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One Good Thing - Vaca planning with my bestie
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I’ve learned that vacations are hard to plan. Previous to acquisition of this knowledge, I never understood why people sometimes plan a year ahead of time – now I do.

The realization hit me as I began planning a trip with my best friend since kindergarten. We always try to have a mini-vacation together around the time of Halloween since we don’t get to see each other very often now that she lives in a different state. Typically this doesn’t require much planning at all. We can find accommodations just about anywhere without several months of preparation since we basically use the time to catch up and visit local sights wherever we land.

This year, we’re doing things a little different. It’s a conglomeration between a visit to Universal Studios and a road trip, all wrapped up into one, as we’re making plenty of stops on the way back to Tennessee. Because of this, nailing down the reservations and figuring out time frames has proven difficult. It sounded simple in theory, but not so much in practice.

So far, we’ve been utilizing a shared Google doc so we know what days and time slots we need for certain things with a list on one side for considerations of other things we may want to fit into our plans in lieu of other activities as well as contingency plans should something go awry. As it turns out, there ARE only so many things you can do in a day. Due to that unfortunate truth, we have had to trim some plans unless we discover time travel sometime between now and December (there’s still time!)

Universal has proven to be difficult to work with and is the part we have experienced the most trouble with. The site is not user-friendly and we get conflicting information when we’re trying to make plans. Luckily no one seems to want to go in December so we have some time to finalize that part.

Even with all the frustrations that come with vacation planning, we are both still ecstatic and looking forward to it. The highlights, Universal aside, are an AirBNB we booked that is on an alpaca farm, a side-trip to St. Augustine and a visit to the famous Voodoo Doughnut. Neither one of us are ever in that neck of the woods, so we’re trying to hit all the high notes as we pass through. Why not stop and smell the roses?

I’m looking forward to seeing St. Augustine for the first time in several years. There are a lot of memories there from visiting with my family and I’m excited to see how much it has – or hasn’t – changed since I last saw it. 

I don’t usually like beaches much, but they’re somehow a lot more inviting when you haven’t seen one in a long time.

Now, the hardest part is the long wait to December!

Standard reporter Nikki Childers can be reached at 473-2191.