Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way today and I will come back New Year’s Eve with the Top Ten of 2021. So here’s the bottom five worst things about 2021. We experienced some of them personally and I know some of you have experienced them as well.
Number 5: The political divide in my country
I don’t think I have ever been political in these posts but I have had it. Not with anyone in particular but with the extremists on both sides of politics in the country I live in who continue to drive us apart. From science to religion, from insurrection to health care we are so divided. Talk of civil war is all the rage on social media. I am at a point where I just wish that all the red states would become one country and all the blue states another and we could live happily ever after—but in my heart, I know that is crazy. And sadly there are plenty of good, reasonable people who are either red or blue who live in the opposite type of state so that won’t really work. I don’t know what the solution is to this and to be honest I am kind of glad I won’t be around in 40 years to see what happens (I’m being optimistic 😜). But I worry for my kids and grandkids.
Number 4: The pandemic drags on
This is one of those things that we have all had to experience. Will this damn thing never end? I remember coming home from our Mardi Gras cruise in March of 2020 and we were discussing how long it would last. At that point we had major travel plans in May 2020, August 2020 and December 2020. We pretty much gave up on May immediately. We knew that trip wasn’t going to happen. But we had high hopes that COVID would turn out to be another version of the flu and could be contained so we felt pretty good about our August 2020 trip to the Galapagos. In hindsight, I laugh at myself thinking that. How naïve we were. But surely we would have no trouble doing our Viking River Cruise in December 2020? There would be a vaccine by then? Everyone would take it and we could move on? That would work right? Not a chance.
And now here we are, a year later and we have had a darned good vaccine that has been pretty widely available since early 2021 and we just cancelled our second Viking Christmas Market Cruise. I am not sure why, but when we thought of that vaccine a year ago we automatically assumed that everyone would rush to get jabbed so we could all move forward with our lives. But no! There is no accounting for stupidity and ignorance so here we are, in the last month of 2021 and we are back in full-blown COVID crapdom. Get a damn shot people. Science is real.
Number 3: The deterioration of my beloved Seattle
I wrote about this in depth about two month ago. You can see that post here. But at least things might improve in the new year as the voters decided that the people running Seattle had gone too far in the wrong direction trying to be “good people” (I am a firm believer that no extreme viewpoint—either right or left—is a good one) voted in some who have some logic. I will keep you updated as things progress but for right now, avoid Seattle. Cruising buddies—if you want to sail to Alaska this summer, leave from Vancouver (if Canada allows it—not even sure of that).
Number 2: Falling off a five foot berm in Oregon
This one is just a personal thing. Back in August on our annual beach trip with our kids and grandkids, I took a fall. I was walking in some high grass on a berm at the beach. There was about a 5-6 foot straight drop off to the beach itself. I was going to find a place to slide down on my butt until the part of the berm I was standing on (pictured from the top of the berm) collapsed underneath me.
Thankfully, I wasn’t badly hurt but I did screw up my good knee (still hurts from time to time), I landed on my Nikon (that repair bill was almost $500) and I think I scared the grandkids who had never heard Grandpa use that kind of language before. Suffice it to say that while I am pretty much fully recovered (as is my camera), there was about a three week period that I had to give up taking my long walks…one of my favorite things to do.
Number 1: We have to cancel our December European trip
You may have read about this a few short weeks ago but the biggest disappointment of 2021 was cancelling a trip we had been planning for more than a year. You can read about the cancellation by going here. And you can read about all the things I had to cancel, get vouchered or refunded by going here. I guess the best thing I can say about having to do this is that in hindsight, we did the right thing as Omicron showed up a week after we cancelled and Europe shut down for travelers. The river cruise that was the centerpiece of the trip turned out to be a bust with most ports missed, passengers who went complaining about it and worse. As I told someone who cancelled a cruise today (for January 22) on FB, better a postponed vacation than a lousy vacation.
Unless you have bad times, you can’t appreciate the good times.