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I finished our tax return last week, but still need to file it. I needed Meadow’s preschool’s tax ID number, but now I’m ready to go. I’m a little afraid that I might be missing something and that we’ll get audited again…because this is the first year we are getting any kind of decent tax return.

I just don’t know how that happened!

Most years we’ve filed, we’ve owed the IRS at least a thousand bucks. Seriously. It’s been a huge problem and the source of much anxiety on an annual basis. We can never seem to get it right. I think one year, we had a refund of about $300.  Party time, right?

So now that we can anticipate some money coming back to us, my first thought is, “I must have screwed something up.” But after I get over the self-doubt, I start planning. We could pay down credit card debt, put some money in savings…or…

GO ON A VACATION!!!

I like the latter. I’m so sick of our weather in Seattle. It’s wet. And cold. And COLD. And I have been sick for over a month. And I am freezing all the time. I need blue skies. Warmth. Sand. Sun. Blue water to dangle my little toesies in.

We haven’t had a family vacation since Hawaii. Camping trips here and there, and visits to Alaska & North Dakota to visit family… but those don’t count. I want a va-ca-tion!

San Diego has popped into mind and won’t let go. Thoughts of the best zoo ever, Shamu, and long sandy beaches with people rollerblading are consuming me. Swimming pools, paddle boats, hotel rooms, and yes, even the hustle and bustle and trials of the airport are calling to me. I want to breathe in the plastic smelling recirculated air of the airplane. I want to haul my luggage around and walk out into warm sunny climate full of palm trees. I want to navigate new roads and see new sights.

Now I have to plan! Ever the cheapskate, I keep scouring Expedia etc. to find the best deal. I’m not sure if I should purchase a vacation package, or piece the flights and hotel separately for the best deal. I need to buckle down and do more research. But research like this, I like!

It will be nice to take a vacation with Dustin and Meadow before baby #2 comes. Meadow deserves a really fun time with just mom and dad before she becomes Big Sister.

And Dustin and I deserve to get sun tans.

I just stumbled across the following article in the Seattle Times regarding traveling with children to exotic locales. Namely, BORNEO. Here is the link: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2004371180_trborneo27.html

Borneo hosts the world’s largest population of wild orangutans, which just so happen to be my favorite animal. These red giant cousins of ours are absolutely amazing creatures. Borneo is the location of Birute Galdikas’s organgutan rehabilitation camp, Camp Leaky, which has been on my Must See Before I Die list since I took an anthropology class when I was 17.

I love the article because it shows that adventurous traveling with children is possible, specifically to “third world countries” such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Upon having had a child, I have felt that many opportunities such as this have escaped me, at least until I my kid(s) are grown. It was interesting to read how they managed with children in such a rustic location. Meadow is so easy-going, I am sure she could travel well under any circumstances. Especially if she was able to see such magnificent creatures like orangs, et al.

Well, the inspiration is still there, and heightened. However, the cost of airfare is shall we say…prohibitive. Especially times three. It is not cheap to fly into Jakarta. So maybe we will be having to wait another 16 odd years to take the plunge of this trip. Or load up a credit card.

Anyway, that’s my plan and this was a neat article. I’ll just have to relegate my orangutan experiences to the Woodland Park Zoo, for now.