A few weeks ago I told you how I’d been a little cranky and whiny.  The Winter blues: when the cold and gross weather just starts to inject itself into your brain.  I normally get it to some degree, but this year it seemed to be just a little bit worse, but I didn’t know why.  And then, I figured it out.

I usually begin planning my summer vacation in January.  My family comes up with choices, I do some research and then I come up with the destination.  I spend all winter planning the summer vacation.  It’s a great mood booster.

This year, the normal plan is altered, as I have not really begun planning the summer trip.  This year, our sojourn will be spent visiting colleges.  The problem is, my daughter still doesn’t know what schools she wants to visit.  Can’t plan a trip if you don’t know where you are going.  We also can’t really lock down dates, as she has applied for a bunch of internships and we will not know till March or April if she gets anything.  So we’re in vacation limbo.

I’m a planner.  I hate the unknown.  It’s making me uneasy to say the least.  She’s come up with some cities- Atlanta, St. Louis, Cleveland and Greenville so far.  I’m drawing out some routes, figuring out the best way to connect the dots and find some culture/attractions along the way, while keeping my nose to the mail to see which colleges she has actually requested more info from.  She hasn’t met with her college counselor yet, she’s waiting to take the SAT and see her score, so more schools could be added after that.  At this point I’m hoping they will be along the route.  Of course, everything east of the Mississippi is potentially part of our route.

There is a bit of upside potential though.  My bucket list is to visit all 50 states.  As luck would have it, I’ve never been to Missouri or Ohio or Georgia (driving through doesn’t count).  This checks 3 states off the list, and if I plan the route right, I can visit Mississippi.  So I am focusing my energy on collecting at least three more shot glasses for the collection.  I am getting excited about checking things off my list.  I finally have something to look forward to.

Slowly, I hope to pull out of the malaise that has hindered the beginning of 2018.  The sun happens to be shining through my window right now, so today is at least off to a good start.  And maybe I’ll see what delights await me on my proposed vacation route.  I’ve always wanted to see The Arch…..and The Varsity….and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame…and…

 

69 thoughts on “Winter Blues

  1. Planning vacations is so hard here, because when hockey season is over the kids are heavy duty into baseball season. So as soon as the tournament and playoff schedules are released (which the organizations are realizing is important to parents early in the new year) I start thinking WHEN and WHERE we can go.

    It’s not easy. And far away trips aren’t doable because of budget constraints.

    BUT. I get what you’re saying. It’s something to look forward to, the planning especially helps as a mood enhancer. Because as I type this the fricken polar vortex is back, the window is frozen shut, there’s ice everywhere and it’s just. so. tiresome.

    Right? 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I feel bad now for whining about 24-degree temps this morning, but we ARE in Texas after all, and yesterday was so NICE!!! Hang in there, the thaw will come soon. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Yeah….you win the Cold War….I can’t even imagine! I’m whining about 30 degrees….. I know…scheduling around activities….and you have multiples. We run into issues with my husbands work schedule too!!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m getting antsy now as we haven’t even begun to think about the summer holiday! I’d love to drive down to northern Italy through the alps (staying at a lot of high end hotels on the way lol) but kids are not keen on five hour long slots in the car. Bet we end up panic buying a holiday in the sun at the last minute. I just want to be warm!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. We did things backwards… FIRST my daughters applied to different schools. When they were accepted then we went to visit the schools. To get a feel for different Colleges we visited several that were close by even if they were not applying, this gave them an idea of a College/University campus. I found this way was a BETTER use of our time and money.

    Visiting once they have been accepted was critical in making that FINAL decision. Just my thoughts. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The problem is my daughter only wants to apply to 10 schools, and locations is actually a huge factor. As an urban kid she would prefer being in a urban or town setting. She’s not going to know how to drive when she goes to school, so being in an area with lots of mass transit, or walkability, it important. She doesn’t want to apply to a school she knows she won’t like. We’ve gone over the pros and cons and for us, visiting her top choices is imperative.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. We did St Louis last summer as part of college visits. I was happy to finally see the Arch. We have the same issue this summer. Trying to plan a post-graduation trip so trying to get details on when my daughter’s friends are planning their post-gradation beach trip. It is stressful.

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      1. It’s high on my daughters list. Her only doubt is that she heard it’s a better science/math school and she’s a humanities geek, but it’s supposed to be amazing

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yeah. I know. But they’re all expensive….let me clarify that….the ones my kid wants to go to are all expensive. She’s been thrown some nice merit scholarship numbers, but she doesn’t love any of the schools. She doesn’t like our state university system, and she liked umass Amherst, but she really doesn’t want a school that big. It’s all tough

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is an aside, as I’m out the door to get yelled at by a doctor…but speaking of St.Louis, and Winter Blues, have you read, On Being Blue by William Gass …well if ya haven’t, here’s a Doug declaration..all writer’s need to read this book, it will change your view of the english language.

    Regards

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Holy cow! Why are you stressing this so soon? You are setting yourself up for aggravation. (The best laid plans of mice and men…). Plan your trip a few weeks before you go. Life is filled with twists and turns and it’s crazy to plan so far in advance. You’re looking to be disappointed. Wait until she narrows down her choices and then go visiting. My life was always up in the air, my youngest son was all set for one school, a dorm, and he went with a friend one weekend to visit another for his friend. But, he fell in love with that school. Soooo, we made a last min. trip together to see it the next weekend and he switched everything. In a matter of a couple days he switched schools, dorms, meal plans, and all the rest of the things. They were thrilled to get him, he liked their film program better, and it all worked out . I was annoyed with him for sure, but I understood why he liked it better. And guess what? Colles are like falling in love. You can’t plan how they make you feel.
    It worked out in spite of planning for another school. He graduated magna cum lauded and has been working in the film industry since graduating. Maybe you need to relax and stop stressing over planning.
    Too much planning sometimes gets you into trouble. Listen to this and then maybe you’ll rethink things.

    My oldest son during the last two weeks of summer needed emergency surgery right before college started and couldn’t attend until January. He had a tumor. All the planning in the world meant nothing when suddenly my son’s life was in danger. He had surgery with the head oncologist at Mt Sinai and thank got survived and never had a reoccurring problem. But, he started college a semester late because of the recovery period from his surgery . The university thankfully held his placement because it was a medical emergency. So after that, I stopped worrying about planning so far in advance . His life was much more important than plans on what school he went to. Sometimes you have to look at thinks differently. Just saying. Be grateful and it will all fall into place in the right time.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think some people are great when they don’t plan…I am not one of them. If you think I’m stressed talking about this, then you’ve never seen me when I don’t know what’s happening. Vacation planning is fun for me…it takes me out if winter and gives me something to look forward to. I enjoy researching routes and hotels and food and activities. It’s fun for me. I’m a planner. I wrote a 1000 words on my planner and how much I love it. My kid has narrowed down to 25 schools and 3 of these are top of the list meaning she’s applying to them unless she hates the location and one school is floating merit scholarship at her, so we figure it’s worth checking out

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Didn’t mean to be critical. I’m home with the flu. So I’m cranky today too. I just remember I had to switch things up with both kids and it’s easier to tell someone else what not to do. I’ve been where you are and I probably would have just planned anyway.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. I’ve always wanted to see the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! I hope that wherever you all end up going, it’s an awesome experience. I had a ‘heavy’ January as well, and I too am finally starting to feel like myself again. I hope you maintain the upward swing. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I think this erratic weather has been messing with us – we get bitter freezing cold for a long stretch and then a taste of 50s, then back to freezing. I admire your planning skills – I am soooo bad at it, but somehow I manage to get stuff done 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know! I do not know what t9 wear each day!! But honestly, I enjoy planning almost as much as the actual event…I know that sounds strange, but when I plan something five months in advance, I get five months of excitement! On another note, as far as I m concerned we won last night cause more people are goin* t9 remember that commercial than who won the Super Bowl

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Our daughter went on a trip with school to different colleges and did a tour with her best friend (at the time) to one that was an hour or so away. She fell in love with it and that’s the one she applied to, plus one or two others. We got lucky in that she got into the school that was close and is going to graduate in May. I do want to take a road trip through the states though so your plan sounds like fun!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. It’s good to hear how you cope with the seasonal blues. I go through the same thing every winter but now have made sure to add couple trips to Florida and California either through work or personal travel every winter. It helps a lot with the mood and I come back refreshed! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I saw something the other day that said January is the official “start planning your vacation month.” I thought of that right away when I started reading your article. I am a planner too, so I can only imagine how you feel at this point being in vacation limbo. I think you are right though about just staying positive. Good luck to you and to your daughter. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Florida has some good schools and great weather. Saint Leo University is a wonderful place to be. Small campus, beautiful, and not too far from the maddening crowd. Small enough that you make friends and get to know your instructors and yet not so far from Tampa and Orlando.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She’s got her list. She wants between 5 and 10 thousand undergrad, urban or large town (walk/mass transit) good for pre law/humanities, little or no Greek life, not a big party school. This summer we’re seeing Emory, Washington university,Case Western Reserve University , And maybe Furman, Dickinson and franklin and Marshall. The first three are high on her list

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I love a good road trip, so I’m envious. One of the best things about driving cross country was having a rough plan, but feeling like we had no set agenda. I don’t envy the college visits. . .the tours can be either great or awful. But it gives you a good sense of the place. Be sure to get some very comfortable shoes. I did after my feet nearly exploded after I wore clogs on the first tour.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We’ve visited about 10 colleges already. Its a necessary evil. Most of them have been beautiful though, so I got some good pictures. No one in my family is real good at winging it, so everything we do is planned out. Ah….the shoes….the older I get the worse my feet get. I bought these great black suede converse ….comfy and easy to wear all day, except in the summer….so I will need the summer equivalent!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Those sound incredibly comfortable. Maybe a canvas version? You’ll look hip. A lot of the moms wear running shoes, but it’s impossible to pull that off with dress clothes – unless of course you’re walking to your office in NYC.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It’s funny. I saw this comment when I was on the subway at rush hour and I looked around. Almost everyone was in flat shoes or boots, or very small heels. The only people wearing sneakers were wearing sneakers as a fashion statement

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I LOVE planning vacations, too. We decided to go to Harry Potter Land at Universal once school gets out in May. I hate thinking about the money aspect of it all, but I do adore planning our days out months in advance and researching places to eat.
    Washington Univ in St Louis is in a beautiful area. Surrounded by a wonderful park area (Forest Park) and there’s a cute area that the college kids hang out that encompasses a few blocks.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh Harry Potter world!!! We went about six years ago, but I know it’s been revamped since we were there! So much fun!! But yes!! I love planning almost as much as the vacation!! She’s really interested in wash u. It’s just so hard to get into!!! The acceptance rate is minuscule!

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Boy, I remember that summer driving my daughter from college to college. Don’t think her younger brother was all that thrilled, but it was fun. The fact that my husband will talk to anyone and at times does not realize how creepy it comes off became a family joke that year. Remember that it will be frustrating, fun, and will make you feel like you don’t want her to go away but you will never forget this summer!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m looking forward to it just cause I love to see new places and try new things. It’s especially cool cause I e never been to these places, so it’s a whole new world!

      Liked by 2 people

  16. I know I can’t be impartial on this one, but I do think you will enjoy St. Louis. And just thank your lucky stars that your daughter isn’t looking at colleges in areas that aren’t even remotely travel-worthy. Like Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I did look at a college there, and I always think my dad was a very good sport for driving me for a visit!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What we do for our kids! But I love exploring new places, so I am really looking forward to seeing St. Louis! Have always wanted to go, just wish we had more than two days to spend there. And I wish the school she wants were easier to get into, as it’s really high on her list

      Liked by 2 people

  17. Good times, good times.. I remember Spring Break road trip with our youngest- we traveled from Florida as far north as Virginia with stops all over the states in between..we were an efficient, on schedule college visiting machine- right up until we were about 4 hours from home when a truck skid into the back of my car…yup.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, we didn’t get hurt..and that was the main thing. I was without my car (in a rental) for a long time..had to pick it up in Jacksonville after it was fixed..on the way to my son’s wedding.. it was complicated- HA.

        Liked by 2 people

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