Sometimes even well-intentioned plans are not meant to be.
I was so excited to book a free trip to Las Vegas courtesy of JetBlue Vacations a few weeks ago. Heidi had never been and Vegas is the perfect one-day getaway. We even scored a free room at the MGM Grand, which I had never stayed at before and looked perfectly nice.
When you book with JetBlue vacations, you take the flight they give you, but in this case I thought it was perfect: a 6:50a departure from Long Beach and 8:00p return from Las Vegas the following day. The early departure would allow us to miss the brunt of LA rush hour traffic and get a good start on the day. If our room was not ready early, we could just hang out in the American Express Centurion Lounge. MGM has airport check-in.
Heidi was even excited about the trip. She specifically mentioned she wanted to try a Vegas buffet and I thought we could return to the Wynn Buffet for an encore meal…hah, hah.
But 4:30am rolled around yesterday and the mood had decidedly changed. After sleeping through the night for 22 consecutive nights, the last week has been terrible with the baby. He’d been up throughout the night screaming for food or fussing about something. Heidi was exhausted. I was too — it’s not like I can sleep though his crying — but still determined to go. She asked me if we could cancel the trip.
My first instinct was to say, “No way”. Had we paid for this trip we certainly would not have cancelled, so why should the fact that JetBlue graciously gifted us this trip be any different?
Well, maybe because this was a free trip…
Surely we would soon wake up and make it a great day, I thought. But it was so clear Heidi was exhausted and I had only been home for a few nights after my inauguration adventure.
So with some pain, I reluctantly agreed to cancel the trip.
As a courtesy to JetBlue, hoping they might be able to recoup something, I called up and cancelled our reservations. I was not worried about our flights — looking at the seat maps showed less than 1/4 of the seats on both our flights were assigned. I did feel guilty that JetBlue would have to pay MGM for a room we would not use.
The agent mentioned nothing about a refund and expressed no gratitude that I had called to cancel, but I’m glad I did.
Then we went back to bed, sleeping in till 10am. Thankfully the baby let us sleep.
And as I woke up at 10am, five hours late to my daily routine, I saw the content look on my wife’s face and knew I had made the correct decision.
I spent the rest of the day trying to catch up, but it was a nice quiet day. I did not even go to the gym, staying home all day except for a nice afternoon walk with Heidi and the baby. We had dinner at home and I went to bed early last night.
Why not build two?
Have you ever seen the 1997 movie Contact with Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey? The plot of the sci-fi movie goes something like this–a scientist receives signals from a distant star and later discovers this information contains complex schematics to build a transport system. One is built, at great expense, but blown up by a religious fanatic. But the project was not lost — another transport system had secretly been built and the mission eventually proceeded.
And if there is any solace in us not going to Las Vegas yesterday, it was the fact that I booked a second trip in May. The weather will even be warmer then and the baby will be older. Now JetBlue won’t be his first plane trip, United will. I’m happy about that too.
Heidi was also feeling dejected at lunch yesterday, stating that she had “missed out” on her free trip to Las Vegas. You should have seen the look on her face when I told her, “Don’t worry, I booked another one!”
What I am learning as a father and husband is that sometimes plans that would work simply perfectly if I were single don’t work quite as well with a spouse and child. Part of me wishes I was writing now about how nice the MGM Grand is, but I am thankful for the peaceful day we had yesterday.