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What is it with the Hoffmans and traveling? Our curse used to follow us only when we left the state of Maryland. Or, let me clarify, it’s not really a curse… just seems something “unexpected” happens every time we go somewhere. I’ve written about our many travel mishaps, and that “something unexpected” always ends up making a travel memory. These mishaps used to rear their ugly heads on big adventures… seems now they follow us anytime and everywhere.
Samuel had a concert scheduled right after the big snow storm. We watched the web site diligently for updates. Other concerts at this venue were cancelled and postponed… communication seemed to be at an all time high. Wanting to get there early so he could stand in line for a good position, we packed up and grabbed the keys at 3 in the afternoon (it was an 8 o’clock concert). “Check the web site,” I bellowed from upstairs, “Let’s just make sure before we leave.” All was good, concert was a go.
We left, picked up his friend and spent two hours in the car. We arrived at the venue after passing what seemed like a million “CAUTION: BLACK ICE” signs and another million turnarounds on streets that didn’t seem safe to pass. No red flags were waving… the city was bustling and the venue had lights on and a huge poster for the concert in the window.
Samuel and his friend were the first to arrive, which meant the best seats possible, or so we thought. I dropped them off and headed 20 minutes out of the city to do some shopping (really just wasting time) and was reassured by the 7-Eleven next door to the concert that they could go inside to warm up if needed.
Have I mentioned how I hate city driving? Whenever I use the word “hate,” Mike always says that’s a “mighty strong word.” WHATEVER! I hate city driving.
I wasted an hour or so browsing. I had nothing left to do and decided just to head back, find a place to park and fumble through some paperwork I had brought. It was 7:30 and the doors were about to open for the concert. Feeling better now that I thought they were about to go inside, I grabbed my phone to text him. Just as I entered my code to unlock it, Samuel called. My heart sank, he never calls… only texts.
“Hello,” I said very tentatively. “Um, Mom. We just found out the concert was canceled.” This wasn’t completely resonating with me… “How? Are other people waiting? What?”
So they found out on Twitter that the concert was canceled. A line of ticket holders was right behind them. The lights of the venue were still on… poster still hanging… no employee showed to tell any of these people waiting since 5pm that the concert was canceled because of the roads.
Frustrated to no end, having wasted an entire FIVE HOURS in the car… in the CITY, I headed back to pick them up. All I kept thinking was, “Now I’m going to have to do this again when they reschedule the concert… why? … why? … why? I had paid my dues.” Then the two got in the car… all smiles. They were having the best time ever.
My blood pressure finally settled, and I remembered the Hoffman travel curse and what it was really all about it… making memories. These two would talk forever about the concert mishap and the great time they had. I grinned… turned up the radio a bit… and smiled to have shared in this memory with my beautiful teen.
Until the next mishap,