Last Sunday was Mother’s Day. It will be added to the list of events that due to Covid19 and social distancing, we had to change up our traditions. Birthdays, weddings, graduations, births and deaths haven’t been given the celebrations/memorials that were expected. We will remember 2020 as the year we were blindsided. 2020, we lost vision of normal. 2020, we couldn’t see. We are waiting as individuals, country and world to come out of the dark. We all know that most things will be different. We just don’t know how or when.
As a travel girl, I’m getting pretty restless. There are just so many days I can organize drawers and find honey-dos for my guy. I run my fingers over the zippers of my luggage. I stare, with desire, at my travel map. I see blank spots in the world that need pins and I need to get there while I’m still Good to Go. This must sound a bit sappy to some, but compare it with playing golf, or watching sports, or having lunch with girlfriends. This is what I do. This has been the thing that I miss.
I eased back out into the world this week. Connie, a long time friend who is also a tour director and a traveler, went with me. We packed our wet wipes, hand sanitizers and masks and took off on a road trip. We have an upcoming two day-trip to Arrow Rock, Missouri and we hadn’t been there prior. She had once seen a sign for Blackwater, Missouri and we hadn’t been there, either. So we went.
We were honestly giddy with anticipation. The green of the grass seemed more intense; we talked about Ireland. The flowering trees and blooms in beds around houses and fences were full of color; we chatted about gardens we’d visited. People were happy and smiling; we discussed past travelers that needed a “kick in the hiney.” We were absolutely thrilled to be out in the world; it was pouring rain. We did not care and it certainly wasn’t going to keep us home or dampen our spirits.
We knew that nothing was going to be open on our adventure, but we could make some decisions about the timing and good places to T.E.O. (Tinkle Every Opportunity) We knew we could see and assess the attractions that we were to visit in September, even if it was from the street. You know, we could do what we do. We did.
We rolled into Blackwater, population 155, and fell in love with this movie-setting of a town. From the old fashioned farm windmill in the center of town to the depot outside of town (the next block) this was a living postcard. We scampered from closed store to closed store, looking in. We walked every street and took pictures. We met the wine distributor. He knew people. He got us in. The manager of the beautiful Iron Horse Hotel and Restaurant was as glad to see us and talk group travel. She graciously toured us through this historic treasure with its quaint nine rooms. Connie and I fantasized a group of ladies doing the same.
We cruised a few miles to Arrow Rock, population 57. The entire village has been designated a National Historic Landmark through its association with Westward Expansion and the Santa Fe Trail. One shop keeper had her lovely gift shop doors open and we eased in. Her hospitality was as strong as the fragrances of the soaps and lotions filling her shelves....awaiting a buyer. We visited with a protective plastic shield between us about how we small businesses were to survive this. We chatted about the need and desire to buy American made products. I overheard her placing an order and counting her expenses. I made a small purchase. I want her to be there when we go back.
It was a wonderful day to be out and about. Cold, rainy, hardly anything was open. It was wonderful. We got lost on a detour and now we don’t have to do that on with our motor coach. Sigh.
Check out our video blog on the Good to Go Face Book or website to see some pictures, or better yet, join us on the tour.
Patti Beth Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in the group travel industry taking people all over the world. Her motto is "I return with the same number of people I left with… not necessarily the same people, but the same number nevertheless. So no 'crankpots' allowed" She may be reached at 918-786-3318 or firstname.lastname@example.org.