We’ve had a Christmas vacation scheduled for several months now, the annual visit to my son, daughter in-law, and grandsons (this year and most likely next year in Colorado, at the home of the 4th Infantry Division, subsequent years, who knows? The lad has fifteen years at the minimum before retirement, and more likely twenty-five, so opportunities for travel will abound as we chase him and his family around the world).
On top of that, my lovely bride scheduled us for a week in Panama City (FL) starting December 15, a week of timeshare use we’d have lost had we not booked it. Our home resort is in Gatlinburg, TN, but honestly – There isn’t a week’s worth of activities in Gatlinburg for folks our age, and Panama City, even in Winter, at least affords me the opportunity to lounge in the hot tub at the resort with a club soda and bitters, watching the B-52’s fly overhead and trying furiously not to think about my army time, but about just how far I’ll walk down the beach in the evenings and what’s on the menu for dinner each night.
Then lo, serendipity…My IHG rewards program sent me an email this morning informing me that I a) have enough points to use for a 4-day cruise to the Bahamas on a Royal Caribbean Liner, and b) will lose those points if I don’t use them this year. What to do? Well, as a 1099 contract employee, that was an easy answer; the fifteenth through the twenty-second are booked, the twenty-third through the the thirtieth are booked, and Ubuntu Linux has a calendar better than the old UNIX cal command for use, so I went ahead and booked that Bahamas cruise for the eleventh through the fifteenth. We’ll arrive back just in time to drive across the state to Panama City for our week there.
Naturally I presented this as a Christmas gift to my bride, not as a “Hey, I’ve got these points I’m gonna lose if I don’t use ’em…”, my Mother raised cretins, not fools.
So it turns out that this will be my last week of work for 2017, and even though we 1099 types aren’t paid for days we don’t work, I’m quite happy with that. January is a new fiscal year for several of my customers, so it is bound to be a nightmare, I’d just as well take half a month to recharge my aging batteries, it’s been two years since our last vacation together anyhow. The Casino in Freeport has always been good to me, Panama City is like home away from home, we visit that resort so frequently, and my daughter in-law is actually a very good cook, not to mention I haven’t seen the grandsons since the youngest was born almost two years ago at Fort Bragg.
I shall attempt to post while vegetating, but at the very least, there will be pictures.