The Fun and Chaos of Planning Last Minute Adventures

I was taking a look at my morning calendar while sipping on the first coffee of the day when a thought in the back of my mind began to spark. Something about the date was telling me it was significant or that I’d forgotten something important that wasn’t there. Luckily, as the coffee kicked in, that spark lit into a memory.

Savannah travel brochures

Last fall, we had talked about possibly checking out a special exhibition being held at the Jepson Center for the Arts in Savannah, Georgia. It featured the works of Claude Monet as well as several other Impressionists. This is not the sort of art that is easily found around where we live. But hadn’t we discussed that the exhibit would end sometime in February? A few clicks later and, you guessed it, I learned that the exhibit was closing in four days.

Savannah is only about three hours’ drive from where we live so distance wasn’t a significant problem. But could we really pull off a quick trip to Savannah on such short notice? We needed a plan, and quickly!

Step #1: Check the family calendars

With it being Thursday morning, and the exhibit closing on Sunday, a weekend trip was the natural solution. Being self-employed, and with our daughter being homeschooled, we were technically able to leave as early as Friday but that seemed unnecessary. It could have been done but we had a bit of time to work with. Better to plan and succeed than rush and fail. Seeing no conflicts other than needing to reschedule a planned sleepover with Nana for our daughter, we knew the weekend would work.

Step #2: What’s this crazy idea going to cost?

Eventually, most things come down to time and money. We had the time. Now to make sure the adventure made at least some financial sense. (No pun intended)

The major unknown expense would be the accommodations of course. Nancy started working her system finding us a hotel in Savannah on Saturday night. Turns out, to no one’s surprise, Saturday night reservations come at a premium. But, lo and behold, if we flexed to a Sunday night stay, the room at our first choice came down over $100! The family calendar said that Sunday would work, the last day of the exhibit, so we booked it. Success!

Chippewa Square Savannah

Step #3: Checking the details

We now had a rough sketch. We would drive to Savannah on Sunday morning, see the Monet exhibit Sunday afternoon, and then travel home on Monday. It was time to fill in the details. What were the actual hours of the museum? Was there convenient dining available in the area that would work for everyone in the family? What were we going to do on Monday morning before setting off for home?

Then the wrinkle presented itself.

I had thought to pull up the event calendar at the museum hosting the Monet exhibit. There was an event on the schedule called Super Museum Sunday. That sounded interesting at first. Free admission to several museums around Georgia was essentially the program. Great! Then I came to this part of the description: “Due to the anticipated volume of visitors and limited capacity in our gallery, all guests may not be able to view our French Impressionism exhibition Monet to Matisse at the Jepson Center. If you want to see this exhibition, we strongly advise visiting on a different day.”

Any time a museum tells you not to visit – take them seriously! We had a problem. It either had to be a Friday or Saturday visit and we already had a Sunday reservation.

Nancy quickly called the first hotel and spoke with, well, whoever answered the phone. They were very helpful and were willing to cancel our recently made reservation without issue. I was somewhat surprised there was no effort at customer retention when Nancy told them we needed a Saturday night instead of a Sunday night but at least we were not charged a cancellation fee.

Luckily our second choice hotel was available for Saturday night, at basically the same rate as our first choice wanted for Sunday, so at least financially we were fine. A bit disappointing because the replacement hotel was a chain and didn’t have as much historic character but at least we were back on track. We could save the character for the next trip. This one was for the art!

A few more clicks later and we also had tickets to the museum secured. We were definitely going to Savannah for the weekend! Check back soon to see how the trip went!

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