Sunday, November 29, 2009

Counting the hours instead of the days

Today we said so long to my mom, who's been in town for a visit, and we started preparing in earnest for our long-awaited trip to Xenia. We'll be staying in the AIA Retreat Center, which they tell us is more of a nice dormitory than a hotel. It's about a fifth of the cost of the local hotels, and we'll get multiple rooms. All of the previous training attendees have raved about it, so we're confident it will work well for us. And being able to have Amelia sleep in a separate room is a big plus for us, since she can have trouble going to sleep as well as staying asleep. Being in a strange place doesn't improve matters. We've tried all sleeping in one hotel room, and it's pretty much always a disaster. Keeping one parent up is a lot better than keeping the whole family up.

The only catch is that unlike the Homewood or the Residence Inn, the AIA Center has no real cooking or dining facilities. Now I love to eat out as much as the next guy, but eating out every meal for 10 straight days is a bit much even for me. So we're trying to take along as many meals as we can in various forms. We're taking a 7-day cooler full of ice and as many dinners as we can prepare ahead of time. We're slow cooking some stuff overnight and cooking more tomorrow. Throw in some sandwich rolls, lunch meat, PB&J and some snacks, and hopefully that'll let us keep from blowing out the budget (and our stomachs) on restaurant food.

But tomorrow we've also got to pack, run errands, make arrangements, etc. And I've got to fit in an 8-hour work day. So it'll be a bit crazy.

Traveling with a special needs kid always has a high potential for challenges, but at least our drive should only be about an hour and a quarter. Some of the other families are coming in from the the opposite end of the continent, or pulling all-nighters on the road to get there.

We're looking forward to meeting every one at 4 Paws, all the other families, all the other kids, and all the other dogs. And especially Amelia's new best friend Bobo.