I have two sisters, both younger than myself. One is turning 40 this year and the other is turning 30. Given these momentous birthdays, I suggested to my mother that we take my two sisters on a getaway trip to celebrate. This was a big step because we have traveled together in the past and it has always been very rocky, resulting in severed relationships and hurt feelings. Knowing our difficulties, my 40 yo sister suggested we take a cruise so that some of the things which cause friction in our travels would be reduced and perhaps this trip would go better than previous ones. We liked that idea but then learned that a cruise would be cost prohibitive. I offered to have them come visit me at a vacation rental this summer (as they have done in the past) but they said no thanks.
My mom and I then came up with the idea of a long weekend at a spa that is in state. We could all arrive on our own, but then take advantage of the amazing services and classes they offer throughout the weekend. We were very excited about this idea, as it seemed the classes would offer lots of introspection and self learning at these momentous turning points in their lives. Well, my 40 yo sister is disappointed that we are not taking her on a cruise. I saw my 30 yo sister today and she said, "I guess it's fine. I mean, it's not my first choice but I won't sulk or complain while we are there." When I explained I thought the classes could offer growth opportunities she said she is fine where she is and grows in other ways that don't involve classroom lectures.
While I recognize that we should get the birthday girls something they want, I don't think I can accommodate their ultimate wishes. I am beginning to think we are still not meant to travel as a group and I'm wondering if it would be awful if I withdraw the plan of a trip and just get them a nice (much less expensive) gift instead. Or should my mom and I come up with plan number 4 to suit their wishes?