Summer Plans

It’s another cold, gloomy Saturday. At 19 degrees, I’m stuck inside where I’m about to lose my mind. But in a few weeks, spring will be here, or at least above freezing temperatures, so that’s something to look forward to. One good thing about winter though is I have time to plan what I’ll be doing when it gets warmer.

I’ve already booked a trip to Sedona, Arizona for May. Facebook, knowing me better than I know myself, kept showing me all these beautiful photos of the American southwest, a region I’ve never visited before, so I had to look into it. I discovered that there is a bike path that goes along the rim of the Grand Canyon, and that’s all it took. I’ll be renting a bike and riding the rim of the Canyon! Sedona looks amazing too.

Supposedly, Sedona is one huge vortex of increased energy. Many people go there for spiritual renewal because of this. I don’t know if a vortex is really a thing, but it does look like a special place. The night sky should be amazing!

It’ll be my first major trip by myself since the divorce. I’ve never flown by myself, so I’m a little nervous about it. I’m sure I’ll be able to handle it, but there will likely be some seasoned moments of panic sprinkled in here and there. In other words, the typical vacation.

One very convenient thing about the trip is that I’ll be flying directly out of Decatur. Just before the pandemic began, Decatur’s airport got jet service to Chicago through United. It’s much better than the crop dusters that used to fly out of Decatur. I heard a lot of stories from people who experienced hair-raising flights that included a lot of prayers and Hail Mary’s being spoken.

I’ve flown out of Springfield before, and it was a much better experience than driving up to O’Hare, parking 6 miles from my gate, and dealing with rude workers. It’s usually much easier and faster to check in your luggage and go through security in a small airport.

I’m also planning some road trips for this summer. Many will be short one-day or weekend trips here in Illinois, but I am planning a trip that will take me up the shoreline of Lake Michigan where I’ll stop at sand dunes and quaint little towns. I’ll be taking a bike with me that I’ll need to bring inside, so I’ve been checking Airbnb locations, and that’s been a new experience.

I found a great location for my first stop that was near the water, but the owner wouldn’t confirm the booking until I sent a picture of myself first. That seemed a little on the creepy side, so I’m still looking.

I’ve discovered that if you live in a touristy area, you can sure cash in by renting a room or your entire house out. A lot of people are doing this, which is driving up house prices and taking many properties off the market for those just wanting a family home.

I’ve even seen some renting out their campers in their driveways. Hmmm. It makes me want to buy a camper and park it somewhere nice and rent it out. I would never have to work again! Of course, then I’d have to clean the thing constantly like a hotel maid, and put up with weird people who might trash it. There is always a dark lining to every silver cloud.

So, I’m still looking for ideal Airbnb stops that don’t cost a fortune, and aren’t owned by creepy weirdos. All I need is a place I can wheel a bike into. It’s proving to be more difficult than I thought it would be.

With gas prices being so high, and Russian aggression possibly causing huge spikes in oil prices, my road trips might be curtailed some. We’ll see. Can’t we have just one year on this planet without a war or a pandemic? Is that too much to ask? Ugh.

If gas prices do get ridiculously high, my solution is on the way. I have an electric scooter coming. It’s a street legal scooter like a moped, not the kind you stand on. I bought it at the beginning of January, and it’ll take me back and forth to work in the warmer months. And since I only live about a mile from where I work, it should work out, though I don’t have much faith in many of Decatur’s drivers. If Decatur had bike lanes, and people didn’t drive like self-absorbed jerks, I’d ride a bicycle but…

So, anyway, that’s about all I’ve been doing. Planning. Spending money. Waiting for warmer weather. Being bored stiff inside the house on the weekends. It’s been a hoot.