Over the last few years my friend Amy and I have developed a new, multilayered tradition. It starts on the first day we are back to school (I’m not exaggerating there) when we request our respective personal days--for the same day in December. We each only get one per year, so we try to make it count, and since they (administration) try to limit how many teachers are out every day, we put in our request early so the chance of being not approved is slim to none. We have tried Friday, and a random day in the middle of the week, but the last two or three years we have taken a Monday off together. We think it works out perfectly.
The second part of the tradition entails my getting on Hotwire.com and finding a steal on a Back Bay hotel room for the Sunday night before our personal day. It takes a few looks, but I have hotwire shopping down almost to a science and for the last few years have been able to get us a room at the Sheraton Hotel for around 100 dollars. This year was no different.
Once the room is booked, the next part of our tradition is random, periodic partial planning—usually when one or both of us is having a bad day and needs to look forward to something, or I read a review of a restaurant I want us to try, or we both have a lot of correcting to do so it’s more fun to procrastinate. This year we have Sunday brunch reservations for Lineage, and Monday lunch reservations for Eastern Standard (where Deanna and I had such a great meal this summer).
The last part of the tradition is going to school the Friday before our overnight excursion (today!), writing lessons plans for our substitute teachers and finalizing details—who will bring the Prosecco? The wine? should we bring snacks? what time are we leaving?—knowing that the real tradition is a couple days away: actually going to Boston on Sunday and returning Monday night. We’ll have lots of laughs and good food and fun shopping, but I think the best part always is waking up late on Monday, maybe a little “bleary,” and identifying what period we’d be in the middle of if we were at school with everyone else and not in Boston on our personal day.
And that makes it better than a snow day.