1. Book and pay for cruise 2. Redeem air miles for free air tickets (SFO-MIA/MIA-LGA) 3. Purchase one way airline tickets MIA-LGA 4. Purchase Broadway tickets for Les Miserables
5. Finalize hotel for Miami and New York using timeshare points (BIG, BIG mula saved here!)
We’re almost set. Just have to decide which hotel to stay at in Miami and NYC. I’ve been on Tripadvisor for days and I can’t seem to make up my mind. I am in awe of how costly it is to stay in NYC hotels. 2 nights stay is practically half of a plane ticket to Manila (but a plane ticket already when you can get really cheap tickets from SFO on promo). I never realized this as we’d always stayed with my grandparents in Newark. Woooo, imagine if we’d stayed for a week? We’d be eating and drinking only water (or maybe not even that!). Unfortunately, our timeshare property in NYC is booked up until May of next year. But no complaints as we’ve still lucked out by being able to use our points for hotel accommodations—thank God. Otherwise, 2 nights in NYC is more than we would have paid for our cruise alone (and that’s already including port charges and all taxes!). DUUUUDE! And the only reason I added NYC to our vacation plans is because I realized we’ll already be on the east coast as it is, what’s a hop and a half to NYC to watch Lea perform (and eat at Serendipity)? I had to take advantage as we were already getting free air tickets with air miles to get us to Miami. And again, not having to pay for a hotel stay in NYC because of timeshare points, it would have been ridiculous to just head back to California right after the cruise. (But it’s really thanks to Abby that a light bulb went off in my somewhat deteriorated little brain that I even thought of all this–I left a comment on her blog about how we cancelled Broadway for our cruise only to realize and question myself why I couldn’t make both happen on the same trip. Thanks Abby ).
On a different note, I’ve been grappling with the idea of possibly bringing Erynne with us afterall. I’ve been explaining to her that mommy and daddy will be gone for a while but that mama and papa (that’s what she calls my parents as my mom claims she’s too young to be called “grandma” or “lola”) will take care of her. Her response is always, “Nooooooo,” followed by a tight hug. Then she’ll tell me, “Noooo mommy! Bring me, Erynne!” She even points to herself, isn’t that heartbreaking? And then I’ll go running back to her dad and I’ll start toying with the idea of bringing her with us. He starts to melt too but then my mom interjects each and every time insisting we wouldn’t have a good time at night on board the ship if we have to tend to a little girl who sleeps early (not to mention, what about running around NYC?). So my mom has a point. Deep down though, my mom just isn’t comfortable with Erynne out on the high seas for 4 nights (the 4-night cruise was only a few bucks difference from the 3-night cruise so I grabbed it). Our next cruise—together with Erynne—will be onboard a Disney ship. Erynne will love it so much! In the meantime, this trip will be just for her dad and I. We need this time together anyway. Nothing like 24/7 food, a little dating and dancing under the stars (literally, woohoo!) to put us over the moon, right? And to be quite frank, hubby deserves my undivided attention. Ever since Erynne came into our lives, my world has revolved around our little girl. Her being so young and small, I tend to drop everything around me when she comes calling for me. It’s pretty bad and I know I’m just being a mom but…. –I want E and I to get to the point where we prioritize each other first before our kids. Much as I love Erynne (and would die without her), I want my husband to always be my first priority. Easier said than done but ultimately, I’d like for this to happen. Afterall, this is what we promised each other even before Erynne came along. I just haven’t made good on this promise.
Again, easier said than done—unless I’m taking my mommy role much too seriously (is there really such a thing? No). Still, my heart hurts knowing I have to leave Erynne behind. But this will be good for everyone. And who knows, Erynne just might get that playmate she’s been yearning for .