Semi-Urban Planner

I'm back following my sister's visit from Seattle. We had lots of quality sister time, and I'm very excited because I'm going to see her again in just two weeks, when I head out to the West Coast to visit her.

My sister and I are only 17 months apart (I am older). We're very close, and share a lot of the same interests. However, one area in which we share no similarities became apparent this past week. I am a meticulous planner and she is not.

My sister flew from Seattle to my upstate NY city, and her return tickets were booked from here back to Seattle. However, for two days following her visit here, she and her boyfriend who accompanied her on the trip were visiting his relatives in PA, near Philadelphia. She planned on renting a car in Philly, skipping the leg of the trip from NY to Pittsburgh (where she would change planes and head to Seattle), driving to Pittsburgh and picking up her connecting flight there. This sounded pretty risky to me. After all, once the airline here realized she wasn't on her flight from NY to Pittsburgh, wouldn't they fill her seats with standby passengers?

The day before she was to leave, she called the airline to ensure that she could indeed skip the NY to Pittsburgh leg of the trip. And surprise! She couldn't. She would have to pay a hefty re-booking fee, PLUS purchase two more tickets for herself and her boyfriend from Pittsburgh to Seattle according to the rate of the day, in excess of $1,000. She was quite upset, but then planned on just showing up in Pittsburgh anyway, and giving them a sob story about missing their flight in NY and having drove all the way from NY to Pittsburgh in the hopes they would be let on the plane. What???

About 11pm the night before we were to drive them to PA to visit her boyfriend's relatives, my sister decided to abandon this plan, rent a car in Pittsburgh, drive back to NY (a six hour drive) and catch her originally booked flights back to Seattle. She spent the next two hours scouring the web for a deal, and finally made the booking around 1am.

Simply watching my sister go through this process was exhausting, because it was something I would never in a million years consider doing. I plan everything, every teeny, tiny little detail, when I go on a trip, and the plans are usually completed weeks before we've ever left home. Maps are drafted, restaurants and shops in the city we're visiting are located and noted for reference, travel plans are confirmed and reconfirmed. Nothing is left up to chance. My sister's carefree attitude toward her travel plans made me marvel at her ability to leave so much up in the air. I think I would give myself an aneurysm if I tried the same thing.

When I travel to Seattle to visit her in two weeks, I know I'll have to abandon some of my control issues, and leave more of the visit up to chance. I'm just not exactly sure how I'm going to do that.

7 Responses to “Semi-Urban Planner”

  1. # Blogger kristal

    I have the same issues with my husband. He never plans anything and always wants to just hop in the van and go. I am more of a planner/worrier. We have seven kids, so everything is a big deal to me ~ packing snacks, diapers, clothing. What are we going to eat? Do we need a portable crib for the baby? What if we break down? Do we have enough water? lol...  

  2. # Blogger CAL

    God, I think I would've had a stroke just watching all that drama. I'm the same way you are. I can't leave plans for the last minute. I don't even like the uncertainty of flying on confirmed tickets (not being able to control weather, overbooking, mechanical problems, crew shortages, security threats, and such).  

  3. # Anonymous Ramona

    This post made me laugh! I am a planner of sorts, but my plans never really seem to work out so then I end up flying by the seat of my pants! To be honest, I always follow the mantra "Whatever happens, it's all part of the journey!"  

  4. # Blogger Marie

    Glad you had fun with your sis, Kristi! This made me laugh because when I got together with my sisters last week, my older sis had activities all planned out & they mostly went out the window due to little ones napping at different times. I think it was stressful for her not to be in charge. C'est la vie!

    Your sister's kind of life-on-the-edgeness would make me uneasy too!  

  5. # Blogger Amy

    LOL, Kristi. You'll have to post and let us know how your trip goes. I am not so much a take-it-as-it-comes kinda girl myself and I swear, I may get an ulcer someday just from watching people do thing the way your sister does!  

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