Not What I Planned

Last week was my birthday. It was a day to begin the journey through a new decade. Since it was a landmark number, I decided we would spend the day with my son and his family. Gather my  loved ones close to witness the aging process. Unfortunately they live 1,500 miles away from me, in California. So what’s a person to do? Road trip!

Future posts will share some of the sights and activities of the trip, but this is all about my day which was planned a month in advance.

Catalina Island has always intrigued me. That would be my destination for the big day! What a joy and surprise to discover that birthday people get special treatment on their birthday day. First off, the boat ride over is free! Then there are many merchants who offer special deals on your birthday. Who can resist a free ice cream cone? Reservations were made for the ferry and at a hotel. We were ready, but apparently Mother Nature had other plans for us.

As we walked into the terminal, the lines to the ticket counter snaked like a premium ride at Disneyland. My son shook his head in wonder. “They never have lines like this,” he said. Nervously, I glanced at my watch as the line inched forward. We needed to have tickets in hand thirty minutes prior to departure. I feared we would not make that.

I checked with the person in front of me to be sure I was in the right line. This man shed light on the situation and where all the people had come from. He had been on the ferry that departed at 6:30 a.m. They made it over to Catalina, but the dock was moving too much because of the high surf that it would not be safe to tie up. (Remember the hurricane, Marie, that was causing swells on the California coast?) So his boat turned around and returned to the mainland.

Once we reached the counter, we learned that our boat would not be leaving, nor did they know when or even if it ever would. My heart sank. There would be no Catalina birthday for me. Fortunately we were able to cancel our hotel. Then the issue was what will we do?

Maddy and Me

Maddy and me in the backseat on our way to San Diego to celebrate my birthday

San Diego was the answer to our question. We had a wonderful rest of the day riding beach cruiser bikes along the beach, cooling off in the pool, and discovering some incredible places to eat. Yelp was able to point us in the right direction. Perhaps that will be another post. Let me just say, I came so close to picking up my plate and licking it clean. It. Was. That. Good! (I know you want to know what it was, spinach filled ravioli with Gorgonzola sauce, YUM!)

It wasn’t the birthday I planned, but it was one of the best days of my life.




18 thoughts on “Not What I Planned

  1. Tam says:

    Happy Birthday, Elsie. You seem to have fun wherever you go and whatever you do. People have been enamored by the “savor” bracelet. Every morning I can see the word savor on my dresser. Waiting to hear more about your trips.

  2. You’re a trooper, my friend. My birthday was spent driving up to Maine and the dinner was blah, but who cared? I was with Tuvia and my lovely white roses. We both made the best of life as it’s thrown at us 🙂

  3. Terje says:

    Happy Birthday! The change of numbers has not changed your adventurous spirit. Change of plans isn’t always bad as your slice shows. It is the company (and food) that matters more than the place.

  4. So crazy that you got that weather in August! But it’s so good that California had a great second choice, San Diego! The backseat with Maddie was a much better place to be than on that boat ride! And you’ll be back for another go at Catalina!

  5. Judy C. says:

    Plans are meant to be changed. So glad that you had a delightful birthday at a special place with special people. Happy Belated Birthday!

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