Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Planning a Vacation During a Pandemic

I feel like there should be sitcoms devoted to the comical ways life has changed since this pandemic. Like the fact that I received this in the mail yesterday:

It's from a Jehovah Witness who, due to social distancing, was unable to come to my door. Now their only path to converting all of us heathens is to hand write really long letters. I was so tickled by this little piece of mail that I almost didn't have the heart to throw it away. (Almost. I ended up throwing it in the fireplace. I do appreciate this lovely woman's effort, though).

But nothing beats trying to plan a vacation during a pandemic. Last year, my extended family (Mom, Dad, sister, brother in-law, nieces, etc.) and I booked a summer cruise to Alaska for my grandpa's 90th birthday, which falls on July 13, 2020. At the end of May, our cruise was cancelled. We were disappointed, but we moved on. We found a resort on the island of Kauai that was still welcoming tourists. We booked the resort and all our flights. In some ways, the new vacation sounded more fun than the original.

Then in June, Hawaii brought down the hammer. They decided that anyone flying into their islands would be required to be quarantined for fourteen days. Not a possibility for us, considering we were staying for only a week.

After that, Clint found an amazing deal for an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica. Jamaica has no travel restrictions or quarantine requirements--they're pretty much welcoming tourists with open arms. Clint and I went ahead and booked it. My mom and my niece were super excited, viewing this vacation as even better than the first two! The one caveat was my sister would now need to get passports for her kids super fast since we were only a month out from our vacation. No big deal; the passport agency is willing to expedite passports for an extra fee. 

Oh wait. No they're not. Not during a pandemic. Apparently a worldwide virus required them to downsize their staff and they no longer have enough employees to expedite passports. 

So we waved goodbye to our Jamaican dream. After that, the conversations regarding "Where should we go for vacation" reached ludicrous levels, with a lot of manic-type crying and kicking and screaming (along with some hair pulling) over the subject. Some ideas originally open for discussion due to the public reopening were quickly disregarded due to these same areas going down into lockdown again, or due to safety concerns with the recent looting/rioting (because, you know, a pandemic isn't enough. Let's throw social upheaval into the mix as well).

So what's the verdict? What did we decide to replace our beautiful Alaskan/Hawaiian/Jamaican trip with? Are you ready to be awed by the glamor of my upcoming vacation?

We're RV camping at a KOA about 2 hours from my house.


Yep. Most of life's 'new normals' are inherently unfunny, but there is some humor in all of this if you look hard enough. Like, really hard. Really really har--yeah, okay. I hate this sh*% too.


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  3. We had a family reunion canceled, and I was so relieved not to have to spend time with a bunch of people I don’t like and don’t know, and there you guys are fighting to spend time together. On the plus side, there’s still a celebration! :D But honestly, I hate camping, so that truly sounds awful. Plus, it’s so frustrating and stressful, and a letdown, especially when you started with Alaska/Hawaii/Jamaica.

    The JWs here are still sneaking pamphlets under windshields. I’m pretty sure I prefer that to having one mailed to me. I did read some of it though.

    1. I was impressed that this particular Jehovah Witness took the time to write out such a long letter. I know she's using the same exact narrative on every letter she sends, but to HAND WRITE each one? It seems like just ten of them would take her an hour. So I decided to honor her hard work by reading the entire thing--before throwing it in the fire place. ;)

      Luckily I enjoy camping, but yeah, its a far cry from the original amazing (and more relaxing) vacations we had planned. Congrats on your family reunion being canceled! 😂

  4. Another good short story for your next book.

    1. Rick, you commented!

      My next story (after Spring of Crows) takes place in a dome, so I'm thinking that vacations in that world are exceptionally lame. 😂

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  16. Matt and I were going to go to GenCon in Indianapolis this year, but... it was cancelled due to COVID. This is smart, of course, since the convention pulls in about 70k attendees over 4 days. So, you can imagine the amount of germs that would have been shared. We were still pretty upset. This was going to be our 20th anniversary trip!! We've been saying for 21 years that we would go, someday, when we could afford it. That was now, but COVID made it not possible.

    So, they did GenCon online July 30th - August 2nd. We had a convention stay-cation and it was actually super nice. We both took the time off work, attended the seminars on Twitch and Zoom. It wasn't what we planned, but it was still a great sense of community. The introvert in me sang with happiness, even though I had been ready to go outside my comfort zone.

    Your KOA vacay sounds nice. I think the most important thing is that you were with your family and enjoyed your time together. It's not as fancy as Jamaica or Hawaii, but you were still all together.

    1. We thought the same thing Kristyn. It's weird, I feel like I should have felt more resentment over losing out on such an amazing vacation, but I just didn't. The whole time we were camping I just felt blessed to be with my family. I guess when you're dealing with something that's impacting the entire world, you learn to appreciate the little things.

      I don't think you should do the con! Like, ever. Cons are SO crowded. In some aisles you're shoulder to shoulder. I'm worried you'll get a panic attack. I know this is a bit of a bucket-list item for you and Matt, but it with your social anxiety, you're going to suffer through it. I think the way you and Matt did GenCon sounds amazing, and perfect for you.


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