Sunday, June 23, 2013

America 2013

We weren't planning on going to the US this year. When we moved here, we tentatively planned to visit the US only every other year. But we also planned to be flexible.

A few months ago, we were trying out the idea of certain summer plans, and a big component of them was going somewhere where we could hike and bike and spend a lot of time outdoors in beautiful surroundings. Originally, Germany or Austria or Slovakia was going to be the venue for this travel. Then one Saturday morning, I got to thinking about it and realized that we could hike and bike and spend a lot of time outdoors in beautiful surroundings...in the US. FOR FREE (except the plane ticket*). And see family in the bargain. So we changed tacks and went to Germany/Austria for Spring Break, thus freeing up our summer for another epic American adventure.

This change in plans was facilitated by the fact that I had left my weekly DXB-SEA kayak.com fare alert in place. It's always good to keep an eye on fares for routes you plan on traveling so you know a good one when you see one. Well, during the same week that we were reconsidering our plans not to go to the US, fares dipped as low as we'd ever seen them in two years of tracking them. It was a perfect storm.

So, yeah. We are going to the US this summer! We leave in a few weeks. This time, I will take the kids ahead of Jeremy (he's teaching during summer term) instead of having a two-week-long Me Party like I did last year. We won't be there for quite as long as last year, but it should be enough time so that we don't wear out our welcome. We are also experimenting with flying only to Seattle (a direct flight on Emirates) and having some long-suffering soul from my family come pick us up there, instead of paying the extra $x to fly four people from Seattle to Portland (and back). We'll see how that goes. On the one hand, it's nice to get off the plane and be at your final destination city. On the other hand, direct flights can be worth their weight in gold (whatever that means...you know what I mean).

I'm not looking forward to the long-haul travel and the brutal time zone adjustments, or shifting along in childhood bedrooms. But both sides of the family did such a fantastic job of showing us a great time last year that we are all looking forward to another action-packed summer in the US. Action-packed or, you know, me lying on the couch gorging on library books I can't get here (though working on my thesis is more likely) while the kids forage for blueberries or raspberries in the grandparents' backyard. Ahhh, SUMMER!

*FAQ: I thought Jeremy's work paid for the family's plane tickets every year! A: Kind of. There is a fund we can draw from to purchase plane tickets to wherever we want. However, if we don't use it, it gets deposited in our bank account. So yes, the tickets are paid for, but also, they're kind of not. See?

10 comments:

Suzanne Bubnash said...

We're just pleased as punch that you're coming! It will be a thrill to see the y'all get off the plane, even if it is at SEA-TAC. Perhaps we'll make a day of it up there (I don't remember your arrival time offhand).

Ariana said...

You guys get back to the pacific NW more often than we do...and we are in Utah.

Mikael said...

When will you be in portland? I will be there 4th of July weekend!! If you are there I TOTALLY want to stop by your parents and say HI!!! (My surgery is scheduled for July 9th, I am excited for that too!!! YIPEE).

Craig said...

Yay!!

Bridget said...

What's keeping you??

Bridget said...

Though now that I think about it, I guess we only visited a maximum of once a year even when we lived in Arizona. Sometimes it was longer.

Ariana said...

Part of the problem is we can't go in the spring or first half of the summer because my husband and oldest son are super allergic to the grass, and it ends up just being miserable. Last time we went right after school was out, we ended up at the urgent care and then had to borrow a nebulizer from a friend. Last summer, my husband was unemployed the whole time so we couldn't go because we had no money. Now he has a job but not a lot of days off, and I can't do the drive by myself. The other thing is now my dad is retired, and they are much more free to travel, so they have come here a bunch of times. I dunno. We also kinda feel like we've done everything there is to do there, and now that Salt Lake has a Trader Joe's, I don't have that reason anymore (haha!). I would love to go and skip Portland and just hang out at the coast the whole time...then go see the redwoods in CA. And maybe Crater Lake. Some day. Not this year though. The one time we could have gone, I now have Girls Camp. We were hoping to go for Thanksgiving, but my husband's family announced we are having a family reunion then so we can't go. Oh well. So close, yet so far away.

Crys said...

I bet your parents are super excited! We only make it home about once a year as well. Cost is the biggest factor. I'd love to have a job that provided a little extra for travelling! That is a sweet deal you guys have :) Just one more reasons the Palmer's are so cool!!

Bridget said...

We won't be there until the middle of July. :( Sorry to miss you again. Good luck on your surgery!!

Liz Johnson said...

I wish I wish I wish I could see you while you're here! Oh well. Hopefully you'll get some watermelon Oreos while you're in town. :)

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