I wrote this blog entry yesterday evening while I was away from my computer. I wrote it by hand and then was going to type it in last night but I never got the chance as I was pretty tired and I feel asleep on the couch shortly after Zack went to bed. Anyway... Here it is.
I finally sat down and created the itinerary for our summer vacation. We will be gone for eight days. A lot of time I don't do detailed itineraries for my trips but I really wanted to get things planned out so that we can see all the places that Zack really wants to see. (Plus a place or two that I kind of want to see.)
This is a little bit late in the game considering we are leaving on July 29th. But it is still better than 2 years ago when we went to France. In that case I bought our airline tickets only 5 days before we left. This trip will be much more flexible given we will also take a tent with us, so we can change the itinerary up if we want and then just find a place to pitch our tent for the night. I am really trying to do a much better job of not continuously flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to this kind of stuff.
Every other Wednesday I am involved in a volunteer activity that sometimes allows me to catch up on my reading. Sometimes like this Wednesday things aren't too busy so I get a chance to do some reading. Usually I try and catch up on old magazines. Today I was reading the April edition of Budget Travel and had a great article about traveling alone.
The whole idea of traveling solo is interesting yet scary. I did a little solo traveling when I traveled internationally for work. My normal overseas trips would usually keep me away from home at least one or two weekends each trip so I always made plans to travel to other countries or major cities on the weekends.
Traveling by myself was different as it forced me out of my comfort zone. Since I was alone I made real efforts to meet people and put myself out there. It was a rewarding experience as I met some unique people who I never would have met had I been traveling with a companion. I had a whole host of unique experiences and learned a lot about the countries I traveled in from these people. The most unusual experience was when I traveled the whole way across the Czech Republic with a unit of soldiers from the Czech Army. None of us spoke each others language but we sure could relate over a case of beer.
The article in the magazine gave some fascinating statistics about how many people travel abroad on their own purely for enjoyment (as opposed to business travel I guess). Overall 11 percent of American's who travel abroad every year do so alone. Many cruise lines have seen a huge upsurge in solo travelers so they are adding studio cabins for people traveling alone. Norweign Cruise Lines newest ship the Epic has 128 single cabins. And lastly, solo traveling is not a guy thing, over 9 million American women travel abroad on their own.
The article also mentions some great websites to reference about traveling alone. Some of the websites mentioned include: solotravelportal.com, independenttravel.com and couchsurfing.com. I don't anticipate I will be doing much solo traveling any time soon, but I really wanted to share some of this information as I think the whole concept is pretty fun. (Besides traveling with Zack I do hope someday to have a companion of the female variety to travel with. :) )
We have had a bunch of big excitement around our house in the last 2 days. Yesterday the new concrete was poured for the walk into the house and the front patio. It was pretty cool to watch them do the stamping of the concrete. Today they came back and sawed out the joints. Now we have to wait 2 - 3 weeks until they come back to stain it and apply the sealant. The wait is caused by the need for the concrete to fully cure and dry out.
Today's excitement wasn't pleasant. I discovered that we have a very slow and minor leak in the pipe that supplies water to the sprinkler system. Unfortunately, the leak is within the confines of our water utility closet in the house. Given the slow nature of the leak it wasn't apparent as I don't typically find myself near the water utility area. So there has been some substantial damage done to the dry wall that surrounds it and the carpet right near it. I am going to have to have a wall replaced and potentially all the carpet in room. (The room is in the basement.) That discovery did not make me happy in the slightest.
Zack is in the midst of his "academic" camp for the summer at St. Mary's Academy. He is really enjoying it which is a surprise given how much he whined about it. But he is having fun so that is the good thing. He had an appointment with his psychiatrist today and she noticed some definite progress around his anxiety and OCD issues. I am glad that his progress is being recognized by the professionals because we are working very hard at resolving some of this issues this summer. All the professionals seem to think it will be a while before he is fully over these issues, but they think he is now at an age where he can do a much better job controlling the situation himself.
Well that is about it for the night! I am very glad that it is Thursday and the weekend is almost here - though this weekend will be very busy with tons of work around the house as usual. Though I do hope to sneak in bike rides both Saturday and Sunday.
Thanks and peace to all! ~J.