Let’s see … think back … it all began …
Approximately One Year Ago: Daughter starts working at a sandwich shop and, unlike Son, deposits all her money and doesn’t spend a dime. She says that as she’s making money now and attending classes and such, if she were to save half of the amount for a Study Abroad trip, would we provide the other half? There’s a trip to England that looks cool. Would we consider it? We considered it. We said yes.
Dang it all, we said yes. What were we thinking?
August: Somehow or other (it’s still a blur), she starts thinking about Prague rather than London. I had to rack my brain to remember where Prague was. That’s Eastern Europe, right? Didn’t they used to be communists?
Used to be, Mom. Used to be. Past tense.
Well, sure … still, though … communists.
September: Daughter and I attend an informational meeting together. We are shown pictures, we are told of Prague’s history, its art, its intellectual populace. Director of Trip tells us that although Prague is rich in old, beautiful churches, the people are, by and large, atheists. Communism and atheism. Well, this is sounding better and better. Daughter signs up; we wait for more news.
October: We are given approximate cost of trip. After we resuscitate Husband, we make out a budget. We can do this … we think.
January: As this is a Study Abroad trip, Daughter must decide on what to study. She chooses Digital Photography. We find out minimum requirements for the camera. We do not own this sort of camera. Budget now increased.
March: Daughter receives passport in mail. You are not to smile in passports, did you know that? Your face is to have a ‘neutral’ expression. Daughter nailed it.
April: Daughter receives email saying it’s time to purchase airline tickets. Due to large number of people going, they find it easiest for everyone to buy their own tickets, share their itineraries with Director of Trip, and she’ll match up those with same flights so they can travel together. After all, we are told, there are only so many flights going to Prague on any given day. There’s no way you will be alone on your flight. No way at all.
May: Congratulate me, my friends. Somehow I found a way. Daughter is the only one from the program on her flight.
You know, I really thought I was being smart, too. I managed to find a good price on a ticket, no wee hours of the morning for either departure or arrival, and although I could have saved nearly $400 by giving her an 8-hour layover in Moscow, I resisted the temptation and stuck with three hours in London. I had an image of Daughter sitting in the Moscow airport, muttering to herself, “I’m here because Mom is cheap … I’m here because Mom is cheap …”
Turns out three students took the layover in Moscow. Because, you know, $400 is $400.
Week before Flight: We tell people at church about Daughter’s trip and ask for prayers to ease our anxiety. Mostly mine. Elderly woman tells me she’s been to Prague and and it was beautiful and the people there are really nice.
Great. Elderly church woman is better traveled than I am.
I go to my hair salon for a cut and tell the stylist about Daughter’s trip. She says she’s been to France and Italy, but she’d really like to go to Prague. She might go there next year. This year she’s going to Puerta Vallarta again.
Great. My hairstylist is better traveled than I am.
Three Days Ago: Daughter shows off her packing skills. Ten articles of clothing making 21 outfits, all weather conditions taken into account, all fitting in a small piece of luggage. She should start a blog.
Monday: Trip to the airport, check-in, saying goodbye … there she goes … We won’t see her again until the end of the month.
Have a good time sweetie. Dress warm, eat well and remember to come back home, okay?
Before she left, I made Daughter her favorite smoothie. We find these are great when starting out on a trip because not only are they quick and tasty, they are nutritious and will keep you satisfied for hours. And when I say it’s her favorite smoothie, I really mean it — it’s her’s. She created it. Smoothies are fun that way.
I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane Smoothie
I made this in a Vitamix, but I’m pretty sure it will work in any good blender.
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons peanut butter
- 1/4 cup oats
- about 2 cups frozen strawberries (truthfully, I don’t measure this. I just pour them in until it looks right.)
- 1 Tablespoon honey, or to taste
Put all ingredients in blender, and per your blender’s instructions, blend. (Couldn’t be simpler.)
Pour into tall glass and enjoy!
Update: Today Daughter sent report on the beauty of Prague and the superiority of their jam. I think she’ll be fine.