My husband and I marked our 30th wedding anniversary in August, and decided we’d celebrate it in September after the kids were back in school. Where? We weren’t sure. We began thinking about all the places in the U.S. we’ve never been, and, after much deliberation decided upon Key West. We’d start out in Miami, then take a leisurely drive through the Keys, sampling conch and key lime pie all along the way. I busily began planning. Remembering that I had a Southwest Airlines companion pass, meaning my hubby could travel for free anywhere that I flew, I felt like I’d hit the jackpot. Then, I found out that the closest SWA gets to Key West is Ft. Lauderdale, north of Miami and many hours from the Keys. Oh well, the road trip will be fun, I told myself. I booked the flight, my husband rented a convertible and we were set. September 24 (today) was the day we’d take off. For weeks we anticipated the fresh seafood, the sunsets that would rival those we’ve enjoyed on Grand Cayman, and the relaxing days by the pool of our fabulous hotel. All that and the Hemingway Museum? What could be better? Then, last week Hurricane Odile hit Cabo San Lucas and I watched the news reports of desperate tourists trying to get off the island, saying “Be sure to check the weather forecast before you take a trip!” So, on Sunday night, I did. It did not look good. Rain, rain, and more rain was predicted for days before we arrived, throughout our planned vacation, and beyond. I felt a tinge of panic. The next morning, I tuned in to the Today Show, as usual. Al Roker pointed out the thick green blob of moisture hovering over Florida and announced that there was some sort of stationary front causing massive rain throughout the state that would continue all week. I tried to ignore it, but that picture stayed with me all day. When my husband came home later that afternoon, we looked at the forecast together. We even dialed up the Hurricane Center and watched the Atlantic for disturbances. We agreed that things looked bad. So, Monday night I called and cancelled our beautiful hotel suite. He called and cancelled the beautiful Mustang convertible. Then, we looked at each other, dejected.
“You’ve got the time off,” I said, “let’s go somewhere else.” We started planning anew. He offered San Francisco. I reminded him we were there last September. But, I agreed to start there, then travel down Pacific Highway 1, with stops in Carmel and Big Sur. As I began investigating, he said, “Wait! How about further up the coast, like Seattle?” to which I replied, “Yes, and Victoria and the San Juan Islands!” I called my sister and brother-in-law, who had recently vacationed there, and got lots of good tips. Our Pacific coast adventure was in sight. My husband was on our desktop computer in an adjoining room, while I sat at the kitchen table with my laptop. We were each researching and communicating our findings by yelling across the room. “Oh no. The ferries run only sporadically between Seattle and the Islands in September. Better nix that.” ” But, look, there’s a great train trip to Vancouver! Beautiful scenery!” “But, what is there to do when we get there?” I was manically typing when my husband walked into the room. “Let’s just go to New York. It’s so much easier. We’re familiar with the city and there won’t be a lot of planning to do.” Ok! I’ll settle for New York any day. I called the airlines and re-booked our flights. I got a great hotel room. My husband and I each resumed our positions and the frantic typing began again. I recalled hearing recently that Jeff Goldblum (star of Jurassic Park and The Fly) was performing at the Carlyle – “We’ve got to see this man of many talents! And, Carole King’s play, “Beautiful” is still on Broadway, a MUST-SEE!” My husband suddenly realized that now that he’s a member of the Canyon Lake Yacht Club, having docked his sailboat there, perhaps we’d be able to dine at the NY Yacht Club! And he’s always wanted to try a juicy steak at Peter Luger’s in Brooklyn! We suddenly realized it was near midnight and we hadn’t eaten supper. We went to sleep hungry, yet happy with the realization that we’d be in New York City in just a couple of days.
The next morning, my hubby texted from work. “No reciprocity with NYYC. Luger’s is fully booked.” To which I replied, “Goldblum has already left the building, and there are no tickets available for Beautiful.” That evening we tried to make the most of the situation, while watching the last episode of Ken Burns’ “The Roosevelts” on PBS. At the same instant, we looked at each other. Teddy Roosevelt’s summer home was at Sagamore Hill on Long Island! I excitedly reached for my laptop. “CLOSED for renovation,” reported the website. I began madly searching for restaurant reservations. Many hours later, I had a few that looked promising, although most were late at night. “We can nap,” we reassured each other, and called it a day.
Today, I awoke to hear the governor of New York proclaim that the nation should be on high alert due to potential terror threats from ISIS and other radicalized groups. “No place is more vulnerable than New York City,” he said. Great. I cancelled a perfectly good trip due to the threat of thunderstorms. We leave for NYC in the morning. Pray for us!