Normally for Thanksgiving I host my family and extended family at my home for dinner, but because my Mom and Dad have to stay isolated this year there wasn’t a dinner planned. So my husband and I decided we’d take our kids to Virginia to spend Thanksgiving with two of my brothers and their families.
Booking a trip for a family of 8 was more challenging than I’d anticipated. First I had to figure out flights that would work with everyone’s work schedules, then I had to find a massive van that would fit all of us and a bunch of luggage because traveling with two little ones in car seats with baby gear means quite the haul. Next I had to find a place we could all stay in and we’d wanted to be together with my two brothers families too so I searched and found a house that could accommodate our entire group and reserved that. But then we decided maybe that actually wasn’t the best idea to stay in close quarters with covid, so I had to cancel the house and find several hotel rooms to book instead. That’s when we remembered my brother had only one oven at his house so we scrambled and came up with a plan to cook the meal at different locations, then transport the food to a single location where we could eat together.
We were finally feeling good about having things solved when I got word I needed to stay in DC a day after my family was leaving to attend a business meeting. So I rebooked the flights for my husband and I, I extended the rental car reservation, and I booked a separate hotel for the extra night closer to where the meeting would be held.
Then I realized I’d booked my son to fly home a day earlier than everyone else knowing my husband and I could help my daughter-in-law with their 1 year old and 3 year old on the flight and with my changing our tickets we’d no longer be flying with her to help. So we rebooked her and the two kids flights so they could fly with our son
That’s when, no joke, I got a message that some of the people we were to meet with in DC got COVID so the meeting could no longer happen in person. ARGHHHHHH… so I was back on the phone with the airlines once again rebooking all the flights again to go back to what they had been…I cancelled the second hotel stay…changed the rental car reservation…and wondered why I ever thought doing this trip was a good idea??
My husband and I and my daughter and her husband arrived in Virginia Wednesday afternoon and got all checked in. Then my son and his wife and kids were to just arriving to the airport in Salt Lake to take the evening flight out to join us in Virginia when we all got a text from the airlines saying their flight was cancelled and they’d been rebooked for Thursday evening instead! NOOOOO!!! My daughter-in-law ran to the counter and begged the agent to help them find another flight that would let them be with us for Thanksgiving. The only option was a redeye that night that would arrive at 6am the next morning in Baltimore which was 90 minutes from our hotel. Not being together was not an option after how hard we’d worked to book this trip so she, “we’ll take it!” And my husband and I went to work figuring out transport that could get them in Baltimore and bring their crew to us in Virginia.
As we sat down to dinner Thanksgiving Day, exhausted and frazzled from the craziness of the trip, I was overwhelmed with gratitude that my family was together. We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and the effort it took was worth it.
The love of family is always worth it.
~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )