Tag Archives: imaginary vacation

Meet My Unreasonable Expectations

5 Apr

As the weather has grown warmer, I’ve gotten more and more excited about our upcoming travel plans!  Mr. Beez and I will be going to New York City twice– once for a wedding and once for BlogHer.  Baby Beez will be staying with her grandparents for those trips, and Mr. Beez and I are looking forward to fancy meals in the Big Apple.

We’ve also got a weekend planned at Bear Run Campground with pals (who also have a toddler).  I’m looking forward to taking the kids swimming, and drinking wine and making smores around the campfire!

Mr. Beez has a conference in Philly in June, so Baby Beez and I are going to meet up with him there.  We are very excited about eating lots of snacks at Reading Terminal Market, and setting Baby Beez loose at the Please Touch! Museum.

Visiting the Colosseum in 2009

We have one other long weekend to plan, and don’t quite know where we are going yet.  My mom will be coming into Pittsburgh to spend the long weekend with Baby Beez, so that Mr. Beez and I can have a few days away.  We had our hearts set on going to Paris (because Delta runs a direct flight between Pittsburgh and Paris 4 days a week during the summer), but the airline tickets are around $1200+ each, which is out of our budget.  If they come down, we’ll go there.  Sadly, it is likely they’ll only continue to go up.  We’re watching airline fares, and not in any hurry to make a decision.  If airline tickets remain too high, going to Toronto for the weekend is always an option (that just doesn’t seem as exotic).  This trip is only going to be a long weekend (leave Friday, return Monday), and we want to do a lot with a short amount of time, which makes it all complicated.

If anyone feels like playing travel agent, here are our impossible criteria:

-Airline tickets less than $1000 per person.

-Travel time less than 8 hours each direction, no more than 1 layover (preferably nonstop).  If travel time is any more than that, we won’t have two full days at our actual destination.

-A city we can explore, rather than sitting on the beach.  We’d really like to spend the weekend in a European City –pretty much any European city– but unless airline ticket prices come down, that seems like it won’t happen.

-Somewhere we have not visited before (although it’s been so long since I’ve been to Germany that I’d be more than happy to visit back there).

-Somewhere not in the USA.

I realize it’s highly likely that something is going to have to give.  We still have plenty of time, and I’m not going to pare down priorities until time is running short.

Megamillions

2 Apr

At least 3 people won the $640 million Megamillions lottery jackpot this week.  I am not one of them.  Admittedly, I didn’t even buy a ticket (I forgot).  Mr. Beez bought a ticket, but it wasn’t a winner. Next time. Right?

At our anniversary dinner, Mr. Beez asked me “If you won the Megamillions, would you keep working?” Without skipping a beat I exclaimed “YES.”  I really enjoy my work– I get to work on sophisticated and often newsworthy disputes and there’s lots of thinking and opportunity to develop novel legal approaches.  I have one of those brains that is always whirring, whirring, whirring, and my work keeps my brain enjoyably busy.  If I won the Megamillions, would I work less and have more leisure and travel time? Oh sure.  I know I wouldn’t want the administrative hassle of hanging my own shingle.   I would keep doing what I’m doing, but I wouldn’t be rushing to max out my billables, and would probably spend a bit more time focusing on writing and speaking engagements.  But I wouldn’t stop working.

If we won the Megamillions, we would probably buy a new house. Our house is old and in need of significant renovations.  We’re slowly working through those repairs.  If we had millions of dollars, I’d say “forget it” and just get a new place.  I’d also use the money for exciting things like paying off my student loans, and buying a car with heated seats. (It wouldn’t have to be a fancy car. Just one that keeps my bum warm.)

Of course, I’d drop a chunk of change on travel.  Right now, Mr. Beez and I are greedily eyeing the “Mountain Lodges of Peru” hike to Macchu Picchu with luxury accommodations (it’s actually much less expensive than we anticipated, and we’re going to try to save up for it and go in the next couple years, even without winning the lottery).

So what would you do if you won the MegaMillions?  Would you keep working?

Imaginary Vacation: Kiribati

22 Apr

I spent almost 4 years working in Pitt’s computer labs.  During busy shifts, this involved a lot of papercuts and alphabetizing banner sheets within 3 letters.  During not so busy shifts, this involved drinking a lot of Mtn Dew: Code Red, scouring the CIA World Factbook for countries I’d never heard of, and planning imaginary vacations.

Kiribati      also: Kiribati on Wikipedia (pronounced Keer-ree-bahhs, and formerly known as the Gilbert Islands) is a collection of coral islands about halfway between Australia and Hawaii.  It has beautiful beaches and frequent typhoons, and is the only country in the world to fall into all four hemispheres. Most homes in Kiribati are actually thatched huts.  They’re one of the world’s poorest countries, have no major industry, and live mostly on an Australian trust fund.

Kiribati Presidential Palace

Kiribati Parliament house

There are 19 “airports” in Kiribati, 4 of which have paved runways….I assume “airport” is defined loosely and includes undeveloped swaths of land large enough to accommodate the landing of a small plane.  A round trip flight with Air Pacific (based in Fiji) between Los Angeles and Tarawa (Kiribati’s capital) looks like it would run $1700-2000. However, Christmas Island is the island in Kiribati with the most tourist appeal.   You could get to Christmas Island via charter flights either through Perth, Australia or Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In imaginary vacation world, I’m made of money, so I’d stay in the luxury accommodations of The Sanctuary  (sorry Rachel, you’re staying with Grandma for this vacation, no kids under 15 allowed at The Sanctuary)

And since Christmas Island is mostly a national park, I’d spend my days there bird watching, snorkeling, and on the beach. Most of all, I’d just be excited to spend a couple days disconnected from the internet and my blackberry (ha, I say that now, but I’d probably go through srs bizness internet withdrawals).