My holiday is lost. I need a hug.

So, my fiancee and I have been planning a big rock climbing and spelunking trip since the new year. We bought some serious new gear, examined all the places we want to go, I saved up all my holiday time and then some (in lieu of overtime pay I accepted additional vacation days), and I penny-pinched like crazy to afford my share of expenses. Then we settled on a week in September.

Last month, my mom convinced my uncle to visit Canada. This is a Big Deal. The man hasn’t left the U.S. to take a holiday for years and years. Heck, the guy hasn’t taken a vacation in years and years. So that is totally awesome for him.

Problem: He lives in the state where we were headed for our trip. My mom said it would be “wrong” for ust to visit his state when he wouldn’t be there, and he has been very welcoming with open arms and great hospitality (very, very true). So she doesn’t want us to go in September and wants us to be around for his visit

:: insert guilt trip here ::

My holiday time expires in September. If I don’t use it, I lose it. I can’t go next month because we booked a cottage with the rest of my holiday time and I have to give a month’s notice if I plan on taking more than one week off back-to-back (otherwise, I’d just extend our one holiday, so I at least wouldn’t lose the time).

:: sigh :: :frowning:

I’m going to use my vacation week to finish painting my fiancee’s house.

There has got to be something you can do. Can you talk to your office, or your mom, or your uncle? If your uncle really loves you I’m sure he wouldn’t want you to give up a much looked-for holiday.

All the same, here’s a hug and I am sorry to hear it.

Agreed. Surely your HR depertment and/or your uncle is not so inflexible that there can’t be some way around this.

I’m going to speak to HR. I’m sure they’ll be flexible, however, I can’t say the same about the seasons. One month can make a huge difference when you’re dealing with outdoor adventure sports.

I know that the skiing season often opens in October there. If that’s the case, it really wouldn’t be wise to make this trip. A freak out-of-season snowstorm could be deadly in the mountains. Last year the weather yo-yoed quite a bit with snap cold spells and sudden thaws, so a mountain-top village actually had a flood. Yup, the folks at the top of the hill got the flood.

Anaamika my uncle would undoubtedly change his plans. In fact, he’d probably cancel them altogether because he always puts everyone else’s needs before his own. That’s one of the reasons he never travels. He surely didn’t know the dates of our plans or else he would have thought about a different timeline. But I really don’t want to dissuade him, even a little, or he’ll never make a trip. It’s great to see him actually venturing out.

Personally, I think my mom’s idea that we can’t go to that state while he isn’t there is silly. I can uderstand how she’d want us to be around to take him to see some great Canadian sights, but saying “Well, you can’t be at that part of the planet when you can’t visit your uncle!” is a bit much.

Ok, you need to post in more detail. I am confused.

Is he coming the exact time you are planning your trip? If not, why can’t you have your trip and set aside some time to see him?

Your mom, I’m sorry to say, sounds like a complete nutjob and that kind of comment would make me doubly want to go to that state. But then I hate people clamping down on me unreasonably…my mom used to say this kind of stuff to me.

This is the part I don’t get. Is he coming that exact week, or not?

Huh. Yeah, I see the difference between September and October. I like beach vacations, and October is definitely not good for those.

You said your vacation is a week. I’m guessing you uncle won’t be staying much longer than that. Can you postpone or advance your trip by a week, or even a few days?

I have no idea what his plans are. He’s retired and can stay much longer. But it’s hard to book our flights when all the talk of his plans are: “Oh, sometime in September.”

My mother is the one making the most fuss. If he’s coming around labor day and we go the last week of September, I can’t see how that would be a problem. We know when we want to go: the last week of September. We know nothing about when my uncle wishes to travel.

In other words, my mother is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Anaamika: Part of what is confusing for you is that you don’t understand how even a small trip can be a Huge Big Deal to my mother. When I was a kid, the trip from Grand Rapids to Detroit, only a two-and-a-half hour drive was considered a Big Family Trip, so we would have to plan hotel accommodations, make sure we had enough luggage and clean clothes, and they’d have to take time off work etc. Meanwhile, all my friends’ families were taking day trips to the Detroit Zoo like it was no big deal.

Because my uncle lives in a southern state and we only get to visit every couple of years or so, the fact that we would even consider going down south when he isn’t there is some kind of crime or something.

Normally my mother is quite sane. But Travel (capital ‘T’) somehow activates her latent crazy gene.

Why not talk to your uncle? If he doesn’t mind, then you’re good to go, and can tell your mother point-blank, “He doesn’t mind, so shut up!” If he does…well, then there’s a problem. But your mother shouldn’t be dictating your vacation plans. If your uncle is the percieved problem, then go straight to him!

Better yet, see if you can nail down his vacation plans so that you can work yours around his. I’m sure if you phrase it “So I can be here when you’re here”, everyone (theoretically) will be happy.

To cancel your week-long vacation because he’s coming “sometime in September” is pretty lame.

So, let me get this straight.

Your mom convinced your uncle to take a trip to Canada, which just happens to coincide with the one week you will be on vacation rock climbing.

Now she’s telling you that you can’t go rock climbing … because you won’t be able to visit your uncle … because he will be out of state on a trip your mom talked him into taking. Just how long has she known about your trip plans? :dubious:

I say, call the uncle. Don’t mention your trip, but tell him you heard about his trip and you want to hear all the details. Make sure you find out if he or Mom decided what the dates of the trip were to be.
Then talk to Mom. Tell her that you won’t (or can’t) cancel this trip - that you’ll lose your vacation (even if HR will let you move the trip), that you’ve already put money into it that you can’t get back (even if that’s not true).

At the very least, your Mom is not being fair to you. As much time, effort and money as you’ve put into this trip, your Mom should be supportive of your mature approach in this, not trying to lay guilt trips on you.

There isn’t any rule in the rule books that says you always have to visit any relative living in a state you are travelling to. It might have been nice for you to visit your uncle on your trip, but since circumstances are making that option unavailable, no one will fault you for not changing your plans.

I’ll have to wait a little while and see what his plans are. If I call him there is the risk that he’ll just cancel his trip. Not at all maliciously or anything mind you, but he’s just not much of a traveler and he’d really want to be here if we’re in the area.

I also have to be very careful playing family politics game. Everyone is very easy-going, but this is pretty much the one thing that gets my mother going. If I’m not careful, my mom will be aghast by how “selfish” I am.

:: sigh :: I think I hate family politics even more than workplace politics.

Actually, I should look into going even further south. Maybe there are some good spots in the southern end of Texas or NM that’ll be workable for October.

There’s hope! :smiley:

I missed this when I wrote my previous reply. If your Mom gets weirded out by any sort of travel, don’t even THINK about changing your travel plans. Otherwise, you will be doomed forever to have something “come up” every time you want to go somewhere on vacation.

Allow me to set you straight. The OP is going on a specific week in September. The uncle is coming sometime in September. That means that all of September is right out for travel.

There’s just so much wrong with that that I don’t know where to begin.

Actually, as long as she isn’t involved, it’s usually okay to make plans. But because her brother is coming, it has become a “family thing”, that means she is now involved and the crazy gene is at full flux.

This isn’t the first time this has happened. She gets weird whenever you make plans that she thinks should include a quick stop to see relatives, because it would be hurtful not to see them when we get so few opportunities. She has a valid point. It would be bad form if we were in town and made no effort to keep in touch. However, she treats it as a scandal if we drive to Maine and didn’t make a quick stop to see family in Boston, since we’re “in the area”. :rolleyes:

Doing some quick Google searches, I think it will be possible to change our plans to a different state. It will be a mad scramble, but we might be able to find something else that’s similar for dates a couple weeks later. That way we can still do what we wanted to do, just in a different place and a little bit later in the year.

Jeebus! The equivalent activities a re a helluva lot more expensive in Texas!

You’re far nicer than I would be. I may catch hell for this, or be labeled selfish and not understanding the situation, but in your shoes, I’d be off where I had planned to be in September.

This is stupid. Your mom is getting everything she wants and you are enabling her.

There is no way I would cancel my much-awaited vacation. And you say your uncle is really nice but he doesn’t seem nice to me. That sounds like such a guilt trip - be there the whole time or I won’t come.

I think you’re misinterpreting him. In fact, AFAWK, he doesn’t even know about the OP’s trip. If he did, he’d cancel so he could spend time with the OP. In fact, he sounds a little too nice.

No you’ve pretty much got it right on target. It completely defies common sense to cancel a trip planned for months for a “maybe”.

If it was one of the more ass-hatty relatives, I’d pack up and go as planned, but this particular uncle is quite the saintly guy. With no kids of his own he helps put all the other kids through college (my sister and me included), he took care of my ailing granny 24-7 for 6 years, so she wouldn’t have to go to a home. He is all around the kindest man I’ve ever met, and he is owed a great debt of kindness, gratitude and good grace. That is not at all in dispute.

The fact that he’s actually thinking about ttraveling is definitely a big deal. It’s like a little kid who is afraid of heights getting all the way up to the top of the high diving platform. The slightest negative vibe and he’ll turn around and climb back down rather than jump in the water.

I understand this. I would be a total dickhead if I just now started planning a trip to leave.

But from the get-go, if my mom had said to him “Oh, you’d like to come to Canada? Oh you must come [before plans] or [after plans], that way Cellphone will be around!” But no, no… So shocked was she that he would actually express an interest in travel, that in her desperation to see that he actually follows through, she just said “We’ll all be so glad to have you come to see us!” and if I have to change my plans and my sister has to change hers, the so be it. :mad:

He’s a reasonable guy. If he’d known we already had plans, he’d probably have volunteered to come in October to see the leaves change color. But if we mention our plans now (since my mom already told him everyone would be here), it’s just going to look like we want to take advantage of his empty house for a place to stay.

Stop. Just stop.

Unless your mother is paying for your vacation, she doesn’t get a vote. You made plans for September, you’ve made arrangements at work and have saved money. It’s too bad your uncle will miss visiting you, but that’s the breaks.

Honestly, why are you thinking you have to bow to your mom’s wishes? What if you were taking a cruise? Would she reimburse you for cancelling your trip?

Go climb some rocks and take pictures of bats with a clear conscience. My BIL missed my son’s graduation because of a business trip. Was I upset? A bit. Did I make a big stink about it? No, because I realized that people have lives and their lives do not revolve around me.

Seems like your mom needs to learn that lesson.

I’d like to add, I’d hate for you to cancel your trip and then have your skittish uncle cancel his plans at the last minute.

I agree…there are no firm plans when he’s going to visit. Go on your trip.

Here’s a crazy idea – If you think your company would be understanding enough to let your vaca time extend into October, would they possibly be flexible enough to work around that pesky one month rule? So you could take two weeks in August?