This summer has been filled with memory making opportunities. We have camped multiple times with a variety of friends. I am so lucky to have so many people I genuinely enjoy spending time with. And who apparently reciprocate this feeling.
Our most recent camping adventure also found me bringing along the little boy who used to live next door to us and who was part of our kids lives for many years. B had never been camping and he and KC and Lissa relished the 5 days together. We were also camping with my friends Des and Eric and their four kids. We have camped together for about 5 years now. While we were sitting around the campfire, they said that in 2018 they want to travel cross country and they would love our family to come along.
It was high praise--the proposed trip is a month long journey. They said that they could not envision doing this with any other friend than our family. (sniff) My knee jerk reaction was "heck that is so sweet but how can I possibly do that?" Thankfully I stuffed that thought back in my craw and said I"d ask my wife what she thought when I got home.
Kirsty was very excited by the idea. My next step was to find out if I can get a month off from work. I get 5 weeks of vacation annually. Truthfully I have never used all my vacation days. Ever. But the type of work I do has federal deadlines and there is a policy that one is not supposed to be gone more than 2 consecutive weeks. (OK here is where I confess I have not done THAT either!) I use about 2 1/2 to 3 weeks yearly but in dribs and drabs throughout the year. I typically maximize my time off by planning around existing holidays when our office is closed anyway.
I told my boss about the possible adventure. She is very supportive and has submitted my request to HR. I have my fingers crossed for a yes. After all it is a 2 year notice and I am willing to do anything necessary to make sure someone is fully trained in what I do for the month that I would be gone.
Meanwhile, in a spirit of optimism we adults met at Des and Eric's new RV last night. Partly to admire their new digs. Partly to talk about where we all want to go. Mostly to State Parks which an annual pass will make pretty affordable. Partly to talk logistics--how many driving hours would we shoot for daily? What type of areas do we want to stop in at night? My family will have to rent an RV as we do not own one. I am a tent camper and am also petrified to drive an RV. So I will be copilot and keep the kids happy and entertained while we travel.
Des shared their list of "must sees" and we have added a few. The kids are very excited about this. It will be the trip of a lifetime for us, I am sure. Lots of planning, lots of saving, but an adventure of epic proportions!