In October of 2012 we booked our first flight vacation as a family of three. We were going to brave it and take our infant on a plane ride to a warmer place. The time we selected was in the middle of winter to escape the depressing snowstorms and slip into a time of shorts and sandles, something I have never done in the month of February. I was very excited to say the least.
As with any vacation, the anticipation is a large part of the fun. Imagining yourself sitting in a pool, shopping in outlet stores, visiting local attractions, seeing palm trees and feeling the warm sunshine on your face. There is a lot involved in going on one of these trips too. You get things ready. You purchase special travel items good for plane rides and away from home stays. You get passport pictures taken and apply for your passport. You eat all the food in your house so nothing goes bad. You do laundry. You pack and write lists so nothing is forgotten. You mentally start checking out of your every day life and start getting excited to get away from the mundane everyday chores - even if only for a little while. Then you sit and wait for that magic time when you leave for the airport to board your flight that will carry you into your much needed escape. All of that happened for me these last little while, all of it, except the trip to the airport and the plane ride.
About a week ago, I saw the dreaded 5 snowflake display on the Weather Network's display and the looming giant green snow bubble on the CBC weather report that was moving along the coast. Then they put a name on this storm - Nemo. I had a sinking feeling when I heard that this storm had a name that I may not be escaping the winter after all.
Well, Nemo found us and did he ever. A yucky windy day on Saturday led first to a delayed and eventually a cancelled flight. I wasn't super surprised, but I was disappointed. I got on the phone with the airline as soon as I read that dreadful word "cancelled" on the airport website and after 40 minutes on hold and another 45 minutes re-booking I felt good. Sure, we were losing 2 days of vacation but at least we were still going. And we had a better flight, it fit better around my little baby's schedule. I came to terms with what we had lost but looked forward to making the most of what we had left and focused my attention to waiting for our Monday flight.
On Monday morning, I got up and started to get ready to head to the airport. I kept checking the airport website and just about every time I discovered that we were delayed yet again. Suddenly our ideal flight time was getting less than ideal and arrival was later and later. Every second we were delayed was yet another second that we were missing out on our hard earned vacation. Not to mention what the waiting was doing to me. I had held it together after Saturday's cancellation but on Monday after the third delay I started to crack. Finally, the inevitable happened. Flight cancelled. Because it was now cutting into more than a third of our total vacation, we decided to cancel the entire trip, cut our losses and try again another time. Sigh.
So I had to unpack without ever having used anything in my suitcase. It had never been so tidy when it was unpacked! I had to switch gears and realize that there was hardly a scrap of food in the house and that I better get moving before any more weather hit and restock my cupboards. I needed to turn off the mental excitement and get back to the reality of winter. And I was sad. I had been so looking forward to this trip and just couldn't believe that I wouldn't get to be where I had dreamed of being for months.
So in attempt to stay positive here are some "it could be worse" statements that have helped me realize this isn't so bad.
- we did all of our waiting at home, not stuck in some airport or on a tarmack
- our trip was cancelled because of weather and not because of sickness or issues with us or our family
- we didn't have to take a partial vacation after the first flights were cancelled
- my son is too young to even notice what is going on so he is not crushed with disappointment
- baring any insurance red tape, we should get a refund and can re-book a new vacation for later
I'm pretty sure that I'm burned from ever wanting to book a vacation in the dead of winter ever again. I might as well keep my shorts boxed up until June.