We pushed our annual girl’s weekend to the end of October this year because of a scheduling conflict with one of my former college roommates. Always a highlight of the fall, this event is one of those times for endless laughter, excellent meals and absolutely no work or chores.
When we flew into Norfolk on Thursday of last week, our plan to spend three days at a spa on the Outer Banks was flawless. Meals had been mapped out, treatments planned and an ocean-side suite booked just a few steps from the beach. Some mention of a tropical storm brewing off the coast of Florida had been floating around, but we didn’t care.
As we drove down the barrier islands, it was hard not to notice the traffic coming the other way. Over night, the bit of blustery nonsense threatening to wreck our holiday, grew into a massive reality certain to cancel it. I never got to swim in the surf. I was lucky to take a fifteen walk on the beach, arms pinned back by the wind, grabbing onto my friends to anchor us all lest we be blown out to the ocean.
Hurricane Sandy crashed our annual date and forced us to evacuate the Outer Banks and head back to the coast of Virginia to wait out the storm. While she didn’t smack directly into us, the torrential rains and gale force winds never abated until late Tuesday. Four days of staying indoors. Luckily, we had a beautiful house to hole up in, plenty of food and we never lost electricity. And no one lost their sense of humor.
While it wasn’t the holiday we’d planned, sometimes life has other experiences on the agenda. And while I’ve lived through plenty of lake effect storms with similar gale winds, I can honestly say I’ve now experienced a hurricane. For whatever that’s worth. And while I’m thrilled to finally be back home after five flight cancellations, part of me misses the unexpected, unplanned weekend of doing nothing but spending time with my old friends.