Monday, March 16, 2020

Trip on / Trip Off

We were going to travel in Europe for 2 months: itinerary finalized, some plane and train tickets bought, a few hotels booked, and rendezvous with friends planned. As the days counted down towards our March 22 departure we ate down the fridge and pantry, pre-packed our bags in order to replace, repair, and refill as needed, and dutifully completed items on the now very familiar Long Trip Todo List. However...

Beginning March 1st, with the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the likelihood of us actually traveling diminished day by day, while the number of friends and family asking "Is your trip still on?" grew. By March 10 our response to said question was that we were prepared for any outcome. And we truly were. So when our flight from Raleigh to London was cancelled on March 12 we were not disappointed or sad, nor relieved. The 50/50 had simply become inevitable.

The trip is off. Our travel gear has been neatly stowed away; the fridge and pantry finally restocked this morning. Therefore we'll be home and can spend more time with friends, neighbors and family, jam with my music buddies, travel in the US to... Oh wait. Self-Isolation.

I write this post just after applying online for a refund for our cancelled flights. We bought the tix from Finnair which included codeshares from American Airlines and British Airways. The Finnair website says it may take months to process the refund. I'll report back.

Yesterday, I went to the SNCF (French Railways) website and in 10 minutes processed full refunds for one pair of normally nonrefundable tickets, and another pair of normally mostly refundable tickets. SNCF said the refunds will appear on my credit card in 3 days or less, and in fact just showed up as "pending" on my account. Wow!

I've come to the final paragraph of this post where I should "connect back to the introduction and provide a sense of closure". Hmmmm. I'll try. Although the trip is off we're not bummed. We'll continue to improve our French language comprehension by watching French movies and practicing yoga to French yoga videos. Also, it's a perfect time to plan and complete some around-the-house projects. And we're headed to Asia and Australia next fall and winter. Time to start planning?

Playa del Carmen, Mexico

From Aguascalientes, there is a very convenient direct flight to Cancun.  Since the wedding is at a private beach south of Playa del Carmen,...