Tag Archives: Norwalk Maritime Aquarium

No-Fly Zone

The Iceland volcano looks cool -- unless you're flying. (Photo courtesy of Huffington Post)

As the fallout — literal and figurative — from the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano spreads across the globe, one Westport family told “06880” about their experience.

Dad, mom and 3 kids had a flight to Paris for April break.  Last Friday morning, they learned it was canceled.

Some Westporters might have ranted and raved.  They may have looked for someone or something to blame.  And — because their children would certainly be upset — perhaps they’d have scrambled to somehow salvage the week.

But these are not “some Westporters.”

“We were forced to cancel due to Mother Nature,” the actual Mother said.

“The airline offered to rebook us for next Thursday, but could not confidently say the flight would leave.  With 3 kids in school, we did not want to extend our vacation after the break.”

But wait — there’s more.

“It is what it is,” she philosophized.  “We have no plans, so we’ll just take this week day by day.”

This is not the 1st time they have turned a ruined vacation into a life lesson.

Bad weather in Denver once prevented them from flying back after February break.  The earliest flight was 5 days later — so they rented a minivan and drove home.

“My kids still think that was the greatest vacation ever!” the mother said.  “Two-and-a-half days of driving, and they loved every minute.

“So I don’t think this trip’s cancellation is much of a story.  We were just going on vacation, and luckily it wasn’t for anything but pleasure.  It wasn’t a big deal — we were already here, not trying to get home.  I feel so sorry for the people stuck in airports around the world who don’t have money to stay in hotels.

“Does it stink that we didn’t get to go to Paris?  Of course.  But no one in my family is crushed.  It’s a privilege to be able to do the things we do.  We are all safe and healthy, which is much more important to us than a 7-day trip.”

Give that family a round of applause.

And a day pass to the Norwalk Maritime Aquarium.

Enjoying The Summer Stay-cation

The Westport family’s 3-day plans fell through — the northern New England college they called for an interview for their rising senior was fully booked long ago.

blog - Connecticut mapjpgSuddenly, the Westporters had time all to themselves. So on a Tuesday night they sat down and talked about the many local things they always talk about doing, but never have time for.  It was a very long list.

They added ground rules:  no Facebook, Blackberries or email.  (They followed them well.  Not perfectly, but they tried.)

“What fun we had!” the mother reported.  Their high school students found the Maritime Aquarium — particularly the penguins — as much fun as when they were kids.

They mini-golfed in Ridgefield, picnicked at Waterford Beach near New London, rode bikes, took walks, saw movies, ate out and had leisurely breakfasts.  Even an errand to a camera store felt special, because they did it together.

On Saturday morning the list was nowhere near done.  One kid went back to a summer job.  E-mail needed checking; laundry beckoned.  Daily life began anew.

But, the mother says, “the satisfaction of being home and stepping out of the routine was magical.  I always think of us as a family that  spends time together, but something about this endeavor felt so freeing.  Three days together under the radar — when can I mess up the schedule again so we can do another stay-cation?”

There are limits to her joy, of course.  When I asked if I could use her name, the mother answered quickly.

“Definitely not,” she said.  “My kids would be mortified.”