Such a Sad Day

Yes, I know this is pathetic, but I do want to commemorate this date. Sly and I were supposed to be flying out to Florida today to spend three weeks visiting the Mouse. With this C-19 floating around, the border technically closed for pleasure travel, and the restrictions set in place for visitors of Disney World there was no way we would have a good time.

How can you social distance for something like this?

So we cancelled. Everything. The beach days and hotel at Melbourne Beach. The Eastern Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy. The two weeks at Pop Century Resort and the 4 parks. Not to mention the flights from home to Orlando with an airline I’ve not used often for pleasure travel, United Airlines.

I figured that last one was going to be a real problem. I had a trip planned for April to Vegas and had to cancel that as well but that was with Delta. We’ve had good experience with them so far and they treated me well enough as the trip was right at the beginning of the North American outbreak and closure of.. well, everything. I actually had to go to Twitter to get some Delta attention to my plight and they eventually settled up with a e-voucher who’s value was the complete cost of the ticket so at least I’m not out any money. I wasn’t sure if the same sort of treatment was going to be applied from UA. Turns out I didn’t need to worry about it. More on that later.

In all, we were looking at a significant amount of money that was seemingly ‘rescheduled’. The Disney tickets were a bit of a stickler as we’d purchased them using a ‘Canadian Residents only’ deal that they always have in January. Save some money, lock yourself into using the tickets in the same calendar year and you’re golden. We didn’t really lose any money but now we are going to miss out on something that has become an annual pilgrimage for fun and relaxation.

I know it might seem petty but we’re devastated and don’t know how we’re going to manage our motivation levels for the next twelve months. Sly has been especially hard hit by this as she looks forward to it each year. On top of that, she was actually speaking about doing something else next year, different than Disney anyways. Now with all this value being pushed to next year, I don’t see us being able to make a change.

Now the reason I wasn’t terribly upset with what might happen with the airline tickets is I bought them through the American Express Travel site. I consumed some of my Membership Reward points (40k) for a ticket to Orlando and paid cash for the other one. Needless to say, when we started considering how we’d deal with the airline (some of them have been right bastards) it was looking pretty grim. Then AMEX stepped in.

They sent us an email with notification that they needed to talk to us due to our flights being cancelled. I called them the same day I got the email. I’m very happy to report that I didn’t have to do anything except confirm my wishes for the tickets as they were going to refund them directly to my Amex Card. No sweat off my brow, as they say.

I’ve been very happy with the Amex for the past two years we’ve been members. I get a lot of value out of the perks for travel we receive plus the points program seems made for us as we put ALL our purchases on the card as often as we can. There is a steep annual fee but nothing that isn’t reduced simply by having the card active.

So here we sit, on the day we were supposed to be leaving, in a pitiful heap wondering what to do. Sly is on vacation for the next month and I’m off work next week for three. We’re going to Canmore for my birthday.

I know I shouldn’t be bitter about it but when I think that I was supposed to be sitting on a ship, enjoying a nice dinner and an overpriced bourbon, I’m pretty broken up about it.

But we’ll get over it. Just a matter of time, right? Time heals all wounds?

I’ve not touched the elephant in the room, specifically, for a reason. Yes, I know that the C-19 is bad and that it’s contagious and that by cancelling our plans we could very well have saved our lives or the lives of people we might have passed it on to, unknowingly. Still doesn’t take the sting out of the whole thing. So we’re going to stay in Canada, maybe take a couple of safe day trips that will get us out of the city and try to enjoy ourselves while thinking of all the money we’re saving with our limited daily expenses.

Still disappointing.

Another Picture Dump from Summer 2019

Just wanted to drop some more pictures on to the website to share with others.

I’ve had some people ask questions about the cruise and how to go about getting the best value possible. There might be a post made in the coming days that could enlighten the reader to the best way to go about it.

Photo Dump Before the Cruise

Pic A Day!

Another from our vacation last year.
You may not know that Disney Cruise Lines has it’s own private island, as most Caribbean cruise lines do. Usually at the end of your 4 – 7 day cruise, the last stop is at this island, Castaway Cay.

Great place to relax and recharge after… well pretty much anything. Last year we did the cruise after we did Disney World and I really enjoyed the timing. Got a chance to really relax and spend as little time as possible concerned with regular life. So here you see me enjoying the sun, sand and serenity of Serenity Bay. Yes, it’s actually called that since only adults are allowed on that side of the island and it’s so quiet as a result.

ZaalHammock

Pic A Day!

This one is my favourite picture from last year; my wife enjoying a frozen Mickey and looking wistfully skyward!

Sly enjoying some wistful moments at Hollywood Studios.
Sly enjoying some wistful moments at Hollywood Studios.

Pic A Day!

Sly and I were going through some of our previous vacation photos and laughed a lot. Thought I would post a picture a day until we leave next week.

Here’s me being a drunken pirate on our Disney Cruise.

What Does It Mean To ‘Holiday’?

We’ve just spent the last 25 days out of the country, visiting the Mouse and taking a Caribbean cruise. I think this might be the perfect amount of time to vacate as I’m much more relaxed than I was at the end of our trip last year. Disclaimer: I’m sitting in the Delta Lounge, off my face on Long Island Iced Teas.

How is it that we as a society decide that working ourselves to the bone over a 47 week period (due to my time at SAIT, I get 5 weeks of vacation) is okay? Why is that the norm? Why do we put up with it? How do we fix that so that we’re balancing our working lives with time away from work?

An even better question might be how do we make sure those 47 weeks don’t occur in one lump batch and make ‘mini holidays’ a norm again? I think I mull these ideas over at the end of every single holiday I’ve taken for the past eight years which doesn’t invalidate them, just makes me wonder if I’ll figure the answer out sometime soon.

My wife actually gets more time off than I do but she’s employed at a school and only really gets her long break during the summer because I get more flexibility in my schedule. I’ve considered Fall and Spring breaks and how to integrate them into my work schedule but this can’t be done for Sly.

Which is a conundrum because, unfortunately, I love her and love traveling with her. Not having her with me really does change the texture of a trip somewhere. On the one hand I become more adventurous, striking out in random directions to explore and find things that I wouldn’t normally do with Sly by my side. On the other, I don’t have the most important person in my life with me to share those experiences. I attempt a sort of ‘hacky’ pseudo-experience where I send her pictures and texts all day, telling her what I’m up to, where I am and what I’m seeing.

Did this last year with a spring trip to Vegas and it worked out pretty well. Five days off work and a quick jaunt out to Nevada gave me the recharge I needed to get me back in the fight at work.

So I’ve already started thinking about my next trip and it will probably be something quick and cheap (aka Vegas) that will get me out of the city for a few days and allow me to relax a bit.

This trip was incredible and I’ll probably want to write-up a few lines about it and some of the neat things we saw and did while away but I’m sitting in the Delta Lounge at MSP relaxing before our next flight which will take us home and I’m in more of a mind to sit and try to keep this travel glow going as long as I can.

Well maybe just a taste:

Sunrise on the morning of my 45th birthday

I’ll have more later.

Cheers!

Z