Well, part of my vacation was very New York, i.e., shopping, theatre, tourist attractions, and part was a super adventure of fleeing Manhattan ahead of Hurricane Irene, to go to a place that we thought would be safer. We descended on our friends in Katonah, who were already hosting a wonderful couple from Amsterdam. There is a particular bonding that happens when things don't work quite the way we are accustomed to having them work. We were lucky enough to be with people who are seasoned travelers, who know how to improvise, and who are real troopers when situations become strenuous. When the power went out, shortly after we arrived, it turned into a three day survival of those most able to lift buckets of water and withstand their own ripening scent.
New York was hit very badly. A lot of property damage and downed power lines, no mass transit in NYC, no trains running for a few days anywhere north of the city, cancelled flights, and a flooded basement we all helped save. Despite the inconvenience of no power, I had a delightful time, which speaks volumes about the people I was with.
So, here's the lesson. If you don't have really good friends, go out and get some; buy them if you have to. They'll make your life ever so much better, no matter what the circumstances. The memories of time spent with good people are the precious moments that make up a happy life.
P.S. I'm a good friend and I can be bought.