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Monday, May 09, 2005

Cincinnati Waits for You

I had an interesting lunch today with a drug rep who recounted his recent trip to Italy, including Rome and Florence. My partner countered with his golf trip to Scotland. And me?

I'm planning my upcoming road trip to Queens. Usually we drive down I-80 through Cleveland and Youngstown. But to spice things up this year we're considering a detour through Indianapolis and Cincinnati.

To tell you the truth, I found this whole conversation to be very depressing. I would love to go to Europe. Or Hawaii. Or South America. Or anyplace that doesn't have a K-Mart and a Piggly-Wiggly every few blocks.

I'm just looking at my reality and I don't see it happening any time soon. Between tuition, kashrut, and the expense of travelling with a family of eight, there doesn't seem to be any solution in sight. For a few weeks I entertained the thought of taking the family to Israel this year. To the extent that I actually renewed my passport. That was before the high school sent me a bill for $15,000 for each of my boys for next year. And before Yeshiva University informed me that tuition and room and board will be $34,000 for next year, and by the way, don't expect financial aid for children of physicians, regardless of where they fall on the income scale.

Of course, my wife and I considered just traveling somewhere alone. But although most of my kids are pretty good, the PT is really not ready to be left somewhere. And besides, I'd really like to be able to show them something nice for a change, not just the neverending concrete jungle that passes for Middle America. Although some of the mystique is lost when you have to travel the world with a backpack full of tuna and salami sandwiches.

Is it too early for my midlife crisis?

1 comment:

PsychoToddler said...

I feel sorry for you big time. At the same time, this is one more argument for aliyah. At least Europe is closer, and tuition is significantly less (if not free). At the same time, medicine is socialized there so doctors don't get paid as much. But still...
Gregory Titievsky | 05.09.05 - 7:00 pm | #

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You're a good father for wanting to show them a place far off. They probably don't want to go as much as you'd want to take them there. Wait for the wee one to get older then you and the Mrs. go to Israel or Hawaii. Personally I don't think it's a big deal going to another country. Too scary to travel these days.
Wickwire | Homepage | 05.09.05 - 7:10 pm | #

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My heart goes out to you a big dilemma indeed.
Shloimy | Homepage | 05.09.05 - 7:42 pm | #

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Maybe you could get away with what I used to do with my children when they were younger: I took home armloads of travel brochures from travel agents and we lived vicariously through the pictures.
I sympathize with you regarding no real holidays (we might finally be taking our first family holiday, nevertheless a road trip this summer; forget real holidays for hubby and me), regarding tuition (we just got our tuition contract -- even the preschooler's full-day is over $9000/year, just a few hundred less than my kids in primary grades. Twenty-seven thousand plus dollars, PLUS ALL THE SCHOOL EXTRAS times 3 kids -- no doctors in this family.)
Maybe you and wife and psychotoddler can take a threesome holiday one of these days...it's a wee bit closer to that getaway you'd hope for for just you and mrs. psychotoddler.
Pearl | Homepage | 05.09.05 - 8:32 pm | #

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I feel your pain in a very real way. Add to your woes the expense of living in LA (but subract two of the kids) and you have our budget exactly. My oldest is 9 so I don't have the college bills yet, but how much worse than private school can that be?

If a cross country trip is every realistic for y'all, we can help by feeding all of you at our place!

Oh, well. We're rich in the things that count....
Doctor Bean | Homepage | 05.10.05 - 12:07 am | #

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That is rough, PT. We all need a real vacation now and then.

Also, I went to school in Indy and have been to Cinci many times and I will tell you, Cleveland blows them both away. I would rethink the detour.
Stacey | Homepage | 05.10.05 - 12:29 am | #

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PT,

Avoid Cleveland, it will only drag you down. I certainly understand your dilemma. I may not have as many children, but I have the school tuition issue in a big way and it is a tough situation.

I don't have a great solution for you, but there have got to be places in the states that are interesting and exciting that offer places that meet your Kashrut needs. It may cost a couple of bucks to do it that way, but it does offer some variety.
Jack | Homepage | 05.10.05 - 1:48 am | #

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We try to make it into a "road trip" and not a "long drive". First time we did it, it was just me and the big kids and we took the triple A guide books and looked for interesting stuff. Also I didn't plan anything out in advance--no motels. We drove until I was too tired. I had my kids navigate and try to find places in the book for us to stay. It was fun.

I really wish I could take them someplace different. It seems my parents managed a higher standard of living on a much lower budget. At least we went to Mexico, Israel, Florida, when I was a kid. I feel bad that I can't provide those kinds of experiences for my own children.
psychotoddler | Homepage | 05.10.05 - 10:11 am | #

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You can't beat yourself up over things like that. We all do the best we can. It may not always feel good, but in the end your children will understand that you did try and they will appreciate you for it.
Jack | Homepage | 05.10.05 - 11:52 am | #

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It's not just beating myself up. I think that being exposed to new environments, travel, seeing different things, are good for their development. These are things they would remember their whole lives, maybe influence their decisions about various things in the future. And they're missing out. It's not just a nice vacation. It's broadening their horizons, literally.

We try with what we've got. Last year we detoured back from NY through Washington DC and up through Maryland and southern PA. That was cool. We'll try something this year maybe.
psychotoddler | Homepage | 05.10.05 - 12:07 pm | #

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Why don'y you come to Canada? You can Drive up through Michigan, into Ontario, see the sights here, and go to NYC by way of Niagra Falls and the Adirondacks/Catskills? US dollars are worth about 20% more here, kosher food is readily available. Well in Toronto it is, and the supermarket situation anywhere else in Ontario is no worse than in the Midwest. If you had an extra week, I'd tell you to see Montreal, which is really more European in character, and then drive down to NYC by way of Albany. Think about it!
tuesdaywishes | 05.10.05 - 1:47 pm | #

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It's not out of the question. Niagra Falls is more interesting than Cincinnati (what gets into her??).

Do we need a passport yet?
psychotoddler | Homepage | 05.10.05 - 2:01 pm | #

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Niagara is way cooler than Cinci. I think Tuesday has a good idea. But definitely stop by Cleveland on your way back!
Stacey | Homepage | 05.11.05 - 1:51 am | #

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I'm really disappointed that nobody picked up on the Billy Joel reference in the title to this post.
psychotoddler | Homepage | 05.11.05 - 2:13 pm | #

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Yeah, I feel your pain would love to travel to far away places. No $$ to do that. Besides, Z won't fly unless they let her pack heat on her person.
anthony | Homepage | 05.12.05 - 1:42 pm | #

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niagra is a great idea. i lived in cincy for 4 years. bit of a sleepy town for kids.

ya know, whats killin ya is the day school tuition. if they went to public school... they'd end up like me! halavy!
Adam | Homepage | 05.12.05 - 5:53 pm | #

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Jewish education is killing everyone. I've been paying tuition on 6 kids since each was in K4. That's why I drive in a Geo and they sleep 3 to a room.
psychotoddler | Homepage | 05.12.05 - 8:34 pm | #

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Have you considered a camping trip? No "concrete jungle", and cheep cheep cheep.
Becky | Homepage | 05.13.05 - 9:47 am | #

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What, with like, bugs and stuff? Ewwww....
psychotoddler | Homepage | 05.13.05 - 10:12 am | #

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Here's a thought.

Maybe you should stay home and we could go without you. Think about it, you could play playstation all night long with no snacks or bath or music lessons, eat what you want when you want it.

See, Cincinatti is looking better
altered mental status | Homepage | 05.16.05 - 9:12 pm | #

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for a rebuttal blog, see my web site regarding Patton.
altered mental status | Homepage | 05.17.05 - 1:45 pm | #