The Destination is…

I was so excited to get my weather forecast email from PUAG. It wasn’t a great forecast though. Showers and cloudy on Friday and Sunday,  partly cloudy on Saturday. Temps in the low to mid 70’s. The packing suggestions said pack walking shoes because it was a walkable destination, an empty stomach because it was a city with seriously good food, a camera for the making sites and museums. These seemed like pretty generic recommendations that other travelers had reported from trip reports I had found on the internet. The real hints were to pack a bathing suit because although it wasn’t a beach destination, the hotel had a great pool, and clothes for a night out because there was plenty of nite life and fun live music. Now those were hints that I could sink my teeth into.

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I posted the hints and the weather forecast on Facebook and invited my friends to make their best guess. People who “do not follow directions” guessed San Diego. That was actually a destination I would have been completely okay with. I was having fun with the guessing.

I took things a step further by looking at the destinations where PUAG has taken people, and looked at the weather forecast for the country. Some consider that cheating. I’m not above a little cheating when the situation calls for it.

I became completely convinced that it was going to be San Antonio. I even started researching it. I though San Antonio would be a pretty cool place to go. We also decided that it was about the adventure more than the destination.

I will admit I started to worry that I had chosen too high of a budget. When I chose a budget of $3000 for the two of us, I wanted to ensure a lot of options and a nice hotel. I also started to worry that the snow that we were getting might cause our flight to be delayed or cancelled. Lillian, my PUAG contact, reassured me that if needed we could reschedule or get a refund if  our flight was cancelled. I still didn’t know what would happen if there was a significant delay. We’d had hardly any snow this year. Why did it have to choose this week to make up for it? In the end, it was not as bad as the forecast. Wouldn’t you hate to be a meteorologist?

On Thursday I received an updated weather forecast and it was looking much warmer, higher 70’s to low 80’s. I was so tired of the cold and this sounded absolutely divine. However, the chance for rain was almost assured. I always say you can’t control the weather so there is no point in worrying about it.

When I checked the weather map for the country I decided it definitely was not going to be San Antonio and was probably New Orleans.

We also received our package with our destination and details about the destination. In the morning, at the same time we were supposed to arrive at the airport we would receive our boarding passes by email. This was really a method of travel that is made possible by the power of our technology.

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It was a sealed envelope.

We didn’t even consider opening it early. This is all about the surprise and adventure, right?

Alarm set for 5 and 5:15. Woke up at 4:45. Ready in plenty of time and hit the road. It was hazy and foggy. A car gets in our lane and would have hit us if Zung hadn’t been watching them. He had to drive over on the shoulder to avoid it. I thanked the universe for his awesome driving skills. I’d like to say this happened in the fog, but it was just because they weren’t paying attention.

My Facebook was blowing up with people wanting to know where we were going. I think some of them were more curious than even I was!

We finally arrive at the airport. We pass Lucifer with the evil red eyes. If you don’t know about the blue horse with the red eyes, it is a sculpture commissioned by the city when the airport was built. I think a Bronco was requested and a rather menacing one was created. However, tragically, it fell against the artist when he was creating it  and crushed him to death. The family insisted, legally, that the city honor the contract and unfortunately, that is what I think of every time I see that damn blue Broncos with the red eyes.

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We parked and I asked Zung if we were “at the airport” enough to open the envelope. He said yes and opened it. This was the first thing we took out , I guess as a reminder for those people who open their envelope early.

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After that paper came the destination.

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New Orleans! I was right. I was excited. We’ve been to NOLA before and love it and Zung has a couple of cousins who live there who we enjoy spending time with and we hadn’t seen them for a couple of years.

We headed into the airport and I checked my email and there was our  boarding information. Our flight out would be with United. We went through security at terminal A. No matter which terminal you’re going to, it’s faster. We hopped a train to B.

Let’s do this!

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2 Responses to The Destination is…

  1. Monica says:

    What a cool concept. I’m looking forward to reading more.

  2. Sheila says:

    And I thought you would be going to somewhere you have never been before. We have been to NOLA many times but usually on business trips where we could go to nice restaurants on expense accounts. I know you like nice restaurants, but there is a place in NOLA that I was introduced to by a woman who I met on the trolley going to the Audubon Zoo. We visited the zoo together and then went to this little place called Mother’s for lunch. A deli, but very interesting, very busy. Next time in NOLA you and Zung must try it!

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