My mom passed away after an extended bout with Alzheimer’s, leaving me and my five brothers and sisters with a small inheritance to split equally. We were to each receive our share in three payments, spread over the next year. I was retired, and we were living on a fixed income by this time, but Minay and I hadn’t had a real vacation since 2005, so we started talking about taking a few weeks to go somewhere. Earlier in 2009 (June), we had booked a room in New Orleans, intending to go there for a few days in August, but we found out I would be losing my job near the end of September, so we cancelled the trip.
Knowing we would be receiving a reasonable amount from the inheritance, we started thinking about a vacation again. We decided we would put a little of the first check aside and use it for a vacation. We tossed around some ideas (like driving to Tennessee or some other place reasonably close, and visiting places in that area for a week or so). At one point I asked the question, “If you could go overseas on a vacation, where would you want to go?” England was our top choice (Japan and France were thrown onto the mix, too, but unrealistically – in England, they do speak our language, sort of). So England stayed in our thoughts, along with Tennessee or Virginia, or someplace like that.
Early December, 2009
In late November, we received an e-mail from some friends of ours, Sue Ellen Brown and Don Stewart. They were going to be in New Orleans on business during the first week in December. We reserved a room at the hotel Don and Sue would be staying at, and made plans for a three-day trip. While we were there, the topic of vacation came up, and we mentioned to Don and Sue that we were thinking of possibly going to England.
Minay got a head cold sometime in mid-December, and it developed into bronchitis, but we continued to talk about the overseas trip as if it were going to happen sometime in the reasonably near future.
Late December 2009
The first of our three inheritance checks arrived, so the trip began to look more possible financially. Minay was under the weather much of December and January (the bronchitis just wouldn’t go away), but we had a few more discussions and decided to seriously explore the idea of going overseas.
More details are in the next few posts, beginning with Deciding to Go.