Friday, April 14, 2006

Travelers and Travels

Since the first of the year, we've had the following guests --
John H. (2 nights)
Moj, 6 pups, 1 adult dog, and 4 cats
Sharon (2 nights)
Sharon & Gary (3 nights)
Chris & 1 dog
Kathy's Mom (2 nights)
Chris & 1 dog
John M. (2 nights)
Sharon & Gary

And starting tomorrow night, Kathy's sister will be visiting for a week. Even though it might sound like I'm complaning, I'm not. We love getting the chance to see so many of our friends and family, even when they're more passing through rather than specifically coming to visit us. It looks like things will start slowing down once Kathy's sister leaves and good thing too -- with all that company, there's scarcely been a chance to travel. We did drive 2.5 hours away to a cabin in the Shenandoah Valley over President's Day weekend, but otherwise we've been grounded in DC since we got back from Kathy's folks for Christmas.

As someone who loves to visit places, I've been jonesing to hit the road again soon, especially since after late October, travel, when it takes place, will take on an entirely different feel. Actually, speaking of that, Kathy isn't interested in taking too many trips beyond the two one-week getaways we've committed to, or trips to far away places, or long vacations, because she wants to save leave for maternity. In effect, the only additional trips she's up for are weekend trips, ideally around holidays (Memorial Day and Labor Day). So that does somewhat restrict the possibilities for us traveling together, and as such, I've ended up booking a couple of trips on my own (with her blessing!).* I don't know if I'll squeeze in any more than I already have, but I figure that these ought to keep me fairly entertained.

I hope everyone reading this also has a wonderful summer travel season in store.
* Before any of you accuse me of being callous for not also saving up leave for when the baby comes, please note that federal employees are able to use 3 months of sick leave toward maternity/paternity leave, and over the 12+ years I've worked for my agency, I've built up over 5 months of sick leave. Kathy's employer gives her one month of paid leave plus an additional two months of unpaid leave (for my non-American readers, that's not an uncommon practice in the U.S. -- federal law requires 12 weeks off, but they don't have to be paid. Federal workers can only use the paid sick leave they have -- if they have none, no maternity/paternity leave). So in effect I have much more leave than she does at the moment.