Back in the Before Times, in late 2019, my husband and I scheduled a trip to Edinburgh for late March, 2020. We all know what happened next.
In May of this year, I tried to see when our airline credit would lapse, and was informed that it already had - but if I booked then, I could use it. So we quick-planned a trip to Dublin, which was the only thing close to being in budget since gasoline, Airbnbs, and everything else has gotten more expensive.
Less than 2 months out from the trip, our Airbnb canceled on us. She had a valid reason, but trying to find another affordable stay on such short notice wasn't easy. We ended up going with a hotel, because if I wasn't going to have a kitchen, I wasn't going to share a toilet with a stranger, not at the same price.
This past Friday, we got a phone call that my husband's mother had just been taken to the hospital with renal failure and possible pneumonia. She's been in a nursing home since right before Covid, and her dementia has really taken a turn for the worse because of all the isolation. We drove to New Jersey, waited while she had a procedure done to insert tubes into her kidneys, and then sat with her in the ICU. We went back again on Saturday and Sunday, and even though she's improving - they moved her out of the ICU this morning - neither of us feel good about leaving the country when she's in this state.
It's difficult enough worrying about her when long distance only means crossing the river and driving 50 miles. Walking around a foreign country and trying to enjoy a vacation while one part of your brain is waiting for the phone to ring is just not a prescription for a successful trip. So we're staying home. My husband will still take the time off from work that he had scheduled, and we'll do a few things around the house, obviously drive over again to visit, and, selfishly, I will now have time to do the pre-publication stuff that I was supposed to have done on the Friday through Sunday while we were at the hospital.
Although it wasn't the best planned vacation, it's a disappointment. But we've talked it over, in a non-ghoulish way, and have decided because of her age and frailty that we're just going to hold off on long trips for the time being. When it's safe to travel again - and I mean safe in every possible way - we'll go to Paris. That was where we'd wanted to go post-Covid anyway, but the fare was too damn high. By then, we'll have earned it.