The best laid schemes of mice and men. Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain, For promised joy! - Robert Burns
I've been working on our itinerary for the last few weeks, for our October trip, and just finished it up last night. We're planning to take I-5 down to Northern California, cut over to the coast, follow the coast all the way down to below San Simeon, before cutting over to Paso Robles (wine! wine! Zinfandel and Petite Syrahs!). We'll drive east to Las Vegas where we'll meet up with my parents for a few days, then part ways to go through Death Valley, wander into Yosemite, head into another wine area around Lodi (more Zinfandels!), then start heading home. On the way north, I was planning for us to head over to the coast in Northern Oregon, and up to Long Beach, then back inland and up I-5 again.
I don't like to be hemmed in by schedules, and want to be able to take more or less time in each place as we move along, so I don't want to have to make reservations anywhere. Still there are some places, such as Las Vegas, we'd like to get to on the specific dates, since we plan to be there at the same time my parents are.
This morning we had some bad news. Harold's work only wants him to be away for two weeks now, and I was planning for three (26 days with weekends and Canadian Thanksgiving). I totally understand that it's a bad time for him to take three weeks, and also realize we need to always be amenable to a company that has been so good to him and allows him to work wherever he lays his laptop ... but it's still such a letdown.
It leaves us with two options:
1) Cut out Las Vegas and Death Valley, and do a few longer drive days. I could cut us down to two weeks, and also feel a little easier about leaving for so long on our first trip away.
2) We're heading down to Bellingham this weekend for a trial run, and to make purchases we will need on our trip. We were planning to get a Net10 card to start up our phone again and wait until January to purchase an internet plan. But now, if we buy a Verizon Mifi device this weekend, we can get it setup, try it out, and have it ready to use while we are away in October. I had been planning to purchase a data travel pack from Bell at almost the same monthly rate Verizon will charge us, and it would have only given me 100Mb, rather than the 6Gb we'll get with Verizon. This way Harold can work while we are away. We may have to take a few extra days and drive at night, but we can make it work. It's exactly what we're planning to do in January anyway, so why not start now?
We both agree that option 2 is the preferable one. It means I need to rethink the last week of our itinerary, to make sure we will have data access and also to put us in places we can enjoy while devoting much of the day to work.
So back to the drawing board!