Hello my travel bugs! So sorry for my absence, but I have been off traveling! Surely that is a legitimate excuse.
I promise blog posts are in the works about my time spent at Disney World this past weekend, but I'll ask for a bit of patience on that front as I rant now about... just that, patience. And flexibility. These are two traits rather foreign to me, but traits I am currently exercising in light of Hurricane Irene and the havoc she is reeking upon the East Coast and my travel plans.
This weekend I am scheduled to travel to New York City to attend the US Open, which kicks off on Monday. I have dinner plans with some college friends Saturday night, tickets to see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring the one and only Daniel Radcliffe on Sunday, and of course, day and evening session passes for the US Open all day Monday. Irene, however, has other plans. She is crashing into the entire East Coast from... that's right, Saturday to Monday. It could NOT be worse timing. Everything is shutting down, including NY mass transit, Amtrak, and potentially even the US Open considering it takes place entirely outdoors.
You'd think I'd be pretty flexible when it comes to weather given that I was born and raised in New England, and we're very familiar with crazy weather, but I think that's backfiring now, and I'm left jaded and annoyed. I'm sick and tired of weather ruining my plans. If I had a nickel for every show, concert, birthday party, sporting event, or general merriment I've missed in my life due to snow, floods, hurricanes, or what have you, I'd be a very wealthy person.
So no, I am not willing to just brush off Hurricane Irene. I have waited for this weekend for too long to have some swirling weather system of doom ruin it for me. I mean, really, couldn't she have just hooked a right and gone out to sea? Or take a sharp left, slam into the Carolinas and then fizz out over land (sorry Carolinas, someone has to take one for the team). There is a great chance my all-time favorite tennis player, Rafael Nadal, will be playing on Monday, and I do not want to miss the opportunity to see him. "There's always next year," you say... but I am not a patient person.
Therefore, I'm working to perfect the art of playing it by ear and making every effort to get to NYC this weekend for the Open. I've already changed my train reservation from Sunday to Saturday to try to beat the storm to NYC, but now I'm prepared to cancel it all together and drive to New York myself Monday morning should it come to that. Call me crazy, but I will get up at 3am and drive the 5 hours to the city to see some good tennis (obsessed? perhaps). I pray it doesn't come to that, but weather is almost impossible to predict and right now everything is hanging in the balance. I have books, a flashlight, and snacks packed in my suitcase should I risk the odds and head to NYC tomorrow, where I could potentially be stranded in a hotel room without power. I've checked all the "inclement weather" policies for Broadway and the US Open, and I'm ready to reschedule or forfeit tickets.
What would really annoy me is if we took all these precautions and Irene ending up fading to nothing more than slightly heavy rain. I don't want to cancel everything just to have Monday dawn bright and sunny, and I'm at home watching the Open on TV. And trust me, this has happened before. I appreciate being overly cautious to avoid potential damage and loss of life, but I can't help but be cynical too. I've watched the Northeast freak out over weather quite a bit just to have hurricanes turn to heavy fog and blizzards turn to flurries.
I guess playing it by ear is all we can do in situations like these, though. Travel, as with life, is all about being patient and flexible and making the best decisions we can with what we have to work with. I hope Hurricane Irene isn't causing you too much trouble this weekend, and if it is, stay safe and dry. Also, do you think we could get a billion or so of our closest friends together and blow this beast out to sea? No? Well, it was worth a shot.