Wednesday, April 6, 2011

And Another One Bites The Dust

Sometime, the end of last week, I realized that this was "Spring Break". And considering the amount of stress that went into last week's tax fiasco, and the fact that we haven't had a vacation... and kind of desperately needed one... I took matters into my own hands. I snagged an amazing deal (traveling mid-week will do that) on The Palmer House Hotel, right off Michigan Ave in Chicago. It was the perfect location for walking... and the beds were the best hotel beds ever (except maybe the W beds... but on par) The weather didn't exactly cooperate... but it could have been worse. Since Mr F's car and gas are all covered by his job... Chicago has become our perfect short trip from home mini-vacation destination. The drive is (for our kids) a breeze, and you can pack in a lot of activity in two days. It was a good break from our routine. And, again, Chicago is hands down the cleanest city we've ever been in.

Also, there is an Amercian Girl Doll store there. If you hadn't noticed. This doll has been purchased on loan, to be paid back with chores. I have a feeling the lender will lose on this arrangement... but it was all I could come up with to not just buy her such a special doll for no occasion. Still kept the doll value at a premium, in her mind. The truth is, that as a lover of history, it's really hard for me to not buy these dolls (obviously).

We'd been planning on going on a bigger Disney vacation, but, we missed the deal season of the Fall, and I just can't do Disney once it's hot... or full price. We've got a decent amount stashed away now that our mortgage isn't like 90% of our take home pay... but full price Disney is hard to swallow, even if I think a good vacation is important for your mental health. Any way... despite promising the kids we'd go back in November... we're going to skip it. It was a tough call... the last year was a hard one and we never really have had that chance to recover as a family. But, every month we put Disney off the easier it is to just move forward. I mean the weather is almost nice, here... right??!

As much as we love Disney (we do) we really have been there and done that (and only that). We kind of want a change, but it's hard to find a place that is cheaper and still offers legitimate fun for kids of all ages. That is where Disney kicks it. And there is something to be said for that. What Mr F and I really REALLY want to do is take the family on an extended European trip (like rent a house for a month) in about 4 years, when the kids are heartier (8 &12... yikes! time flies) ... so... with that goal in mind it's easier to pass on a 3-4K trip to Disney. It's the damn airfare that kills it now that we need 4 full price seats. If we can diligently bankroll that vacation fund we'll be set.

Lately, Mr F and I have been known to watch 5-6 episodes of House Hunters International every Friday... and truth be told... I might beg him to try and get a job at a European car magazine on a fairly routine basis. So, you just never know where you are going to find us in two years (not really... but... maybe???). I just miss living in a city. I've convinced myself that if I can't live in a city I should try living in the Slovenian countryside with all the British ex-pats... it's gorgeous... and dirt cheap. Those Brits are on to something.

I've been scouring the closing Borders for their deeply discounted Rosetta Stone just in case.

Well, anyway, this is where the big European trip comes in. Trying to keep my wanderlust in check. Although, I don't know if that is possible.

Plus, it's one of the awesome benefits of homeschooling. One year's private school tuition would cover an amazing trip. I could rent a house and Mr F could fly out for his vacation allotment. Oh, to live the dream...

Maybe we will. Wouldn't that be awesome?

Something to keep the weekly grocery trips to Meijer less soul-sucking, at least.


Brina said...

uuuuuuh, of course i'd totally say go for your european vacation and make germany your base to be jetting around (nearby frankfurt possibly? of course this idea doesn't have to do anything w/ me living here) :D anyhow, there's always cheap flights to just about any destination in europe: i'm flying to london at the end of the month for somewhere around 120 dollars, and that's regular fare!

sounds nice that you got a breather, i was kinda worried that you'd have your migraines again. is cutting caffeine and wheat making a difference for you?

Mrs Furious said...

Germany has been discussed. The car connection could work there. Plus, German is not as difficult a language transition for me as other places.
I did have a 4 day migraine last week... the wheat/coffee did not make a difference. I'm hoping to get into a specialist by next month.
"there's always cheap flights to just about any destination in europe"
That's what I want. What an opportunity to offer the kids! It's a completely different lifestyle and life experience. We are seriously discussing this. If there was an opportunity to come up we'd definitely take it. There seem to be more job potentials in London... but that only hurts us financially, so it's not tops on my list. Who knows?

moley said...

Hey Mrs F., sorry about the migraines but glad the home schooling is going well.

Just one small point about Germany if you are thinking long-term rather than just a vacation: HomeSchooling is illegal, although I understand that they tend to leave foreigners alone.

London house prices are seriously scary, even to us

Brina said...

i'll definitely keep my fingers crossed to meet you here sometime ;) i can only second you on the life experience! one of my best friends from the US was living here from age 14-16 and she says she still notices how much more aware it's made her, at ease in new environments or never before experienced situations. the icing on the cake was then when she came back for a vacation after being gone for 14 years and said it never felt strange for her, it was kinda like coming home *sniff*

...and london's nice, but you're sooo right about it being expensive - it's *the* most expensive city in all of europe after all!

Torey said...

Dude. Can you do homeschool college? Cause I want to live with you. I like American Girl too ;)

I think you would LOVE Germany. It's VERY clean. Everyone smokes but you never see a cigarette butt on the ground. And little children speaking German is just so darn cute!

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