The Trip After Next or ‘I Don’t Live Here Anymore’

Goodbye, house!

I just realized that this post may be a really great segway back into my Disney posts. Why? Because after my summer trip, I have my next trip to look forward to. And that trip is research trip number two…in Walt Disney World.

Yes, that’s right. I’m going back, and I’m taking my notepad with me. On Monday morning I placed a check in the mail. This check was the security deposit for a condo in Orlando for the entire month of September.

Why? Because I found a publisher for my book and now I get to research and write it! Could I be more excited? I don’t think I could!

I found the condo on VRBO after some direction about which development to select (from the wonderful people on the Passporter Forums.) It’s in Windsor Hills and seems like a really good deal–less than $55 per night! I decided to stay in a condo for several reasons. One, I obviously need a kitchen as I’m staying for three weeks. Two, I needed a reliable internet connection and somewhere comfortable to write. Three, I wanted something safe and secure. And four, I’m hoping my friend and cousin-in-law will come down to visit me for a long weekend. It’s a two bedroom two bath condo, so having her as a guest will be super easy. Here’s hoping she’s able to make it!

Oh–and five–did I mention it is REALLY reasonably priced?

The plan is to drive down the day after labor day and stay until the end of September.  For those of you keeping track, that means I’ll be gone for a month in July/August, home for just over two weeks and then gone for a month again.  Why did I plant tomatoes this spring???

 The day after labor day just happens to be the first day of school for the 2011-12 school year–or, as I think of it, the first first day of school that I will not be in a classroom for the first time since 1984, when I was four years old! I plan to drive past my school (because I have to–it’s right down the street from my house) and scream YIPPIEE out the window as I point my car towards I-95 south.

And then I get to drive fifteen hundred miles all by myself. That’s less of a yippee–but I’m ok with it. I drove to North Carolina by myself two summers ago and was fine. This is only twice as far. I can totally do it.

Which reminds me–I need to figure out where I want to stop on the way down and on the way back. I am looking at the drive less like a chore and more as an opportunity to explore new parts of the US I’ve not yet visited. It’s easy to see the silver lining in things when you are about to take 14 months off from work to follow your dream–even if the route to that dream is I-95 south!

Will I be lonely? Yes. Will I miss my husband? I’m already sad just thinking about it. Will it be hard work? You bet. My four day research trip took a lot out of me, and I’ll be doing it for 21 days this time. (I’m thinking I’ll definitely come back thinner, though. I’ll be walking a lot! So again, worst case scenario, it will be yet another fitness trip!) Is there still a chance that it won’t get published? Absolutely (though I hope it doesn’t come to that!) But it is also very, very exciting.

I plan to have a plan of attack–this is where my insane scheduling will come in handy. I’d like to do maybe three days on–meaning three days of research in the parks–one day off–meaning one day actually writing up what I’ve researched. I’m including a chapter on Universal, too, so I’ll need to spend a few days there. I also plan to have a Disney cruise line chapter, which means I should really look into ending the trip with a cruise…though I have no idea how I’m going to pay for that.

That being said, if anyone reading this happens to be independently wealthy and wants to invest in me and my idea, I could really use a four-day Disney cruise. Oh–and a macbook to make writing this book a lot less painful. A nice camera would be good, too, along with a book to figure out how to use it! Though I guess I can afford the book! Ha! Feel free to send cash, checks, or Visa gift cards.

Please note–I am totally kidding.  Sort of. 

So–what do you think? Am I crazy? Should I be more excited than scared or vice versa? Where should I stop on my way down and on my way back? I have more time on the way home, and it should be slightly cooler in the south at the end of September than at the beginning. I’m open to suggestions!


6 responses to “The Trip After Next or ‘I Don’t Live Here Anymore’

  1. Yes, be excited!! And a little scared. Fear in small manageable doses, helps to keep you focused and on your toes. As for where to stop… I’ve said it before… Charlotte!!! If you do decide to stop here let me know (I’ll book you into one of our hotels and get you a good rate). Some other places to consider checking out on your drive… Charleston, Savanah, Beaufort SC, Callaway Gardens GA, Silver Springs FL, Ashevile NC, Winston Salem NC…..
    Also, I’d think about doing 2 days research, 1 writing at least some of the time. I think you will find 3 days alot to condense into 1 writing session. And do check out other things- Sea World, Orlando itself, and the surrounding communities, NASSA (it is only a rather short/reasonable drive over to Coco Beach and NASSA from Disney), etc. If for no other reason than to give yourself a change of pace from the fantasy that is Universal and Disney.
    And I totally agree with the YIPEEE! as you drive by the school… But be prepared for some other- mixed- feelings, too.

  2. Ah…it is good to know that the scared part is understandable. I’ve been struggling with the fear for a few days now. I had no idea I’d be THIS terrified.

    You are probably correct on the two days on one day off thing. But I’ll also be writing in the evening…I don’t know…I just really want to make the most of my time down there. I hope I can keep up the pace that will be required. No–I KNOW I will be able to keep up the pace. That’s much more positive.

    Thanks for the offer of finding lodging in Charlotte. But I think I’m going to stick to 95, at least on my way down (as that part will be in more of a hurry.) I’m thinking Richmond and Savannah on my way down…and then anywhere else I want to go on my way back home. Charlotte is a possibility at that point, ,as is St. Augustine (even though it is only two hours or so from Orlando!) and D.C. (because it is my favorite city–why not stop on my way home?)

    I’ve determined that the only ‘mixed-in’ feeling I will not be feeling whilst driving past school is this: sorrow. I’m not sad I’m leaving my job. If that’s any indicator of the goodness of this decision…well…then I made a pretty good decision.

    But horror and anxiety might be two of those other emotions!

  3. I was surprised to feel a little lonely- of course I didn’t have such a great project to work on (I was helping my mom care for my dad who died in mid-Sept. the fall after I retired in April. There is that bit of excitement (and I had felt that for 30 years- no I had felt that since I was 5 years old- see I was in school from that age until I was 51). Oh well, I don’t feel that way any more. I wouldn’t even notice what was the first day of school, except that my daughter is a teacher, too.

    And…. I would plan on spending some of the evenings at the park (and other ‘research’ locations)- remember parents will be there at that time with the kiddos. And don’t forget to educational opportunites at places like restuarants, gas stations, etc. Seems obvious to us, but not to parents. And Planning (your favorite or second favorite hobby) needs a whole chapter. (there ahve been some good posts on Rick Steve’s site on that topic for involving kids over the years- do an advanced google search on the posts).

    I guess I need to quit now and go to bed before I try to start writing the book for you.
    By the way, I have helped pre-edit some books in the past- feel free to send me a chapter or two here and there for feedback.

    • Toni…thanks for the input! I love (and welcome) input! But clearly great minds do think alike–I have already outlined the chapters for the book (required for the proposal) and thought it is of course subject to change, it does already include a chapter on restaurants, a chapter on planning (a rather large one, in fact), and will include evening events like the various fireworks shows etc. Actually, when I think about it, it is QUITE overwhelming!

  4. Congratulations on finding a publisher!!! I already can’t wait to read your book. Disneyworld > Teaching.

    • Jenna…thanks! Nothing is set in stone yet, but it is very good to know that at least one publisher is interested slash enthusiastic about it.

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