Planning the Trek to Michigan

A week or two ago, the wife and I started tossing around the idea of going up to Michigan to visit my family this year for Christmas. A number of current and future life changes seem to indicate that this might be the right year to do it, so assuming she can procure the necessary approvals for time off from work, that’s the plan.

Today we started kicking around the next great decision – to fly or to drive.

Originally I had just assumed that we would fly up, noting that airfare prices are actually “normal” right now (~$250/each), although we’d need to buy soon before the prices start skyrocketing. I even did some extra math and realized that for less than the price of a rental car for a week (we fly into Detroit, which is still a good 4 hours from our final destination), we could take a puddle-hopper to one of the regional airports farther north that would be a bit more reasonable for someone to just come pick us up. It’s not like we really need a vehicle of our own for the week that we’ll be there.

Driving, on the other hand, is an entirely different can of worms with both pluses and minuses.

The Good:

  • It’s cheaper, and we don’t need to come up with most of the money until just before the trip.
  • We can bring Cleo (I know we could technically on a plane, too, but we’re not jerks.)
  • Travel time gives Sara and I some always-needed bonding time.

The Bad:

  • Doubling our travel time (22 hours drive time vs. 6-8 hours flying + 4 hours driving)
  • Not sure how Cleo would handle a long-distance road trip.
  • Wintertime driving in Michigan SUCKS.

I think the only thing that honestly has my concern is really the last one – I haven’t actually driven in the ice and snow for a good 8 years now and the idea of slipping around on the freeway or some back road in Sara’s little car doesn’t exactly sound like “fun” to me! Which I guess is kind of weird because I used to drive trucks for a living up there before I moved to Florida, but still … BIG TRUCK has a lot more weight to it than LITTLE CAR! Then again, it’s like Sara said – we give ourselves plenty of time and just take it slow if we start to hit inclement weather. I mean, she went to college at a school that was on the shore of Lake Ontario, so I suppose she’s experienced her share of horrible, blizzard-like conditions, too!

Still, I can’t help but picture us re-living scenes from A Muppet Family Christmas about 20 hours into this journey…

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