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Trip With Acquaintances

Discussion in 'Friends & Neighbours' started by Vedhavalli, May 25, 2021.

  1. Vedhavalli

    Vedhavalli Platinum IL'ite

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    We are planning for a weekend getaway.
    4 hrs drive, stay place in a Airbnb for a night. Traveling in own vehicles.
    Now of these 5 families taking a trip I don't know 1 family never met. 4 are my dh's friends. I'm little hesitant to take a trip with people whom I don't know much. Especially when a pandemic is going on.
    But 3 of them know each other well. Only 2 family don't know each other
    It's a state park, where hiking is needed.
    Before even starting the trip 2 of the ladies saying they won't hike 2-3 miles. They want to see every place in drive by only.

    1 lady in the whatsapp group saying she will bring food only for her family when we discussed on food to pack. (NO allergies no veg/nonveg reservations)
    I was quite shocked.. Usually when we go for trips we pack in big quantities and share among families...
    Then I said we will buy ready made rotis, ready to eat foods, if all can't cook & bring.
    One said she doesn't have time to buy ready to eat or buy snacks.
    So I told we will buy food , order food from restaurants etc. They didn't reply for that.

    One of ladies said she wouldn't do anything in stay place as she is working that weekend., she is top tier working person in her project. (My mind voice if your working why taking a trip)
    I really don't feel good about taking trip with people whom I don't know much. It will be awkward for me & them. But my dh wants to take this trip as he would see his friends after a long time.
    I'm really feeling anxious
    After a 1.5 yrs we are good somewhere out, I want to enjoy the trip rather thinking who will say what. Etc.
    What can I do any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
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  2. Swetha52003

    Swetha52003 Silver IL'ite

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    Vedhavalli, when she said she will bring food only for her family, I don’t think there is anything offensive in it. The chances are she is not sure that other families will be ok with the food she brings and she doesn’t want to think too much about the cooking part
    ( I mean if her food will be tasty enough for other families ) and she may just want to enjoy the trip. Not everyone loves to feed and entertain people by their cooking. That doesn’t make them bad people,right ? Then coming to the lady who will be working during trip, maybe her husband wants the trip and she couldn’t say no, we don’t know that..

    Your post reminds me of the nostalgic childhood trips we used to take :) Lemon rice, tamarind rice,dry khakra like rotis were the staples and I remember my mom and other aunties used to prepare everything in big batches packed in Indian style tier lunch boxes. They just loved to share and feed everyone :) But if you ask me, during these pandemic times, it will be better if each family take care of their own food.

    Just follow the basic safety protocols and don’t forget the hand sanitizer :) Like you said, it will do good to be outside after all these time at home.
     
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  3. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Keep it simple. Keep expectations from others low, really low. Focus on what you and your kids can get from the trip. Your husband is getting to meet his friends.

    Food to pack:
    One of the biggest mistake desi families with young kids make is to make cooking a big part of a trip. It is very stressful to also be cooking, cooling and packing food while doing the other packing and locking house. Discussing who is getting what, planning, and then last minute changes to that plan... all so needless. Instead of being shocked at that lady's "will bring food only for my family", use that as a simple food plan. All take care of their family's food. Any sharing that happens will be incidental.

    You are suggesting food options and then alternates as people state their limitations. You are taking on the job of food organizer and planner. Don't. It is a thankless task. No firm plans will get made. You will fume inside. The ladies will privately not like your efforts.

    Hiking and activities while there:
    "It's a state park, where hiking is needed." No. A 2-3 days visit to a state park can include just half a mile of total hiking or 10 miles each day. Be open to this idea. Don't become the organizer and planner of activities, and the one to announce what time all should be done with breakfast. Focus on your and your kids' hikes. As wi-fi can be spotty, do your research ahead of time. Use alltrails.com or other favorite website or app. Be the informed one in the group. Note down the main things about a few trails -- how much shade, does it include stream crossing, well-marked or not, does parking fill up soon, alternate parking, unmarked trailheads, elevation gain. Present the choices. The group will end up divided into people going on trail 1, trail 2 and some staying at the airbnb.

    Repeat: Do not become the main planner or organizer of any part of the trip. Especially in a group of acquaintances.

    "One of ladies said she wouldn't do anything in stay place as she is working that weekend., she is top tier working person in her project. (My mind voice if your working why taking a trip)"
    Don't go with such a frame of mind. Her working or not can be made immaterial to you. There can be a million reasons why she is taking the trip in spite of working the weekend.

    Cruise ship mode of trip together
    It will be a long time before we again take a cruise : ) but two cruise trips we did with friends were the best. We were smart enough to take rooms not too close to each other. Met for dinner often, did some day trips together but each family free to plan their day as they like. We are now planning some such trips for 2022/2023 with friends. Meet in a place new to all of us. Stay in a resort. Some activities together. The rest on our own.

    The separate cars you guys are planning is a huge advantage.

    One last thing: in these airbnb kind of places, the rooms are not similar to each other like in a hotel. The first one or two families to arrive will pick the best rooms. When the others arrive, they will have a nice reason ready for why they took the best room. And, often, their kids would have jumped on the beds in all the other rooms as the family was trying to decide which room they will take. : ) And, not all bathrooms in the airbnb are equal.

    "Then I said we will buy ready made rotis, ready to eat foods, if all can't cook & bring."
    If I read this in a whatsapp chat, I would be really ticked off. I can't pinpoint why. Something about the default being "let's cook and take food, let's take masalas and supplies to cook there" puts me off.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
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  4. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    Keep it simple.
    You don’t know these people very well and they don’t know you. Mix in kids and you have all kinds of food preferences and restrictions to deal with.
    The days of our childhood in India when all the ladies brought rice variety, roti, papads, potato curry and pickles and served everyone out of steel tiffin carriers are long gone. As kids we were expected to eat what was served. Most kids today are much more clear about their food preferences. Best to keep it separate if people don’t want to combine.
    Since this is supposed to be a relaxing weekend don’t add on cooking duties. You can take heat-and-eat type of foods and buy whatever else you need at your destination.
    With so many families you will end up splitting into smaller groups anyway for activities. So those who want to hike can do so, those who want to drive can also do what they like. Unlike a package tour you will all have your own vehicles so you have your independence. In the worst case you can have a good time just with your own family. If you don’t gel with the others than you don’t have to repeat this. Go with an open mind.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
  5. Vedhavalli

    Vedhavalli Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks for suggestions. I will keep a clear mind.
    Why I'm emphasizing on food, it's a remote place near by town is 3 hrs drive.
    If I say I'm bringing my food all these would have jumped to sky & ground.
    I asked in a general tone, we can't cook after a long day + ready to eat foods would be nice.
    Then late at night if I'm the only one to cook, each family would join. Honestly I don't have energy to cook for 5 families or drive 2 hrs then order wait for food. Drive back it's waste of time. It can ruin the next day's plan..
    It wouldn't be nice one kid is eating tepla other kid waiting for food.
    My point is ready to eat food would be better than drive 2 hrs up & down for one meal.
    About the lady it's upto to her, to work in remote woods.
    I'm thinking I will pack for my family.
    Desi people will later say so&so didn't share, she fed only her kid, they left us and went to see places etc. We came as a group now that family went. Didn't wait for us. Etc
    I have experienced all these so thought better to ask.
    Big thank you for reminding not to be organizer planner. People in group would have different plans. I better stick to mine!
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
  6. Vedhavalli

    Vedhavalli Platinum IL'ite

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    Thanks, it's a remote place with no restaurant or shops around 60 miles.
    We chose this place as it's remote & great hiking place.
    If only person brings home made or ready to eat , won't it be odd to eat in front of other kids?
    My simple point was 2 days we can't drive back & forth for every meal. Wasting time in drive search for restaurants then order wait and drive back. It doesn't make sense.
    If only one person cooks & feeds her family alone it would be very awkward for entire group. In order to avoid such situations I offered to ask.
    I should concentrate on me & family. Your right about others perception.
     
  7. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    Bring food, heat and eat in your room if it feels awkward to sit at the table. If everyone is eating at the same time then you can join in.
     
  8. Swetha52003

    Swetha52003 Silver IL'ite

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    You already asked them about all the options. One clearly told she will take care of her family’s food. One told she doesn’t have time to buy ready to eat food and snacks. You even told them about ordering foods..They didn’t give a clear reply. You are clearly taking an effort here. So what can you do here other than assuming they may have their own plans for food ? Yes, it would be odd if one kid is eating in front of other kids... but let’s hope it won’t come to that and they have a plan.
     
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  9. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    V, you really should take it a little easy. I know you are trying to anticipate obvious problems and prepare ahead.. but, in vacations and other joint ventures, this never works out. They also know it's remote place. And, give them some credit... don't assume they will jump up an down if you say you are bringing your food.

    I used to think like this. No time should be "wasted" : ) There should be full use of the nature, the hikes and the experience. Turned out I was wrong. A lot of laughter and conversation happens in the long lunch lines, long weekend traffic slowdowns. Above all, it is a great opportunity for our kids to see how we operate in a group of people who possess varying degrees of plan ahead. Kids observe how the parents are finalizing the choices of the huge groups, how they are talking with the restaurant people, how to put down one's name in the queue, what to do if the place is a cash-only place : )

    Don't think in such fixed "this is better than that" terms. Only one or two of the men can go to pick up the food, for example.

    "remote woods", "up to her"? Honestly, if that is how you feel about her working, it will show up in your body language and facial expressions.

    Don't.

    Don't anticipate all the negative that can happen. Have you gone on many vacations with non-desis to know that desi people only comment like above? Take it easy. Thick skin. Big smile. Go with the flow. Just breathe in the fresh air. Redwoods? It is simply beautiful out there. Behold the fresh green creepers and new leaves growing out of the gnarled trunks of trees hundreds of years old.

    Nobody will starve. Food will appear in due course. If you want all the daylight hours to be utilized to their fullest potential with no time "wasted", go just your family or one more similar minded family. In big groups like this, expect that there will be time "wasted." All said and done, kids will enjoy themselves. Which is often the main point of these trips.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
  10. Thyagarajan

    Thyagarajan IL Hall of Fame

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    A youthful group similar to the one described in the post by @Vedhavalli ready to leave in their respective cars/vans.

    My SIL and her DH, seen carrying two large cane baskets to the dicky. From the way they were carrying, it looked it must be heaviest and sure to contain something great and special.

    Rest of the couples were looking at them and their baskets in awe and were thinking that they are the large hearted and generous.

    We all reached the spot, trekked and turned effete, eager to eat.
    It is food for all & all food for each. No restrictions.

    All were agog to know what was in SIL ‘s basket and were eager as to when she would open that large bamboo baskets and display the eats. All except SIL unpacked their foods arranged display in a large ellipse so that everyone can have the items as in a buffet.

    WHEN SIL was enquired when she would display the food she brought in basket , she said it will be served in person.

    Finally SIL & her DH went around with the basket and served everyone fried pappad.






    .
     
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