When Plans Changed

This morning the images in my memory files were shifting quickly like the racing ball on a Roulette Wheel. Finally the ball landed and settled on the time Jim and I went to Provence, France in 2001.

We had looked forward to this trip for months. We would be traveling with a congenial group and the leader was someone we had toured with before, and more importantly really liked and admired.
But as it turned out it was not exactly the idyllic art tour we visualized.

Things were on schedule until 9/11/2001. Jim and I were in Italy with a group of artists hanging exhibitions in four cities.  Our plan was to complete that business and then meet the tour group in Nice on September 14.

But, as the world remembers - on 9/11 the terrorists attacked New York City and everything was violently turned upside down.

The ripples of that horror reached across the Atlantic and changed our trip.

Jim and I arrived in Nice on the 14th as planned. But the only other person to arrive was the tour director who had also been in Italy.

The skies snapped shut.
Planes were not flying in or out of the US. 
The others could not arrive.
They never left Dulles Airport.

Although our impulse was to head home immediately but there was so much confusion and upset with flights returning to the States we were told not so make changes. So, Jim and I and the tour director decided to rent a car and proceed with the tour. We valiantly followed our schedule even though the hotels began to sell tour-reserved rooms to others. And our nerves frayed with each other.

Let's just say - it was not the trip we had imagined - but we did see wonderful art and visited legendary sites from the art history books.

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