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Virtual Travel, anyone?

It’s been disappointing to see the calendar days role by with the cool places we were supposed to visit still mapped out on them. Amidst all the calm chaos of Covid-19, it’s a bitter pill to swallow. I told my husband up front that this whole year would be worth it if we got to spend months in Europe. Now I’m not sure how I feel about this whole endeavor. I’m borderline depressed about it.

We still haven’t cancelled Europe, but it’s starting to feel sketchy. A few days ago, the President announced another month of social distancing, so that's not very promising. It’s not just the virus either. We’ve taken a huge hit economically, and a lot of funds are tied up in the house we are flipping, the sale of which is on hold. Our businesses have been really impacted, and I’m hoping things start to change, because there’s a lot of uncertainty swirling around.

Meanwhile, I’ve decided to chronicle our would be trip versus our reality. Maybe we can all live vicariously through my own imagination. Once we ever get around to actually taking this trip, it will be fun to see just how far off I am!

March 27th - Hitting the road! El Paso here we come! We got on the road early, although early probably meant at least an hour later than planned and with at least two short return trips home for things forgotten. I usually joke that we just need to circle the neighborhood a couple of times before seriously departing. We are going to meet up with a friend in El Paso who is going to take us to dinner, and show us some of the sites. Homeschooling on the road is going great, and I genuinely think the kids will finish up before we leave for Europe. Side note, I’m secretly glad my husband vetoed the dogs coming on this portion of the trip. It would have been much more complicated.

Reality- It’s cold for a Phoenix day at the end of March, with a high of 64. We end up staying in the condo all day, pretty much glued to electronics. My husband is in a pissy mood, making life generally miserable. Finally he goes for a run and that seems to help. I make some soup, which seems appropriate for a cold day...and we finally use one of the specialty seasoning packets my husband bought at the farmers market on chicken, for dinner. I go to bed early, and the kids stay up with dad watching a movie.

March 28th - I’ve never been to El Paso, and I’m surprised at the relaxed vibe and cool historical aspects of this border city. We check out of our Hotel at 11 and are on our way to San Antonio. I’m excited. I’ve wanted to see the river walk for quite some time, and I think the kids will enjoy seeing the Alamo. Kids are trying to negotiate not doing any school since it’s a Saturday. I’m mildly impressed that they seem to innately know when the weekends must be instinctual.

Reality - We’ve got nothing on the agenda. We discuss taking a drive or going hiking, but I am getting a headache so we opt for hitting the chiropractor and lazing around the condo. Mark requests tacos for dinner and then banishes the kids to their room. He’s tired of sharing the TV and being forced to watch Barbie, or any other kids show. I feel a little bad about it but have to admit it’s kind of nice.

March 29th - I look out my hotel window and the beautiful river walk is there before me. I can’t wait to go get a coffee and sit outside. I’m hoping we can catch one of the boats going up and down the river. Breakfast is included in our hotel stay, but after that I think we are going to the Alamo first thing and then have the rest of the afternoon to explore the area here. I’m envisioning a beautiful dinner in a courtyard overlooking the river light up by beautiful string lights!

Reality - Big plans for today are our video church meeting, followed by a relaxed day at the condo. Lauren is coming over, so that’s exciting. Not sure what we are planning for dinner, but usually it’s based on whatever vegetable needs to be eaten before it goes bad.

March 30th - We are enjoying a leisurely breakfast. Everything is packed and ready to go. We are heading to New Orleans! I have been there before, but it's a new city for the rest of my family. I'm looking forward to a swamp tour, Muffaletta sandwiches, and Beignets. I'm considering a carriage ride, but either way, seeing all the beautiful architecture is going to be nice. I plan on finding some cool street art to photograph!

Reality - I'm facing another month of basically being stuck in the condo. Kids are resisting doing school, and I'm trying to "stay on target", when I'd rather be shopping at Target. The dogs are driving me batty with their wrestling around and other than the back patio, there is no where for them to be but underfoot. Oh, and I'm running out of my milk and have a massive headache.

March 31st - New Orleans! It's everything I remember. There's a crispness in the air, and a cool relaxed vibe that permeates everything. I can feel my muscles slowly relaxing. We are walking down to the Cafe du Monde for some coffee and beignets. I love the cobblestone streets and the beautiful buildings. The morning is beautiful!

Reality - Arizona got a "stay at home" order last night. Round 2 of panic buying ensued, and if you didn't have toilet paper before, you definitely are going to have to get creative now. This just all seems surreal.

April 1st - Please tell me this is all an April Fool's joke!

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