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Friday, June 17, 2011

Sibling Road Trip: Jacksonville, Fl

Next week my siblings and I will be taking a road trip to Jacksonville. It will be our first time traveling to the area. My dad's cousin planned a huge family gathering dubbed "Love Fest" for three days next weekend. He's been planning it for a year and is super excited about it.

We are excited about this event because we will be meeting some family members for the very first time. The last time I saw family members from my dad's side of the family was when my grandmother passed away. I was 17 years old and that day was a blur. So many people (and many tears) so I don't really remember much about that day except for one cousin who was light skinned with freckles. She was beautiful! 

Thanks to Facebook, we've re-connected with some of those family members a few months ago. I look forward to meeting them all in person next week. 

Planning for this trip has been stressful. First and always, there the issue of budget. On top of that, my brother has a funky work schedule and for a while was unsure if he was going to go. Then there was figuring out the logisitics of how to get there. On top of that I'm leaving for Jamaica straight from Florida and I had concerns about my siblings driving back alone if my brother couldn't join on the road trip. 

Yes, the next eldest sibling after my brother and I is 21 years old but even still, I wouldn't put her on an 11 hour road trip alone. She's just a kid! (Don't let her find out I said that.) 

After weeks of planning, text messages, a few phone conferences, we finally got it all figured out. For the most part) 

Rental Car: SUV via Alamo - $245
Hotel: Wyndham Wingate $133.20 
Gas: $217 one way *
* Gas was estimated using AAA trip calculator. I plugged in a 2010 Jeep as our vehicle just to get an idea of the cost. 

Daddy Jonez is footing the rental bill. The siblings with JOBS will be handling the hotel & gas.

The awesome thing about the Love Fest is that we don't have to pay for a thing. My dad's cousin is footing the entire bill for everyone. All he wanted us to do was get there! What a generous gift!

Any extra money that is spent out of our pockets will probably be allocated to nightlife excursions with the family and liquor. 

Several major factors will shake up the budget: 
1) I'm going to Jamaica immediately after. Therefore I will not be assisting with the gas cost on the return drive home. 
2) Brother may opt to fly back to NY instead of joining the girls back on the road Sunday to ensure he's home in time for work on Monday

I feel some type of way about my sisters driving back alone. Especially Jill, the speed demon. But then I remember there is a beach and a bottle of Appleton Rum waiting on me and those worries start to fade.  

We'll see how it all goes down! 

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