Ben's dad, notorious for being as impulsive as they come, was completing a Disney World stint with Ben this summer and was all set to fly home, bags checked through to Sacramento, when United presented an offer he couldn't refuse: "Fly to DC for the night and we'll give you two free travel vouchers and send you back to California tomorrow." Never mind that Ben was exhausted from traipsing around Disney for five days; K (Ben's dad) sprinted up to the podium in record time, procured two new boarding passes and spent the 12 hours in our country's capital.
And Ben can't stop talking about it.
"How was Disney World?" I asked when they returned home. "What was your favorite part?" "Washington DC!" Ben told me. WTF.
Ben went on to tell me that the hotel in DC had a super-fantastic-incredible aquatic center with a water slide. I pushed harder: "What was your favorite ride at Disney?" "The waterslide," he told me. "At your Disney hotel?" I asked him. "NO MOM! THE WATERSLIDE AT THE WASHINGTON DC HOTEL!"
OK, ok. I got it.
It's been two months since the trip and Ben asks me every day when I will take him to Washington DC. This morning, I finally gave in. "FINE! We'll go to the waterslide in Washington DC. We'll go over spring break." Of course I'm telling myself during this whole conversation that I better get damn creative with my airline miles since I just cashed in my last two awards this week for a trip to New York without Ben.
I decided to test out his commitment to DC one last time. We were in the car, always a good time to chat since he's buckled in, held captive, and has to engage at least a tiny bit. "Tell you what," I said. "We can go to Washington DC OR GET THIS...we can take a friend and go to all the amusement parks in Southern California!" Did I mention that I am Mrs. Rockefeller?
Silence in the backseat. Oh shit, what have I gotten myself into? Didn't we decide that camping qualified as a vacation?
"WASHINGTON DC!" he yells in a voice loud enough to stop traffic.
It's one thing to get to DC on award miles; given my spending habits, we'll be there by next week. However, it's quite another issue entirely when the hotel with the godforsaken waterslide is, by my ex's standards, "very expensive." After looking over the published rates on the web, I reasoned that we'd be better off staying at the Waldorf Astoria. Which I am not, by the way, during my upcoming trip to NYC. It is likely that if I was still married that the Waldorf would definitely be in my trip plans. But I'm not, and it's not.
So for now, I'm talking up the super exciting fun trip to Santa Cruz in October with Grandma. And getting this response: "Where's Santa Cruz? Is it near Washington DC?"