I have to say, preparation for the trip was worse than the trip itself. I spent a week worrying about what to pack, 2 days packing, 1 day stressing the hell out to the point of tears on at least 2 occasions.

The night before we left, I seriously considered saying to hell with it and not going. But today, after 14 hours of driving, I’ve got say, so far, so good. The kids travel well. Play-doh and The Chipmunks: the Squeakwell make for a nice ride. Oh and pretzels. Things they never get to have unless we’re road tripping. So today was nice. But yesterday?

Bad. Really Bad.

It’s not usually this bad. Usually, I spent a day worrying about packing, 2 hours throwing whatever we need into a couple of bags and getting in the car, dogs in tow, cats fending for themselves with the remote control and a bucket of cat chow.

This is different. For starters, its my first business trip as a writer. I’ve stressed before about being surrounded by large groups of civilian women but the gals (and guys) of Austin RWA brought me right into the fold, even when I’m a horrible member and only make it to like 3 meetings since coming home from Iraq.
This is different. This is folks from the community of romance writers at large, many of whom supported me last year in Iraq. I feel an obligation to at least try to be social (translate: not stressed out psycho mom eager to ditch her kids but feeling guilty for doing so for a few minutes of mommy time) and yet, I know that won’t happen. Not to mention that I packed my entire wardrobe of business clothes and every cosmetic item I own, plus a few I bought special for this trip alone. Hubby was a little annoyed to see just how much I actually had packed.

This is also Disney and as much as I want my kids to have a trip that they’ll remember with me and their daddy before my hubby heads back to Iraq after Christmas, I also am a realist. By lunch time on day 2, they’re going to be cranky, hot, tired and exhibit behavior that will make me want to leave the entire trip three days early.

I haven’t over planned. In fact, in the entire week, there are only 2 events that we have to cancel early or be charged for. Everything else is a free for all. Whatever happens, happens. I don’t have anything that I have to see at Disney. But RWA? Yeah, there’s a lot I want to see and a bunch I want to do and I realistically know that I’m going to be lucky to have Thursday afternoon to actually do anything writing related.

But I’m determined to relax. There will be time at the pool letting the kids splash while I sip something alcoholic (I’ve given up drinking but am reasonably certain this trip is going to make me start again). I want to chill out and have a good time and remember my first RWA conference as the one that I managed to utterly and completely have a good time.

Wish me luck. Tomorrow, we get to Disney world. Let the Wild Rumpus Start!