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  • Writer's pictureBenita Garvin


I'm obsessed with traveling. There's absolutely NOTHING I'd rather do. Maybe it's genetic since my brother is the same. Will work for travel!!! When you travel, particularly when you're leaving the US, it gets complicated. Adding two dogs to the equation ensures an extra bit of drama. I always mentally prepare for some unexpected disaster to occur at some point along the way. When it does, I tell myself, "When you get home this will make a great story! Nobody wants to hear about the food, historic sites, museums, etc."

Our travel disasters have made for some fun stories, some even complete with video, chronicling the event. But in all our years of traveling, the disaster never started before we ever left the States.

Upon arrival in New York en route to EU, Kukla , our 17 yr old poodles, trachea collapsed suddenly. I ran a mile with him in my arms to emergency vet because it's New York and to go a fucking mile in a car takes a half hour, I abandoned the Lyft I was in. Finally, on the verge of collapse and sweating like a race horse, I stopped a car in the middle of the street and begged the guy to drive me the rest of the way.

This is @VERG in Brooklyn. What a phenomenal place with exceptional quality care!!

Back home, in our friend's Brooklyn apartment, all is finally calm. Jim crashed early. The stress finally got to him. I stayed up reading Jennifer Egan's "The Candy House" (brilliant) until 1: 00 AM.

At 2:30 AM, I awoke in a panic. I'd forgotten my VACCINE CARD!!!! The card needed to board the plane to France. The good news, somebody is staying in our house! The bad news, my recollection of where I put it wasn't an actual recollection. More of a fantasy. While Jim is trying to figure out a way to forge (!!!) a new one, I decide to do something rash.

I'm somebody who complains and trashes the U.S. on a daily basis. Okay, maybe hourly. And, in the wake of Covid, my low expectations evaporated. Now I expect and prepare for the worst - and have yet to be disappointed.On a whim, I Googled "Covid records."THREE MINUTES later, I had an official record of my two vaccines and two boosters!! The system actually worked!! AMERICA DID NOT FAIL ME!!

At 3: 30 AM I was on the verge of taking back all the horrible things I've said about the U.S. But in the daylight hours, seeing people forced to sleep on the streets, I changed my mind. The country still is as a disaster. Occasionally, it surprises me.

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