I’m sitting on the porch watching the surf of the Indian Ocean crash onto the sandy beach. There's a nice breeze this morning after the windstorm during the night. The weather is familiar…sunny cooler mornings, then hot humid days segueing into pleasant evenings with the night sky punctuated by bright stars. Just another day along the southern tip of India. But I’m getting ahead of myself so let me get back to last week when I flew from Sarasota to New York City to begin this adventure.
My brother & his friend Anna are spending a few months in India and invited me to join them at Odayam Beach in Kerala. After some exploration on the internet I was amazed to discover that I could get there by just taking three flights. The first leg was SRQ-JFK non-stop. I opted to spend two days with my kids, who fortunately live in New York City. I never bothered to check weather forecasts, so the announcement of a ferocious BLIZZARD headed to the Northeast caught me unaware.
Friday morning it started to snow, one beautiful flake at a time. They kept coming and building upon each other as the morning past. School had been cancelled for Friday in anticipation of the storm but now the Mayor & Police Chief warned people to stay indoors and off the roads. Businesses sent employees home, commuters swarmed public transportation before it closed down and over 3000 flights were cancelled. But not mine…officially. Their website offered a free chance to rebook a flight within the next few days. It was a no-brainer since the City was grinding to a halt. The earliest flight I could secure was late Monday night. I took it. At 11pm Friday night JFK Airport was forced to close. The last flight out at 10:35pm was Etihad Airways Flight 100 from JFK to Abu Dhabi. My flight. Incredible!!
If you’re going to be stranded, I can’t imagine a better place than NYC, especially if your family & friends live there. The Blizzard closed down Connecticut, Boston and parts of New Jersey but fortunately NYC itself was spared the worst of it, enabling me to trot around in sneakers. It was white and beautiful and wonderful to me.
So for the next few days I caught up with the latest food scene in Brooklyn & Manhattan, saw two shows, shopped and hung out with loved ones. We saw “Jersey Boys” (15th row center) followed by a personal VIP backstage tour by Katie, a cast member that my son knew. I was in heaven!!
The show was fabulous but is performed in an older Broadway theater. It was surprising to see how outdated their backstage mechanical equipment was compared to the state-of-the-art equipment in our new Manatee Performing Arts Center. At last, after what seems like an eternity, the Manatee Players' first show in their new theater will be "Miss Saigon" March 28-April 14. Tickets & Information: 941-748-5875 or www.manateeplayers.com
By Monday night the airport & City were back to normal and I took off, as scheduled, for Abu Dhabi on a twelve hour non-stop flight.
Because internet service is sketchy here I'm going to send this to you while I can.
Hugs from my spice laden hands in India,
PS A shout-out to Twinkie who is partying in Lakewood Ranch and don't forget to stop by the Palma Sola Farmers Market on Sunday from 11-3 for organic produce & unique goodies from the other local vendors.