Ok, so let's rewind the clock a few months, say to September, three months before Christmas. That is when my mother and I started planning our holiday vacation. During those months, my life was consumed with evening phone calls, hours of internet research, emails bombarding my inbox and quite a bit of frustration.
Our planning could have been relatively simple, if the Mediterranean Cruise we had both agreed upon hadn't been full. Or if flights to Egypt didn't skyrocket between the weeks of December 15th - January 5th. Instead, the weeks leading up to Christmas were left to brainstorming... and a bit of healthy banter in between.
Mom: "I know, we can go to the Canary Islands for Christmas!"
Me: "Great, and we can pretend we're in the UK, just farther south." (Since the Canary islands are filled with Englishmen during the holiday).
Mom: "I've got it! We can go to Scotland and stay in a castle!"
Me: "Perfect. That way we can be cold outside AND inside."
Me: "How about Greece or Turkey?"
Mom: "I've figured it out! We can go to Finland... that's where they say Santa lives."
Me: "Mother, please."
Mom: "Claire, I don't see why you're making things so difficult."
Me: "Well, what about Greece or Turkey?"
(Please note, the following conversation was over a 3 day period)
Sunday, via a phone call:
Mom: "How about Croatia? I can go skiing and you can explore the towns?"
Me: "Sounds good to me... let's book this thing!"
Monday, via email:
Mom: "Claire, I've found the perfect place. It's a small village in the French Alps and has tons of other activities for you to do while I ski. Love, your mother."
Me: "Wonderful! I'm sold! Seal the deal! ... Claire."
Tuesday, via phone call:
Mom: "Claire, this is your mother."
Mom: "Don't be mean, because I've figured out where we're spending Christmas. How about Italy, on a lake, it has tons of skiing and lots of things for you to do."
Mom: "Where's Dusseldorf?"
Me: "It's near the Dutch border."
Mom: "Oh, ok. Did you know that if you took a train to Dusseldorf, you could take a night train to Krakow..."
Me: (unable to hear the rest of what my mother is saying, due to my continually repeating): "Mom, Mom, MOM, MOM, MOM!"
Sister: (joining the call) "Still planning your Christmas vacation I take it?"