Saturday, August 5, 2017

Vacation Karma by Alison Henderson

Last month, OG and I took a vacation to San Francisco with our adult daughter--our first family trip in eleven years. Since we're a family of worriers, each of us had our own concerns (I know this because I'm Mom, and they both confide in me.) 

Would the drive and the traffic be too much for OG? Would he tire too easily? Would the extreme heat at the soccer game they were scheduled to attend make him sick? (Since his stroke three years ago, PO&O and I tend to fret about him.)

Would PO&O chafe under a return to the role of "child", or would we all get along as adults? (When she comes home, she usually regresses completely, enjoying having Mom serve her breakfast in bed and do her laundry.)

As is so often the case, our worries were a waste of time. We had five wonderful days together, despite a rocky start. That's where the karma comes in.

PO&O was booked on an early flight from Chicago to San Jose, where we planned to pick her up on our way north. When she arrived at the airport, she discovered the first leg of her flight was already delayed 45 minutes, which would cause her to miss her connection. She quickly found a flight on another airline that was leaving in a few minutes and made it aboard just as they were closing the doors. Whew!

However, she wasn't in the clear, yet. When she arrived in Minneapolis, she was shocked to discover the new airline used a separate terminal, which is connected to the main terminal only by public light rail, forcing all travelers through security a second time. Despite now having an additional 45 minutes in her schedule, she barely made it to the gate on time--all this without any breakfast, or even coffee! 

Travel karma kicked in again. She called me from Starbucks, where she'd managed to grab a cup of coffee, sounding breathless and pitiful. As we talked, I heard her say, "Oh, thank you so much!" A nice Minnesota mom had overheard our conversation and handed her a granola bar, saying, "Here's your breakfast." From then on, it was smooth sailing.

Her good vacation karma intervened again a few days later, when I received a dire email from the hotel in Santa Clara near the soccer stadium advising that due to the anticipated volume of traffic, the Sheriff's Department was planning to close several roads around the stadium and stop all cars in the vicinity of the hotel, only allow those through with proven reservations. They anticipated delays of several hours. Yikes!

I immediately got on the phone and was able to extend our reservations to the night before the game. When PO&O checked her phone, she also discovered that the San Francisco Marathon was scheduled for the morning we'd planned to leave. We'd had no idea. Two bullets dodged! We adjusted our plans and got down to Santa Clara in plenty of time and without incident. OG survived the heat at the game just fine, and PO&O was thrilled to see "her boys" in action.

Having suffered--and conquered--the initial stresses, she took full credit for the rest of our good luck...and I let her. 



Andrea Downing said...

So glad it all worked out for you guys. I love hearing about good coming from bad!

Diane Burton said...

What turmoil but a happy ending. I can understand why you worry about OG.

Leah St. James said...

Oh my gosh, Alison, I can SO relate to your road trip worries with my recent trip up to NJ for Son No. 2's wedding. Hubby is not the most patient of men, and he tends to vent his driving frustrations quite vocally (and sometimes with hand gestures, depending on the volume of traffic). I won't say it went 100 percent smoothly, but we (and the other drivers) escaped unscathed, so I'll count that as a win. So glad your daughter made all her connections and you all had such a wonderful family vacation!

Jannine Gallant said...

Nice to vacation close to home. (At least for you and OG.) And kind of fun to play tourist in your own backyard, so to speak. San Francisco is such a fun city. I'm glad you guys had such a great time!

Alison Henderson said...

Andi, we dodged a few bullets, that's for sure!

Alison Henderson said...

Diane, even though he's doing well, I'll never be quite the same after a health scare like that.

Alison Henderson said...

Leah, OG has always been the same kind of driver as your husband, so I really worried about how he'd do in that heavy freeway traffic. Fortunately, he managed to remain quite mellow, under the circumstances.

Alison Henderson said...

Jannine, we'd been meaning to visit San Francisco ever since we moved here. I'm glad we finally made it!

Brenda Whiteside said...

Sounded like a lot of fun for a trio of worriers. Love San Francisco.

Alicia Dean said...

What a great trip! I'm sure you enjoyed spending time together, and I'm so glad it ended up going smoothly