“Vacation”

The word “vacation” means something different to me now than it did even just a few months ago. A few months ago, back before everything changed, the main “vacation” I was thinking about was my honeymoon.

The original plan was to go to Iceland, as Steven has several acquaintances there (met, as all of our international friends are, by playing X-Wing) and it is a place he has always wanted to go. The one issue is that our wedding was taking place in November and Icelandic weather is really unpredictable in winter. You could be there for two weeks straight and still not see the Northern Lights because November is (apparently) the rainy season and you can never count on clear skies. After discussing things with his friends, we decided to try Iceland another time. (After all, we have all the time in the world together.)

The new plan was to go to New York City, as I have never been whereas Steven has been multiple times, both with his family and by himself. I immediately jumped on board with this new plan, and spent several weeks researching everything I could about NYC, from places to go (even if they’re super touristy) to places to avoid (because they’re super touristy) to places to go (because they’re not super touristy). I looked up restaurants. I looked up hotels. I delved into Air BnB law in NYC (because my coworker told me they’re illegal but I’m still not 100% sure on that). I was excited. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, and what museums I wanted to see (which is all of them, of course), and lists of all of the food I wanted to try while we were there. I was obsessed.

And then the pandemic hit, and New York City became the epicenter.

As I’m writing this, on May 28, 2020, New York’s cases are finally beginning to decline, but the overall death total for the United States has surpassed 100,000. I follow several wedding boards online and people are beginning to cancel their fall weddings (currently, I haven’t seen any cancellations for October or November), which is causing me some extreme anxiety. At the moment, I don’t know if my wedding is even going to be able to go forward in November (without us having to cut the guest list way down), or if we’ll even be able to travel anywhere afterwards. We have a back-up location in case NYC is still unavailable (Asheville, of course, since you can hike and shop and eat there as well), but I’m still hoping with everything inside me that our original plans – wedding and honeymoon – can still go on.

There are so many people in this uncertain boat with me right now, and I hope that each of us are able to get our happy endings.

Prompt from Writer’s Block by Jason Rekulak

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