If you are a regular reader of the blog, you already know that Myfanwe is a legal aid attorney who represents only HIV+ persons who are also very, very poor. It is a thankless job, but Myfanwe and her staff are tireless and they make a difference in the lives of their clients.
Myfanwe has been asked to present at a national conference of HIV/AIDS legal advocates in March in Baltimore, MD. Normally this would elicit a big "Whoo Hoo!" from me, but it instead presents us with difficult decisions.
Let me start at the beginning. Myfanwe is a legal aid attorney. I am a paralegal. Neither of us makes a kabillion dollars. So we budget. Everything. When Norbert was born, we opened a mutual fund account as a savings mechanism for vacations. Every month $100 is deposited into the account automatically. That way, every other year we have money saved for a decent vacation...and the off years we spend our summer family vacation at a friend's house in Michigan.
Myfanwe's office -- thanks to Congress and the buttf*&^ing President -- is having to make some difficult financial decisions, seeing as how said Congress only gave them a half a percent budget increase...after years of zero percent budget increases. So all of the secretaries are being layed off. And the travel line item has been zeroed out for the year.
So -- this is nice vacation year. We had talked about going to Montreal or Toronto. (I would LOVE to make the Harlot Pilgrimage...you know...go to Lettuce Knits, the pubs she mentions, ride the streetcar, view the incredible fleece-thieving squirrels in their native environment, etc.) And Montreal would be like taking Norbert to France without having to sell him once we got there due to the weak dollar.
So the difficult decision was Montreal or Toronto. But, given the office budget, we have decided Myfanwe should go to Baltimore in March on our dime. So the difficult decision now is, do Norbert and I go with her, spend a few days, and count that as our vacation for the year, or do we hold out, save hard, and try to do Toronto in August?
4 days in Baltimore in March or a week in Toronto in August. Does anyone have any opinions?