Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Scheduling is hell

Scheduling anything with Hubby is usually fraught with danger.  The danger of cancellation or of having to call everyone else involved to change the date.  Birthday parties, group photos, get togethers...  nearly anything involving anyone beyond me, Hubby, and the girls gives me a headache and requires multiple phone calls and emails.  If it's just the four of us our options are always open anyway and I know things will change dramatically at any moment.  We just don't plan much of anything and as much as possible we're a seat-of-the-pants kind of bunch. That's fine.  Sometimes annoying, but fine.  It's when other factors, like extended family, or Delta, become involved, that I go crazy.

A couple months back Hubby got a four day contract in Nuremberg.  Then there was a two day class for him to teach in Hamburg the next week. If we wanted, we could schedule them as far apart as possible, and the girls and I  could  come to Germany and play with him in between.  If I had my top choices of where it would be cool to take the family, Bavaria would be right up there.  I've been there twice, I know some fun things to do there, it's a beautiful area.  Hubby's never been to Germany, I could show him around a little too.  We weighed all the options.  Briefly.  For a couple of days.  Seriously enough for me to see that if we DID decide to go, we had to renew the girls' passports. Yeah, how freaky is that?  I got my first passport at 18 or something.  My girls are 7 and 9 and they need theirs RENEWED, and they've actually needed them TWICE.  The times they are a changin'.  I digress.
We decided to go to Germany.
Then we talked about it some more for another couple weeks or so. Of course when I say "talk" I really mean "brought it up while squeezing everything of relevance into a late night phone call, or an intercontinental skype session in which one of us was trying to have dinner while the other was trying to have breakfast."  That's what I meant.
After briefly discussing it a couple times, for many reasons we decided not to go.
Then Hubby talked to his contacts in Hamburg to see if he could schedule his thing there the 2nd week at the beginning of the week instead of the end, and only be gone for 7 or 8 days or so all together, instead of the full 2 weeks.  They said it's too late to move the dates, so he'll be stuck alone in Germany for the full two weeks, just working at the beginning and the end.
So we decided the girls and I should go meet him.  We're going.  We're taking the girls to Germany! 
We looked into airfare. It seemed relatively inexpensive, and we got these sweet direct to Paris flights...  so we bought tickets.  That's always a scary moment... the "YES DANGIT GO AHEAD AND DO IT!!!  LET'S GO TO GERMANY!!!" moment.  Everything is rolling toward going.
I told the girls' teachers at parent teacher conferences that we'd be leaving on November 10th after school, coming back the weekend of the 20th.  We'll come get any homework assignments for them to take with us and do on the plane. It's getting closer and closer!
Then on Saturday Oct 30th I get an email from Hubby telling me his thing in Hamburg at the end of the 2nd week in Germany was canceled.  Suddenly we have no real reason to have a big family vacation, with the girls missing 7 days of school, in the middle of November, right before the Thanksgiving break.  
We talk.  We decide to cancel, eat the change fees on the tickets and use the remaining credit to go somewhere else another time.

Hubby calls the airline to make sure it really is a $250 fee per ticket to cancel an international ticket.  Yes, it is. He is shocked that it really will cost us $1000 to NOT go, in changing his ticket and cashing the girls and my tickets in for credit.  He gets off the phone and doesn't cancel.  We start talking about what we'd do in Germany.  I start getting excited, and telling him all about Bavaria and the castles and the nutcrackers and the shopping and on and on...
We decide maybe we should go.  By now it's Sunday evening.
We talk some more.  We weigh our options.
By Monday we'd changed our minds again.  This one is looking final.  The reasons to go?  The experience, the cancellation fees on the tickets.  The reasons NOT to go?  For me, the thousands of dollars of the expenses of this trip (in addition to the price of the tickets we have sitting on this cycle of the credit card) and the fact we'd be pulling the girls out of 7 days of school.  There are quite a number of other, lesser reasons.

So we're not going.  Hubby leaves Saturday for Nuremberg, and will have to change his ticket anyway to come back the following Saturday.  And will enjoy having a week at home, for a change.  We've told the girls to tell their teachers we will be here after all.

There.  The decision is made.  Final.

This is not the first time a European trip was cancelled for me... the last time I found out TWO DAYS before we were leaving that our trip to Sheffield England was off.  But knowing in the back of my mind it always could fall through isn't much comfort.  I'm still sort of sad... I did really want to go.


  1. Wow, I am glad I am not the only one who makes decisions like this. :) I've never been to Germany/Bavaria but it looks gorgeous. Hope you get to make this trip soon...

  2. oh *sigh*! i'm so sad for you, too! mostly because it was such a roller coaster! but also because traveling...oh traveling! i traveled a TON when i was younger and i really, really miss it! we have yet to go very far with our kids but i can;t wait until we do! i l know who i'll look to for tips, that's for sure! :) on a side note-- i love the tidbit about your kids' passports! that *is* crazy!! hang in there mama and enjoy that cozy time at home all together!! :)


I'd love to hear from you! YES, YOU!