Today is my first day back to work following an incredible whirlwind wine country weekend vacation and I am exhausted in every sense of the word. Travelling across the US and back in less than 4 days while fitting in fun, food and way too much good red wine would already be enough to kick a person’s tail. But add in the always unexpected mishaps and it can downright put you down for the count.
Life continues to show me that no matter how carefully laid the plans, change is the only constant. And true to form, exactly 15 minutes before my 5:45am Uber was scheduled to arrive, the entire itinerary for my already too short trip was turned upside down, regardless of the fact that every single hour of the weekend had been planned for over a month.
“Your flight to San Luis Obispo has now been delayed by 2 hours.”
What initially seemed like no big deal quickly changed to pure panic when I realized the connecting flight in Denver was NOT delayed and the next flight into SBP wouldn’t land until 9:30pm and I would lose 1 of my 3 day trip. That was unacceptable, as this is the only vacation I’m getting this year.
At this point I could have broken down and called the whole thing off. I could have had the attitude of “everything always goes wrong for me,” refunded my money and sulked at home for the weekend. I’ll admit it was my knee-jerk reaction. My next instinct was to go ballistic on the airline rep who answered my phone call at such an early hour…but I didn’t. I reminded myself that this woman has no hand in technical plane issues, and her job is to fix the problem to the best of her ability. So while we both searched flight options, it occurred to me that there were probably more flights going into LAX, since it was a bigger airport and after a quick search my suspicions were confirmed. Same flight time, but arriving 3 ½ hours away from Pismo Beach where I was beginning my journey. I would have to go by car and try to avoid rush hour traffic leaving LA which was not ideal but I had no choice, so off I went, with an upgraded seat to boot.
Sometimes I like to joke and call myself “The Born Loser,” because when it comes to my life it always seems to be a matter of what CAN go wrong WILL go wrong. But this time, just like everything that has transpired before, what seemed to be a disaster ended up being a blessing. That drive up the California coast was unbelievably beautiful, especially for a gal who has never been west of Memphis. Following the sun as we wound our way through the mountains and canyons of Malibu, Santa Barbara and Montecito was one of my favorite parts of the trip, although that’s a tough call to make as the whole weekend was spectacular from start to finish. And to think I would have missed all that scenic beauty had my original plan worked out!
You always have to be ready to duck and pivot when life throws it’s punches. If you just stand there frozen in fear or worse, lay down and play victim, you’re gonna lose every time. Remain calm, kind and focused on simple resolutions, be ready to have to abandon all your best laid plans and 9 times out of 10, you’ll end up in a better situation-in my case with a great memory and extra leg room! You also ALWAYS need to be able to take care of yourself in the event of the unanticipated. While this applies to anyone, I especially direct this at women. As a female it can be so easy to fall into relying on a man when times get hard, and take it from me, you cannot depend on ANYONE but yourself. Always make sure you have enough money or credit to get you out of a sticky situation, make sure at least 1 person shares your cell locations at all times and stay on your guard. You never know when you’re going to need to get somewhere FAST.
The rest of the story of my trip will probably have to come next week, where I can recap my lodging and wineries toured, as well as food and travel tips. It is probably not necessary to say it, but I fell in love with Paso Robles and the entire surrounding areas of Central Coast California on this trip, and I’m ready to run away to live on a horse ranch/vineyard and work in the sun. The sheer natural beauty of this state absolutely takes your breath away and makes you want to just spend more time being healthy and close to nature. I can understand the appeal to living there, which is why it’s sad to see how many people are leaving to move to places like Nashville and Austin, TX due to political reasons.
Alas, now that I’ve been Nash->Houston->LA->Pismo->Paso->Dallas->Tri->Nash in 4 days time, it’s time for me to detox and reset, get some ground under my feet and figure out my strategy for obtaining my prime grape growing retirement real estate! Have a great week!
(If you’re interested in following along on my booze-based journeys and recommendations, I now have a blog and Instagram page titled Dumb Blonde Drinking. Give it a like!)