This was going to be a great summer with more travel planned than almost any other year I can remember. I had a trip planned at least once a month for the entire summer break. Pandemic travel meant everything was canceled.
I know. I should be happy that we’re all healthy–having avoided the virus. We also still have our jobs and our mortgages/rent are up-to-date. But, somehow, I still miss the travel plans canceled by the pandemic.
In May, I was flying to LA to visit my daughter, Rebecca. She’s an actor and I visit every year to see how things work on the other coast.
For my money, LA has the best weather in the country, with the exception of San Diego. I love the beaches, the food, and the general air of something getting ready to happen embodied by the Hollywood scene — in fact, you can see the Hollywood sign from her apartment.
Every year we plan a girls day for just the two of us. Last year, we went to Catalina Island, which I can’t say enough good things about. We got massages, had some great meals (the restaurants were very accommodating of vegan diets), and hung out on the beach. This year, I’d booked an Airbnb for a long weekend. We’d planned to bike around the city and enjoy the music.
I’ve been to San Diego many times, but always for work. I was looking forward to this trip. As I found out pandemic travel restrictions meant that trip wasn’t happening.
A cruise to remember
In June, I was going on a cruise with my daughter, Sarah, her husband, and 3 children. It was supposed to be the first time out of the country for the kids. We were spending some time in Miami, then traveling to the Bahamas, a private island owned by Royal Caribbean, then back to Miami for a few days.
Sarah loves cruises. I took them on their first cruise when they were still in elementary school. It was the Disney cruise and they loved the characters, the kid’s club, and the Disney Island. I was a newly single mom and the kid’s club gave me a much-needed break from being the sole caretaker of 3 kids for a few days. After we got back from the cruise, we spend 3 days at Universal Studios.
We hadn’t been cruising for some time, so we were excited. Every day when my grandson got up, he asked if that was the day we were leaving for the cruise– every day since October.
Kennywood is the place where my family gets together every summer. When I was a little girl, we visited my grandparents who lived near the park. Since my grandparents never learned to drive, most of our visit was consumed with driving them places they couldn’t get to on the bus. Kennywood was the only fun day of the trip.
My grandmother would make these nasty hamburgers made with onions and fried in something that was a cross between a meatball and a real hamburger. I learned many years later on a trip to Germany that these were traditional. She packed up the burgers and a bunch of other food to be eaten cold at the park since we didn’t waste money on the high prices charged at the park. We always got a picnic table under the Racer rollercoaster and listened to the wheels travel on the wooden track while we ate.
Now that we all have kids of our own, my siblings and I meet at Kennywood every summer. Usually, we have several kids and my grandkids in tow–odd but I’m the only one with grandkids, so far. Check out the happy faces above to see how much the kids like Kennywood.
Well, of course, none of that happened. Instead, we got to enjoy the time spent in isolation to protect ourselves and each other from a potentially deadly virus.
We did manage to get away for a few days, however. My daughter’s family invited me to join them at Topsail Beach in NC. My son-in-law’s family has a condo there and it was empty the week before the 4th of July. So, we headed down for 5 days. The weather was nearly perfect and the beach nicely empty during the week so social distancing was easy.
We did miss restaurants since eating inside still seems a little dangerous to me. But, we had a kitchen and my daughter’s sister-in-law lived nearby. We had dinner with them most evenings and an uncle and his wife even joined us from his home in the Outer Banks. We made the best of pandemic travel for the summer.
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