Monday, 27 April, Tallahassee to Bucharest (via Atlanta and Amsterdam): The One That Got Away

Written 27 April 2020

Today is the day we were to fly to Bucharest, arriving at lunch time tomorrow, 28 April. Viking would have picked us up at the airport and taken us to check into our rooms at the Radisson Blu. After dinner a few blocks away at Le Bistro Français and a night in the hotel, Viking would have picked us, and 148 of our closest friends, up for the short bus ride to our ship, the Viking Vidar, on which we would have cruised along three rivers and a canal to Amsterdam, from which we would have flown home on 20 May.

Alas, as I'm sure you are aware, the COVID 19 pandemic closed the world down, so our trip had to be cancelled. We had decided to cancel out (up to a deadline, Viking offers vouchers for 100% of what you've paid, to be used on a future cruise), but because Viking cancelled the cruise well before our deadline for cancelling, we instead got a choice between a 100% outright refund and a voucher for 125% of what we had paid, good on any future cruise, so long as we do the booking within the next two years. We chose the voucher and look forward to using it when things get back to something more like normal.

It suddently occurred to me last night that I should cancel our reservation at the Bistro Français, but according to their website, they're closed anyway.

In April, we were supposed to visit our friends the Sinnetts in Maryland, for Rachel's birthday, an opening-day baseball game, and a week later, the Budman Passover seder. Delta also issued us a 100% voucher for a future flight, to be used within two years.

So it's been a quiet six weeks in Lake Wobegon. Our last relatively "normal" activity was working the polls for the 17 March presidential preference primary. Westminster Oaks was already on semi-lockdown at that point, before the first case was confirmed in Tallahassee. Now we have hundreds, including one WO resident (now safely quarantined at the hospital and doing well). I grocery shopped for a couple of weeks longer, but now we have everything delivered by a company called Shipt. The delivery driver is stopped at a checkpoint just inside the WO front gate. The delivery is accepted by WO staff, who sanitize it, then bring it on to us in a golf cart.

Everything is cancelled, Cleaning services are suspended, and the WO dining facilities are closed. The kitchens deliver refrigerated meals to those who want them (we don't). The self-service library is open, and a "pop-up" grocery store in the main building carries basics and staples, but only two customers are allowed in at a time.

Basically, we stay home. David has resumed his bridge lesson by Zoom—he, his teacher, and two other students share several sessions per week. I cook and work on my many backlogged projects (scanning and digitizing paper memorabilia, indexing recipes, cataloguing old photos, etc.). We read a lot and watch TV in the evenings.

Thanks to all of you out there who are dealing with the pandemic and keeping the world ticking over until is can start opening up again. I look forward to being able to post a more travel-oriented travel diary sometime in the future.

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