Listening to how hard it was to deal with all the reservations that had to be canceled for their 2020 group tours because of the pandemic is what made me think of that wrecking ball. The two sisters who own the travel company specialize in escorted senior citizen trips and I’ve always said if I was going to travel abroad I’d go with them. I’ve known one of the ladies nearly 15 years, she’s the director of our senior hall. The other gal is her sister and they both have backgrounds in the travel industry. Everyone I know who has traveled with them gives them high marks and one person has been on five of their group trips. I’d have a nervous breakdown spending that kind of money on travel over 2-3 years. She lives in an area that isn’t safe. But she promised her dying husband that she’d have fun after he was gone---she’d been his long time caregiver like I was to Don---and by God, she’s going to grant him his dying wish. To me, it would would have been more fun to move to a better neighborhood where break-ins, getting mugged and drive-by shootings aren't as common as full moons. Oh, well, we aren’t all cookie cutter made people and I guess that’s a good thing? Widows. We all have different ideas about what to do with life insurance money. I could write a book.
I’ve gone to these
travelogue presentations faithful since the beginning of their enterprise just
because I like learning about new places although I never seriously thought
about going anywhere. But this time hearing about their
Iceland trip---6 days, $4,099---it dawned on me that now with Levi gone I could
take a trip without worrying about his well-being. Growing up we had a dog who
refused to eat while we were on vacation and he died of a broken heart and I thought my mom would too when we got back. That dog was her constant companion and her protector when she had to drive to a sketchy part of town to take my dad back and forth to work. Don and I traveled with our
dog/s, bought a RV that my husband called our rolling dog house just so the “kid”
didn’t have to stay behind. As soon as the thought about Levi's death freeing me up for travel passed through my head I felt guilty for thinking it because I still miss him terribly. Fixing straw berries for shortcake today, for example, I missed seeing him
sit patiently for the berry slices I'd give him and I wondered how my acquaintance from the travel club felt when she was touring the pyramids three months after her husband died, did she feel guilty for enjoying herself? Did she enjoy herself?
Circling back to the travel presentation and the idea of overseas travel this year. No way am I interested when the
pandemic could close them down again. Their Christmas on the Danube River and
the Markets of Prague trip, however, is almost full---8 days, $3,798 w/a roommate.
So I guess others don't share my lack of confidence in the pandemic going away before Christmas. Not to mention that I don’t even like to Christmas shop here and with my luck I’d
get a roommate like Kathy Bates in Misery. In addition to the every other month travelogues they have mixers for those who've signed up for a trip so you can get to know others the going and maybe find a good match for your roommate. With some trips you can upgrade to a single room but not with all of them and upgrades are not cheap.
This year they are also offering two trips within the U.S. which hasn’t
been their norm for travel destinations but the pandemic is changing the way a lot of businesses do what they do. One trip is to San Antonio---4
days, $2,599. Been there done that. Wandering Texas was one of the top two
best trips of my life, but I don’t want to chance ruining those memories by going back again. The other U.S. trip is
to South Dakota---6 days, $2,948. Been there done that, don’t want to go in
August. What’s in South Dakota besides Mount Rushmore, The Badlands and buffalo,
you ask that would take up six days? That’s what I wanted to know. The answer:
an off road jeep Safari, Devils Tower, Crazy Horse Memorial, Deadwood and of
course, the famous Wall Drug Store. I still have my Wall Drug Store sign from
when Don and I was there back in the ‘80s. These two in-country trips are what they're calling Spotlight
Tours. You stay in one hotel the entire time and take day trips from that place. At my age, that kind of trip is appealing, staying in the same bed each night, only unpacking once but I'd rather do it near a large body of water.
These two ladies know I’ll probably never travel with them but they invite everyone to come to these events for the word-of-mouth advertising they hope you’ll help spread and I do my part on that. They used an inheritance they got from their grandmother for the startup money for their company and I’d hate to see the pandemic wreck it for them. They’ve worked hard to get it going this past five years, gave a lot of people great travel memories and gave other people like me hours of entertainment. But I missed their Trader Joe cookies and coffee this time. Masks required, no food or beverages allowed. Damn pandemic! Still, it felt good doing something halfway 'normal' again. ©
NOTE: In the spirit of Truth and Accuracy Mily Cyrus claims Like a Wrecking Ball is not a breakup song. She says the song is about her brother and not the guy she'd recently broken up when she wrote it. The internet rumor mill, however, claims otherwise and right or wrong the song will always be known as Mily's break up song.