Here in the UK — or Plague Island, as we’ve started to call it — it is now officially Christmas Eve.
2020 has not been an unmitigated disaster for me. There have been some highlights — notably my visit to DLP, and Paris itself, in July.
But it has been a bit of a grind. I’ve worked — I know this makes me luckier than many others — pretty much without a break for the whole year. I’m tired. I want to get away. I want to recharge. And escape.
It is so bizarre to me that for the first time in my life — I’m 51 — I am banned from visiting the USA. I’ve been flying over since the 1970s — whenever I wanted, as often as I’ve wanted: and that’s been a lot. I am likely more widely travelled in the US than many of you. I’ve loved every trip I’ve made. It’s a fantastic country to visit.
If I could, I would get on a plane to Florida tomorrow. My job isn’t stopping me. I run my own business: I can do what I want. Money isn’t stopping me — hell, I have refund money from two cancelled trips from June and October sitting in a savings account.
No, this damned virus is stopping me.
I feel like I’m keeping it together, but that — if I let go of my desperate grip — I could lose it. I have a trip to DLP booked for April, but right now, I’m banned from France, too. Sure, there are vaccines now. So by the time April comes around . . . But there are also mutations and they’ve made the virus worse.
I won’t lie — I’ve found it really tough reading these forums during the last few months. You damned people don’t know how damned lucky you are that you can go to WDW whenever you want. I feel like I’m in prison here.
As you may know, I actually booked a trip for January at the weekend. And cancelled it the next day. Sure, I went a bit nuts. Sue me. What that incident taught me is that (a) I’m a little more fragile than I’d realised right now, but (b) I know how to plan a dream trip to WDW in two hours. I did it once. I can do it again.
So, if by some miracle, the US lets me back in in the next few months, I’m getting on that plane. The second it’s announced I’m booking flights and accommodation.
Except one of the particularly nasty things about COVID is that even then there are no guarantees. A week ago the UK prime minister was promising everyone a five day Christmas. A few days later, he’d cancelled it all.
There’s a world of difference between booking a vacation and actually being able to go on it. So many roadblocks can suddenly spring up. New York has said today that travellers from the UK have to quarantine for two weeks on arrival and that marshalls will be sent to their accommodation to check that they are doing so. Will that apply to someone merely wanting to change planes in New York?
It’s Christmas Eve and for the first time in my life I’m still not yet in a Christmassy mood. I even made a full Christmas lunch today. It didn’t help.
Later on today (i.e. after I’ve been to bed and got back up again) Calvin and I are off to a suite in a luxury hotel for two nights. So, you know, there are many, many people who are worse off than me.
But, as Ally McBeal explained, my problems are so much more important than anyone else’s because they’re my problems.
A Merry Christmas to you all. (Except the ones of you I don’t like.)
PS Here’s where Calvin and I are staying. We were last here for Christmas 2017.
PPS The whole thing — two nights in the suite, all food included, at Christmas itself — is costing less than that one night I had at the damned Poly in the summer of 2018. WDW are thieves.