What used to be an exciting event – planning a much needed vacation – is now an exercise, for some (particularly the elderly), in overcoming obstacles. There are many unconventional things that must now be considered before embarking on, say, a cruise:
Are there wheelchairs available in the terminals (and onboard the ship itself)?
Will all your meds be able to pass safely through customs?
Do you have a doctor’s note to explain the beeping that will (because of the titanium rods currently holding together your limbs) inevitably occur when you go through the metal detectors?
Mind you, these are only some of the obstacles elders will be facing getting onto the ship in the first place. Once you board:
Are there elevators to take you not only floor to floor but also to your seats in the dining areas and theaters?
Is there a special menu for diabetics?
Are there devices for the hearing impaired in noisy areas where BINGO and other activities take place?
And this doesn’t even cover any additional transportation snafus that might be incurred by using planes, busses, cabs or boat tenders to and from the cruise ship. Sadly, at this point, you will be so exhausted from merely planning (what should have been) this fantastic trip that you’ll most likely… just stay home!
My parents and I are getting quite proficient at living together. I wouldn’t say we’re at that ‘finishing-each-others-sentences’ stage but we are becoming rather skillful at saving both time and money.
Case in point… the three of us can go out to dinner for less than $20 and still manage to take home enough food for another meal. Here’s how:
Mom and I usually split one meal so we fill up on the salad bar and add what’s leftover to our take-home container. Then we split the entree in half – she eats like a bird, anyway, so I just fill up on the fries (or rice or baked potato) and that leaves about half the main course for home.
Dad eats pretty much everything in sight – and that includes a few helpings from the salad bar, too. But he’s definitely part of the equation because we use a ‘buy-one-get-one-half-off’ deal. So he plays an integral part in our musings.
Now here’s where the time saved comes in. Mom’s really starting to hate cooking so, with a good enough deal on the table, she’s more than willing to go out to eat for two reasons:
1. No cooking today
2. No cooking (just reheating) tomorrow.
That’s because, as I previously mentioned, Mom eats like a bird – a featherlight bird – and can get by with a yogurt or some PB crackers for dinner. Dad’s the one that’ll inevitably scarf down the take-home meal. So… Win. Win. One for all and all for one!