And So It Goes…
And so continues the saga of the Best Uncle (and Aunt) ever. (If you missed part 1, read it here: Best Uncle (and Aunt) Ever!) This installment is a little bit longer, so make sure you have gone to the bathroom before you read it so you don’t have to stop at the gas station along the way. Last time when we left, Rocky and Bullwinkle were hurtling out of control into the sun on the International Space Station when… no, no, that’s not right. I’m pretty sure the International Space Station didn’t exist during the height of popularity of (how Boris and Natasha would say) Moose & Squirrel.
Let’s try this again.
Christmas was fast approaching in that nostalgic year of 2013 in that by gone era of reality television shows and obnoxious pop stars. Karalene & I had the following conversation, verbatim, courtesy of my “Eidetic” memory:
Karalene: Craig, you are such an awesome person. How did you get to be so awesome? I hope I am as awesome as you some day. And the best part is that you are so humble about it.
Will of the Universe: AHEM (Brief correction in the time space continuum)
Karalene: So what should we do for a trip in March this year? (We try to take a relatively quick trip in March each year to help deal with the dearth [+12 points for using a senior English vocab word] holidays that time of year. Since Karalene works for JetBlue, we have a lot of affordable options. In 2012, we visited my sister in San Antonio. In 2013, my sister lived in Italy, so we went to Orlando, FL.)
Craig: Universal Studios Orlando last year was fun, but I it sure would be nice if we could take someone with us. Hmmmmmm… (At this point Craig recalls the conversation that was also perfectly reported on in part 1 of this series of blog posts.)
Karalene: We should take JE, ML (my nieces), and MC (my nephew) with us.
Craig: We should take… oh. (Karalene claims I am psychic, but I think that is a ploy to cover up her own mutant abilities – which I am cool with as long as it doesn’t mean she has to shave her head, use a wheelchair unnecessarily and insist I call her Professor X.) I think that is a most excellent idea, my dear!
So we proceeded to work out the details and see if we could do that. As an employee of an airline, Karalene gets buddy passes we could use to fly the kids to Orlando for a lot cheaper than we could otherwise.
A brief education on the subject of Buddy Passes:
Certain people (a. spouse b. parents c. children d. her from other dimensions where she does not work for the airline) get to travel free on JetBlue on non-revenue standby. Buddy passes allow others to travel for cheaply the same way. The thing with buddy passes is that if the buddy pass users are not actually traveling with Karalene, they are so low on the standby list that it is almost impossible to get out of Salt Lake City. Very rarely is it a good idea to use them without Karalene. I wanted to make sure everyone understood that before you think it is worth it to try and be our new best friend. I’m not saying you can’t try, but I just want you to know what you are in for.
So anyway, plane tickets – yeah we could swing those for the kids. We travel just enough that we get the occasional free hotel night. After doing some checking, we had enough worked out where (if the standby flights worked out) we could do hotel for about $100 for the whole trip.
So hotel, check.
Then our awesomeness as Uncle and Aunt was put to the test. The tickets to the park are not super cheap. but our awesomeness rose to the occasion and we decided it would be worth it, because our nieces and nephew are pretty awesome too.
And just to rationalize it further, we decided that this could be a Christmas… and birthday… and maybe next Christmas and birthday present for them too. Being awesome AND semi responsible, we checked with their parents to make sure it was okay. After we got past the “Why aren’t you taking us too?” conversations with said parents, they said yes. (It’s hard to be a truly Awesome Uncle (and Aunt) if parents aren’t awesome too. I’d like a chance to be an Awesome Dad as well, so if you know anyone looking to place… HINT, HINT).
Parental Approval – check! (This makes the difference between a “cool” uncle and an “AWESOME” uncle.)
To be clear – as much as I joke about being awesome, Karalene truly is awesome. She is so incredibly thoughtful, kind, and creative (and would be a way more Awesome as a Mom than I could ever hope to be as an Uncle). A million poets could write for a million years and describe but 1/8th of her awesomeness (If that sounds familiar it is because I stole it from The Simpsons who possibly parodied something else).
Karalene, with a tiny bit of my assistance, put together a pretty awesome present to give the kids on Christmas to represent this trip. All of them were initially a little confused… I am pretty sure they thought they had gotten a neat box and the idea of a trip to Florida was just too big to process as a possibility.
As you can see they were thrilled. Wouldn’t you be if you had the BEST UNCLE (and AUNT) EVER!?!?
So keeping with a mild Rockey & Bullwinkle theme: Tune in next time for “The Journey Begins” or “Are We There Yet!?” – cue music.
Great, now I have the Rocky and Bullwinkle closing theme music stuck in my head.