An Unexpected Journey to Brighton

Brighton

Brighton Pavillion ©2017 Jed Smith

I’m just returning home, after an unexpected adventure. Mind you, initially I wanted to thrown an internal hissy fit, having been catapulted off the course of my well-laid plans and expectations. But, somehow (don’t ask how) something in me relaxed, and I ended up with a very nice, one-day diversion. And, I seized the opportunity as an unplanned photo assignment.

Here’s how my unexpected trip to Brighton unfolded…

Simone and I had been in London for a three-day mini vacation. What’s so awesome about living in northern Italy is the ease and economy of being able to hop around to other countries. My easyJet round trip ticket was less,than $100, and the flight a mere one-hour-forty-five minutes. London was great, especially the annual 2017 BP Portrait Award exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery (my favorite museum in the world) and a jaw-dropping presentation of An American in Paris.

Fast forward to Monday afternoon when Simone headed off to two days of business while I took the train to Gatwick. I’ll try to make this short and as pain-free as possible. The skinny is there had been a runway “incident” involving an exploding tire. Tons of flights were cancelled, including mine. Here’s the fork in the road. Do I throw an adult temper tantrum (like many of my fellow passengers) or go with the flow?

Thankfully, I went with the flow.

I said to myself “let’s see where this leads”. I immediately rebooked my returned flight on the easyJet app, and then requested my hotel. I sat in a Gatwick coffee shop, after reclaiming my bag, and awaited further instructions from the universe (a common theme in my life now).  I was #137 in the queue for receiving a hotel room assignment. Additional deep breathing required.

Then I received the email I would be staying in Brighton – a thirty-minute train ride south. I would be in the historic Hilton Brighton Metropole, right on the seafront. My room wasn’t anything to crow about, but think about it. My flight had been cancelled, and I easily could’ve been spending 24 hours in an airport hotel. Nope, Instead, I’m at the beach. Woohoo!

When I reached my hotel, I crashed, big time.

Well, that’s sometimes the price of taking on the unexpected.

I did take a decompressing forty-five minute late evening stroll, I slept for 9 hours. I woke up, packed, gave my bag to the concierge, and headed out, camera in hand and ready for action.

And, here lies the beauty of the unexpected.

I walked to the Royal Pavillion – something I’d always wanted to see after seeing an extravagant scene in On a Clear Day You Can See Forever. Wow, talk about a fairytale setting.

Then I walked,to the Brighton Pier, ready for a lunch of fish and chips at the legendary Palm Court near the end of the pier.

My camera was ever-ready, and the cast of characters was plentiful. And, so I share my photographic musings.

As I write this post I’m enjoying a glass of red Sicilian wine at the Jamie Oliver  restaurant in the North Gatwick Terminal. I’m heading home after my dance with the unexpected. Sure, I’ll be glad to be sleeping in my own bed (with our cat children), but I’m grateful life dropped an unexpected gift in my lap.

Dare I start making this a habit?