Friday, July 20, 2007

Spur of the Moment Decision

There was the late '60s slogan, "When life gives your lemons, make lemonade." If I internalized it, I'm really not aware of having done so. But ... yesterday came the phone call that said the October trip across Argentina that I had been looking forward to for many months now, has been cancelled. I've paid for it so the only thing to do is choose another trip from the same company that costs approximately the same amount and substitute. Hmm, what to do? The sales lady, of course, offered several trips that are a couple thousand dollars more and offered me a small compensation monetary discount. Suddenly I felt like the kld who thought she was going to get a pony for her birthday but found out, No pony. But you can chose any one of these other boxes ... but only one. But which one? I was mentally set for an October vacation.

I went through the tour company's catalog and semi narrowed the choice to Ladakh or Madagascar. I had considered the Ladakh trip before because I love the Himalayas and have read much about the monasteries in Ladakh, and it included a day or two in Darmsala with a vague possibility of an audience with the Dalai Lama ... very appealling. And Madagascar-- exotic, unlike almost any place on earth. Wonderful flora and fauna -- especially lemurs, those enchanting animals. So I called Rachel and got the whole family and they all voted for Madagascar. Hmm ... okay. Same time period, nearly the same price. I was 90% decided.

So I sat on the subway coming home from work and looked again through the catalog ... I had looked at some East European trips but all I think of is quaint-ish towns, good beer, and residue of Communism. Then a line hit my eye -- nine hikes -- nine hikes in the forests and mountains of Eastern Europe, nine days in bucollic settings ... in the middle of August when it's likely to be hot and humid in NYC. Nine day beneath old growth trees instead of on heat collecting cement sidewalks. Really excellent beer to refresh a thirst, and paprika flavored food. Also a couple days in Prague, which is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, which I've never seen. Hmm.. But it's only three weeks away. Probably sold out, probably impossible but if so, there's Madagascar in October.

Ah-ha -- not sold out, I can go! Yes, I said, make that a definite! So my thoughts of Cape Cod in August, pfft, out the window. Cape Cod is beautiful in September ... and October -- even if the family is working. And no doubt Eastern Europe is a much better place to be for two weeks of August than New York City. So that's what it is. I'll start mentally packing my suitcas. Which comfortable walking shoes? I feel the excitement building. As the saleswoman said, when I expressed my disappointment yesterday, "sometimes the unexpected things turn out to be quite wonderful." True. We will see, indeed, without the charming villages and the hasenfeffer and good beer [and wine "?] the forests and mountains ...nine out of 14 days ... sure sounds wonderful. I'm getting psyched.

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