This is 40 - The General Plan

Every year, I say to myself, "Seriously.  You have to stop this.  It's ridiculous.  You should be saving for the future."  But every year, things happen.

This year, I didn't bother saying this to myself.  Because this was always going to be a big year.  This year...I turn 40.

I know.  I KNOW!!

It's a pretty big number.  And I can't deny that I've been struggling a bit with the reality of what this number means.  I have a good job, a nice home, a great family, and several friends who are just as stupid as I am with these silly adventures.  But I'm no longer the "young one" in the office.  And I don't entirely know when that happened.

But back to this year...

If a "regular" year involves multiple foreign and several domestic trips, then what would a 40th Birthday Celebration Year involve??  Well...here's the story with this trip.  What??  You want me to share all of my trips at once??  No way, man.

About nine months or so ago, I got it into my head that I should visit an island.  Not just any island, but Hawaii.  Now, I'm not really an island person.  I just haven't been on enough of them to know what they involve.  Plus, I am pretty sure I'm half-vampire, so sunlight and I tend to not see eye to eye.  But, Hawaii.  I also have been holding on to my AAdvantage frequent flyer miles since I moved to Raleigh in the late 90's.  I knew I'd use the miles for something.  I just didn't know what that something would be.
This is a cautionary tale.  An afternoon spent getting hammered on a patio provided a horrible parting gift.
I floated the idea around to my friend Liz.  She and I have been trying to set up a trip for years now.  But we're always on different schedules.  The times that work for her don't work for me and vice versa.  I threw some options her way and we were going to do this.  Finally!!

Liz called me one day with some big news.  She had not only moved back to Florida, but she was going to have a baby!!  While I was over the moon with this news, I knew the gods of travel were again not on our side.

My travel companion out for the count, I wasn't deterred.  Adele was coming back from Thailand and we had something planned for later in the year (Spoilers!!), so I started working on Mom.  She would love to go to Hawaii and could use a vacation.  If I used my miles on her flight, we would have more money to spend in Hawaii.  Best of both worlds!!

But this option was not meant to be either.  Around November, I knew she couldn't go.  Which meant my plans were hosed.  No Hawaii for me.

Fast forward to the beginning of the year.  I don't talk a ton about work.  Because, there really isn't any need to.  No one really cares.  But the beginning of the year for me is exhausting.  It's the busiest time of the year and a time I can barely breathe, let alone take some time off.  Around the middle of January, the idea of Hawaii cropped up again.  And this time, it wouldn't let go.

I did a bit of considering and a small amount of research.  And I made a decision.  I was going to Hawaii.  Over my birthday.  My 40th Birthday.  Solo.

Once the decision was made, things fell together very quickly.

Remember how I said I'd been saving my miles for around 15 years??  Yeah.  I cashed in less than half of my miles.  First Class to Maui.  First Class Home.  All for a grand total of $11.  I regret nothing.

Funny enough, during this time of booking, I got a Facebook message from Danielle.  She offhandedly made a reference to Hawaii.  Before we knew what was happening, she was joining me on part of the trip.

Hotels and excursions were booked, but the biggest draw for my part of the trip is relaxation.  All I want to do is sit on a beach with my hand curled around a book and a cocktail.  I want to let the world pass me by.  It will be glorious.

And seriously, we all know I'm going to die at my desk one day during a particularly crazy station negotiation, so retirement funds really aren't needed.  Wait.  That's not weird, right??

The reason I'm checking my luggage.  I didn't realize I was a Neutrogena Girl, but...



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