The best is yet to come

Suddenly, instead of booking a trip for DC this summer, I’m looking up flights for Amsterdam for next spring.

Alex decided that it would be wiser to save up for a “real” vacation, one that takes place outside the U.S.  If I can be guaranteed this vacation, I will gladly take Amsterdam over Washington, DC.  However, this trip would be considerably more expensive.  Alex and I only have about $800 saved up at the moment.  We would need another $2,200 before we can afford flight + hotel… and some food.  I’d want to have at least $4,000 put away toward this trip, just to cover all of our bases and make sure we’re never left without money.

Recently, I’ve been very conscious of the charges I make on my credit card.  If I don’t have to use plastic, I try not to.  (Of course, this may have something to do with the fact that my credit card company raised my APR.)  It’s so easy to lose track of what I’m buying if the cash in my wallet is not dwindling down to nothingness.  Especially when travelling, I try to bring cash so that I can refrain from becoming too extravagant.  Being in a different country — especially for the first time — is incredibly romantic, which is wont to make people do stupid things.

Bringing cash on this trip (which is still very hypothetical at the moment) will hopefully prevent some of those stupid things.

Now… back to planning this bad boy.  I need to buy a travel guide, talk to friends who have been to Amsterdam, and start making an itinerary.  (Hi.  Have I mentioned that I’m slightly OCD when it comes to planning trips?  I like to plan everything, down to the tiniest detail.  I leave almost nothing to chance — inclement weather notwithstanding.  I can’t control the weather just yet.)

Half psychotic, sick, hypnotic

Late last month, my mother went to Russia to visit her family.  (Her entire family — mother, 4 sisters, and 1 brother — all live in either Dagestan or St. Petersburg.)  Today, she and my father got into their car and headed towards Virginia.  A friend of the family is flying to Las Vegas tomorrow.  Her daughter left for Costa Rica two days ago.  My sister and her boyfriend are heading to Aruba in a week or so.  I can’t help but be a little jealous of everyone’s recent expeditions.

It’s been so long since I’ve been able to go away somewhere and relax.  I guess that’s what happens when one works 20+ hours per week and goes to grad school (taking 12 credits at a time).  The last vacation I took was to Montreal with Alex… and that was 2 years ago.  I haven’t been able to travel anywhere because of:

  1. Lack of money
  2. School responsibilities
  3. Work responsibilities

However, I think I’m going to start planning a trip for mid- to late-August… in which Alex and I go to Washington, DC.  I’m looking at hotels, restaurants, museums, stores, bars, galleries, and libraries (oh hai LC) in the area.  I’m not willing to spend too much money on this trip… but I still want it to be nice.  The hotel that I am currently considering is $104/night (which is actually rather pricey by my standards) but it’s near the metro in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, so there are  a lot attractions nearby and I can easily get everywhere else.

Right now I’m trying to decide which mode of transportation to take to get to DC: car, bus, or train.  Taking a car would probably be cheapest but I’ll probably end up paying through the nose for parking.  (DC is not necessarily a car-friendly area.)  Hopping on a Greyhound bus is second cheapest but… ugh, it’s a bus.  Riding an Amtrak train to Union Station seems the most preferable because it’s quick (3.5 hrs) and it allows for passengers to walk around and stretch their legs.  (Buses are always cramped and loud… and prone to getting stuck in traffic.)  I’ll have to discuss this with Alex, I guess.

Coincidentally, I just ordered a digital camera and a mini-tripod on Amazon… so I’ll have a means of documenting this trip.  (I haven’t had a proper camera in about 1-2 years, since the lens motor on my Sony DSC-W7 crapped out on me.)  This trip is also special because this August is the 4th anniversary of my relationship with Alex.  Two years ago, we ran off to Montreal to celebrate… This year, we’re considering Washington, D.C.  We’ll be taking lots of photos, whatever we end up doing this summer.