Getting away, weather permitting
Hopefully, by the time this column is published Iíll be disconnected from the rest of the world, cruising around the Caribbean on a large boat.
I say hopefully because the weather has thrown a prospective monkey wrench into my travel plans. As I write this, on a Friday, New Orleans is bracing for the impact of Tropical Storm Barry, which is expected to hit the Gulf Coast as a Category 1 hurricane on Saturday.
Thatís just two days before my cruise is scheduled to depart from the Port of New Orleans, and one day before Iím planning to hit the road.
The cruise company, Carnival, has already rerouted the ship to Mobile, Ala., for the cruise ahead of mine and there seems to be a great possibility that Iíll wind up sailing out of Mobile, as well. But rather than drive directly to Mobile, Carnival wants cruisers to travel to New Orleans, then get on a bus for the two-hour drive to Mobile. In theory, by the time the five-day cruise is over, the ship would be able to dock safely in New Orleans.
Thereís not much I can do at this point to affect my travel plans. Mother Nature is in control here. My best option is to keep a positive attitude, monitor the situation and be ready for whatever contingency gets thrown my way.
Iíll be a first-time cruiser. This trip is an early birthday gift to myself. Itís a celebration of turning 50 and itís also a celebration of reaching a point in life where I can finally afford to treat myself just a little.
As a divorced dad, I spent a lot of years just hoping to keep my bank account out of the red. It was a struggle, but I took care of my obligations and did my best to do right by my sons. I learned how to scrimp and I sacrificed a few things, but in the end I made it just fine.
Iím looking forward to getting away for a week or so, relaxing on the beach and swimming in the ocean. It will be nice to just unplug for a little while and not worry about checking email or returning phone calls.
Donít get me wrong: I absolutely love my job. I feel as if Iím doing exactly the work I was meant to do, in exactly the place I was meant to do it. I look forward to getting to the office every day.
But we could all use a break every now and then, right? So, hereís hoping Mother Nature cuts me some slack and doesnít cause any major disruptions. Iím going to keep that positive attitude I mentioned earlier and good things will happen.
Iíll see yíall in about a week.
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Scott Loftis is managing editor for Carroll County Newspapers. His email address is CarrollCountyNews@cox-internet.com.