that once I am in this weekend I can actually enjoy myself. And as for the summer logistical planning, I know it cannot continue indefinitely. At some point the logistics are done. Though then we hit early fall with two more birthdays, new school schedules…
How are you coming on your summer planning?
*For reservations for 2 people. I have since learned that they strictly limit the number of 2-person tables, and if I’d booked for 4 or 6 I could have gotten those dates (well, on May 1 in the first few hours). You pre-pay but we know plenty of people in San Francisco, so we possibly should have done that. Oh well. It’s all worked out now.
**I truly do mean lovely, I’m not being sarcastic. Tiffany was the sweetest and most helpful customer service person I’ve spoken with in a while.
Photo: Lego monkeys at the Philly zoo. Something of a metaphor for life.