A very close call.

I am absolutely convinced I have the hardest working Guardian Angel in the solar system. Forever pulling me out of trouble (frequently of my own devising) we're talking about someone who has earned every wing available.

Why do I say this?

Because this year I have dodged a bullet scarier than the one time some idiot crashed into my car at 45mph (75kph) and -- literally -- almost killed me. Here's the story, which is only moderately interesting, but I compensate by lavishing brevity thereupon.

Our friend D. called my wife one fine day a couple of weeks ago and says something like: "My parents have a time share at Mt. ____ Resort, would you and Joke and the boys like to come along with us, because my parents can't go this year?"

Mt. ___, you'll shudder to know, is riddled with nature. On the list of things to do at the resort and in the nearby bucolic hamlet of Mt. ____ they have such horrors as hiking, canoeing, fishing (eagle-eyed readers will note these are two separate activities), getting eaten alive by wildcats, horseback riding, nature trails, rafting, and "nature excursions."

Personally, I'd rather place several venomous spiders in my suit of underclothing or watch Sex & The City: The Movie -- which, come to think of it, is pretty much the same thing -- than endure any of the abovelisted activities. TFBIM, with an admirable broadness of mind answered something like: "Sure! Sounds fun!"

The catch was that, while lodging was free, airfare was not and Mt. ____ is not a major airline hub, and even the nearest major city isn't thick with nonstop flights. The non-nonstop flights had stops in the least likely places with spectacularly protracted layovers. Oh, and at ridiculous prices...which I firmly believe was my Guardian Angel messing around on Expedia.

(For reasons which will become apparent in a post or two, we weren't going to use any FF miles)

But, my Guardian Angel is not one to slack off just because things look promising, no. Things have to be neatly sorted before my GA punches out. I had to offer an enticing alternative. Lo and behold, I was able to find cheap fares on the most convenient flights (departing AND returning), an absurdly cheap a special rate on an excellent and posh hotel mere steps away from a convenient and well-designed mass transit system...all for $300 less than just flying out to the nearest major city and then driving 2 hours up to Mt. _____.

The shopping in this city is merely okay but the restaurant action is pretty good and there's enough child-friendly activity to have easily swayed the younger voters to not yelp when told that no, we shan't be going to Mt. ____ so long as Dad has the slightest grip on his nervous system.

We leave on Saturday. Photos to be posted upon return on Wed. the 11th.



Mary said…
You do make me laugh.

Much needed I might say!!
I don't do "nature" activities. Much like yourself, I would rather have continuous root canal than canoe, fish or hike.
MY idea of "roughing it" is when the "motel" doesn't have an in room coffee maker. SHUDDER!!
Badger said…
Okay, wait. You were invited on a hellish nature trip, TFBYM said "sure", then you were forced to instead take her on a DIFFERENT trip featuring shopping and swanky hotels and whatnot? And you are giving credit to YOUR GUARDIAN ANGEL?

If TFBYM ever decides to give lessons, SIGN ME UP.
Stomper Girl said…
Yeah, what Badger said.
shula said…
Neatly dodged, though.
MsCellania said…
I would try this on my husband but he is all Paul Bunyan still (only in his mind - I'd be the one chopping wood and carrying water, from past experience) so we'd end up in Hell's Half Acre.
Flights are being cancelled left and right if they aren't full, so call first. And maybe also to make sure the airline is still in business...
I've got 3 trips coming up. Alone with 2 boys. Yipes. I do believe I'd rather go hiking/canoeing/fishing than do air travel right now.
MsCellania said…
Um, sorry to be all pissy in the last comment.
I'm sick. Hate summer colds!
Joke said…
No, no, no.

There is, alas, no shopping. (You, Miz Badger, who's known me for ten years ought know that this wounds me more than her.) When the surprise destination is revealed, you will see that this is not a Shopping Mecca by any means.

The swanky hotel was a fluke, because normally this has nightly rates from $500 northwards, and I scored it for almost 2/3 less.

The sad and bitter fact is that TFBIM loves nature. Whenever some people in our circle of influence start discussing a vacation to the mountains or similar, I have to find some way of derailing the enterprise.

Frankly, the only way I was getting out of a nature trip was to replace it with something else that would be amenable to the offspring (which this is) and cheaper (which this is).

You really have no idea how much I dislike camping and nature and "excursions."


P.S. The flight is full-ish and it's on a profitable airline. The part that sucks dead wombats is the security process.
jujube said…
I can guess the city from the clues:

Kansas City, MO.
BabelBabe said…
are you going to Europe?

and the comment about the damn SITC movie made me laugh out loud.
Anonymous said…
Having just returned from a vacation so riddled with rocky cliffs, hostile plant life and fresh air that I had to supress the desire to kiss the asphalt at ORD upon return, I can only say, Well played,Joke!
Joke said…
If it ever came to that, I'd stand at our doorway with a dagger to my own throat rather than be inflicted with a "nature vacation."


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