Family Vacation During a Hurricane

It was decided more a year ago that Marathon Man was going to participate in the World Police and Fire Games.  Obviously he was going to run and participate in another event as well.  We had planned this as a family trip because:

1. My kids have never been to New York City and they are at an age that they can travel well with us and we can still travel well with them so we figured why not combine the games with a family vacation.

2. I have a cousin who lives nearby so why not plan a sort of family reunion along with the games and the vacation.  Yep, sounds easy, simple and fairly uncomplicated, right?

So, I think most of you know what happened to our well planned vacation right?  Yep, a hurricane named Irene, that’s what.

We went to New York on Wednesday knowing full well that the hurricane was projected to reach NYC by that Saturday or Sunday.  Sunday was the scheduled day of the race.  Okay, don’t worry about it.  Or as New Yorkers say, “Fuhgettaboutit!”  Arriving in the city on Wednesday night and then spending Thursday and Friday in the city there was an underlying sense of what are we going to do if this sh*t weather gets serious?  I’m a west coast girl, I don’t know how serious it could be.  Apparently hurricanes happen along the East coast EVERY YEAR?  Okay, this might be nothing right?

So the weather channel is playing nonstop in our hotel and there are many other police officers and firefighters from other states and countries.  Had the weather been good it might have been an amazing time seeing all of these men and women competing and commemorating the 9/11 ten year anniversary.  But no, mother nature, or her little sister Irene was heading exactly toward New York.  So what did we do?  We packed in as much sightseeing as we could Thursday and Friday and then on Saturday my cousin and his family called us and said to come and stay with them a day earlier than planned because if we stayed until Sunday we would be stuck.  I am so glad they offered.  We were with family, we were safe, my kids and my cousin’s kids played silly games all night, and the grown-ups got to catch up, reminisce and even drink a little. shh..

So I am grateful for a wonderful vacation.  One of the best I’ve ever had.  Did it turn out the way I had planned?  Absolutely not.  But here are the good things I didn’t expect:

We were safe and we got to be a little excited about living through a natural disaster.  I am in no way trying to minimizing those who were harmed or even killed, just trying to say that it was good for us to have family to go to, and good for my cousin’s family to have company to take their mind off the storm.

Because most of Marathon Man’s activities were cancelled, after the storm he got to do more sightseeing with the boys and me.  In the original plan I was going to do these activities without him while he participated in the games but since things were cancelled he got to go to Coney Island with us.  Although I will NEVER ride the Cyclone again!

I got to spend extra time with family I don’t see very often.  My cousin’s wife is awesome.

Picture from website. My cousin’s pie actually looked BETTER than this. Yum!

She made us dinner.  She drove us into the city the day after the hurricane.  She even made pear pie.  I felt guilty that I wasn’t doing anything but she was so great at taking care of us.  I don’t know how I can ever repay the comfort she gave me.

It was nice having my boys hang out with my cousin’s daughter and the baby.  Sometimes those boys of mine drive me crazy, but at the house I saw how kind and sweet they were with the girls.  It makes me think maybe I am doing something right with them.

There wasn’t any other drama other than the hurricane.  No fighting with the boys (too busy playing with their cousins)  no lost luggage, no one getting sick.  Well, actually the drama was the cancellation of many of the events for the games.  I feel bad for the other participants from other far away countries who missed out and were stuck in NYC without any transportation.  But Marathon Man took it in stride, like he always does.

So yeah, we’re invited back to New York to visit the family because we all got along great.  It feels good and I can’t wait to get back.

But next time I will check the weather report.

My question to you is, what is an event that didn’t turn out the way you planned but actually came out better?

Here is the flickr set of some of the NYC pictures from the trip.

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