I situated myself in the premium white leather chair, lowered the rollercoaster-like safety harness over my torso, and carefully weighed options on the console in front of me.

> Evening . . . . . . . . 20/person
> Overnight . . . . . . . 100/person
> Weekend . . . . . . . . 250/person
> Week (BEST VALUE!)  . . 5000/family (Limit: 5)

I looked over my right shoulder to see my wife and kids’ anxious faces gleaming back at me, ready with the nervous energy of a thousand suns to embark on our well-earned vacation. It’s been awhile. Some rough, lean years working like hell but through sacrifices and extreme budgeting we had finally saved up enough.

I hesitated to tap the screen. A nervous laugh. A moment of internal calculus. Maybe a handful of evenings would be enough. Would it have the same effect? A couple weekends would surely be enough to reset. More economical. And then we’d have a little left over, just in case.

I sensed my wife’s mind-reading. I sensed her fear I would succumb to my inner self-doubt. She has been working the hardest for this. Sacrificing to create these memories. I needed to shake those miser habits we’ve formed out of years of austerity, what has become my identity.

“Oh, alright. Here we go,” I groaned and grimaced as I tapped the screen.

“You selected One Week” chimed the female voice of the console. Our chairs tilted slightly back, I felt the credits debit from my account, we were off. Finally.

The hiss of the pneumatic syringes, the sting on the spinal column, the cool and heavy breeze of the sedatives, the warm cocktail of endorphins and dopamine to stimulate our deepest dreams and desires, the chairs and harnesses catching our weight as we drifted away from consciousness. The lights in the room slowly dimmed. We would be back in a week.