Part I. Gloomy Departure


We just came back from Autumn, Indiana, back home to Hot, Heat, and Humidity, South Florida. I brought back with us a bunch of nice pictures, most of them with gray overcast skies. I am going to post them as-is, without much photoshopping. No replacing a beautiful gloomy gray sky with a bright sunny one. Nature is so breathtaking in all its manifestations that playing with color correction too much can simply ruin the story a photograph is supposed to tell. Before we left on the trip, I’d been praying for rainy days, gloomy skies, and chilly winds, not only to experience the true spirit of nature at this time of year but also to capture it in my photographs. That’s why I do most of my landscape shots with the flash turned off.

The trip to Mooresville, Indiana, did not start off on a cheerful note. We procrastinated if that was what we really wanted to do, if that was where we really wanted to go, and if that was it, did we want to drive or fly there, until the very moment the airfare doubled in price. Shortly after, Nikolasha fell sick to a common cold that aggravated her newly diagnosed asthma, and I almost made myself sick battling my fear of flying. Or rather, to be honest, debating if I should give in to my fear of flying by being a good mom and staying awake through my 3-year-old’s first airplane ride or call her pediatrician to find out what we both can take, for me to give myself and my phobia a break and for her to never know one. I was very certain indeed that with baggage like this, our chances of enjoying the trip were as gloomy as the skies of Indiana that week.

After packing for two days… Well, you know, if you travel with a 3-year-old child, you take half the house with you. I still find it hard to believe that my little person traveled with a chock-full adult-size suitcase, a car seat, a stroller, a potty, a diaper bag, and had most of her toiletries, snacks, toys, and meds in my pocketbook! Wait! It gets better. And it was us who had to schlep it all.

So after packing for two days and seemingly having everything in order and ready to go, we still managed to leave late for the airport which resulted in some moderate speeding but no tickets. Luckily. Luck struck once again (maybe the skies were changing for us?) when my husband Kevin found a squeezable parking spot on a lower level of the parking garage just a few feet from the elevator. But, you know, those spots come with a price. He got so excited and was in such a hurry to take it that he miscalculated the available space and ran into a pole putting a huge dent into the left side bumper of my beloved car.

Not only were the skies not changing for us but they also started to rain. To rain hard because when we got our infinite pieces of baggage out of the car and made our way into the elevator, he realized that he’d forgotten the tickets and the other paperwork in the car. And when we got to the ticket counter, it turned out that we’d left the camera behind. Can’t really blame the skies or my husband for that, can I? I was in charge.

But we all know that when it rains, it pours. Nikolasha fell asleep 5 minutes before the takeoff, and I was left one on one with my fears. When the flight attendant asked me if I wanted anything to drink, I pleaded without blinking, “Yes, a Margarita pleeeaaase.” She gave me a long look (I don’t know why it took her so long to tag me as an out-of-date traveler) and said, “We don’t serve Margaritas on the plane. But it sounds good to me, too.

Click here to go to Part II.