Thursday, June 14, 2012

Really. No, Really, Really.

Remember back when I talked about wanting to go to Costa Rica earlier in the year? Well, with a wink and a smile and a whole lot of luckwork it’s gonna happen!

Here’s a bit of back story. In my “real” job, you are awarded a 4 week paid sabbatical with each 5 years of service. On May 14th, I celebrated my five year anniversary. What does that mean, “paid sabbatical?” Well, essentially, you are given 4 weeks off to disconnect from your job COMPLETELY, no, actually, you are required to disconnect completely and go to recharge. This has nothing to do with the vacation that you accrue either. It is just the bonus time off given. Five years ago, when I started, the dreaming began. At that time, we didn’t have any children. We had these grand visions of what could be and with each passing year, we added to the list of “maybes.” Oh, and here’s another tidbit you need to know. When my beloved and I were in our pre-marital Engaged Encounter retreat, we heard a statistic that gave validity to the 7 year itch. During that weekend, we made many promises to one another and near the top of the list was have a romantic and extravagant getaway for just the two of us. Guess what! This year is 7 years for us! I don’t really know how it all worked out for it to happen that way, but I’ve never once questioned God’s ultimate plan for things. I’ve always tried my best to go with it. And this…this is God’s grace in action! Instead of taking our entire family, we opted to have a second honeymoon just the two of us. I’m incredibly nervous, anxious, and excited!

After making that posting back in January, Don and I sat down and discussed a plan. I reached out to Rewarding Travel Consultants to see what they could do to help make this dream a reality. It was all really easy. Matter of fact, I threw in some other astronomical goals of taking the entire family to Europe just for safe measure. You know what I received? A comprehensive action plan to get me to where I wanted to go without spending any more each month than I currently do. It was awesome! They are awesome! (Hi Frances! Seriously, you are amazing!!) If you want to do travel, you should definitely check them out! I can’t sing their praises enough.

Anyway, we set the plan in motion. We were able to use miles to book our flights out to Liberia, Costa Rica and all we had to pay was less than $100 in surcharges total!! Wow! We will fly out on Saturday (my actual birthday!!) and grab an SUV and stay the first night at the Borinquen Mountain Resort Spa in Rincon de la Vieja, Guanacaste. Then, on Sunday, we will get up and head over to La Escuela del Sol in Montezuma, Punta Arenas to learn how to surf and poi (fire dance) for a week. We will also do some hiking in waterfalls and ziplining. And yes, I might even cross a rope bridge or two (and maybe pee myself doing it, but hey, at least I will have done it). Exciting stuff!

But wait, there’s more. It isn’t like we could have all of this time without fun with our girls. When we get back, we will take a day to rotate out clothes, do laundry, then we will load up the entire family, including my mother-in-law (her first time to California!) and fly out SoCal. Our first day, we will take the girls to Disneyland. This will be their first trip there. We are only going to be there for the one day, but I think that one day will be plenty. Then, we’ll head on down to San Diego to visit the zoo and have lots and lots of beach time with one of my besties and her family. My folks will fly in to LA and meet up with my MIL and they will stay in Southern California while Don and I head North to an adventure in San Fran (my first ever Giants game, crossing off another stadium!) and Napa (mmm…Vino). We are very blessed to know many people in California and I hope that we get to see many of them while we are there, even if it is just for coffee.

We will get back to see some awesome fireworks at home, then load up the car and go for the great American road trip to Tennessee to visit our family out there. While there, we will visit the Amish country and load up on fresh fruits/veggies and all other sorts of goodness. We will also catch up with our family and enjoy their company.

When we get back, we will have a few days to decompress and be prepared for me to start back refreshed and renewed. I’m more than aware of how unique and wonderful this blessing is for my marriage and for my family. I’m so incredibly humbled by the outpouring of support from our dear friends and family members who juggled their schedules to watch the girls, our house, join us in the fun, and give us prayers and well wishes for our travels.

While gone, I will try to utilize Twitter and Instagram as much as possible. When I have time, I will journal my thoughts and some of them might even make it to this blog. We’ll see.

Alright, so now I’m going to take a deep breath and leap.

Let’s go!

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