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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Missed Flight Makes for Sweet Memory

Happy travelers at Big Basin State park.

I’m the December partner in a May-December marriage (he's 82 to my 60) so I do most of the planning and arrangements in our lives, because my brain is firing on more cylinders than his. 

A lapse of consciousness occurred on our vacation that put me in my place.  I had booked our flights many months in advance because I was using frequent flyer miles. I filed the e-ticket away and started making my plans so that each day had a destination and purpose. We were flying to California, leaving on a Friday and coming home on a Friday -- or that’s what I told myself and others as I regaled them with my plans.

The vacation was great. We had a nice weekend with my cousin in Pacific Grove, spent time in Big Sur, visited redwood forests, Sausalito, San Francisco and then back to San Jose for the flight home.  Being a savvy traveler, I went to the hotel lobby the night before our flight home to print boarding passes. Turns out that my flight home had been that very day; I had never re-checked the itinerary to confirm the flight. (And I apparently ignored the email reminder that pinged on my smart phone the day before the flight.)

$1400 later, I had new flights booked. I dragged myself back to the hotel room for a dose of humble pie as I told my husband the bad news. Bernie took it really well, far better than me. No blame, no recrimination, just an acknowledgment that stuff happens. He wouldn’t let it spoil our great vacation and he has never mentioned it again. 

I still don’t know how it happened… why I didn’t check the tickets as I normally do. Why I booked the flight home earlier than my well-laid plans. I continue to beat myself up on the screw up. 

When I think back on this vacation, I'll recall lunch at Nepenthe on Big Sur, the sea lions in Monterey Bay, the redwoods at Big Basin, and the big bus tour in San Francisco, but my worst experience may turn out to be the best memory.  Being forgiven – no strings attached – really is divine.

Have you been forgiven for something you can't forget?  Or were you the one who turned the other cheek?  Share your stories of forgiveness.


  1. AnonymousJuly 30, 2013

    Not forgiveness but a similar travel memory. On my recent train trip to DC to vacation with my Dad, after boarding the train for the ride home, I found out that when I booked the tickets 5 months in advance to get the great rate, I scheduled the return trip for July 27th instead of June 27th. The return leg cost 3x the original cost.
    When we talk about the great time we had on vacation, my Dad never forgets to add "Everything was great until we almost got thrown off the train on the way home..." His way of reminding me I'm not so perfect after all!

    Julie V

    1. Julie, It is the same story, isn't it, but with a slightly different ending. Tell him that he can do the booking next time. That'll get him to clam up.

  2. Chris, like you, it's myself I usually have the hardest time forgiving for mistakes. When I make one that cost money, it helps for me to put it in perspective by asking myself, How important is it (really?)
    It helps for me to widen the lens and instead of focusing on the cost of the flight or vacation, compare it to the money I make or spend in a year. That usually shrinks it down to molehill size. carol

  3. Carol, I did widen the lens. I imagined myself living past age 85 and being down to my last dollar in my 401k. By then, my memory will be so bad that I won't know the difference.

  4. That Bernie is such a mensch. We need to book dinner again for a proper travelogue. xoxox

    1. Pat, Like you, I am lucky in love. Glad to dine and discuss worlds traveled and next vacation plans.