So my mother calls yesterday. The woman is not known for spontaneity in large measures — though she will spontaneously hop in the car and drive a hundred miles to see a potential rare antique, for example; or will take an eighty mile side trip just to see the spot where some interesting historical person once laid his weary head. She’s very good at that kind of spontaneity. But large, spontaneous gestures like hopping on a plane to Europe in less than a week?

Color me gobsmacked. And envious. See, Mom read yesterday’s blog post about my crazy week, and my upcoming crazy weeks, and then picked up the phone and said, “Well, I guess you can’t go, but I thought I’d ask anyway. M (her friend) and I are thinking of going to Paris next week.”

What?! Paris? Next week? Seriously?

Yeah, seriously. They found cheap flights, they found an inexpensive hotel, they think they’ll rent a car for some day tripping, and they’ve plotted out a week. I’m still in shock. My mother, adventurous though she is, does not drop everything and go to Paris in a week. But am I happy about it? Oh yeah. A little over a year ago, this was the woman who worked at a job that was strangling the life and health from her. When she decided to retire (another spontaneous event, actually), it was the best thing she ever did for herself.

And now she’s planning short-notice trips to Paris. I like it. I’m shocked, but I like it. Wish I could go, but I have two problems. One, deadline. Two, I’ve had “Renew Passport” on my To Do list for months. As soon as I got off the phone with her, I went to the State Dept website and filled out the form. Now it’s printed, my old passport is sitting here with it, and all I need are two photos and a check for $75. I’m not getting left out of spontaneous trips to Paris ever again.

Have you ever done a spontaneous trip like this? Just dropped everything and jetted away to somewhere you wanted to go? Or are you a planner, someone who has to book and pay for a trip months (or years) in advance? I admit, when I lived in Europe, it was no big deal to hop in a car and go. I did it quite a lot. But I’ve never bought a plane ticket at the last minute for a big trip off the cuff.