Any of you lovely people who have read my column before may have picked up the fact that sometimes I quite like to plan things. Okay, maybe it’s a bit more than sometimes and perhaps I really like it… Okay! I admit it I have to plan things and I love it – there are you happy now?
So it should be no surprise that when it comes to holidays these too are planned. I am very proud to say that all of 2015’s holidays were booked by October 2014 and 2016’s main holiday is in the bag. (Smug grin). Now usually that would be sufficient but this year things are a little different, this year we are going to Walt Disney World in Florida and it is a return visit so we have the benefit of our ‘Lessons Learned’ from our trip three years ago (dusts off file).
My husband was not surprised when I counted out the days on the calendar and placed reminders at 180 days before our holiday (that’s when you can make Disney Dining reservations), 60 days before (that’s when you can book your Fastpass Plus times for specific rides you want to go on), up to 30 days before you can customize your Magicband (a very clever bracelet that is your room key, your park entry ticket, your Fastpass Plus selections and a contactless wallet so you can tap and pay and it charges to your credit card!)
Husband and child were not surprised when a spreadsheet was produced that detailed all the information that had been booked and noted down reference numbers and the outcomes of the family discussions we had held e.g. what was our top priority at Universal? Character breakfast with Winnie the Pooh or Lilo and Stitch? Fireworks at Epcot or Magic Kingdom? (Answers were Minions, Lilo and Stitch and Epcot – I voted for Harry Potter but was outvoted – glum face).
They did not bat an eyelid when I added in Waterparks and Outlet shopping (come on it’s America of course I was going to go shopping!). However, there was much guffawing when I added a new colour coded row to my spreadsheet titled RAG. Now RAG is a project term, it’s the abbreviation of Red, Amber and Green and it’s used to denote the severity of risks or issues. I thought it would be useful to have an indication of the severity or intensity of our planned days out on our feet and general well-being. (Let me tell you Disney is no holiday! Well, obviously it is a holiday but it is an awful lot of walking and queuing, which is very tiring).
Therefore, I marked parks that we hadn’t done before or those that we hadn’t done to an acceptable level (see previous mention of Lessons Learned from 2012) as Red as these are going to be full on busy days. Amber days are parks we are returning to but have manageable expectations of what we want to see and do and Green days are days spent lounging round the pool or waterpark.
I now have a plan that has no ‘full on’ Red days together, they are all nicely spaced out with five lovely green days at the end for us to relax. Husband and child still think it’s hilarious but it all makes perfect sense to me.
Bella’s first novel, It Started at Sunset Cottage was released on 12th February by Harper Impulse. She was a runner-up for the New Talent Award at the 2013 Festival of Romance and a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Every fortnight, Bella will be sharing her experiences and advice as a new author. She also has her own blog – www.bellaosborne.com
Novel Kicks is a blog for story tellers and book lovers.