Well, phooey! Or, as my mom liked to say, “Oh, prunes!”
Like so many other people, partner Carol and I enjoy the rewards and pleasures of travel, especially overseas. But after returning home from a trip to Spain in early January 2020, a certain pandemic made us put all such plans on hold. Even though we ended 2020 on a very positive note by tying the knot, Carol and I knew our prospects for a honeymoon anytime soon were bleak. With time, however, our aversion to travel softened. We heard from friends how their European trips had been safe, entertaining, and low-stress, and my online research confirmed how some countries in Europe were confronting Covid-19 much more effectively than the United States without the same division and anger. We ultimately decided to consider a trip to a single country (to avoid different Covid-19 rules) as long as the destination only required proof of vaccination for entry, had a low infection incidence rate, and enforced reasonable mask-wearing rules. Since France checked all those boxes, we booked our flights in early November for a post-Christmas trip to Lyon and Paris. Between Delta’s “no-change-fees” policy and free cancellations of our hotel bookings, there was little financial risk to us. But then right around Thanksgiving, the omicron variant raised its ugly head, and just two days ago on Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put France and several other countries into its highest risk (Level 4) category while warning travelers to avoid travel to France even if fully vaccinated on account of the “current situation” there. But c’est la vie, since discretion remains the better part of valor, Carol and I have cancelled our plans and won’t be practicing any basic French phrases between now and the end of the year.
So how does all this relate to the featured image showing a gorgeous London Sunset with Big Ben and the River Thames in the foreground?
Directly, not very much. But while the coronavirus may have temporarily grounded us, it can’t possibly take away our memories from past trips. So unabashed anglophile that I am, I recently revisited my images from a prior trip to London, and lo and behold, discovered one that I had initially missed. Funny how the mind works, but the shot made me think of a pub about a block away from Big Ben – the Red Lion, to be exact – where we once had a lovely lunch consisting of fish and chips, a pint of ale (me), and a glass of chardonnay (Carol). If a London break is in your future, I heartily recommend you stop and rest your legs there should you happen to be near Westminster!
Meanwhile, back here in the states, please stop by our Bainbridge Island gallery for a visit if you ever happen to be in our neck of the woods. Who knows, maybe one of our travel prints will bring back fond memories of one of your prior vacations. In the meantime, Carol and I hope, as always, that everyone is staying healthy and safe as we continue to navigate through these tricky times.
Cheerio for now,
Andrew (“Andy”) Bergh