I won’t be posting any book reviews this week because all I can think about is the five Great Lakes in 24 hours trip I’m taking with a few friends (who you’ll meet in a later post!) this weekend. Now that we have all of the details of our trip hashed out, I can start actually being excited, rather than spending all my time wondering if we’ll actually be able to pull this off. It’s a great feeling, really.
I’ve never actually planned a trip before. Uhh, ever. Because my work schedule is more flexible and less time-consuming than anyone else’s, and because this whole crrrazy trip was my idea, I did the bulk of the planning. (Well, I did a lot of the logistical stuff. Saying I had no help would be a gross exaggeration and totally unfair to mis amigos.)
But here are some lessons I learned along the way:
1. Don’t put things off. I have a nasty habit of procrastinating, which could’ve really screwed us over. (Luckily, it didn’t.) I didn’t actually call about a campsite until this Monday, and I think we were lucky to have found two campsites in the Traverse City area on such short notice.
2. Calling people is not scary. Let’s be honest, the reason I put off calling a campsite is because I have this totally illogical fear of calling strangers. (This made conducting interviews for my journalism classes somewhat difficult. I’d always call, of course, but it took a lot of prepping and psyching myself out.) I worry about what I’m going to say, how I’m going to sound and what I’ll do if I’m asked a question I can’t answer. Once I finally forced myself to make the call, though, everything was fine. In fact, the guy I talked to was super nice and really willing to cooperate with us to make everything work. (Considering we’ll get to the campsite around midnight and leave by 4:30 a.m., this was huge.)
3. Finding a public beach using Google is hard.You can’t just type “public beaches near Alpena” into Google and expect a pretty little list of beaches to pop up. It doesn’t work that way. Trying to find public beaches using Google requires a lot of digging and is probably not worth the hassle. (Out of our five lakes, I think I found two of them using Google, and one is cheating because it’s a state park.)
4. When Google fails, use your resources. I asked a friend who lives on Lake Huron about public beaches in the area and he was able to steer us in the right direction. The tricky one, however, was Lake Ontario. I found a few beaches near Hamilton, Ontario, but had no idea if they were public or private. Hell, I didn’t know if they were actually beaches or just cutely named restaurants. I don’t know anyone in the Hamilton area, so I turned to my other resource: Twitter. Hamilton has a twitter account (@TourismHamilton), so I tweeted them and asked about public beaches in the area. I got a response the next day. Brilliant.
5. Breathe. Breathebreathebreathe. Things aren’t going to go exactly as planned, and that’s okay. It’s not a big deal. Just take a deep breath and figure out something else.
Is it tomorrow afternoon yet?!