The Best Laid Plans

Trip Start Nov 06, 2003
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Trip End Jan 24, 2004


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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Thursday, November 6, 2003

Hair and vacations don't mix for me.

Normally content to have a hairstyle best described as unkempt, on leaving Victoria I find my Shaggy DA look annoys me. I wander the streets of San Francisco, Macau or Nogales, hoping to find a cheap, friendly shearer, but I hate letting strangers with scissors near my head. A problem. My hair becomes some dark shade, glooming over the trip, marring otherwise perfect days. This time my pre-trip To Do list includes a visit to my local coiffeur, Lori Shreenan, a woman with whom the verbal repartee is active and full of vim.

My appointment for 10 am, Nov 5, is scheduled amidst an impressive array of activities, ranging from the practical (clean house, cancel phone service, confirm flights) to the just plain silly (transfer 25 hours of a children's trilogy from tapes to CD). I have excellent planning skills. I doubt there are many as skilled at coming up with impressive and varied ideas for things that could happen at any moment. If only I was realistic.

Some people have suggested that taking a 3-month old travelling for almost three months is one of these detours from reality. We'll leave Victoria mid-day on Thursday, Nov 6, chill overnight in Vancouver then warm up in Hawaii for a week. Overnight we cross the equator to Sydney then a quick hop up to Brisbane, where we hang out with friends in the Gold Coast area with a jaunt to the Great Barrier Reef thrown in. Down to more friends in Melbourne for a week, then over to New Zealand for 3 weeks on each island. Stop off at Sydney for another week, then home in time for my 40th birthday in late January.
Doesn't sound silly to me.

I don't require any outside disasters for plans to fall apart, but I get them before this trip when my 12-year-old Emma starts throwing up at 3:00 a.m. on Monday, three days before our departure. We quarantine her and begin fixating on washing our hands whenever we so much as talk with her, especially after last weekend's sleep-over pal Emily also starts tossing her cookies about.

All the under-nail scrubbing in the world doesn't prevent me from waking up in a bad way at 4am on Wednesday, a day before our flight, and more critically, mere hours before my haircut. I lose more weight in a few hours than in the preceeding months, and cancel the hair thing at 9:00 a.m. before drifting off into oblvion, leaving Julie to handle the last day's preparations.

All the preparations except, of course, the taping of the His Dark Materials trilogy. Every 45 minutes I drag my sweating body out of bed (or away from my sacrificial stance before the toilet) to turn the tape over and begin recording another side onto my computer. This insanity continues all day. I don't know how Julie keeps herself from pushing my head into the toilet bowl and finishing me.

I wake up at 6am the day of our departure and slap another tape in. My parents arrive over to help with packing us off to the airport, and I am flipping tapes to the minute we leave the house. Silly me.

Perhaps I can get a haircut in Vancouver in the afternoon....
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