Me to DH: “So what do you think? I know the kids have school, but we could just do a long weekend, couldn’t we?”
DH gives it some thought. With two schools that follow completely different calendars and a husband who usually ends up working over Eid, Christmas, Easter, national holidays, etc, our vacation days only ever match during a blue moon.
Me: “Let’s just check the system. Maybe there’ll be space to Sri Lanka.”
To my delight, there is – the chances of making it to Colombo and back on standby in four days’ time are good!
Our attention turns to accommodation (and telling the schools). We find out it must be peak season as all the beach hotels in Negombo are booked. “Don’t worry, we’ll find somewhere,” says DH, sensing my unease (I’m the kind of person who can’t sleep until a booking is confirmed).
A day later, DH finds a hotel, nearby – and by nearby, I mean, in the Maldives.
DH: “The good news is the flights to the Maldives are open. The bad news is the hotel isn’t available for all the nights we need. So, we could take the 3am flight which has seats …”
3am! My mind does a cartwheel, and bellyflops. The thought of dragging the children out of bed, through airports and on a night flight, followed by one and half days on the beach to recover, doesn’t bode well and I wimp out.
Me: “I think we should stick with Sri Lanka. You know, show them something completely different. Culture, elephants, snakes. Temples, definitely temples.”
DH: “You sure? The Maldives are paradise. And there’s a kids’ club.”
Finally, with two days to go, we make a booking in a hotel in Colombo! Work keeps me busy, and the packing gets done late at night. It’s not all that far from Dubai (and the flight is at a good time).
Except that flight suddenly fills up with fare-paying passengers who’ve come out of the woodwork.
“There’s another flight with space, but it’s not direct,” says DH, the day before leaving. “It’ll take seven hours. Via the Maldives.”
And, I’ll tell you this, if anything is going to make you second-guess your decision, it’s descending over the best beaches in the world – and peering out the airplane window at the whiter-than-white sand, the lush greenery and the luminous cyan-blue water surrounding the Indian Ocean islands.
Then touching down to land, watching at least three-quarters of the passengers disembark, and saying to DH as we awaited the next leg of our journey:
“It looks A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! Can I change my mind? Can we get off here?”
“No,” he confirmed, with a wry smile. “We’ll be on our way in an hour. You wanted temples, remember?”